'And know that I am with you always, yes, to the end of time', these are the words of Jesus Christ, who is believed to have been born in Bethlehem.
Bethlehem: An Introduction
The city of Bethlehem, the most important pilgrimage site for Christians, is the birthplace of Christ according to the Bible. Located in West Bank of Palestine, it is approximately 10 kilometers from south of the city of Jerusalem. Bethlehem is the capital city of Bethlehem Governorate. A town with a population of a mere 25000, its economy depends primarily on tourism. Bethlehem saw the rule of Muslim rulers until 1099, and even today the city has a large Muslim population. However, it is also the home to a large number of Palestinian Christians. Since it is a popular site for pilgrimage, there are a large number or resorts and hotels in Bethlehem which have played a key role in increasing its value as a tourist spot.
Staying Cheap in Bethlehem
If you are visiting Bethlehem as a pilgrim, you should look up cheap hotels there. The Manger Square Hotel in Bethlehem is located in the center of this city. It is perfect for pilgrims who have traveled across the world to pay homage to the birthplace of Christ. Just a few minutes' walk from the famous Nativity Church, the Manger Square Hotel has well furnished, air conditioned rooms and suites at reasonable rates and a few restaurants. It also offers complimentary coffee and tea facilities. There is a cafe bar, if you want some light snacks after a long day of sightseeing. One of the most popular Bethlehem hotels, it gives you a taste of true Palestinian culture with special programmes like Dabke (a traditional dance form), Tableh, silent theatre amd other cultural shows.
The Holy Land Hotel is also one of the many cheap hotels in the area. It is run by a family, and you are definitely going to like the homely atmosphere in the hotel. It is well maintained, has satisfactory rooms and efficient staff members.
Luxury Hotels of Bethlehem
If you're traveling to Bethlehem for a vacation, you should not compromise on accommodation. You can look at some of the luxury Bethlehem hotels, like the Jacir Palace Hotel there. As the name suggests, there is something extremely grand and royal about the hotel which never fails to mesmerize the guests. It is undoubtedly the largest and one of the most popular hotels in the city. Built in 1910, it has a conventional Palestinian architecture. There are more than 200 rooms, banquet facilities, a swimming pool, health spa and 11 bars and restaurants.
The Grand Park Hotel Bethlehem is one of the best hotels in Bethlehem. It has restaurants which are well known for their sea food dishes and Mexican food. Apart from fine dining, it has well-decorated, spacious and cozy rooms.
Things to Do and See in Bethlehem
A visit to Bethlehem would be incomplete without a trip to the Church of the Nativity. An epitome of serenity, this church is a tribute to Jesus who was born here. It has been in existence since 4th century AD. The Milk Grotto is another fascinating tourist attraction; Baby Jesus's family or Holy Family went into hiding here before fleeing to Egypt. The Manger Square is perfect for a day out, with a large number of restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. Apart from these, you can also visit the Old Bethlehem Museum, Shepherd's Field, the Mar Sava Monastery and many more.