Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and many travelers treat Jakarta as a point of entry and exit to Indonesia, but if you are passing through this city I recommend you spend a couple of days at least, since there are many things to do and places to visit.
Jakarta is also a great place to learn more about Indonesia's complicated history, and you'll be able to visit a variety of culturally and historically significant places, including the old town and port, and some museums that tell you the story of Indonesia and its capital. In addition, Jakarta is one of the most modern cities in Indonesia, and you will find impressive shopping centers, bars and restaurants.
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN JAKARTA, INDONESIA
1. The Istana Merdeka Palace
The first thing I recommend you do in the city is to visit the Istana Merdeka palace which is located in the center of Jakarta located near Merdeka Square.
As this is the current residence of the acting president of Indonesia, it is not open to the public, although it is worth walking around and admiring the exterior, as it is one of the most historically and politically important buildings in the country.
The building dates back to 1879 and it is here that the historic flag-changing ceremony took place when the Dutch colonial period ended and Indonesia declared its independence.
2. Menteng District and its market
If you like markets, go to the Menteng district as it is famous for its junk market. Here you will find everything; crafts, clothing, accessories, electronics, antiques... You can also eat at one of its street food stalls. Haggle!! you are expected to, so don't be afraid and go for it.
3. Las Monas Tower
In the city you can also get to know the Monas Tower. It is Jakarta's most famous landmark and stands proud in the city as a symbol of independence in Indonesia, which was declared in 1945 after years of Dutch colonial rule. The monument is located in Merdeka Square, which means 'freedom' in Indonesian and there is a gallery where you can learn more about Indonesia's often tumultuous history.
However, the best thing about visiting the tower is the excellent views you will have of the city from above.
4. The Istiqlal Mosque
In Jakarta there is an impressive mosque that you cannot miss. The Istiqlal Mosque is popular for being the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and has a capacity of 120,000 worshipers at any one time.
It is located near the Monas National Monument, so you can make a stop after climbing the tower or vice versa.
Non-Muslims are allowed to visit the mosque outside of prayer hours, as long as they dress according to the rules of conduct.
5. Ragunan Zoo
If you are a fan of getting to know zoos, Ragunan Zoo is an impressive zoo covering 185 hectares of land and here you will find more than 3,600 species.
You'll be able to see Komodo dragons and the graceful orangutans characteristic of Indonesia, and there are a variety of species from other parts of the world as well.
The zoo is also home to a wide variety of indigenous flowers and plants and is a great place to learn more about Indonesian wildlife.
6. Old Town Batavia
Kota Tua is also known as Old Town Batavia and is one of the most historically important parts of Jakarta. This area is ideal for leisurely strolling and enjoying every step. As you walk around the area, you will find some nice architecture dating from the Dutch colonial period and you can also visit the cobbled central square which is very popular.
This is seen as the cultural heart of the city and many artists and photographers come here to enjoy the laid back atmosphere and old world feel. It is a good area to come to eat or have a coffee, you will find it on every corner.
It also has a high concentration of museums so you can learn some Indonesian history.
7. Ancol Jakarta Bay
Jakarta also has a beach, Ancol Beach which is part of Ancol Jakarta Bay City. The beach here consists of a strip of golden sand that runs along the boardwalk and although it is technically a public beach, they will make you pay an entrance fee to enjoy the facilities.
There are a number of pools along the shoreline and there are also a variety of other attractions in the same complex, including Sea World and a water park. Personally, if you want a beach, I recommend that you do not go to Jakarta and organize a tour that includes a more beautiful destination with fewer people.
8. The National Museum of Jakarta
The National Museum is the ideal place if you want to know more about this fascinating country.
The museum tells the history of the country, Indonesian art, culture, geography and ethnology, and is separated into different galleries that include collections such as early Indonesian ceramics and Hindu art through the centuries.
The museum has been in operation since 1868, making it a historical gem in its own right as well.
9. The National Gallery of Indonesia
Already known museums and galleries, the National Gallery of Indonesia, is one of the best museums in the city and has about 2,000 pieces of Indonesian artwork. It is located at Merdeka Square in Gambir.
In this museum you will find pieces by local artists from different regions of the country and it also has a space for foreign artists.
10. Jin De Yuan Buddhist Temple
Located in Glodok, Jin De Yuan is a Buddhist temple that was built in 1755. It is one of the most important places of worship for the Buddhist community in the city and some emblematic points to take into account include the ceiling that is topped with two dragons adorned with pearls in their mouths.
Inside the temple you can enjoy aromatic incense, as well as ceremonial bells and a collection of ancient calligraphy.
11. Taman Suropati Temple
Jakarta is not known for its parks, which is why Taman Suropati is so popular.
It is a park that is in a culturally important part of the city and overlooks a large number of 1920s colonial-style bungalows, many of which were built in the art deco style.
It's a great place to stroll in the afternoon when the sun isn't so stinging and there's an art market where you can see a variety of works including pretty Indonesian paintings. As well as other crafts.
12. The Jakarta Cemetery
Many people will not realize or know that Jakarta was invaded during WWII and many servicemen from Indonesia, the UK and the Netherlands were killed here.
The cemetery in Jakarta now acts as a memorial to all those who lost their lives during the conflict and this makes for a moving visit for those who want to understand the history of this country a little better.
13. Jakarta's Chinatown
And in Jakarta you could not miss a Chinatown either, it is reputed to be the largest Chinatown in the country and it is also one of the largest in the world and was founded during the Dutch colonial period.
There are a variety of temples, markets and shops. I recommend you spend some time walking through its streets and admire the traditional Chinese architecture.
14. The Thousand Islands
Do you want beach near Jakarta? Apart from the beach in the middle of the city that I was talking about before, you can take a day trip to the Thousand Islands.
Just a few hours outside of the city center, you are in the Thousands which are called Pulau Seribu in Indonesia and you will find beautiful beaches, coves and inlets here.
The best way to enjoy these islands is to take a boat tour that will allow you to hop from one island to another and allow you to enjoy the best views at the same time.
WHERE TO STAY IN JAKARTA, INDONESIA
In this city you will find many accommodations of all categories and preferences.
In Jakarta it is very cheap to sleep, you can find hotel rooms with private bathrooms for 10 euros/night. double.
Some great accommodation options in Jakarta:
PLAN YOUR TRIP STEP BY STEP
I hope you enjoy your trip to Indonesia a lot and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.
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A hug and see you soon!