If Jerusalem is the Holy City, Tel Aviv is the Sin City, Haifa is Israel’s Workers’ City, however, set on the beautiful slopes of Mount Carmel opposite the facing the Mediterranean Sea, about an hour’s drive north of Tel Aviv it’s really an undiscovered gem.
There are interesting and fun things to do in Haifa including the Carmelit Mountain Train Cable Cars, Bahai Gardens, German Colony, Louis Promenade, Japanese Art at the Tikotin Museum, cool submarines at the Navy Museum, Wine Tasting at the nearby vineyards and the Ein Hod “artist” Village, a 20 minutes’ drive south, unique boutique studios, living artists and sculptors. Haifa also enjoys a mixed population of Jews and Arabs who peacefully coexist and the result is some amazing fusions of Arabic and Jewish learning, industry and living cultures across the city.
What to do in Haifa
Is a city nice to navigate as it’s set on the side of a mountain, however this means that the scenery and terrain is stunning. From the top of Mount Carmel, take in the view from the Louis Promenade across the Port of Haifa heading north right across into the Western Galilee. Hop on the Carmelit, Israel’s only subway system which travels up and down the mountain, and at the bottom check out Hof Hacarmel, Haifa’s beaches.
Haifa’s crown jewel when it comes to tourism is undoubtedly the Bah’ai Gardens which form part of the Bah’ai World Center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These beautiful gardens are a place of pilgrimage for members of the Bah’ai faith and are set across terraces sloping down Mount Carmel towards the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. At the bottom of the gardens is Haifa’s German Colony, with its pretty streets of restored templar-era buildings. The main street of the German Colony runs direct from the bottom of the gardens towards the coast and is lined with restaurants and cafes.
Museums in Haifa
There is a great selection of museums in Haifa. Most notably, the Madatech Science and Technology Museum is Israel’s national museum of Science. Great for kids, this museum is full of fascinating interactive displays, translated mostly into English, covering a wealth of great interesting topics. The city’s zoo, the Haifa Educational Zoo, beautifully set on Mount Carmel, has over 100 species of wildlife, whilst the city’s Clandestine Immigration and Navy Museum chronicles the story of Israel’s Navy and some of its major successes. The Haifa City Museumhas a varied schedule of exhibitions ranging from film to art.
Culture & Events in Haifa
Haifa’s biggest cultural event is the International Film Festival, which runs for one week each year at the end of September and transforms the city into a party city with over a hundred films of all genres shown. The city is also hosts an annual festival called the Holiday of Holidays which celebrates the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim festivals which fall in the month of December.