Today we will be visiting at the most sacred site to the Bahai religion. The Bahai Gardens in Acre. Let’s begin!
- Akko and Acre refer to the same city, And I use these names interchangeably. Moreover, if you are interested, you can find additional details about this ancient city in my guide about Acre.
- In this post, I will not go into the Bahai faith and extra background information. If you are interested in learning more, then check out my post about Bahai Gardens in Haifa.
- Since my camera was broken during this visit. I photographed using my rather old smartphone. Thus the photos in this post are worse than usual.
Bahai Gardens are located in the Northern part of Acre. Near the northern entrance to the city from road #4.
Map of the area:
If you are driving, then just enter “Bahai Gardens Acre” into Waze, and it will take you there. And there are plenty of free parking spaces near the entrance.
And if you are using public transport then here is the link to Moovit. I already preset it to take give directions from Hospitaller Fortress to Bahai Gardens in Acre. And if you are starting from another point, then set it and you will get the updated directions.
The Bahai gardens are open daily from 09:00 to 16:00. And if you want to enter the Shrine of Bahaullah then visit on Friday – Monday between 09:00 ad 12:00.
Here is the site plan with the opening hours:
In any case, before visiting I would recommend rechecking the opening hours at the official site.
There are free walking tours in Hebrew. These tours take place on Saturdays at 10:30 and 12:00. Here is a photo of the relevant sign.
Since this is a religious site, you are requested to come in clothes that cover your shoulders and reach your knees.
The Bahá’í Gardens at Bahjí in ‘Akko form a wide circle surrounding the historic mansion where Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, resided during the final years of His life and the shrine where His remains were laid to rest.
The approach to the circular garden is a long, straight path framed with cypress trees and informal plantings. As you walk, the silence seems to grow in intensity. Entering the heart of the site is like arriving in a world of peace and serenity, a wall-less sanctuary that is protected without being enclosed. Here the formal, precise gardening flows around historic buildings and natural elements that include a centuries-old sycamore-fig tree and the remains of an ancient olive grove.
Source: official site
And now, after covering the basics, let’s visit the gardens.
As you enter the gardens you will go under this arch:
Most of the gardens go along a straight alley.
Also, just after the entrance arch, to the right, you can find restrooms.
It took us about ten minutes to go along the garden alley. And in the end, you will reach the Shrine of Bahaullah.
Shrine of Bahaullah
The entrance to the shrine is allowed only with a local guide and in small groups. Thus as we approached the gate, the security man asked us if we want to enter. After giving a positive answer, he asked us to wait.
After waiting for about ten minutes (we waited till the previous group exited the shrine), the security man allowed us to enter and asked to follow the path till the entrance. And near the entrance volunteer guide waiting for us.
Note: just to be clear, everything is free at the Bahai Gardens. Both the entrance and the guide.
If you follow the path in the photo above, then you will see the Shrine of Bahaullah. And the bigger white building on the left is the Mansion of Bahá’u’lláh.
You will see many different signs (birds of prey, lions, stars, flowers, and so on) on site. But none of them have symbolic importance in the Bahai religion. They are simply decorations.
Near the entrance to the shrine, a guide was waiting for us.
He gave us a short explanation in English about the Bahai religion and this site. And answered our questions.
Then he asked us to take our shoes off and we entered the shrine. In the shrine, you are not allowed to talk and to take pictures.
The shrine itself resembles a building with a big central room and many small rooms around it. The small rooms are used for meditation. And since it is an active site, you are asked not to bother the prayers in any way.
As the short tour at Shrine of Bahaullah ended, our guide pointed us back to the security man stand.
And from there we headed back. The arch under which you pass as you enter the gardens has stairs. We used them to climb to the top level. And here is the photo from there:
And here we are inside the arch (on the ground level).
The whole visit took us about an hour.
Bahai Gardens in Haifa vs Akko
I visited both these gardens and the Bahai Gardens in Haifa many times over the years. But if you have time to visit only one of those places, which one should it be?
I will divide my answer into two parts. The gardens in Acre is the most sacred site in Bahai religion. Thus from a religious standpoint, this site is more important. But from an aesthetical standpoint, Bahai Gardens in Haifa are more impressive. Some even call them the hanging gardens of Babylon. Hence, most tourists, who are not following the Bahai religion, choose the gardens in Haifa. Hopefully, since you can see many photos from both gardens on my blog, it will make it easier to decide.
The Bahai Gardens in Acre (as the ones in Haifa) are beautiful and peaceful. And if you have the time, then consider combining a visit to Acre and the gardens. The only downside is their location. They are not close to the old city of Acre and you will need transportation (see directions section for additional details).
Have you ever visited the Bahai Gardens in Acre? Let us know in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.