Kiriath-Jearim is just 30 minutes car drive away from Jerusalem!
Israel’s capital has a lot to offer in terms of weekend activities.
Jerusalem is Israel’s largest city, so please always make sure you know where you are going and how you are getting there. Each of its neighborhoods is very different in character and type of population – so always be respectful of their beliefs and requests.
Transportation: from the central bus station in Jerusalem there are plenty of cabs waiting for you, to take you wherever you would want to go. But public transportation is also available (just not on the Sabbath).
Jerusalem has a light rail, the lines don’t go everywhere in the city, but will most likely take you to the areas to which you would want to go.
If they do not there is always a bus. In Jerusalem, the bus company is Egged (http://www.egged.co.il/HomePage.aspx). On their website you can find inter-city buses but also bus lines and times for buses which can take you anywhere else in Israel.
The Old City: When Israelis say “Jerusalem Old City” they usually mean the area of the city that is within the Ottoman walls. This part of the city is divided into four quarters – the Armenian Quarter, the Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter, and the Muslim Quarter. Each of the quarters has many important and interesting sites, attractions, and sleeping accommodations. Make sure to plan your day well and bring comfy shoes so you can see everything you want.
In this website, you can find most of the information you want, regarding the Old City:
Outside the Old City there is also plenty to do.
The Israel Museum: the archaeology wing at the museum holds a lot of the artifacts that you’ve heard about in class. But also make sure to check out their website to find out about their temporary exhibitions.
The Israel Museum is located across the street from the Bible Lands Museum (http://www.blmj.org/en/) and a few minutes walking distance from the governmental buildings district where you can find the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), the Supreme Court building, the Foreign Ministry, and all other governmental offices. Across the street from the Supreme Court there is also a small shopping mall with a large movie theater (in Israel most movies are not dubbed but have Hebrew subtitles. However, sometimes children’s movies are dubbed–so make sure).
Yad VaShem: literally translates to “memory and name”. This is the biggest research and archival institute for the research of the Jewish holocaust during WWII. Its museum is rich with information and exhibits.
Emek Refaim Street – Jerusalem’s German Colony: a few minutes from downtown and city center. Has the best of the old and new of the city. Has plenty of cafes, boutiques and restaurants which are all in the German Templar style buildings which characterize this area.
Machne Yehuda Market: this busy market is the best place for fresh local produce and also for small restaurants with excellent local food. The market is open every day except Saturday. During the evening and night hours, when the market stalls are closed, you can find bars and restaurants to hang out in.
For other nightlife attractions and venues, the best place to get updated is on the “Time Out Jerusalem” website (https://www.timeout.com/israel). There you can also find other attractions, events, and best sleeping accommodations in the city. Other than that, you can always join English speaking community’s Facebook page in Jerusalem, called “secret Jerusalem”. In this group you may also be able to ask any question you may have, and perhaps even find a sublet, or any other thing you would need for your weekend, or post excavation, visit to Jerusalem.