Catching the Jerusalem skyline from the rooftops of the Old City is worth the short detour, even if it is a bit off the beaten path. Actually, maybe that's what makes it so much fun!
You can get an unparalleled Jerusalem view from two rooftops in the heart of the Old City that are open to the public: The roof of the Aish HaTorah building and the rooftop observation point on St. Mark Street.
The Aish HaTorah building is in the Jewish Quarter. It faces the Western Wall Plaza. For a small admission fee, you can enjoy the glass sculpture and the illuminated manuscripts in the lobby, and then climb the stairs to the roof.
From here, you get a stunning 180 degree view of the Jerusalem skyline. You're facing the Temple Mount, the Muslim Quarter is to your left and you can see Mt. Scopus and the Mt. of Olives in the distance, along with Gethsemane. The village of Silwan is to your right.
The roof has tables and benches, so it's a lovely place to rest and enjoy. It also boasts a model of the Temple, so you can visualize what the Temple Mount looked like 2000 years ago.
(Aish HaTorah is a place where people of any age can go learn about Judaism. To find out more, check out their website, Aish.com.)
This rooftop observation point is located approximately where the
Jewish, Muslim and Christian quarters meet, right in the heart of the
The best time to go is dawn or late afternoon to watch the sunset. The place is no longer a well-kept secret and group tours frequently come here during the middle of the day. The city even has plans to turn it into a proper esplanade with paving, benches, lights and the works. But at the right hour, you can still get lucky and find yourself alone, sit on the ground and experience being part of everything around you.
To get there:
intersection of Khabad and St. Mark streets, you’ll find a narrow metal
staircase that leads up to the roof of a building. Go on up - don’t be
shy. Above, you’ll find that the roofs of many buildings spread
together like a blanket from which you can get a 360 degree view of the
This is not the highest or most panoramic Jerusalem view point in the city, but there is something about sitting on a rooftop at dawn, or sunset, with flowers blooming between the cracks, completely surrounded by holy sites, monuments to millennia of history, dreams and aspirations that makes it all uniquely yours and you a part of it.