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Haifa - What to do?


meliss35
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Can you find a tour/guide that will pick you up in Haifa and take you to Akko? Our guide took us around Haifa ....it was ok. But then we drove to Akko(Acre).  That was fantastic.  We went to this place that the  Knights of the Templar used.unbelievably  great  . Had a wonderful local lunch outside under trees. Watched kids jumping off gigantic rocks into the water, walked around neighborhoods. Saw gardens. Saw wedding couples coming outside for photos.

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We went from Haifa to Akko (yes, "Acre" on some maps) by train.

10 minute walk from the cruise berth to the station, don't remember the fare but it was peanuts, don't remember the journey time but mebbe 20/25 minutes, don't remember the train frequency but something like half-hourly.

Do remember that it was a fair walk from Akko station to the fortress, mebbe 25/30 minutes.

Fortress itself wasn't open to the public other than a small museum, but it was fun getting lost in the maze of little alleyways in the old-town area around it. A long medieval (?) tunnel, and a pleasant seafront.

 

On a previous occasion we took a tour in a van that was touting for business outside the port gate much like in the Caribbean or Asia - but the area has since changed / been up-graded & I don't know whether you can still just find seats in a van.

But the tour was excellent, if you can find something similar to book seats or get a van group together via your RollCall.

Our tour included....

- Photostop at the top of the "Hanging Gardens" that you can see from the ship

- Cana (water into wine)

- Nazareth (pretty grubby, bit of a disappointment)

- a kibbutz (very interesting)

- baptisms on the River Jordan (seem to happen all day)

- shores of the Sea of Galilee to Tiberias

- back to the ship in good time for dinner.

 

JB 🙂

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On 9/2/2021 at 1:01 PM, meliss35 said:

We will be in Haifa from 6am to 8pm on a cruise. What is the best things to do in Haifa? Do you recommend taking a tour or can you do it on your own? Any recommended tours?

 

thanks!!

Melissa

What Ship and Date??  We Cancelled our cruise in 2021, because Israel is still closed to Tourists due to Covid in 2021.  

 

A few of us on our Roll Call determined it did NOT look likely to re open this year and Ncl was not being honest with information, as they still have Ports and Excursions listed for sale with no indication of possible non-entry into Israel for this cruise. If Israell does open to cruise tourists it was the consensus that it would be "Bubble Excursions"; ie. Italy,  and that is not what we signed up for.  So, we cancelled our B2B, very disappointed.

 

Some in our group have re-booked for a similar cruise in April , but we are looking at a Northern Europe for May.

 

Good Luck and Stay Well, hope you have a wonderful cruise.

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  • 1 month later...

Guided Tours Israel did a customized tour for our group of 12 that included: Akko (Acre, the Crusader Fortress), Baha'i Gardens, Caesarea Maritima, and a short stop at the aqueducts. We never felt rushed and had a lovely lunch in Acre. Highly recommended. From Haifa.

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the info!! We are scheduled to use Guided Tours Israel to go to Akko, Safed,  Sea of Galilee and Kibbutz but if there aren't enough people for the tour then it won't go. So if we go to Akko (Acre) on our own what is the name of the train station in Haifa? Is it worth going into Haifa at all? I was thinking of going first to Akko and then to bahia gardens in Haifa on our return. Is there anyway to go on our own from Akko to Safed?

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7 hours ago, meliss35 said:

Thanks for the info!! We are scheduled to use Guided Tours Israel to go to Akko, Safed,  Sea of Galilee and Kibbutz but if there aren't enough people for the tour then it won't go. So if we go to Akko (Acre) on our own what is the name of the train station in Haifa? Is it worth going into Haifa at all? I was thinking of going first to Akko and then to bahia gardens in Haifa on our return. Is there anyway to go on our own from Akko to Safed?

 

 

Bat Galim train station in Haifa is very close to the port - mebbe a 5 minute walk from the port gate.

Ask for directions in or just outside the port, using your best Hebrew or Arabic or sign laguage.

But start by asking in English - it's quite widely-spoken.

 

Trains are frequent enough not to worry about timetables, and the journey time is about 20 -25 minutes.

Cards probably accepted, but we had shekels.

Inexpensive, comfortable & simple.

 

Akka train station  is much less convenient for old town & the fortress.

Outside the station we crossed the main street at the roundabout (traffic island,? traffic circle?) & walked down the street opposite (Herzl St) & kept going for about a mile to the sea-front, where after a seafront beer we turned left to walk along the seafront  for about half a mile to old-town.

In other words we walked two sides of a square, but the shorter route is complicated & we didn't have a map.

The fortress was a bit disappointing - it has a museum but most of it is a restricted military area.

The old town beyond is a very interesting maze of alleys, be sure to go thro the Templars' Tunne, also find your way to the harbour.

 

Sorry, can't help with Safed,.

Consider renting a car ? - we've done that in Israel, very easy

 

JB 🙂

 

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3 minutes ago, John Bull said:

 

 

Bat Galim train station in Haifa is very close to the port - mebbe a 5 minute walk from the port gate.

Ask for directions in or just outside the port, using your best Hebrew or Arabic or sign laguage.

But start by asking in English - it's quite widely-spoken.

 

Trains are frequent enough not to worry about timetables, and the journey time is about 20 -25 minutes.

Cards probably accepted, but we had shekels.

Inexpensive, comfortable & simple.

 

Akka train station  is much less convenient for old town & the fortress.

Outside the station we crossed the main street at the roundabout (traffic island,? traffic circle?) & walked down the street opposite (Herzl St) & kept going for about a mile to the sea-front, where after a seafront beer we turned left to walk along the seafront  for about half a mile to old-town.

In other words we walked two sides of a square, but the shorter route is complicated & we didn't have a map.

The fortress was a bit disappointing - it has a museum but most of it is a restricted military area.

The old town beyond is a very interesting maze of alleys, be sure to go thro the Templars' Tunne, also find your way to the harbour.

For Haifa's  Bahia Gardens take a taxi to the top.

But beware, the gardens are closed during / after heavy rain because the paths are slippery as hell.

3 minutes ago, John Bull said:

 

Sorry, can't help with Safed,.

Consider renting a car ? - we've done that in Israel, very easy

You could build in the top of Bahia Gardens, and the Sea of Galillee, or perhaps the Golan Heights

 

JB 🙂

 

 

Edited by John Bull
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Also, I see that Bahia Gardens is closed when we will be there because it is a Monday. If we took a taxi to the top of Bahia Gardens, will we get a view of the gardens and Haifa? Also, what is the best way to get around Haifa?

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6 hours ago, meliss35 said:

Also, I see that Bahia Gardens is closed when we will be there because it is a Monday. If we took a taxi to the top of Bahia Gardens, will we get a view of the gardens and Haifa? Also, what is the best way to get around Haifa?

 

We've only ever rented from Ashdod, but a number of worldwide brands, including Hertz, Avis, Europcar, Budget are all just a short taxi ride from Haifa port. And there's one called Suncar (I don't know them) within a 15 mile walk.

Parking in Israel is like elsewhere in the world, a pain in the centre of big cities but no worries  in most small towns. Akko is by far the biggest you seem to have in mind & altho much of the old city is alleyways with no traffic we didn't notice any parking grief there - and there's a free parking lot on the seafront near the citadel.

 

You'll get a great view of Haifa and at least the top portions of the gardens from the road across the top of the Bahia Gardens 

https://goo.gl/maps/TJdw4KraTVyMTbUM8 

We took a taxi to the top, were only able to stroll the first section due to the aforesaid wet & slippery paving, and walked back down to town using the roads alongside.

 

JB 🙂

Edited by John Bull
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I have a question for those of you who have been to the Haifa port.

we disembark in Haifa and we have a private tour guide who is going to pick us up and do a tour on our way to hotel. He is not allowed to come into port so he has said to disembark get luggage and go through security and exit port and he will meet us. My question is my husband and I are 76 and we will have large baggage so not sure we can manage all our bags to port exit. How far is that and are there porters there to take luggage to exit?

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12 hours ago, jhenry1 said:

I have a question for those of you who have been to the Haifa port.

we disembark in Haifa and we have a private tour guide who is going to pick us up and do a tour on our way to hotel. He is not allowed to come into port so he has said to disembark get luggage and go through security and exit port and he will meet us. My question is my husband and I are 76 and we will have large baggage so not sure we can manage all our bags to port exit. How far is that and are there porters there to take luggage to exit?

 

 

There's a cruise terminal and berthing for three mid-size ships on the cruise quay.

It's only a short walk from the terminal to to a road bridge (with sidewalk)  over the main road. On the far side of that bridge there are steps and an elevator down to the main road - I think that's as far as you'd have to walk.

I've also seen a cruise ship berthed further to the west, on a mole - but I don't know whether it was "in service"..

 

The above from memory.

But its impossible to verify that because there's no google street-view anywhere near the port, and the birds-eye view is poor quality and with no cruise ships in port at the time. 

https://goo.gl/maps/Zbh7Kf7YSW1ZU2Xz8

 

But I did find this website and video of the cruise port.

https://www.haifaport.co.il/en/terminal/

 

I suggest you ask your driver for directions to meet up with him/her.

And swap cell-phone numbers.

 

Good luck

 

JB 🙂

 

 

 

 

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On 12/15/2021 at 6:10 PM, meliss35 said:

. So if we go to Akko (Acre) on our own what is the name of the train station in Haifa?

 

Oooops - by naming the station I was trying to be too clever. 🙄

I gave you the name of central station as Bat Galim.

Wrong

Its name is Haifa Merkaz Hashmona station.

But just ask for central station.

It's close to the steps/elevator mentioned in my reply to jhenry above.

Useful little video too

 

JB 🙂

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  • 5 weeks later...

I don't know which cruise you're on, but we're on a cruise on Oceania in May that is scheduled to visit both Haifa and Ashdod.  Of course at this point I'm wondering if it will go to Israel.  Now Israel is open, but with some slightly complicated testing requirements for people flying there.  But I don't know if the requirements apply to cruisers, or different ones are applied, or what -- and what might happen in May.  Some countries seem to have their own rules for cruises.  But I did notice that Oceania (I think it was) just had to reroute their world cruise, and Israel is on the current itinerary, so that sounds hopeful to me in terms of people being able to go there -- unless, of course, the Covid testing requirements stand in the way.  I need to go back and see when Oceania is expecting to visit Israel.  It is probably in the next couple months, however. 

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