Jerusalem middling in value for money for Christmas experience

"The Holy Land is safe. We need to convey that to the world," says bishop.

December 13, 2016 17:34
3 minute read.
Aerial view of Jerusalem in snow

Aerial view of Jerusalem in snow. (photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)

Jerusalem is not a cheap place for a Christmas experience, but it has a reasonable value for money ranking compared to other world-class cities, a price index study found.

In the 2016 Christmas Price Index by the online travel agent Kiwi, the City of Gold placed 63rd most expensive in the “Christmas-y Day” experience and shopping ranking, at a cost of $813.20. In the Cost of a Christmassy Day,  however, the city’s ranking was far more middle of the road, ending up in 46th place. Ninety cities were part of the index.

The Christmas Price Index consists of two factors. The first, the Cost of a Christmassy Day, takes into account the cost of a room and breakfast in a top-rated hotel, a local traditional lunch with all the trimmings, a two-course Christmas dinner, a typical holiday drink and to finish off the festive day, tickets to see the “Nutcracker.” The cost of the flight was not included in the index. The second factor, Santa’s Price Index, compared the cost of men’s fragrance, women’s perfume, a Princess Barbie and LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon for each of the cities ranked.

“Whether you’re traveling to see relatives this year, thinking of taking your family on a festive holiday or simply curious, the Christmas Price Index provides fascinating insight into the economics of the holiday season around the world,” said Oliver Dlouhy, CEO of “We found ‘The Nutcracker’ results especially interesting, and were amazed to see the show featured in so many cities worldwide.”

Not especially known for its Christmassy aspects, the Holy Land does offer a unique experience for the Christian holiday pilgrim. In the month of December the Israel Ballet performed a modern adaptation of the “Nutcracker” called “Tchaikovsky’s Nutz.” The American Colony Hotel is also famous for its Christmas and New Year’s feasts at its legendary Arabesque restaurant. The price index used the two-course Christmas dinner and traditional Christmas lunch at the American Colony, the David Citadel and Mamilla hotels.

Their menus consisted of items such as grouper carpaccio with truffle and lavender oil, sauteed Swiss chard, duck infused in orange, bulgur, apricots, pine nuts and cashew stuffing, seasonal vegetables and mashed sweet potatoes. Jerusalem’s holiday drink was sweet wine and coffee.

At a reception for the Holy Land’s religious leaders hosted by the Tourism Ministry in Jerusalem on Tuesday, Patriarch Theophilos III of Jerusalem said that nothing will stop the pilgrims from coming to the Holy Land.

“This is a once in a lifetime dream to come to the Holy Land,” he said. “Jerusalem is the city that gathers the nations.” Theophilos added that the pilgrims receive new energy from Jerusalem and the Holy Land and they take that energy home and in return more and more people want to visit Israel. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem’s Bishop William Shumali said there has been a drop in the number of visitors in recent years, and therefore the light of wisdom and faith that the holiday season in Israel brought was most necessary due to the terrorism in the region and worldwide.

“The Holy Land is safe,” he said. “We need to convey that to the world. Isaiah’s prophecy may sound utopian but it is God’s word. And all that He proclaims must come true.”

In the index, Bratislava was found to be the most affordable city for both a Christmas visit and shopping at $521.04, and New York, found to be the most expensive at $1,131.08. The index showed, among other things, that the cities with the most expensive accommodation often had the cheapest prices for gifts.

For the full results see: To learn more about Jewish-Christian relations, check us out at @christian_jpost, on and see the best of the Holy Land in The Jerusalem Post - Christian Edition monthly magazine.sign up to our newsletter

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