Top 24 Museums in Jerusalem
Jerusalem is brimming with world-class museums, most of which offer guided tours in English. Many of the major museums are clustered in the neighbourhood of Givat Ram in what is known as Museum Row, so it’s worth starting here before heading to other museums around the city.
Museum Row, Givat Ram
Make sure to devote at least a day to the Israel Museum, regarded as one of the top ten museums in the world, in order to properly explore its huge collection of art, archaeological findings and Judaica. One of the major highlights of the Museum, and one of Jerusalem’s distinct landmarks is the Shrine of the Book, which houses many ancient manuscripts including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Other highlights include the Youth Wing, Fine Arts Wing, Archaeology Wing and the model of Jerusalem in the Second Temple era.
Address: 11 Ruppin Boulevard, Givat Ram
Bible Lands Museum
Right next door to the Israel Museum, the Bible Lands Museum is the place to learn more about the various cultures in the Bible. A great place for families with children, the Museum’s galleries display thousands of artifacts and houses models of ancient Jerusalem and the pyramids at Giza.
Address: 25 Avraham Granot St, Jerusalem
Bloomfield Science Museum
Just down the road across from the Knesset and government buildings is the Bloomfield Science Museum, a wonderful place for a family outing. The Museum’s exhibits and interactive displays invite children and parents to touch and get actively involved.
Address: Museum Row, Jerusalem
German Colony and surrounds
L. A. Museum of Islamic Art
Situated at the top of Palmach Road, near the Jerusalem Theater, this Museum gives insight into the world of Islamic art with nine chronologically arranged galleries, and also features one of the premier collections of time pieces in the world — the Sir David Salomons Collection. The Museum offers regular lectures, activities, performances and plays for the entire family. Guided tours are available.
Address: 2 Hapalmach St, Jerusalem
Natural History Museum
Located in a 19th-century building in the German Colony, within walking distance of trendy Emek Refaim Street, is the Natural History Museum, which aims at educating the public on topics relating to nature and the environment. The Museum features a variety of exhibitions and offers guided tours, workshops, summer camps and nature courses, available by reservation only.
Address: 10 Hamagid St, Jerusalem
Menachem Begin Heritage Center Museum
Overlooking the walls of the Old City and the Hinom Valley, the Menachem Begin Heritage Center commemorates the life and works of Menachem Begin, one of the influential figures of the modern State of Israel. The Museum offers an engaging tour through the various parts of Begin’s life, and the Center has an extensive archive, library and on-going research dedicated to Begin. The Center’s restaurant offers Italian cuisine and a picturesque view of the Old City.
Address: 6 Sh.A. Nachon St, Jerusalem
U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art
Situated in the heart of downtown Jerusalem, the Museum offers a permanent display of artifacts on centuries of Jewish life in Italy and features changing exhibits on the topic of Italian Jewry. The Museum’s crowning attraction is its glorious synagogue, which was “lifted” in its entirety from the town of Conegliano in Italy, and which now also offers Italian-style services.
Address: 27 Hillel St, Jerusalem
A mere five minutes’ walk from the touristy bustle of the Ben Yehuda mall, Ticho House serves as an art gallery and museum, managed by the Israel Museum, that displays the works of artist, Anna Ticho, her husband’s Judaica collections, a library and visiting exhibitions. Guests can soak in the authentic Jerusalem atmosphere at the adjacent restaurant with a lovely outdoors section, which offers occasional musical performances.
Address: 9 Harav Kook St, Jerusalem
Rabbi Kook House
This small museum in downtown Jerusalem is found in the building where the revered Rabbi Kook used to reside, and gives visitors a feel for the way the rabbi and his family lived, with a mikveh (ritual bath), a synagogue and the rabbi’s private quarters. The first chief rabbi of the Jewish community in British Mandate-era Palestine, Rabbi Kook or Rav Kook as he was known, was one of the first rabbis to integrate modern Zionism into his theological worldview. The museum offers a film on his life and an extensive library. Classes on his teachings are open to the general public.
Address: 9 Harav Kook St, Jerusalem
Museum of Psalms
The Museum of Psalms in Rabbi Kook House hosts a permanent display of works of art by artist, Moshe Tzvi Berger. On display are the famous Psalms series, a collection of 150 paintings, which offer a colourful visual interpretation of each of the religious verses attributed to King David.
Address: 9 Harav Kook St, Jerusalem
Heichal Shlomo Museum
Located adjacent to Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue on King George Street, Heichal Shlomo houses a museum of ritual Jewish art, a large auditorium, and the Renanim Synagogue, which includes artifacts from 18-century Italy. The foyer gallery stages exhibits of various works of art by Israeli artists. Heichal Shlomo also hosts various activities, concerts and cultural events.
Address: 58 King George St, Jerusalem
Museum of Underground Prisoners
This central prison in the Russian Compound in downtown Jerusalem was active during the British occupation of the Holy Land, when hundreds of prisoners were kept in this facility, many of them members of the Jewish underground. During the 1948 War of Independence, the prison was captured by Jewish fighters. The museum’s exhibitions are the prison cells and the prison grounds that are filled with memories and stories from the pre-state days.
Address: Russian Compound, Jerusalem
Tower of David Museum
The Tower of David near the Old City’s Jaffa Gate rests on the ruins of fortifications made by King David, and was built in the second century BC to strategically strengthen a weak point in the city’s defences. Over the ensuing centuries, the tower was destroyed and re-built many times. The Museum brings to life Jerusalem’s history and offers changing exhibitions, diverse activities for all ages and a brilliant view of Jerusalem from atop the ramparts.
Address: Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem
Old Yishuv Court Museum
The Old Yishuv Court is an ethnographic museum in the heart of the Old City’s Jewish Quarter showcasing the lifestyle of the Holy Land’s diverse Jewish community throughout the past 500 years or so – up to 1948. The Museum displays items of clothing, furniture and even a birthing bed, and houses two ancient synagogues.
Address: 6 Or Hayim St
The Last Battle for the Old City Museum
The Last Battle for the Old City Museum, located in the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, presents the events of the day in May, 1948 when Jewish residents were expelled from the Old City. The events are through the lens of British photojournalist John Phillips, who lived in the Old City at the time and accompanied the Jordanian soldiers as they closed in on the Jewish defenders. The Museum screens a five-minute-long silent documentary film from the time of the siege.
Address: Cardo, Old City, Jerusalem
David Palombo Museum
Works of art by famous Turkish-born Israeli sculptor and painter, David Palombo, are found at the artist’s former workshop right outside the Old City on Mount Zion. David Palombo (1920-1966) was best known for sculptures that adorn several famous sites in Israel, such as the gates for the Yizkor (memorial) Tent at the Yad Vashem museum.
Address: Mount Zion, Jerusalem
Burnt House (Katros House)
This house is believed to have belonged to a wealthy family by the name Katres and to have been set alight when the Roman armies stormed Jerusalem in 70 CE. Following the Six-Day War, Israeli archaeologists uncovered the house under a cloak of ash six meters below street level. Visitors can browse a collection of artifacts dating from the Second-Temple and view a film.
Address: 2 Hakaraim St, Jerusalem
Wohl Archaeological Museum
When visiting the Burnt House, it’s worth getting a ticket that covers entrance of the nearby Wohl Archaeological Museum. The Museum showcases the remnants of Jewish dwellings from Herod’s time (37-4 BC) and features glassware, pottery, frescoes, stone cisterns that were used as ritual baths (mikvaot) and a mosaic floor covered in burnt wood.
Address: Hakaraim St, Old City, Jerusalem
Phone: +972-2-626-5922 ext 102
Roman Square Museum
Devoted to the history of Damascus Gate City, this Museum reveals remains of a Roman plaza and gate dating back almost 2,000 years. Among the items on display are the two guard towers made out of stone that was used in Second-Temple-era buildings. One of them is accessible to the public and connects to the Ramparts Walk along the top of the Old City walls.
Address: Damascus Gate, Old City, Jerusalem
Border between East and West Jerusalem
Museum on the Seam
Located on Route 1, along Israel’s 1948-1967 border with Jordan, and sitting on the border between Jews and Arabs and east and west Jerusalem, the Museum on the Seam uses art to raise controversial social issues for public discussion, such as human rights, emotional anxiety, and the relationship between personal and public spaces.
Address: 4 Heil HaHandasa St, Jerusalem
Rockefeller Archaeological Museum
A magnificent building housing an equally magnificent collection of antiquities unearthed in the Holy Land during the British Mandate period, the Rockefeller Archaeological Museum is a testament to the wealth of civilizations that played parts in the history – and prehistory – of the land. Like the exhibitions at the Bible Lands Museum, the Rockefeller Museum’s many important artifacts are displayed chronologically – the oldest dating back 2 million years. The Israel Museum runs a shuttle to the Museum and a guided tour on Mondays and Wednesday at 11 am.
Address: 27 Sultan Suliman St, Jerusalem
Ein Kerem and surrounds
Located at the foot of Mount Herzl, Yad Vashem commemorates the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis and their allies. One of Yad Vashem’s most striking monuments is the Children’s Memorial, a dark, hollowed-out underground cavern where countless candles are reflected endlessly in a series of mirrors, lending the impression of millions of glistening stars. In the background, a voice reads out the names and countries of origin of some 1.5 million murdered Jewish children. Yad Vashem also has a special section devoted to the Righteous Among the Nations, gentiles who risked their lives to rescue Jews. A moving experience, Yad Vashem is a must for anyone visiting Israel.
Address: Har Hazikaron
Located at the entrance to Mount Herzl, not far from the grave of Herzl himself as well as the graves of many of Israel’s leaders and casualties of war, is the new Herzl Museum, which gives an in-depth examination of the life and works of the founder of modern Zionism. The Museum has a “hands-on” approach, which includes an hour-long audio-visual presentation that portrays Herzl’s vision of the Jewish world. Visits need to be arranged in advance.
Address: Mount Herzl, Jerusalem
Israel’s only author to ever win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Shmuel Yosof (known by the acronym Shai) Agnon’s home in the Talpiot neighborhood is a Jerusalem institution where people come to see his humble living quarters, extensive library, and Nobel Prize. The Museum’s reading room hosts lectures and workshops and organizes walking tours and other events throughout the year.
Address: 16 Klauzner St, Jerusalem