Haifa is a gem of a city sitting on the slopes of Mount Carmel edging the Mediterranean coast. As the third-largest city in Israel, it has some unique stopping points for visitors to admire. However, while some tours may only take you to the Baha’i Gardens before moving on to the next stop, slowing it down and taking a couple days to explore Haifa is definitely worth your while. Here are our suggestions for the best things to do in Haifa.
It goes without saying: the Baha’i Gardens are an unmissable attraction in Haifa. It’s not only one of the most popular sights in the city, but in the entire country itself! The Baha’i Gardens are a world heritage site, and its easy to see why. The stunningly manicured gardens are relaxing and beautiful to walk through. The view from the top over the length of the gardens and the bay is one of the most iconic of the region. There are daily tours that can take you through the tranquil gardens for a closer look at its natural beauty.
One of the highly recommended things to do in Haifa, the Louis Promenade is a fantastic place to take in the surrounding sights. Located on Mount Carmel, this 400m long promenade is the most picturesque walkway in the city. From here, you can take in the view from the top of the Baha’i Gardens, as well as the port of Haifa on the Meditteranean Sea. On a clear day, you can even see the city of Acre in the distance as well as the Galilee Mountains.
Stella Maris Monastery
A stunning monastery situation on Mount Carmel, the Stella Maris is one of the most unforgettable things to do in Haifa. The current structure dates from the 19th century, but the sites history goes all the way back to the 13th century. Both the inside and surroundings of this church are extraordinary. The Italian art and painted ceiling on the inside makes the Stella Maris a grandiose sight. From the grounds surrounding it, you can also get a wonderful view over the city and coastline, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset.
Haifa is a city built on the side of a mountain, so walking around up and down hills all day can be quite tiring. Take time to enjoy the beaches of Haifa and relax in the sand and sun. There are a few beaches to visit in and around the city. If you’re arriving by train, the Hof Hacarmel train stop sits right in front of the beach, so you’ll be greeted to the stunning blue shades of The Med as you step off the platform. The Dado and Bat Galim beaches are also popular spots for locals and tourists alike.
Haifa Museum of Art
Dating back to 1951, the Haifa Museum of Art is one of the biggest in Israel. If you’re looking for things to do in Haifa on a rainy day, or simply to escape the heat for a little while, this museum is the perfect choice. With exhibits of contemporary art from both local Israeli artists and international ones, the museum is a must-see for art lovers.
Sitting at the foot of the Baha’i Gardens, Haifa’s German Colony is a popular and vibrant neighborhood to explore. Originally built by German Templars in the 1860s, the German Colony has now been restored and is considered to be THE place to be in Haifa. The main road, Ben Gurion Boulevard, is lined with cute cafés, boutiques, and restaurants. It’s a great place to slow down and relax on your visit to Haifa. It’s also a popular area to enjoy the nightlife of the city. If you’re visiting, a trip to the German Colony is absolutely one of the best things to do in Haifa.
Wadi Nisnas, often referred to simply as “The Wadi,” is an Arab neighborhood in Haifa. There are a few things to do here that will surely fill up an afternoon. The bustling market offers a ton of local delicacies, including coffee, herbs, olives, traditional Arab pastries, and much more. There are also stalls with lovely Jewish and Arab artisinal products. The area itself is full of winding narrow alleyways that are a treat to explore. Be sure to come hungry, because this neighborhood is home to some of the best Israeli foods, particularly falafel, you’ll likely eat.
Boasting 21,000 acres, the Carmel Park is one of the top things to do in Haifa if you’re looking to escape to nature. There are paths for both bikes and jeeps, offering something for all levels of adventurers. There are also fantastic observation points to take in the lush surroundings. The archeological remains on the mountain are also a draw for many visitors. If you have enough time to stop and rest on the mountain between all the fun things there are to do, you can enjoy a picnic or a quick nap by the running streams.
As you can see, there are no shortage of things to do in Haifa! You can easily spend a few days exploring this magnificent city, and still have things to do when you come back on your next visit.
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