While on your gap year in Israel, in addition to learning about the country’s history, you will also have the chance to learn about its cultural life. Israel, both modern and ancient, has always had a rich artistic life, and as such, there are some fantastic museums and galleries just waiting for you to visit. In fact, Israel is home to the highest number of museums per capita in the world. Obviously, this means that you are unlikely to visit them all. However, there are a few that shouldn’t be missed.
The most famous is of course The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Amazingly, it houses approximately half a million exhibits, including plenty of ancient and modern art. Those interested in sculpture will find that there is loads to see in the museum gardens, while inside there are countless paintings, mosaics, and more. If you are based in Jerusalem for part of the year then you will have plenty of opportunities to visit, while if you are in Tel Aviv it is definitely worth making the journey.
Of course, Tel Aviv is not short of museums of its own. A lesser-known museum perhaps is The Museum of the Jewish People, which is located on the university campus. The museum has recently been renovated and it is better than ever before. Its exhibits will guide you through the history of the Jews over 4,000 years. It includes technological and physical displays, and provides amazing insights into how we spread across the world and developed as a people.
If you have the chance to travel south to Beersheva, be sure to take the time to visit The Negev Museum of Art. It is not as large as the last two museums, which means that you should easily be able to squeeze in a visit. However, while it may not be big, it offers plenty to see including modern art from the region. The exhibitions regularly change, so it is worth having a look at the museum website to see what is coming up. However, even if you visit it spontaneously, you are sure to be delighted by what you find.
Anyone interested in design should be sure to visit the Design Museum in Holon. Even the building itself is a work of art, designed by the architect Ron Arad. It is quite a new museum, having opened in 2010, but it has already garnered a reputation as one of the world’s top design museums. You will find exhibits that focus on fashion, design, jewellery and architecture. In short, there is something there for everyone. It also houses many temporary exhibitions, so it is worth keeping an eye on the website to see what is coming up.
For something completely different, you could visit the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art in Haifa. It is the only museum of its kind in the Middle East and it houses numerous pieces of art, textiles, ceramics and much more.
As mentioned, there are many more museums to visit in Israel. Hopefully while on your gap year, you will have plenty of opportunity to explore them and enjoy all that they have to offer.