Haifa, the third largest city in Israel, and the largest one in northern Israel, is a thriving hub of cultures, history, and some of the country’s most beautiful scenery.
Built along the Mediterranean and atop the Carmel Range, Haifa is dripping with greenery and natural flora and fauna anywhere you look.
Since ancient times and up until today, Haifa is one of the country’s two main port towns, with much of the Israel’s imported goods passing through its gates.
Haifa’s geographical conditions - plain by the sea and hilly and steep as you head up; divide the city into two main parts - downtown and uptown, both internally divided again into many different suburbs and neighborhoods.
Each area of Haifa is uniquely characterized - the city’s downtown, in close proximity to the port, is much more industrial, grubby and commerce-oriented, yet full of some of the city’s best restaurants, pubs and night clubs.
Predominantly Arab, this authentic part of town preserved some of its historical nature, both in its culture and its architecture; beautiful, old, dilapidated buildings dating back to the Ottoman Empire years, are dotted all throughout, amidst some of Israel’s finest Arab restaurants and eateries.
As you head up towards the city's uptown part, the stunning scenery of Haifa’s Bay is revealed in all its glory. The city’s uptown neighborhoods are relatively newer, most of which are draped in local flora and fauna, making for beautiful drives around the city, as well as a green balance for the heavy pollution downtown.
Haifa’s demographic makeup changed drastically during the 1990’s, when it absorbed the largest amount of Russian immigrants of any other major city in Israel.
During the First World War the Ottoman Empire brigades filled the city with artillery to prevent the British army from arriving via the port. However the British forces did take over the city eventually, in 1918.
The port became a docking station for the forces on their way to Syria and Lebanon in the north. It took the British army a week to get from Haifa to Damascus and conquer it, and by doing so they have completed their battle for the Middle East, and the British mandate era began.
Haifa then became the main base for the British forces in the area, serving as a strategic center point between Sinai in the south and Beirut in the north. The port connected the Middle East to Europe via sea, and the Valley train route, passing through Haifa, connected it to Europe by rail.
Due to the city’s geographical positioning, and the port’s strategic importance, the city continued to be a major British stronghold during the Second World War. During those years it was air-bombed ten times - more than any other city in what later became the state of Israel.
Nowadays Haifa has grown to become a thriving and multicultural metropolis of commerce, industries, tourism, and culture. Haifa’s history, beauty and cultural diversity make it a unique tourist destination, and one of the most interesting Israeli large cities to visit.
A combination of stunning bay views, industrial areas, hilly quaint neighborhoods, delicious food and a variety of cultural activities all-year-round, make Haifa one of Israel’s favorite tourist destinations.