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  • Writer's pictureKrista the Explorer

3 Best Museums in Jerusalem To Visit

Updated: Jan 14, 2023

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What’s the best way to discover more about the city and country that you’re visiting? Well, other than physically walking around its streets and immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of the city, the answer is to head to a museum. The deep rooted history of the Jewish people as well as the area where Jerusalem sits has a lot to unpack, and if you’re only spending a day in Jerusalem or a weekend in Jerusalem then the only quick way to get an overview of this is by visiting one of its many museums.

Museums aren’t for everyone, but Jerusalem has an incredibly diverse number of museums that range from traditional to more modern exhibitions - it all depends on your preference. For those of you visiting Jerusalem with children, the Bloomfield Science Museum is very interactive, and the Bible Lands Museums is always a must-visit in Jerusalem. But for those of you interested in the history and archaeology of Jerusalem, then a trip to the Wohl Museum of Archaeology or the Tower of David Museum needs to be on your itinerary.

The great thing about the museums in Jerusalem is that many offer guided tours in English, and there’s an area known as Museum Row where you can find a very large selection of them all in one place. If you only have time to fit in one museum during your trip to the holy city, here are the 3 best museums in Jerusalem to go to for first time visitors.

1. Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem will probably be the most moving museum you’ll ever visit, as it’s the country’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. The World Holocaust Remembrance Centre allows visitors to walk through the history of the holocaust in chronological order, with audio guides or as part of a guided tour. The Holocaust Museum is home to the world’s largest collection of information and items from this devastating time in history, and a large selection of the items are on full display for visitors to see. Our guide was very knowledgeable and it was one of the best tours in Jerusalem that we went on.

This may surprise you, but Yad Vashem is one of the free museums in Jerusalem to visit, and you can reserve your spot online very easily. Both the grounds and the Holocaust History Museum are free, but there’s a fee to reserve a headset or join a guided tour.

2. Hebrew Music Museum

This was our first time visiting a music museum and we had an incredible time. The Hebrew Music Museum is located only 15 minutes away from the historical attractions, in the newer part of the city. It’s where you can learn more about the different types of musical instruments that have been played by Jewish people for thousands of years from different regions of the world. The museum is organized into 7 rooms, each themed by a different culture and musical style. During our guided tour we were treated to various musical performances so we could hear the difference between the instruments.

This museum in Jerusalem will take you on a musical journey where you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the healing and spiritual qualities that music can have. Entry to the Hebrew Music Museum costs 60 shekels for a self-guided tour, or you can upgrade to a guided tour which is recommended.

3. Israel Museum

Is the Israel Museum worth visiting? Absolutely! This museum complex is huge, so to see it fully you really need to spend a day here. But if you’re short on time you can definitely see the main highlights, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, in half a day. The Israel Museum is one of the top 10 museums in the world, containing not only Jewish cultural exhibitions but also art and archaeology. It’s one of the best museums in Israel to visit and draws in crowds from all around the world. We stopped by briefly to check out their “Dead Sea Burning” exhibition before continuing on to the Dead Sea, but would have loved to spend more time here.

Entry to the Israel Museum costs 54 shekels per adult and the ticket is valid for up to 12 months after purchase. On Tuesday's it's open until 9pm so it's a nice option for something to do in Jerusalem at night too. The Israel museum is definitely a must-visit attraction in Jerusalem and is a great way to learn about different time periods of history all within the same space.

This is just a short list of 3 museums in Jerusalem to visit, especially if it’s your first time in the city. There are of course many more interesting museums to add to your itinerary, it all depends on personal preference and how much time you have during your trip. Yad Vashem, the Hebrew Music Museum, and the Israel Museum are all very different from one another, making them the perfect option to learn about the Jewish people and Israel as a whole without too much overlapping information.

Have you been to any museums in Jerusalem before? During our next trip we plan to visit more museums so please let me know your recommendations in the comment section below. You can also get in touch and follow me on Instagram too.


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