Where is downtown Jakarta
Jakarta sights: 21 highlights in the city
A contribution by Linda Ringel and Klara Weidemann
Are you visiting Indonesia's capital Jakarta for a few days and wondering what you can do here?
Find in this post 21 varied sights and highlights of Jakarta that are well worth seeing. Did we forget something? Then bring it on in the comments.
Don't want to explore Jakarta on your own? Then check out the tours on Get Your Guide. There is a large selection of city tours there.
Table of Contents
Recommended Jakarta hotels
1) Fraser Residence: central, beautiful view, self-catering apartments with lots of space
2) ARTOTEL Thamrin: already located in the Menteng region, quite international guests
3) Liberta Hotel: located in the very south in Kemang, nice design and very cheap
4) All Seasons Hotel: right next to the German embassy, Grand Indo and Plaza Indonesia are around the corner, best location, but still quite cheap
5) Swiss-Belinn Airport: only 20 minutes from Jakarta International Airport, free airport transfer
6) Casa Luna Residence: a little more chic fare, in an area with lots of street vendors and food stalls
7) Ibis Budget Menteng Hotel: great location with a park, lots of street food and a nice rooftop bar around the corner
You can find more accommodation tips for Jakarta (hostels, Airbnb and airport hotels) here.
1. Go on a colonial search for traces in Indonesia's capital Jakarta
Indonesia used to be one Dutch colony. In the midst of skyscrapers, honking cars and motorcycles, you can no longer really imagine that today.
Still want to get an idea of what Jakarta might have looked like in colonial times? Then off to Kota Tua, the old city center and one of Jakarta's most famous sights. It is a holdover from Oud Batavia, the first fortified Dutch settlement in Indonesia.
Today the square is a popular spot to meet people, especially in the evening and on weekends - except at lunchtime, this place is rarely empty.
In Kota Tua you can go on a colonial search for traces - Photo: Collin Key
2. Take a Jakarta Hidden Tour
What does the big city look like off the beaten track? How do the locals live in Indonesia's largest city? Can you just walk into the slums and see for yourself? And are you even welcome there?
If you ever have one authentic insight want to experience the simple life of many Indonesians, you should take a closer look at the Jakarta Hidden Tour.
The founder Ronny also wants the travelers The dark side of Indonesia show in the slums, at the same time helping their residents and bringing people of different origins into direct contact.
In the Jakarta slums - Photo: Collin Key
3. Discover Jakarta's nightlife
Just like the city, the nightlife is also infinite.
The famous clubs of the metropolis do not differ significantly in terms of music style and party crowd, but they are all real eye-catchers Swagger and pomp. Huge sound systems, light shows and extravagant furnishings are waiting for you here.
Whether on the 30th floor of a high-rise building or in an old warehouse; Jakarta's big clubs are a prime example of modern and exclusive party temples.
Who likes to Charts celebrates and wants to get to know a mixed and interesting crowd from all over the world, should therefore visit the Dragonfly, Immigrant, Blowfish or Colosseum drop by.
But also those who like in something more personal atmosphere going out, get their money's worth in Jakarta.
Clubs like that Lola or kilo in Senopati have the typical Berlin basement club charm and are aimed exclusively at a slightly more alternative and small target group.
For certain types of music like Techno or hip-hop you should follow the relevant series of events that regularly throw parties in various pop-up locations. This is a good starting point for this Mondowhere the local artist scene meets to celebrate.
4. Stroll through Jakarta's most beautiful flea market
Are you looking for an original souvenir or would you like to buy something “typically Indonesian” yourself? Then off to the Flea market on Jalan Surabaya!
Here you will find everything your heart desires at fixed stands: You can find real junk goods such as old CDs, cassettes or records as well as cheap bags and suitcases.
The further you walk down the street (coming from the “Jalan Pangeran Diponegoro” intersection), the more local the goods become. Here you will find a selection of traditional figurines, vases, lamps and bowls at each stand.
And even if you don't want to buy anything, you shouldn't miss the flair of this flea market. You have the feeling that Aladdin’s genie Dschini will come just around the corner or that you will find the door to Narnia.
The market is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At the flea market in Jalan Surabaya you feel a bit like "1001 Nights"
5. Explore Jakarta's various malls
Jakarta has very few shops (other than a few restaurants and warungs) on the streets. The "shopping life" plays, also because of the heat, in air-conditioned shopping malls from.
In Jakarta, shopping malls are not only a place to shop, but also a place to “see and be seen”. Here you sit in Cafes and meets with friends, goes into movie theater, go shopping or just stroll through the shops. So off to the mall to get there everyday life in Indonesia to get to know!
It is particularly interesting to see the contrast between the malls and their visitors: the mall Thamrin City resembles a bustling street market where you should - and must trade.
ThePlaza Indonesia go there offers products from Prada, Gucci and Victoria Secret - accordingly, the customers are of course also different. But both extremes are equally a part of Indonesia.
Reading tip: Jakarta: The best shopping malls in Jakarta
There are plenty of malls to discover in Jakarta
6. Have a photo shoot on Jakarta's Car Free Sunday
Every Sunday is in Jakarta's neighborhood Menteng around the Bunderan HI (Roundabout) and the shopping malls Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia the "Car-free Sunday", i.e. no cars are allowed to drive on the surrounding streets until 11 a.m.
The streets are full of at that time Warungs and flea market stallswhere you can buy cheap household goods such as towels or doormats.
In addition, there are of course a lot of people on the streets who ride inline skates or skate bikes, street artists who demonstrate their skills or families who go for a Sunday walk.
Pack your camera and off you go!
On this day you will experience the otherwise hectic city of Jakarta from a completely different side. Plus, all of the people, street stalls and artists are amazing great photo opportunities.
Did you know already?
The Bunderan HI roundabout was actually built in the 1960s as part of the Asian Games to welcome the international athletes. Accordingly, the monument is also called Selamat Datang Monument, which translates as "Welcome Monument". Today, the roundabout in Mentang is one of the city's central traffic junctions and is actually always (!) Surrounded by traffic jams - except for the “car free sunday”!
From the pedestrian bridge over the four-lane street you have a great view of the statue. Here you often meet hobby photographers who want to capture the Bunderan HI in Jakarta's traffic chaos.
For once, there are no cars on the streets on Car Free Sunday, only the residents of the megacity!
7. Take a closer look around Jakarta's Chinatown
China and Indonesia do not go together? In the Chinatown of the Indonesian capital, they definitely do!
Here you can find an exciting one traditional weekly market and very small shops selling Chinese sweets, decorative items, and paper.
Reading tip: My 5 favorite places in Jakarta
Jakarta's Chinatown is definitely worth a visit!
Guided tours at getyourguide.com
8. Do yoga in one of the quiet city oases
Even if Jakarta seems a bit gray and dirty at first glance, it offers a surprising number of beautiful and quiet yoga studios.
These are my favorites Jivamukti Yoga in Kemang and the Gudang Gudang Studio (see photo).
Both are in the south and offer a perfect balance to the stressful everyday city life.
The Gudang Gudang yoga studio in Jakarta
9. Buy fabrics at a local market and have clothes made for you
Indonesia Batik is legendary and known worldwide. It has little to do with the hippie washes that are widespread in the west and have now arrived in every fast fashion store.
At first I often found them in dark brown tones The batik designs took some getting used to, but the more I dealt with them, the more I liked them.
When I visited one of the many fabric markets, my enthusiasm got out of hand: there is so much work, diligence and history behind the fabrics.
Each region creates its own special pattern, the topic seems almost endless. In my opinion the best address for a good selection of Indonesian fabrics is this Mayestik textile market in the south of Jakarta. This bazaar is (by Indonesian standards) very clear and tidy.
If you want to go one step further and plunge into the hustle and bustle of the crowds, you can visit the Tanah Abang Market go hunting for cloth further north. It is the largest textile market in Southeast Asia and impressively demonstrates how business can work despite the chaos in Indonesia.
There are tailors on every corner, where you can have the acquired pieces of jewelry processed into clothing. Just ask at your accommodation for the next address.
There is a lot of work, diligence and history behind Indonesia's batik fabrics
10. Visit one of the fancy premium cinemas in Jakarta
Cinema in Indonesia cannot be compared to cinema in Germany - and Germany still has some catching up to do.
Just converted Tickets for a premium cinema cost 10 euros. All films are originally in English with Indonesian subtitles. The premium halls are located in almost all normal cinemas, but show fewer films and only in the evening.
Once you have arrived in a cinema like this, you never want to be without it again: the audience expects a wide range Armchair bed with its own table, fluffy blankets and pillows.
Food and drinks can be ordered directly to the seat.
The cinemas are often quite small with just 30 seats and make you forget the hustle and bustle on the street immediately.
The only danger: falling asleep with so much comfort during the film.
11. Try your way through Senopati's hip restaurants
The trendy quarter Senopati is the green oasis of Jakarta. One villa after the next is lined up in quiet side streets lined with tropical trees. In between there is a large selection of modern and excellent restaurants.
Anyone who has a creative bar, club or restaurant concept comes to Senopati. New spots are opening up all the time and they're all different.
When I went through the Jalan Suryo While walking (yes, you read that correctly, you can even walk on the street in this area), I was amazed to see that one Japanese restaurant was lined up after the next.
Why so little variety, I thought. Until I gradually worked my way through each of them: the kitchen was different everywhere, the furnishing concept ranged from hipster lantern-overloaded ceilings to minimalist dining niches that are reminiscent of bird nests.
Around the corner are open-air burger restaurants next to fine-dining palaces. There are hidden bars in some cellars, and next to them there is a pub that specializes in beer pong.
So if you want to get a taste of modern Indonesian gastronomy - or just like to eat and drink - this is the right place for you.
Senopati is Jakarta's hippest area right now
12. Make a detour to Ancol
Jakarta is a port city - but you hardly notice that in the city center. So on to Ancol! There's a little one here Promenade on the beachthat you can stroll along and watch the boats.
There is also a small one Stretch of beachthat you can even swim on. Unfortunately, it's not necessarily the perfect place to lie on the beach in a bikini. Jakarta is located on the Muslim island of Java, so not so much skin should be shown in public here. Better to do it like the Indonesians and go into the water with your clothes on if the cool water irritates you. There are even more tips on how to behave in Indonesia here.
It is most beautiful in Ancol in the evening when you can see the lights of the city shine. Finally go to the restaurant "Le Bridge“Eat or drink something. You can only reach it via a jetty because the restaurant is in the middle of the water. The atmosphere is really great!
Reading tip: Restaurants Jakarta: 11 highlights of Jakarta's food scene
Early morning in Jakarta on the "Love Bridge Ancol"
13. Become a child again in the Indonesian fantasy world
Did you always enjoy going to the amusement park as a child? Then "Dunia Fantasi" (Indonesian for "fantasy world") just the thing for you!
Jakarta's amusement park is very close to Ancol and not only makes children's hearts beat faster: roller coaster, Free Fall Tower and all kinds of Indonesian delicacies are waiting for you!
Our tip: If you are just passing through Jakarta, then it is not worth spending a whole day in the amusement park. However, if you are in Jakarta for a long time, then a visit to the amusement park Dunia Fantasi is like a mini vacation. It is best to visit the park during Ramadan, when it is less busy.
A day at the amusement park? It always works!
14. Visit the Indonesian National Monument and see the city from above
The Monument Nasional, short Monas, is the Indonesian national monument and stands for the independence of Indonesia.
A park has been created around the 137-meter-high tower, which invites you to relax and take photos.
You can not only marvel at the Monas from the outside, but also at the Viewing platform climb. From here you have a great view over the entire city - you realize once again that 30 million people really live in the metropolis Jakarta.
Entry costs 15,000 rupiah and consists of a ticket for the museum and one for the viewing platform. Unfortunately you have to go through the museum to get on the platform. At the entrance you only buy the museum ticket first, you get the other ticket shortly before the driveway.
The Monument Nasional, Monas for short, is the Indonesian national monument and stands for the independence of Indonesia.
15. Have a drink on the rooftops of the city
Jakarta is a huge city, which can be annoying at times and quite impressive at times.
Take a little break and watch the goings-on from a distance - preferably with a delicious drink in hand.
There are so-called on many of Jakarta's skyscrapersRooftop barsthat invite you to end the evening over the rooftops of the city.
4 laid-back rooftop bars in Jakarta
- Cloud lounge
- Bar at The Roof Top (BART)
- Por Que No.
- Awan lounge
You can find detailed information about the four bars here.
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