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.
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Glodok still has typical Chinese shop-houses, as well as temples and churches. Nearby is Jakarta’s oldest Chinese temple, built in 1650.
This is a good place to head for cheap Chinese dishes and the area also features a few notable tourist attractions: There are two ancient Buddhist Temples – Da Shi Miao at Jalan Kemenangan, and Vihara Dharma Bhakti. The Santa Maria de Fatima Catholic Church is another place worth checking out.
Address: Old Batavia Jakarta, Java
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
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.
Opening Hours: 09:00 -15:00 Tuesday -Thursday & Sunday 09:00-16:00 Friday, 09:00 -14:30
Address: Taman Fatahillah, Kota
Established in 1864, Jakarta's Ragunan Zoo is 16km south of the city centre in the Pasar Minggu area. Home to some 4,000 animals, this large zoo has a good collection of Indonesian wildlife including Komodo dragons.
While some of the enclosures are downright small, this is by far the best zoo in Indonesia. The orangutans and gorillas are a highlight as is the lush tropical setting, making it a welcome respite from Jakarta’s urban sprawl.
Opening Hours: 08.00 - 18:00
Address: Jl Harsono RM 1, Pasar Minggu Area (From Jl Thamrin take bus 19)
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.
Address: Penjaringan, North Jakarta
Set over 100 hectares of land, this park represents Indonesia's 27 provinces and their outstanding characteristics, reflected most strikingly in the exact regional architecture of the province. Cultural performances, events, and even local delicacies from the provinces are prepared regularly.
It also has its own orchid garden in which hundreds of Indonesian orchid varieties are grown, a bird park with a walk-in aviary, a fauna museum and recreational grounds with a swimming pool and restaurants.
You even have the option of staying overnight. The park is open seven days a week. Read More...