Qumran Caves

Qumran Caves, Dead Sea Region

Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins • Caverns & Caves
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These eleven caves were made famous when the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest manuscript of the Hebrew Bible, were discovered between the years 1947 and 1956.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
386 reviews
Excellent
187
Very good
130
Average
54
Poor
6
Terrible
9

Alice C
Toledo, OH58 contributions
Feb 2020
My second time to the area and still not disappointed. Our tour guide was fantastic - it's so interesting to hear about the Dead Sea Scrolls, their discovery and their value and importance to all of us. The ruins are nicely roped off for easy viewing, lots of signs in English and a great shop/restaurant. Admittedly during this visit , they're renovating the gift shop; but I was still able to make my purchases! The food is good and reasonably priced - going a la carte, that is.
Written March 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

midway42
Minnesota2,852 contributions
The Qumran Caves are better known as Qumran National Park, found easily off Highway 90 next to the Dead Sea. There is a small entrance fee (maybe 20NIS) to access the site.

The visit starts with an introductory movie (evidently not working when I visited) and a quick walk through a museum addressing various aspects of the site and the group of people (Essenes) who lived there. The museum was a bit dated and seemed at odds at times with modern scholarship, but did give a decent overview.

That aside, most people are not going to visit here for an indoor attraction, and after a quick walk through the museum you are allowed to access the grounds with a suggested walking tour presented on a handout. The site itself was quite well kept and signage was adequate. The real attraction, however, was the backdrop of the mountains and a number of visible caves in the distance that the scrolls were found in; the whole experience seemed a bit surreal at times.

Overall my visit (which took maybe 60-90 minutes to complete) was worth the detour and helped put the whole Dead Sea Scrolls story in context. Not a perfect presentation, but worthwhile for sure. Recommended.
Written December 25, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

William B
Makassar, Indonesia92 contributions
Dec 2014 • Family
a place where the holy bible original scrolls were founded. the museum is quiet good, with some illustration about the scrolls and the invention itself. it was nice experience, you can buy some souvenirs at the shop.
Written April 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Hank H
Virginia440 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
Yes, the history here is incredible but so much more can be done to explain it to you and immerse you in it. The only thing I felt immersed in was the gigantic tourist shop hawking everything under the sun. The attached restaurant fed you efficiently but the chicken shawarma tastes more south Asian than Middle Eastern.

TIP: Bring your own lunch and your own history book.
Written January 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Marius D
Zagare, Lithuania61 contributions
Oct 2014 • Friends
Qumran is the location of the Dead Sea sect that gave the world the Dead Sea Scrolls, the greatest literary find of the 20th Century. A small museum, an excellent video, and well preserved ruins of ritual baths and cisterns, plus a great look-out at cave 4, striking mountain scenery, and access to hiking trails, make this...
Written December 13, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

redink46142
Indianapolis, Indiana470 contributions
Nov 2014 • Friends
The Dead Sea scrolls were discovered at Qumran in the Judean Desert. Because they were stored in clay jars and because of the desert environment, many scrolls were somewhat intact when they were discovered nearly 2000 years after they were hidden away. Actual scrolls, remnants, and copies are on display in Jerusalem.

The Qumran exhibit has an introductory film that includes many swirling aerial shots of the large site. Some visitors may feel a bit of nausea during the film, but it sets the scene for visitors to understand the lifestyle and culture of the Essenes, the peaceful Jews who wrote the scrolls. Their lives were focused on writing the scriptures, study, and prayer.

Visitors cannot go inside the caves, but they can view them from a short distance. The ruins of the Essene settlement, including ritual baths and study areas, can be explored on foot. The exhibit in Jerusalem includes samples of practice characters, writing instruments, and strict rules for being a member of the group.

This sect was wiped out by the Romans, but they hid a wonderful legacy in the desert caves. It's remarkable and humbling to read the scrolls and realize our modern texts have the same words. Very young children will probably become bored, but it's a fascinating look into the past.
Written November 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jojo
Navi Mumbai, India1,697 contributions
Oct 2016 • Family
Near Jericho, was Qumran where Jesus used for prayers and meditation before Sermon.Monk Yessin Tribes stayed here. Old precious ruins of very historical importance from this area was kept in Israel Museum known as Khumarani Scroll being unexpected finding of Shepard s.in 1947. Later research findings revealed hidden valuable ruins of 2000 years old from the desert such as Assembly Hall,Dining Room,Kitchen,texton on lather, Pepparus, copper scrolls etc a clear sign of inhabitants hidden in the caves from Roman Attacks.
Written August 11, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kaso L
Tel Aviv, Israel17 contributions
Apr 2015 • Friends
We were on one day tour. The place in very interesting and educational and authentic. The only minus was that we have to eat in the so called restaurant in the shopping center at the parking lot of the museum. It is a horrible place. The food is disgusting , no taste, small portions (well, it does not really matter, because they are not eatable anyway) , total waste of about 15 USD.
Go anywhere else, take food with you, just don`t waste your time and money on eating in this this horrible dining room.
Weather tips - it is a desert, so it is hot in the summer. Best time to visit is early spring or late autumn. Take hats and plenty of drinking water and you will enjoy your visit.
Written April 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Journeyfamily
Western Australia, Australia385 contributions
The site includes a small museum as well as 2000 year old ruins from the community that used to dwell there.

There is a spectacular view of some of the caves where the Scrolls were found (note that you can't actually visit the caves itself).

Considering the size of the museum, there is quite a large store there - souvenirs, jewelry and Dead Sea products.

Is about an hour's drive from Jerusalem.

Including spending time in the store, we spent about an hour and a half there.

There is a fee to enter the site.
Written January 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

JSLTraveler
Bloomington, MN35 contributions
Dec 2014 • Friends
We loved seeing these caves. I wanted so badly to be able to go in them and explore. But of course you can not do that. 2 shepherd boys found the Dead Sea Scrolls in clay jars in one of the caves. Our guide explained that because this area is the lowest point on earth it caused weather conditions to be perfect for preserving the scrolls.The area reminded me of the Badlands of South Dakota.
Written December 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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