Bethlehem is a safe, welcoming place to stay in the Holy Land. Bethlehemites pride themselves on being the town of the birthplace of Jesus, and our reputation for being warm, hospitable people. The first pilgrims started coming to Bethlehem nearly two millennia ago, and as anyone who knows the Christmas story will tell you, there’s been an inn-keeping industry for even longer.
Many people ask us about safety in Bethlehem and Palestine in general. Bethlehem has been a safe, quiet city for the past ten years, with more international tourists and pilgrims than ever before. The only regional conflict zone at present is in Gaza, which is located nearly three hours to the south of us. In no way should the difficulties there affect your stay in Bethlehem.
We have a functioning police force that includes a division solely responsible for taking care of tourists. Crime against tourists is extremely low; even lower than in many Western cities. Local citizens are very friendly, with most speaking at least some English. We have fully-stocked pharmacies and well-trained doctors, almost all of whom also speak English. Local tap water is drinkable and restaurants must pass basic health inspections to operate.
We do recommend dressing modestly in Bethlehem, especially if you are to visit churches and holy places while in the region. Wearing long pants or long dresses with shirts and blouses that cover shoulders and midriffs is recommended.
Just remember to practice common-sense travel advice, drink plenty of water and keep suntan lotion on during the summer months, and all will be well! If you do have specific questions regarding safety and health before you travel, contact us with your question and we will be certain to respond to you. Thank you!