Interested in Jerusalem?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Jerusalem each week.
Do you want to visit Bethlehem? As this city is located in the area
controlled by the Palestine Authority this looks like a challenge, IT
This article aims to give you some advise in how to go to Bethlehem and not pay loads of money to taxi drivers, "tour guides" or any other person you meet and proposes to take you there because doing it yourself is not safe or impossible.
* All taxi drivers try to bring you to Bethlehem from Jerusalem for prices ranging from100 to 200 shekels from within Jerusalem. Unless you don't care and want to spend the money, do it as it is safe and gets you there fast and easy.
* You can rent an Israeli car (it's cheap and easy) people will tell you that you can't go to the Palestine areas. The reason being that there is no insurance coverage once you enter the PA controlled areas. It is possible to rent a car from one of the companies in East Jerusalem which do offer coverage in these areas of the country. It's easy to reach and only 5 minutes drive from Jerusalem. Just drive to the crossing area and don't get distracted by pushy taxi drivers. You will need to go through a security check where the guard will ask to see your foreign (non-Israeli) passport and you be allowed to cross over. Once in the PA drive straight on the road to where Church of the Nativity is (about 20 minutes drive). It's safe!
* Palestinian Authority bus 21 will take you directly into Bethlehem (though the route getting there is more roundabout. It cost 7.3 shekels each way/per person. Local Jerusalem city bus 163 will also take you to Bethlehem. Bus 163 last stop is at Rachel's Tomb meaning you'll need to walk into Bethlehem. Bus 163 costs 6.6 shekels each way/per person. (price accurate as of July 2013)
Good luck! b.t.w. Church of the Nativity is OK and worth the visit. Although somewhat less appealing if you just spend some time in the Old City of Jerusalem.