5 Most Beautiful Churches in Israel to Visit

As the birthplace of Christianity, it’s no surprise that Israel is home to many churches that are important to followers of the faith. From the iconic Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, believed to be the site of Jesus’ burial and resurrection, to lesser-known gems hidden throughout the country, there are plenty of breathtaking and meaningful places to visit to explore the rich history and culture of Christianity in Israel.

Different Denominations of Christianity in Israel

The Christian population in Israel is diverse and multi-denominational. Each plays an essential role in the religious and cultural life of the country. The Catholic Church in Israel is represented by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, who are responsible for the care and oversight of Catholics in the region. The Orthodox Church is expressed in Israel by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. This group has has jurisdiction over the Eastern Orthodox churches in the area. Protestant denominations are also present in Israel, including Baptist, Pentecostal, and Seventh-day Adventist churches.

List of Must-Visit Churches in Israel

With a country abundant with Christian churches, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which ones to visit. So, to help you narrow down your options, here are the top 5 Holy Land churches you must visit in Israel.

1) The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

church of nativity israel

Can you imagine standing in the very spot where Jesus was born, soaking in the wonder of this world-changing moment? This indeed is what you’ll find at the Church of the Nativity. This iconic site is a must-see destination for Christians and history buffs. Located in Bethlehem, this ancient church is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. In addition, it is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. Built in the 4th century by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great and his mother, Helena, the church has been beautifully preserved and renovated over the centuries. You can actually experience the magic of the Church of the Nativity for yourself. Join a Christian Holy Land Israel Tour, and let the spirit of the holy land move you. 

2) Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem

christian jerusalem day tour holy israel church of holy sepulchre

 A walk through the picturesque cobblestone alleys of the Old City in Jerusalem will lead you to the unforgettable Church of the Holy Sepulchre. You’ll walk in the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples and stand in the magnificently decorated Calvary, where Jesus was crucified. Jesus’s tomb, where Jesus was buried and resurrected, is nestled in the center of the church. You can continue to the Stations of the Via Dolorosa, where processions frequently reenact Jesus’ crucifixion. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre belongs to all denominations of Christianity. To take in the most of each chapel’s story, consider a guided Christian Jerusalem Tour to explore Christian history at Israel’s most famous church.

3) Church of All Nations in East Jerusalem

christian jerusalem day tour holy israel church of all nations outside

The Church of All Nations, also called the Basilica of Agony, stands in the Garden of Gethsemane on Mount Olive, East Jerusalem. This basilica, adorned with mosaics and frescoes, is a tribute to the fateful night before Jesus was arrested. Within its walls, chapels mark the spots where Jesus prayed over Jerusalem’s faith before his arrest. It is a place of great spiritual significance. The church’s garden is scattered with olive trees. What’s iconic about this church are the several mosaics which represent the 12 nations that helped fund this beautiful church. The church’s scenic location and cultural significance are a must-see if you visit Jerusalem. You can see this one, too, on our bestselling Christian Jerusalem Tour.

4) Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth

Church of the Annunciation nazareth israel

Nazareth, located in Galilee, northern Israel, is revered as the hometown of Jesus Christ and has many significant religious sites. The Church of the Annunciation is one of the most well-known landmarks in Nazareth. It marks the spot where the angel Gabriel is believed to have appeared to the Virgin Mary to tell her she would give birth to Jesus. The Church of Annunciation is the biggest Catholic church in the Middle East. It’s an important center of Christian pilgrimage. You can be sure to include a visit to The Church of Annunciation on our Catholic tour of the holy land

5) The Church of Saint Peter in Jaffa

church of saint peter israel jaffa

The Church of Saint Peter is an architectural treasure in the charming and historic Old City of Jaffa. The church itself dates back to the 16th century, but the current building dates from the 19th century. It is known for its impressive architectural features, including a high, vaulted ceiling, beautiful stained glass windows, and marble walls. The church’s name is for Saint Peter. According to the Bible, he raised Tabitha from the dead. This miracle is considered to have taken place in the ancient town of Jaffa, which you can get to know on an intimate level on this Saturday tour of Jaffa and Tel Aviv. If you’re visiting Jaffa, you must take advantage of this architectural and historical gem and pay a visit.

Bonus: Churches across the border

church israel saint catherine monastery egypt

If you plan on spending some time in Israel’s neighboring countries on your Christian Pilgrimage or historical adventure, be sure to catch the famous Christian sites in Egypt. Our favorite is St. Catherine’s Monastery in Cairo, Egypt which you can catch on this tour that leaves from Israel; and Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the site where John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ. Catch these two holy sites included in tours of Egypt and Jordan

Visiting churches in Israel can be an enriching experience for people of all faiths. Whether you are a devout Christian or simply interested in exploring the rich history and culture of the Holy Land, there is a church in Israel that is sure to captivate and inspire you. Check out Christian Tour Packages for a full experience of all the holy land landmarks. Or see our Christian day tours to visit the church most meaningful to you. 

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