While planning my visit to Jerusalem, I knew that I wanted to visit the old city and the Yad Vashem Institute. However, my friends from Tel-Aviv recommended one more place to me – the Israel Museum. It is located a few stops from the city center, and you need at least half a day to visit it!

Is it worth planning a visit to this place? I will tell you right away that yes, and why, you will find out below!

Location

The Israel Museum is located near the Knesset – the Israeli Parliament. It is just over 3 kilometers from the Old City of Jerusalem. You can cover this route on foot or take a bus that goes to the area. There is a car park next to the museum, where you can leave your car.

Tickets and opening hours

The opening hours of the museum vary depending on the season. As at the date of writing, the opening hours were as follows:

  • Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday – 10.00-17.00
  • Tuesday 16.00-21.00
  • Thursday – 10.00-21.00
  • Friday 10.00-14.00

It’s best to buy tickets to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem online to avoid queuing. They cost:

  • Adults – 54 shekels
  • Children (5-17 years) – 27 shekels (free on Tuesdays and Saturdays)
  • There are also discounts for seniors, disabled people and groups

The current opening hours and ticket prices are best checked on the facility’s website – Museum of Israel.

Exposition in the Museum of Israel

It is difficult to write about the exhibition of the Israel Museum in one article, because their number is huge. Temporary and permanent exhibitions are available to guests. I started my tour of the museum around 3 p.m. (I only had 3 hours until closing). The ladies who sold the tickets were surprised and warned that it was very little time. However, I decided to take a risk and despite the fact that I can confirm that there was not enough time, I tried to use it 200%.

It is basically divided into four wings – Art, Judaica and Jewish Ethnography, Archeology and Youth. The latter is intended for workshops and lessons.

The largest exhibition is that on archeology. We can learn about different cultures and artifacts from excavations. The exhibition is not saturated with multimedia, but it is modern and pleasant to watch.

The exhibition devoted to Jewish issues constitutes a separate part. There you will find a room for Jewish rituals – you will find there everything about weddings and funerals. A separate part is devoted to costumes from around the world, and yet another part is devoted to souvenirs from different countries. An interesting part of the exhibition are the recreated interiors of synagogues from different regions of the world. Each of them is different, but they all have something about them.

In addition, in the Israel Museum you will find exhibitions about art from different periods and locations, both traditional and modern. Quite a large exhibition, which I had the opportunity to see, also concerned Central America.

If we add temporary ones to the permanent exhibitions, there are several exhibitions waiting for you there!

Garden of Art

I started my tour of the Israel Museum with a visit to the outside. I received such recommendations from the lady who sold the tickets and I decided to comply with them. The green areas around the museum are huge. You will find modern and traditional art there. Outdoor exposure is constantly increasing.

Probably the most interesting element is the huge model of the old city in Jerusalem. It reflects the city from before 66 year, when an uprising against the Romans broke out, resulting in the destruction of part of the city.

Right next to the model is the entrance to the Sanctuary of the Scrolls, where valuable Bible manuscripts are waiting for you. Among them, the Dead Sea Scrolls found in 1947–1956 in the Kumran Caves.

Interesting exhibits presented in the Israel Museum are unusual books. They come from the 15th century and are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The collection was commissioned by Mojżesz ben Jekuthiel Hakohen in 1479. It was a period of unprecedented cultural activity among Italian Jews, from whose milieu came many scholars, artists, poets and doctors.

From the outset, the manuscript was to be a work of splendor, embracing almost every custom of religious and secular Jewish life. It has long been considered the most elegant and richest of all Hebrew manuscripts.

Worth visiting?

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem is, in my opinion, a must-see when visiting this city, right after visiting the Old City. The museum makes a great impression, and the collected collections are unique and very rich. Fans of history (especially ancient history) will feel like in paradise there, and people who are interested in the cultural and religious life of Jews will also be pleased with their visit!

See even more photos from the Israel Museum!