Israel Museum Jerusalem

Incredible paintings, sculptures, and pieces of history, in the Israel Museum Jerusalem, the biggest museum in Israel, featuring an incredible variety of displays.
Israel museum in Jeusalem

The biggest museum in the middle east

With over half a million displays, the Israel Museum is the biggest museum in Israel, and one of the biggest in the whole world. With displays that range from the Dead Sea Scrolls, to paintings by Van Gogh and ancient elephant skeletons, it offers a unique experience for art, history and nature lovers, and is truly one of the best museums you can visit in Israel.

The Israel Museum Jerusalem is one of the biggest and most diverse museums in the world. With a huge collection of displays in various fields of arts, history, archeology, and more, it truly is one of the best museums in Israel, and a great visit for anyone looking to learn more about the history of humanity and Israel in particular. Here’s everything you should know about visiting this magnificent site.

The Israel Museum Jerusalem: Major sections

Shrine of the Book

The Shrine of the Book is the site of the most well-known exhibit in the Israel Museum: the Dea Sea Scrolls. Here, you can see 7 of the Dead Sea Scrolls, found in caves near Qumran, and considered to be the most important archeological finding of the 20th century in the whole world.

The Shrine of the Book is a unique building of its kind in the world. It was designed by the architects Fredrick Kiesler, Armand Phillip Bartos, and Gezer Heller, inaugurated in 1965, and became a landmark in international architecture.

The building of the Hall of the Shrine was designed in the 1960s in an interesting and striking way: a black wall made of stone imported from China and a white dome in the shape of a pitcher’s lid, symbolizing the Sons of Light and the Sons of darkness, the most well-known part of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

In addition to the scrolls, you can also see here an impressive model of the old city of Jerusalem in the Second Temple days. The model shows the city buildings on a scale of 1:50. The highlight of the model is the Temple itself, whose description in the model has become a symbol and is presented in various publications as a realistic image of the Second Temple.

On the bottom floor of the building, you can see the Aleppo Codex, which is considered to be the holiest and most important manuscript of the Bible in the whole world. The codex was written in Tiberias and was famously used by Maimonides, one of the most important Torah scholars in Jewish history.


The Israel Museum in Jerusalem features ten art sections and offers a comprehensive view of the history of art, both geographically and chronologically.

The different sections here are European art, modern art, contemporary art, Israeli art, drawings and prints, photography, design and architecture, art of the Americas, art of Africa and Oceania, and art of Asia. Those include works by world-renowned artists, such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cezanne, Picasso, Dali, and more.

In addition, the arts section includes some unique displays. For example, in the displays dedicated to the art of Africa, America, and Oceania there are masks, jewelry, weapons, and various items that were used in everyday life, such as traditional clothes, shoes, and dishes from the past. A visit to this section is an excellent opportunity to examine the similarities and differences between the different cultures and between then and now. In the Arts of the Americas exhibit, for example, you will see some unique items, such as Eskimo clothing, a model of an Eskimo kayak, colorful kachina dolls designed to teach the Hopi children of Arizona about the properties of spirits, and more.

In the European art exhibition, you will also see some beautifully designed rooms, such as a French lounge from the 18th century designed in the Rococo style, to which an entrance hall leads with furniture and coffee sets from the end of the 18th century; A Venetian dressing room from the 18th century and an English dining room in the style of the country houses of the aristocracy from the end of the 19th century.

The art collection here, which is displayed in a two-story building, is the biggest in Israel, and the most impressive one, alongside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.


The Archeology section presents various archaeological findings, with an emphasis on the archeology of the Land of Israel. The renewed display of this section, which was inaugurated in 2010, includes about 8,000 objects from different periods in the history of the Land of Israel.

Among the outstanding exhibits are the Sennacherib prism which describes Sennacherib’s war in Judah similar to the Bible, and an inscription of the priestly blessing from the First Temple period.

In the outdoor part of the archeology section, there is a model of the Rehavam’s Arches Synagogue in the Golan Heights, one of the oldest synagogues in the world, which includes original stones. Also, here you will see a geometric mosaic found in a synagogue in the Beit Shean Valley, and the longest street mosaic in Israel – a long text on the floor of the mosaic, which has eight sections arranged in 29 lines, including texts that appear in Tannaim and Amoraim sources, which relate to the Laws and customs of the Land of Israel in Judaism.

Israel museum in Jeusalem

Jewish Art and Life

The section of Jewish Art and Culture curates a variety of artifacts from Israeli communities around the world, from the Middle Ages to the present day. The collection reflects the richness and beauty of the Jewish artistic tradition alongside the local influences of the different lands in which those communities lived.

The collection includes rare manuscripts, and four realistic models of synagogues from different communities around the world, as well as objects related to the Jewish rituals, clothing, household items, and jewelry from Jewish communities in Israel and abroad.

In addition, in the “Information Center for Jewish Art and Culture” subsection, you can see a unique research library and photo archive that includes about 20,000 photographs, many of which are the last recordings of the vibrant day-to-day life of Jewish communities that no longer exist, like in Afghanistan, Yemen, Eastern Europe and more. Those include photographs of synagogues, cemeteries, ritual objects, and many other objects.


Opening hours

Sunday-Monday: 10:00-17:00
Tuesday: 16:00-21:00
Wednesday-Thursday: 10:00-17:00
Friday: 10:00-14:00
Saturday: 10:00-17:00

Parking and transportation

There is a free dedicated parking lot for museum visitors. It is also possible to get here bu bus, with several bus lines from different parts of Jerusalem.

Accessibility arrangements

  • The only inaccessible part of the Israel Museum of Jerusalem is the art garden.

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