The Bahai Gardens in Haifa comprise a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. The geometry of the complex is built around the axis connecting it with the City of ‘Akko, which also has great historical and sacred significance for Bahá’ís. At its heart stands the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, which is the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahai Faith.
Note: all comments were taken from the official site.
The terraces start from Ben Gurion street and end on Yafe Nof street. But you can not go all the way by yourself. There are three main entrance points and each one allows limited access. If you want more than that, you will have to join a tour.
And today we are going to visit all three main entrances. Let’s begin.
Note: entrance to Bahai Gardens is free.
Bahai Garden At German Colony
German Colony, specifically Ben Gurion street, is the lowest entry to Bahai Gardens. I have visited there numerous times, but till now I didn’t have a photo from Sderot Ben Gurion street of Bahai gardens together with car trails. So I decided to give it a go.
Map of the area:
But beforehand, there were two places that I see each time I pass through Haifa and want to photograph. So I decided to use this chance to make a stop on the way.
By The Way
On the intersection of road 22 and 4 (Israel Railway Museum and Haifa east station), you pass above an array of rails. Unfortunately, I found that getting into the wanted spot is dangerous (going on a side of a highway). Thus, I got only following two photographs:
The second spot is about a 1km away. It’s the Istiqlal Mosque in the lower city of Haifa. I wanted several photos with car trails. And this is what I got:
Bahai Gardens From Sderot Ben Gurion
And the last stop was Sderot Ben Gurion street in Haifa. You can get a great view of the Bahai garden terraces from this street. And since there are many restaurants where you can also get something to eat, you should be all set. What else does a photographer need 🙂
The only downside is that Bahai gardens, like most other places in Israel, is closed during sunset hours.
Here are some of my photos taken from there:
Bahai Temple with leading stairs:
The gardens are close but I was able to fit the lens in between metal bars of the fence and to capture this:
Switching to wide angle lens:
When entering during the opening hours, you will be allowed the get on top of the first block of stairs. Further access is limited by gates. As I mentioned in the beginning, check for guided tours on the official site. With the tour, you will pass through the restricted areas.
The blue hour is over and it’s time to pack things. But before I finish the first part let me ask you a question. Have you ever heard about Hyperlapse? Check out my Hyperlapse of Bahai gardens.
The main entrance, which is also the entrance to Bahai Shrine is located at 80 Hatzionut Avenue, Haifa.
Map of the area:
Note that at every entry, whether it is the Bahai shrine or the gardens there is a security check. And when I came with a tripod, they didn’t allow me to take the tripod inside. But I could leave it at the security and walk with the camera.
The Bahá’í Gardens in Haifa comprise a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. The geometry of the complex is built around the axis connecting it with the City of ‘Akko, which also has great historical and sacred significance for Bahá’ís. At its heart stands the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, which is the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith.
While different parts of the gardens offer a variety of experiences, they speak in a common language of graveled paths, hedges and flower beds groomed and nurtured by dedicated gardeners. The gardens frame panoramic views of the city, the Galilee Hills and the Mediterranean Sea.
Yafe Nof Balcony
After visiting the shrine, we drove to the viewing balcony at the top of the gardens (61 Yefe Nof Street). And here are a couple of shots from there. Here are the gardens and Bahai Shrine from the top:
Though all Bahai gardens and Shrine is connected you can’t pass. Here is one of the multiple locked gates.
Sculptures Garden in Haifa
I have already visited Haifa’s most famous viewpoints (Bahai Gardens from Sderot Ben Gurion and Yafe Nof Balcony), so this time I decided to scout for a new spot. I heard that next to Sculptures Garden in Haifa there are good viewpoints. Thus, one evening I headed there.
Map of the area:
I’ve parked not far from the entrance to Bahai Shrine and started walking up along Sderot Hatsiyonut st.
It’s located on Sderot Hatsiyonut 111 and here are several views from there:
Closeup of Haifa Bay:
The Bahai Shrine with the industrial zone in the background, not the typical view:
It’s not the best viewpoint (the two I mentioned at the top of this post are better), so I decided to continue scouting.
After a two minute walk, I’ve reached Shnayim-November St. 2. There you can find another viewpoint sign. If you follow that sign then you will enter the Sculptures Garden in Haifa.
At The Sculptures Garden
Sculptures Garden is a small garden that presents 29 bronze statues all made by Ursula Malbin. Ursula donated the money for the garden and donated all sculptures as well. And even after one of the sculptures were stolen, she replaced it with another one from her private collection.
Though I don’t remember seeing signs on spot, some sites say that Sculptures Garden in Haifa is closed at night. So if you’re planning to visit it, do it before 6 pm.
While scouting several locals recommended another viewpoint. Well, actually this was a simple spot with several benches. It’s located within 5 min walk from the park at 12 Shnayim-November St. This was probably the best viewpoint among all I’ve seen that day. And here are several photos from there:
Louis Promenade in Haifa
Yafe Nof Balcony is located on Yafe Nof street which is a part of Louis Promenade. You can get great views from Louis Promenade without getting into the balcony and the advantage of the promenade is that it is always open. Thus, you can shoot sunsets and sunrises as well.
Louis Promenade in Haifa is one of the most beautiful promenades in Israel. Though it’s quite short, you can see a big part of the city from it. Among the things you can see are the Bahai gardens, Haifa port, and Haifa downtown.
Map of the area:
In 1992 Louis Promenade was established, thanks to the contribution of Paul and May Goldschmidt, Haifa residents, who desired to commemorate the memory of their son Louis, who was killed in a car accident, and who loved so much the magnificent views of Haifa.
The Promenade’s 400 meters stretch along Yefe Nof Street, from Nof Hotel to the upper entrance of the Bahá’í Gardens. Louis Promenade is located close to Carmel Center, with its cafes and restaurants, to the hotels and other attractions in the area, and integrating naturally into the area which attracts many tourists, who come to enjoy the touristic abundance the area offers. It is obvious that also residents of Haifa stroll along the Promenade enjoying the beautiful views it offers.
Many tourists integrate the visit to the Louis Promenade when arriving from the many tours departing from the upper entrance point of the Bahá’í Gardens, located, as said, in the Promenade.
I visited the Louis Promenade many times and in this post, I will tell you about two of these visits.
Sunset At Louis Promenade
The promenade is located on the slope of Carmel mountain and it’s always open & free.
Sunrise at Louis Promenade
Sun Cal and other Preps
Instead of sleeping on a Saturday morning, I decided to go and watch the sunrise at Louis Promenade. And this is not easy for me since I prefer to sleep late. But, since I decided to make an effort, there are preparations that need to be done. I’m not talking about preparing photo gear, I’m talking about checking the sunrise time and sun location. I used suncalc.net to check the sunrise time and sun location. It’s a pretty handy tool, you mark a spot on the map and using sliders you can see sun location during each hour of the day.
Wait, what? No, I didn’t wake up late. In fact, I arrived half an hour before the planned time, but it was already bright. At this point, I realized that I made a mistake. When I checked SunCalc I looked at the sunrise time. Sunrise time is the time when you see the sun. But if you in an area with mountains, then at the moment when you see the sun peeking behind a mountain, everything is already bright (daylight).
Expectations Vs Reality
Personally, I prefer the earlier time, when everything is still blue. If you also prefer the blue light then check out twilight time and not sunrise time. Or more specifically: astronomical twilight. Astronomical twilight is defined as the period of time when the sun is between 12 degrees and 18 degrees below the horizon.
At this point, I decided to drive down to a viewpoint that’s located next to the Bahai Temple.
I hoped for a photo of the sun behind the temple, but I wasn’t at the right angle 🙁
If you are in Haifa, then Bahai Gardens is a must see. They are simply beautiful. And check out my Hyperlapse of Bahai gardens.
Have you ever visited Bahai Gardens? Let us know in the comments below.
That’s all for today and I’ll see you in future travels!
For additional attractions nearby see Haifa page.