The Haifa cable car is the easiest way to get up the steep hill to the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery and by far the most fun. There are excellent panoramic vistas over the city and its major points of interest all the way up, making this an excellent activity for photographers. Even if you are not interested in visiting the monastery itself, the views from the lookout point at the top of the hill, across the sprawl of Haifa and out to the Mediterranean, are well worth the ride to the summit.
The Baha’i gardens are built on 19 terraces, beginning at the foot of the mountain and ascending towards its summit. The main axis points towards Acre, a historically and religiously important city to the Baha'i. At the center of the exceptionally beautiful and meticulously maintained gardens stands the Shrine of the Bab, the burial place of the religion's founder, whose golden dome illuminates the grounds. Various sections of the gardens are separated by gravel paths, trimmed hedges and flower beds, which are carefully tended to by a dedicated gardening team.
The gardens offer splendid views of the Haifa Bay, the Galilee and the Mediterranean. It is possible to tour independently, but for an enlightening experience, join the free guided tours (every day but Wednesday). Reservations are not necessary. As the Baha'i Gardens are a Holy place, visitors are asked to dress modestly, keep the place clean and respect its special character.
This university campus museum showcases engrossing archaeological finds such as well-restored mosaics and troves of ancient coins, but the pièce de résistance is the Ma'agan Mikhael Shipwreck, a 2400-year-old merchant vessel unearthed in 1985. Originally 12.5m long, the ship would have hauled 15 tons of cargo and has a rare one-armed wooden anchor.
Elsewhere, the art wing assembles mostly Impressionist and post-Impressionist works (part of founder Dr Reuben Hecht's own collection), including works by luminaries like Van Gogh and Modigliani.
Madatech Science and Technology Museum
This attraction is not just for kids! The museum offers exhibits covering topics from local fauna to green energy and flight simulators, as well as installations honoring the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein (who visited the museum in 1927), and Ilan Ramon.
The Madatech campus is housed in and around the original Technion university building, and has among its most popular attractions an outdoor sports science exhibit where visitors can experience the human yo-yo; the ‘The Dark Room’ which demonstrates the magic of lasers, plasma, light and electricity; and the magic room, which explains common tricks with science. The Cinematrix interactive theater is worth the extra entrance fee to experience the sights, smells, water effects and especially the built-in seat ticklers!
Ursula Malbin Sculpture Park
This lovely public park is full of gorgeous bronze statues and is a great place to relax after a morning of sightseeing. The statues were all made by German-born artist Ursula Malbin who lives part of the year in Israel. If you are travelling with children, they will love exploring the well-maintained trails through the park and peering at the quirky monuments. In the early evening, plenty of Haifa locals come here for a stroll so it is a great place for a spot of people watching and to check out local life.