The narrow stone catwalks of the Old City walls provide great panoramic views and interesting perspectives of this intriguing city. But they also offer an innocent bit of voyeurism as you look down into gardens and courtyards and become, for a moment, a more intimate partner in the secret domestic life of the different quarters you pass. Across the rooftops, the domes and spires of the three religions that call Jerusalem holy compete for the skyline, just as their adherents
jealously guard their territory down below. Peer through the shooting niches, just as the long-ago watchmen did. The hotels and high-rises of the new city dominate the skyline to the west and south; the bustle of East Jerusalem is almost tangible to the north; and the churches and cemeteries quietly cling to the Mt. of Olives to the east. There are many high steps on this route; the railings are secure, but small children should not walk alone.
The two sections of the walk are disconnected from each other (though the same ticket covers both). The shorter southern section (taking 30 minutes) is accessible only from the end of the seemingly dead-end terrace outside Jaffa Gate at the exit of the Tower of David Museum. Descent is at Zion Gate or just before Dung Gate. The longer and more varied walk begins at Jaffa Gate (up the stairs immediately on the left as you enter the Old City), with descent at New, Damascus, Herod's, or Lions' gates. In terms of timing, allow 40 minutes for the shorter section, south-southeast to Zion Gate, with an extra 10 to 15 minutes to Dung Gate. For the longer section, it takes 20 minutes to walk north-northeast to New Gate, another 20 minutes east to Damascus Gate, 15 minutes from there to Herod's Gate, and about 20 minutes more to Lions' Gate.
Jaffa Gate, Jerusalem, Israel
Nov 12, 2013
The correct phone number for tickets is 072-215-7000. If calling from outside Israel, 972-72-215-7000. The store that sells the tickets is called Jerusalem Ticket Office on the left as soon as you enter Jaffa Gate.