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The ancient city of Jerusalem is full of incredible photo spots regardless of what time of the year you visit. From the narrow and winding streets to hidden corners and historical landmarks, you won’t be short of hidden gems in Jerusalem to take photos of. Sometimes though, it’s good to get a different perspective of the place that you’re visiting, and in the case of Jerusalem that means getting a birds eye view of the Old City and its surrounding landscape.
The tourist sites in Jerusalem can be a bit overwhelming during the day with the large amounts of people that visit them, and it’s very difficult to get a good photo without anyone in them. If you’re planning on exploring Jerusalem at night you’ll find that you have many of the historical attractions all to yourself though. But this post is all about the best views in Jerusalem which allow you to gaze across this incredible Middle Eastern city in a more relaxed manner.
1. Jerusalem International YMCA
One of the best views outside of the Old City can be found inside the Jerusalem International YMCA, or the Three Arches Hotel. The bell tower is an iconic landmark in Jerusalem that’s known worldwide, and was designed by the same architect as the Empire State Building. At 152 feet high, the tower provides incredible views of both the new parts of Jerusalem and the Old City in the distance. Across the road you can also spot the famous King David Hotel. Entry to the bell tower costs 20 shekels and there are both stairs and an elevator available.
2. Hurva Synagogue
The Hurva Synagogue, often referred to as the Ruined Synagogue, is located in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, and is an important part of Jewish spiritual life. The synagogue itself has been destroyed several times and has only recently been fully restored to its former glory. There’s a lot of history to unpack inside of the synagogue, but after you’ve finished exploring its interior it’s definitely worth heading up to the rooftop area of the dome. From inside you can gaze down at the interior of the synagogue, but the outside is a spectacular spot to view the rooftops of the Old City from.
3. Peace Forest
If you’re spending more than 1 day in Jerusalem, and have time to explore outside of the Old City walls, then a trip to the Peace Forest is a must. It’s a natural oasis within the city that many people visit for picnics, walks, and segway tours, which are a very fun activity to do in Jerusalem. The Peace Forest has many different viewpoints to choose from, and at the very top you’ll be able to see the Old City in the distance and the rest of Jerusalem sprawled out over the hills.
4. Western Wall Plaza
The Old City of Jerusalem is filled with stunning historical attractions to visit, with one of the most famous being the Western Wall. It’s very impressive to see up close, but unless you’re heading over the ramp towards Temple Mount then it can be tricky to get a good photo of it among the crowds. However, the exit on the right hand side of the Western Wall Plaza is a set of steps leading towards the bazaars. This offers the perfect place to snap a photo of the wall and gives you the best view of the Dome of the Rock too.
5. Austrian Hospice
This one is definitely a hidden gem in Jerusalem, unless you’re a guest of the hospice. The Austrian Hospice brings a little piece of Europe to Jerusalem, and is located along the Via Dolorosa. It was opened in 1863 making it the oldest Christian guest house in the city. The interior is very interesting to walk around, but for one of the best views in Jerusalem you’ll need to head up to its rooftop. This was the closest we were able to get to the Dome of the Rock in terms of viewpoints and it gave us amazing views over the Jerusalem rooftops.
6. Mamilla Hotel
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Jerusalem, I couldn’t recommend the Mamilla Hotel enough. This 5-star hotel is located at the crossroads of the new and old parts of Jerusalem, and has a lot of fantastic features and amenities inside. The Mamilla Hotel is known for having one of the best views in Jerusalem from its rooftop lounge and restaurant, and it’s not a bad spot to watch the sunrise in Jerusalem from either. Even if you’re not staying at the Mamilla Hotel, you can always visit the restaurant for a drink so you can take in this view of the Old City Walls.
7. Tower of David
For a panoramic view of Jerusalem there’s no better place than the Tower of David. This historical and archaeological site is a very important landmark in Jerusalem, and is home to one of the top museums in the city too. We visited the Tower of David at sunset and were treated to a breathtaking view of Jerusalem from all angles - and we could see the Mount of Olives in the distance too! There’s also a unique light show here that’s worth watching if you have the time in the evening. Entry to the museum and ramparts costs 54 shekels. The night experience costs 67 shekels per person.
Jerusalem is one of the most visited cities in Israel, and with these views it’s not hard to see why. Many tourists will choose to visit the top museums in Jerusalem and stay at ground level around the Old City, but for a more unique experience in Jerusalem I would definitely recommend checking out at least one of these viewpoints. These were some of the best views in Jerusalem that we came across, but there are many more just waiting to be discovered.
Do you like to visit viewpoints when you travel? Let me know if you have any questions about these viewpoints in Jerusalem or about visiting Jerusalem in general, either in the comment section below or via email. Don’t forget to follow my travels on Instagram too!