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Getting There

By Train-The New Central Railway Station is in Bat Galim, near the Central Bus Station, in the southern part of the city. There are two other railroad stops in Haifa, so check which stop will be most convenient to your hotel. From Tel Aviv: Trains along the coast to Netanya and Haifa leave approximately every hour from 5:45am to 7pm, Sunday through Thursday; the last Friday train leaves at 2pm; there’s no Saturday service. The trip on the express train to Haifa takes 1 hour, while the local is 20 minutes longer. The fare is NIS 32. Service north from Haifa to Akko and Nahariya is available. Train information can be obtained by calling tel. 04/856-4564 or going to www.rail.co.il.

By Bus-The Egged Bus Terminal, with intercity buses to and from all points in Israel, is next to the Central Railway Station in Bat Galim. From here, you’ll have to take a taxi or city bus to either of our recommended hotel districts in the German Colony or Central Carmel. Interurban bus information can be obtained by calling tel. 04/854-9555. For buses within Haifa, call tel. 04/854-9131.

By Car-Major highway networks connect Haifa with Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the Galilee. The main routes are Hwy. 2 and Hwy. 4 along the coast.

Visitor Information-The Haifa Information and Visitors Center, 48 Ben-Gurion Blvd. (tel. 04/853-5606; www.tour-haifa.co.il/eng. Sun-Thurs 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-1pm, Sat 10am-3pm) is located on the main street of the German Colony neighborhood far from most hotels, but it’s well organized and worth visiting.

Orientation

Think of Haifa as a city built on three levels. Whether you come by bus or train, you will arrive on the lower (or port) level of the city, dominated by Haifa’s shipping and transportation hub. This lower level also contains the German Colony that’s centered around Ben Gurion Boulevard, with charming restaurants and small hotels leading up to the dramatic Baha’I Center. The second level is Hadar, a downtown business area not too interesting for visitors. At the top of the Carmel Range, with panoramic views, is the Central Carmel District, a verdant residential neighborhood with its own busy commercial center built around Ha-Nasi Boulevard. Here you’ll find numerous hotels, restaurants, small museums, and two of Haifa’s brightest cultural beacons: Haifa Auditorium and Bet Rothschild (with its adjacent Haifa Cinematheque).

Note: Because Haifa is built up the side of a mountain, its main streets are sinuous switchbacks, curving and recurving like spaghetti to accommodate the steep slopes of Mount Carmel. If you’re driving, the streets are always bewildering, and you will find it hard to orient yourself. Just remember: In Haifa, the two directions are up or down. About the only straight road in Haifa is underground—the Carmelit Subway that connects each level and climbs like an escalator, directly up the slopes of the Carmel.

Getting Around

By Subway-The Carmelit is a fast and efficient means of getting up and down Haifa’s various levels. Its lower terminal station is located on Jaffa Road, a few blocks north of the port entrance and not far from the old (Merkaz) railway station. The Carmelit’s upper terminal is at the Carmel Center.

Pulled on a long cable up and down the steep hill, the Carmelit resembles a sort of scale-model Métro. From bottom to the top, the stops are: (1) Paris Square (Kikar Paris, lower terminus, port area); (2) Solel Boneh (Hassan Shukri St.); (3) Ha-Nevi’im (Hadar business district, tourist center); (4) Masada (Masada St.); (5) Eliezer Golomb (Eliezer Golomb St.); (6) Gan Ha-Em (Central Carmel business district, upper terminus). When you take the Carmelit, don’t panic—the incline is so great that the floors of the cars break into escalator-like steps.

Trains run every 10 minutes. The Carmelit operates Sunday through Thursday from 6:30am to midnight, Friday from 6:30am to 3pm, and resumes service on Saturday from 30 minutes after the end of Shabbat until midnight; it is closed during Shabbat. Ticket machines have English as well as Hebrew instructions. The fare is NIS 6.

By Bus-Bus fares are charged according to your destination, so you must tell the driver where you’re going. Most fares to places inside Haifa itself are NIS 6. Haifa’s municipal buses operate from 5am to 11:30pm Sunday through Thursday; on Friday, bus service halts around 4:30pm; there’s limited Saturday service from 9am to midnight on some lines. For info on buses inside Haifa, call tel. 04/624-8888. For interurban lines, call tel. 04/854-9555.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.