By Deena Levenstein
- Bahá’í Gardens, Haifa
Haifa is a major seaport on the Mediterranean. It is Israel’s largest city in the north and the country’s third largest city. Located on the beautiful slopes of Mount Carmel, it contains a fascinating population that is diverse both culturally and religiously.
Haifa offers a lot to its visitors. Besides its many cultural events throughout the year, there are museums, historical neighborhoods, the world’s smallest subway and many beautiful views.
Here are some of the highlights of Haifa.
1. Views galore
I’m a sucker for a good view and because Haifa is built on a mountain and overlooking the Mediterranean, it is full of them.
One of the best views in the country – yes, the country – can be found at the Eshkol Observation Point at Haifa University.
- View from the Eshkol Observatory (Photo by Gil Haran)
On a clear day you can literally see half the country (including the hills of Jerusalem, Netanya, the Golan Heights and all the way up to Beirut, Lebanon).
Once on campus, we also highly recommend the Hecht Museum with lots of both archaeological and art treasures.
Yaffe Nof Street, literally called “beautiful view street,” offers gorgeous views as well.
And then there is the mountain trail up to the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery which is beautiful every step of the way:
2. The Bahá’í Gardens
Chosen for UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Bahá’í Gardens attract over half a million visitors a year. A 19-terraced garden around the Shrine of the Báb, it is probably one of the more serene places and one of the most well-kept gardens you’ll visit.
3. The Haifa German Colony
The German Colony of Haifa was the first settlement of the German Templers in the Holy Land in 1868. The Templers came to Palestine with the belief that living here would hasten the second coming of Jesus. The Templers’ arrival was a turning point in Haifa’s development, bringing a steam-based power station, factories and carriage services nearby cities Acre, Nazareth and Tiberias.
4. Carmelit Subway
The Carmelit Subway is currently the only subway in Israel and it’s a subway like you’ve never experienced. As the smallest subway in the world, it is only one car long and takes a few minutes to ride from one end to the other. Both the station platform and the train itself are built on a strong slant with stairs since it travels up and down a mountain.
- Carmelit Subway in Haifa. Simply put, it’s very cute.
There are also many things to see just outside of Haifa but that, dear readers, is for another post.
Photos by Deena Levenstein
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