The Tower of David Museum is an historic site without parallel in Jerusalem or, indeed, the entire world.
The Museum is located within the Tower of David Citadel, the iconic symbol of Jerusalem, and tells Jerusalem’s 3,000 year old story through innovative, exciting technology.
The Citadel is located at the meeting point between East and West Jerusalem and expresses the continuing dialog that exists between ancient and modern-day Jerusalem. The Tower of David rises above the walls of the Old City, and can be seen from afar. It welcomes all those who come to the Old City through the main gate, Jaffa Gate.
The Tower of David is located on the spot that has guarded Jerusalem for thousands of years. Rulers throughout history have left their mark here.
King Herod built 3 massive towers here and the largest one, the Phasael Tower, is still standing.
During the Early Muslim Period, a Citadel was built, the, remains of which can be seen today in the center of the courtyard - a round tower 10 meters/30 feet in diameter.
The Crusaders constructed a royal palace here. They added a beautiful entrance and a moat (dry and without alligators!).
The Mamelukes strengthened the walls of the Citadel and added sophisticated, advanced architectural elements to make the Citadel a symbol of strength.
Among the impressive extensions built by the Mamelukes is the hexagonal tower appended to Phasael Tower.
The Ottomans built a monumental entrance gate at the the Museum’s eastern entrance, a beautiful stone bridge, the open mosque, and the cannon yard. Their most striking addition was the minaret, the tower of the mosque, known today asthe Tower of David, a prominent symbol of the city of Jerusalem.
The British converted the Citadel’s rooms into exhibition spaces; and they actually were the first to use the Tower of David not for defense and protection but rather for peace - as an exhibit space for art and cultural events.
After the War of Independence in 1948 the Jordanian Legion controlled the citadel and it became a fortress once again. After the 1967 Six Day War, the Citadel came under Israeli sovereignty and in 1989 the Tower of David Museum was opened.
From then until now the archaeological courtyard has hosted visitors from all over the world who come to discover the story of Jerusalem. So actually, everyone contributed to building this place. And all are welcome to enter it!
The courtyard of the Citadel is extensive and there are many shady and grassy areas to relax in - come to tour the citadel through its exciting history or just to enjoy a picnic in the pleasant hours of the afternoon, all in the shadow of a Second Temple Period tower or a Byzantine water cistern.
The entrance fee to the Tower of David includes an audio-guide in Hebrew or English at no additional cost. The audio-guide includes 3 self-guided tours:
“BANAI - A Musical Journey from Persia to Iran” The exhibition invites visitors to a musical experience that is a joy to the senses. Voices, videos and music tell the story of one family, the Banai family, whose history represents us all. It begins in Persia over one hundred years ago and continues to the neighborhoods of the Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, and wanders through the scenes of Jerusalem as it was then. The spaces and historical events portrayed inspired generations of this family and the exhibition displays their artistic work.
“Jerusalem - a Bird’s Eye View”
This new self-guided audio tour examines the models of Jerusalem through the ages that represent the timeline of Jerusalem. In the open air and the wide spaces of the Citadel’s courtyard, the visitor is invited to gain a new perspective on Jerusalem and discover how the city changed over time. The tour includes unique historical models of Jerusalem, showing the changes in the city over thousands of years. Included is an impressive model of Jerusalem in the 19th century which is located in a 1500 year-old water cistern. The tour also includes interesting archaeological finds from excavations in the Citadel from different periods throughout Jerusalem’s history. The archaeological remains and the detailed models complement one another and tell the story of the development of the city through 3,000 years.
Audio-guide and disposable earphones are included in the entrance fee.
“Secrets of Herod’s Palace and the Kishle” - Our revamped tour invites the visitor on an exciting journey through the city’s past - to the major events and stories which changed history; a journey which starts in the Tower of David complex and continues to the moat and the Kishle. In 1999, the Israel Antiquity Authority conducted an extensive archaeological excavation in the Kishle that uncovered the secrets of the city from the days of the First Temple until modern times; this area is now open for the first time to independent visitors. The tour passes through remains of Herod’s royal palace, to Jewish dying vats from the Middle Ages, and finally to a prison in the Kishle, and includes rare finds, stories and exciting testimonies. The weave of stories and evidence presents a timeline of events and occurrences in the Old City through 3,000 years of history.
The site is called “Tower of David” because of a mistaken reading of Josephus Flavius during the Byzantine Period. The blunder continued with the Moslem designation of the Citadel as the “Michrab (prayer niche) of the Prophet David”. As years passed visitors from Western countries transferred the misnomer to the minaret of the Turkish mosque and the name stuck. There are many places named after King David in Jerusalem. And we, the Citadel of Jerusalem, also recall Jerusalem’s legendary king.
The entrance to the Tower of David Museum is located opposite Jaffa Gate Square, at the end of the Mamilla pedestrian mall, at the main entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. Look for the signage directing you to the entrance courtyard.
Monday-Wednesday and Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm (last entrance at 4:00 pm, museum closes at 5:00 pm).
Thursdays: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm (last entrance at 6:00 pm, museum closes at 7:00 pm).
Fridays between 10:00 am - 2:00 pm (last entrance at 2:00 pm, museum closes at 3:00 pm).
On Sundays the museum is closed.
Times for the screening of the Night Experiences change dependending upon the season. Times are updated on the Night Experiences page.
Entrance fee for the Museum: Adult - 40 NIS Child (5-18) - 18 NIS | Israeli Senior Citizen - 20 NIS | Student 30 NIS
Ticket to the Night Experiences: Adult - 65 NIS | Child (3-18) - 55 NIS | Israeli Senior Citizen / Student - 60 NIS
Combined ticket to the Museum and the Night Experience: Adult - 80 NIS | Child (5-18) - 70 NIS | Israeli Senior Citizen / Student - 75 NIS
Of course! The Museum cooperates with all the large customer clubs where you can find discounts on tickets for the Museum, the Night Experiences and special events.
In addition, those staying in Jerusalem hotels are entitled to a 15% discount on entrance to the Museum / Night Experiences upon presentation of our coupon, found at your hotel.
The Citadel is an archaeological site which, for thousands of years served as a fortress to protect the residents from attack and so was designed from the beginning as an inaccessible site. However, the Tower of David Museum has dedicated much attention to making the site and parts of the visitors’ paths accessible. The two Night Experiences are accessible to people with limited mobility. We recommend contacting the reservation center in advance to arrange access. The Night Spectacular is accessible to blind and sight-impaired people through verbal description. To arrange for this, call the reservation center at *2884.
Yes! Kids love wandering the walls of the Citadel, peeking out through the arrow slits and climbing on the towers.
Also, our Night Experiences are recommended for children from age 3.
Check our website for special events that we offer kids throughout the year.
The Night Spectacular presents the story and faces of Jerusalem woven through a powerful, multi-sensory, multi-media presentation. This sound and light show carries the viewer back in time through the history and events that created Jerusalem.
KING DAVID tells the life story of the boy, David, who became king and one of the most famous leaders in the history of the world. The sound and life show brings his character to life as it is screened on the ancient walls between the remains of different historical periods. The story of King David is projected on the stones of Jerusalem, the city he founded and which he built thousands of years ago.
There is open seating and there are enough seats for all. You can see the presentation in its entirety from every seat in the theater.
Paid parking is available in the Karta and Mamilla lots across the street