Top Spots for Architecture in Israel

1. Bauhaus Center: Tel Aviv White City Bauhaus Tour—Tel Aviv-Yafo

The Bauhaus Center specializes in tours of Tel Aviv’s “White City” Bauhaus Architecture. This German style of architecture, which originated in Weimar in 1919, is characterized by simple, straightforward design with an industrial, minimalist aesthetic. In 2003, UNESCO proclaimed Tel Aviv’s White City a World Cultural Heritage site. This 2-hour tour shows the city’s most prominent Bauhaus buildings, constructed during the 1930s and 1940s.


Visitor Information: Weekly guided tours in English start Fridays at 10am. Audio guides are available daily in English, Hebrew, Russian, German, French, and Italian. Audio guides and the live tour each cost 80 NIS per person. Private tours are available on request.

Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 10:00am-7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am-2:30pm
Saturday: 10:00am-7:30pm

Street Address: 77 Dizengoff St.


2. Beit Knesset HaGadol (Great Synagogue)—Jerusalem

Designed by German-born architect Dr. Alexander Friedman, the Great Synagogue opened on August 4, 1982. The ancient Temple inspired the building’s architectural style. The Main Sanctuary seats 1,400 and is acoustically engineered to maximize sound capacity. Régine Heim-Freudenreich of Switzerland designed the huge stained glass windows above the Aron Kodesh. The synagogue is dedicated to the memory of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, and to all who have sacrificed their lives for the establishment of the State of Israel.


Visitor Information: Minyan occurs several times throughout the day. Tours (approximately 30 minutes): Sunday-Thursday, 9am-1pm. Please note that all “visitors must be appropriately attired.”

Street Address: King George Street 56, Jerusalem


3. Bridge of Strings—Jerusalem

Designed by Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the Bridge of Strings, also known as the Chords Bridge, is used for pedestrian traffic and Jerusalem Light Rail’s Red Line. The most prominent feature of the bridge is the 118-meter mast that is bolstered by 66 cables. It is built mainly of Jerusalem stone, with trimmings of glass, steel, and concrete, and is the tallest structure in Jerusalem. The bridge was completed in 2008.


Visitor Information: Walking across the Bridge of Strings is free, and tickets are not required.

Street Address: Jaffa St, Jerusalem


4. Cymbalista Synagogue—Tel Aviv-Yafo

This unique synagogue, built in 1998, is part of a series of religious works designed by Mario Botta. The structure’s cylinders emerging from a rectangular entrance floor symbolizes the chuppa. The Cymbalista Syngogogue, like much of Botta’s work, is made of brick. The building’s interior is flooded with natural light through its distinctive geometric shapes.


Visitor Information: The synagogue is open for minyan several times a day. The synagogue Beit Midrash is open Sunday-Thursday, 9:00am-5:00pm.

Street Address: University Campus, Tel Aviv-Yafo 69978


6. Jerusalem International YMCA—Jerusalem

Arthur Louis Harmon, designer of the Empire State Building, was the architect for the Jerusalem International YMCA, which was completed in 1933. The building, which was completed in 1933, was constructed with a vision of unity among different religious groups, as reflected in its diverse design inspirations. The building combines Byzantine, Gothic, neo-Moorish and Romanesque architecture. The ceilings of the main lounge large dome, and arabesques in the entrance hall highlight the Islamic and Christian design elements.


Visitor Information: Bell tower: Single admission: 15 NIS; Group (10+ people): 10 NIS; Family (1+ adult and 2+ children under 13 years of age, up to 5 people total): 40 NIS

The Three Arches Hotel:

The YMCA’s Three Arches Hotel includes standard rooms as well as suites. Hotel amenities include a sports center, sauna, and conference center.

YMCA Restaurant: open daily from midday-10pm

Street Address: King David 26, Jerusalem, 91002


7. Memorial Hall, Har Herzl—Jerusalem

Credit: Amit Geron

Kimmel Eshkolot Architects designed the memorial to Israel’s fallen soldiers at the country’s national cemetery in Jerusalem. The memorial includes over 23,000 bricks, each of which is engraved with the name of a fallen soldier and the date of their death. This “wall of names” spirals around the memorial’s central commemoration hall. Natural light passes into the roofless space and is filtered though the bricks, so that no artificial light is needed in during the day.


Visitor Information:
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 9am-6pm
Friday: 9am-12pm

Tours are offered free of charge, but must be organized in advance. A full 1.5-hour version is offered, as well as a shorted 45-minute version.

Street Address: Mount Herzl, POB 16590, Jerusalem 9116402


8. Pagoda House—Tel Aviv-Yafo

Tucked away in the King Albert Square in Tel Aviv’s Lev Ha’ir district, the massive eclectic-style Pagoda House was designed in 1924 by Alexander Levy. It is currently owned by a Swedish magnate Robert Weil, who is now renovating the structure, which combines oriental and western motifs. The Pagoda House was notably the first private residence Tel Aviv to have an elevator.

Visitor Information: Visitation is free.

Street Address: Ge’ula St 40


9. Tel Aviv Museum of Art—Tel Aviv-Yafo

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art was established in 1932 in the home of Tel Aviv’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff. In 1971, the museum moved to its current location on King Saul Avenue. The permanent collection includes leading artists from the first half of the 20th century, including Pablo Picasso, Jacques Lipchitz, Chaim Soutine, Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, and Joan Miró. In 1989, Roy Lichtenstein created a giant two-panel mural especially for the museum, which now hangs in the entrance foyer.

The new wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art was opened in 2011. Israel’s diverse cultures inspired architect Preston Scott Cohen’s design, which utilizes overlapping axes to create a fascinating geometric shape. The museum’s interior architecture ensures natural light always enters the building, which creates optimal conditions for appreciating the art within.


Visitor Information:
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday: 10:00am-6:00pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 10:00am-9:00pm
Friday: 10:00am-2:00pm

Ticket Information: Adult: 50 NIS; Tel Aviv resident: 40 NIS; Student: 40 NIS; Senior: 25 NIS; Enlisted soldier: 25 NIS; Child under 18: Free; Enlisted soldier in uniform: Free

Street Address: 27 Shaul Hamelech Blvd


9. Wohl Center—Ramat Gan

The Wohl Center, which was completed in 2005, is a convention center in the main campus of Bar-Ilan University. Internationally renowned architect Daniel Libeskind and the local architecture firm Heder Partnership collaborated to design the building. In 2006, the Wohl Centre won a RIBA International Award for its architecture. The center’s angular design is inspired by the shape of an open book, and Hebrew letters influenced the shapes of the windows, which cut across the gold-colored aluminum exterior.


Visitor Information: The conference rooms in the center are available for private events.

Street Address: Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan