Haifa is the largest city in the northern of the Holy land , and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 272,181.Haifa is situated on the Mediterranean Coastal Plain, the historic land bridge between Europe, Africa, and Asia. Located on the northern slopes of Mount Carmel and around Haifa Bay, the city is split over three tiers.The lowest is the center of commerce and industry including the Port of Haifa. The middle level is on the slopes of Mount Carmel and consists of older residential neighborhoods, while the upper level consists of modern neighborhoods looking over the lower tiers. From here views can be had across the Western Galilee region of Israel towards Rosh HaNikra and the Lebanese border. Haifa is about 90 kilometers (55.9 mi) north of the city of Tel Aviv, and has a large number of beaches on the Mediterranean.
Haifa is Israel's third-largest city, consisting of 103,000 households, or a population of 266,300. Immigrants from the former Soviet Union constitute 25% of Haifa's population. Haifa is commonly portrayed as a model of co-existence between Arabs and Jews, although tensions and hostility do still exist.
Between 1994 and 2009, the city had a declining and aging population compared to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as young people moved to the center of the country for education and jobs, while young families migrated to bedroom communities in the suburbs. However, as a result of new projects and improving infrastructure, the city managed to reverse its population decline, reducing emigration while attracting more internal migration into the city. In 2009, positive net immigration into the city was shown for the first time in 15 years.
Religious and ethnic communities
The population is heterogeneous. Jews comprise some 82% of the population, some 4% are Muslims and almost 14% are Christians (both Arab and non-Arab). Haifa also includes Druze and Bahá'í communities.
Haifa has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, rainy winters . Spring arrives in March when temperatures begin to increase. By late May, the temperature has warmed up considerably to herald warm summer days. The average temperature in summer is 26 °C (79 °F) and in winter, 12 °C (54 °F). Snow is rare in Haifa, but temperatures around 3 °C (37 °F) can sometimes occur, usually in the early morning. Humidity tends to be high all year round, and rain usually occurs between September and May. Annual precipitation is approximately 629 millimeters (25 in).
In 2005, Haifa had 13 hotels with a total of 1,462 rooms.The city has a 17 kilometres shoreline, of which 5 kilometres are beaches. Haifa's main tourist attraction is the Bahá'í World Centre, with the golden-domed Shrine of the Báb and the surrounding gardens. Between 2005 and 2006, 86,037 visited the shrine. In 2008, the Bahá'í gardens were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The restored German Colony, founded by the Templers, Stella Maris and Elijah's Cave also draw many tourists.
Located in the Haifa district are the Ein Hod artists' colony, where over 90 artists and craftsmen have studios and exhibitions,and the Mount Carmel national park, with caves where Neanderthal and early Homo Sapiens remains were found.
A 2007 report commissioned by the Haifa Municipality calls for the construction of more hotels, a ferry line between Haifa, Acre and Caesarea, development of the western anchorage of the port as a recreation and entertainment area, and an expansion of the local airport and port to accommodate international travel and cruise ships.
Haifa has over a dozen museums.The most popular museum is the Israel National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space, which recorded almost 150,000 visitors in 2004. The museum is located in the historic Technion building in the Hadar neighborhood.The Haifa Museum of Art houses a collection of modern and classical art, as well as displays on the history of Haifa.The Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art is the only museum in the Middle East dedicated solely to Japanese art. Other museums in Haifa include the Museum of Prehistory, the National Maritime Museum and Haifa City Museum, the Hecht Museum, the Dagon Archeological Museum, the Railway Museum, the Clandestine Immigration and Navy Museum, the Israeli Oil Industry Museum, and Chagall Artists' House. As part of his campaign to bring culture to Haifa, Mayor Abba Hushi provided the artist Mane-Katz with a building on Mount Carmel to house his collection of Judaica, which is now a museum. The Haifa Educational Zoo at Gan HaEm park houses a small animal collection including Syrian brown bears, now extinct from Israel. Wןthin the zoo is the Pinhas House biology institute. In the close vicinity of Haifa, on the Carmel, the Northern "Hai-Bar" ("wild life") operated by Israel's Parks and Reserves Authority for the purpose of breeding and reintroduction of species now extinct from Israel, such as Persian Fallow Deer.