Christmas in Jerusalem 2019

Christmas events in Jerusalem 2019 will be updated as they become available. Meanwhile, you can check out last year’s events.

With dozens of churches scattered throughout the Christian Quarter of the Old City, near the Old City and in the neighborhood of Ein Karem, and being only six kilometers from Bethlehem, Jerusalem is an unforgettable place to celebrate the Christmas holiday.


Christmas Tours:

Here is a taste of events taking place around the city for Christmas this year.

2-Day Christmas tour of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ein Karem


Photo: Noam Chen

This tour includes an overnight stay in Bethlehem on Christmas eve.

Book Now

Check out the full itinerary >>

Abraham Hostel’s Christmas tour


Every year, Jerusalem’s most popular hostel organizes a tour to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

Book Now

Check out the full itinerary >>

View more recommended Christmas tours >>

A Festive Christmas Eve Tour in Bethlehem

Visit the historical and holy sites of Jerusalem and Bethlehem by day, and then spend a festive Christmas Eve in Bethlehem with a group holiday dinner in front of the Church of the nativity!

Carols, Concerts, Events and more:

Christmas at the Abraham Hostel

צילום: אברהם הוסטל

Photo: Courtesy of Abraham Hostel

Join the traditional annual Christmas celebration at the Abraham Hostel. So what to expect? Glitter Christmas decorations, hot and comforting beverages, great deals on alcohol and bar menu, and a live classic rock show by Eli Verintea. See you there!

When: Monday, Dec 24, 2018, 8:30 pm
Where: Abraham Hostel, 65 Hanevi’im St., Jerusalem
Cost: Free

Christmas Tour with ZUZU SEGWAY


How about a nice walking tour around the Old City surrounded by exciting Christmas atmosphere? Or perhaps you would rather enjoy a night bike ride or a Segway experiential tour following the footsteps of the Christmas holiday in Jerusalem?

ZUZU Tourism offers every imaginable tour option for groups of 10-20 participants. The tours are offered to organized groups only!

Catholic & Orthodox Christmas  with Open Holidays 2018 Events

Photography by: Inbal Halperin

Celebrate Christmas by exploring the Old City to the light of oil lamps and the sight of beautiful green Christmas trees. Open Holidays offers a wide range of festive tours and activities around the Catholic Christmas holiday, which is officially celebrated on December 24. There will also be tours focusing on the Orthodox Christmas celebrated on January 7.

All you need to do is choose your preferred date and activity! These are the tours:

  • Christmas tour at YMCA Jerusalem
  • Christmas preparations & meeting the local community tour
  • Christian Quarter tour with a local
  • Arminian Quarter tour with Father Korion
  • Orthodox Christmas tour

Call Open Holidays to plan your tour: +972-72-3932795

Christmas Tour w/ Yad Ben Zvi

Join Yad Ben Zvi on their traditional Christmas tour in Jerusalem and enjoy the chance to explore the Old City at its best! Visit iconic churches, listen to the sound of bells, witness the celebrations first hand, and roam the streets of the Christian Quarter. Sites included: Jaffa Gate, Christ Church Jerusalem, Christian Quarter, Notre-Dame.

When: Monday, December 25, 2018, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Cost: 90 ILS
Phone: +972-72-3290745

Old City Christmas Market

Photography by: Rasha Asfur

The Old City annual Christmas market takes place at the Murtisan Square and Nablus Road. The entire place is lit up with bright lights and a festive atmosphere, decorated with Christmas trees and light-up ornaments illuminating the Old City and its surrounding area. The beautiful and picturesque alleyways of the Christian Quarter will be filled with decorations and fireworks shows just before the market opens. You can also count on a huge Christmas tree and Santa Claus. And of course, there will be plenty of traditional food and gift stands.

Shows for the whole family will be held at the Frir School main plaza. Christmas Market 2018 is an initiative of Lights-Up Ltd and Bozor Al Hayat Lafdal association in collaboration with the merchants in East Jerusalem. Decorated streets with holiday lights and special lighting (Dec 15-31): New Gate, Frir School Courtyard, St. Franscis Street, Latin Patriarchate Street, Saida Street, Al Rosol Street, Espaniol Street, Al Hnaka Street, Murtisan Complex. Nablus Road (up to The Garden Tomb)

When: Tuesday – Saturday, December 15-18, 2018, 3:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Where: Murtisan Complex, Nablus Road
Cost: Free!

Christmas Eve Concert at YMCA & Special Events

Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch

YMCA Jerusalem welcomes you to a Christmas Eve and end of the year celebration with a series of special events that will make your winter warmer. Most events will take place in YMCA Jerusalem. Here are some highlights:

  • Christmas market at YMCA: arts & culture fair, dozens of stalls, workshops, YMCA Bells Show
  • children shows
  • night bar
  • Concerts and more!

Check out YMCA’s full schedule and get tickets here>>

Christmas Magic at Santa’s House

Photo: Courtesy of Santa’s House

Located in the Old City, every year Santa’s House hosts children and parents from all around the globe, offering them an authentic experience of a proper Jerusalem-style Christmas. The house belongs to a family that has been residing in the Old City for over 700 years!  Decorated in the spirit of the holiday, the house offers a non-profit attraction based on donations only and its main goal is to spread joy and happiness to the children of this world.

When: December 2-28, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Phone: +972-52-8649027

Christmas Concert at The Dormition Abbey

François Espinasse will be arriving straight from France for a Christmas concert in Jerusalem. The concert will be held in The Dormition Abbey, located on Mount Zion, and will feature adaptations for the organ pipe in the spirit of the holiday.

When: Saturday, December 22, 2018, 11:00 am
Where: The Dormition Abbey, Mount Zion, Jerusalem
For more info: Official Website

Christmas Mass and Religious Ceremonies

Here are some of the churches in Jerusalem where you are welcome to join in Midnight Mass and other Christmas services:

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Church of the Holy Sepulchre is located in the Christian Quarter in the Old City and it is considered to be one of the holiest sites in the Christian faith. It was precisely here, according to Orthodox Christians, where Jesus was crucified and ascended to heaven. This church has been an important pilgrimage site since the 4th century and it operates all Christian Orthodox denominations.

More about this church

Christ Church
Located just inside of Jaffa Gate, Christ Church will be hosts services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Contact: 02-627-7727/9

Other churches
Those looking to avoid the frenetic crowds may enjoy exploring other Christian holy sites such as Mary’s Dormition Church on Mount Zion and The Dormition Abbey.

In Bethlehem

It is a great Christmas tradition in Israel to be near the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. Tradition says that the church marks the exact spot where Mary gave birth to Jesus.

International visitors to Bethlehem, a city just six miles south of Jerusalem, get to experience the annual Midnight Mass in the Church of the Nativity (tickets only) and at 1:00am, the ceremony welcoming the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem to Bethlehem.

Also in Bethlehem is the Armenian Church, Basilica of the Nativity and Manger Square.

And if you’re already coming…

Consider taking a trip north to Nazareth, home to Israel’s largest Christian population. Nazareth was the childhood home of Jesus, where you can visit the Church of the Annunciation and Church of St. Joseph.

And once up north, just 10 kilometers away is the former Templar colony Bethlehem of Galilee, a quaint town with lovely stores, stunning views and many examples of original Templar architecture from the turn of the 20th century.

Go to New Year’s Eve in Jerusalem >>

Where to Stay in Jerusalem

Looking for accommodation while you’re in town for Christmas? Check out our complete listings!

Hotels in Jerusalem >>
Best accommodation deals in Jerusalem >> 
Best vacation rentals in Jerusalem >>

Restaurants in Jerusalem

Don’t go to the festivities on an empty stomach! There are plenty of amazing restaurants in Jerusalem, whether you’re looking for a quick bite, something romantic or family-friendly!

All restaurants in Jerusalem >>
Recommended restaurants in Jerusalem >>

Santa Claus photos by the Ministry of Tourism and Dafna Tal
Church photos by Noam Chen