(Last updated on: 02/04/2020)
Akko is the local name of Acre, a city in the Northern District of Israel. Being a port city with plenty to see, it’s a popular destination for tourists and we visited as part of our tour through Israel. Read on to find out more about visiting Akko.
How to get to Akko
If flying internationally, Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) in Tel Aviv is the best option. It is the main international airport in Israel, and the busiest in the country. At around 103km from Akko, it is the closest main airport to the city.
Other airports do service the area. However, most of these are for domestic flights only. You can fly to Ben Gurion from Manchester, Newcastle, London, Paris, Stockholm, New York and other cities around the world.
Getting to Akko from the airport is easy. There are trains running regularly from the airport directly into the city itself. The trains are operated by Israel Railways; you can plan your journey online, and download their app to assist when travelling.
Buses also run from Haifa, Carmel and Nazareth to Akko. If you are travelling around Israel, this is an ideal way to get to Akko. During our trip we combined Haifa and Akko into one day and it worked perfectly.
There are also taxis that run from Haifa to Akko if you are planning a day trip. They are often just as a cheap – if not cheaper – than the bus. However, they can be difficult to flag down if you don’t speak or read much Hebrew. Ask the locals for some help if need be!
Read also: Visiting Mitzpe Ramon: A complete guide
Things to do in Akko
There is a lot to do in Akko. You are best trying to fit it into a few days, or narrowing down the things you really want to see and do. There are organised day trips that can take you to the best places in Akko and the surrounding areas but if you want to do it yourself, here are some things to do in Akko…
Landmarks to see in Akko
The Citadel of Acre (Akko) is one of the most impressive buildings in the area. Well lit so you can see everything inside the tunnels, with an audio guide to tell you everything you need to know, the Citadel was built by the crusaders over 700 years ago and is a popular tourist landmark today.
Akko Light, the Acre Lighthouse, was built in 1864. It offers stunning views of the area, and tends to be quieter than other areas.
Al-Jazzar Mosque is worth a visit. Built under Turkish rule in the 1700s, it offer a peaceful atmosphere for visitors. Remember to dress appropriately when visiting a mosque.
The Or Torah Synagogue is always a hit with visitors. The outside is fairly unassuming, but inside is decorated entirely in mosaics.
Other things to do in Akko
The old town itself is definitely something you’ll want to see. With the Levantine Sea lapping at old brick architecture and colourful market stalls selling everything you could ask for, the old town has plenty to offer if you want to spend an afternoon wandering around.
Visiting the Rosh HaNikra Grottoes makes for a once in a lifetime experience. The steepest cable car in the world will take you down to the grottoes. These are basically sea caves. However, the water is bluer than blue and it is fascinating natural phenomenon that will leave you awestruck.
Where to eat in Akko
If you’re staying in the city, you’ll need to eat. Here are some of the best restaurants in Akko for different tastes and budgets…
Affordable food in Akko
Hummus Said is heralded as having the best hummus in the area. The hummus is fresh, filling and tasty as well as being cheap. This place gets busy, so get there early if you want to try it for yourself.
Falafel Arafe serves simple hearty food, and is where a lot of the locals eat. There’s a shaded outdoor seating area, too. There’s often a queue, but it moves quickly so don’t let it put you off!
Read also: Visiting Masada: Everything you need to know
Beshtawe Sweets is popular for kunafa. For an affordable treat, it comes highly recommended by locals and tourists alike.
More upmarket food in Akko
Alto Rural Dairy Farm serves exception cheese-based meals all day. You can try goat milk ice cream, goat milk cappuccinos and more – it’s a family run business that is well worth a visit if you’re into your cheese! A great place for breakfast, too.
Dalal offers seafood and other Israeli and Mediterranean dishes. With a cool atmosphere and tasty food, it’s the perfect option for dinner.
Where to stay in Akko
Depending on your budget and what you’re after, there are plenty of places to stay in Akko. From backpacker hostels to boutique hotels, here are some of the best places to get your head down in the area…
HI – Akko Knights Hostel is incredibly central. A 5 minute walk from the aforementioned Citadel and just 15 minutes from the beach and the port, there is free WiFi, air conditioning, parking, a sun terrace and more.
Eco Akko is a hostel with pod style bunks and an incredible roof terrace. It’s affordable with free WiFi, available parking and even board games to help you meet fellow travellers.
The Efendi Hotel is luxurious and well located. 100 yards from the promenade and a 10 minute walk from the beach, the modern rooms all have stunning views and beautiful decor. There’s free WiFi, spa facilities, various activities and much more.
Akotika Boutique is small and stunning. Some rooms even have a private pool! The rooms are made up of old brick and neutral colours, a perfect clash of old and new.
Akkotel-Boutique Hotel offers traditional rooms with vaulted ceilings and beautiful views. With airport transfer services, an on-site coffee house, a library and more, it’s a great choice for something special.
For a complete list of accommodation options available for your travel dates, use the map below.
So there you have it – a complete guide to visiting Akko, Israel. It is a beautiful city with so much to offer to tourists, historians and locals alike.