Haifa Introduction Walking Tour, Haifa

Haifa Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Haifa

Haifa is the largest city in the northern Israel, and the second largest in the country. Haifa was raised on the slopes of the Mount Carmel, dating back to Biblical times. The city preserved its history and traditions. Besides its great spiritual value, Haifa is also the cultural capital of Israel, home to a large number of museums, beautiful buildings and picturesque Persian gardens. Take this tour to discover the most impressive landmarks in Haifa.
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Haifa Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Haifa Introduction Walking Tour
Guide Location: Israel » Haifa (See other walking tours in Haifa)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.7 Km or 3.5 Miles
Author: Caroline
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Bahá'í World Centre
  • Yefe Nof Street
  • Mané-Katz Museum
  • Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art
  • Universal House of Justice
  • International Archives
  • Shrine of the Báb
  • The Terraces / Hanging Gardens
  • Haifa Museum of Art
  • Massada Street
  • Madatech — Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space
  • City Hall
  • The Shuk
  • Haifa's Talpiot Market
Bahá'í World Centre

1) Bahá'í World Centre (must see)

The Bahá'í World Centre (BWC) is the name given to the spiritual and administrative centre of the Bahá'í Faith. Much of the international governance and coordination of the Bahá'í Faith occurs at the BWC. These include decisions that affect the religion on a global level and the study and translation of the Bahá'í holy writings. The Universal House of Justice, representing the supreme governing body of the Bahá'í Faith, resides in Haifa. The BWC is also the current destination for Bahá'í pilgrimage. Many of the locations at the Bahá'í World Centre, including the terraces and the Shrine of the Báb which constitute the north slope of Mount Carmel, were inscribed on the World Heritage List in July 2008.

Tips & practical advice:
As a reminder, as it is a holy place please make sure your shorts or skirts come down to at least your knees and that your shoulders are covered with sleeves or a shawl so that you will be admitted. Requirements are identical for men and women. There is no requirement to cover your hair or head or for women to wear skirts. Long shorts and a t-shirt or a mid-length skirt, sleeveless shirt with a shoulder covering light shawl is what they can wear on hot days. The Baha'i Faith does not proselytize so you can feel comfortable visiting regardless of your beliefs.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Yefe Nof Street

2) Yefe Nof Street

Yefe Nof Street (in Hebrew : יפה ףוף), literally street of beautiful Landscape, but also known as English Panorama street, is a street located in Haifa, Israel, at the top of Mount Carmel, which offers a smashingly view on The Bay of Haifa, as far as Acre and in good weather to Rosh HaNikra and even Lebanon. Overlooking the Bahai Gardens, it is one of Haifa's main tourist attractions.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Mané-Katz Museum

3) Mané-Katz Museum (must see)

Mané-Katz left his paintings and extensive personal collection of Jewish ethnography to the city of Haifa. Four years before his death, the mayor of Haifa, Abba Hushi, provided him with a building on Mt. Carmel to house his work, which became the Mané-Katz Museum. The exhibit includes Mané-Katz's oils, showing a progressive change in style over the years, a signed portrait of the artist by Picasso dated 1932 and a large collection of Jewish ritual objects.

Why You Should Visit:
If you're into contemporary art from an artist who won the Legion of Honor for his work, stop here.
You won't be disappointed; also there's a beautiful view of Haifa Bay from the top of Mt. Carmel.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Wed: 10am-4pm; Thu: 4pm-7pm; Fri, Sat: 10am-3pm.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art

4) Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art (must see)

The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art is devoted to displaying and conserving Japanese artworks and is the only one of its kind in the Middle East. It was founded in 1959, with the assistance and on the initiative of Felix Tikotin (1893-1986) of the Netherlands, and the late Abba Hushi, who was then the Mayor of Haifa. The museum's collection comprises some 7,000 items including paintings, prints, drawings, screens, textiles, ancient illustrated books, ceramics, miniature carvings (netsuke), metal and lacquer work, antique swords and handicrafts, mainly from the 14th to 19th centuries. It also has some modern Japanese artworks. In 1995, a new wing designed by the late Japanese architect Junzō Yoshimura of Tokyo and Israeli architect Professor Al Mansfeld was added to the existing gallery.

Why You Should Visit:
Japan's art in a nutshell! Lots of constant exhibits of 'classical' Japanese art plus regular temporary exhibitions.
Signage is good (in both Hebrew & English); there is a small cafeteria and a pretty sweet gift shop.

Might look just a bit overpriced, but check for discounts and consider buying a combined ticket (6 museums in a week for ~15 euro – see the Haifa Museums site).

Opening Hours:
Sat-Thu: 10am-7pm; Fri: 10am-1pm
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Universal House of Justice

5) Universal House of Justice

The Seat of the Universal House of Justice is where the center of the Bahá'í covenant sits. During a Bahá'í pilgrimage the members of the Universal House of Justice greet each of the pilgrims in turn before they are shown around main areas of the building. The building also houses offices of the Bahá'í World Centre. Located at the apex of The Arc, the house was built with 60 Corinthian columns around it to mirror the design of the International Archives. Designed by architect Hossein Amanat, it was completed in 1982 during the second stage of building on the Arc.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
International Archives

6) International Archives

The International Archives was the first building to be erected on the Arc, and holds many of the most sacred items within the Bahá'í Faith. Most importantly it was built to display the paintings and drawings of Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb, along with a single photograph of Bahá'u'lláh. Although some of these items are available on the Internet today, most Bahá'ís prefer to see these items in person by making a pilgrimage to the site. Shoghi Effendi choose the Parthenon as the basis for the design. It was finished in 1957, but Shoghi Effendi never lived to furnish the interior. This was left to his wife Rúhíyyih Khanum. Previously the rear three rooms of the Shrine of the Báb and the building beside the Monument Gardens - now called the Department of Holy Places - were temporary archive buildings.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Shrine of the Báb

7) Shrine of the Báb (must see)

The Shrine of the Báb is the site where the Báb's remains are laid to rest. The location was designated by Bahá'u'lláh himself in 1891 while he was camped, with `Abdu'l-Bahá, across from Mount Carmel. The site is right above the German Colony, which was established in the 1860s by the German Templar Society. Built by `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1909, the shrine’s superstructure was not completed until many years later by Shoghi Effendi and was finally dedicated in 1953. The architect was William Sutherland Maxwell, a Canadian Bahá'í who was a Beaux-Arts architect and the father-in-law of Shoghi Effendi. Some aspects of the dome's structural engineering were designed by Professor H. Neumann of Haifa's Technion University.

You are not allowed to climb the steps back up, so keep in mind that at the end of your time here you can exit and a walk or taxi to your next destination.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
The Terraces / Hanging Gardens

8) The Terraces / Hanging Gardens (must see)

The Terraces of the Bahá'í Faith, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, are garden terraces around the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel. They are one of the most visited tourist attractions in Israel. The architect is Fariborz Sahba from Iran, the structural engineers are Karban and Co. from Haifa. Nine concentric circles provide the main geometry of the eighteen terraces. Just as the identification of a circle presupposes a centre, so the terraces have been conceived as generated from the Shrine of the Báb. The eighteen terraces plus the one terrace of the Shrine of the Báb make nineteen terraces total. Nineteen is a significant number within both the Bahá'í and Bábí religions. Fariborz Sahba began work in 1987 designing the gardens and oversaw construction.

The terraces were opened to the public in June 2001. Beginning at its base, the gardens extend almost a kilometre up the side of Mount Carmel, covering some 200,000 square metres of land. The gardens are linked by a set of stairs flanked by twin streams of running water cascading down the mountainside through the steps and terrace bridges. The gardens have elements of the Persian paradise gardens, isolating the site from the noise of the surroundings and connecting the different Bahá'í buildings on Mount Carmel together.

Tips & practical advice:
a) there are 3 parts of the gardens: upper cascade is open for visiting only at certain hours in groups of 25-35 ppl with a Bahai guide; middle garden with the Shrine is open till noon; and the lower cascade is closed for public (it's for Bahai only). b) Visiting hours are checked at ganbahai website. c) if you want to see as much as possible, you must enter the upper terrace at around 11am, then descend to the middle garden in time to visit it as well. Note: there might be a queue at the upper entrance. d) If you have no time to wait or no ability to descend many stairs, aim at the middle gardens. e) if you didn't make it in time, still you can visit the upmost (at Yefe Nof) or downmost (at Ben Gurion Blvd, German Colony) terraces – definitely worth seeing even only this bit.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Haifa Museum of Art

9) Haifa Museum of Art (must see)

Haifa Museum of Art is nestled within a stone building for preservation. The museum showcases the works of Israeli and international artists and unfolds on the one hand the story of Israeli culture from the beginning of the 20th century, and on the other, the place of contemporary art in the age of globalization.

One of the three largest museums of art in Israel, Haifa Museum of Art sprawls over approximately 3,500 sqm and resides in three floors. The museum is an institution and an attraction for artists and art theorists who explore the topics of the history of Israeli and international art, with emphasis on contemporary art, which relate to essence, meaning, and the potential embodied in the museum’s collection.

Why You Should Visit:
Smart use of exhibits on 2 floors, plus air-conditioning, toilets and plenty of space.
Of course there's a shop and a café as well!

Opening Hours:
Sun-Wed: 10am-4pm; Thu: 4pm-7pm; Fri: 10am-1pm; Sat: 10am-3pm
Massada Street

10) Massada Street

Massada Street is one of the most popular shopping streets in Haifa. Here you'll find many antiques shops and little galleries chock full of unique objects. Nestled in between them are coffee houses and bars where you can take your ease in between browsing and admire the 1930s architectural heritage of the city.
Madatech — Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space

11) Madatech — Israel National Museum of Science, Technology and Space (must see)

The Israel National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space (also known as Madatech) is the home of science and technology in the city of Haifa, and attracts approximately 200,000 visitors each year. The museum, established in 1983, is housed in a historic building that was designed as the first home of the Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, until it relocated to its current campus. The architect was Alexander Baerwald, a German Jewish immigrant, who began working on the building in 1912. On a visit to the Technion in 1923, Albert Einstein planted one of the palm trees in the courtyard, which can still be seen today.

Why You Should Visit:
Very accessible for kids and has lots of different interactive activities and exhibitions.
Most exhibits are good for adults as well, and the collections of old instruments & machines are terrific.

Make sure you have a lot of free time, as you might want to dedicate a full day for it!
Best to enjoy the science garden out back in the summer when kids can run into the water-fountain.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Wed: 10am-3pm; Thu, Sat: 10am-5pm; Fri: 10am-2pm
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
City Hall

12) City Hall

Located in Haifa’s Hadar neighborhood, the City Hall is a historic monument that dates back to the 1950s. It was erected at a significant time for the city when a number of important buildings were constructed and new neighborhoods were created.
The Shuk

13) The Shuk

The Shuk is the most popular open-air market in the city. Here you can find a massive variety of spices that has made the market famous, plus the freshest fruits and vegetables. There are also tasty sunflower and pumpkin seeds on sale, as well as dried fruits.
Haifa's Talpiot Market

14) Haifa's Talpiot Market

Located in Haifa's Hadar neighborhood, the Talpiot Market is a large market where you can find fresh fruits, vegetables, as well as dried fruits, nuts and seeds, which are very popular in Israel. The prices here are very reasonable, so you'll get a chance to see people from all walks of life when you visit this market.

Walking Tours in Haifa, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Haifa

Create Your Own Walk in Haifa

Creating your own self-guided walk in Haifa is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Haifa's Architectural Jewels

Haifa's Architectural Jewels

Haifa is a city that prides itself on preserving its history and traditions. As a result, today you can still see beautiful buildings around the city that date back to the 1800s, as well as some very picturesque Persian gardens. Take this tour to discover the most impressive buildings in Haifa.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Bahai World Center Tour

Bahai World Center Tour

Since its emergence in the 19th Century, the Baha’i Faith has spread its influence to many parts of the world. The Baha’I World Centre buildings are situated around Israel, and the most important ones are located in Haifa. Take this tour to discover the most popular Baha’i places in Haifa.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles