The Best Museums in Jerusalem

10 Cultural Attractions and Fun Things to Do in Jerusalem

Revised and Updated - January 2024

Introduction

 

Things to See and Do in Jerusalem

Jerusalem, a city steeped in millennia of history, is a spiritual and cultural center. Beyond its ancient walls and cobblestone streets, the city thrives in a cultural landscape anchored by renowned museums. Each one of the museums in Jerusalem, whether shedding light on a piece of history or housing world-famous art collections, contributes to the city’s collective narrative. I created this guide in response to frequent requests from passengers seeking up-to-date reliable recommendations on Jerusalem’s tourist attractions and fun things to do in Jerusalem. This post is a captivating journey through top 10 cultural attractions and museums in Jerusalem, each a treasure trove of experiences that collectively define the diverse heritage of this fascinating city.

 

Exploring Jerusalem’s Cultural Diversity

Whether you are drawn to archaeological artifacts, religious relics, or contemporary art, Jerusalem’s museums offer a profound journey through time and culture. From the Old City’s ancient quarters to its modern districts, each museum unfolds a distinct chapter of the city’s multifaceted heritage. This guide aims to unveil the highlights of each museum, providing practical insights and occasional tips to enhance your visit to this culturally rich city. Whether you are an art enthusiast, history buff, or simply curious about Israeli culture, the museums in Jerusalem cater to a broad range of interests, ensuring a rewarding experience for visitors looking for fun stuff to do in Jerusalem.

 

Navigating the Attractions and Museums in Jerusalem

For those with some extra time in Jerusalem and a desire for a cultural break, any of these museums can offer a captivating half-day tour. Conveniently situated in different parts of the city, museums in Jerusalem are easily accessible, ensuring that you can find one within a short walking distance from your place of accommodation. Some museums are even located close to each other, allowing you to plan a delightful day tour with visits to 2-3 museums in one go. So, if you’re looking for fun things to do in Jerusalem then lace up your walking shoes, grab a map and let’s discover Jerusalem’s cultural attractions together!

1. The Israel Museum: Where History Comes to Life


1.1. Museum Overview

The Israel Museum, nestled in the heart of Jerusalem, epitomizes the city’s dedication to preserving and showcasing cultural heritage. Established in 1965, this museum stands as a beacon of historical richness, offering a diverse array of collections that reflect the intricate tapestry of Israel’s past and global cultural contributions.

 

1.2. Key Attractions

  • Shrine of the Book: The heart of ancient manuscripts, housing the renowned Dead Sea Scrolls. The unique architecture of the shrine symbolically connects visitors to some of the earliest copies of the Hebrew Bible.
  • Billy Rose Art Garden: Sculptures from various periods and cultures create an outdoor gallery, harmonizing art and nature within the museum’s expansive grounds.
  • Judaica and Jewish Ethnography Wing: This wing presents a deep dive into religious artifacts and historical items, providing a comprehensive understanding of Jewish life and tradition.
  • Archaeology Wing: A Journey through time showcases artifacts from prehistoric to Roman and Byzantine periods. This exhibit underscores the museum’s commitment to preserving and presenting the historical narrative of Israel and its global connections.

 

1.3. Visitor Information

Address: 11 Ruppin Boulevard, Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-6708811
Opening Hours:
– Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Tuesday: 4:00 PM – 9:00 PM
– Friday and holiday eves: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Ticket Prices: Vary based on exhibitions, check The Israel Museum’s official website for details.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, services for visitors with disabilities available.

Recommendations: 

– Allocate ample time to explore the diverse exhibits.
– Consider guided tours for a deeper understanding.

Israel museum jerusalem

2. Yad Vashem – World Holocaust Remembrance Center


2.1. Center Overview

Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, stands as a poignant testament to the indomitable spirit of remembrance and resilience. Established in Jerusalem, this center serves as the global focal point for commemorating the Holocaust, honoring the memory of its victims, and educating future generations about the atrocities of one of the darkest chapters in human history.


2.2. Key Attractions

  • Holocaust History Museum: A powerful journey through curated exhibits, featuring personal testimonies, artifacts, and multimedia displays that vividly depict the harrowing events and human impact of the Holocaust.
  • Hall of Names: A solemn tribute to the millions who perished, the Hall of Names is a repository of individual stories and identities. Through a collection of testimonies, photographs, and documents, it preserves the memory of those lost and ensures they are not forgotten.
  • Children’s Memorial: A unique and moving tribute to the youngest victims of the Holocaust. The memorial uses the flickering light of countless candles to symbolize the individual lives tragically extinguished.
  • Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations: Honoring the righteous individuals who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust, this avenue pays homage to the unsung heroes of humanity. Each tree planted represents a courageous act of compassion.

 

2.3. Visitor Information

Address: Har Hazikaron, Mount of Remembrance, Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-6443400
Opening Hours:
– Sunday to Thursday: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
– Friday: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
– Saturday: closed

Ticket Prices: Free admission, reservations required for certain exhibits.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, guided tours available for visitors with disabilities.
Official Website: Yad Vashem – World Holocaust Remembrance Center

Recommendations:
– Plan a respectful and contemplative visit.
– Attend guided tours to gain deeper insights.

yad vashem jerusalem

3. Tower of David Museum: A Citadel of History


3.1. Museum Overview

Situated within the ancient walls of Jerusalem, the Tower of David Museum stands as a majestic citadel of history. With its strategic location and centuries-old architecture, the museum invites visitors on a captivating journey through the unfolding narratives that have shaped the city and its people.

 

3.2. Key Attractions

  • Multisensory Exhibits: Innovative, multisensory exhibits that vividly bring historical tales to life, providing an immersive journey through time.
  • Panoramic Views: Ascend the tower for breathtaking panoramic views of Jerusalem’s Old City, offering a unique perspective on the city’s historical layers.
  • Archaeological Discoveries: Artifacts and medieval structures that unveil the city’s rich past, presenting a condensed yet comprehensive view of Jerusalem’s evolution.

 

3.3. Visitor Information

Address: Tower of David, Old City, Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-6265333
Opening Hours:
– Sunday to Wwednesday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Thursday: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
– Friday, Saturday: closed
Tickets can be purchased until an hour before closing.
Ticket Prices: Check Tower of David Museum’s official website for current rates.
Accessibility: Limited wheelchair accessibility, guided tours available for visitors with disabilities.

Recommendations:
– Attend the Night Spectacular for a unique audio-visual experience.
– Explore the Citadel Courtyard for panoramic views of the city.

tower of david jerusalem

4. The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem: Archaeological Treasures


4.1. Museum Overview

The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem stands as a captivating repository of archaeological wonders, weaving together the threads of ancient civilizations that have shaped the landscapes of the biblical world. Located in Jerusalem, this museum is a gateway to the past, offering a profound exploration of the diverse cultures and histories chronicled in the pages of the Bible.


4.2. Key Attractions

  • Ancient Artifacts and Treasures: The museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts, ranging from pottery and sculptures to jewelry and tools. Each piece provides a tangible connection to the daily lives and traditions of the people of the Bible lands.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Explore the technological advancements, artistic achievements, and cultural practices of ancient societies through hands-on experiences that bring history to life and enhance your understanding of the archaeological discoveries.
  • Archaeological Discoveries from the Bible: The museum meticulously presents artifacts linked to historical events and figures, offering a unique perspective on the intersection of archaeology and biblical stories.
  • Cuneiform Tablets and Ancient Texts: These documents provide insights into languages, laws, and literary traditions that shaped the intellectual landscape of the biblical world.

 

4.3. Visitor Information

Address:21 Shmuel Stefan Wise, Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-5611066
Opening Hours:
– Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
– Friday, Saturday: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Ticket Prices: Check The Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem’s official website for current rates.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, guided tours for visitors with disabilities available.

Recommendations:
– Attend lectures or workshops for a deeper understanding.
– Check the museum’s schedule for special events.

bible lands museum in jerusalem

5. The Time Elevator Jerusalem: A Cinematic Journey Through History


5.1. Attraction Overview

The Time Elevator offers a unique fusion of technology and history, allowing visitors to embark on a cinematic voyage across time, bringing the rich heritage of Jerusalem to vivid and memorable life.


5.2. Key Attractions

  • Multi-Sensory Cinematics: A captivating cinematic experience combining visuals, motion, and special effects to vividly depict historical events in an interactive journey through Jerusalem’s past.
  • Historical Narratives: Offer a dynamic perspective on key moments and characters that have shaped Jerusalem over centuries.
  • Interactive Seating: Experience synchronized movements and effects in interactive seating, enhancing immersion and creating a memorable exploration of Jerusalem’s history.

 

5.3. Visitor Information

Address: Alrov Mamilla Avenue, 6 Yitzhak Kariv St., Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-6248381
Opening Hours: Sunday to Thursday: 11:00 AM – 3:40 PM
Ticket Prices: Check The Time Elevator Jerusalem’s official website for current rates.
Accessibility: Inquire about accessibility options when booking tickets.

Recommendations:
– Purchase tickets in advance to secure your preferred showtime.
– Ideal for visitors of all ages, offering an entertaining and educational experience.

time elevator jerusalem

6. The Rockefeller Archaeological Museum: Guardians of Antiquity


6.1. Museum Overview

The Rockefeller Archaeological Museum stands as a venerable guardian of antiquity. Established in 1938, this museum is a testament to the commitment to preserving and showcasing the archaeological heritage of the Holy Land. With its distinguished collection, the museum unfolds the narratives of ancient civilizations that have shaped the region’s history.


6.2. Key Attractions

  • Islamic Art and Archaeology: A collection of Islamic art and artifacts that spans centuries. From intricate ceramics and textiles to exquisite metalwork, these exhibits provide a glimpse into the cultural and artistic achievements of Islamic civilizations.
  • Ancient Pottery and Ceramics: Showcasing the craftsmanship of diverse cultures, these artifacts serve as silent witnesses to the daily lives, rituals, and artistic sensibilities of civilizations that once thrived in the Holy Land.
  • Rare Manuscripts and Epigraphs: A curated display of rare manuscripts and epigraphs showing the intellectual history of the region. These written treasures illuminate the languages, scripts, and knowledge systems that flourished in antiquity.
  • Archaeological Discoveries from Megiddo: Artifacts from the renowned archaeological site of Megiddo, unearthed through meticulous excavations. These objects provide insights into the strategic importance of Megiddo and its role in the historical tapestry of the Holy Land.

 

6.3. Visitor Information

Address: 27 Sultan Suleiman Street, Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-6282251
Opening Hours:
– Sunday to Thursday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Ticket Prices: Check The Rockefeller Archaeological Museum’s official website for current rates.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible; guided tours for visitors with disabilities available.

Recommendations:
– Explore the museum’s outdoor garden and enjoy the serene surroundings.
– Take advantage of guided tours to enhance your experience.

Rockefeller Museum Jerusalem

7. Museum for Islamic Art: Showcasing Diversity


7.1. Museum Overview

The Museum for Islamic Art celebrates the rich tapestry of Islamic culture across centuries. Dedicated to preserving the diverse artistic and historical heritage of the Islamic world, the museum provides a captivating window into this vibrant civilization.


7.2. Key Attractions

  • Islamic Art Collections: A diverse array of Islamic art, showcasing intricate calligraphy, geometric patterns, textiles, and ceramics, reflecting the multifaceted beauty of Islamic artistic expression.
  • Manuscripts and Textiles: Rare exhibits that illuminate the contributions of Islamic scholars and artists and showcasing the depth of knowledge and craftsmanship.
  • Science and Technology Innovations: Discover the impact of Islamic civilizations on science and technology, with exhibits highlighting advancements in astronomy, mathematics, and medicine.

 

7.3. Visitor Information

Address: 2 Hapalmach Street, Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-5661291
Opening Hours:
– Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
– Thursday, Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
– Friday: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
– Sunday: closed
Ticket Prices: Check Museum for Islamic Art’s official website for current rates.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, guided tours available for visitors with disabilities.

Recommendations:
– Attend special exhibitions for a deeper exploration.
– Engage in educational programs to enhance your understanding.

Islamic Art Museum Jerusalem

8. Bloomfield Science Museum: Where Science Meets Wonder


8.1. Museum Overview

The Bloomfield Science Museum is a captivating nexus of curiosity and discovery. Established as a beacon of scientific exploration, the museum invites visitors to embark on an interactive journey that demystifies complex concepts and fosters a profound appreciation for the wonders of the natural world.


8.2. Key Attractions

  • Interactive Exhibits: Hands-on displays spanning physics, biology, and astronomy, fostering exploration and understanding through play.
  • Planetarium Experience: A celestial journey in the state-of-the-art planetarium, unveiling the mysteries of the universe through captivating visuals.
  • Technology Showcase: Displays featuring cutting-edge advancements in robotics, virtual reality, and other transformative technologies.
  • Educational Programs: Workshops, lectures, and demonstrations catering to all ages, deepening understanding and keeping visitors abreast of the latest scientific breakthroughs.

 

8.3. Visitor Information

Address: 3 Museum Boulevard, Givat Ram, Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-6544888
Opening Hours:
– Monday to Thursday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
– Friday: 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
– Saturday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ticket Prices: Check Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem’s official website for current rates.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible, sensory-friendly options available.

Recommendations:
– Participate in interactive workshops for a hands-on experience.
– Check the museum’s schedule for special events and demonstrations.

Bloomfield Science Museum Jerusalem

9. Museum of Underground Prisoners: Resilience in Jerusalem’s History

 

9.1. Museum Overview

The Underground Prisoners Museum pays homage to those who fought for Israel’s independence within the former British detention center. The museum chronicles the struggles and sacrifices of these fighters during a pivotal chapter in Jerusalem’s history.

 

9.2. Key Attractions

  • Historical Artifacts: A collection of personal belongings, documents, and photographs, providing a tangible connection to the challenges faced by underground fighters.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Multimedia exhibits recreating the detention center’s atmosphere, fostering a deep understanding of the struggle for independence.
  • Personal Stories: Explore the motivations, ideologies, and indomitable spirit of the underground fighters through their stories, serving as a testament to their strength and determination.

 

9.3. Visitor Information

Address: 1 Mish’ol ha-Gvura, Russian compound, Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-6233166/7
Opening Hours:
– Sunday to Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Friday and holiday eves: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Ticket Prices: Check Underground Prisoners Museum’s official website for current rates.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible; guided tours for visitors with disabilities available.

Recommendations:
– Engage with interactive exhibits to immerse yourself in the historical context.
– Take a moment at the Memorial Wall to reflect on the sacrifices of the past.

Museum of Underground Prisoners

10. The Menachem Begin Heritage Center: A Tribute to a Visionary Leader


10.1. Center Overview

The Menachem Begin Heritage Center stands as a living memorial, inviting reflection on the visionary leadership of Menachem Begin and its profound impact on the history and identity of the State of Israel.


10.2. Key Attractions

  • Biographical Exhibits: Exhibits tracing Begin’s life, offering insights into his early years, political career, and pivotal moments in Israel’s history influenced by his leadership.
  • Documentary Presentations: Presentations capturing Begin’s leadership style, political decisions, and the challenges he faced, providing a nuanced perspective on his impactful role in shaping the nation.
  • Personal Artifacts: A collection of personal artifacts, including documents and items from Begin’s daily life, offering a tangible connection to the man behind the leader and his contributions to Israel.

 

10.3. Visitor Information

Address: 6 Nahon Street, Jerusalem

Telephone: +972 2-5652020
Opening Hours:
– Sunday to Thursday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Friday: 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
– Saturday: closed
Ticket Prices: Check The Menachem Begin Heritage Center’s official website for current rates.
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessibleת guided tours available for visitors with disabilities.

Recommendations:
– Explore the comprehensive library and archives for in-depth research.
– Attend scheduled events and lectures for a deeper understanding of Israel’s political history.

Menachem Begin heritage center in Jerusalem

11. Important Things to Consider

 

11.1. Accessibility Features

Ensuring an inclusive experience, Jerusalem’s museums prioritize accessibility. Most institutions offer wheelchair ramps, elevators, and facilities for visitors with mobility challenges. For detailed accessibility information, consult the official websites or contact the museums directly.


11.2. Family-Friendly Experiences

While some museums tailor exhibits for children with interactive displays, others may cater to a more mature audience. Family-friendly options include the Bible Lands Museum, Bloomfield science museum and the Israel Museum. Check age recommendations for each museum before planning your visit.


11.3. Opening Hours

Museum opening hours vary, with some closing earlier on specific days. Stay updated by checking the official websites or contacting the museums directly for the most accurate and current information.

 

11.4. Ticket Prices

Ticket prices differ for adults, children, students, and seniors. Many museums offer discounts for certain groups. Explore detailed pricing information and any ongoing promotions on the official websites. Pay attention, some museums may require advance ticket reservations for certain exhibitions.

 

11.5. Photography Policies

Museums have individual policies on photography. While some permit it throughout, others may restrict it in specific areas. Adhere to museum guidelines to ensure a positive experience.

 

11.6. Online Ticket Purchases

Streamline your visit by purchasing tickets online. This option allows you to secure tickets in advance, potentially avoiding queues at the entrance. Explore online ticketing on the official websites.

 

11.7. Guided Tours

For a deeper understanding, consider guided tours. These tours may offer additional insights into exhibits, history, and significance. Inquire about availability and scheduling with individual museums.

 

11.8. Time of The Year

The ideal time to explore Jerusalem’s museums may depend on weather conditions. While indoor museums offer a refuge from the summer heat, the spring and fall seasons provide pleasant weather for outdoor attractions like botanical gardens. Consider the climate and your interests when planning your visit to make the most of Jerusalem’s cultural offerings.

 

11.9. Parking Options

Parking facilities vary. Some museums have on-site parking, while others recommend nearby public spaces. Visitors driving to the museums can check parking options on official websites or contact the museums for recommendations.

Conclusion

Jerusalem’s museums offer a captivating journey through history, art, and culture. Whether you’re fascinated by the stories of ancient civilizations, intrigued by religious artifacts, or simply looking for fun things to do in Jerusalem with your family or friends, the museums in Jerusalem have something for everyone. I hope that the information in this guide will prove helpful and assist you in planning your next visit to one (or more) of the exciting museums in Jerusalem.

moshe barak

About The Author

Moshe Barak is a highly knowledgeable and reputable private taxi service operator in Israel, renowned for his professional approach, friendly attitude, and attention to details.
With over 20 years of experience and a long list of satisfied customers he is the trusted choice by many international travelers seeking reliable transportation with a personal touch during their trip to Israel.

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