Mount of Olives
The first place that comes to mind when looking for a spectacular view of Jerusalem is the Mount of Olives, which is one of three hills located east of Jerusalem. This mountain, which was once covered in olive trees, has a long history in both the Old and New Testaments and is a popular site for pilgrims as well as tourists looking to purchase souvenirs from local merchants. Here, you can look out over the hills of Jerusalem, the Old and New parts of the city and even catch a glimpse of the golden dome of the Temple Mount, the oldest Jewish cemetery dating back 3,000 years, in addition to some more recent modern architecture, which has sprung up in recent years.
The Ramparts Walk
As you may already know, Jerusalem is surrounded by ancient walls, which were built thousands of years ago to protect the city from intruders. Today, the walls of Jerusalem offer an opportunity to explore the city by circling its perimeter. Whether you join a guided walking tour or a Segway tour or simply go exploring on your own, you’ll get to see the Arab market, the Lion’s Gate Plaza, the Church of the Dormition and residential clusters of the Armenian and Muslim Quarters from a new angle.
Either start off along the Ramparts Walk from Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate and along Dung Gate, not far from the Western Wall Plaza and the Jewish Quarter where you will catch breathtaking views of the Old City rooftops, the Sultan’s Pool, Yemin Moshe, Mount Zion and the Mount of Olives or, for those more adventurous who don’t mind some stair climbing, you can also access from Damascus Gate and walk all the way to Lion’s Gate. Don’t miss out on the incredible view from the Tower of David Museum, set just at the entrance to the old city through Jaffa Gate.
Haas Promenade, more commonly known as ‘the Promenade’ (HaTayelet), is a lookout located in East Talpiot near the UN headquarters. It’s a must for those who wish to admire the Dome of the Rock from a distance as well as the entirety of the Old City‘s walls. Since the highest viewpoint gets rather busy with groups rushing to take in the view, you might want to take a walk along the beautiful walkways and landscaped gardens and balconies that adorn the lower sections of the Promenade.
Mount Scopus Observation Decks
Take your pick from two observation decks on Mount Scopus, each offering very different yet just-as-impressive views. The Glick Observation Plaza, opposite the Hebrew University, offers stunning panoramas of the domes, towers and arches of the varying religious landmarks in the nearby surroundings and is a popular romantic spot for lovers during sunset. On the opposite side, from the Gerald Halbert Park and Observation Plaza, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the Dead Sea in the distance along with the Moab Mountains of Jordan.
The Austrian Hospice
One of the first hostels in Israel, this modern day guesthouse belonging to the Austrian Catholic Church offers a perfect vantage point, high up and overlooking the most ancient section of Jerusalem from within. Here, you will see the winding alleys of the Christian and Muslim Quarters spread across in front of you as you soak up the atmosphere with the backdrop of numerous steeples and of course, the unmissable Dome of the Rock. If you’ve built up an appetite with all of these amazing views and you fancy a traditional strudel, then go down to the hotel coffee shop – you’re sure to find one there.