A complete Jerusalem Museum list would be long - there are more than 60 of them in this small city.
From the world-famous Israel Museum to the fascinating kids' exhibits at the Bloomfield Science Museum, Jerusalem museums cover every historical era and almost every possible area of interest, offering something for everyone. Here is our list of favorites. (After our obligatory first nod to the Israel Museum, we list them in alphabetical order, not necessarily in order of preference!):
The crowning jewel of all Israeli museums is without a doubt the Israel Museum. This one is not to be missed. It's a must-do, so put it on your itinerary and don't leave Jerusalem without stopping here at least once, if not twice!
The Bible Lands Museum is the place to learn
about Biblical history. This is the only museum in the world dedicated to the history
of the biblical period in the many lands mentioned in the Bible and is well
worth a stop on any Jerusalem tourism itinerary. Read more ...
The Bloomfield Science Museum is a favorite kids' activity, rain or shine. It is chock-full of hand-on, interactive exhibits that are fun for kids as well as for any accompanying adults.
The Burnt House is a home from the Second Temple period that was burned to ground when the Romans sacked Jerusalem. It is a chilling time-travel trip back to that catastrophic event.
At the entrance to the Old City, the Tower of David History of Jerusalem Museum is wonderful place to get an overview of the city's checkered past before delving into a tour of the city. Within its wall, you can walk through thousands of years of history, climb the Old City ramparts or enjoy the spectacular Sound and Light show.
This sobering museum focuses on the history of the Jewish Underground
which was active from 1920 to 1948. You can see the gallows and the
cells where members of the Haganah, Irgun and Lechi were incarcerated during the British Mandate in the 1920s to 1948. Their crimes ranged from participating in illegal immigration to acts of terrorism. A bit macabre but very educational for older children and adults.
At the Russian Compound.
Hours: Sun to Thur (9:00-16:00, 15:00 in the winter); Fri 10:00-13:00
Admission fee. Guided tours in English available by prior reservation. Call 02-623-3166
The Theodore Herzl Museum is devoted to the founding figure of the modern Zionist movement. Learn about him at the museum and then visit Herzl's tomb, along with the graves of Yitzhak Rabin, Golda Meir and others, in the gardens of adjacent Mount Herzl.
The Nahon Museum of Italian Jews and Art is a little known gem. It showcases the exquisite art of Italian Jews, through Jewish religious artifacts from Italian Jewish communities. It is also home to the Conegliano Veneto Synagogue, a 16th-century synagogue brought over to Jerusalem piece by piece, and which is used today as a place of worship by Jerusalem's community of Italian Jews.
There are surprises at this museum - not only does it house a superb collection of Islamic art from the 7th century to the present, including some lovely Persian tiles, beautiful carpets, and an interesting exhibit about Arabic calligraphy, you will also find a famous collection of antique Parisian watches dating from 1769 to 1823.
2 Hapalmach St.
Sun, Mon, Wed, Thurs 10:00-15:00
Fri, Sat 10:00-14:00
An archaeology enthusiast's wonderland, the Rockefeller Museum displays archaeological discoveries found in the Holy Land during the British Mandate period.
Walk through six houses from the days of the Second Temple at the
stunning Wohl Archaeological Museum. A real eye-opener of how people lived in
Temple times and what may still be hidden under our feet in the Jewish
Quarter. A fascinating but often over-looked treasure among Jerusalem
museums. It's on our list of the 10 Best Jerusalem Old City sites.
Yad Vashem Museum - The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority is a 45-acre campus that includes several Jerusalem museums: the world's largest Holocaust Museum, the Yad Vashem Museum of Art, a research institute, library archives, exhibits, monuments and sculpture gardens. Don't miss it! Plan to spend a whole day here, if you can.