Akko Things to Do

  • Acre Lighthouse
    Acre Lighthouse
    by mindcrime
  • mosque of Jezzar Pasha
    mosque of Jezzar Pasha
    by mindcrime
  • mosque of Jezzar Pasha
    mosque of Jezzar Pasha
    by mindcrime

Best Rated Things to Do in Akko

  • leffe3's Profile Photo

    El Jazzar Mosque

    by leffe3 Updated Jul 16, 2007

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    Built in 1781, the Mosque is a miniature Ottoman Empire style with a few local flourishes (columns in the courtyard nicked from the Roman town of Caesaria, for eg).

    It's actually built from the foundations of the Crusader cathedral, with the Turks turning the cellars into Water Cisterns.

    It's a bit tatty on the edges (it's a 'working' mosque afterall) but nevertheless an interesting part of any trip round Akko.

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    The Old Walls Of Acre

    by Sharon Updated Jan 7, 2004

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    Once you'll arrive to he old city, you wont be able to miss it.
    Old Acre is on UNESCO’s list of sites for the preservation of global culture.
    This beautiful ruins are really facsinating, the old walls, the fortress & ciotadel. So many stories and history.

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    Sea Walls

    by leffe3 Updated Jul 19, 2009

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    As a Crusader city, all approaches to Akko were protected, including attack from the sea. A very large part of the original sea wall fortifications survive, many metres thick, as you can see from the photos. You can also take a tourist boat round the fortifications to get a potential invaders view of the walled city:)

    Or try the locals' way of getting to know the walls...

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    excavations under the citadel

    by mindcrime Updated Dec 8, 2013

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    I think I enjoyed the excavations under the citadel much more than the restored halls upstairs which are high and impressive anyway but I tried to imagine the prisoners locked in small dark rooms. Now full of tourists but back then with unlucky people that got tortured there. You can see the dungeon, a complex of semi-joined halls and an ancient church that used to serve the Hospitallers Knights.

    Don’t forget that if you want to go out of the citadel you have to go through the underground tunnel under the Citadel (not to be confused with the tunnel of the Templars that leads down to the harbor), it was weird walking there and may cause claustrophobia to some people, an old british lady was screaming “get me out of here” but it wasn’t that hard although we had to bend through a large part of the tunnel.

    the dungeon tunnel under the citadel excavations
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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    Khan al-Umdan

    by leffe3 Updated Jul 19, 2009

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    The largest of the khan's (or caravanarsi) in Akko, as well as the best preserved, it literally means Inn of the Pillars. Like the mosque, the building (1785) 'utilised' pillars stolen from Caesarea.

    Upstairs levels would have been the merchants and travellers sleeping quarters, while the animals were kept downstairs.

    The clocktower was added in 1906 - it provides great views of the harbour - if you can find the gates open.

    Update: July 2009, urgent repairs have resulted in very limited access to the Khan - one covered corner away from the port.

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  • ophiro's Profile Photo

    The old city of Akko

    by ophiro Written Oct 24, 2005

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    The old city of akko is very beautiful , with lovely mosques , khans , nice market with a lot of food to buy , restaurants and of course the old city walls and the view to the sea.

    You can spend here a half day walking in the streets.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    the wall

    by mindcrime Written Dec 3, 2013

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    It’s nice that you can still see parts of the wall that once used to protect Acre from the enemies of the crusaders. It surrounded their town including the sea side where you can see the thick fortification although I guess a boat ride around will be much more impressive so you can have a better view and imagine how the walled city looked like to anyone that was approaching Acre back then.

    Most of them were built in stages between 1750 (by Daher el Omar while renovating the Crusader walls) and 1840. The Ottomans encircled their city with a 10m high wall that was thick, had towers and in some parts there were moats. There were two gates, the land Seria gate in NW part and the sea gate in SE part.

    I loved spending time near the walls but most of all checking the view over the walls to the sea (pic 5)… in the distance you can see Haifa. It was also interesting to see some old parts of the walls lying into the sea unprotected by the salted sea (pic 4 shows a wall piece in front of the café).

    Although we saw several different parts of the wall we enjoyed walking along the south west part near the sea (starting from the lighthouse that was built there in 1912). Finally I have to admit that sometimes I like regular building walls, pic 5 shows a local woman outside her window trying to take control of the clothes.

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    • Historical Travel

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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Acco fortress walls, storm and calm, III

    by Martin_S. Updated Dec 28, 2006

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    As you proceed around the old city walls of the fortress city of Acco, there are many parts that have sunken partly into the ocean, this is just one of many sections you can see.
    It is so totally different touring the walls in calm weather or during a heavy sea storm, you can feel the waves hitting the walls and almost imagine them crumbling before the onslaught of the sea. But be careful that you are not "caught" by a wave that crests OVER those stone ramparts, it may be very wet and cold in winter.

    There are several restaurants located along the fortress walls, which provide a nice place to sit, but the prices are generally very high and the food is not worth the price.

    Sunken city wall in Acco, Israel Acco fortress wall at water during storm, Israel Acco fortress wall at water during storm, Israel Acco fortress wall at water during storm, Israel Acco fortress wall at water during storm, Israel
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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    The Market

    by mindcrime Written Dec 3, 2013

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    Visiting the Old Town of Akko means a walk through the main market which isn’t only focusing on tourists but has dozens of stores with products for locals, lovely fish stores, colorful herb stores (we love herbs/spices by the way, so we bought some to bring back home) etc

    The market spreads though the main alley and its worth to be visited even if you don’t really plan to buy something, its on your way anyway from the Al-Jazaar mosque down to the sea, there’s great atmosphere with lots of smells and colors. I love such places anyway.

    Here and there we noticed street vendors selling freshly squeezed fruit juice, for about 2-2,5 euros we tried different ones, it was fresh and refreshing under the heat. We also tried lots of nuts and dry fruits which is handy to have with us later in the day.

    market fishes at market

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    Hammam al-Basha

    by mindcrime Written Dec 3, 2013

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    It was included on my combo ticket along with Citadel, templar tunnels and Okashi Museum but I wouldn’t suggest anyone to visit this one as top priority. Hammam al-Basha is Acre’s hammam that was built by Jezzar Pasha and was in function as a bathhouse until 1950, a nice hammam for a butcher like him.

    So, is there anything to do there for the average visitor? We got inside and asked to sit on one of the rooms (probably this was the dressing room that led to a series of hot rooms) around a marble fountain where we saw a mediocre video presentation (focusing on Pasha al-Jazaar) that tries to be entertaining but it’s just a waste of time.

    After some minutes we walked into another room where again a video of poor quality started to be played…. I just opened the exit door and got out although the hexagonal steam room (supported by four marble columns) was interesting to see along with the ceiling. There are also some sculptures of bathers in life size so the visitor to visualize how this place was (I know, common sense will do the job anyway) but as I said the main problem here is that if you are not interested about the video presentation you wont have much to do/see here. No need to bring you bath suit here, in case you have one keep it for a normal hammam or go to the beach :)

    Hammam al-Basha Hammam al-Basha Hammam al-Basha Hammam al-Basha
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    • Architecture

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    the Citadel

    by mindcrime Written Dec 3, 2013

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    Our tour in the Old Town of Acre started from the Citadel. It’s an ottoman fortification that was built over the ruins of the Crusaders fortress (they ruled from 1191 to 1291) on the NW part of the town. In late 17th century the old sleepy town came to life again when Pasha Jezzar fortified the town with a fortress and then became the seat of the Governor of Galilee. A prison was added in late 19th century and during the British mandate in 20th century the citadel was used as the largest prison in Israel (many people from jewish Zionist resistance movement were held or/and executed here) . After the Israeli independence war (1948) it turned into a mental hospital and the recent years after massive excavations turned it into a museum.

    I have to admit that the first thing I remember for this place was the weird exit through a souvenir shop! :)
    Although there’s not really much to see we followed a tour group for a while and I enjoyed the amusing guide that not only gave historical information but did it in a funny way. But don’t forget to take an audio guide at the entrance (its for free but you have to give your ID) so not to get bored, no it’s not just another empty hall after another large empty hall, it’s full of history but someone has to put light on it. Unfortunately many parts were under refurbishment so we couldn’t really feel the old feeling I love in such places.

    The Hospitaler’s Citadel is open 8.30-18.00.

    There are 2 combo tickets, one for the Citadel/Okashi Museum/Templar Tunnel costs 27nis, and one of all those + the Turkish bath (46nis)

    citadel citadel North Hall (Knights Hall)
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    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    lighthouse

    by mindcrime Updated Dec 18, 2013

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    Getting out of the Templars Tunnel we walked to the sea where we saw the Acre Lighthouse.
    It’s an active 10meters high cylindrical lighthouse that was built by concrete in 1912 in black and white and has a gray metallic lantern room on top.
    It is located near the base of the former ottoman flag tower Burj-El-Sanjak. According to Wikipedia The light characteristic shown is two white flashes every seven seconds, visible for 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi).

    The café under the lighthouse is named after it of course, Al Fanar. We didn’t stay long there, we took some pics of the lighthouse but we spent much more time checking the view over the walls to the sea (in the distance you can see Haifa) and then walked over the southern walls towards the marina of Acre.

    Acre Lighthouse Acre Lighthouse
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  • mindcrime's Profile Photo

    Tunnel of the Templars

    by mindcrime Written Dec 3, 2013

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    The tunnel of Templars was a secret 350meters long tunnel under the medieval town of Acre where the Crusaders of the Templars settled in 12th century after the fall of Jerusalem when they were driven out by Saladin (1187).

    In Akko they built a massive (protected with huge walls) fortress (now gone) and the tunnel (that was cut into the rock in a semi barreled arch) was very useful for them to get a concealed access from the fortress to the inner port.

    You can get inside from the Eastern entrance near Khan Al-Umdan near the marina where once was the internal anchorage of the Akko port but you can also get access from the other side of the tunnel on the western entrance near the modern lighthouse where the Templar fortress was.

    The tunnel opened to the public in 1999 only 5 years after the accidental discovery of it when a local that was living over it complained for a blocked sweage. It has a walkway while the top part is reinforced by hewn stones and lights makes the walkthrough comfortable and easy. Of course although its important historical significance some people may feel this is another rip off because there are some simple animated videos and illustrations but what most people do is just walk through the wooden platform when they realize the videos are only in Hebrew and focusing on Akko history and not the tunnel itself.

    Tunnel of the Templars Tunnel of the Templars
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    • Historical Travel

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  • iblatt's Profile Photo

    'Treasures in the Walls' Ethnographic Museum

    by iblatt Updated Aug 22, 2011

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    This small but highly interesting museum is not to be missed!
    It is well hidden within the city walls, below the wall promenade level, in one of the forts in the wall called "Burj-al-Kommandar" (Commander's Fort). You can easily miss the entrance if you don't follow the signs.

    It is one of the best ethnographic nuseums I have seen, with a rich display filling the arches and niches of the old fort and creating beautiful spaces, full of atmosphere, dedicated to old Akko and the Galilee.

    The highlights are the period rooms from Damascus, with beautifully decorated furniture, carpets, vases, coffee sets and even hookahs. Then there is a recreated market street with stalls and corners dedicated to artisans and craftsmen of all sorts who used to populate the Galilee's towns and villages in the Ottoman period. There are also nostalgic household items from later periods, from the 1920s to the 1950s.

    Two enthusiastic collectors, Dan Hortman and Michael Luria, donated their collections so that this museum could be created. The displays express love and respect for the tradition, culture and way of life of the old inhabitants of the Galilee, of different ethnic origins.
    The founders of the museum write in their introduction to the visitor: " We believe the encounter with this old way of life will bring all of our hearts together". I would say "Amen" to that!

    Damascus interior, Ethnographic Museum, Akko Damascus interior, Ethnographic Museum, Akko Damascus interior, Ethnographic Museum, Akko Who is the photographer? Ethnographic Museum Entrance to Ethnographic Museum, Akko
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    • Museum Visits
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    • Family Travel

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    Tickets for Acre sites

    by gubbi1 Updated Dec 4, 2010

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    There are different combined tickets available for the sites in Acre. You should go directly to the citadel and have a look at the various possibilities. I was sent back to the citadel from the Hamam. Also check the opening times for each place. This will save a lot of time which you otherwise will use to walk back and forth.
    Check the link below for ticket prizes and types.

    ---> Ticket information and prizing

    Citadel complex, Acre, IL
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    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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