Here are the 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 armored cars that tried to break the siege of Jerusalem in 1948.
If you have more time you can catch the Armored Corps Museum and Mini Israel.
Ein Karem is an ancient village located southwest of Jerusalem. It is a beautiful village just a few minutes from Jerusalem. It has something for everyone: ancient religious history, beautiful gardens, quaint and upscale neighborhood surroundings, art and music,trendy cafes, restaurants, and bars. See Ein Kerem Village
Sataf is a village located on one of the hills just beyond Hadassah Hospital and Ein Kerem village. The first settlement in the area occurred about 6,000 years ago during the Chalcolithic Period, and 1,500 years later the settlers began to terracing the steep mountain slopes to be used for agriculture.
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. It is famous for its hiking trails and incomparable natural beauty, and hence is a popular destination for runners, hikers, and families out for a outdoor barbecue. It is about a ten-minute drive from Jerusalem’s outskirts. See Sataf
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 and the bends, and understand why the Jerusalem Forest is considered the green lungs of the city and why the plans to urbanize the area became unpopular among the citizens.
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 an outdoor amusement park located in kibbutz Tzuba. It is a fun park aimed mainly at the younger kids (officially 1 to 14). There are lots of small-sized attractions inside and out. Bring along a picnic, enjoy the stunning views and make a day of it. See more of Kift Zuba
Another great way to spend away from Jerusalem with your families and friends is to go spelunking. One of the special sites near to Jerusalem is the Soreq Cave (also known as Avshalom Cave) which is a stalactite cave. It is a nature reserve and part of the National Parks Authority. It is perfect in all day and in all weather and is 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 four in the afternoon) and its wonderful swimming pool. There are also zimmers available for those who want to turn this into their base or weekend away from it all. Check out Swimming Pools
Abu Gosh is a large Arab village that straddles the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road. Tourists go to Abu Gosh for many reasons: Its churches, a twice-yearly music festival, Middle Eastern restaurants and of course, its hummus. In fact, Abu Gosh is referred to as the “hummus capital of Israel” and was once a Guinness World Record holder of the largest hummus dish in the world.
Armored Corps Museum
Latrun was one of the key battles in the 1948 War for Independence and the site is now the Armored Corps Museum & Memorial. It also showcases some of the world’s most diverse tanks. For more, check out Armored Corps Museum
Mini Israel is a miniature park located near the Armored Corps Museum at Latrun. It allows you to visit the whole of Israel in one short trip with over 300 models, most of them no taller than seven inches. It also offers a wide range of other enriching and fun activities on Saturdays and holidays especially geared for the children. 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.