Opposite the Church of the Nativity and named after the second Muslim caliph, Omar Ibn Al Khattab, this is the only mosque in Bethlehem’s Old City. It was built in 1860 on land granted by the Greek Orthodox Church in honour of Omar, the Prophet Muhammad's father-in-law, who in 637 took Jerusalem from the flagging Byzantines and then stopped for prayer at the Christian Church of the Nativity.

He declared, in his Pact of Omar, that the basilica would remain a Christian shrine, and that Christians, even under Muslim rule, would remain free to practise their faith.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bethlehem attractions

1. Bethlehem Museum

0.02 MILES

The museum, housed in a typical 19th-century Palestinian home, is made up of three rooms recreated as a traditional Bethlehem family abode, with many…

2. Souq

0.07 MILES

Has a range of fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, junk, shoes and some mighty tasty snacks. Known to locals as the Green Market, the souq was…

3. Church of the Nativity

0.13 MILES

For the millions of pilgrims who descend on the Holy Land every year, the Church of the Nativity is the main reason for visiting Bethlehem. The church,…

4. St Catherine’s Church

0.15 MILES

Midnight Mass at this pink-toned church, next door to the Church of the Nativity, is broadcast across the world on Christmas Eve, but there’s nothing like…

5. International Center of Bethlehem


This Lutheran-run centre puts on concerts, plays, films, English-language documentaries, workshops and lectures. There’s also a coffee shop, guesthouse,…

6. Lutheran Christmas Church

0.21 MILES

Built in the 19th-century church, the Lutheran Christmas Church is linked to the International Center of Bethlehem and was inaugurated by Kaiser Wilhelm…

7. Milk Grotto Chapel

0.24 MILES

A short walk from Manger Sq is the lesser-known Milk Grotto Chapel. Legend has it that Mary and Joseph stopped here to feed the baby during their flight…

8. Rachel’s Tomb


In a desolate corridor created by Israel’s separation wall and near the main checkpoint into town on the Israeli side, stands Rachel’s Tomb. Rachel is…