I remember this first time I visited Akko Israel some years ago. Walking through the cobblestone streets of the old city, I felt as though I had taken a step back in time. The city itself actually protrudes out into the Sea just north of Haifa. Spelled Acco by locals, this city was the former capital of the Crusader kingdom and the birthplace of the Bahai religion. This small town is now one of the country’s three World Heritage Sites.

Visiting Akko Israel

Acre (another common spelling) was traditionally considered to be a leading fishing port in the Middle East. Today it is mainly used by small fishing boats and a tourist friendly marina in addition to a large variety of things to see and do:

  • Small markets (Shuks) line the narrow stone streets.
  • Waterside restaurants – wonderful fresh fish caught daily by local fisherman. We had the St. Peters ( a local mild fish that I highly recommend)
  • An ancient Turkish bazaar now converted into an exclusive artists’ market, where you can have your portrait sketched or purchase original paintings.

the newly renovated turkish bazaar in the old city of acco

My Top Tips for Visiting Acco

  • Visit the newly renovated Turkish Bazaar – accessible through the old city. The narrow passage is alive with arts & crafts, jewelry, clothing and food stores.
    There are several coffee shops and small restaurants offering a range of delights.
  • Casually walk through the market that runs through the Old City from north to south – there are really intriguing narrow and winding paths.
  • If you are food lover like me, you will appreciate the thick aroma of sweet fragrant spices filling the air (I am getting hungry just thinking about it) If you like coffee, definitely try the Turkish coffee and baklava. Also, the freshly baked pita bread and freshly ground hummus.

the old harbor by roni g on flickr

Akko Israel offers something for the whole family; a fascinating history and glimpse of the past, lively upbeat festivals in the summertime, or maybe just a romantic evening stroll along the city walls overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean sea.

FYI: There are almost no real overnight accommodations in the city so plan day trips only. Although you can check our some of our top recommendations for Haifa Hotels located very conveniently close to  this ancient  city.

More about Northern Israel from Israel Travel Secrets.