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“Very crowded, renovations right now”

Church of the Nativity
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Bethlehem and Jericho Tour From Jerusalem
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Bethlehem Tour from Jerusalem
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Private Day Tour: St. George's Monastery, Wadi Qelt, Mar Saba, and Bethlehem
Ranked #2 of 32 things to do in Bethlehem
Certificate of Excellence
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Built over the Grotto of the Nativity by Constantine in 325 A.D., destroyed and rebuilt in the 6th century and renovated in the 11th century by the crusaders, this is the oldest Church in the Holy Land that is still in use.
Reviewed July 8, 2014

Beautiful little church, crowds mass there to see the infant's birth place. As the ceiling is presently under renovation, it isn't visible at the moment. The old town is a real jewel and the local population (both christians and muslims) is extremely kind and helpful towards tourists.

Thank semagora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 6, 2014

The Church of the Nativity was a stop on our tour of West Bank and it is definitely a must see. This is the church built over the cave that Jesus Christ was allegedly born in. Please note that I am not a religious person. I nevertheless found the church to be very interesting. Expectedly, there are hordes of tourists and Christians alike inside clamoring for a feel and sight of the very mark where Jesus Christ was allegedly born (as well as the manger). There seemed to be a steady flow of tourists so good luck getting a picture by yourself. Be quick and make room for the rest of the tourists.

Thank jing0423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2014

I decided to visit this site in a group of four due to ongoing security concerns although this is focused in the Hebron area presently. I enjoyed exploring the where Jesus was born although I add it isn't a stable rather a cave. A word of warning is that there are a lot of worshippers packed into a very tight area; so you may want to arrive earlier in the day if this is something that concerns you! The church is well maintained although it's currently undergoing significant maintenance work, however this didn't affect access to the church itself.

Whilst there two of the Spanish members of our group started speaking to a Franciscan Brother. This led to us getting a private behind the scenes tour of areas the public wouldn't otherwise see. I would definitely recommend this site because of it's historical and religious significance to would be travellers.

Thank Vedrina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

Jesus was born here over 2000 years ago in such humble surroundings. To be able to see the spot where the shepherds received the glad tidings of His birth and then to visit the church of the Nativity was another humbling experience. Of course, like everywhere else, the place was crowded and being part of the tour group one felt a little rushed and couldn't spend as much time there as one would have liked to so that you didn't get lost & spend time searching for your group. But all in all it was a heartwarming experience to be able to briefly worship at the very spot where Mary gave birth to Jesus in the cave. A very humbling experience when you think that this little baby was born in such lowly circumstances and had to die a humiliating death on the cross for our sins.

Thank Sylvia2348
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2014

I went as part of an organized tour group tour and inevitably, I felt herded. It's understandable, given that big groups take up a lot of room and many historic places, like the Church of the Navitity, just don't have the real estate available, so groups are strongly encouraged to move through and not linger. That's one function of the tour leader. If you would rather tour on your own pace, you might consider doing this on your own and not part of an organized tour group. There are pros and cons to hiring a guide, with the foremost reason having someone there to answer your questions. However, be prepared to get herded around. Our visit to the Church of the Nativity was the last stop of our day and I was feeling the effects of having been herded around all day. Unfortunately, this took away from my having a positive experience at the Church of the Nativity. We stood in line to be able to kneel down and touch the star memorial. With most of our group being over 60 years old, this took time for each pair (yes, we had to pair up so the group could go through faster). No time for prayers or reflection.

I would recommend visiting on your own and not part of a group tour. You have better control over your timeline and pace. Additionally, one or two people are better able to navigate around bigger crowds. Do your own research in advance, so that even if you do end up hiring a tour guide, you'll know what questions to ask.

Thank CCC_wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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