Haifa’s location – between the Mediterranean Sea and the southern slopes of Mount Carmel – makes the city attractive. Thus, Haifa offers the best of hillside and seaside wonders that will surely leave travelers in awe.
Haifa’s most popular and visited tourist attraction is the majestic Baha’i Shrine and garden terrace. But there are other pieces of urban “greens” and other fun and relaxing spaces that locals and tourists alike will enjoy taking a breather from the hustle and bustle of Haifa’s city life. This article mentions only a few parks in the city of Haifa and the Haifa District:
1. Mount Carmel National Park
Where is the largest national park in Israel? It’s located right here in Haifa – the Mount Carmel National Park (also called Carmel Mountain National Park or Carmel National Park). The park extends over most of Mount Carmel’s mountain range, encompassing 10,000 hectares of different species of trees, such as cypress, eucalyptus, and pine. Within this park are over 250 archaeological sites inhabited by prehistoric humans beginning from 100,000 years ago.
The park’s nature reserves are dedicated to studying and conserving flora and fauna in the area. There are also walking paths, hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, a playground, a restaurant, and restrooms. For guests of Druze faith, a Druze hospitality center awaits them. It typically serves tea and Druze baked goods.
2. Louis Promenade
Louis Promenade is located on Mount Carmel’s slopes and at the top of the Baha’i shrine and gardens. It is one of the loveliest places to sit, walk, and see in all of Haifa. The promenade is pleasantly peaceful, offering the perfect place for walking, jogging, and basking in the warm Mediterranean sun.
Louis Promenade is conveniently located only minutes away from Haifa’s other attractions – museums, shops, restaurants, and hotels, such as the Nof Hotel, the Dan Panorama, and the Dan Carmel. It is also the perfect place to view the glorious sunset.
3. Technion Ecological Garden
Located in the world-renowned Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, the Ecological Garden is a 20-dunam (1,000 square meters) garden located near the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering on the Technion campus.
The garden was established in 1982 as part of Technion’s educational environmental center in which ecology and the environment can be studied and researched.
It consists of natural-growing and planted Mediterranean woods, acclimated nooks for plants, and several orchards of fruit trees. It also has a pool. Guests can visit the garden through educational tours and by attending workshops that deal with ecological and environmental matters, such as green construction, waste management and treatment, conservation of nature, water pollution, and water and energy saving.
4. Hecht Park
Hecht Park may be a relatively small seaside park, but it offers lots of things for every stressed-out city folk. It offers scenic and relaxing views of the Mediterranean Sea, grassy lawns, benches, walking and biking paths, and a playground. Its contemporary design for the playground and other installations makes this park different from the other urban parks in the area. Hecht Park is the perfect place to spend with the family on a fine day.
5. Sculptures Garden (Gan Hapsalim or Ursula Malbin Sculpture Park)
The Sculptures Garden (Gan Hapsalim) is perched on a hilltop that offers scenic vistas of the bay. The park features 29 different sculptures by Ursula Malbin, a Berlin-born artist (it is also known as Ursula Malbin Sculpture Park). Visitors can see and appreciate these sculptures as they stroll along the verdant lawns. These sculptures depict young people playing with balls, hoops, musical instruments, and animals. The park’s typical overall atmosphere is relaxed and serene, and the walking paths are lined with trees and shrubs. It remains one of Haifa’s hidden gems, so be sure to pay a visit to it when you are in the city.
6. Haifa Educational Zoo
Haifa Educational Zoo opened in 1949 at a nature reserve in Mount Carmel and underwent a major renovation in 2002. It is an ideal place for families visiting Haifa – it provides a relaxing but fun and enriching experience. This 35-dunam zoo houses animals in open-air habitats and hosts over 100 species of wildlife.
Haifa Educational Zoo is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Visitors are in for another treat – there’s a petting area where they can come in close contact with some of the animals… and take lots of selfies with them!
The zoo also has a botanical garden and an archaeology museum where guests can check out a collection of present-day excavations of the prehistoric ruins of burial grounds and ancient villages.
7. Hanging Bridge at Nesher Park
Located in the city of Nesher in Haifa District, the Nesher Park offers amenities such as picnic tables, playgrounds, trails, and an observation post. But the highlight is easily the narrow steel suspension bridge that runs along the treetops on Uri’s Trail. The hanging bridge hovers above the ravine cut by a seasonal river and stands 70 meters (230 feet) above the ground, which may pose a challenge for acrophobics. But if you are not of the faint of heart, you will be able to cross the bridge, stop for a while, and take in the scenic views of the park, the mountains, and the bay.
The bridge lies along the hiking trail leading through a forest of many trees: Israeli oaks, pine trees, Greek strawberry trees, and Mediterranean shrubs before arriving at the recreational area.