Bethlehem written in the Basilica of the Nativity
Even if you are not the Magi, you may already know that getting to Bethlehem means getting to the city where Jesus was born … Obviously, I did not, I did not know, but I imagine that there are so many to remember that Bethlehem is the place in the cribs .
This town, which is only a few kilometers from Jerusalem, is the place where we believe that a baby Jesus was born.
And only this would be an element of interest, but it was a lot, but much more to me.
Do before you leave
We are talking about a trip that targets Israel and then the territories of the West Bank, of so many places where you may have some doubt, here the online travel insurance I would say is definitely advised. For my compulsory mother, comforting me.
Another thing: always consult www.viaggiaresicuri.it before leaving! Usually does not say comforting things, but at least informs you about the risks involved and it will be up to you to do the necessary considerations (when I started I did not recommend using the buses, but in the concrete I have always taken them and with complete serenity of mind) . But I refer you to post more in-depth on the subject: Traveling in Israel and Palestine without fear, is it possible?
What to know before coming to Bethlehem
Bethlehem is already in the West Bank or Palestine or West Bank (these various names call it) and as such is Muslim.
Here you will find the checkpoints, known checkpoints as much as you hear about dividing Israel from Palestine. In my case, leaving the bus and leaving from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, they did not control me. While in the stretch from Bethlehem to Jerusalem the policemen went up to check the passports.
Always bring your passport with you, as many places as you are required.
How to get to Bethlehem from Jerusalem
Easy. Take the bus 231 from the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.
The cost of the journey is 8nis per person and the duration is 30 minutes in a row.
Keep in mind that this bus is Palestinian and therefore works also at Shabbat or from Friday night to Saturday after sunset. Otherwise, everything in Jerusalem crashes in those hours, including Israeli public transport.
Accommodation in Bethlehem?
In my case, I visited the city sleeping in Jerusalem but I was told that there are 40 hotels in Bethlehem, many places to eat and above all the prices are lower than in Jerusalem. It would also be a way to help the city that lives only in tourism, but Jerusalem has a beauty unmatched in my opinion and I admit that I preferred to go back there. I ask for it, but the occasions to enjoy it are not so many.
How to move to Bethlehem
On foot. From the bus station to the center of Bethlehem we talk about 10/15 minutes on foot. You do not need to take a taxi, and keep in mind that as soon as you get off the bus you will find several taxi drivers trying to get you around.
If you do not have the car, alas, there is only the taxi.
The places offered are different, and prices are contracted as always. Here I tell you: look good.
Taxi talk in Palestine: pay attention to bargaining before and during!
The guide talks about 50nis per hour for taxi hire (Lonely Planet 2012 edition), but in fact the prices are all a bit higher now.
Taxi drivers have offered me prices depending on the things to visit, and again, the rogue of the trip is taken by a taxi driver (there will be a day when I will write a compendium on my relationship with taxi drivers around the world … Ah if I write it!).
Aware of the many critters trying to trim the taxi drivers many times with the tourists just arrived (not all for charity, but so many … yes), I had agreed for good since the beginning: 150nis to see the house of Herod and the Wall with the graffiti. Total time to say it: 2 hours.
Actually it takes a lot less. In the course of the tour, let’s see how much it is agreed on in an oret, and the gentleman taxi driver offers me in addition to seeing Bansky graffiti placed in various areas outside Bethlehem … Only that even on my direct request pretends not to understand, and it does not talk of extra money and for this reason I accept a brief extension of the visit since it’s been just an hour (as I had agreed).
Morale: The taxi driver after 2 hours I ask 400nis alias almost 100 euro’s instead of the 150nis agreed.
I’ll tell you better at another time, for now I can only tell you that:
– I got bogged down
– he put his hands on my hair as soon as he heard me go for the tangent – I eventually paid more despite being a rogue – even another taxi driver always in Palestine tried to do the same “game” but I was prepared this time. Just look good when they offer you additional routes or new routes or they suggest you bring “who knows where” because “we’re all friends”, as they might actually ask you more money, but without warning you first.
What to see in Bethlehem? (Walk on foot)
Basilica of the Nativity with the Grotto of Nativity Nb: the church is being restored at the time and it will be until December of 2016 This is the main attraction for millions of pilgrims but also for those with a simple historical interest Cultural, this church is a must not be missed. That is, believing the believers with certainty, a baby Jesus was born. UNESCO heritage (and therefore for me as always a place to visit …), the Basilica of the Nativity has always been in operation. Founded in 326 AD from Constantine, it was destroyed and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century AD.
The Baptist Nativity Basilica Gate The Humble Cave Chapel With a 3-minute walk, this chapel is considered by believers to be a great haven for women seeking fertility and nursing. Here Mary stopped to breastfeed Jesus baby and a drop of her milk fell on the rock, turning from red to white. The properties of this rock seem (for believers) to be hoped for those who look for fertility and aid in breastfeeding.
Manger Square and the Old City with the central square. Very nice the ride for the suq and the alleyways that forms or the old part.
Herodium The palace of Herod dates back to (well) on 23 / 15 AC These are archaeological excavations on a beautiful hill, which if seen in fine weather, gives a great panorama (in my case, in December, it rained!). The visit deserves: 29 kicks in to person to enter.
Betle wall dividing Israel from Palestine
The Wall that divides Israel from Palestine is imperative. Touching, intense, able to make you feel small at first, but not as a dimension but as a human being. Why not see a dividing wall is never an element to celebrate. But what they kidnap is simply gorgeous graffiti decorating … Indeed no, they uranise on the wall.
Banksy Post Graffiti: Banksy and street art in Palestine the most beautiful part. More sincere. More comprehensible, without the need for dictionary. A direct language that comes straight to the stomach. Definitely, do not miss it.
Bethlehem written in the Basilica of the Nativity