Home to the Baha’i World Center, a number of folk dance companies, and some of Israel’s best museums, Haifa is a cultural smorgasbord. If there is one word to describe the culture of Haifa, it is multicultural; as it should be, considering the city has spanned centuries, empires, and religions.

The Baha’i faith is a notable part of culture in Haifa. The faith was founded in the 1800s by Baha’u’llah, the first Baha’i prophet. Since his original teachings the religion has grown to be one of the world’s most widespread, even if its believers do not hold a majority in any country. Haifa serves as the Baha’i administrative center , and pilgrims frequently come to visit the Shrine of the Bab, contributing to the city’s cultural richness.

Folk dancing is another of Haifa’s cultural fixtures. The Israeli custom of dance has flourished since Biblical times, and Haifa keeps it alive with an officially established government division, the Folklore Department of the Culture and Arts. The Folklore Department supports dance companies and arranges performance opportunities, as well as other cultural festivals.

The sheer quantity of museums in Haifa also exemplifies the city’s abundance of tradition and culture. The Haifa Museum of Art examines ancient stonework and crafts as well as contemporary painting and sculpture. The Chagall Artist’s House , named in honor of Marc Chagall, collects modern Israeli art for display in an intimate gallery.