Our Museum Tour in Israel

Museums of Israel

Israel may be small in size but it is teeming with top notch museums just the same. In fact, according to CNN, Israel has the highest number of museums per capita in the world, easily causing a visitor to become quite overwhelmed. In the interest of helping you narrow down your list, here are our three favorites:

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Entrance to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Entrance to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art looks rather unassuming from the outside. The lobby and ticket office also appear rather plain leaving one to perhaps second guess paying the 48 shekel charge to get in. But the promise of some very famous works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Pollock is enough to lure a visitor inside to discover that all is not as it seems.

Chagall painting entitled "Solitude"

Chagall – “Solitude”

The space is much larger than expected with an extensive variety of exhibitions set apart by floor. From Renaissance through Impressionism to the Twentieth Century, including Israeli and international artists, there is something here for everyone.

A look inside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

A look inside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

The art museum features a variety of media as well, including paintings, sculptures and even electronics. Like most museums, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art includes a gift shop and a cafe. It was a nice way to spend an afternoon.

Rodin Sculptures in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Rodin Sculptures

Visiting Information

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is conveniently located on several bus routes (9, 18, 28, 70, 90, 111). For adults, 48 shekels will get you a ticket and the hours of operation change based on the day so be sure to check their website when planning your visit. The museum is closed on Sundays.

Israel Museum

Front of the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

Front of the Israel Museum

Considered the largest cultural institution in Israel, the Israel Museum is a must see. You could easily spend several days at this museum and still not see everything so be sure to wear comfortable shoes and allow ample time to explore.

Ancient pottery at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

Ancient pottery at the Israel Museum

We enjoyed the historical exhibitions the most, including the famous Dead Sea scrolls, numerous artifacts from biblical times, and even pieces of the oldest Bible on earth.

Israel Museum - Home of the Dead Sea Scrolls

Home of the Dead Sea Scrolls

In addition, the scale model of the historical city of Jerusalem was helpful in visualizing important events, such as Jesus’ route to his execution. And if the Israel Museum does not have all the artifacts you are looking for, the Bible Lands Museum is just across the street.

Scale model of Old Jerusalem at the Israel Museum

Scale model of Old Jerusalem

Visiting Information

The Israel Museum, open 7 days a week, is located in Jerusalem a short distance from the Central Station. When you exit Central Station walk to the right staying on the same side of the street to find the bus stop. Buses 14 and 35 will take you to the museum. Admission costs 50 shekels per adult. Opening hours vary from day to day so be sure to check the website before planning a visit.

Yad Vashem

Front of Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem

Front of Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial

A visit to Yad Vashem will most likely be very emotional, so we recommend not including it in a busy day of sight-seeing. The exhibitions are multi-media, highlighting and documenting the Shoah, including manuscripts, posters and footage. Schindler’s list is housed here along with numerous other accounts of rescues from this grave time in history.

Inside Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem

Inside Yad Vashem

In addition to being a historical museum, Yad Vashem also serves as a memorial to those who were killed. The famous Hall of Names, Hall of Remembrance and the Children’s Memorial are included in Yad Vashem’s vast grounds, which include beautiful trees commemorating those that helped Jews escape the Nazis. We found the Children’s Memorial to be the most powerful and moving memorial we have ever seen.

Hall of Names at Yad Vashem in Jerusaelm

Hall of Names at Yad Vashem

Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem in Jerusaelm

Hall of Remembrance

Visiting Information

Yad Vashem is located in Jerusalem near the Mt. Herzl light rail stop, which is only six stops (and the final stop) from Central Station. A free shuttle will take you the rest of the way. Admission is free and like with most Israeli museums, the hours of operation change according to the day so be sure to check the website while planning a visit. Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays.

What museum has made a lasting impression on you?

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2 thoughts on “Our Museum Tour in Israel

  1. Laurel

    Your museum ‘tour’ is wonderful, and I concur with your choices completely. I’d add one more: the recreation of a Jesus-era farm/tiny village in Nazareth, called Nazareth Village. Workers clothed in the garb of that time period prepare meals using foods of that era (which you eat on plates such as would have been used then). Olives are pressed for their oil using a donkey treading a circular path to revolve the press. Wheat is threshed at a spot where prevailing breezes show how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Homes and a synagogue have been recreated from foundations unearthed during an archeological excavation. A wine making area shows how grapes were crushed, the juice separated from seeds and stems, and then channeled into a ‘bottling’ area — all cut into the stone of that area. This was the closest we’ve come to seeing what a Jesus-era village would have looked like, and it was a treasure.

    1. Mindy & Ligeia

      Wow Laurel,
      This place sounds fantastic and a must-do on our next trip to the region. I feel badly for they donkey enslaved to walking in circles though.
      Were you able to join in on the cooking or wine making? What kind of food did they serve?

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