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.

17 things to do

All Places Israel

The Basilica of the Annunciation

built above the sunken grotto which according to the Roman Catholic faith was the home of the Virgin Mary and the place where she received the Annunciation (the announcement of the imminent birth of Jesus). The large and impressive modern-day church is built above the remains of churches dating back to Crusader and Byzantine times, still visible on the lower level. The church boasts dozens of pictures donated by Christian communities around the world. The Largest Church in the Middle East and one of Christianity’s Holiest shrines, its imposing dome dominates the Nazareth skyline and is an ideal landmark and starting point for visiting Other churches. It marks the spot where the Archangel Gabriel Informed the Virgin Mary that God had chosen her to bear his son; there is also a tradition that Mary lived in a house on this site. The complex of the modern Basilica is built on two levels. The lower one,Making the traditional Roman Catholic site of the Annunciation, contains ancient remains of churches from the Byzantiane and Crusader eras. During archaeological excavations, relics were found dating back to the Canaanite settlement of Nazareth, Though the most interesting find was of a typical Nazarene house, hewn out of the rock, from the Roman Period. The upper level, built between 1959 and 1969 on the site of an 18th-century church, is in strikingly modern architectural style. With its stained- glass windows highlighted against bare stone.A garden and courtyard connect the Basilica to St. Joseph’s Church and Workshop. Admission to the Basilica is free.

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El Mas-jad El Abiad – the white mosque

The white mosque, the first mosque in the city was built by Abdalla El Nini, two hundred years ago. El Nini was a well respected judge and the first of the El Fahum tribe (El Fahum means the wisest of man). He set forth a policy that preaches for love and respect. In order to make sure his policy will continue after his death, he wrote in his will that the responsibility on the mosque will be given to the wisest of his sons or daughters or to the Ka-a-bee in Mecca so that the mosque will not be governed under any rule. Till today, the person responsible for the mosque (Ateph El Fahum reads all the sermons before they are preached to make sure they are fit and in honor of holidays of other religions sermons are being addressed in their honor. Opening hours: All light hours except praying hours and without per-arrangement. Notes: please dress modestly and speak softly. In carpeted areas please take off shoes.

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Mary’s Well

The structure surrounding Mary’s Well (known as el-Sabil in Arabic) was recently renovated and restored to its original form. Mary’s Well is the symbol of Nazareth Municipality. Next to Mary’s Well is a pleasant souvenir shop named Cactus, belonging to Elias and Martina Shama. After buying the shop in the 1990s, the Shamas discovered that beneath it was concealed one of the most exciting and important discoveries in Nazareth in recent history: a network of beautifully preserved ancient stones arches that once supported a giant bath house. It is believed the exposed remains beneath the shop may date back to the ancient Roman era – that is, to the time of Jesus – and have been fed by the same water that supplied Mary’s Well­. There is an entrance fee to the site, but no advance reservation is necessary and guided explanations and hot and cold drinks are available to visitors.

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Diwan El Lajun

Multicultural center for the Stage Arts, Tel. #04.646 9413. In a beautiful space rich with arches is Café-Theater Diwan El Lajun which houses cultural and multicultural activities in the stage arts and the traditional artisan work. Diwan El Lajun produces shows in Arabic, English, Hebrew and bi-lingual shows, folklore music concerts, literature, poetry and dance evenings, story telling shows and circus shows from Israel and abroad. Arab-Jews meetings of adults and adolescents are taking place as well. Workshops in theater, story telling, belly dancing circus and traditional crafts are being offered as well as well as Palestinian brocading. Location Sibat El Kaawer Alley (6098 near the suk). Performances are mainly during the weekend or on special order for groups.

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The Rimonim Nazareth Hotel (Ha’Maayan)

Paulus VI Road, P.O.Box 2767, Nazareth 16000, (In Israel phone 1-800-22-1202). The hotel is located in the center of the old city of Nazareth, close to the Church of the Annunciation, Suk, restaurants and other quaint tourist sites. The Hotel’s 226 comfortable rooms include air condition, cable TV, radio, in-room-safe and fax-modem connection. Business travelers are offered secretarial services, business lounge, meeting rooms and conference halls. The hotel has a covered parking garage.

SLEEP   —  +972-4-6500000 —  Map

Nazareth Village

If you're having trouble imagining Jesus doing anything miraculous amid the bustle of modern Nazareth, then step back 2000 years at Nazareth Village. Everyday life and commerce in a traditional Galilean village has been duly reconstructed with actors in period clothing leading tours of the working farm. Leave any nightmares of tacky olde worlde historical theme parks at the door - it's well done and worth a stop.

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Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation

built above a spring believed to be the source of a well where Mary drew water each day. This is the site where the Greek Orthodox tradition maintains that the Angel Gabriel revealed to Mary knowledge of the impending birth of Jesus. The '''Orthodox Museum''' is closed . Those working at the church are temperamental, and have been known to arbitrarily shout at or remove pilgrims from the church.

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El-Babour Spice Shop

The Mill of the Galilee, middle of Bishara street tel.# 04 645 5596. Go in through a little door on the right of the street following the aromas to a large shop that opened more than a hundred years ago as a flour mill and which today offers an array of fresh oils and spices which are a celebration to the eye the ear and the nose.

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Fauzi Azar Inn

Old City. The Fauzi Azar Inn is the best starting-off point for touring the Galilee & Nazareth. The Inn is a 200 years Arab Mansion located at the heart of the market quarters of Nazareth, a short distance from the Central Bus Station and the Basilica of the Annunciation

SLEEP   —  04-6020469 —  Map

St. Joseph’s Church

next to the Basilica of the Annunciation. Also known as Church of the Nutrition and Joseph’s Workshop, because it is believed that the cavern in the basement was Joseph’s carpentry shop, Built in 1914, on the foundations of a Crusader church, with Romanesque influences.

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Grand New Hotel

5053/1 Har Hamutran, - Situated on one of the highest slope in Nazareth, The Hamutran Hill, in a quiet residential area. The hotel consists of 90 rooms overlooking the city of Nazareth, the Basilica of the Annunciation and the landscapes of the Jezreel Valley.

SLEEP   —  +972-4-6085400 —  Map

Nazareth Plaza Hotel

The Nazareth Plaza Hotel overlooks the historical old city of Nazareth, and is close to Migdal Haemek Industrial park. It is conveniently located for excursions to Galilee religious sites and well situated as a center for trips to the north of Israel.

SLEEP   —  +972-4-6028200 —  2 Hermon Street

Galilee Hotel

Paul 6th St. Nazareth (''just north of the post office''). The hotel is situated near the town center,is a four minute walk from the main tourist center and can host 200 people, in 92 rooms, each having air-conditioning and private bathrooms.

SLEEP   —  06-6571311 —  Map

Hike the Nativity Trail

Trek along the path that took Joseph and Mary from Nazareth to Bethlehem

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Old Ottoman Houses with Ornated Ceilings

possible to visit with tours only

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The Ethnological Museum

Located at the Saraya

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About Nazareth

Nazareth is best known as the home of Joseph and Mary and hence also Jesus, although the New Testament states that 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.

Source: wikivoyage