Did you know? There are over 230 museums in Israel, more per capita than anywhere else in the world. These institutions give visitors a chance to experience history, art, science, and local culture, and make for a great day out for tourists and locals alike. 

A Guide of the Top 8 Museums in Israel

1. The Israel Museum

As one of the world’s leading institutions, the Israel Museum is a must-visit for anyone living in or visiting Israel (the name kind of says it all). Founded in 1965, the building was significantly extended and updated in 2010, and today sprawls over 20-acres and houses nearly 500,000 objects. Exhibits mainly focus on art, Judaica, national ancient history, and artifacts. This institution holds one of the world’s largest collections of biblical and Holy Land archeological artifacts.

There’s so, SO much to see here, but you can’t miss The Shrine of the Book: home to the Dead Sea Scrolls and some of the oldest Biblical scrolls ever found. The scrolls are housed in a unique white dome, representing the jars in which the scrolls were discovered. Another must-see is the 1000 square meter model of Jerusalem – it’s a reconstruction of the city as it was in 66 CE before it was destroyed by the Romans during its Second Temple Period.  

2. The Tower of David 

tower of david museum

Inside the citadel of Jerusalem lies The Tower Of David. Its mission is to use innovation and technology to showcase the city’s story and its importance to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam over its 3,000-year history. The restored archaeological structure uses a range of constantly changing exhibitions and events to educate and let visitors experience Jerusalem’s intense history. Head to the top of King Herod’s tower for truly incredible 360-degree views of the city.

Make sure to check out the model city, created in 1872 by Stephen Illes, showing the city as it was in his time, including the now-destroyed Jewish Quarter. At some point you should also go at night to see the outdoor light and sound show screened onto the citadel’s walls, bringing Jerusalem’s stories to life through the international language of sight and music.

3. Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Founded in 1932, this is the first museum in Israel known for preserving and showcasing art from local and worldwide artists. On its walls, you’ll see the country’s largest collection of modern, contemporary, and local art. The institution displays a diverse range of both permanent and temporary exhibitions. The performance hall hosts films, concerts, lectures, shows, and performances, plus special events.

The museum is made up of three buildings in total; the Main Building is home to the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions; the Herta and Paul Amir Building presents Israeli art and temporary exhibitions; the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art showcases temporary exhibitions. The tranquil Lola Beer Ebner Sculpture Garden links the main building with the Herta and Paul Amir Building. It offers visitors a calming oasis in which to appreciate the garden’s sculptures.

4. MadaTech

A national institution dedicated to science, technology, and space, MadaTech opened in 1983 and is located inside Haifa’s Technion building, a historical landmark. The entire purpose of the museum is to make science fun. Visitors are encouraged to explore, experience, discover, and learn through play. 

Each year over 400,000 visitors explore the hands-on and interactive exhibitions and watch some of the seven Cinematrix multi-sense 3-D movies. More than 300 educational sessions are delivered to 2000+ groups throughout the year within its educational centers, halls, and laboratories.

There are over 20 interactive science and technology exhibitions, including “A Look To The Heavens”, “Energy Makes Things Happen”, “Leonardo Da Vinci – Scientist & Engineer”, and “Harry Pommert’s View Of Science”. In the Northern Garden stands the palm tree planted by Albert Einstein in 1923.

5. The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History

At the Steinhardt, visitors can experience exhibitions that showcase the world’s natural history using thousands of items gathered over the years. Exhibitions include “The Great Bird Migration”, “Bugs and Beyond”, and “The Web of Life”. The Human Impact exhibition demonstrates the many changes nature has faced because of the impacts made by humankind.

6. Yad Vashem – World Holocaust Remembrance Center

yad vashem

Yad Vashem is the country’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, and (after the Western Wall) is the second-most-visited Israeli tourist site. The 45-acre campus consists of indoor exhibits and outdoor sculptures, monuments, gardens, and exhibitions. The center is designed to give its visitors a narrative route through the stories of the Jewish population. They follow a path through galleries showcasing original artifacts, testimonials, films, diaries, letters, and art.

The Hall Of Names holds over two million biographies of each Holocaust victim, with room for six million in all. The ceiling displays over 600 photographs and fragments of Pages of Testimony. The photographs are reflected in the water in an opposing cone carved from the mountain rock. Yad Vashem is definitely high on the must-visit list for museums in Israel

7. Musa Eretz Museum

Spread over 20-acres, the institution’s 15 buildings house hundreds of thousands of rare treasures and ancient relics, including mosaics, wine presses, flour mills, art, ceramics, and plenty more. At its center lies Tell Qasile, an ancient archeological site dating back to the 12th century BCE. There are eight permanent exhibitions, a selection of temporary exhibits, and six permanent sites such as Mosaic Square, a collection of beautiful and ancient mosaic floors. The museum also has an innovative planetarium, lecture rooms, a cafeteria, and a gift shop.

8. Design Museum Holon

Opened in 2010, this institution quickly made a name for itself as one of the world’s leading institutions of design and contemporary culture. The building was designed by the famous architect Ron Arad and is committed to culture and education within the city of Holon. The permanent collection is divided into four main themes, Israeli design from the 1930s-2000, Israeli and worldwide contemporary design, specially commissioned work, and work by local design students.

With so many informative and inspiring museums in Israel, it was hard to narrow it down to just nine. Visit us at Masa Israel Journey to learn more about your opportunities for an immersive experience in Israel. Start your journey today!

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