Gordon Tours Israel Blog

Christmas Markets in Israel

Icon December 16, 2019
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

For most of us, the term “Christmas market” conjures images of bundled crowds meandering through snow-topped wooden stalls, steaming cups of hot beverages in bemittened hands. Since winter weather is a traditional piece of the Christmas market experience, it’s easy to overlook Christmas markets in one of the holiest places of all: Israel! The Mediterranean climate of Israel doesn’t mean that the country has less to offer in the world of Christmas markets. Spending a holiday season in the Holy Land may not give you a reason to wear your snow boots, but you’re sure to find a thriving tradition of Christmas markets in the biblical homeland.

Here are a few highlights:


Christmas Markets in Israel

If you’re only going to experience one Christmas market in Israel, this one might be the one to visit. Nazareth goes all-out for the Christmas season, with all-day Christmas markets, choral performances, and even a firework display on Christmas eve. Visiting the Church of the Annunciation is a must any time of the year, but it’s hard to ignore the unique experience of visiting the place in which Mary learned of her impending motherhood on the holiday that celebrates Christ’s birth. Nazareth’s Christmas market is also a great choice for the whole family, with a number of sights and activities geared specifically for kids.

Christmas Markets in Israel


Christmas Markets in Israel

While Nazareth may put on the most spectacular Christmas market, it’s hard not to feel the draw of celebrating the holiday right where history happened. Bethlehem features a Christmas parade that passes directly through Manger Square, where the manger that hosted the savior’s birth once stood. Old Bethlehem transforms during the Christmas season, featuring brilliant lights and Christmas displays. All types of Christians flock to Bethlehem during Christmastime- Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians, as spending the holiday in Bethlehem is a great way to be reminded of the power of the Christian faith in its diversity of iterations.

Christmas Markets in Israel

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Christmas Markets in Israel

A trip to Jerusalem ought to be on every Christian’s bucket list, and a trip during the Christmas season makes it even more special. The Jerusalem Christmas market is located by one of the gates of the Old City of Jerusalem and begins with a striking tree-lighting extravaganza a few weeks before Christmas. The market is open every evening and offers all manner of Christmas stalls, with gifts, snacks, and even Santa Claus! Jerusalem’s Christmas market hosts a number of musical performances, and while you’re in the city, don’t forget to tour the Mount of Olives and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. These sights will really make the Christmas season come alive for you while visiting the Holy Land!

Christmas Markets in Israel


Christmas Markets in Israel

We’d be remiss not to include Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv, on this list, though it’s considered a far less traditional Christmas market. The Jaffa Flea market is a spectacular year-round establishment, but it gets very festive around the Christmas holiday! Be sure to check out the magnificent tree in the Clock Tower Square before strolling alongside the port and up the hill to St. Peter’s Church. The flea market itself will allow you to experience Israel-specific highlights (like exceptional hummus) while browsing Christmas items and feeling the excitement of the season.

Christmas Markets in Israel

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year, from all of us at Gordon Tours Israel!


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