How to Visit Battir: Located to the south-west of Jerusalem, about 8 km west of Bethlehem, Battir is a Palestinian village whose name means “the house of birds,” in Arabic. A popular tourist site, the village features natural beauty, traditional vegetable gardens, and old farm buildings which were supplied by water via an ancient system.
Reaching to Battir is quite easy. You can either take a shared taxi that stops at the main intersection on Hebron Road, called “Bab es-Kak.” You can also get a taxi from the central station in Bethlehem for 50 NIS. Its recommended to go there with group of people in order to share the price and thus reduce individual expenses.
In Battir, travelers can hike through a wadi (an Arab valley, usually including a spring and greenery) named Al Maghrour. In the wadi you can observe groves of olive trees as well as small cave-tombs dating back to the Byzantine era. There you will also get the chance to see the ancient water management system more than 2000 years old.
Battir’s agricultural grandstands and ancient water system prompted the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to add the village to the World Heritage List in 2014.
In the village, you can also see a railroad dating back to Ottoman era which was used by the British during the Mandate period until 1948. It has since been put out of use and is no longer used by the local population.
Battir is a quaint, small village with scenic sites and easy access from larger cities. The site is perfect for volunteers and students at the Excellence Center to visit as part of a day trip.