Haifa may be known as the largest city in northern Israel, but its not its size that makes it unique. This city, surrounded by both various forms of nature and beautiful architecture, acts as a cultural umbrella allowing people of all backgrounds to co-exist under it.
Haifa is the home of the World Center of Bahai Faith and contains the country’s largest port. Haifa shows visitors how to enjoy the outdoors as well as the past, present, and future of religion. Its landscape perfectly describes how colorful this city is, and although the streets and neighborhoods may require intense physical activity, there are ways to make this culturally diverse city seem much smaller.
Here is a list of ﬁve things you did not know about Haifa and are worth visiting:
1. Haifa’s Trail: Originally meant to be an urban trek, the path takes on the role of accentuating Haifa’s beauty by including 21 segments comprised of city streets, alleys, forests, and shores. These segments cover 70 kilometers of what Guy Shachar, the Haifa Trail promoter, calls “the most diverse urban scenery in the world.” Since this city is known for its change in elevations, this trail is not meant to be tackled in one or even two days. The starting point is located right outside Haifa’s Central Train Station and the entrance to the naval port.
2. The Steps of Haifa: This city was built on the side of a mountain connecting the lowest point, Haifa’s port, to the extreme heights of Mt. Carmel. Instead of feeling trapped inside a car while taking on the unexpected twists and turns of steep roads, pedestrians have the option of enjoying fresh air while passing through Haifa’s welcoming neighborhoods. These stairs give visitors a beautiful view of the Gulf of Haifa and the north. It is recommended that you spend some time following the stairways, while also allowing yourself to get a little lost!
3. Bauhaus Buildings: Bauhaus buildings were once known as the typical style of apartments in Israel. With their light cream-colored whitewash and ﬂat roofs, these homes were once undesirable and eventually left untouched. Now, in both Haifa and Tel Aviv, there is an increase in demand for Bauhaus buildings. More homeowners are investing in these authentic buildings, making the rental and purchase costs skyrocket. As you look around the city of Haifa, you can see the concentration of Bauhaus buildings and understand their history in Israel.
4. Carmel Hai-Bar Nature Reserve: Located on Carmel Mountain, this nature reserve is home to endangered and extinct mammals, birds of prey, and amphibians. These speciﬁc creatures are bred here with the possibility of re-entry into the Mediterranean forest of Northern Israel. The purpose behind the late General Abraham Yaffe’s Hai-Bar nature reserves is to reintroduce biblical animals into Israel’s beautiful environment. Some of the animals are meant for display only, but it is the perfect place to catch a glimpse at a part of nature that you never knew existed.
5. Stella Maris: You can ﬁnd the Monastery on the north-west corner of Mount Carmel atop the bayside city of Haifa, high over the Mediterranean.and its name is Latin for “Star of the Sea.” The Catholic religious Carmelite order of friars and nuns established this Monastery in the 17th century. The symbol representing the order is placed right above the entrance door, and the church inside the Monastery is shaped like a cross. Inside, the ceilings and walls are covered in paintings that represent motifs from the Old and New Testaments and a magnificent altar over a cave Elijah is said to have inhabited. In front of the church entrance you will find the monument to Napoleon’s Sick and wounded soldiers, who took shelter here after the battle for nearby Acre in 1799.When Napoleon withdrew, the Turks slaughtered them and drove out the friars.
Main article photo by: Mipago