Plan Your Visit
Open Times - Sunday-Thursday 10:00-16:00, Friday 10:00-14:00, Saturday 10:00-18:00 Pro Tip: Phone ahead, as their hours vary.
Prices - Free
Average Visit Duration - 1 hour.
Popular Times - Saturdays.
Special Events - Regular temporary exhibitions, and special events during national school holiday periods.
Tours - Tour Jaffa with a professional guide and make this museum one of the stops on your itinerary. For temporary exhibitions, there are often talks with the artists and guided tours at noon on Fridays.
Jaffa Museum of Antiquit ies explores the history of Jaffa through a wide range of exhibits from archaeological treasures to contemporary artwork by local artists. Jaffa was an ancient port city that welcomed pilgrims, armies, merchants, and immigrants. Many regimes, religions, and cultures made their way through Jaffa leaving their mark. At the museum, you can learn about the endless succession of civilizations that inhabited Jaffa, going back thousands of years, including the Canaanites, Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, and British. The museum exhibits change regularly with new and exciting additions as the city continues to grow and new archaeological finds are made.
Pro Tip: If you’re asking for directions you might need to say you’re looking for the Old Saraya House, the Jaffa Museum, or the Antiquities Museum. On Google Maps, search for “Jaffa Museum”.
The Jaffa Museum Building - Al-Saraya
In addition to the museum exhibits, the building itself is worth seeing. The structure houses the museum and an Arab-Hebrew Theater. Jaffa Museum of Antiquities is housed in an 11th-century Crusader fortress which has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. The present version of the museum building dates back to the 18th century and the Ottoman Empire when it was called Al-Saraya al-Atika, and served as an administrative office for the municipality, and later as the post office, and a prison. On a visit to the museum, you can explore the building and see architectural features from the Crusader and Ottoman periods, such as the Crusader colonnaded halls and vaulted ceilings.
Pro Tip: You may hear the building referred to as the “Old Saraya”, as there are two buildings in Jaffa called Saraya. The museum building or Old Saraya, and a second Saraya building, or “New Saraya” that was built to replace the original Saraya building as the Ottoman government offices. It is located at al-Qibla, around Clock Tower Square.
In 1733 a local Christian family headed by Hanna Dawud Damiani bought part of the building and converted it into a soap factory that became the largest soap factory in Palestine. The soap factory was abandoned during the War of Independence in 1948 and remained unoccupied and neglected until it was restored for the opening of the museum.
Highlights of Jaffa Museum of Antiquities
- 8th-century transcription of Sennacherib, King of Assyria.
- Personal and household items that belonged to a Jewish family living in Jaffa during the Roman era, about 2000 years ago.
- Bronze Age pottery was discovered in Jaffa.
- Roman and Byzantine-era glassware
- Stone ossuaries from the Herodian and Roman periods.
- Contemporary art.
Know Before You Go - Jaffa Museum
- Located at 10 Mifratz Shlomo Street, Jaffa the museum is surrounded by gardens, stone pathways, and other historic landmarks and attractions such as the Hamam.
- The museum is fully accessible.
- There is parking nearby.
- Pro Tip: If you are visiting without an organized tour call ahead as the museum is often closed for special group visits and events.