Christmas in Jerusalem is a truly unique time with thousands of pilgrims coming to the city to celebrate Christmas in the place where it all began (nearby in Bethlehem). The city, in particular the Old City’s Christian and Armenian quarters, become adorned with decorations, whilst other Jerusalem landmarks such as the YMCA, along with the city’s churches celebrate with services and carol concerts. Below are some of the best things to do in Jerusalem at Christmas.
Jerusalem Christmas Events
Preparing for Christmas in Jerusalem
Here are some of the highlights of Christmas in Jerusalem in 2013:
Jerusalem Christmas Market
At the Jaffa Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, a Christmas Market will feature singing, dancing around a Christmas tree with stalls and many fun and interesting events.
December 20-22 14:00-21:00. Jaffa Gate.
August Victoria Christmas Concert
Featuring ‘The Vocal Octet’.
December 21, Augusta Victoria Church. Tickets 120 NIS from here
St Andrews Church Christmas Concert
“Baroque pearls” featuring Bach, Handel and Vivaldi with violin, viola, and organ, plus Julia Plahkina, mezzo soprano
December 23, 19:00. St Andrews Church
Christmas at the Jerusalem YMCA
The iconic YMCA building on King David Street hosts Christmas events every year including the famous Christmas Carol Concert in the impressive and iconic auditorium featuring traditional carols.
December 24, 19:00. Entry 25 NIS. David Hamelech 26.
Midnight Mass in Bethlehem
Midnight mass in Bethlehem is a unique experience. Either travel independently to the central square and watch on the big screen or join an organized tour. Entry to the church is difficult and usually pre-arranged by ballot.
Liturgical music and Christmas carols at the Christ Church, opposite Tower of David Museum at the Jaffa Gate of the Old City, followed by a tour of Christian sites in the Old City
December 27, 10:30am. Concert and tour 85 NIS per person, concert only, 60 NIS per person.
Christmas in the Old City
In the Old City, head to the Via Dolorosa and watch pilgrims from around the world walk this famous route with the cross of Christ over their shoulders, made a little more special with the Christmas air.
Christmas Parties in Jerusalem
Jerusalem’s young, secular population are worldly and love to celebrate Christmas in their own way. Parties are likely to take place in some of the city’s more secular bars such as the Abraham Hostel Bar where the famous Christmas party returns this year.
December 25. Across Jerusalem. Abraham Hostel party is at 8pm at Haneviim 67. Entry is free.