Nazareth

For other places with the same name, see Nazareth (disambiguation).

Nazareth (Arabic الناصرة an-Nāṣirah, Hebrew נצרת Nasarat, ) is a city in northern Israel. With a population of 60,000, it is the largest Arab city in Israel proper with a mixed but quite harmonious Christian and Muslim population.

Understand

Nazareth, 1842

Nazareth is best known as the home of Joseph and Mary and hence also Jesus, although he was born in Bethlehem.

A number of Christian holy places in Nazareth are associated with the Annunciation, the childhood and the early ministry of Jesus. In addition to the imposing Basilica of the Annunciation, these sites include the Greek Orthodox Church of the Archangel Gabriel (built over the freshwater spring known as "Mary’s Well"), the Greek Catholic "Synagogue Church" (assumed site of the synagogue where the young Jesus was taught, and where he later read from Isaiah), and the Franciscan Church of St. Joseph (built over a cave identified since the 17th century as the "workshop" of Joseph).

As the place where Jesus may have grown up, studied and lived most of his life, Nazareth has for two thousand years been closely identified with Christianity and has attracted hundreds of millions of pilgrims from around the world. Nazareth is also Israel’s largest Arab city and as such serves as a major cultural center. Over the past decade the historical Old City has been extensively renovated, preserving and restoring the architectural beauty and unique character of its narrow lanes and alleys. The combination of these three elements – history, culture and architecture – assures the Old City of Nazareth a place among the most beautiful historical destinations in the world.

Get in

By bus

Nazareth is 102 km from Tel Aviv and 131 from Jerusalem. Take a bus number 823 or 826 from Tel Aviv New Central Bus Station directly to Nazareth (does not operate on Sabbath or Jewish holidays). The journey takes about 2 hours.

From Haifa, the 331 bus (from station Merkaz Hashmona) takes about an hour, and operates daily including the Sabbath and holidays.

From Jerusalem, there are two direct buses per day - excluding Sabbath and Jewish holidays (bus number 955) or take a bus to Afula and switch to a bus to Nazareth.

There is also a daily bus during the summer (less frequent during the winter) from/to Amman operated by Nazarene 04-6010458

By car

Prepare for some of the area's worst driving. Traffic is typically on the heavy side, roads are not well-signed nor well-maintained, and parking is rather haphazard. Beware of sharp switchbacks and small, winding roads with no exit—these are cramped, crazy streets. Driving to and within this town is doable, but for the brave of heart. GPS is a must, but not entirely trustworthy.

Get around

Central Nazareth can be easily covered on foot. There is also public transport, which also operates on Saturdays, however the buses tend to get stuck in the traffic.

See

The Basilica of the Annunciation
Nazareth Village
Prominent Christian sites
Prominent Muslim sites
Additional prominent sites

Do

Buy

A souq (Arab market) extends up the hill from the Church of the Annunciation.

Eat

The city’s many restaurants provide a full gastronomic experience in all types of Arab cuisine. Any visit to Nazareth must allow time to enjoy to the full the renowned and delicious local tradition of welcoming diners.

Drink

Right behind Mary's Well is a restaurant/bar called Al Bayat "The House". You can find pretty much any kind of alcoholic drink you like there and an extensive menu of international fusion cuisine. Locals like the outdoor patio for a local Palestinian beer called Taybeh, "Tasty" with complimentary pretzels and peanuts. Local musicians also play some nights.

Sleep

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.