If you are looking for the most important Christian sites in the world, there’s nowhere better to start than Israel – the birthplace of Jesus and the country where he spent all his life.


BETHLEHEM

Bethlehem – Baby Jesus

This is where it all began, the birth of a Super Star.

Key Highlights:

  • Church of the Nativity –  A 1,500 year old Basilica with an underground Grotto where JC was born.
  • Church of Saint Catherine – Underground chapels where the bible was first translated into Latin.
  • Herodium – Herod’s palace fortress near by.

HOTELS AND TOURS OF BETHLEHEM

Places to Stay – Bethlehem is a short trip from Jerusalem (but there is a checkpoint between the two) – we recommend staying in hotels in Jersualem – check out our Best Jerusalem Hotels Guide.

Tours – there are regular tours from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – check out our Best Christian Tours Guide for some cool tips.


GALILEE

Nazareth – Jesus’ Hometown 

Jesus’ home town, and today, the home of the largest Christian Church in the Middle East.

Key Highlights:

  • The Church of Annunciation – believed to be the home of the Virgin Mary, and the spot where she talked with the Angel Gabriel.
  • Mary’s Well – Where the Greek Orthodox believe Mary spoke to Gabriel.
  • The Church of Saint Joseph – Joseph’s workshop.
  • Greek Catholic Synagogue Church – Crusader building, believed to be a Synagogue where Jesus preached.

Capernaum, Sea of Galilee – Jesus’ ‘Home Away From Home’

Jesus gets his own place and meets some new friends.

Key Highlights:

  • Ancient Synagogue – Jesus preaches and performs many miracles.
  • The House of Peter – An Octagonal hovering Church, commemorating where Jesus heals Peter’s mother in law.
  • Kfar Nahum – Biblical location of the House of Peter.
  • Sea of Galilee – Jesus spent a lot of his time in this area, check out all the other sites he visited.

Cana – Water to Wine

The life of the party

Key Highlights:

  • Today’s town of “Kfar Hana“.
  • Jesus first miracle – Changes water to wine at a wedding
  • The Wedding Church – A Franciscan Church, commemorates the miracle Jesus performs at the Cana Wedding.
  • Performs another miracle – Heals a boy from a distance.

Mount of Beatitudes – Sea of Galilee – Jesus’ Stage

Jesus’ famed sermon on the mount is commemorated here.

Key Highlights:

  • The Church of the Beatitudes – An Antonio Barluzzi design. An Octagonal Church, 8 sides for 8 Beatitudes.
  • Domus Galilaeae – “The house of the Galilee” – Christian center for studies and meetings.
  • Jesus visited the mount after his resurrection.
  • Byzantine church – Near by you’ll fin ruins of a 4th century church.

Tabgha – Sea of Galilee

Jesus feeds 5000 people with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.

Key Highlights:

  • Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes – a beautiful Byzantine mosaic (pictured aboved)
  • Church of the Primacy of St Peter – Jesus makes breakfast.
  • Believed to be one of the places Jesus appeared after his resurrection.

Mount Tabor – Galilee

Jesus get a make-over

Key Highlights:

  • Jesus transforms and meets with Moses and Elijah.
  • The Franciscan Monastery – Believed to be the location of Jesus’ transfiguration
  • Roman and Crusader ruins
  • Long trail – 5km // Short trail – 2.5km
  • Hang gliding – Popular departure point and quickest way down.

HOTELS AND TOURS OF THE GALILEE

Places to Stay – For luxury options check out The Carmel Spa and Mitzpe Hayamim in the Galil, and Vered Hagalil and the new Setai Hotel near the Sea of Galilee. For a great cheaper option check out the Faudi Inn in Nazareth (part of Abraham Hostels).

Tours – there are regular tours from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – check out our Best Christian Tours Guide for some cool tips.


JERUSALEM & SURROUNDINGS

Qasr el Yahud – Jesus takes a Dip

Famous baptismal site of Jesus.

Key Highlights:

  • Outside Jerusalem
  • Baptismal site – Jesus gets baptized by John. (John the baptist, get it?)
  • Israelite Crossing

Mount Zion

Key Highlights:

  • Cenacle – Room of the Last supper.
  • Church of the Dormition – Where Mary “fell asleep”.
  • Church of St Peter in Gallicantu.
  • Tomb of King David.
  • Oskar Schindler from Schindler’s list is also buried on Mount Zion.

Via Dolorosa – 14 Stations

“The way of sorrows/suffering” – The path and story of Jesus’ crucifixion and burial.

Key Highlights:

  • 14 stations of the cross – stations are marked with a plaque, taking you across the Muslim and Christian Quarter.
  • Church of Holy Sepulchre – Where Jesus was crucified and buried (10-14 stops) (see below).
  • Friday Procession – Every Friday a large Catholic procession make their way from the Lions gate to the Holy Sepulchre.

Church of Holy Sepulchre

The end of the road.

Key Highlights:

  • Crucifixion and burial place of Jesus.
  • Part of the Via Dolorosa, 10th-14th stations.
  • Golgotha  – “The place of Skulls”
  • So many Chapels – Chapel of the Franks (10th station), Chapel of the Nailing of the Cross (11th station), Chapel of the Crucifixion (12th station), just to name a few
  • Our Lady of Sorrows – Altar commemorating Jesus taken down from the cross – 13th Station
  • Stone of Anointing (Unction): – Jesus was laid here after being removed from the cross.
  • The Edicule – Jesus’s Tomb – 14th station

Mount of Olives

Houston, we have lift off.

Key Highlights:

  • Jesus’s ascension
  • Church of All Nations – 12 nations contributed to its construction.  Believed to be the site Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion.
  • Church of Dominus Flevit – Where Jesus wept
  • Tomb of Mary – “The Church of the Assumption” an underground crypt that resembles The Holy Sepulchre.

HOTELS AND TOURS IN JERUSALEM

Places to Stay – Check out our Best Hotels in Jerusalem Guide.

Tours – Check out our Best Christian Tours Guide.


Want to get all kinds of awesome recommendations directly to your inbox? Sign up to our weekly Events Newsletters here


Looking for more ideas?