Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel. The most famous tourist attraction in Haifa is the Bahai Gardens, but there are others. And below, you will find a list of attractions divided by categories with links to pages with additional info.
Let’s start with an interactive map with marked attractions.
Interactive map of the area:
- Hotels, hostels, and apartments in this area:
Bahai Gardens is probably the most popular attraction in Haifa. The three main entrances are the German Colony, Main Entrance vs. the Bahai Shrine, and Yafe Nof Balcony, located at Louis Promenade. You can see my visits to all three entrances and the nearby Ursula Malbin’s Sculpture Garden in the guide to Bahai Gardens.
How long is Ben Gurion street, which leads to Bahai Gardens? What is Hyperlapse? You can find answers to both these questions at the Hyperlapse of Bahai Gardens.
Note: if you are looking for a place to stay, see Best Hotels in Haifa.
- Hai-Bar Carmel is located on top of Carmel mountain inside Carmel nature reserve. The entry to the nature reserve is next to Haifa University.
According to Israel Nature and Parks Authority, it is the place to see eagles and deer. Is it?
- Haifa Educational Zoo is located on the slopes of Mount Carmel. It is a medium-sized zoo, and you can find all the standard animals, like lions, tigers, and monkeys. But, since the zoo is on Carmel mountain’s slope, no big animals like elephants, giraffes, and hippos exist.
- Madatech, Israel’s National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space, is Israel’s largest science museum.
- Join us for a visit to the Railway Museum.
- Tikotin Museum Of Japanese Art is one of Haifa’s lesser-known attractions, though it is the only museum of its kind in the middle east.
- There are two maritime museums in Haifa. They are the National Maritime Museum and the Clandestine Immigration And Naval Museum. These museums are within a short walking distance from each other but present different centuries. While National Maritime Museum shows ancient times, the Clandestine Immigration And Naval Museum concentrates on the 19th century.
- Hecht Museum at the University of Haifa is an excellent small and free museum. It has archaeological and art wings.
- Haifa Museum of Art showcases Israeli and international artists from the beginning of the 20th century onwards.
- There are many trails in the Carmel Mountains, and some of them start literary in Haifa. The beginning of Spring is one of the best times for Hiking the Carmel Mountains. Little Switzerland and Finger Cave Trail are among the most popular places.
- Hanging Bridges at Nesher Park offers a lovely circular hike close to Haifa. And on this path, you will hike in a waterless river, visit caves and walk on hanging bridges.
- Haifa offers a nice strip of beaches. Dado Beach is the most popular one. It is a beautiful beach with a promenade, many restaurants, and changing rooms. The entrance is free, and so was the parking (during my last visit).
- The Bible tells us that the Prophet Elijah fought on Mount Carmel against prophets of the Baal. From then to this day, Carmel Mountain retains its religious significance. For that reason, Stella Maris Monastery was built. You can visit both Stella Maris Monastery and the Cave of Elijah.
- Wadi Nisnas is a neighborhood in Haifa. And if you are a foodie and love middle eastern cuisine, you should tour this area.
- Haifa University is located on Mount Carmel’s top, allowing a good view over Haifa Bay. For more info, see Haifa University Viewpoint – Eshkol Tower.
- Tel Shikmona is a free national park is an ancient Tel by the National Institute of Oceanography in Haifa.
- A stroll in Downtown.
- Another lovely viewpoint is the Carmel routes viewpoint.
- Are there renovations in the city? Yes! Don’t believe me? Check out The Old Commercial Center.
- When I went to search for Less Familiar Viewpoints in the city.
- If you love second-hand markets or want something unique, check out The Flea Market and Merchant Fair.
- Talpiot is a food market in Hadar. Recently it became a hang-out place with restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, and galleries.
Open on Saturday
Almost all attractions listed above (except several museums) are open on Saturday.
What are the Best Attractions for Kids in Haifa?
I have a dedicated post on this topic, and you can find additional details at 32 Places to Visit in and near Haifa with Kids.
Exhibitions and Concerts
- The Holiday Of Holidays is an annual festival that takes place in Haifa. It is celebrated for three weekends in December. And the purpose of this festival is to show Haifa’s character, a city with a mixed population and different faiths, and to promote coexistence and tolerance. The festival’s name expresses the intention to mark the religious holidays in December: Hanukkah, Christmas, and the month of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. The festival spreads over the German Colony and Wadi Nisnas. And this is the best opportunity to visit both neighborhoods.
- What do half a million flowers look like? Check out the Flower exhibition for the answer.
- Why not go to a concert in the city? Join us for Al Bano.
What To Do in Haifa During a Two-Day Stay?
- Since I mentioned the best attractions for kids, I will not include adjustments for kids in this section.
- I will not list a full itinerary. And instead, you will find suggestions for half to full-day activities.
As I mentioned, Bahai Gardens is the most popular and unique attraction. I would recommend not only joining a tour but also visiting the gardens at the three levels. The lower entrance is near the German Colony and Wadi Nisnas. Thus, you can explore them (especially recommended if you visit during The Holiday Of Holidays festival). The top entrance allows enjoying the views from Louis Promenade at Yaffe Nof Street (especially advisable during sunset). And the main entry, you can visit the Bahai Temple and the nearby Ursula Malbin’s Sculpture Garden.
Other popular religious attraction is Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery and Elijah’s Cave.
I would suggest checking out the Clandestine Immigration And Naval Museum. Besides the history, this unique museum allows you to visit a real missile boat and submarine.
If you love the sea, check out Dado beach.
Of course, there are other places, and you can see them above. My selection was based on popularity and uniqueness. For example, I enjoyed my visits to Haifa Educational Zoo, but there is a zoo in every country that is not unique.
Attractions in Haifa Area
Free Attractions in Haifa
The best free attractions in Haifa include the Bahai Gardens, Louis Promenade, Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, Elijah’s Cave, exploring German Colony, Ursula Malbin’s Sculpture Garden, Hecht Museum, beaches, and nearby promenades.
Haifa is the third-largest city in Israel – after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv– with a population of 281,087 in 2017. The city of Haifa forms part of the Haifa metropolitan area, the second- or third-most populous metropolitan area in Israel. It is home to the Bahá’í World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination for Bahá’í pilgrims.
Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the settlement has a history spanning more than 3,000 years. The earliest known settlement in the vicinity was Tell Abu Hawam, a small port city established in the Late Bronze Age (14th century BCE). In the 3rd century CE, Haifa was known as a dye-making center. Over the millennia, the Haifa area has changed hands: being conquered and ruled by the Canaanites, Israelites, Phoenicians, Persians, Hasmoneans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, and the British. Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Haifa Municipality has governed the city.
As of 2016, the city is a major seaport located on Israel’s Mediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa, covering 63.7 square kilometers (24.6 sq mi). It lies about 90 kilometers (56 mi) north of Tel Aviv and is northern Israel’s major regional center. According to researcher Jonathan Kis-Lev, Haifa is considered a relative haven for coexistence between Jews and Arabs. Two respected academic institutions, the University of Haifa and the Technion are located in Haifa, and the largest k-12 school in Israel, the Hebrew Reali School.
The city plays an important role in Israel’s economy. It is home to Matam, one of the oldest and largest high-tech parks in the country. Haifa also owns the only underground rapid transit system located in Israel, known as the Carmelit. Haifa Bay is a center of heavy industry, petroleum refining, and chemical processing. Haifa formerly functioned as the western terminus of an oil pipeline from Iraq via Jordan.