Haifa is the third largest city in Israel, the capital of the North and serves a population of hundreds of thousands (the city itself has 250 thousand inhabitants).
Haifa is one of the largest industrial centers in Israel and also a hub for transport, trade, shipping and tourism. The city has institutions for higher education and scientific research, theatre, auditoriums, museums and many varied cultural and recreational facilities. The city sits at the foot of the Carmel Mountains, on its Eastern, Northern and Western slopes on the top of the range and around the bay area.
Downtown Haifa serves as a center for shipping, banking, foreign trade and wholesale marketing. Within the downtown area is the main port, railway lines (with branch lines to the port, factories in the area and three passenger stations) which connects the city to the center of the country, the south and the north and the main bus terminal for municipal and inter-city bus transport.