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  • Writer's pictureIndy Escapes Crew

Best things to do in Nazareth

Updated: Dec 14, 2021

Nazareth (Hebrew: Nazerat; Arabic: En-Nasra) is Israel's largest Arab town, having a mix of Christian and Muslim Arab residents. This city of churches is a prominent tourist attraction and pilgrimage destination for the world's Christians, who believe it is the location of the Annunciation - when the Archangel Gabriel announced the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary.

It is also considered the location of Jesus' adolescence, and it is in the nearby village of Cana that he is supposed to have performed his first miracle. The Church of the Annunciation is a must-see for the majority of tourists while in town. After you've had your fill of church viewing, make time to meander through Nazareth's market center.

Check out our selection of the top tourist sites and activities to do in Nazareth to help you plan your vacation.

Old City

The old city of Nazareth is a joy to visit, with so many adorable coffee shops, unusual souvenir shops, charming cobblestone streets, street food alternatives, and bookstores, there's always a place to unwind. Take a walk through the old city and get lost in the labyrinth of mystical streets.

Around the Village of Nazareth

If you're looking to brush up on your Biblical history or want to see the Biblical stories you were told as a child brought to life, Nazareth Village is the place to be. This lovely village faithfully recreates ancient Galilean life to the smallest detail, complete with skillful and eager actors dressed in period clothes.

You'll be able to observe the Galileans' habits and everyday rituals during the time of Jesus and obtain a better grasp of the New Testament stories.

The otherworldly aromas emanating from this spice store, which the same family has run for four generations, must be smelled. Over 2600 products are displayed on shelves, sacks, bins, and bottles, ranging from unique spice blends (including Pierina's Spice, made according to a secret recipe passed down by owner Tony's mother) to herbal teas and from dried fruits to aromatic oils.

The name is derived from al vapeur ('the steam' in Arabicized French), the term given in the 1890s to the steam engine that previously powered the company's infernally noisy, German-made wheat mill. Orders can be placed online and products are transported worldwide.

The Annunciations Basilica

The scene in the Bible when the angel Gabriel descends from Heaven to inform the Virgin Mary of her pregnancy is one of the most renowned. Of course, the kid in her womb was Jesus. The Basilica of the Annunciation is claimed to be built on the exact spot where Mary received her message from God, and as such, it holds enormous significance for Christians.

Even if you are not a Christian, this must be at the top of your list of things to do in Nazareth; there is much to admire about the Basilica's enormous and distinctive architecture, which Giovanni Muzio painstakingly crafted.It's easy to get there: it's directly across the street from the main bus terminal.

The Shuk

While the products on display may be tourist or simply cheap and tacky, the Shuk (or bazaar) retains an authentic vibe and is a lot of fun to explore. Wander through the maze-like labyrinth of lanes and immerse yourself in the authentic Middle-Eastern atmosphere. The best part is when the market is filled with the sound of the call to prayer!

Located directly outside the Basilica's main door, add it to your list of things to do in Nazareth!

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