Locals and foreigners alike live and work in Jerusalem. Yet for all their familiarity, they will never get tired of the incredible views of the Jerusalem skyline. There is something unique about the mixture of wide open spaces (over some of the valleys) with the compact Old City and the contrast with the New City skyline and the the realization that This is Jerusalem.
Here are some of the favorite places to go Jerusalem skyline spotting
The Tayelet – One would like to have a view from the south of the Old City from The Tayelet. This is quite likely the spot that Abraham and Isaac spotted the place where Isaac was almost sacrificed and there is always the feeling of seeing Jerusalem for the first time just like they did. The centerpiece of the view is the Old City, but it is set in the context of new Jerusalem.
Mount Scopus – Mount Scopus provides the contrasting view looking at Jerusalem from the North. Here, the focus is very clearly Temple Mount and the valley — you can feel the sanctity emanating outwards. The best view from here is from the campus synagogue in the Hebrew University and elsewhere on campus. But the view from the lookout point just outside is excellent. Remember to look as the desert towards the Dead Sea — the contrast is very sharp.
Mount of Olives – This is also a view of the Temple Mount. But it is unbelievable how close you feel — you can see the mosques and all the other sites on the Temple Mount. There are also great views of the cemeteries on the Mount of Olives itself and the Old City Ramparts with the walled-in gates where, according to tradition, the Messiah will enter Jerusalem; further afield you can see Mount Zion and even as far as the Tayelet. Nearby there are some great views of the churches on the Mount of Olives. This is a view of Jerusalem not to miss.
Montefiore’s Windmill – Getting closer to the Old City the view from the windmill (or anywhere along this ridge) is also another favorite — the closest point is Mount Zion but the Old City Ramparts extend away towards Jaffa Gate and beyond.
Mount Zion Lookout – The rooftop is the complex that houses King David’s Tomb and the Room of the Last Supper has some of the best views of the Old City, New City and the Mount Zion skyline itself. It is also worth strolling on the sidewalk around the car park by Zion Gate and view the Ramparts, Temple Mount (the silver-domed Al Aksa Mosque) and down to the golden domed church in the valley.
Follow the Old City Ramparts Walk – from the inside or outside (Zion Gate to Jaffa Gate) for some great lookouts over New Jerusalem the corner where the wall turns between Jaffa & Zion Gates is particularly worthwhile.
The Old City Rooftop Lookout – It is also one of the favorite places within the Old City. Stand at the point where the four different quarters meet look at the styles of rooftops, holy places and towards the Mount of Olives.
Overlooking the Kotel – There are a few places from the Jewish Quarter with outstanding views of the Kotel — head up the steps from the Kotel and work your way along the edge of the view mostly along HaKotel Street.
Davidson Center – At the far extent of the Davidson Center are the gates that were used by the pilgrims to enter the Temple. The view here is mainly of everyday buildings but ranges from Mount Zion through Mount of Olives and includes back towards the Tayalet — but combined with the feeling that you are part of history, it is a very powerful place.
For more views of Jerusalem visit our Jerusalem Albums.