Nazareth travel Guide

In the north of Israel you will find the place where Jesus grew up. This pretty little town has thereby become a pilgrimage site for many Christians. Although it’s such an important place for Christians, there still lives a majority of Muslims in Nazareth. Of the original city where Christ was raised, there’s not much that remains. Probably because in his time Nazareth was a small rural village. Around the fourth century AD Nazareth became an important place for pilgrims, and thus it became much bigger as well. Although the city has many monuments and religious buildings on its foundations, its inhabitants are quite open-minded it seems. Tuned cars and young girls with tons of makeup and short skirts are not a strange sight in this small town.

The Basillica of the Annunciation in Nazareth is one of the most famous sights in the city.

The Basillica of the Annunciation in Nazareth is one of the most famous sights in the city.

  Average costs

Stay – Nazareth is a very small town. You therefore don’t have an unlimited choice of hotels or sleeping places. The cheapest option is a youth hostel, where you share your room with other people. Fortunately, you can also find several budget single or double rooms at these places.
Personally I stayed at the Fauzi Azar Inn. A beautiful, traditional house converted into a lodging place for pilgrims and other tourists. With many fun activities (Arabic cooking classes, basic Arabic language lessons, …) and a beautiful view over the city, I found this one of the nicer places I stayed in in Israel.
If this beautiful hostel is booked, there are still several other budget options. Prices start around $25 per night.
Most hotels in Nazareth are actually homestays or bed and breakfasts, so you always get a nice experience with some locals. For a complete list (+ prices) of all the accommodations, it is best to look on

Eat – Many people told me that Nazareth has the best food of Israel, because it dares to combine different styles with each other. I have to admit, the kitchen is very different and tasty and no more expensive than elsewhere in Israel.
For falafel, shawarma and hummus you pay between 10 and 20 shekels ($3 – $5). If you want another meal, you can go to some of the many restaurants around. They charge between 40 and 70 shekels for a meal and drink.

Want a freshly squeezed orange juice or pomegranate juice? Then count on fifteen to twenty shekels per drink.

Transportation – Nazareth is so small that you actually don’t need public transportation. Would you like to go a little further out of Nazareth? Then public transport might come in handy. For a short ride, you pay approximately $3 per person.
Taxis are available, but they are of course a bit more expensive…

An overview from the viewpoint of Nazareth.

An overview from the viewpoint of Nazareth.

  Saving money

Tap water – in Nazareth it never gets very cold. The ever-present heat takes out a lot of your body fluids which you will need to replace! Instead of paying $3 per bottle of water, buy a reusable bottle and fill it with tap water. The tap water in Israel is perfectly drinkable.

Local food – In Nazareth you’ll see lots of pilgrims and tourists, and because of that there are lots of restaurants and places offering Western cuisine. Nevertheless, this food is often more expensive than some of the delicious local dishes, and it’s always fun to try something new! Right?

The interior of the Basillicate of the annunciation.

The interior of the Basillicate of the annunciation.


Basilica of the Annunciation – One of the most famous scenes from the Bible took place at this exact location. The angel Gabriel informed Mary on this spot that she would soon give birth to baby Jesus.

This gigantic and very beautiful basilica is worth visiting. Remember that your knees and shoulders must be covered to visit this monument.

St. Joseph Church – The Saint Joseph Church in Nazareth is right next to the Basilica of the Annunciation. This church was built on the probable place where Joseph (the father of Jesus Christ) had his workplace.

Under the church you can go and view some historical sites.

St. Gabriel’s Church – In Israel, there are many religious uncertainties. There are often several places where a biblical scene would have occurred. St. Gabriel’s Church is one of them. It is also thought that the announcement by Gabriel to Maria was done at this spot instead.

Salesian Church of Jesus the Adolescent – Visiting every church in Nazareth would take many days, maybe even weeks. If you do need to make a selection, I definitely recommend this church. The beautiful church can only be accessed by walking quite some stairs (250 steps!). But you will be rewarded for your effort. From above you get a spectacular view of Nazareth. But the church itself is of course also very beautiful.

The Shuk – Just before the Basilica of the Annunciation you can walk through the shuk or bazaar. This covered market is now more focused on tourists, but it is still fun to visit. The many souvenirs, spices and great street food sold by the cheery salesmen will make you love it immediately.

International center of Mary of Nazareth – Near the Basilica you can find also find the International Center of Mary of Nazareth. At this place you can see how important Mary was for Jezus and Christianity. Besides the beautiful multimedia presentations, there’s also a beautiful chapel and from the rooftops you get an unparalleled view of the city.

The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation where (supposedly) Gabriel informed Mary about her being pregnant.

The Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation where (supposedly) Gabriel informed Mary about her being pregnant.


No modest attire – If you are visiting Nazareth, you probably plan to enter some sacred spots. In most churches or temples you will need to wear appropriate clothing. Shoulders and knees must be covered at all times.

Muslim holidays – I myself was in Nazareth during the Feast of Sacrifice. Thus, I had to miss out on a lot of things because they were closed for the occasion. The shuk and many shops were unfortunately closed.

Staying too long – There really is not much to see in Nazareth. Obviously there are a lot of churches or other religious scenes, but you’ll get a bit bored from these if you plan to see too many of them… From Nazareth you of course can still arrange a nice day trip.

Mary's well square. A centrally located square with a big religious importance.

Mary’s well square. A centrally located square with a big religious importance.

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