Downtown is being revitalized, attracting many residents and visitors
Downtown, which in the past used to be Haifa’s commercial and cultural center, has experienced in recent years a revitalized renaissance and attracts many visitors and tourists.
In the past Haifa’s Downtown was the home of many leading business centers in the city, however, over the years the area has been neglected for various reasons. The residents climbed up Mount Carmel toward the various Hadar Carmel neighborhoods. Businesses moved their activity accordingly. The shops and commercial centers moved to places with more easy access and parking in order to remain accessible to their customers. Nevertheless, in recent years there is an extensive development trend in the framework of which a real attempt is being made to bring the businesses and residents back to the Downtown neighborhood, and it appears that achievements can already be counted.
The businesses return to the Downtown area
The court houses, as well as the various government offices returned their activities to the Downtown area situated in new and impressive buildings, integrating into the port scenery and atmosphere existing in the area. Hanamal street has been renovated currently serving as the Port Campus pedestrian-street where you may find many restaurants, art galleries and more. New education institutes and extensions of leading institutes settled in the area, attracting many students back to the Downtown area. The young and revitalized renaissance brought back the night life to the area and dozens of pubs, cafes and restaurant attract many swingers from all over the city.
Nowadays, Downtown enjoys a construction boom in the framework of which additional dormitories are being built for the increasing number of students in the area and various sites are being renovated for the welfare of the residents and tourists visiting the area. The Turkish Market, inaugurated in 1923, located between HaAtmaut Street and Yaffo Street downtown, used to be a colorful and humming market, and similar to many places in the area was neglected and deserted over the years. Haifa Municipality decided to reconstruct the Turkish Market and turn it into a recreation, commerce and residence demarcated area, where you may enjoy a pedestrian street, farmers’ market, shops, cafes, as well as several hotels that are about to be built in the area.
Faisal Square gained its name as a gesture to the King of Iraq, Faisal I, whose body was transferred from Switzerland to Iraq via Haifa Port. The original location of the square was changed due to the development boom in the area and currently it constitutes the connecting point between Pal-Yam Street, HaAznaut Street, Khativat Golani Street and Kibbutz Galuyot Street. In the square there is a Memorial King Faisal, and next to it the Istiqlal Mosque (Mosque of Independence) and a Muslim cemetery. Kibbutz Galuyot Street leads to the Antique dealers in the area and on Saturdays there is a flea market attracting antique fans from all over the country.
Also Paris Square, where the Carmelit station is located, was upgraded and currently offers its visitors a stroll along a lit and designed avenue, inspired by the Champs Elysees in Paris. Nearby the Carmelit Station an amphitheatre was built, serving to host out-door performances, and an artistic fountain. Several years ago the German Colony was also renovated and currently it is considered one of the city’s recreation centers attracting many youngsters and tourists, who enjoy dozens of cafes and restaurants, with the spectacular view of the Bahá’í Gardens as their background.
Downtown is the home of many additional sites, among them the Israel Railway Museum, where you can be impressed by the wide variety of displays revealing the history of trains in Israel ever since the first line was inaugurated in 1892 and to date. The Beit Dagon Museum teaches you about the forms of handling grain seeds since ancient times and to date, and more. In the Haifa City Museum in the German Colony you can enjoy temporary exhibitions documenting the history of the city from various aspects.
A short walk from the Carmelit Station
This is, of course, only a partial list and you may enjoy additional variety of attractions Downtown, all within a walking distance from the Carmelit Paris Square Station, situated within a walking distance from the “Shmona” train station downtown.