Tel Aviv is much more than its famous, gorgeous beaches, vibrant downtown streets, and energetic nightlife – it is a city of art, culture, and some of the best and most unique museums in the world.
Sometimes after a night out, we want something more. Museums are a great way to learn about a place, enrich our experience while traveling, and learn something new. Tel Aviv, while a new city in many aspects, is home to some great museums holding many arts and history for visitors.
Some of the best museums in Tel Aviv are easily accessible in the city, and some are even free.
One of the examples of the museums of Tel Aviv is the Ilana Goor Museum located in the historic Old Jaffa quarter, in a restored 18th-century building overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It houses some 500 artworks and antiques, including about 300 sculptures from Israel, Africa, and Latin America.
Other notable and truly various examples are Nachum Gutman Museum of Art, Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Israel Defense Forces History Museum, Independence Hall Museum in the Shalom Meir Tower, and Whiskey Bar and Museum.
You will not make a mistake visiting any of these.
How many museums are in Tel Aviv?
Tel Aviv has over twenty museums and many are unlike any other museum in the world. Like the Tel Aviv Museum of Art which has a unique design and feel. We’ve chosen our favorites for this post, but there are more to explore. They are highly recommended for rainy days, or really hor summer time.
Who designed the Tel Aviv Museum of Art?
An American architect named Professor Preston Scott Cohen and an Israeli project architect named Amit Nemlich designed the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. Scott Cohen designed a building with twisting geometric surfaces to connect the disparate angles of the triangular shape between galleries.
Who is a famous artist in Israel?
There are many famous artists in Israel. It’s a very creative industry. Some of the artists include painter Gideon Rubin, conceptual artist Nahum Tevet, and sculptor Ken Goldman. But make no mistake there are many more Israeli artists that are globally renowned for their art.
These are our 5 must-visit museums in Tel Aviv
Old Jaffa Museum of Antiquities
Old Jaffa Museum of Antiquities is one of the best museums in Tel Aviv and a great place to see museum exhibitions, this exquisite example of a museum from Tel Aviv is located on a hill in the Old Jaffa quarter, housed in a building that was constructed during the Ottoman Empire, on top of an 11th-century Crusader fortress, as the administrative center of Jaffa, a post office, and a prison.
You will find here wonderful exhibits showcasing pieces of both ancient and contemporary arts. This includes marvelous artifacts created by the civilizations that conquered Jaffa, and each tells the rich (hi)story of their creators.
You can see personal items of a Jewish family that lived here 2,000 years ago during the Roman Empire, as well as an 8th-century BC transcription of King of Assyria Sennacherib, and many more pieces of art and history from the Stone Age, the Canaanites, Egyptians, Persians, Philistines, Phoenicians, Greeks, Hasmoneans, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and others.
Eretz Israel Museum
The next on the list of museums of Tel Aviv is a must-see for all you archeology fans. The Eretz Israel Museum is a historical and archeological museum and Israel’s third-largest museum located in the Ramat Aviv neighborhood of Tel Aviv, established in 1953.
Its hundreds of thousands of archaeological, anthropological, and historical artifacts are organized in a series of exhibition pavilions, each dedicated to a particular subject (mosaics, ancient relics, ceramics, coins, copper, glassware, etc.), housed in fifteen buildings.
Some of these include the “Man and His Work” Pavilion with demonstrations of various ancient methods, such as weaving and bread baking; the Nechushtan Pavilion with various objects from the Chalcolithic period and late Bronze Age; Tel Qasile, a 3,000-year-old archeological site; a planetarium, and a lot more.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Founded in 1932 in the former home of Tel Aviv’s famous first mayor, Meir Dizengoff, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art moved to its current location on King Saul Avenue in 1971. It’s a great place to see Tel Aviv museum exhibitions. The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art opened in 1959, the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Art Education Center opened in 1988, another wing was added and the Lola Beer Ebner Sculpture Garden was established in 1999.
This museum of Tel Aviv is a proud home of one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of classical and contemporary Israeli art.
Furthermore, its permanent collection includes magnificent works from a number of major art movements, such as German Expressionism, Post-Impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, and Surrealism, including works by Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and Joan Miró. The museum also hosted the semi-final allocation draw for the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
Yitzhak Rabin Center
The Yitzhak Rabin Center is a library and research center built in memory of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s first native-born prime minister. This Nobel Peace Prize laureate was working on the Israeli–Palestinian peace, and he signed several historic agreements with Palestine and a peace treaty with Jordan.
He was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli Jewish extremist in 1995, during a peace rally. Exactly ten years later, this beautiful center was designed by the renowned Israeli architect Moshe Safdie and built near Beth Hatefutsoth, on a hill with a lovely view over the city and Hayarkon Park.
The museum is home to 188 short documentary films about Rabin, as well as historical photos, panels and timelines presenting social issues and conflicts Israel faced since its establishment.
In the center of Tel Aviv, you will also find the Rabin Square dedicated to Yitzhak Rabin. On the square’s northern edge, next to the City Hall, stands a small memorial that marks the spot of his assassination.
Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot
Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot located at the center of the Tel Aviv University campus in Ramat Aviv, you’ll find another wonderful, global institute intended for visitors of all faiths and religions in the Museum of the Jewish People. It is home to various items, each telling the story of the Jewish people. Formerly the Nahum Goldmann Museum of the Jewish Diaspora, this museum of Tel Aviv also offers educational programs to connect Jewish people to their roots.
A massive renovation of the institution began in 2016, with a new wing added, housing rotating temporary exhibitions, while a new, large permanent core exhibition will be opened in 2020. The museum houses a wonderful permanent exhibition, five galleries for temporary exhibits, a children’s gallery, educational programs, conferences, and workshops, as well as databases related to Jewish history with searchable archives of photos, films, music, genealogy, and family names.
No matter which museum you choose in Tel Aviv you are in for a treat, whether for the art or the history they have it all. So next time you visit this magnificent city and country do not forget to ask around and visit the amazing museums Tel Aviv has to offer.
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