Haifa Backpacking Travel Guide

Information on hostels, transportation, cheap food and drinks, sights to see, activities and more.

Search for Haifa hostels at Hostelworld and budget hotels at Agoda.com

About


Haifa is the third-largest city in the Israel and is also home to the Bahá'í World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination for Bahá'í pilgrims. Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the settlement has a history spanning more than 3,000 years. Over the centuries, the city has changed hands: being conquered and ruled by the Phoenicians, Persians, Hasmoneans, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, British, and the Israelis.

Hostels


Port Inn

The Port Inn in is a lovely and welcoming hostel, located on the flatter portion of town, not far from the waterfront. This means that one is not always climbing a hill to get there. It is close to everything and the staff is very helpful. There is also a lovely back patio with plants, trees, and garden tables to relax in. The people staying here were nice and social, happy to chat, however it is about as far removed from a party hostel as one can get. But this is not really an issue, you don't go to Haifa to party.

Al Yakhour Hostel

Al-Yakhour Hostel is located in a historical building in the German Colony - the tourism hotspot of modern Haifa. It has a really nice atmosphere in the cozy lounge with a bar and library. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be prepared in the fully equipped kitchen. Convenient located right by the Bahai gardens. The bus stop is right in front of the hostel, the train station just a 10 minute walk.

Sights and Highlights


The Bahá’í Gardens

These gardens, located in the heart of Haifa, include a staircase of nineteen terraces extending all the way up the northern slope of Mount Carmel. The golden-domed Shrine of the Báb, the resting place of the Prophet-Herald of the Bahá’í Faith, stands on the central terrace, looking across the bay towards ‘Akko.

The Bahá’í Gardens are open from 9:00 to 17:00, seven days a week, but the inner gardens near the shrine close at 12:00 noon. More information, including visiting hours and tours can be found at ganbahai.org.il/en/haifa/.

Bahai's Garden in Haifa

Free Walking Tour

A free walking tour is available in Haifa. The departure point is Paris Square in the Haifa city centre and the tour starts at 10am. Among other things the tour includes the downtown area, the Bahá'í Gardens, the German colony and Wadi Nisnas. For more information head to freetour.com/haifa/free-tours-haifa.

To Eat


The following two places are both very highly regarded exponents of the falafel sandwich. They are located across the road from each other in the Wada Nisnas area. Try them both out and see if you can pick a winner.

Falafel Michel

A very small but typical place on Wadi Nisnas. Every customer gets a falafel ball before ordering. The falafel is excellent and Michel and his wife very welcoming. Excellent attitude and excellent service. Everything is freshly prepared.

Falafel HaZkenim

You won't go for the decor, but rather for what is reportedly the best falafel in Israel. Service is friendly and fast.Always busy but never a very long wait.

For Drinking


Libira

Libira is an excellent microbrewery that takes its beer seriously. Six fresh beers, brewed in the cellar are always on tap, as well as a wide selection of other Israeli microbrews. The food is on point, with expertly prepared dishes making Libira a true gastro-pub.

Ma’ayan Habira

Ma’ayan Habira, translates to ‘beer fountain’. They supply a good range of tasty beers here. Sure to get the good vibes going, this is a great start to a night of bar-hopping around the neighbourhood.

The Dunk Pub

Really great beers, food, and vibe. The staff is very friendly. This is a great place for foreigners to meet with the locals for a nice chat and drink. It is located on one of the corners of the main street in the German colony area in Haifa. 

Transportation


Getting In and Out

Tel Aviv

Trains run twice an hour between Tel Aviv and Haifa. The trains depart from Haifa Center HaShmona station. The journey time is just over an hour and tickets are 27 NIS. Buy your ticket from the self-service machines or ticket office at the station.

Nazareth

Bus routes 332 and 342 travel between Haifa and Nazareth. Route 332 is a slightly more direct route but there the difference not a lot. In order to catch these buses you should head to Merkazit Inter-city platforms. You can use local bus route no. 1 to get to this intercity bus station.

(Header image View of Baha'i gardens by Jesse Davis under CC BY 2.0)

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