10 Must-See Israeli Museums

      Israel has rich archaeological sites with history and culture, besides touring her religious pilgrimage sites, you might not know that Israel has more than 200 museums, the highest number of museums per capita in the world.
Here is a list of 10 most recommended museums to visit around the country, when you visit Israel you can certainly add some to your itinerary.

1. Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum is the largest cultural institution in the country, its major feature is the Shrine of the Book, a massive domed structure built as a showcase for the Dead Sea Scrolls and other ancient manuscripts.
11 Ruppin Blvd., Jerusalem; Tel +972 2 670 8811
  • Opening Hours

Sun, Mon, Wed, Thur 10 am – 5 pm
Tues 4 pm – 9 pm – Free entrance for children under 18
Fri and Holiday Eves 10 am – 2 pm
Sat 10:30 am – 4 pm – Free entrance for children under 18
Holidays 10:00 am – 5 pm

2. Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv

te aviv art museum

Photo by Alexander Katin on Unsplash

The new building of Tel Aviv Museum of Art is an art itself.  As one of Israel’s leading art and culture institutions, the museum was founded in 1932, a visit to the museum  should start with the new wing and end in the older complex. This circuit takes in a complete tour of the museum’s many displays of art, architecture and design.
27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd., Tel Aviv; Tel +972 3 607 7020
  • Opening Hours
    Mon, Wed, Sat
    Tues, Thurs 10.00-21.00
    Fri 10.00-14.00
    Sun CLOSED

3. Mishkan Museum of Art, Ein Harod

The Mishkan Museum of Art in Ein Harod was established in the 1930s in a kibbutz – the agriculture collective community.  In 1948, it moved into a permanent building to become Israel’s first museum. The structure is a fine example of Israeli Modernism, heralded for its beauty and simplicity.
The museum highlights Israeli art and has amassed more than 16,000 permanent pieces since opening.
Kibbutz Ein Harod; Tel +972 4 648 5701
  • Opening Hours

Sunday to Thursday 9:00-16:30
Friday & Holiday Eves: 9:00-13:30
Saturdays & Holidays: 10:00-16:30

4. Design Museum Holon, Holon

It’s a challenge to draw Tel Avivians out of Tel Aviv, but the Design Museum in Holon, a 20-minute drive from Tel Aviv, seems to have the secret.

This is a bustling museum that constantly hosts industrial, fashion, textile and jewelry design weeks, exhibitions and events.
Designed by London-based Israeli architect and designer Ron Arad, the building itself is considered a work of art, with its flowing steel strips painted in various shades of red.
8 Pinhas Eilon St., Holon; Tel 972 7 32151525
  • Opening Hours: 

Monday, Wednesday – 10am-4pm
Tuesday – 10am-8pm
Thursday – 10am-6pm
Friday – 10am-2pm
Saturday – 10am-8pm
Sunday – Closed

5. Yad Vashem, Jerusalem

A tour of Jerusalem is inconceivable without a visit to Yad Veshem, the Holocaust Museum, which commemorates the millions of Jews who perished as a result of Nazi persecution in World War II.
The 45,000-square-foot museum attracts more than a million visitors a year from all over the world.
It’s also the site where many formal diplomatic visits to Israel begin, most of which are then publicized with a photo in major newspapers the following day.
The main building is a concrete triangle chiseled into the side of a mountain.
Once inside, visitors follow a route taking in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary presentations that document what the museum calls “the story of the Shoah from a unique Jewish perspective, emphasizing the experiences of the individual victims through original artifacts, survivor testimonies and personal possessions.”
It’s a singularly moving experience.
Admission to Yad Vashem is free.
Har Hazikaron, Jerusalem; Tel +972 2 644 3400
  • Opening Hours

Sunday to Wednesday: ‬08:30-17:00
Thursday:  8:30-20:00
Fridays and Holiday eves: ‬08:30-14:00
Yad Vashem is closed on Saturdays and all Jewish Holidays.

6. Umm el-Fahem Art Gallery, Umm el-Fahem

In 1996 a group of residents and artists decided to enrich Umm el-Fahem (a northern Arab-Israeli city with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country) with a high-quality gallery showcasing contemporary Arab and Palestinian art.
The gallery rapidly evolved into a vivid cultural center, connecting Arabs and Jews with art and culture.
In 2007 the municipality granted the gallery land, where the current museum was erected.
Umm el-Fahem; Tel +972 4 631 5257
  • Opening Hours 

Saturday – Thursday 09:00 – 16:00

7. Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem

Museum on the Seam is the most provocative museum in Israel.  The exhibitions are aimed at raising controversial social questions regarding national, ethnic or economic differences.
The museum displays unflinching exhibitions taking on various political concerns and refers to itself as a socio-political museum.
In addition to the exhibits, the museum offers dramatic views of the city and a pleasant cafe on its roof.
4 Chel Handasa St., Jerusalem; Tel +972 2 628 1278
  • Opening Hours

Mon, Wed, Thu, 10:00-17:00
Tue, 14:00-20:00
Fri, 10:00-14:00
Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

8. The Museum for Islamic Art, Jerusalem

The Museum of Islamic Art is located next to the Israeli president’s official residence and contains one of the most impressive archives of Islamic art in the world.
Permanent exhibitions are displayed in chronological and geographical order, showing various periods of Islamic art.
The museum is also known for its vast collection of antique watches, which became famous in 1983 when professional burglar Naaman Diller managed to steal 100 watches valued at $204 million from the exhibition.
Diller stashed his haul in safety deposit boxes around the world. They were recovered only after his death in 2004 when his widow confessed to police.
2 Hapalmach St,, Jerusalem; Tel +972 2566 1291
  • Opening Hours
Sunday: Closed
Mon-Wed: 10:00-15:00
Thursday: 10:00-19:00
Friday-Saturday: 10:00-14:00

9. The Negev Museum of Art, Beer Sheva

The Negev Museum of Art displays contemporary Israeli art and hosts a range of live summer concerts in its courtyard.
Located in the old town of Beer Sheva, also known as “the capital of the desert,” the museum building was constructed during the Ottoman period at the beginning of the 20th century.
Thanks to a recent renovation, its original splendor has been restored.
60 Ha’Atzmaut St., Beer Sheva; Tel +972 8 699 3535
  • Opening Hours
Mon, Tue, Thu: 10:00 – 16:00
Wed: 12:00 – 19:00
Fri, Sat: 10:00 – 14:00
Sun: Closed

10. Madatech, Haifa

This funky museum of science, technology and space is lodged in what used to be the Israel Institute of Technology.
The Madatech features numerous permanent and temporary science-themed exhibitions, all hands-on and interactive. Naturally, it’s a hit with kids.
25 Shmariyahu Levine St., Haifa; Tel +972 4 861 4444
  • Opening Hours
Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed: 10:00 – 15:00
Thu, Sat: 10:00 – 17:00
Fri: 10:00 – 14:00