This ancient royal city came a long way to be one of Israel’s most luxurious destinations.
Caesarea raises particular associations from Israelis. It’s considered one of the most luxurious (and therefore expensive) places to live. The green golf courses come to mind, along with the tall and wide villas. But there is far more than that to this ancient city, especially if you’re visiting Israel and not in the market for a new home.
A bit of Caesarea history
The city’s very roots date back to the 4th century BC when it was a simple Phoenician port city. You’ll see plenty of Roman structures in the town (including a theater); those are remnants of the Roman empire, which ruled the town until 640AD. Muslims later ruled it for more than 100 years until conquered by crusaders, which built the city’s walls. 1654 brought the Mamluks to lead over the town until 1884 when a group of refugees took it from Bosnia. In 1948 the city fell to Israel’s rule, and after a few years of settling, the excavation process began.
So what is there to do here?
First of all – see all of this incredible history with your own eyes! Caesarea’s National Park is probably Israel’s one of the most impressive archeological sites. The harbor was restored recently, and the fascinating museum next to it offers a beautiful trip to the past. The Original Amphitheatre often hosts shows by Israel’s most fantastic performers. If you can – seeing one is a must. The entrance to the park is 38 NIS for adults and 23 NIS for children. Groups of over 30 people get a discount.
Want some more ancient ruins? Why not go underwater? With Caesarea’s dive club, you can explore the ancient underwater city! After you’ve had enough history for one day, we recommend going to the Aqueduct beach. From there, you can easily reach one of the great restaurants the city has to offer. We should warn you, though, that the prices may be a bit pricey. Having a vast golf course in your town doesn’t come for free.
How long should you dedicate to Caesarea?
The National Park should take about half a day, including lunch. We recommend coming at around noon to have enough time at the park and still get a chance to enjoy the sunset on the beach (and maybe finish the day with a nice dinner).
Ruins of the ancient port of Caesarea, Flooded in the sea remains of fortifications. Spring day in Israel. Concept of archeological and historical tourism
How do you get to Caesarea?
If you have a car, go north on road 2, and you’ll see the city before you reach Haifa. Caesarea is about an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv (after you’ve left the city and its traffic). There’s a train to Caesarea, but you will need a cab to take you to the park. It’s probably easier to take a bus by public transport, it will also be easier to get to the park that way. It would help if you ever considered going on an organized tour of the city. It will save you the trouble of getting to all the exciting locations, it will also show you the true beauty of the city, through the professional tour guides.