Jerusalem Museums Walking Tour, Jerusalem (Self Guided)

Jerusalem is the historic land of the Bible. It is sacred to the three great monotheist religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Here you will find archaeological and historical museums full of artifacts dating back to high antiquity. This self-guided tour will take you through some of the most visited museums of Jerusalem:
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Jerusalem Museums Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Jerusalem Museums Walking Tour
Guide Location: Israel » Jerusalem (See other walking tours in Jerusalem)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.3 km
Author: vickyc
Rockefeller Archaeological Museum

1) Rockefeller Archaeological Museum (must see)

The Rockefeller Museum houses one of the world’s best collections of artifacts from the Jerusalem area. The archeological digs were started here in the 19th century and were centered in the Ottoman area of Palestine. In more modern times, this place is managed by the Israel Museum and houses the offices of the Antiquities Authority for the country.

The British Mandate era was a time of great turmoil in Palestine. The Ottoman Empire of the day had all but left this area for waste, not considering it of much use. Indeed, this geographic area had been in decline since its fall in the wake of World War I. During that time in history, with Jewish and Arab immigrants moving here, colonial authorities were eager to assert control over the area. Perhaps the best outcome was that many old artifacts were found, cataloged, and studied.

The museum has been loaded with a considerable amount of unearthed archaeological pieces from locations across the region. Many of the exhibits will be a “work in progress” for some time to come. Despite this fact, this place is a must-see for anyone who comes to visit the area.

From the museum's grounds, you get a great view of Mt Scopus and Old City.
All exhibits are explained fully and you are not rushed in your touring.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Mon, Wed-Thu: 10am-3pm; Sat: 10am-2pm
Closed on Tuesdays, Fridays, and holiday eves
Armenian Museum

2) Armenian Museum

Note: Because of renovations, the Museum is temporarily closed.

The Armenian people of Jerusalem are some of the most interesting folk among the various ethnicities that have settled in the city. They occupy a small section of the oldest part of town, and stay behind gates in a private compound. Much of this is due to the genocide that has haunted them for years.

Just off the main road to the Armenian quarter, however, is their museum. For five shekels, you can visit their museum. The courtyard is quite magnificent. The exhibits will give you a glimpse into this people like none other. And you cannot beat the bargain price.

There are over 30 rooms to view. You can see household and agricultural objects, maps, mosaics, manuscripts, photographs, woodcuts from early printing presses, copper ware, jeweled crosses, miters and embroidery. The overall collection is designed to really give the visitor a clear view of what life is like the Armenian people. It also depicts the achievements and history of the Armenian community in Jerusalem.

Visiting Information: The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 AM - 16:30 PM. It is closed on Sundays.
Museum for Islamic Art

3) Museum for Islamic Art (must see)

The Museum for Islamic Art is a premier museum in Jerusalem, located very close to the residence of the President of Israel. The location was opened to the public in 1974 and was founded by Mrs. Vera Bryce Salomons. You may not find a better art gallery either, for the presentation of the art of the Muslim people.

Though not of that faith tradition, Mrs. Vera Bryce Salomons had a great love of the culture of Islam. She was very interested in helping the world know that religion alone did not define this people. She was expressly interested in the beautiful calligraphy that was some common in the handwriting of this area. She noted also that the various Muslim regions of the world had their own “flare” in the art of the writing as well.

The institute itself was dedicated to Ms. Salomons’ professor: L.A. Mayer, who passed away in 1959. It was her hope that opening this place would allow art to help bridge the gap between the Israeli and Arabs.

There are nine galleries in total, which depict the culture, faith, and art of the Islamic people across the world. The museum also is home to Professor Mayer’s personal collection. Displayed here are some of the world’s finest examples of chess pieces, eye masks, daggers, swords, helmets, textiles, glass items, etc. The rooms are laid out in chronological order. One spot also houses the pieces owned by David Salomon, the husband of the founder. Some of the finest examples of handmade clocks from the 1700s through the 1800s are kept here. You can also find some exquisite artisan-style music boxes from that time in history.

Why You Should Visit:
Untainted by political commentary, the museum tells the story of Islam itself, accompanied by exquisite pieces of art that capture the importance of the religion's various aspects.
Lately, the museum went through a process of innovation, bringing to the public highlights of modern artists linked with Islamic arts.

If possible, try to see the film about the clocks & timepieces before looking at the world-class collection thereof.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed: 10am-3pm; Thu: 10am-7pm; Fri, Sat: 10am-2pm
Bible Lands Museum

4) Bible Lands Museum (must see)

The Bible Lands Museum is one of the best examples of art, history and culture of the nations that make up the Bible to be found in Jerusalem. It has also become rather famous for its educational programming as well. In fact, it has won international awards for such. The countries covered include the lands of Canaan, Egypt, Philistine, Aramea, as well as the people known as the Hittites, Elamites, Phoenicians & Persians.

The building is located on Givat Ram, next to the Israeli Museum. The main section displays hundreds of artifacts and ancient documents. You can tour and see idols, coins, statues, weapons, pottery, seals from across the ancient Near East. You can also find scale models of ancient sites in Jerusalem, a Ziggurat at Ur and the pyramids at Giza.

The gift shop is definitely worth a visit as it has many things not available elsewhere in Jerusalem.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Tue, Thu: 9:30am-5:30pm; Wed: 9:30am-9:30pm; Fri-Sat & holiday eve: 10am-2pm

You can get a guided tour of the museum in English at 10:30am each day. You can also get a guide that speaks Hebrew at 11am.
In the evening, the respective tours would be at 5:30pm and 6pm. You would need to check in advance for any information on Saturdays.
Israel Museum

5) Israel Museum (must see)

The Israel Museum, or Muze'on Yisrael, Yerushalayim is located in Jerusalem. It was founded in 1965 as Israel's national archive. It is located in the local region of Givat Ram. The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, Knesset, the Israeli Supreme Court, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are very near to this location also. Mayor Teddy Kollek was perhaps the most instrumental person in the development of the institution. In terms of similar places, it is world famous for art and archaeology. In its walls are housed ancient artifacts from the days of the Bible, Judaica, local ethnic graphic art, as well as archaeological pieces from every major continent in the world. You can also find treasures from the Orient, glass, clay and porcelain sculptures and rare documents from around the world. Perhaps the most famous exhibit here is the Shrine of the Book. In a specially shaped building, the Dead Sea Scrolls and artifacts discovered at Masada have found a home.

The museum owns over 500,000 collectible pieces. At any one time, there are around 7500 items that can be viewed or seen online. The location, under the directorship of James Snyder, underwent a multimillion-dollar campaign to modernize the structure. In addition, the construction would be designed to double the gallery space available for exhibits. It opened on July 26, 2010. The current building covers nearly 150,000 sq. feet. It attracts 800,000 patrons yearly. Well over 100,000 children visit each year. It holds the biggest public display of Israeli artifacts in the world.

Why You Should Visit:
The most interesting and magical museum there is in Israel, hands down – outstanding sculpture garden included.
Wide range of work from contemporary art to Jewish life (full-on synagogues included)!

Don't try to do it all at once. The collections of archeology and art are each huge and incredible and could take hours. Do the Dead Sea Scrolls on your first visit.
Remember to bring an ID card (not passports), in order to use the audio guides.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu: 10am-5pm; Tue: 4-9pm; Fri & Holiday Eves: 10am-2pm; Sat & Holidays: 10:30am-4pm

Walking Tours in Jerusalem, Israel

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Create Your Own Walk in Jerusalem

Creating your own self-guided walk in Jerusalem is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Art Galleries of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Art Galleries of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Jerusalem is considered sacred by the three great monotheistic religions of the world. There are art galleries that reflect the influence of these religions on the artists of Jerusalem. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most visited art galleries of Jerusalem.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.2 km
Mount Zion and Surroundings Walking Tour

Mount Zion and Surroundings Walking Tour

Mount Zion, as many other places in Jerusalem, is a biblical site. This name was mentioned in manuscripts dating back to the first millennium BC. It was called the Town of David and David s tomb is here. This self-guided tour will lead you to the biblical sites of Mount Zion and other modern attractions in its surroundings.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Cultural Walking Tour of Jerusalem

Cultural Walking Tour of Jerusalem

Jerusalem is considered holy by the all the three major monotheistic religions in the world - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The city is full of history and culture. The following self-guided tour will take you through some of the most visited landmarks in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Nightlife Walking Tour of Jerusalem

Nightlife Walking Tour of Jerusalem

Jerusalem has a reputation as one of the foremost religious and cultural centers of the world. What is less known is that it has an interesting night life as well. This self-guided tour will lead you to some nightclubs where you can experience the pulsating nightlife of Jerusalem:

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 km
Mount of Olives Walking Tour of Jerusalem

Mount of Olives Walking Tour of Jerusalem

The Mount of Olives is on the east side of the Old City of Jerusalem. Here you will see the magnificent churches that are also biblical sites, a very old cemetery with tombs of the Prophets. For many people this is a holy place as God is always present here. The following self-guided tour will lead you through the Mount of Olives landmarks:

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
New Jerusalem Walking Tour

New Jerusalem Walking Tour

West Jerusalem or New Jerusalem is made up entirely of westernized, modern neighborhoods. This part of the city was built around the wall of the Old Jerusalem city. The following self-guided tour will lead you to some interesting streets, art galleries, museums and shops in New Jerusalem:

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

16 Uniquely Israel Things to Buy in Jerusalem

Modern day Jerusalem is a mosaic of neighborhoods, reflecting different historical periods, cultures, and religions. The influx of repatriates in recent years has made the cultural and artisanal scene of the city even more colourful and diverse. To find your way through Jerusalem's intricate...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Jerusalem for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Jerusalem has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Jerusalem's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Jerusalem City Pass by Ticketbar, Jerusalem City Pass by Musement, or Jerusalem City Pass by Viator.

A city pass combines all Jerusalem's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows user to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Jerusalem hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Leonardo Plaza Hotel Jerusalem, The David Citadel Hotel, Prima Kings Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Jerusalem, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Jerusalem typically costs somewhere between US$10+ and US$90 per person:

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of Jerusalem – this usually lasts around 2 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise could have done by walking.

- Provoke your contemplating eternal matters on a mixed (coach and walking) tour of Jerusalem, the city where the ancient and religious are intertwined more than anywhere else in the world. With the help of an expert guide try and perceive the profound meaning and context behind the holy Christian and Jewish sites of Old and New Jerusalem.

- Visit the places that once saw Jesus Christ in flesh, feel the tales of the Bible become real on a walking tour of Jerusalem led by a knowledgeable local guide. Walk the stones of Via Dolorosa in the footsteps of the Messiah to his crucifixion and learn more about that pivotal day in human history.

- Explore the city of three religions through the eyes of Jewish, Christian and Muslim worshipers on a 4-hour guided walk of Old Jerusalem to the holy places and landmarks revered in Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and learn about the religious beliefs associated with them.

- Tantalize your taste buds with the scents and sights of exotic delicacies fit to arouse anyone's appetite on a 3-hour guided tour of Mahane Yehuda, Jerusalem’s biggest outdoor market! Explore the city's favorite marketplace in its variety.

- Descend into the unknown, at least until recently, deep beneath the ground to explore the ancient roots of Jerusalem on a 1.5-hour guided tour through the centuries-old tunnel dating back to the times of the Second Temple. Get a chance to touch and hear about some truly incredible artifacts found here, and more.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Jerusalem, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Bethlehem and Jericho, Masada and the Dead Sea, Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee, or the West Bank. For as little as as circa US$100 to US$125 per person you will get a chance to experience first-hand the ancient and Biblical treasures, discover fascinating religious history, see the fabled Biblical and Nativity sites, scenes of the New Testament stories including places where Jesus performed miracles, plus explore legendary ruins, and so much more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Jerusalem, and transported either by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, minibus or a private vehicle to the destination of your choice and back again.