Israel Museum

If you only visit one museum in Israel, this has to be it, as the Israel Museum is consistently ranked as one of the best in the world. It’s vast grounds host a collection numbering almost 500,000 objects from prehistory to the present in its Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Jewish Art and Life Wings, and features the most extensive holdings of biblical and Holy Land archaeology in the world. This museum has a little bit of everything, from Egyptian mummies to a mosaic Islamic prayer niche from 17th-century Persia; the interior of a Surinamese synagogue and the Pilate stone – the only physical evidence of the existence of Pontius Pilate.

  • Don't miss the Dead Sea Scrolls. Housed in the iconic Shrine of the Book, these are oldest biblical manuscripts in the world!
  • Go back in time with a walk around the model of the Second Temple and see the ancient city in all its glory.
  • Stroll through the Billy Rose Art Garden that is counted among the finest outdoor sculpture settings of the 20th century. Explore modern arts of work by Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin, as well as site-specific commissions by artists such as Magdalena Abakanowicz, Mark Dion and James Turrell, all laid out against the backdrop of modern Jerusalem.
  • Be sure to not only visit the permanent collections, but to check out the seasonal changing exhibitions that are always fascinating and expertly curated.
  • Since re-opening innovative exhibitions of modern and interactive art have brought the museum to life, whilst life-size reproductions of synagogues from diverse corners of the world are fascinating to see.
  • The Ruth Youth Wing for Art Education, unique in its size and scope of activities, presents a wide range of programming to more than 100,000 schoolchildren each year, and features exhibition galleries, art studios, classrooms, a library of illustrated children’s books and a recycling room.

The Israel Museum was established in 1965 as Israel’s national museum and is located close to the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) the Supreme Court and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It was extensively extended and refurbished reopening in 2010.

General Information

The museum’s entrance and interior passages are wheelchair accessible. A transfer vehicle is available for those who have difficulty walking the Route of Passage from the entrance to the main museum.  

Restaurants / Shops
  • The museum offers food for the senses, as well as the mind. Modern, a kosher meat restaurant features contemporary Jerusalem cuisine and a rich view overlooking the Valley of the Cross.
  • For something lighter, try Mansfield, the museum's dairy cafés. Named for the first architect of the Israel Museum - Al Mansfield - the menu includes baked goods, cakes, sandwiches, salads and hot dishes.
  • If you want to grab and go, head for Chic Café. This dairy café is situated at the entrance to the Jerusalem model and offers coffee, cold drinks, sandwiches, salads, cakes, ice cream and snacks.
  • The museum is the perfect place to stock up on souvenirs and gifts. At the Israel Museum shops they do come with a story. Find items inspired by the Shrine of the Book, the Ahava (Love) sculpture from the Art Garden, extensive Judaica collectables, many children products and more. The three stores are located: at the entrance to the Second Temple Model, on the central cardo of the Museum opposite the Bella and Harry Wexner Gallery, and the main store in the entrance pavilion.
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