Three Reasons Why Haifa is Israel’s Hippest Hidden Gem
Haifa is so much more than the Bahai Gardens - Find out why!
Haifa, Israel’s third city, is largely ignored by tourist populations. Yet, the northern sea-side metropolis has experienced a recent, hip rebirth, thanks to the city’s student population, government initiatives and coexisting Israeli and Arab populations. All of this makes Haifa Israel’s hippest, albeit less-known hotspot for local and visiting young adults and the young at heart.
Here are three reasons why Haifa is Israel’s hippest hidden gem:
1. Shop till you drop on Masada Street
Masada Street in Haifa’s Hadar neighborhood is the city’s secret hipster shopping hotspot. Easily accessible via public transportation, the street is full of trendy boutiques hawking vintage and antique wares. The whimsical atmosphere extends to the street’s unique coffee shops, each serving up spectacular Middle Eastern delicacies and teeming with Jewish, Muslim and Christian students and young adults.
2. Party all night at a local pub or nightclub
When thinking about a hopping nightlife, the first city that comes to mind probably isn’t Haifa, but don’t discount the port city altogether. While less-known for its nightclubs, pubs and brasseries, Haifa is home to some hipster hotspots, where the music blares and the liquid libations flow. Tzafririm, one of the hottest local bars, offers a progressively delectable cocktail and dinner menu and tends to be filled to capacity. Or, visit Tichon, where signs of Israeli-Arab coexistence are deeply felt during exciting live music acts from both cultures. Seeking a more “mature” happy hour environment? Check out Hasandak, a legendary local pub built in a railroad-car structure along the city’s train tracks, where cool mugs of beer quench the thirst of patrons munching on the pub’s famed sausage platters.
3. Experience the city’s avant-garde artistic boom
Once run down, Haifa’s old Turkish market has been completely overhauled and revived in an effort to rid the area of crime and create a cool leisure hub. Now known as Compound 21, the area is filled with artisanal shops and art galleries and is a hotspot for pop-up markets, street festivals, jazz music performances, movie nights, creative art workshops and more.
Another one of the city’s hip and hidden gems is a Monday night open paint studio, hosted by local artist, Shahar Sivan. While not for the more reserved visitors, this art workshop combines cocktail night with nude model painting, entertaining and educating those seeking a unique creative experience.
While Haifa has yet to be globally renowned as Israel’s trendy hub, the country’s third city is truly a hip, hidden gem. For those who have already toured the country with Birthright Israel, visiting Haifa and its funky shopping districts, modern eateries, hopping nightlife and unique artistic influences and witnessing its flair for Israeli-Arab coexistence remains a must for those seeking a phenomenally memorable experience.