There are many unexpected treats to be found in this historic Crusader city on the Mediterranean coast.

Around 3000 BCE, the Bronze Age, saw the first settlement of Acre. Romans, Ottomans, Crusaders, Mamelukes, Byzantines, and British soldiers have all trod on its cobblestones over the centuries. A diverse community of 48,000 people, including Muslims , Jews, Christians, Druze, and Bahá’s, live there now. 

The ancient city of Akko, sometimes called Acre, is a turning point in the history of the Land and a significant historical site. From a historical perspective, Akko is undoubtedly considerably more crucial and significant than other cities. Numerous civilizations, including the Byzantines, British, Crusaders, Mameluke, Ottomans, and Romans, have influenced the history of Akko. Today, Jews, Christians, and Muslims all live in Akko, making it a melting pot of cultures and religions. One of the most important and historic locations is the Old City of Akko, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Enchanted Garden and Visitors’ Center

The ficus trees that cover most of the Enchanted Garden have roots that extend both below and above. To buy tickets for several of Akko’s attractions, including your first visit, the excavated Crusader city, proceed from the courtyard to the Visitors’ Center.

Knights Halls

On top of the remnants of a Crusader fortification from the 12th century, the Ottomans constructed the Hospitaller Fortress/Knights Halls in the late 18th century. It is now a museum that draws people in. During the crusader era in the 12th and 13th centuries, this fortress and the nearby structures served as a hospice and a hospital for the numerous pilgrims who traveled to the Holy Land.

Underground Prisoners Museum

Walk toward the former British prison, also known as the Underground Prisoners Museum, after emerging into the daylight. Jews who fought against the British to create modern Israel were detained here by the British in the 1900s, along with common criminals. The Hanging Room, where the jail cells are visible, also features a still-present and unsettling gallows.

The Shuk (outdoor market)

Shops offering everything from spices to baklava and kanafeh sweets, as well as traditional and contemporary clothing, can be found in this maze of historic passageways.

The shuk has no addresses, yet it is impossible to go lost. The stores are located in alcoves and are staffed by salespeople who are always willing to converse with customers as they scoop out dry beans, bay leaves, roasted coffee beans, and za’atar (hyssop) from burlap sacks.

If traveling makes you hungry, eat hummus. It’s only one of the hummus places that made Akko famous. Additionally, bakery with a wood-burning oven.

Cooking with local women

Try participating in a cooking class with a local person to discover the regional flavors and learn how to prepare food. You may take a shuk tour at Beit Elfarasha (the Butterfly House) and then prepare a delectable supper.

Time out for a prayer

There are three noteworthy houses of worship nearby that are worth visiting: a mosque, a synagogue, and a church.

The Ottoman pasha, or administrator, of Akko, Ahmed Ja’azaar or Al-Jazzar, constructed the Al-Jazzar Mosque on the ruins of Crusader structures and a previous Christian church in 1784. It reminds me of some of the structures in Istanbul.

A 10-minute walk from the Old City is the Or Torah Synagogue, which features stunning stained-glass windows. Small stones from all across Israel were used to build its dome, resulting in mosaics that tell stories from the Bible, from the country of Israel, and about Jewish history.

The Saint George Greek Orthodox Church was constructed in the 17th century while Ottoman rule prevailed.

Treasures in the Wall Museum

The Ottoman pasha Al-Jazzar constructed massive fortifications and an inner sanctuary to shelter the Turkish garrison following Napoleon’s attempt to seize the city in 1799. Today, the Treasures in the Wall Museum, an ethnographic museum devoted to the city’s legacy of craftsmanship, occupies this inner sanctuary.

The museum has been designed to resemble a Galilean village, complete with a blacksmith, potter, pharmacy, and even a dentist. Children’s books and games are among the intriguing commonplace items from the early 1900s.

Bahá’í Gardens

The tranquil, shaded Bahá’ Gardens are located 10 minutes’ drive north of Akko.

This location is a hidden treasure that surrounds the ancient residence of Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the faith, in contrast to the more well-known Bahai Gardens in Haifa. Baha’u’llah spent 12 years living here and is buried here.

There is no entrance charge and no need to make reservations, but attendees should dress accordingly.

The Port

Who was here before you, guess? Mark Antony, the Spanish-Jewish explorer Benjamin of Tudela, Marco Polo, and Queen Cleopatra all traveled here. In 527–525 BCE, Cambyses II of Persia had hundreds of ships bringing troops, horses, and supplies as he sailed out to conquer Egypt.

Fishermen are still working at Akko Port. The port is at the end of the shuk, and a quick boat ride through the harbor will give you an idea of the region’s maritime heritage.

Extreme Park

Visit the Extreme Park in the more recent section of Akko if you haven’t got enough thrill already. Its 32-foot-tall climbing wall is equipped with a large number of French-made grips.

A kid-friendly 10-story bungee leap and a 90-meter omega (zipline) the length of a football stadium are located at the top of the outer climbing wall.



The Old City Shuk

The town’s main marketplace, the Old City Shuk of Akko, is a bustling bazaar with lots of fresh and inexpensive goods including spices, food, and trinkets. This shuk is a lovely location to locate textiles and trinkets, as well as the ideal location to purchase an original present to carry with you. It is wonderful to meander around this area and take in the old streets, local vendors, and ancient and middle eastern ambience of the marketplaces.

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