Old Market, Bethlehem


Souk, or the traditional old market, is located in the historical center of Bethlehem. Local farmers sell fruits, vegetables, and other goods here. You can also find several street food stalls. Foreigners are practically not found here, making it an interesting experience.

Old Bethlehem market
Old Bethlehem market

The market begins at the end of Al Mdbasseh Street, near the monastery, and leads through various winding streets under stone arches to Al Manarah Square, which is adjacent to Manger Square. If possible, try to visit the market in the morning when farmers from surrounding villages, such as Battir and Artas, come to sell their freshly harvested crops.

Old Bethlehem market
Old Bethlehem market

Agriculture is an important sector of the Palestinian economy and plays a significant role in the livelihood of many Palestinians. It relies on traditional techniques and practices. The climate and geographical conditions of Palestine are suitable for agriculture, with relatively mild winters and hot, dry summers. However, Palestinian agriculture faces a number of problems, particularly with limited access to water.

Old Bethlehem market
Old Bethlehem market

Access to water is a major problem in Palestine, as the region has limited natural water resources and is exposed to long-term drought. The availability of water for irrigation is often limited, and many Palestinian farmers rely on underground sources, such as wells and springs, to meet their irrigation needs. However, these sources are often overused and at risk of depletion.

Old Bethlehem market
Old Bethlehem market

In addition to natural problems with water availability, local agriculture is also affected by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the Israeli government controlling a large portion of water resources in the West Bank. Palestinian farmers often have to buy water from Israel at a higher price. This has a further negative impact on Palestinian agriculture and makes it more difficult for farmers to operate.

Street food at the old Bethlehem market
Street food at the old Bethlehem market

Bethlehem is a city known primarily for its religious significance, as it is considered the birthplace of Jesus Christ. However, try to get to know it from another perspective and visit this original market. Taste, for example, the deliciously flavored beans at one of the stalls and try to feel the bustling atmosphere that prevails in the market. You will get to know another face of Bethlehem.

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