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Haifa is one of Israel’s most important seaports, and is north of the country on the Mediterranean Sea. The city has about 270,000 inhabitants (2010), while the metropolitan area has a population of nearly 1 million.
Haifa’s population is representative of the five religions – Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze and Baha’i. There is still a widespread tolerance between the different religious communities here.
Haifa is the region’s cultural, commercial and industrial center, and also has two universities, great parks, museums, shopping centers, beaches and a diverse nightlife.
The city is located on the south side of Haifa Bay – at the foot of Mount Carmel (which is 546 meters high). The mountain has lush vegetation, and has been declared a National Park. At Mount Carmel is also Báb sanctuary – which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is also the French-Catholic convent “Stella Maris” from the 1200s.
Haifa has also many important museums – including an immigration and maritime museum, a science museum, an art museum and “Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art” – which is a great museum with exhibits of Japanese art.
The city also has a zoological and botanical gardens and beautiful miles of sandy beaches slightly southwest of the center.
Nearest international airport is Ben Gurion International Airport, which is located 110 km south of Haifa (by city Tel Aviv ).