VISIT OLD CITY AKKO WITH A PRIVATE DRIVER
As we coming closer to the end of the world pandemic and start heating our engines, in this article we are driving to Akko!
Israel is a very diverse country. Driving from south to north, you will experience the different landscapes, people, food, and atmosphere, and you will find many different leisure opportunities all over the country. Especially today, Israelis often prefer to spend a short vacation not abroad, but in another part of the country. Perhaps the most popular holiday destination in northern Israel, with cooler climates, marked hiking trails, organic farms, wine tours, and luxury Zimmers.
Today we want to tell you about one of the most exciting cities reachable with a private driver in the north of Israel, just 1.5 hours away from Tel Aviv, which is more than 4000 years old, the amazing old city Akko. The ancient part of the city resembles Tel Aviv Jaffa, but life in Akko is completely different: measured, colorful more conservative, some even call it "not Israeli". Acre went down in history as a city of the Crusaders - here was their main Middle Eastern "base" and the capital for almost 200 years.
What remains from the crusaders is a huge citadel, which must be visited, and an underground tunnel connecting the fortress with the port. Also, Alexander the Great, Marco Polo, and even Napoleon managed to visit here. In the 18th century, Akko came under the rule of a Turkish sultan pasha, who built a luxurious mosque here, a luxurious bathhouse (fully renovated today), and at the same time a "two-layer" fortress wall, thanks to which he defeated Napoleon's troops and left a significant mark on history.
Akko is also known as Acre to this day remains a predominantly Arab city. Everyone here speaks Arabic, women wear hijabs or at least headscarves, and men smoke hookah and drink strong coffee all day long. There is one more feature that you need to be prepared for in order not to be disappointed: the streets are rather dirty and the smell in the city is very specific, some people may call it authentic depends who you ask. On weekends and holidays, it is noisy and crowded since many people come to visit one of the only places open during Shabat, so if you want to relax in peace, it is better to come in the middle of the week. And, of course, take into account the conservatism of the local population: if you are a woman and do not want to attract too much attention, take modest clothes with you.
We have already gone through the local attractions of the Old City of Akko, and we will add only one detail -when arriving at Akko with your private driver buy a ticket that gives you access to all the main museums and attractions. This will save you some money. Speaking of money: bargain, bargain everywhere, the final price here (as in all of Israel) simply does not exist. In addition to the Old City of Akko, there is another very pleasant place in the district that is worth a visit - the famous Bahai Gardens.
Bahaism is a relatively a very young monotheistic religion based on equality of all races and religions. Their center is in the city of Haifa which you can visit on your way to Akko with your driver, and the founder of this teaching is buried in those Bahai Gardens in Akko. The gardens are a wonderful place for walking and, along the way, understanding and accepting tolerance: we have noticed that even the garden staff are divided into interracial couples.
Well, now about the main thing: where to eat in Akko! Israel is the middle east culinary capital and Akko is the perfect example! It is a coastal town and is famous for its fish and seafood. Everyone tired of observing kosher is probably coming here for sightseeing only. In any case, so that you know exactly where you can eat well, we will tell you about the three most famous restaurants in Akko and one more place - our personal recommendation.
It is in Akko that one of the best restaurants in Israel, Uri Buri, is located - the famous culinary temple. Outwardly, this is a very small and modest place, the status of which can only be guessed by the professionalism of the staff and the sophistication of the dishes (and by the price tag, of course). Chef Uri is a legendary person and very recognizable on the streets. He has managed to maintain a keen interest in his establishment for 27 years (since 1989). Uri Buri's calling card is the tasting menu: you tell the waiter about your taste preferences, and he brings out the appropriate dishes one by one until you say stop. The portions here are large enough, so you are immediately warned: take half at a time to taste more. Uri Buri is located on Hahagana Street, next to the lighthouse and the exit from the underground tunnels of Akko. The restaurant is open daily from noon to 11 pm, try to book your reservation ahead, if not we will be happy to help.
Everybody loves Hummus, this is the most famous dish in Israel, every place has its own recipe. While visiting Akko it is strongly recommended to stop at the famous Hummus place in the center of the old Akko market, called Hummus Said. There are always so many people and the line to the restaurant stretches from both of its entrances.
But to be honest, after tasting this Hummus we were overwhelmed! the taste is absolutely mind-blowing!. In our opinion, it has the perfect balance of olive oil and spices.
The third recommendation is Doniana, another famous fish restaurant with a terrace and a stunning view of the sun sinking into the sea (at sunset). The food here is delicious and varied, although the interior is less authentic and sophisticated Than the restaurant of Uri Buri in the Old City of Akko.
Our personal find is the Premium snack bar Kukushka at the Turkish Bazaar in the Old City. This place is recommended by TripAdvisor and has great reviews, but still, we didn't expect such unusual and tasty dishes from this shop in the market. Crab falafel, skewered shrimp, and grilled squid were beyond praise.
And finally, if you craving something sweet you should try the Knafe and Baklawa at Bashir sweets, they have a free tasting and wonderful souvenir packs to take home.
You can reach From Tel Aviv to Akko in just 1.5 hours with our driver's service in Israel. It will take two days to see all the sights but you can also squeeze it into one fabulous day. In case you intend to stay overnight, It is better to book your accommodation through Booking or Airbnb. By the way, here you can have a great Shabbat if you do not observe it: on Friday and Saturday, everything works in Akko, as on weekdays.