When thinking about Indonesia, it is common to first start fantasizing about Bali, Kuta, and Java. Jakarta, the capital is often overlooked by tourists and visitors and mostly treated as a mere entry and exit point to Indonesia. However, Jakarta, despite being nicknamed the “Big Durian” does have a vast assortment of attractions to offer to its tourists. If you are planning to visit Indonesia and you are wondering whether it is worth or not to go to Jakarta, keep reading this essential guide on some of the best things to do in Jakarta to be inspired.
Jakarta is a good starting point to learn more about the complex history of the country and the rich and diverse culture. Being a capital makes Jakarta an extremely chaotic and rather disorganized city, but If you are looking for a different and unique destination to add to your trip to Indonesia, consider visiting Jakarta. Check out some cheap hotels in Jakarta too. Next, here are some of the things to do in Jakarta you should keep in mind when organizing your visit.
Admire the National Monument Monas
One of the most iconic landmarks of Jakarta is Monas, a monument standing as a symbol of the country’s struggle for Independence. When in Jakarta, don’t miss it! For more information about the history of Indonesia, you can visit the National History Museum in the surrounding area. If you want to see the document at its best, visit Monas just before sunset!
Get Your Shopping Done in Menteng District
One of the most common things to do in Jakarta is shopping and Menteng District is the best place to get your shopping done, especially if you are looking for arts and crafts or local foods. You’ll be able to find some rare vinyl records and explore the vast flea market that will provide you with vast assortment and choice depending on your budget.
Stroll Around Merdeka Square
You cannot leave Jakarta without seeing this charming square: covered with wooded areas, water fountains, and footpaths, Merdeka Square is a great place to walk around and hang out after an entire day of exploring the city. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes!
Take A Day Trip To The Thousand Islands
If you are tired of the city vibes of Jakarta and you are looking for an escape to the everyday pollution, you can easily take a day-trip to the Thousand Islands, called Pulau Seribu in Indonesian. located just a few hours away from the city center (but still part of the city) and rich in beautiful beaches and islets to explore, visiting the islands is a great way to take a day off and relax. One of the best ways to get to the Islands is to take a boat tour which will most probably hop you around the different islands and allow you to enjoy the breath-taking scenario.
Learn More About Indonesian Culture At Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Also referred to as TMII and translated to English as Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park, this place is an interesting way to learn about Indonesian culture and get some beautiful scenery. The park is supposed to recreate Indonesia and you’ll be able to visit pavilions of each province of the country and dedicated museums that will enrich your knowledge on Indonesia’s history.
Visit the Old Town
Also called Old Batavia, the Old Town holds a strong historical meaning for the country. In the area, you’ll find several museums that are worth visiting such as the Museum of Fine art and the Jakarta History Museum. If you want to go around with a bit more freedom, consider exploring the area using a rented bike which you can take to enjoy the sunset at Sunda Kelapa Harbour.
Jakarta is one of the most modern cities in Indonesia but despite all the traffic and chaos, it is worth to spend a couple of days to visit it. The city itself is a melting pot of different ethnicities, which include the Malays, Javanese, Chinese and Indians, which influenced the architecture, lifestyle, and food in the capital. Even though not many tourists decide to spend time in Jakarta, you should consider adding the city to your itinerary as it offers you plenty of opportunities to learn more about this country’s fascinating yet complex history.