The Jerusalem Tayelet

The Jerusalem Tayelet is one of the absolutely must visit places in any tour off Jerusalem. (see Jonathan’s Essential Jerusalem Tour). If you’ve been on guided tours to Jerusalem (or you are planning to have one), several of them actually begin with a stop at the Jerusalem Tayelet.

The Jerusalem Tayelet has some of the most impressive views of the Old City, the New City and the Mount of Olives – Mount Scopus ridge and the beginning (or is it really the end?) of the Judean desert.

The Jerusalem Tayelet is also sometimes called Tayelet Haas Promenade, which is quite redundant as “tayelet” is a Hebrew word for “promenade.”

Historically, it is important as well. Tradition holds that it was from here that  Abraham and Isaac started the final leg of their journey to the (almost) sacrifice. According to tradition, this is the place where Abraham saw the mountain where he was to tie his son Isaac. The mountain in question is Mount Moriah, which is now the Temple Mount, which is clearly seen from here.

The Jerusalem Tayelet is the former residence of the British High Commissioner and now the UN HQ. It has large strategic value the ridge saw plenty of action in 1948 and 1967 wars. Amid the olive groves, the place is so tranquil, you can hardly believe or remember that this ridge has been the site of historic battles. The Jerusalem Tayelet makes an ideal spot for romantic picnics.

man taking a picture of the old city of Jerusalem
A tourist taking pictures of the Old City of Jerusalem with his camera

From the main observation point you just stand and look out over the tremendous vista; as you pick out all the important points, Temple Mount with the golden dome, the Mount of Olives and Hebrew University behind, the Old City Ramparts, the King David Hotel, downtown Jerusalem. You’ll enjoy all of these in an eyeful.

Visiting the Jerusalem Tayelet is equally magical at first light, during the day, at last light and is a romantic place in the evening. It also looks resplendent during sunset hour, where the glow of the dusk turns Jerusalem’s white stones into a golden hue. No matter what time of the day or season, the sights from the Tayelet are always breathtaking — don’t forget to bring your own camera!

Rent a bike or a Segway or simply stroll down the landscaped pathway through olive groves, stopping at observation points to view at the city that’s spread out at your feet. On clearer days, the views extend all the way to Mount Zion and even the Jordanian mountains.

If you have more time to spare than just for the quick visit then it is a great place to relax – see Relaxing on the Tayelet.

view of the old city of Jerusalem in the snow
View from the Jerusalem Tayelet overlooking the Old City, during the winter.

Getting to the Jerusalem Tayelet

It is easy to get to the Tayelet – it is served by the number 8 bus, taxis and is even walkable from some of the nearby neighborhoods.


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