Visiting Bethlehem while in Jerusalem
zafferana · 30/01/2020 12:14
We're going to Israel over the Easter holidays and staying in Jerusalem for a few days. There is a part of me that can't imagine not going to Bethlehem while there, but I'd love to hear what people who live in the area or have been recently think. Is it reasonably safe? We'd be going as part of a half-day organised tour.
Funf · 30/01/2020 17:54
We went all over Israel with a local guide about 5 years ago no issues, I wish we could go back.
SpiritInTheNight · 30/01/2020 18:01
We went to Bethlehem, met our Palestinian guide after the check point who took us on a tour of the West Bank. This was a really good way of doing it as you aren’t on a tour bus, but it’s not for everyone.
He took us to Hebron and Jericho as well, these aren’t unsafe places but only go if you are a confident traveller.
My advise would be to go to Bethlehem, use a local guide and use local shops, he took us to a restaurant in the market where he bought meat from a butcher and it was cooked in front of us. Sharing that meal with him was an absolute highlight.
zafferana · 01/02/2020 13:47
Thank you! I don't think my DH would be comfortable doing the more independent thing (I would), so a half-day tour from Jerusalem, all packaged up and guided is the only way to go. I've decided that we will do that though.
OneKeyAtATime · 01/02/2020 15:46
You cant take a hired car to Bethlehem - you ll have to use buses or tours - but can do so to Nazareth. I thought there wasn't that much to Nazareth although you can go further and go to the sea of Galilee. I am aware it wasn't your question. Sorry!
countdowntonap · 01/02/2020 16:01
We’re staying in Jerusalem in August, and are currently debating a tour to Bethlehem or going independently on the bus (I’d prefer the freedom of this). Who are you planning on doing the tour with? Please can you let me know what you think after.
SnowBrussels · 01/02/2020 16:02
Yes, I’ve been on West Bank tours twice with Green Olive (Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron and a refugee camp) in small groups and felt safe with the guides. A driver collected me and another couple from our hotels and then we switched to another car after the checkpoint.
On the way back we went through the checkpoint back into Israel on foot (an eye opener) then met our driver on the other side.
Also, when flying out, airport security asked me where I’d been and what I’d done there...
zafferana · 03/02/2020 09:20
We're doing it with Tourist Israel @countdowntonap. We're also doing the full day trip to Masada, the Dead Sea and the Ein Gedi nature reserve. I'll try to remember to report back after we've been!
Imaleh · 01/03/2020 16:19
If you're clearly foreign tourists then Bethlehem should be totally fine. I'm sure you can find an agency which can arrange it for you from Jerusalem (it's really close).
Just be aware of your surroundings because things can kick off. You're not a target (you'll be very welcome) but best to avoid any large gatherings.
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