You can get impressive views of Jerusalem from many places.
This city is one of the most photogenic ones in the world, and wether you are a photography geek, or an amateur photographer, you will get an endless kick at finding its most hidden alleys and corners to snap your masterpiece photo.
But honestly, you don’t need to be a photographer to enjoy Jerusalem. This is a city that will captivate you with its unique, layered, difficult history. And you will certainly enjoy the best Jerusalem views whether you have a camera at hand or not.
This post highlights the best views of Jerusalem and the viewpoints where to admire them from, explaining where exactly they are located and suggesting the best time to visit each of them for the most breathtaking views and the best photo opportunities.
You can get some easy photography tips here.
9 Places To Get Incredible Views Of Jerusalem
The rooftop of the Austrian Hospice
I discovered this place the last time I was in Jerusalem. Located on number 37 of Via Dolorosa in the Old City, the Austrian Hospice is a lovely place to visit in and of itself. It’s the oldest Christian guesthouse in the Holy City, and still functions as a hotel – though I am not a big fan of staying in the Old City when visiting Jerusalem.
You will find a lovely bakery serving delicious pastries, coffee and tea, nice historical photos and paintings, and a terrace with impressive views of the city.
You will be able to see the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and on a clear day all the way to the mountains of Jordan. Definitely one of the best views of Jerusalem.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: There is a fee of 5 NIS (little over $1 USD) per person to access the terrace.
BEST TIME TO GO: Given the exposition, I think that the best time to go to the terrace of the Austrian Hospice is during the day – preferably around 1:00 pm – for best views.
Mount of Olives
This is easily my favorite view of the city. The photos shot from the viewpoint of Mount of Olives, in East Jerusalem, are beautiful. But they hardly do any justice to what your actual eyes can capture.
I have been to Mount of Olives countless times, at different times every time, and each time I see view from there, my heart skips a beat. That’s how beautiful it is.
You will get to see the entire spread of Temple Mount and the Old City, the cemetery of Mount of Olives, and if you look carefully you will also see the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can walk to Mount of Olives from the Old City via Lion’s Gate – you will have to cross and walk towards the Garden of Getsemani. Alternatively, you can take bus 255 from the bus station near Damascus Gate.
BEST TIME TO GO: Any time is a good time to get the incredible views of Jerusalem from Mount of Olives, but if you are looking for a special and even romantic experience plan to make it there in time for sunset.
Depending on the season, the sun will set in a different place on the horizon and the light will be different – more on the purple and pink side during the spring; more on the yellow side at the beginning of the winter.
Viewing deck at Tower of David
The Tower of David is easily accessed through Jaffa Gate. It is a great place to visit in and of itself, but the best part of your visit will be the panoramic deck in the Petachael Tower, from where you will be able to get splendid views of Jerusalem spanning from the Old City to the New City, the Mount of Olives, the Judean Desert and the mountains of Jordan.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The entry fee to the Tower of David is 40 NIS (around $12 USD). It is open every day from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, except on Fridays, when it closes at 2:00 pm. Opening times are a bit longer in the summer months.
BEST TIME TO GO: You are bound to go during the opening times, so try to go in the morning.
Aish Hatorah Yeshiva
Walking away from the Western Wall, you can exit the protected area via the security gate and start walking up a flight of stairs that will lead you to the Jewish Quarter in the Old City. The views from there are simply magnificent.
You will be able to see the Western Wall, with devout Jews busy praying; you will have stunning views over the Dome of the Rock, and it is not nearly as crowded as you’d think it would be.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You will easily find this place as it is one of the ways to get out of the Western Wall Plaza.
BEST TIME TO GO: Chances are you will be walking up Aish Hatorah Yeshiva after having visited the Western Wall and Temple Mount, so mid morning. It’s a good time to go. But I am a fan of the mid afternoon, when the light begins to lower a bit.
On the way to the City of David
Walking towards the City of David, one of the most interesting places to visit in Jerusalem, you will be impressed by the incredible views over east Jerusalem. It’s nothing more than a pavement on the side of the street, but the views are absolutely stunning.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The entrance to the City of David is on Ma’alot Ir David St. Instead of heading directly to the attraction, continue walking for a short while along Derech HaOfel. You will recognize the view as soon as it spreads in front of you.
BEST TIME TO GO: I am a fan of the sunset from this exact spot!
Rooftops of the Old City
Another place I discovered pretty much by accident during my recent wanderings, the Rooftops of the Old City offer impressive views of the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Old City in general. It’s a fun place to hang out in general – the impression you get when visiting is that many locals use the rooftops as way to cut through the city without having to deal with the crowds.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You will be able to access the Old City Rooftops from small set of stairs scattered around the Old City. The one I used was right by the Siebenberg House Museum.
BEST TIME TO GO: I recommend going there in the early afternoon, when there is plenty of light to admire your surroundings. The exposition is such that you won’t be able to see the sunset or the sunrise from here anyways.
Among the best views of Jerusalem (modern city) there are those from Mount Zion. Just below the Old City walls, near Zion Gate, you will be able to get to a viewpoint from where you will be able to see Montefiore Windmill, which dates back to the 1860s.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: This is an easy to reach viewpoint. For an extra view, you may also want to go to the area where the windmill is located!
BEST TIME TO GO: During the day.
The rooftop of Alegra Boutique Hotel, Ein Kerem
When we think of views of Jerusalem, we usually think about Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock. Yet, even a bit outside the city you can get stunning panoramas.
Ein Kerem is a gorgeous, residential yet historical area of Jerusalem. Overlooking the mountain where Yad Vashem is located, it’s where you’ll find the Church of St. John The Baptist, Mary’s Well, Gorny Monastery – currently called Al Moskovia Russian monastery. It really is a lovely, pleasant place to walk around, especially at weekends when things slow down a bit.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: You can get stunning views of Ein Kerem from Alegra Boutique Hotel. This isn’t exactly a cheap place to stay, but you can try to go in for a drink at the rooftop bar.
BEST TIME TO GO: The morning, when the sky is clear!
The terrace of Mamilla Hotel
Mamilla Hotel is one of the best in Jerusalem (and probably the most expensive), with a fantastic, stylish reception hall, comfortable rooms, a wine cellar with an incredible selection. To top this off, you can also get impressive views of Jerusalem from there. The first thing you will be able to spot is the Ramparts Wall.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Even if you aren’t staying at Mamilla, you can still access the rooftop bar for a drink. That’s where the terrace is located.
BEST TIME TO GO: Sunset. It’s when the light will be the best.
Further readings about Israel
Make sure you read my other posts to help you plan an amazing trip to Israel:
- The 10 Best Places To Visit During A Trip To Israel
- A Complete Guide To Israeli Food
- 29 Things To Do In Jerusalem You Can’t Miss
- 21 Absolutely Unmissable Things To Do In Tel Aviv
- Where To Stay In Tel Aviv: Recommendations By An Almost Local
- Tel Aviv Vegan Food Guide: The Best Vegan Restaurants In Tel Aviv
- A Guide To The Things To Do In Haifa, Israel
- 17 Truly Unmissable Things To Do In Eilat, Israel
- Everything You Need To Know To Hike The Jesus Trail
- Masada Sunrise Guide: Hiking The Masada Snake Path
- The 13 Best Day Trips From Tel Aviv
- 9 Fantastic Day Trips From Jerusalem
- What You Need To Know About Shabbat In Jerusalem
- What You Must Know Before Visiting Temple Mount And Dome Of The Rock