There’s always space for a little extra Israeli culture in one’s life, especially when it’s so closeby, accessible, and abundant. While Tel Aviv is young in comparison to its ancient country, the beach-based city is flooding with rich Israeli artists and even richer history. These 12 Tel Aviv museums and historical centers are living proof and each very unique from the next. Some take an hour, some take a full day, and some require multiple visits. We encourage you to sample the White City’s entire vibrant art buffet.
The top Tel Aviv Museums to check out
Hiding just behind Gan Meir, Beit Ha’ir is an open house for all residents, artists, writers, scholars, tourists, and any other guest imaginable who yearn to take part in Tel Aviv’s story and spirit. The building (meaning “Town Hall” in Hebrew), is part of the Bialik Complex, a center of Israeli and Hebrew culture. As a part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, the building was recently renovated to include a lively hub of art exhibits and information unraveling the White City’s deep cultural history. Beit Ha’ir also hosts public debates in an effort to advance urban processes.
The Yitzhak Rabin Center is dedicated to advancing the legacy of late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin. The Center presents his life and tragic death as well as the history of Israel. Its mission is to ensure that Israel remains committed to open dialogue, democratic value, Zionism, and social cohesion. Guests can also enjoy the Israeli Museum, located at the Center. Here, visitors explore the history and making of the state through short documentaries and exhibition halls. The Yitzhak Rabin Center is a must-visit for any history buff or lover of the State of Israel.
Unique for a number of reasons, the Eretz Israel Museum is especially unusual because its grounds encompass the archeological site of Tel Qasile, dating back to the 12th century B.C.E. The museum houses impressive, permanent collections of coins, mosaics, and Jewish folkloric objects from various periods and regions.
Bialik House is the home of Israel’s beloved Hebrew national poet, Haim Nachman Bialik. Even though the poetry is in Hebrew, the house is an architectural paradise highly influenced by Islamic style. Along with archives of Bialik’s original work, the house features ceramic art depicting biblical scenes.
Gracing the walls of this museum are Israel’s most comprehensive collections of modern, contemporary, and Israeli art. The museum boasts an impressive collection of the old masters, diverse temporary exhibitions, displays of photography, design & architecture, a performance hall, and a beautiful, calming sculpture garden to wander around or relax in. When visiting, don’t miss the newest addition to the museum, the Herta and Paul Amir Building, which was designed by professor Preston Scott Cohen. Built around a spiraling, 90-foot high atrium, the Herta and Paul Amir Building is an architectural wonder. The interior space provides a unique setting for the display of contemporary art, a center for architecture, and a gallery.
The Ben-Gurion House was built in 1930, and was the permanent home of Paula and David Ben-Gurion until they settled in Sde Boker. Upon David Ben-Gurion’s death, he requested his house to become a public institution for reading, study, and research. His extensive library houses thousands of books from all genres: philosophy, history, language, psychology, and more. All the items belonging to Paula and David Ben-Gurion are in the house, in addition to exhibits added when the house opened to the public in 1974. Ben-Gurion House invites visitors to experience a personal and unmediated meeting with Ben-Gurion's memory. Tours and other educational activities are offered.