Here are things that you shouldn’t miss in the Jerusalem area. For almost all of them you need a car or a taxi.
Many of them fit together very well for a long half day. Start in Ein Kerem, Visit Sataf and then take the Nes Harim road to the stalactite cave or Kift Zuba. You can complete the loop via Bet Shemesh – Shaar HaGai and then get to Abu Gosh & Shoresh via the main Tel Aviv Jerusalem road. Look out for the remains of the armoured cars that tried to break the seige of Jerusalem in 1948.
If you have more time you can catch the Armoured Corps Museum and Mini Israel.
Ein Karem is a beautiful village just a few minutes from Jerusalem; packed with ambiance, churches and cafes.
Sataf is located on one of the hills just beyond Hadassah Hospital and Ein Kerem village.
It is one of the places that Jerusalemites go just to enjoy the view and to chill out, do sport and you can visit the springs, restored ancient village and learn about agriculture thousands of years ago.
Ness Harim Road
There are several pretty roads in the Jerusalem Hills; one of the best is the 386 from Kerem Junction (get there via 396 from Hadassah Hospital or 386 through Ein Kerem village.) It is not long, but, if you have a car and in the area it is worth a short trip, enjoy the views, the bends and understand why the Jerusalem Forest is considered the green lungs of the city and why the plans to urbanise the area were so deeply unpopular.
It is easily combined with (any or all of ) a trip to Ein Kerem, Sataf, Kift Zuba or the Stalectite Cave.
Kift Zuba (Fun at Zuba) is a fun park aimed mainly at the younger kids (officially 1 to 14) – lots of small sized attractions inside and out. Bring along a picnic, enjoy the stunning views and make a day of it.
See Kift Zuba
One of the special sites near to Jerusalem is the stalactite cave – perfect in all weather and simply amazing.
See Stalactite Cave
Shoresh is a small village just off the main Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway. Its attraction is the wonderful view, cool air even in the heat of summer (especially after about 4pm) and its wonderful swimming pool for more details. There are also zimmers available for those who want to turn this into their base or weekend away from it all.
See Swimming Pools
Abu Gosh is a large Arab village that straddles the main Tel Aviv Jerusalem road. It is famous for it houmous (previously holding a Guinness record in the area), its churches, and a twice yearly music festival.
Armoured Corps Museum
Latrun was one of the key battles in the 1948 War for Independence and the site is now the Armoured Corps Museum & Memorial.
Mini Israel is located near the Armoured Corps Museum at Latrun. It allows you to visit the whole of Israel in one short trip with over 300 models. See Mini Israel
Correct – you don’t need a car for this one!
One of the relaxing things to do near Jerusalem is to take the train in the general direction of Tel Aviv and to enjoy an extremely leisurely trip through the Jerusalem Mountains.