What to See in Jakarta
Steeped in a rich cultural history, the former Dutch colony has enough interesting architecture and cultural relics to keep visitors occupied for a week. For logistical reasons, it's best to break the city down into five areas – Central, West, South, East and North.
The Northern suburbs are adjacent to the sea and home to Ancol Jakarta Bay City, a popular attraction consisting of a water park, amusement park and beach, as well as land-based sports.
Monuments and museums dedicated to Indonesia's independence dominate the central areas. South Jakarta is home to upscale shopping centres and the West is where you can discover Chinatown, nightlife and entertainment.
Ancol Dreamland is part of a huge tourism resort on the Jakarta Bay that comprises multiple amusement parks, making it a must-visit for families on holiday in the capital city. While it isn’t likely you’ll be able to experience all of the different highlights in a single day, each entertainment feature are destinations on their own. The park was home to Indonesia’s own Sea World until 2014, but continues to attract crowds to its ‘Fantasy World’, full of endless thrill rides. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Mon - Sun 11:00 - 20.00
- Location: Jalan Lodan Timur No.7, North Jakarta, Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 292 222 22
Completed in 1774, the design of the building itself justifies a visit. Inside, the structure is filled with insightful photographs and maritime relics and anyone with a hobby or career in sailing would appreciate the value of this collection.
The front section of the building, is probably the only part of the Ancient City Wall surrounding Batavia (old Jakarta) still standing today.
- Opening Hours: 09:00 - 15:00
- Address: Penjaringan, North Jakarta
The Indonesia National Gallery is a prominent landmark on sightseeing tours of Jakarta’s city centre. It is conveniently located right next to another of Jakarta’s iconic landmarks, the National Monument or Monas. The gallery serves as a great place to cool off from the heat of the day and get culturally in-tune with the art of Indonesia. There are several spacious halls filled with well over a thousand art pieces by great names in Indonesia’s art scene. Entrance to Indonesia National Gallery is free.
Notable classical artists such as the late Raden Saleh with his vivid Indonesian countryside landscape paintings, and Bali’s legendary Nyoman Lempad who immortalized old Balinese village culture and dances through his sketches, are among the highlights in permanent exhibits. Meanwhile, dozens of contemporary sculptures and installations by young artists of late are also on permanent display. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 09:00 – 16:00
- Location: Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur No.14, Gambir, Central Jakarta, Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 381 302 1
- Price Range: Free
Jakarta Chinatown (Glodok)
Jakarta’s Chinatown is both an historical and culturally significant site, often referred to as Glodok. Chinatown is located adjacent Kota Tua, Jakarta’s old town, sharing the nostalgic ambiance of the whole area, with far eastern architecture dominating the streetscapes. You can find numerous 17th century-old temples forming part of the townscape, among the dominant rows of family-run shops and restaurants.
- Location: Jalan Kemenangan III 13, Glodok, Taman Sari, Jakarta
Jakarta Old Town aka Old Batavia, or locally referred to as 'Kota Tua Jakarta', was the downtown area of the capital long ago, bearing silent witness to the occupation of the Dutch East India Company. A walk through town will immerse you in streetscapes lined with buildings boasting architectural features of a bygone era and in some corners around town you’ll find what is considered among the best samples of Dutch colonial architecture in the region.
Consistent with the nostalgic aura of the old town, most of the museums in Jakarta are found within Kota Tua. These include the Jakarta History Museum, otherwise known as the Fatahillah Museum, after the admiral and national hero who gave Jakarta its primordial name, ‘Jayakarta’, literally ‘town of victory’. Other museums include the Indonesian Maritime Museum, two bank museums namely Bank Mandiri and Bank Indonesia, the Wayang or Puppet Museum, and the Museum of Sculpture and Ceramic Arts. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Jalan Taman Fatahillah No.1, West Jakarta, Jakarta
This striking structure is topped with 35 kilograms of gold and houses two sections – a historical museum and a hall for meditation. The National Monument is Jakarta’s most famous landmark.
Construction began in 1961 and was completed in 1975, giving you some idea of the scale of the building. Built during an era of fierce nationalism, the monument has lift access and the view from the top of the building reveals a priceless, panoramic vista of Jakarta.
- Opening Hours: 08:30- 17:00, (Closed: Last Monday of every month)
- Address: Lapangan Merdeka, Jakarta
Situated in the old town of Batavia, the National Museum is probably one of the most poignant witnesses to Dutch colonisation in the city.
Started by a group of Dutch collectors, the museum has various compellations; prehistoric artifacts, archeology, heraldics, historical relics, geography, ethnography, and ceramics. The museum displays more than 100,000 cultural objects.
- Opening Hours: 08:30 to 14:30, except Friday (08:30 to 11:30) and Saturday (08:30 to 13:30)
- Address: Jl. Merdeka Barat No. 12, Jakarta
Featuring one of the best collections of wayang puppets in Java, its dusty cabinets are lined with a multitude of characters once used for performances. The collection not only includes puppets from Indonesia but also from China, Malaysia, India and Cambodia. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 -15:00 Tuesday -Thursday & Sunday 09:00-16:00 Friday, 09:00 -14:30
- Address: Taman Fatahillah, Kota
Ragunan Zoo (known as Kebun Binatang Ragunan in Indonesian) is the largest animal park in all of Southeast Asia and highly recommended for a day out with the whole family. It’s possible to see over 400 species of animal, both indigenous to Indonesia and from as far away as Africa, Arabia and North America.
The zoo is split up into sections for reptiles, mammals, birds, and an open range featuring wetland ecosystems. Among the most sought after species of animal are komodo dragons, orang-utans and the endangered Sumatran tiger, among many others. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Tue – Sun 09:00 – 16:00
- Location: Jalan Harsono No.1, Ragunan, Pasar Minggu, Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 788 471 14
For a truly immersive experience and away from the city’s hubbubs, escape to Setu Babakan, a village located on the outskirts in South Jakarta, where Batavian cultural heritage is well preserved. The village is named after a manmade lake fed by the Ciliwung River that is used for fish farming by the locals. Nearby are some plantations producing tropical fruits too. The overall atmosphere is calm and laidback and you can witness regular traditional art and music performances and even taste some local dishes at the main cultural village.
- Location: Jalan Muhammad Kahfi II, Srengseng Sawah, Jagakarsa, South Jakarta
Also known as the Pasar Ikan (Fish Market) it is situated in the far north of the city at the mouth of the Ciliwung River.
The street leading to it is lined with shops selling all sorts of shells, turtles, and lobsters. Tall-masted Bugis schooners from South Sulawesi at anchor make a fine sight. Read More...
- Address: Penjaringan, North Jakarta
Taman Mini Indonesia Park is a must-try for families visiting Jakarta or anyone looking to schedule one day in their city holiday plan to appreciate the rich arts and cultural diversity of the whole Indonesian islands. It’s one of the most unique amusement parks in the world and offers a great break away from the hectic metropolitan scenes.
The park boasts multiple pavilions, each representing the unique architectures, traditional costumes and performing arts of the different islands. From the arching roofs of traditional Sumatran houses, eloquent moves of Javanese and Kalimantan traditional dancers, to the ornate woodcarvings and heritage textiles from the Nusa Tenggara Islands. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Mon – Sun 07:00 – 22:00
- Location: Jalan Raya Taman Mini, East Jakarta, Jakarta
- Tel: +62 (0)21 877 920 78