Haifa travel guide

Haifa Tourism | Haifa Guide

You're Going to Love Haifa

Smaller than Tel Aviv but no less beautiful and complex, the city of Haifa brings together the region's natural beauty, like mountainous climbs, spectacular scenic views of the bay, miles of Mediterranean coastline, and lush greenery. And yet, all the joys of modern living make the city a thriving center, alive with the hubbub of the Arab markets, food vendors, stalls, cinemas, malls, and shopping.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Haifa

1. Explore History at Elijah's Cave

The history of Elijah's Cave is long and winding, as complex and mysterious as the cave itself. While you're at the the foot of Mount Carmel, this is one spot you shouldn't miss.

2. Hunt for Bargains at the Arab Market

Known locally as "the Wadi", near the German Colony, the Arab market oozes tons of traditional character. With its narrow alleyways, old stone houses, Jewish and Arabic artisans, and the air rich with local delicacies, you'll want to get lost in its charm.

3. Relax at the Many Beaches

Stroll along the boardwalk, take in the beautiful surf, sands, and tides upon the shores of Bat Galim and Dado beaches.

4. Climb to the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery

Believed to have been built around 1291 AD, this is one of the oldest monasteries in the world. It rests high above the city of Haifa and can be reached by cable car from the Bat Galim Promenade.

5. Visit the Spectacular Baha'i Gardens

One of the jewels of Israel, and Haifa in particular, the Baha'i Gardens draw millions of visitors each year, and feature intricately designed walkways, terraces, and views of the Haifa Bay.

What to do in Haifa

1. A Holy Beauty

Visiting Haifa has to start with this shining star of the Baha'i faith. Whether you are a believer or just a lover of history, art and nature, the gardens and dome of the shrine will capture your imagination and refuse to let go. From its remarkable dome, which can be seen across the city, to the terraced, manicured gardens, immaculate peach walkways, and quiet, sacred air that ensconces the garden from the hubbub of Haifa, you are truly entering another world. Take everything in and then head to the shrine of the "Bab" which contains the tomb of Mirza Al Mohammed.

2. Eat Your Way Through

There's no better way to know a city than to eat your way through it. As with many parts of Israel, Haifa is a blend of Middle Eastern, Persian, Turkish and even German roots. Start your food adventures at the German Colony, which, unsurprisingly, has the best pubs and open-air restaurants. The colony itself dates back to the Christian Templars in the 1800s, though the historic stone buildings have been transformed into art galleries and trendy cafes. Once you've had your fill, head to the Wadi Nisnas, the Arab district, where the aroma of fresh falafels waft through the narrow alleyways.

3. Year-Long Summer

In the quiet neighborhood of Bat Galim are beaches that you'll never want to leave and which will convince you that summer is not just a season, but more a way of life. Its stunning promenade is dotted with relaxed restaurants and coffee shops. For those adrenaline junkies who like to incorporate water sports into beachcombing, there are activities such as surfing, kite-surfing, wind-surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Bat Galim's bonus is that it is a cable-car ride away from the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery.

4. A Tale Of Three Religions

Old is gold at the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, a space that dates back to the 12th century A.D. Specifically, the domed, religious fresco on its ceiling, coupled with golden arches and decorations, evokes the handiwork of the Sistine Chapel. Once you've picked your jaw off the floor, head down the staircase into Elijah's Cave. This cave is now ensconced in a dome chapel and was said to be the resting place of a prophet important to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

5. Balcony Of The Country

Because present-day Israel is historically such an old land, anything "new" was built in the 80s and 90s. The Louis Promenade opened in 1992 and is a much-loved "balcony" etched into the crevices of Mount Carmel. This massive terrace provides breathtaking panoramic views of the city, day or night, and can be the perfect place to spot dolphins leaping from the bay waters. Locals like to use the promenade to walk, run or jog while enjoying the warm Mediterranean sun.

1. A Holy Beauty

Visiting Haifa has to start with this shining star of the Baha'i faith. Whether you are a believer or just a lover of history, art and nature, the gardens and dome of the shrine will capture your imagination and refuse to let go. From its remarkable dome, which can be seen across the city, to the terraced, manicured gardens, immaculate peach walkways, and quiet, sacred air that ensconces the garden from the hubbub of Haifa, you are truly entering another world. Take everything in and then head to the shrine of the "Bab" which contains the tomb of Mirza Al Mohammed.

2. Eat Your Way Through

There's no better way to know a city than to eat your way through it. As with many parts of Israel, Haifa is a blend of Middle Eastern, Persian, Turkish and even German roots. Start your food adventures at the German Colony, which, unsurprisingly, has the best pubs and open-air restaurants. The colony itself dates back to the Christian Templars in the 1800s, though the historic stone buildings have been transformed into art galleries and trendy cafes. Once you've had your fill, head to the Wadi Nisnas, the Arab district, where the aroma of fresh falafels waft through the narrow alleyways.

3. Year-Long Summer

In the quiet neighborhood of Bat Galim are beaches that you'll never want to leave and which will convince you that summer is not just a season, but more a way of life. Its stunning promenade is dotted with relaxed restaurants and coffee shops. For those adrenaline junkies who like to incorporate water sports into beachcombing, there are activities such as surfing, kite-surfing, wind-surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Bat Galim's bonus is that it is a cable-car ride away from the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery.

4. A Tale Of Three Religions

Old is gold at the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery, a space that dates back to the 12th century A.D. Specifically, the domed, religious fresco on its ceiling, coupled with golden arches and decorations, evokes the handiwork of the Sistine Chapel. Once you've picked your jaw off the floor, head down the staircase into Elijah's Cave. This cave is now ensconced in a dome chapel and was said to be the resting place of a prophet important to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

5. Balcony Of The Country

Because present-day Israel is historically such an old land, anything "new" was built in the 80s and 90s. The Louis Promenade opened in 1992 and is a much-loved "balcony" etched into the crevices of Mount Carmel. This massive terrace provides breathtaking panoramic views of the city, day or night, and can be the perfect place to spot dolphins leaping from the bay waters. Locals like to use the promenade to walk, run or jog while enjoying the warm Mediterranean sun.

Where to Eat in Haifa

Middle Eastern cuisine that is authentic and generous awaits you in Haifa's winding streets. The best, freshest falafels (₪10-15) and well-seasoned shawarma meats (for ₪20-22) come from informal food kiosks around Yafo Street.

When to visit Haifa

Haifa in March
Estimated hotel price
C$ 197
1 night at 3-star hotel
Haifa in March
Estimated hotel price
C$ 197
1 night at 3-star hotel

The best time to visit Haifa is in March or April. At this point, it's still spring, the rain stops and it's not too hot. From April to September, temperatures range from highs of 71 to 85.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Haifa

Plane

Domestic flights land at Haifa Airport (HFA). International travelers will first arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv. From here, take a train to Haifa for ₪42.

Train

Trains connects with Beer Sheva, Nahariya, and the various suburbs in Haifa. Fares start at ₪42 for a ticket from Tel Aviv to Haifa.

Car

Getting into Haifa is easy by car. Coming from the south, use Route 2, the coastal highway that links the city to Tel Aviv.

Bus

Getting into Haifa by bus, travelers will use the Egged buses from Tel Aviv or Afula, as well as other Israeli cities. Fares are around ₪40.

Airports near Haifa

Airlines serving Haifa

United Airlines
Good (2,980 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,401 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,528 reviews)
KLM
Good (364 reviews)
Air France
Good (442 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,608 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,414 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,184 reviews)
SWISS
Good (496 reviews)
Iberia
Good (972 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,709 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (1,106 reviews)
Austrian Airlines
Good (295 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (607 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (123 reviews)
Finnair
Good (742 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (355 reviews)
Ryanair
Good (1,864 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,333 reviews)
LOT
Good (359 reviews)
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Where to stay in Haifa

Kiryat Ha'im - one of the five suburban Krayot neighborhoods in Haifa, Kiryat Ha'im lies on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. As such, it has beautiful beach-side promenades, residential buildings, and sports stadiums.

Popular Neighborhoods in Haifa

Bat Galim - the modern Bat Galim neighborhood has the picturesque Bat Galim Beach and is well connected, with a major subway stop and lots of great restaurants.

Hadar HaCarmel - an uphill spot of the downtown district, Hadar HaCarmel overlooks the port of Haifa and Haifa Bay. It was once the commercial center of the city and now houses historical landmarks like Haifa Theater, Binyamin Park, and Talpiot Market.

Where to stay in popular areas of Haifa

Most booked hotels in Haifa

Carmel Forest by Isrotel Exclusive
Excellent (8.6, Excellent reviews)
C$ 561+
Dan Carmel Haifa
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
C$ 328+
Haifa Bay View Hotel
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
C$ 147+
Dan Panorama Haifa Hotel
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
C$ 249+
Leonardo Plaza Haifa
Good (7.9, Good reviews)
C$ 245+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Haifa

Public Transportation

Public transport in Haifa is extensive with local bus service and the Carmelit subway. Buses run 24/7, even on weekends and religious holidays. Fares are ₪5.90 per journey.

Taxi

There are plenty of locally run taxis you can find at will, or you can book a private, prepaid taxi service, known as sherut. Fares start at a flat rate of ₪12, and it's ₪6.2 per mile thereafter.

Car

It's easy to rent cars in Haifa (and recommended because the region is so mountainous). Rentals from companies like Budget are available for around ₪80 a day.

Car rental agencies in Haifa

Budget

Budget
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The Cost of Living in Haifa

Shopping Streets

There are plenty of shopping malls in Haifa, besides the more informal outdoor kiosks. Take your pick from City Center Mall (Lev HaIr), Kanyon Haifa, and Cinemall.

Groceries and Other

Milk costs ₪5.48 and a dozen eggs costs ₪12.

Cheap meal
C$ 21.42
A pair of jeans
C$ 125.68
Single public transport ticket
C$ 2.20
Cappuccino
C$ 3.95