Sanctuary Bethlehem
Sanctuary Bethlehem
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles153 reviews
Excellent
114
Very good
29
Average
7
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Kristin A
Oslo, Norway17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Family
Upon visiting Jerusalem, we discovered that Bethlehem was merely 1/2 hour away, and we rented a cab (50 shekels) to drive us to the Palestinean border. There we upon chanse met Zafer Barakat, wich we thought was a taxidriver, but turned out to be the most amazing tourguide we could have asked for.

When he sensed our interest in the wall around the Westbank, he asked if we wanted to see more. We agreed upon a price for a half day tour, that ended at our hotel i Jerusalem.

What we got was quite overwhelming. We got to see some of the incredible art on the wall, including several Banksy works. Zafer also took us through one of the refugee camps, and to visit one of the many times torn down, bild up homes. Our 6 years old son was equally moved by what we saw. It was hard not to be shaken by bulletholes, closed-up stores and the messages sent by the paintings of the wall.

Bethlehem has a beautiful city centre, and we even managed to see the nativity church, well sped up passing the lines helped by Zafer. Before the end of the trip, we all shared a nice lunch, spiced up by Zafers knowledge about the area.

All the borderpassings took less than 5 minutes. We didn't have to show our passports once. Our guide seemingly knew everbody, likewise in the streets, as the controlpost.

We hadn't hoped to see more than the Nativity church when we visited Bethlehem, we got so much more. Thank you ever so much Zafer! I hope you don't mind me sharing your adress, since you don't have your own attraction site on tripadvisor.com. I would like more travellers to experience what we did! So here it is:

Zaferbarakat@hotmail.com
Written 26 November 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Basilis Lagios
Patras, Greece128 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Solo
The church of Nativity is an amazing experience for all people! Above the cave of Jesus Christ birth, there is the temple of Nativity! In the cave, there is the birthplace of Jesus Christ, which at the top has the star of Bethlehem! A little patience is needed, to go down to the cave, into which one enters after descending the 13 stairs that has! The cave is lit only by candles! The only negative thing is that each morning, at 7 o'clock, the divine liturgy of the Greek priests must be ended, because then, the Armenian priests do the same!
Written 20 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary M
Montreal, Canada333 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Couples
Essentially, this is the Church of the Nativity. The church is still being renovated, but now you can see renovated portions, including floor mosaics and columns.

You descend a few steps to access what was the manger where Jesus was born, a silver star said to mark the spot. Whether it is precisely located or not, it is a moving experience to be there.

Do not avoid visiting out of concerns about safety. As long as road accesses to Gaza are open, there should be no problems. Palestinians want, if not need, tourist dollars and are pleased with you being there. Vendors may be rather insistent but no more so than many others elsewhere.
Written 22 September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sima R
Albuquerque, NM6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2016 • Solo
you can´t go to bethelhem and not go here. it was a very interesting experience. I´m jewish so while I´m not connected to christianinty it was still very moving.
Written 16 March 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

oconjohn
Dublin, Ireland287 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2015 • Couples
Unfortunately my experience in Bethlehem was not a good one.

Firstly when we arrived on the local bus there was a diversion due to an incident on the road ahead. When we got off the bus we were hassled by a taxi driver who wanted to take us around the city and he became nearly aggressive with us when we told him we just wanted to walk. This wasn't helped by four other youths gathering around us and became very intimidating.
Secondly a guy (mid to late 20's ) tried to steal my bag near the Church of the Ascension but I managed to stop him in time, but 10 mins later I saw the same guy running down the street with a ladies handbag. The amazing part was that 2 local people told me that there were 3 youths stealing from tourists every day and were well known to the locals - so why doesn't someone stop them ??

The Church of the Ascension is visited by 1,000's of tourists every year and there are guys outside selling tickets to enter - it just spoils the whole experience in my opinion.

There is however a Protestant church at the other end of the city which is well worth a visit. It has a tower which you can go up to view around the whole area. If the lift is not working it's quite a climb to the top so its not for anyone unfit I think.

Admittedly my visit was during a time of volatility in the area, but having said that - overall my visit to Bethlehem was very disappointing and I would recommend anyone to skip it or at least beware of the thieves operating there.
Written 23 October 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hema P
Birmingham, UK148 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Couples
Worth visiting while you are in Bethlehem as there is a lot of History. Don't get a guide as this can be easily done by yourselves.
Written 6 July 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

deyan55
Sofia, Bulgaria74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Friends
the normal for the holly land mixture of gospels interpretation by orthodox, catholics, armenians,...
Written 29 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Licey7
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic752 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Family
This is one of the main attraction at Bethlehem, if you’re a Chist follower do not miss this place. It is a must visit.
Written 6 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Marian P
Bucharest, Romania101 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Friends
I repeat: personally, do not agree/like to share deep inside experiences while facing a sacred/holy/blessed religious landmark... But there are signs and Mark's which empower any one, believer or not...
Written 24 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

healthspacritic
Washington DC, District of Columbia, USA187 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
You can't come to Bethlehem without visiting. A beautiful, historic significant spot. Don't be turned off by the long lines. It is worth the wait.
Written 22 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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