The city of Acre (Israel) is located in the north of the state, in the Western Galilee. Its age is more than 5,000 years, and the history of the appearance has very deep roots. The inhabitants of Israel, even professing a different religion, believe that it was in this place that there were fields and pastures that God gave to Adam after he had expelled him from paradise. And the Israelis believe that the Flood “stopped” near the local places.
Acre was located in a strategically important place on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, at the intersection of international trade roads, and therefore the most important historical events often unfolded around it.
In the first half of the twentieth century, Acre began to quickly upset outside the walls, and the Old Town quickly turned into a center of tourism. It should be noted that not one knightly city on the planet has been preserved as well as the old Acre. Literally “crammed” with sights, Acre is a historical and architectural reserve of Israel, and since 2001 it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The new city, which surrounded the ancient walls, consists of 4 main parts: the area of the times of the British Mandate, the northern regions, the eastern quarters and the territory of the southern beach.
Today, Acre is the administrative center of Western Galilee, covering an area of 10.3 km². This city is inhabited by more than 48,000 people, and the composition of the population is rather complicated: 63% are Jews, 28% are Muslim Arabs, 3% are Christian Arabs.
Important! There are a lot of Arabs in Acre who regard any sloppy look as an appeal and begin to act actively. Therefore, the best way for the girls who came here alone is to become “not hearing and not seeing anything.” The girls accompanied by the man, as well as a group of tourists, have nothing to worry about in this sense. But such advice will be relevant: nowhere should you be late until late, and if you had to take a taxi in the evening, you must definitely ask the driver to turn on the counter (here they always try to count gullible tourists)!
The best sights of Acre
This bright distinctive city is very rich in attractions, and they are located not only on the surface of the earth, but also under it. Acre is a huge, powerful fortress, and at the same time, a small town with narrow cobbled streets, noisy bazaars. So, in order about the most significant sights of the city of Acre in Israel.
The massive wall surrounding the Old Town from all sides is one of Acre’s main attractions. Defensive fortifications (walls, towers, ditches with water) were built in 3 stages during the years 1750-1840. Currently, they are a kind of border between the two parts of Acre: the old and the new. You can climb the eastern wall, admire the sea views, take good photos as a keepsake of the trip to Israel and Acre.
Directly in the eastern wall is the ethnographic museum “Treasures of the Fortress Wall”, created to preserve the legacy of the Israelis. It is open Sunday-Thursday from 10:00 to 17:00, on Friday and other pre-holiday days – from 10:00 to 15:00.
You can see the fortress walls in a slightly different way than from land during a boat trip. Many boats depart regularly from the marina located at Leopld ha-Sheni St, Acre, Israel.
Near the current berths, the picturesque ruins of the ancient port have survived, which, according to scientists, are about 2,300 years old. As an important historical attraction, they are protected by UNESCO.
On the remains of the ancient harbor, the popular Pisa Port restaurant has been built, offering visitors freshly prepared seafood and magnificent views from the terrace. In the same place you can climb the southern city wall and go to the Migdalor lighthouse – this is also a local attraction, working since 1864.
Al-Jazzar Mosque (1745 pomtroyka) is the second in Israel in importance and size (Jerusalem Al-Aqsa and Kubbat al-Sahra in the first place). It is also known as White – the color of the walls visible from almost anywhere in the city.
The mosque is located in the courtyard, surrounded on three sides by walls. And these are not just defensive structures – 45 small rooms are equipped in them. Now most of these rooms are empty, and before students lived in them studying the Koran. In the courtyard there is another noteworthy attraction – a white marble sundial created in 1201.
Al-Jazzar Mosque is a place deeply revered by the Muslims of the city of Acre and all of Israel. The casket is stored inside the building, and in it is the hair from the beard of the prophet Muhammad. Every year, at the end of Ramadan, this sacred relic is carried out for worship of believers.
The White Mosque is located at : El Jazzar St, Akko, Israel. Entrance to the territory of religious attractions is paid.
Acre was a fairly wealthy city with established trading traditions. As confirmation of this, there are 4 guest houses for merchants who have been preserved on the territory of the Old Town since the XVI-XVIII centuries.
The largest, Khan al-Umdan, was built in 1784. The building has 2 floors, on the upper there were living quarters, on the lower – warehouses. A clock tower rises above the main entrance to the inn. The courtyard is very spacious, in the center is a well.
Khan al-Farangi (Farani), built by merchants from France, is the oldest of all. Tourists are only allowed into the courtyard, and the church and the Franciscan school are equipped in the building.
Khan Hashuarda meets its current visitors with new, very comfortable cafes and restaurants. There is also a historical attraction – the crusader tower (it is the only one that has survived to our times in its unchanged form).
The courtyard of Khan Hashun (20 mx 40 m) is surrounded by abandoned, destroyed buildings.
According to tourists who visited the city of Acre in Israel, one of the most beautiful local attractions is the Turkish bath. It was created in 1795, and was used for its intended purpose until 1948, until the war for the independence of Israel.
The room of the bathhouse is a summer dressing room, 4 passage rooms and a hot room. Walk-through rooms were used as a salon for massage and beauty treatments. Sauna and hot water pool – all this was in a hot room.
Currently, the bathhouse has been turned into a unique museum complex and is one of the main attractions of the Old Town. Visitors can see the beautifully preserved architectural beauty of the structure (mosaic floors, marble columns, pools, fountains, wall paintings), as well as the recreated atmosphere of a classic Turkish hammam.
But the most interesting thing that the museum offers tourists is a light and sound holographic performance, which allows you to plunge into the vibrant atmosphere of oriental baths. During an audiovisual performance, projections of paintings of the past are displayed on the walls and ceilings of the bathhouse, voices and other sounds are heard.
Hammam Al-Bash is located at : The Turkish Bazaar, Akko, Israel.
Paid entrance. You can visit this attraction at such a time:
- In summer: Saturday-Thursday – from 9:00 to 18:00, Friday and other pre-holiday days – from 9:00 to 17:00.
- In winter: Saturday-Thursday – from 9:00 to 17:00, Friday and other days on the eve of the holidays – from 9:00 to 16:00.
This historic building dating back to 1750 is located in the north of Old Acre, at the address: Weizman St 1, Akko, Israel.
The fortress, reaching a height of 40 m, has 4 wings – they surround the courtyard from all sides. In the east wing is a large ceremonial hall (35 x 40 m). In the south there is a refectorium decorated in an elegant Gothic style. The western wing has 2 floors, and there was equipped a barracks for soldiers. The north wing includes 9 halls of a long narrow shape (halls 1-6 are warehouses, 7-8 are a pool for collecting rainwater, 9 are a corridor to the courtyard).
At the lowest level of the citadel is the refectory. The Refectory is a unique attraction: it is the only building of the type in the world in which the heavy Romanesque style harmoniously combines with the sophisticated Gothic.
There is also an underground tunnel in the citadel, which was built by the Persians. When the crusaders discovered this tunnel, they simply improved and extended it, thus connecting the northern fortress wall and the seaport.
Acre’s Crusader Citadel receives visitors at this time:
- In summer: Sunday-Thursday and Saturday – from 8.30 to 18.00, Friday – from 08: 30-17: 00.
- In winter: Sunday-Thursday and Saturday – from 8.30 to 17.00, Friday – from 08: 30-16: 00.
Only 2 km is separated from Acre Bahai Park – a landmark that can be considered the eighth wonder of the world. The best specialists worked on creating a magnificent landscape, and all the work here was carried out by residents of 90 countries, and only on a voluntary basis. Thanks to well-chosen plants and a complex irrigation system, the garden has a flowering appearance throughout the year.
Pilgrims come here from all over the world, professing a fairly young Bahá’í religion (founded by Bahá’u’lláh). In the center of the park is a temple-mausoleum with the tomb of Bahá’u’lláh – the place of worship of all his followers. The park also houses the former Bahá’u’lláh estate, and now houses the museum, which presents original manuscripts and books on the Bahá’í religion in different languages.
Baha’i Gardens are located at : Bustan HaGalil, Israel. You can get from Acre by bus number 271 – Bustan HaGalil stop at the north entrance.
- The territory of the park is open for visits daily from 9:00 to 16:00.
- The tomb of Bahá’u’lláh and the nearby terraces are available for visitors from Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 12:00.
- The entrance is free.
- Every day, except on Wednesday, excursions are held in the park.
Beaches in Acre
In Acre, all the beaches are sandy, with a comfortable gentle entry into the water. The most famous in the city are Tmarim and Argaman.
“Argaman” is a city beach, but for foreign holidaymakers the entrance to it is paid (5 shekels). On the territory there are free toilets and open showers, rental of sunbeds and umbrellas is possible.
The beach “Tmarim” is private, belongs to the hotel. Only hotel guests can freely visit it, everyone else has to pay for the opportunity to relax on its territory. The main attraction of this beach is the famous club “Palm Beach”.
Accommodation Options in Acre
In order to find a vacation home in Acre, there are usually no problems. Both in the historical center and in new areas there are many hotels, apartments, hostels – there is a choice for every wallet. The old town offers small, cozy hotels, and those who like to be in the center of human fuss prefer to settle in new areas. Since Acre is quite compact, it’s not too long to get to the main attractions of the historical center from new buildings – a maximum of 15 minutes (if not on foot, then by bus).
Fans of antiquity may like this kind of housing on the streets of the Old Town:
- Akko Gate Hostel is only 150 meters from the sea, 10 minutes walk to the railway station and port. Room costs 307 shekels.
- The Arabesque Arts & Residency Center in Old Acre is located in the heart of the old buildings. Room rate – from 645 shekels.
- Located on the ramparts of Akko, Akkotel-Boutique hotel features a rooftop terrace with stunning views. The embankment is only 50 m, to the yacht marina – 5 minutes on foot. Prices start at 600 shekels.
- The luxurious The Efendi Hotel is 100 meters from the promenade. All rooms are suites from 1,455 shekels.
In the new part of Acre are popular:
- Dream Apartment by the sea is 1.6 km from the Old Town. There you can settle for 500 shekels.
- Sea Haven apartment with two separate bedrooms is just 500 meters from the historic city center. The bedroom costs 780 shekels.
- Zarqa Luxury Suites is just 700 meters from the Old Town. Prices start at 770 shekels.
All prices are per night for a double room in the summer season of 2019.
Weather conditions: when is it better to come
Of course, the location in the north of Israel in a certain way affected the weather conditions inherent in the city.
In summer, in Akko, the air temperature is about +30 ℃, often the thermometer mark reaches +35 ℃ and even +40 ℃. The water temperature in the sea in summer is kept at +28 ℃. It keeps warm for a long time in autumn, only at the end of October – beginning of November it gradually starts to cool.
In winter, the temperature is usually + 12 ℃. But due to constant rains and cold winds, this temperature does not bring comfort. In March, the air begins to warm up to +19 ℃, and spring comes in Acre, as in all of Israel.
The peak of the tourist season is summer, ideal for a lazy holiday on the golden sands by the turquoise sea. Spring and autumn, when you need to constantly hide from the scorching sun, are the most comfortable time for exploring local attractions.
How to get to Acre
It is impossible to get to the small city of Acre directly from the CIS countries. The best and most convenient option is to fly to Ben Gurion Airport, and from there go to Acre.
There is a train station on the ground floor (S) of Terminal 3 of the airport. From there, trains run around the clock to the Akko-Tsentr (Merkaz) station around the clock with a frequency of 25-55 minutes. The trip takes about 2 hours. The ticket costs 44 shekels, it can be purchased at the box office or ticket machine at the railway station.
Just keep in mind that Shabbat operates in Israel – on Friday the last train from the airport leaves in the morning, and the next flight only early in the morning on Sunday. You can always see the exact timetable on the Israel Railways website: www.rail.co.il/ru.
Trains from Tel Aviv go from several stations: ha-Hagan, ha-Shalom, Merkaz-Tsentralnaya, and Universitet. They follow each other along the train, the time difference is about 5 minutes. Trains leave at the same frequency as from the airport, only the road to Acre will be shorter – an hour and a half. The ticket price from Tel Aviv is 35.5 shekels, regardless of the departure station. Tickets are sold at the railway station at the box office and in a special ticket machine.
By bus from Tel Aviv to Acre you can only get with transfers. The journey begins at the Ha-Hagan Central Bus Station – bus number 845 leaves at intervals of 30-50 minutes. You need to change at the Perekrestok Amiad stop, onto buses No. 500 or No. 503 (run in 15-30 minutes). Only 1 hour on the road – and the final stop is “Central Bus Station” in Acre (Israel). All this trip with transfers will cost 70 shekels.