The third-largest city in Israel is also one of its most underrated destinations. Having put in many efforts over recent years, Haifa municipality has managed to establish a thriving food and culture scene in the city, drawing many students, young visitors and Israelis from all over the country. Check out some of the best things to do in Israel’s awakening city.
Visit The Bahai Gardens
With only six million followers to the Bahai Faith, their terraces in the city of Haifa are one of the most spectacular places in Israel. At about 200,000 square metres, the terraces are made up of nine concentric circled gardens which are spread across 18 terraced gardens, starting at the top of Carmel mountain and ending at its bottom. The terraces are facing towards Acre, a sacred city according to Bahai religion. The architecture of the compound, which was built from 1987 to 2001, was by Iranian Fariborz Sahba and the structural engineers were Karban and Co. of Haifa.
Ride The Cable Car
The Haifa cable car, one of the only ones in Israel, connects Stella Maris monastery with Haifa’s Bat Galim port. The ride only lasts five minutes in each direction, but it provides a wonderful outlook on the Carmel mountains and Haifa Bay.
Delicacies in Wadi Nisnas
The Arab neighbourhood in the heart of Haifa, with a population of about 8,000 inhabitants, is considered a symbol of co-existence between Arab and Jewish residents. The small market in the neighbourhood is one of the best places in the city to eat the best hummus in town, shop for fresh produce and spices, and absorb the wonderful scents of the local delicacies.
Vesper Cocktail Bar
Hidden in the renewed downtown area of Haifa, this trendy 20-seat cocktail bar is the city’s first and most promising cocktail bar, with award-winning mixologists offering unique recipes and local adaptations for classic cocktails. This bar will make you forget you ever left Tel Aviv.
Vesper Cocktail Bar, Nahum Dovrin St 9, Haifa, Israel, +972 50 656 0160
21 Compound, Downtown Haifa
Having undergone a massive urban rehabilitation project by Haifa Municipality, the downtown area of the city has started blossoming with a new compound centering students, cultural life, entertainment and commerce. You will be very surprised at the variety of restaurants, cafes, shops and boutique businesses now available at the compound.
Also located in downtown, Venya Bistro makes the awakening of a bohemian, hipster and food-crazed scene of Haifa, following in the footsteps of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The vintage design of the restaurant is accompanied by fresh ingredients of high quality and a menu that may, for a minute, remind you of a Tel Avivian restaurant, but is definitely ‘Haifa’ at heart.
Venya Bistro, Sha’ar Palmer St 1, Haifa, Israel, +972 4 671 6272
Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art
The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art is the only museum in the Middle East entirely dedicated to the preservation and display of Japanese art, and it is located in Haifa. The museum galleries exhibit over 7,000 Japanese works of art and artefacts, both traditional and contemporary.
Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, HaNassi Blvd 89, Haifa, Israel, +972 4 838 3554