While road-tripping around Israel I also had my sights on Haifa, a city located north of Israel and the third largest city after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. As we were staying in Shlomi, the drive was only about an hour if not less. With a population of a quarter of a million, you will find all religions living in harmony here. One religion, in particular, that takes the show in Haifa is the BaHai Faith. A monotheistic religion that emphasizes the spiritual unity of humankind – basically that we all have the same spiritual sources and comes from the same God, that all humans are equal, that diversity of race and culture are seen as worthy of appreciation and acceptance. I can’t argue with that.
If only we as people operated that way, the world would be far more peaceful today. Also considering that Israel’s population is mainly made up of Jews, it’s quite astonishing to find Bahai taking center stage in Haifa with the beautiful gardens on Mount Carmel. Among the many beautiful places to visit when backpacking in Israel. Nearly a million people visit the gardens each year, but the faith is still considered relatively new. Started by a Persian 200 years ago, spreading from Iran now with 7 million practitioners around the world today, it’s a shame that believers are still being persecuted in countries such as Iran and many others in the Middle East. The first leader of the faith was shunned by the Shia clergy and executed in less than 10 years of the movement starting.
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The efforts to increase fellowship were continued, which led to the name Baha’u’allah by Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri who also wrote to Pop Pious IX, Queen Victoria, Napolean III but he too was also banished to the Ottoman Empire’s most infamous prisons located in Akko(Arce). This was after fleeing from persecution in Tehran, Istanbul, Badgbad and with the conflict between the Babis(practitioners of Bahai faith) arising it also wasn’t long before the Ottoman authorities banished Bahais to Acre in Palestine(1868), the city is now part of Israel.
This is also another beautiful city I visited while I was in Israel. It is considered to be one of the world’s oldest cities to have been constantly inhabited and now seen as the birthplace of the Bahai faith. Each follower of the religion is required to make at least one pilgrimage to two of the most holy sites; in Haifa and Akko both of which are in Israel. I feel lucky to have visited both on this trip in addition to also visiting the Bahai Lotus Temple in India. To see this place, there are many tours leaving from Tel Aviv and many other spots in Israel. Check out Get Your Guide for tour options.
The Bahai gardens, now a UNESCO site, can be accessed either from the upper gate at Merkaz Carmel or the lower terrace at the Shderot Zionut. We approached from the top at Louis Promenade which also gives you panoramic views of Haifa. The Bahai Gardens are really unique and such a beautiful sight, featuring a staircase that ascends up the hill, with water features and a central terrace containing the golden domed Shrine of the Bab(founder of the faith). Some parts of the Garden are not accessible to tourists as they are considered sacred but amazingly tranquil. Beautiful colours giving you a sense of peace and harmony to be surrounded by such beauty.
I had both my boyfriend’s sister and brother giving me the tour of the city as one of them lives in Haifa. There are usually daily tours at 12pm in both English and Russian all free! In 45 minutes you are taken on a tour with 600 steps so comfortable shoes are a must. Getting to the Bahai Gardens and in and around the city is fairly easy as their are good bus transportation links throughout the city. I would recommend starting from the top and head down for the better views of the gardens.
Other Things to See and Do In Haifa
- Haifa Cable Cars
- Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, Haifa
- Haifa City Museum
- Hof Hacarmel Beaches in Haifa
- Madatech Science & Technology Museum, Haifa
- Bahai Gardens in Haifa
- Haifa’s German Colony
- Louis Promenade, Haifa
Tours and Trips In Haifa
Where to Stay In Haifa | Hotels and Hostels in Haifa
Wow ! Incredible photos!
Beautiful pictures!! The Baha'i faith is really something… In Delhi (India) we have a Baha'i Temple as well. It's one of the most peaceful places in Delhi and, in my opinion, the world.
Yeah I have seen pictures of that. Really beautiful.
You're always going to such beautiful places! This city looks gorgeous, and not at all how I'd pictured Israel, for some reason!
Yeah, amazingly beautiful.
Wow I wish I could travel there! Looks amazing!!
Lots of love, xx
Thanks Maria, you should definitely visit.
Stunning pictures as always! Absolutely LOVE that sign though, all sizes, all colours, all ages … wish more places had that attitude!
I know, when I saw that I just had to take a picture of it.
Loved reading about your travels, such beautiful photos too!
I remember seeing that temple when I was in Haifa more than thirty years ago, but I had forgotten how beautiful it was!
I am sure its still just as beautiful as you left it.
I love Haifa, the vibe is so different to the rest of Israel and this is definitely my most favourite place in Israel. Great post xx
Yeah I loved both Haifa and Jerusalem.
Floortje van Cooten
Brad Frankel - bahai gardens haifa dress code
I love your photos and loved the history, i was never aware of this and found it really interesting. Thank you!
Thanks Brad, glad you enjoyed them 🙂
wow what an interesting place with so much history! And your photos are stunning!
Yes! Was already looking forward to your Israel articles :)! Haifa looks like a charming city and love that sign!
Yeah, finally! Look out for my next post on Tel Aviv 🙂
Look at that sky, water . . and those colourful flowers! I can almost smell them now. Gorgeous photos!!
Hahaha glad you are enjoying the view 🙂
Haifa and the Ba'hai faith are sides of Israel that we never hear much about, so it's great to see a post from this angle. And your pictures are stunning!
Thanks! I totally wasnt expecting this at all. Beyond my expectations.
Thanks so much for linking up with us in #WeekendWanderlust – this is a really great article showcasing a spot that would be great to explore on a weekend trip!
We have never visited Haifa or Israel for that matter but after reading this it certainly looks like an attractive destination. Your pictures are awesome and it looks like a great, relaxing spot to just grab a coffee and then look over the beautiful city whilst pondering where you want to explore next.
Thanks Chris. Yep this is definitely a place to visit. There are cafes and restaurants at the bottom of the gardens with that view to boot.
Elena Nacheva - bahai gardens haifa opening hours
As always very beautiful photos, especially the last one! I would love to visit!
Thanks! Yeap when I saw it I knew I couldnt leave without capturing it.
Simply Alexandra bahai gardens haifa english tour
These photographs are so stunning! You look like you are having such a wonderful time! What an incredible view from the top! I think I'll just add every place you post to my list. 🙂 -Alexandra
Fantastic photographs! This museum looks exceptional! Thank you for sharing. Adding this to my future Rome list. 🙂 -Alexandra
Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things
Thank you! It really is a sight! I am sure you will enjoy your visit there.
City Sea Country
What a beautiful place. Looks like a steep and long stair up.
The coastal photos almost remind of Lebanon. I always thought of it being more of an arid region, but these pictures seriously correct my take–such a Mediterranean flair. The temple and grounds look so immaculately kept as well, it's amazing.
Yeah as they are so close to each other I am sure there are many similarities in not just the coastline but culture, food…too bad the similarities cant seem to unit this region.
Amy - bahai gardens haifa tickets
Gorgeous photos! And so interesting! We have a relatively active Baha'i community in my city but I never really knew what the religion was all about. Thanks for enlightening me!
Awesome! I learn something new from reading about travels from other bloggers. Glad to hear that folks learn something new from my travel tales.
The picture at the top is stunning…well actually all of them are! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful place.
Thanks Simone. Glad you're enjoying the pictures.
Bente Vold Klausen
Nice photos, I am sure you had a lovely visit. Just wondering if there is parking near bahai gardens haifa to make it easier to explore the rest of the city by car.
Thanks! Yep it was really an enjoyable trip.
Breathtaking photos. I'd love to visit this place someday!! The bahai temple and gardens in Haifa are just beaitiful!
I would go for the views alone. Amazing pictures and what a great day for a visit! I will definitely be adding bahai gardens Haifa tour to our Israel itinerary when we visit.
The were spectacular and a trip just for the view would be worth it!
Bob R - bahai shrine gardens haifa israel
Great views, those Bahai gardens Haifa aerial view are wonderful.
Fantastic photos! Now I know a lot more about Haifa and I've got itchy feet wanting to take me there 🙂
NomadHead – Your Guide to Gap Year Travel
Yep! Thats how I felt when I heard about them.
Wow your bahai gardens haifa pictures … and the views … stunning!
Thanks Rachel 🙂
Country Hopping Couple
I've been to Baha'i temple in Delhi and absolutely loved it. The calm atmosphere is something that we cannot find anywhere else. Haifa and the baha'i gardens are looking absolutely gorgeous. Look forward to reading more of Israel adventures from you. I wonder what the bahai gardens Haifa cost is?
I have heard about that. I will have to pass by when I visit Delhi.
These gardens are so spectacular! The views are incredible. I'm looking forward to reading more about your Israel trip! Is there a Bahai gardens Haifa dress code?
Amazing photos, btw. 🙂
Yeah it was a really beautiful sight, in addition to the sea view that formed a great backdrop.
Holy crap what a view! I don't think I'll ever leave that place! Do you know if there is a bahai gardens Haifa English tour?
hahaha and I didnt want to leave… 🙁
The Trusted Traveller
Amazing photos Bianca! That view is simple stunning. Would have to check bahai gardens Haifa opening hours to make sure I was their early for a sunrise shoot as this place just looks amazing.
Beautiful pictures again Bianca! 🙂 Israel is on the top of my list for next year, although my friends think I am mad. I guess they associate Israel with wars and religious conflicts and forget about the amazing country that it really is. Maybe I should send them over to your blog so they can see what Israel is like for themselves. Bahai gardens in Haifa Israel is definitely worth a visit I see.
Hahaha please bring them over! They sound just like my family. Some of there fears made it seem as if I just booked one way ticket to Kabul! Seriously, Israel is so beautiful. Very much like any Med country. There is so much effort to keep the peace there. Life seems as normal as living in London. Well, that's what it felt like when I was there.
Wow the gardens look absolutely amazing! And they look so peaceful too. I would love to spend an afternoon exploring them. Just need to make sure to check Bahai gardens Haifa opening times before visiting to reduce the risk of not being able to get in.
coffeetimesweety - bahai gardens in haifa pictures
Yet another reason to visit Israel. Your Bahai gardens in Haifa Israel photos are simply stunning!
Don't Forget To Move
These pictures are awesome! You really make us want to travel to Israel now! Great colors and compositions.
Haha that was the idea 😉 I am sure you will love it too.
The weather looks beautiful! It lent itself to beautiful pictures. Love the composition and aerial views.
Israel is definitely on my list. So much history!
Stunning view. Thanks for sharing this heaven on earth. Hopefully I'll be on pilgrimage this december to the Bahai holy places :). I'm so excited and I can't wait! It's a blessing to be a Baha'i – http://www.bahai.org
Such a beautiful place! Did you by any chance do the Bahai gardens Haifa tour?