Instawalk: The Old City of Akko

along the northern coast of Israel sits Akko (also known as Acre), a city who has seen empires come and go through its long history. its harbor has been host to ships of pilgrims and conquerors but today forms the southern end of the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site. within its narrow and winding streets you can find a small souk, mosques, an old Turkish hammam, and remnants from the time when it was major Crusader port.

sidebar: practical matters if you’re driving, the old town is easily reachable (follow the signs once you get to Akko/Acre) and there is a parking lot near the northeast end of the city that costs ₪20 for all day parking. the old town is compact and pedestrian-only — you can’t get lost due to the abundance of directional signs that point you to attractions, with most of the ones that require payment available on a combination ticket. ₪46 gets you access to the Crusader tunnel, the very impressive if not poorly organized Citadel (including audio guide), the restored-but-can’t-get-a-bath-there Turkish hammam, the Oukashi art museum, and a history museum on 20th century life in the area (Treasures in the Walls). public toilets were relatively hard to find when not inside attractions, but they do exist. best to hunt one down before you really have to go though lest you run into trouble. (p.s. one of them was BYOTP — you have been warned!)

Part of one of the many old khans, or inns

The kitchen of Hummus Said, perhaps the most popular restaurant in the old city (located in the souk). We stumbled upon it and decided to head in because it was so crowded. Before we knew it, lines were out the door and continued to be so throughout the day. Personally I’m not a big fan of hummus — it all tastes the same to me (bland), but it was a great experience to be in such a bustling place.

A young boy fishing along the harbor. You can see part of the ruins on the right.

One of the many narrow alleyways

Old sea wall ruins

Inside the old hammam (it’s quite impressive what they’ve done to bring it back to life). The video presentations are fun and corny (in a great way) at the same time.

Sweets for sale

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