Fun things to do in Haifa

  • Painted doorways, Haifa
    Painted doorways, Haifa
    by iblatt
  • Paris square by night
    Paris square by night
    by mindcrime
  • Paris square during the day
    Paris square during the day
    by mindcrime

Most Viewed Things to Do in Haifa

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    A wonderful Mural

    by piglet44 Written Dec 14, 2004

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    The Castra shopping centre has the most amazing design and has a huge wall mural painted by Austrian artist Erich Brauer of the phantastical school of art. It depicts scenes from the bible and on the roof are some incredible statues. Inside are art galleries and a weird doll museum.
    Worth a stop!!

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    Stella Marris

    by Sharon Updated Jun 2, 2004

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    The Stella Maris Church & Monastery.
    A quite impressive Church of the Carmelite Order, it serves as a pilgrimage center. The Church also houses a collection of antiquities. Elijah the Prophet's cave is located nearby. The monastery served as a hospital for Napoleon's soldiers and a monument to French soldiers was erected in front of the Church.

    Address

    Stella Maris Rd. Open all week: 08:30-13:30 and 15:00-18:00.
    Entry free.
    Buses: 25, 26, 27, 30, 31

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    Elijah's Cave

    by ophiro Updated Aug 2, 2005

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    This is the cave of the prophet Elijah.

    The place is very sacred and people believe that if you will enter this place , pray and ask for something - your wish will come true.

    The place is open :
    sunday-thursday - from 8:00-17:00
    friday - from 8:00-13:00
    saturday - close

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    Wadi Nisnas

    by mindcrime Updated Nov 10, 2013

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    Walking through the Arab district of Haifa is one of the most interesting things to do in the city. Apart from the bustling pedestrian zone it’s a normal residential area with old sandstone buildings that lost their glory decades ago, even some churches in one part but what we loved small off the beaten path corners, lovely small alleys, street art, tiny stores with herbs and many many friendly local people. It famous for the mixing cultures of both communities (Israelis and Arabs) that perfectly shows during major holidays when you see funny (and kitch) decoration from different point of view/culture in harmony without ethnic tensions. Of course you may say it’s a tourist trap too I see no reason not to visit the lower street (Falafel Hazkenin) for a good falafel sandwich :)

    But I have to admit that apart the numerous souvenir stores the main reason to come here as a typical average tourist is visit the area just to find some good falafel or some oriental sweets :) as expected there are many arab restaurants that offer traditional middle eastern meals and have customers from both communities (our Israeli friends told us to come here because they visit the area often anyway)

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    The Louis Promenade

    by mindcrime Written Nov 9, 2013

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    Our tour through Haifa started from Louis Promenade which is located on mount Carmel, we got off the car and walked along the promenade that gives excellent views over the city and mediterranean sea. On the distance you can see north of Haifa bay, the medieval town of Akko and bit further the Lebanese borders, on a creal bright day the view is breathtaking for sure. It must be nice after dark too with the city illuminated but unfortunately we were very tired and didn’t make it.

    Of course the most important is the Bahai Gardens, you can see then in total beauty from up here, we took countless pictures of the gardens and the several different panoramic views. Then we walked a bit around as we were waiting for the English tour of the gardens to start (you cant do it on your own). The promenade has benches so you can take a break, the promenade isn’t something special itself (just a pleasant place to walk with some sculptures and flowers here and there) but the view from the promenade worth the effort.

    If you have some extra time don’t miss Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, 2’ walk from the Bahai Gardens entrance at Hanassi avenue 89. It’s named after Felix Tikotin a collector of Japanese art and houses a variety of different art items, from 14th century pottery to modern pokemon sculptures!
    It’s open Sun to wed 10-16.00, thu 10-19.00, fri 10-13.00, sat 10-16.00

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    Haifa Freebies

    by gilabrand Updated Feb 23, 2009

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    Haifa is a beautiful city, but tends to fall under the radar in the tourist department. So here are a couple of free attractions to whet your appetite:

    · Hecht Museum – art and archaeology, on the campus of Haifa University, on the Carmel (Sun/Mon/Wed/Thurs 10 am – 4 pm; Tues. until 7 pm; Fri. 10 am – 1 pm; Sat. 10 am –2 pm)
    · Castra Biblical Doll Museum – dolls handmade by a Holocaust survivor who says they saved her life, Castra Mall (Sun – Thurs 10 am – 9 pm; Fri. 9 am – 2 pm; Sat. 10am – 2 pm)
    · Bahai Gardens – incredibly gorgeous and free, but you need to call and make a reservation (8 am – 5 pm)
    · Elijah’s Cave – religious site so dress accordingly, Allenby Street (Mon-Thurs 8 am – 5 pm; Fri 8:30-12:45)
    · Ursula Malbin sculpture garden – grassy garden full of delightful bronze statues of children and animals, no need to be an art connoisseur to appreciate these, Hazionut Street overlooking the Bahai Gardens
    · Carmelite Monastery – religious site, so again, cover up, Stella Maris next to a fabulous lookout over Haifa Bay

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    Stella Maris Church/Carmelite monastery

    by mindcrime Written Nov 9, 2013

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    After a short 20’ ride from the center by bus 115 we reached the Stella Maris, a French Carmelite church, monastery and hospice. It was built in 1836 (the old one was destroyed in 1821 by the pasha of Akko Abdullah) over the cave where Elijah lived (according to Carmelites)

    In the garden in front of the church is a pyramid that is actually the tomb of French soldiers that fell during napoleon’s war.

    Once inside I was surprised because I was expecting tour groups (there was a large one outside) and what I saw was a beautiful peaceful church with only some catholic nuns inside… it was interesting to see them with digital cameras on hand (pic 3). I checked the murals all around for a while, especially the beautiful painted ceiling where you can see Elijah with chariot of fire, along with other famous figures (king David, prophets etc).

    Then we visited the cave behind the altar… this is where Elijah supposed to have stayed according to the Christian version (because jews and muslims clain it was a cave down the Carmel mountain but we didn’t try to go there too.

    The church is open daily 6.00-12.30 and 15.00-18.00

    After visiting the church we walked a bit around, took some pictures of some sculptures (pic 4) and the lighthouse, there’s also a restaurant on a privileged spot but what we liked most was the view, it was nice to see Haifa and its harbor lying in front of us again (pic 5)

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    Dakar S-77

    by ophiro Updated Aug 9, 2005

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    Dakar was a submarine that was built in 1943 in the UK and when she sailed to israel she disappeared (25/1/1968).

    Only in 1999 the israelis with help from other countries found the body of the submarine in the water.

    69 crew members died.

    Now the command bridge is in the maritime museum and you can see it on your way on the main street.

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    Panorama by day

    by galy Written May 2, 2003

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    In the "Yefe Nof" street, (or as the locals call it Panorama street) there are a few viewing points, from where you can see the city, the Haifa bay which goes up to Acre, and if the weather is good, you can se most of the Galilee to the east and up to the Lebanon border to the north

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    King Faisal's Column

    by iblatt Updated Jan 15, 2011

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    One of the main intersections of Haifa's lower city (Independence Blvd, Hativat Golani Rd and Palyam Blvd) is named after King Faisal. This is the Arabian leader who, with his father Hussein, led the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans during WW I (remember "Lawrence of Arabia"?).

    The British colonial authorities were generous enough to promise him a kingdom in return for his favors; at first it seemed that he would become the monarch of Greater Syria, but then the British remembered that they had actually promised this land to the French. So, instead, Faisal was given the territory of Iraq in 1921, and became King of Iraq. Unfortunately, he died prematurely of a heart attack while in Switzerland in 1933, and this is where Haifa gets into the story.

    King Faisal's body was tranferred by sea to the port of Haifa, and was flown to Iraq from there. A memorial column was erected in Faisal's memory, bearing the inscription: "In memory of the transfer of the body of His Majesty,the great king of the Arabs, King Faisal the First". On the column you can also read King Faisal's saying: "Independence is taken and not given, the freedom of the people is in its own hands".

    Interestingly, in Baghdad there is a main road called "Haifa Street", and at its end there is an equestrian statue of King Faisal!

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    "House of Grace"

    by iblatt Updated Jan 16, 2011

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    This is a haven of peace, quiet and good deeds in the center of modern Haifa. You enter a narrow lane off the busy Palyam Street, and you find yourself in another world. This is the Greek Catholic Church of Our Lady, no longer in use as a parish church, which was given in 1982 to Camille Shehada, a good man who had a dream: to rehabilitate discharged prisoners in his own family home, to give them a shelter and a family until they were ready to go out to the world outside and be independent. He built his house on the second floor of one of the church buildings, and founded a charity which his widiw and children have continued to run after his premature death. The charity is also involved in assisting needy families and homeless people. There are 50 volunteers working for the House of Grace charity.

    You can visit the church, built in the basilica style, and the courtyard, and feel the "positive energy" which permeates this place.

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    Abdul Hamid's Clock Tower

    by iblatt Updated Jan 16, 2011

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    In the year 1900 Haifa was under Ottoman rule. Sultan Abdul Hamid the Second celebrated the 25th anniversary of his reign, which was quite a feat considering many sultans did not survive that long in office. He had many diverse interests, including carpentry, poetry, wrestling, trains and clocks.

    On the occasion of his anniversary he ordered 100 clock towers built throughout his empire, seven of these in Israel / Palestine. Haifa was one of those lucky cities that got a clock tower in 1900.

    The Haifa clock tower was erected in front of the Al-Jarina mosque. It has six floors, and on the fourth floor there used to be four clocks, one on each side. The clock tower was the tallest building in Haifa in 1900, but today it is dwarfed by the high-rise buildings of the government offices nearby (see my 3rd photo). However, the tower does retain its original pride and elegance.

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    The Artists Village of En Hod

    by Bregman Updated Feb 13, 2006

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    Not far from Haifa, on the Carmel mountain, there is the artists village of En Hod. This is a perfect place to come on a sunny Saturday. Enjoy the pine forest, look down to the Mediterranean and stroll around the village enjoying the artworks and the artists' workshops. It is also the home of the Marcel Janko Dada museum. Until his death, Marcel Janko lived here in En Hod.

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    Sail Tower ("Beit Ha-Mifrass")

    by iblatt Updated Feb 4, 2011

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    The most prominent modern building in the skyline of downtown Haifa is Sail Tower. Its construction was finished in 2002, and it was the highest skyscraper in Haifa until 2003.
    It won world reputation due to its original futuristic shape. It has 29 floors, with a height of 137 meters. The Sail Tower is part of the Haifa District Government Center named after the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

    Officially named "Sail Tower", and meant to represent a ship's sail in the port city of Haifa, many Haifa residents refer to it as "Rocket Tower", as it reminds them of a rocket leaning against its lanch pad.

    Leading from Palyam Street to the Sail Tower there is a promenade of decorative arches, and on the stone-paved floor there are replicas of old drawings and maps of Haifa, which are well worth a visit. They depict Haifa as it was in its infancy, during Daher-el-Omar's rule in the 18th century and during the Ottoman rule in the 19th century, with a good portiob of romanticism and"orientalism": camel caravans proudly prodding along with the Haifa bay at the background, Bedouins' tents which look anything but authentic, but much prettier...

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    Architecture: The APC Bank Building

    by iblatt Updated Jan 18, 2011

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    The Lower City of Haifa is a showcase of architectural gems, built in different styles.
    The building of the Anglo-Palestine Company (APC) Bank was planned by the famous architect Alexander Baerwald in 1924.

    Baerwald was a German Jew who served as an officer in the German Army in WW I, lived in Berlin, and immigrated to Haifa in 1925. He was the first head of the faculty of architecture in the Technion. Baerwald developed the "Eretz-Israel Style", which was conceived as a mixture of Western and Middle Eastern architecture.

    The APC bank building is made of stone; it has interesting long vertical windows, Gothic motifs, and most interestingly: Medalions showing enlarged ancient Hebrew coins (see photos).

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