You have some time in Jakarta and you don’t know what to do. You check on the travel magazines and blogs and all say to avoid it. Here are 10 hidden treasures which can make your day fun in Jakarta, because there are places in this city which are worth to visit!
1. National Monument
The country’s national monument can be found at the Merdeka Square. It is a 132 m high tower which symbolize the fight for the independence of Indonesia. There is a nice park around the monument with lots of flowers and trees, which gives shadow and a place to rest in the hot Indonesian weather.
2. National Museum of Indonesia
The National Museum of Indonesia is next to the Merdeka Square. On the ground floor the museum introduces prehistorical life, archaic humans and evolution of the human specie, including the Java man which has local relevance. On the above floors we can see the development of tools, transports, housing and religion.
In the garden of the museum you can see the elephant statue which the building got his name as Elephant Building and a piece from the Indonesian
sculptor, Nyoman Nuarta. You can see more works from him at the
NuArt Sculpture Park in Bandung and in Bali. Garuda Wisnu Kencana, the tallest statue in Indonesia and the 15th tallest in the world is the work of
Nyoman Nuarta as well . It is in South Bali, completed on 31 July and inaugurated on 22 September 2018. The statue itself is 75 m high but with its foundation in total it is 121 m high.
3. Kota Tua – Oldtown
Kota Tua is the downtown area of Jakarta, originating from the time of the Dutch colonization.
Here you can find European measures, the streets and buildings are not huge and you can have a nice walk. There is a big life on the Fatahillah Square, many locals and tourists are riding their colourful rented bikes, visiting museums or cafes. On the Jalan Lada street there is a food market, women are sitting on the street, selling typical Indonesian dishes and disappearing within a second for the alert of police.
4. Monumen Selamat Datang
The monument is located in the middle of a fountain in the intersection of the main roads of Jakarta, close to several big hotels and malls. Selamat Datang in Indonesian stands for ’Welcome’ and this is the gesture what the two figures of the monument express.
Originally the monument symbolized the openness of the Indonesian nation to visitors to the Asian Games IV, which was organized in Jakarta in 1962. The Asian Games are organized since 1951 in every 4 years, the most recent (18th) was held in 2018 again in Indonesia. During our holidays we have seen the preparation for the big event.
The area around the fountain is separated from the sidewalk by the road, there are not pedestrian crossings and the traffic in the roundabout is huge. Even so there was a big amount of people next to the fountain, walking, sitting, chatting and taking photos.
The atmosphere was really nice and we sat next to the fountain for a while as well. We left when we realized that two guys were trying to take photos about each other with me next to them. I really didn’t like the experience. It was way different from other experiences we had in other parts of Indonesia, when people came to us shyly asking, if they can take some photos with us together.
5. Skye bar
There is a great nightlife in Jakarta as well. We visited the Skye bar which is at the top of the mall Grand Indonesia. The bar has nice cocktails, beautiful views to the city, but it is very fancy and expensive as well.
6. Other museums
In Jakarta there are many other museums to visit as well:
- Jakarta History Museum
- Wayang Museum
- Museum Bank Indonesia
- Museum Bank Mandiri
- Museum of Fine Art and Ceramics
- Museum Bahari Jakarta
There are many huge shopping centers in Jakarta, so you can spend your remaining time with shopping or window shopping. You can find cheap, local clothes and famous luxury brands as well.
Some malls: Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia, Thamrin City, Central Park Mall, Mall Taman Anggrek
8. Thousand islands
In Indonesia there are many words to express island due to the mixture of different languages. Some examples: pulau, pulo, nusa (Sanskrit origins), gili. The group of islands is called pulau-pulau or kepulauan.
Not so far from Jakarta, there is a group of islands called Thousand Islands. In case you have a couple of days in the city, you can visit them as well. Usually the Pari Island is the main destination of the travelers.
9. Good restaurants and hotels
In Jakarta many different nations’ cuisine is represented and you can find very good restaurants for the price of a normal restaurant in Europe. The same stands for hotels as well, there are many nice hotels in Jakarta with nice views and rooftop swimming pools.
10. Sunda Kelapa
The city’s old port played an important role in its development. It has been the main trade location between the Portuguese and the Hindu Sunda Kingdom of Pajajaran. The Indonesian trading ships, the pinisis are all around in the port.