The Ministry of Tourism markets Haifa as a city with “so many possibilities” and this tourist haven in the North really does live up to its marketing slogan. Haifa offers a unique and unparalleled fusion of natural beauty and bustling modern city life, and each neighborhood and quarter reflect its own special charm and characteristics.

The signature attraction in Haifa would undoubtedly be the beautiful BahaiGardens and Shrine. It is built on 19 terraces and includes fountains and a promenade. Visitors can take the free Panorama Tour that descends through the gardens from the summit of Mount Carmel all the way down to the level of the Golden domed shrine of the Bab. Participants are accepted on the spot and in the order of their arrival until the group is full. The tour entrance is located at 45 Yefe Nof Street.

Another major attraction for visitors to Haifa has located just below the BahaiGardens: the German Colony. Haifa’s German Colony was established in 1869 by the Templar Society. These settlers, not to be confused with the Knights Templar, were devout Christians who immigrated to Israel to hasten the coming of the Messiah. Today, the German Colony is a bustling boulevard filled with trendy restaurants and cafes. It is the center of the nightlife scene in Haifa and well worth a visit.

Besides a number of cultural centers and unique museums, Haifa is also home to several holy sites which are dear to the three monotheistic religions. Elijah’s cave is the focal point of  Elijah the prophet’s activities has been converted into a holy site for pilgrims from the Abrahamic faiths. Travelers can also see the Burial site of Rabbi Abdimi Daman, a second-century Torah sage, or make a tour of the Stella Maris Church and Monastery.

For travelers who wish to use Haifa as a base for regional excursions, there are numerous options available. Travelers oftentimes enjoy a visit to the Dalit El Carmel, a Druse village which is also home to the Muchraka Carmelite Monastery and the Oliphant House. Patrons of the arts will be drawn to the EinHodArtisitsVillage located in the heart of Mount Carmel. History lovers might want to check out the Atlit Illegal Immigration that was operational during the British Mandate period.

There is no shortage of interesting attractions for those spending time in the Haifa area.

By Brent J. Mitchell

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