Nestled between Tel Aviv and the Lebanese border, Haifa is renowned for its historical sites and scenic, unspoiled beaches. Haifa is the largest city in Northern Israel and the third largest city in the country. It is located along Israel's Mediterranean coast in the Bay of Haifa.
Although there are nearly 300,000 people who call Haifa home, the city has a more laid-back atmosphere than Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Haifa's culturally diverse population is made up of Jews, Muslim and Christian Arabs, and Baha'i's, all of whom coexist peacefully. The Jewish population in Haifa is mostly secular.
Haifa first appeared in 3 rd Century Talmudic literature and has been settled for more than 3,000 years. The name ?Haifa' may be related to the Hebrew phrase hof yafe, which means "beautiful coast".'
Haifa has been conquered and settled by various groups: the Phoenicians, Hebrews, Hasmoneans, Romans, Arabs, Ottomans, Byzantines, Crusaders, British, and Israelis. Historical sites located in and around Haifa include Megiddo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to the ancient biblical mound of Megiddo; the alleys and underground tunnels of the ancient city of Akko; the archaeological site of Caesarea; and the grottoes of Rosh HaNikra, near the Lebanese border.
Modern Day Haifa
Today, Haifa is a bustling seaport. It is a major regional center that's located about 56 miles north of Tel Aviv. Haifa was traditionally a working-class city, but its identity is gradually changing, owing to the development of high-tech industries in the area.
Haifa's Natural Wonders
Haifa is situated on the slopes of a lush coastal mountain range known as Mount Carmel. Because of its idyllic setting, Haifa offers stunning vistas of the sea. Haifa is also home to several kilometers of golden beach, the city's best-kept secret. A portion of the beach has a lively boardwalk with cafes and restaurants.
Things to do in Haifa
Landmarks that you can visit in Haifa include the Baha'i Gardens and World Center, which sits on the northern slope of Mount Carmel and features a shrine, terraced gardens, and administrative buildings. Other notable attractions in Haifa include the Cave of Elijah, a cave on Mt. Carmel where the prophet Elijah lived during King Ahab's rule; the German Colony, which is comprised of the remnants of a 19 th Century settlement and has become a fine dining hot spot; Wadi Nisnas, the largest Arab neighborhood in Haifa; and Stella Maris, a French Carmelite church, monastery, and hospice.
The arts and cultural scene in Haifa has been growing steadily in recent years. Museums and galleries that visitors to Haifa can enjoy include the National Museum of Science, the National Maritime Museum, the Haifa Museum of Art, and the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art. Haifa's nightlife pales in comparison to that of Tel Aviv, but the city boasts its fair share of live music clubs, resto-bars, pubs, and dance bars, which cater to tourists and locals alike.
Haifa is particularly appealing to tourists because of its central location and good transportation. These characteristics render the city an ideal jumping-off point for exploring the northern coast of Israel. You can visit several notable sites in the region on convenient day trips from Haifa.
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