During my recent visit to Tel Aviv, my friend Molly suggested that I travel to Akko for a day trip. Akko is located in the North of Israel, and easily accessible by train from Tel Aviv. Besides being a historically important city, Akko has beautiful sea views from the city walls. During the crusades, the city was called Acre, and there are remnants of the Templar Knights throughout the old city. For example, it is possible to walk through the Templars tunnel, and to visit the old Citadel and Knights’ Halls. I had planned to visit for a few hours but ended up staying longer because there was so much to see. Also, just outside of the city are the Bahá’í Gardens, where the most holy shrine of the Bahá’í faith is located. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to walk around.
- Bahá’í Gardens – the entrance is located on the north end
- Visit the Acre visitors centre to buy a ticket for many of the sites (49 NIS in May 2022)
- Acre Citadel and Knights’ Halls
- Templars Tunnel
- Hamam al-Basha Turkish baths
- Al-Jazzar Mosque
- City, Turkish and other markets in the narrow streets of the Old Town
- Ramhal Synagogue
- Sea wall promenade
Before you go
- Akko is sometimes also spelled Ako or Acre, depending on the map
- It is one of the oldest cities that has been continuously inhabited and has a long and significant history. You can learn a lot while walking around the sites but you may want to read ahead in advance
- As a port town, Akko is known for its fresh seafood
- The tourist places accepted credit card but you may want to bring cash for the smaller markets
- Akko is easily reached by train from Tel Aviv and takes about 1 hour 40 minutes via the Coastal route. You can buy a ticket at the machines with cash or credit card. I ended up buying a single out for 34 NIS in May 2022.
- The Old city is easily walkable
- To reach the Bahá’í Gardens, I walked about 30 minutes from Akko station. However, at some places along the route, there were no pavements so I was walking on the side of the road. The buses did not seem to run often in the direction but maybe a Gett or taxi would have been better
- I only went for a day trip from Tel Aviv so I don’t have a recommendation for where to stay
Akko is a port city, so it is known for its seafood. I had lunch at El Marsa restaurant near the port. They had a variety of foods with a focus on seafood. I’d never heard of Arabian Sea Megare fish before so I tried that. The server described it as a white fish with a texture like salmon, and that was quite accurate. It was cooked in a delicious sauce with potatoes and spinach.
Q: Do I need a tour guide?
A: No, it is easily walkable around the old city. There are also many tourist signs, and the sites themselves have good historic information. However, getting to the Bahá’í Gardens was not easy by foot. Most people I know who have been there have been on a tour bus.
Q: Do people speak English?
A: Yes most people speak English except maybe not some taxi drivers
Q: Is it a walkable city?
A: Yes the Old town is walkable from arrival at the rail station
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