In recent years, the Tel Aviv municipality has been investing in preserving its heritage and history, as well as nurturing the art and culture scene in the Israeli hub. With Israel’s rich history and the Tel Avivian’s passion for art and style, there is no doubt that the city has plenty of museums worth visiting.
Tel Aviv Museum of Art
Tel Aviv Museum of Art’s main compound comprises two wings; the newest one, which opened in 2011, is one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The museum houses temporary and permanent exhibitions, a sculpture garden and a youth wing. The collections on display include Israeli and international art, both classical and contemporary, as well as unique installations representing other fields, such as architecture, design, craftsmanship or video art. This place is one to admire and discover contemporary, as well as classic, Israeli artists.
Beit Hair translates to ‘The Town House’, which is what this museum is all about. Located at the old Tel Aviv Town Hall, which the Tel-Aviv municipality restored and preserved, the museum is considered a part of Tel Aviv’s ‘White City’. The museum is not only designed to convey the history and spirit of Tel Aviv but also to enable residents and visitors alike to become acquainted with everything that the city has to offer.
Beit Hair, Bialik St 27, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, +972 3-724-0311
Tel Aviv’s ‘White City’ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its one-of-a-kind collection of Bauhaus architecture. The architectural style is visible in many Tel Aviv buildings, but this privately owned museum, which also offers free admission, features exhibitions describing and explaining the International Style. Also on display are collections of belongings linked to the Bauhaus movement of the 1920s and 1930s, including pieces designed by Walter Gropius, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer.
Bauhaus Museum, Bialik St 21, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, +972 3-620–4664
Beit Hatfutsot: The Museum of the Jewish People
The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot lies in the centre of the Tel Aviv University campus and is also known by its previous name, the Diaspora House, which is a direct translation of the Hebrew name. The institution aspires not only to connect the Jewish people to their heritage and roots but also to convey the narrative of the Jewish story, culture, and faith to the rest of the world.
Design Museum Holon
Just a 10-minute drive from Central Tel Aviv, the Design Museum Holon is one of Israel’s most prominent architectural landmarks. Designed by Israeli industrial designer and architect Ron Arad, the museum has hosted exhibitions on various design elements of everyday life, as well as retrospectives on some of the world’s trendiest designers. The museum also displays its private collections of design artefacts and a materials library – a paradise for designers looking for inspiration.
Design Museum, Pinkhas Eilon St 8, Holon, Israel, +972 73-215-1525
Whiskey Bar & Museum
The largest whiskey museum in the Middle East and fifth-largest one in the world, the Whiskey Bar & Museum in Sarona compound is no ordinary museum. Even though visitors can admire the beautifully designed space in a converted templar military base, as well as the incredible selection of over 1,000 types of whiskey, from a distance, this museum is all about the flavour. Visitors are welcome to dine, drink and indulge in the various sorts of whiskey, and undoubtedly leave with a new appreciation and understanding of the luxury spirit.
The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art
A part of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, the Helena Rubinstein Pavilion lies in Habima Square, which is about a 10-minute walk from the main complex of the museum. While the upper level features two permanent exhibits of decorative art from the Danek and Jadzia Gertner Collection, including Meissen porcelain and glassware by Émile Gallé, the pavilion showcases artworks by both Israeli and international artists, covering different practices and forms of contemporary art.
Helena Rubinstein Pavilion, 6 Tarsat Blvd, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, +972 3-528-7196
Yitzhak Rabin Center
Designed by the renowned Israeli-American-Canadian architect Moshe Safdie, the Yitzhak Rabin Center is a research institution built in honour of assassinated Israeli prime minister, Yitzhak Rabin. By telling the story of his life, the permanent exhibition at the centre aspired to describe the history and policy of Israeli democracy and its society.
Yitzhak Rabin Center, Chaim Levanon St 8, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, +972 3-745-3333
Eretz Israel Museum
Another institution on the Tel Aviv University Campus, the Eretz Israel Museum (the land of Israel museum) is divided into different pavilions, with each one holding either archaeological, anthropological or historical artefacts of the Israeli history and tradition. Some of the biggest collections on display are glassware, ceramics, coins, and copper pieces.
HaEtzel, also known as ‘Irgun’, was a Zionist paramilitary organisation that operated in Palestine up until 1948, with Israel’s Declaration of Independence. The museum – also known as ‘Beit Gidi’ in the memory of Amichai Paglin, who served as Chief Operations Officer of the organisation – tells the tale of HaEtzel’s struggles from the Israeli Declaration of Independence to when it completely merged into the Israel Defence Forces. The most fascinating thing about the museum is its architectural conservation efforts. The museum is inside a black-glass ultra-modern structure that sits in an old house damaged during the battle over Jaffa, emphasising the connection between ‘the old and new’.
HaEtzel Museum, Nahum Goldman 2, Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel, +972 3-517-7180