Haifa is known as the capital city of the north of Israel, and has earned this title rightfully. With plenty of activities and attractions year round, whether you’re planning a day trip or a long-weekend vacation, a family trip or a romantic getaway, Haifa has much to offer.
Haifa is the third largest city in Israel and is situated in the natural bay between the Mediterranean Sea and the Carmel Mountain. This unique “mountain city by the sea” offers breathtaking panoramas from almost anywhere. It enjoys the advantages of being the educational and cultural center of the north; hosting a mix of old and new urban architecture with the natural scenery of both water and forest; and a unique Mediterranean atmosphere and temperament.
Home to 270,000 inhabitants, members of five different religions, living side by side in harmony, peace and mutual respect, Haifa offers a rich tapestry of contrasts and colors, varying cultures, and ethnic groups that make up the fabric of life in the city. Secular, Religious and Ultra-Orthodox Jews live side by side with Christians, Moslems, Bahai and Druze.
The following is a shortlist of “Top Haifa Special Attractions”:
Bahai Gardens and Shrine
Considered the eighth wonder of the world, this beautiful golden-domed shrine is located on the Carmel Mountain and is the site of the administrative and spiritual center of the Bahai religion. The remains of Said Ali Muhammad, one of the two founders of the Bahai religion, are buried inside the shrine. The shrine is surrounded by the spectacular Bahai gardens, planted in 1909 and nurtured ever since.
The Stella Maris Carmelite Church and Monastery
An impressive church of the Carmelite Order that serves as a pilgrimage center. The Church also houses a collection of antiquities. The monastery served as a hospital for Napoleon’s soldiers and a monument to French soldiers was erected in front of the Church.
The focal point of Elijah the Prophet’s activity, the cave has since become a pilgrimage site for believers of the three main religions. Visitors and pilgrims alike have recorded many inscriptions on the cave’s walls, including Greek names and a Menorah.
Gan Ha-psalim (Sculpture Garden)
A beautiful setting for twenty two bronze sculptures donated to the city by the sculptress Ursula Malbin that are set in a garden overlooking Haifa bay and the Galilee landscape.
Technion, Israel Institute of Technology
The Technion is located in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood. This institution for higher technological studies is famous worldwide for its scientific achievements. The Coler Visitors Center screens a film on the Technion’s history.
University of Haifa
Haifa University is situated on one of the Carmel Mountain peaks. It is outstanding for its modern planning and three graduate buildings. For spectacular views of Haifa and the Bay area, visit the lookout point in the Eshkol Tower, the University’s main building. The University also houses an art gallery with works displayed by artists, victims of the holocaust. A tour of the site includes the Visitors Center where a film is shown and a call at the Reuben and Edith Hecht Archaeological Museum.
Wadi Nisnas, with its colorful market and bustling streets is an authentic Middle Eastern neighborhood. The Wadi is also the heart of the “holiday of holidays” festival, an annual winter celebration of collaboration between the Christian, Muslim and Jewish religions.