With the highest number of museums per capita in the world (over 200), Israel clearly takes culture and education seriously. According to a recent CNN Travel Article, Jerusalem is home to four of the top ten museums in Israel. Below we expand on CNN's top Israel museums to bring you our list of Top 5 Jerusalem Museums.
If you're looking to expand your cultural, historical, religious, artistic or archaeological horizons, then these leading Jerusalem museums are the place to start.
1. Israel Museum
This Jerusalem museum expands horizons locally, nationally, and universally.Considered one of the top ten museums in the world, the Israel Museum offers huge collections of art, archaeological findings and Judaica, and you'll want to dedicate at least a full day to exploring everything the museum has to offer. Major highlights include the domed Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls and many ancient manuscripts, as well as a definitive model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple era. Consider rounding the experience off with a cup of coffee in the Israel Museum's cafe or with a light meal at Modern Restaurant.
Address: 11 Ruppin Boulevard, Givat Ram
2. Yad Vashem
Although a somewhat somber experience, a trip to Jerusalem is not complete without a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel's national Holocaust memorial. Dedicated to commemorating the murder of six million Jews in the Second World War by the Nazis and their allies, Yad Vashem reveals first-hand testimonies, possessions, artifacts, photographs and videos. One of the museum's most haunting experiences is the Children’s Memorial, a dark cavern where candles are reflected in a series of mirrors, lending the impression of millions of shining stars, representing some 1.5 million murdered children. Located at the foot of Mount Herzl. Admission is free.
Address: Har Hazikaron
3. Museum on the Seam
If you're looking for a thought-provoking experience, the "socio-political" Museum On The Seam features outspoken art that raises questions about controversial social issues. Display themes include human rights, emotional anxiety, the relationship between personal and public space, and more. Referred to as "the most provocative museum in Israel" in the recent CNN Travel article on museums in Israel, the Museum On The Seam offers magnificent views of Jerusalem, a sunny cafe and guided tours. The museum is accessible by light rail.
Address: 4 Heil HaHandasa St, Jerusalem
4. Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem
For insight into Islamic art, look no further than the world class Museum of Islamic Art in Jerusalem. The museum features an extraordinary archive of Islamic art with nine chronologically arranged galleries. The museum’s flagship exhibition, the Sir David Salomons Collection of Timepieces, is highly recommended. Interestingly, this exhibit is subject to tight security since 100 watches valued at over USD$200 million were stolen in 1983 and only partially returned to the museum in 2006 and 2009. It's worth keeping abreast of the museum's calendar of lectures, activities, performances, plays and routine guided tours.
Address: 2 Hapalmach St, Jerusalem
5. Bloomfield Science Museum
The Bloomfield Science Museum is the museum for a family outing with its truly innovative and original exhibits and displays. What stands out about this museum is the amount of interactive options that invite people of all ages to experiment and have fun while learning the concept. Guided tours in English are available, as well as regular workshops and performances for the whole family.
Address: Museum Boulevard, near the Givat Ram Campus of Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Whenever you plan your next trip to a Jerusalem museum, the above list will serve as a solid base for ideas. See you soon!