Eco-friendly travel guide to Jakarta advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- Air quality: 2.5 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 3.5 / 5
- Public transportation: 4.5 / 5
- Parks: 4.0 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4.5/ 5
- Locals' English level: 3.0/ 5
- Safety: 4.0 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30 - $400
- Budget per day: US$50 - $600
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
If you are visiting Jakarta or for that matter any other city in the world, as a tourist you have certain responsibilities and moral obligations. The same thing also applies to Jakarta. It is the capital city of Indonesia and it certainly is a happening place. It attracts thousands of tourists across the world. Jakarta is the transit point to the various tourist destinations in and around the city and also across the other places in the country. However, while visiting this city, as a tourist one should learn to give something back to the city rather than taking away the good things that the city may have. There is something known as responsible travel and tourists should adhere to the same. The following few lines could be useful in understanding more about the meaning and scope of responsible travel.
There are many ways by which, as tourists, we can contribute to the concept of responsible travel in Jakarta
- Though it is a bit late in the day, Jakarta in on the way forward to offer, pollution-free, safe, and fast metro-railways services that travel under the ground and also on the surface. This could be the best form of transport because of various reasons. They are inexpensive and they are extremely fast and efficient They are also safe and even single women tourists visiting this city can make use of this facility.
- Riding bicycles is also a great way to move around in this city. Though traffic is a concern, there are bicycle lanes in many areas and they could be used. There are many shops and small outlets that offer bicycles on hire and you should make use of them
- Make more use of public transport instead of hiring cars and other such private modes of transport. We should bear in mind that a public service bus will be able to accommodate 10 times more number of passengers when compared to a 25 to 30 odd individual cars. The public transport system is a win-win situation both for the city and also for tourists. It is a safer way of transport and is less polluting than taxis and private cars. It also leads to lesser traffic on the roads. There is no doubt that Jakarta has one of the most developed, efficient, and cheap road transport services and you must make use of the same. It also will mean that you are walking the talk as a responsible traveler.
- Try and support local businesses as much as possible. Unless tourists help support the locals in Jakarta and help them survive and grow, it will not help them in any manner. It is a fact not limited to Jakarta alone but also is true to other big cities of the world where tourists flock.
- There are many ways through which local businesses could be supported. Try and eat local food instead of flocking to the multinational restaurants and hotels that dish out several continental dishes. Yes, you can visit these big names once in a while but your focus should be to try and have local food. There is no shortage of local hotels and restaurants and you will be able to come across decent eateries, restaurants, and even road-side fast food joints. They offer a wide variety of food and Jakarta has become famous for this across thousands of tourists across the world.
- Staying in green hotels is one more way you could be a responsible tourist. Though the concept of green hotels may not be as developed as it is in some western cities, traditionally the local people have always believed to be close to nature and recycling. Hence, if you spend some time and do some research, you will be able to come across plenty of green hotels in Jakarta. More details about this will be shared in the respective sections later.
- Understand the importance of visiting parks. Jakarta has a fine collection of many beautiful natural and artificial parks spread around the length and breadth of the city. You must make it a point to visit these parks. It could be for morning strolls or evening walks. Moving around with your family members or also moving on your own would be a great way to understand more about the flora and fauna of this beautiful city. You also can buy a few things from the stores and eateries that are not very far away from the parks. This would be another excellent way of living the life of a responsible traveler.
- There is also the need to understand that supporting and helping local producers and markets is essential for them to survive. This can be done in many ways. There could be a natural tendency to root for international companies and major brands that sell almost anything under the roof. While the atmosphere may be good and luxurious, you would do better to pick up as many things as you can from the local markets, instead of rushing to the big names that have operations in Jakarta and also other countries and cities of the world. There are scores of local markets in Jakarta where you can shop from.
Air Quality and Pollution
Yes, air quality and pollution play an important role in whether you are living in Jakarta long term or if you are visiting the city as a tourist. Unfortunately, the city is notorious for its poor and unhealthy air quality. The air quality of Jakarta is comparable to the worst cities like Beijing, Dubai, and Delhi. There are many days when the AQI (Air Quality Index) of the city touches 210 and the reading is far above the safe limits. It could lead to breathing problems, burning and itchy eyes, and other such complications.
The monsoons season is also relentless and could contribute to increased pollution levels because the suspended particles tend to hang on to the heavy atmosphere. Therefore, it would be better to visit the city during summer months when the climate is good and the humidity levels are also low. June to September is considered to be the best season for visiting the city. This is because pollution levels are also lesser when compared to other seasons and months. However one thing that should be kept in mind is that Jakarta is notorious for its bad quality of air. As a tourist, you must keep this in mind when you are visiting the city and take precautionary steps accordingly.
Respect the Culture
There are a few things that you must learn about Jakarta and only then you will be able to understand, appreciate, and respect the culture of the people and their ways of life. The city is the political and economic capital of Indonesia. Though the country is predominantly a Muslim nation, the city of Jakarta is a cosmopolitan and it is mostly made up of people belonging to the Polynesian and Malay descent. The city is representative of around 300 odd ethnic groups. Therefore, it would not be out of place to mention here that the city has a vast and diverse culture, different traditions, and way of life. The city has learned to live with the old and the new coexisting side-by-side.
Jakarta has a long history of being a trading destination and this perhaps explains the fact that quite a few people are belonging to Chinese, Arabic, and Persian descent. Indonesia also has a colonial past and even today the influence of Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Dutch culture is evident in a few fractions of the society.
As a tourist, we also should understand the fact that there are over 300 languages spoken in the country and in the city and within many of these languages there could be many dialects. Therefore, you must learn to respect the cultural diversity and ethnicity of the city when you are visiting it as a tourist. Jakarta has a population of around 10 million and therefore it is a big city with a high per square kilometer concentration of population.
Javanese at around 35% make up the major part of the population in the city of Jakarta. Yes, the city is predominantly Muslim with almost 84% of the population being made up of people who follow Islam. Hence when visiting this city as a tourist, you must try and understand and respect the religion and the way of life of the local people even if it is drastically different to the culture back home.
The social courtesies that are followed by the city are quite formal. You will be respected and admired if you can speak a few words in the local language. Whenever you visit private homes, buildings, and places of religious importance, as a tourist you must take off your shoes. Further, when food and drinks are served, you must start eating and drinking only when the host requests you to come and join the party. Smiling frequently and avoiding the tendency to get irritated that will show the local people the respect you have for their culture.
It is considered to be a bad habit to touch anything or pass on anything to another person using the left hand. Men and women touching one another in public places will be frowned upon and kissing in public might offend the locals so no PDA (Public display of affection).
Apart from the above, there is no doubt that the city has a little bit of everything for everyone. It has its share of nightclubs, bars, restaurants, and other such places of interest for foreign tourists in particular.
Top 10 Places to Visit
There is no doubt that Jakarta is one of the most interesting and famous tourists destinations in South East Asia. It is the entrance to the fascinating world of Indonesia. Java, Sumatra, and other islands that are known for their natural beauty, the many dozens of active volcanoes, and other such activities. Further, it also has seen some of the most horrible natural tragedies. The massive earthquake that originated in a Place called Banda, Aceh, which killed hundreds of thousands of people and set off a tsunami that wrought destruction across thousands of miles. However, Jakarta was not impacted too badly. This happened on December 25, 2004, and it is still fresh in the minds of many people. On the contrary there are countless places that you can visit on your trip to Jakarta. The top ten being:
- National Monument: This is considered to be a major place of tourist attraction and many believe that it is a must-see place of tourist interest. It is a 132 m tower and is located in the central part of Jakarta at a place called Merdeka Square. This tower is supposed to symbolize the fight for freedom as far as Indonesia is concerned. It also commemorates the struggle for the independence of this country. The construction of the national monument tower was started in 1961 and it was opened to the public in 1975. The monument remains open daily from 8.00 am to 4.00 PM every day of the week, except Monday. The monument is also open during the night time and this has started from the year 2016.
- Taman Mini Indonesia Indah: This is a famous recreational area that is located in the eastern part of Jakarta. The recreational area is quite popular and is run and operated by Yayasan Harapan Kita. It is a foundation that was established by Siti Hartinah, and wife of Suharto. The Foundation continues to be run by Suharto’s descendants since he died. It is spread over an area of 100 hectares. It often is considered to be the melting pot of Indonesian culture and every aspect of the daily life of this country and the city are seen here. It also covers all the 26 different provinces and they are in the form of pavilions. You will be able to come across quite a few things that talk about Indonesian culture including their dances, clothes, traditions, and other important cultural activities.
- Dunia Fantasi: If you are visiting Jakarta with your children, then you certainly must spend some time visiting Dunia Fantasi. It is famous for the character Dufan. The park was thrown open to the public on August 29, 1985. It is hugely popular and is without any doubt the biggest outdoor amusement center in Indonesia. It features some of the best known high-tech rides. The park has been divided into 8 different areas and they are Jakarta, Indonesia, Europe, Asia, Greece, American, Kalila, and Hikayat. A new attraction known as the Ice Age was thrown open to the public in 2013. It is an ISO 9001:2008 certified Entertainment Park and this certificate was given in the year 2009. Though its actual name is Dunia Fantasi, it is better known as Dufa. The park has been well planned and has been intelligently built. It has many convenient facilities for the visitors and this includes free drinking water, free baby strollers on loan, wheelchairs, charger points, free WiFi, clean toilets in all sections, and for every ride, Baby care room and also mosques for prayers are also built. You also can access ambulance and first aid facilities if you need it.
- Jakarta Museum of History: Also known as Fatahillah Museum or even Batavia Museum, it is located in the Old Town area of Jakarta. It was built in 1710. It was opened to public viewing in 1974. It could be of interest to tourists who are keen on knowing more about the prehistoric period of the city and its various other surrounding areas. You also can learn more about Jakarta as it existed in 1527 and during the period of Dutch colonization starting from the 16th century. You also can know more about the Indonesian Independence movement in 1945. There are reasons to believe that the building is modeled on the famous Dam Palace. It attracts thousands of local tourists from Indonesia and many foreign tourists who love to know more about the history and culture of various countries pay a visit to this museum.
- Istiqlal Mosque: The mosque was constructed in the year 1978 and it is considered to be the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. It is truly a majestic and awesome piece of construction and any tourist who visits it will be simply awestruck by its beauty. The mosque can seat around 200,000 people. Further, the visitors also will love its amazing courtyard that is decorated fantastically with decorative minarets and designer marbles. The interiors of the mosque will be of great interest to Muslims because it has some of the most exotic Islamic Designs. The sheer beauty and artistic magnificence of the Istiqlal Mosque attract thousands of tourists every year. Any visit to Jakarta will most certainly be incomplete without a visit to this famous mosque.
- Thousand Islands: If you are looking for a way to escape from the problems and boredom associated with a fast-paced life and if you want to take a break and relax, you have many reasons to visit Thousands of Islands. It is located on the north coast of the city and it will certainly make you feel closer to nature. It is a beautiful tourist spot, though it often gets overshadowed and eclipsed by other famous tourist locations. You will love the amazing resorts, the secluded golden beaches, and the restaurants that offer a wide variety of local and other types of foods. The overall view is quite breathtaking. You can spend some quality time watching the sunshine and also taking bath in the gorgeous waters. On the whole, there is no doubt that this could be a wonderful place for relaxing and unwinding your mind and body for all those who feel stressed with the daily hustle and bustle of urban life. It is not too very expensive and therefore even people with limited budgets will find this place extremely interesting and it certainly will offer very good value for the money.
- Jakarta Cathedral: The Jakarta Cathedral is another beautiful tourist spot in Jakarta. Though it is not as big as Istiqlal Mosque, it continues to attract scores of foreign as well as local tourists. The cathedral was built in the year 1901 and it is considered to be the seat of the Roman Catholic Establishment as far as Jakarta since the very beginning. The front portion of the Cathedral has some awesome Roman decorations and the white spire is simply stunning and breath-taking. The interiors are also extremely impressive and it gives the visitors a chance to have some understanding as to how European Cathedrals look in western countries. In a country that is predominantly Muslim, this cathedral stands out as a monument for the secular nature of this city. The Catholic roots are there for all to see and those who understand Catholic civilization will certainly find it very interesting and impressive. If you wish to calm your souls and spend some time in solitude admiring the fantastic artwork, then you certainly have many reasons to visit this awesome Cathedral located in a prominent place of Jakarta.
- Jakarta Chinatown: If you wish to visit Jakarta by the night, then there is no doubt that you have to keep Jakarta Chinatown on top of the list. It is better known as Glodak as far as the locals are concerned. It also is referred to as the Chinatown of Jakarta. The Chinese have been a part of this city and they have had roots in Jakarta. Even today the Chinese play an important role in the life and culture of Jakarta. Therefore, there are many reasons why this is considered to be a place of historical importance. You will love the place for the beautiful Chinese architecture, temples, markets, and of course the world-famous Chinese foods. There are many reasons as to why it continues to be one of the best places for all those who love shopping and other forms of entertainment.
- Ragunan Zoo: If you love nature and wildlife then it is quite obvious that you will find Ragunan Zoo quite interesting and impressive. This is a big zoo and it is spread over an area of 185 hectares. Further, it has a fantastic collection of around 3,600 species, and this comparable to the best in the world. This is the zoo to be in if you wish to have a look at the best of Komodo Dragons, Orang-utans, tigers, reptiles, snakes, and other such animals. You will also love the wonderful plants and flowers. However, please make sure your body is well covered with some quality insect repellents because you can find this place swarming with mosquitoes and other insects.
- Tana Abang Market': If you want to touch base and experience one of the best textile markets in the whole of South Asia, then you have many reasons to visit the famous Tana Abang Market. It has a fantastic and huge collection of clothing and textiles. The entire market is air-conditioned and it is spread across three big blocks. It does become quite crowded during holidays and weekends and therefore it will be advisable to visit the place on weekdays and make the most of the time and the fact that it remains relatively less crowded.
- Dragon Fly: Paying a visit to Jakarta without experiencing the nightlife would certainly make the whole visit incomplete in more ways than one. There are reasons to strongly believe that it is one of the best night clubs and it can offer you the best of Indonesian nightlife. The place will impress you because of its fantastic ambiance and it also has the best of interiors that are carved out of marble and wood. You also will love the advanced sound and lighting system and this certainly adds to the overall impact of the entire place. The bar and lounge of Dragonfly will help a lot in setting the right mood for you. You will certainly find it impressive because it will help you to re-energize your tired minds and bodies. Fridays and Saturdays are worth mention and you must do what it takes to ensure that you do not miss out on these two days.
The city of Jakarta has quite a few things to offer and that is perhaps the reason why it is considered to be a popular destination for many across the globe. You will love the various museums, monuments, the food eateries by the roadside, the restaurants, and of course the majestic beaches that are located in and around the city. It also has a fine collection of parks, museums, zoos, and other places that are of interest to the tourists. It also has an active nightlife though it is not the same as it is in other western cities around the world.
Jakarta is big it and it has a big collection of parks and other such places. It has big open spaces and greeneries where you can spend time with your children and other family members. We are listing down some of the major parks in and around Jakarta for the information of our customers.
- Menteng Park: This is a park that is located in Menteng, Central Jakarta. The park was a part of the famous Menteng Stadium. However, in 2006 the stadium was demolished and the park was built on the area freed by this demolition. The construction was done by the administration of Sutiyoso. The park is quite big and is spread over an area of around 25 hectares. You will love the greeneries and other wonderful attractions and the good thing is that the park is open throughout the year.
- Taman Suropati: Also known as Suropati Park, Taman Suropati is another famous public park that is located in the Menteng area of Jakarta. It is a quiet and decent park and you can stroll around the whole place. It also could be the right place for bicycling, running, or even skateboarding. The park is well maintained and you will have many reasons to enjoy the park because of many reasons. It is open till the night and it does have some excitement to offer once the sun sets. You have to visit this park if you want to relax your mind and body.
- Honda Park: Tebet Honda Park is located in an area known as Tebet and it is located in the heart of Jakarta. The park is around 2.5 hectares and not very big. However, it continues to attract many local people and therefore you may find it interesting if you want to exercise, walk, jog, or go cycling, and indulge in other such body warming activities. It also is a place where elders meet and socialize and you will find many women visiting this small but beautiful park. The park is also famous because it has more than 1000 different types of trees and it also has a children’s playground and also a mini soccer field amongst other things.
Apart from the above there are also a few other famous parks that are worth mentioning. They include GBK City Park, Taman Lapangan Banteng, Taman Situ Lembang, Piknik Park, Taman Buah Kalibata City Park and Taman Spatodhea.
Indonesia has always been famous for its wonderful natural resources and therefore it has a fantastic collection of natural parks. While most of them are spread across the length and breadth of the country, many are also located in the capital city of Jakarta. We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around Jakarta but at the same are not very far away from the city.
- National Monument Park: This is a part of the National Monument and it certainly is one of the most important landmarks of the city. It has been built to commemorate the freedom struggle of Indonesia from the colonial past. Apart from the tower that happens to be the main showpiece, you also will love to spend some time in the park and greenery that surround the monuments. It is an ideal place for picnicking with your family and friends and even if you are single, you will find many beautiful things that are quite fascinating about this place.
- Syam Orchid, Purnawarman: If you love fruits in general and oranges in particular, you have to visit Syam Orchid Purnawarman. It is a reasonably well spread out has a wide collection of some of the best varieties of oranges. They are quite cheap and are also of good quality. You can certainly spend some great time moving around the orchid and can kill your time.
- Muara Angke Wildlife Refuge: This is a gorgeous looking wildlife refuge and it also is a national park that could be an ideal spot for relaxation and also for enjoying nature at its best. It has a big and awesome looking waterfront. It attracts many birds, different types of fishes, and marine life. You will also find some of the most colorful variants of butterflies. On the whole, you will be a part of this park when you are visiting Jakarta.
- Sea World: This is not exactly a sea park in the strictest sense of the term. However, you will still love the place for it. It is quite big and your children will certainly love it. It has a mighty big collection of sea fishes, sea reptiles, and various other exotics types of marine flora and fauna. However, the negative is that outside food is not allowed here.
- Anak Krakatau Nature Reserve: If you love to watch a dormant volcano mountain range then you must certainly spend some time visiting this beautiful place. It is located not very far away from Jakarta the capital city. You also can enjoy swimming and snorkeling while you watch the dormant volcano mountain some distance away. The water is a bit dark and this could perhaps be attributed to the lava and other things that come out from the volcano when it is active. You need to be a bit careful about the jellyfishes but on the whole, there is little doubt that this could be one of the most amazing experiences as far as visiting a beautiful natural reserve is concerned.
- Bird Park: You cannot perhaps hope to catch a glimpse of different types of birds in any other place. Bird Park even today continues to be one of the biggest attractions and for bird watchers, they could not perhaps have asked for something more. It is also a culture-based recreational spot located in eastern Jakarta and the entire bird park is spread over a distance of around 250 acres. On the whole, it will be an unforgettable experience, to say the least.
- Alam Angke Kapauk Nature Park: Alam Angke Kapauk Nature Park is located near exit highway road PIK. It is not very far off from Jakarta. It could be one of the best options for spending the weekend with your family. The place is quite affordable and costs around 27.500 INR and around 10.000 per car. However, you are not allowed to bring your camera and if you do so you will be found. It offers a magnificent view of the horizon and it has quite a few things to offer. However, for many foreigners, it may not be worthwhile because it is dirty and messy and perhaps a bit noisy. But it is without any doubt a good way to understand more about the culture and life of the local people of Jakarta.
Jakarta is famous for its stunning beaches and therefore it attracts thousands of tourists from across the world. There are dozens of big and tiny beaches and it may not be possible to list down every one of them. However, we are happy to list down a few of them for the interest of our readers.
- Ancol Beach: This beach is located very close to the city of Jakarta. This is perhaps one of the very few beaches that can be reached without a boat or water-based transportation system. It is quite popular amongst the city population and also among tourists from other parts of the country and also from other countries. It is considered to be a low-cost weekend getaway for the local population. The beach has been divided into six different sections. Some of the sections offer stunning seaside views. It also is not very far off from Jakarta airport and you could perhaps even spend a few hours and then catch the flight back home. You must not miss out on this beach resort.
- Bidadari Island :The beauty of Jakarta is that it is surrounded by a cluster of more than a thousand islands. Bidadari Island is often considered to be one of the best getaways for those who are looking for some of the finest beaches that are not very far away from Jakarta. It is possible to reach this place with the help of a simple 30-minute boat ride. Many beautiful cottages are facing the seaside and they offer the right setting for you to enjoy the stunning beach views. You also could take part in many hikes and trails and you also can travel to a 'nearby volcanic island that is studded with some of the most majestic tropical forests.
- Anyer Island: Though this beach is located around 150 kilometers from Jakarta, it is worth visiting it because of several reasons. All the beaches here face the west and therefore they offer the most stunning views that you could think of. If you wish to enjoy the setting sun, then there is little doubt that Anyer Island could be one of the best choices. Apart from the natural beauty that it offers, many other things are worth mentioning as far as Anyer Island is concerned. You can enjoy some of the best water activities like diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and there are several points where you can take part in these activities.
- Carita Beach: The famous Carita Beach is impressive for its white sands and it is located not very far off from Jakarta near West Bantan. This could be one of the best beaches for swimming and it is not very crowded and that could be one of the reasons why so many foreigners make a beeline for this beautiful beach. You will love sunbathing in the warm sand. Other important activities are available as far as Carita Beach is concerned. These include snorkeling and diving. The videos and pictures that you click of the marine life around the beach and the coral reefs will remain permanently etched in your memory.
- Pasir Panjang Beach: If you are planning for that perfect tropical holiday that includes snorkeling, scuba diving, and also swimming close to fishes and other marine creatures, then you cannot afford to miss out on Pasir Panjang Beach. It is located in Sanjana Island and it is also considered to be one of the seven wonders as far as Benten is concerned. The beaches are gorgeous and words may fail and therefore the best way to experience this beach is to pay a visit to it when you are in Jakarta. You also will love the various dive points and they are full of clownfishes and these fishes come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and hues. You will not ever forget this beach because of some obvious reasons. However, it is located quite far off from the city and you will have to travel around 195 kilometers from Jakarta. There are cars available on rent and you also could look at other public modes of transport. You may not be able to return to Jakarta the same day. Hence, we would suggest that you should spend at least two days on this beach if you are keen on understanding more about it and enjoy it to the fullest extent.
Like all cities and countries of the world, Jakarta also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. While the list is quite long, we are mentioning a few of them for the benefit of our readers.
- National Monument : The National Monument of Jakarta has been talked about a few times above. However, when it comes to selecting the best monuments in this city, there is no way one can ignore the National Monument. It also is known as Monas as per the local language. It has a tower of more than 150 meters and it is sparkling white. It towers above many buildings of the city and therefore it is visible from a distance. It was commissioned by the famous Indonesian leader Sukarno in 1960. It is a wonderful tribute to the independence movement of the Indonesian people and it has a lot of emotional attachment amongst the locals here. It is open daily from 9.00 am to around 8.00 pm at the night. You cannot miss visiting National Monument if you are on a visit to Jakarta.
- Kota District: The Kota District is another important landmark here in Jakarta. There are several main attractions here and these include a wide variety of cobblestone streets. These streets are dotted with several shops and dining halls and restaurants. You can enjoy some of the most versatile food items here and the shops stock almost everything that could be of interest to the tourists. It is located in the heart of the Kota District and one famous attraction is the Taman Fatahillah Plaza. If you want to travel back on time and get to know more about Indonesia as it was many decades ago, then you certainly will love this place.
- Jembatan Pasar Ayam: It houses the famous 17th-century drawbridge and is a fantastic tribute to colonial architecture. The good thing is that it is still well maintained. The drawbridge used to serve as a uniting factor British and Dutch Forts that were located on either side of the canal. The drawbridge does not function anymore but continues to attract tourists and is considered to be a wonderful historical landmark across all cities of the world.
Let us look at some of the famous museums of Jakarta
- Jakarta History Museum: It is a famous museum located in the old town. The building is quite old and was built in 1710. However, it was converted into a museum only in 1974 and therefore is just around 46 years old. You will love the museum for the display of prehistoric items that were a part of the history and times of Indonesia during those points in time.
- Bank Mandiri Museum: It is another marvelous construction located bang opposite the Kota Busway Station. It showcases quite a few things about Bank Mandiri which was a prominent government-owned bank all of which got merged during the Asian economic crisis. You will love it if you love banking and would like to know more about the economy of this nation.
- Puppet Museum: Also known as Wayang Museum, you will have many reasons to love this museum. Wayang stands for puppets in the local language. You will find a reasonably big collection of wooden puppets and puppets made from calfskin. You will find puppets not only from Indonesia but also from many other countries in the world. It is an important landmark also for Jakarta.
Jakarta without any doubt is a melting point of many cultures though it is predominantly a Muslim City. The city has some of the best examples of secularism as far as eating and food items are concerned. The diversity of the country as a whole can easily be identified by the kind of food that is famous in this city. Whether it is the local food that is liked and eaten by the Muslims or the various types of Chinese foods or even the continental foods leftover from the colonial past, you will be able to find everything year. There are many local restaurants and many street-side eateries also.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Here are some famous traditional local restaurants of Jakarta
- Kokiku: Located in Senopati, South Jakarta, it is the place to be in for various types of tasty Indonesian food. You can try a variety of food including duck made from Balinese spices, or Bebek Betutu that is served with fragrant rice or sambal matah.
- Soulfood: If you want to try out authentic Indonesian food served ethnically, please do not miss out on Soulfood. It is famous for its trademark squid with ink, meatball soup that is served with cracking of buffalo skin, or the unique anchovies that are cooked with green chillies and green beans.
- Kaum: Kaum is located in central Jakarta in the Menteng area. It could be ideal for group hangouts and you will love the place if you want to try some traditional Javanese delicacies. The food is served hot in a unique food set holder. The whole set costs around IDR 185,000 and half of it for children.
- Daun Muda Soulfood from Andrea Peresthu: Are you keen on trying out curated and then cooked Indonesian food? If the answer is in the affirmative, please visit this restaurant. You will simply love the aroma of the local delicacies that are luxuriously made rich with many local spices and herbs. It is located in South Jakarta.
- Kerak Telor: The meaning of Kerak Telor is Egg Crust. This is a favorite food in Jakarta and also is highly popular street food. It is made from duck eggs or chicken and is heated along with grated & roasted coconut, rice, half-cooked rice, roasted shallots, and dried salted shrimps. It is made even tastier by adding ginger, chillies, and aromatic ginger among other things.
Vegetarian and Vegan
Though not very popular among locals, there are many vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Jakarta. Here are a few of them
- Burgreens – Menteng: It is a completely vegan-friendly restaurant and serves various types of international, organic, western, delivery, and fast food items at reasonable prices.
- Loving Hut – Jatingara: It is a part of an international chain of vegan restaurants. It has been conceived and created by followers of Supreme Master Ching Hai. It is home to almost all types of vegan food and also for non-alcoholic beverages, coffee, and different types of vegan desserts.
- Alpukat Bistro: You will love this place for various types of take-out vegan food items, Chinese, and other types of vegetarian ad vegan food items.
Almost all big cities and towns are famous for their variants of street foods. Jakarta also has a rich tradition and culture of offering awesomely delicious street foods. Here are a few of them
- Gulai Tikungan: It is a crowded street joint famous for its beef slices that are mixed with some of the most awesome spices and rice. Optional chilli condiments are also offered.
- Seafood Ayu: Located in North Jakarta, you will love the seafood that is offered here in typical street food settings. The food is served in a humble tent and you certainly will love it.
- Bubur Ayam Barito: Bubur Ayam is a unique chicken street food that is popular not only amongst locals in Jakarta but also amongst many foreign tourists.
Unlike many Muslim nations, there is no ban on alcoholic drinks in Jakarta. You have dozens of big, small, and medium-sized bars to choose from. You can enjoy almost all types of drinks that you get in any good western restaurant and bar.
If you are a teetotaller and would like to restrict yourself to only soft drinks, Jakarta offers options for the best of coffee, tea, and other beverages apart from branded soft drinks. You also will be able to come across many fruit juice stalls where you can enjoy almost all types of fruits that keep your body cool and in good health.
Tap water unlike many western countries may not be safe to drink but the locals do drink after boiling it. Even the water that is available in hotels and street-side food joints may be unsafe to drink. Hence, carrying bottled water is a good suggestion.
The concept is new but is catching up quite fast. Here is a list of some famous organic cafes in Jakarta
- Organic Café, South Jakarta
- Burgreens Pacific Place
- Dharma Kitchen
- Coffee Tanda Tanya
- Fortunate Coffee Duta Mas
Being a Muslim country, many people may believe that there are not many breweries in the city of Jakarta. However, this is not the case, and here are some famous microbreweries and distilleries in the city
- Beer Garden, South Jakarta
- Multi Bintang Indonesia Tbk Tangerang Brewery
- Brewerkz Resto & Bar
- PT Multi Bintang Indonesia, Tbk
- Beer Brother, Kemang
Jakarta is a lively and active city and the day starts quite early in the morning and continues till late at the night. Hence, you have quite a few things to do during the day. You could move out and get to know more about this old and historic city. You could hire a bicycle and combine body exercise with a chance to identify some of the most memorable and unique places of tourist interest. It could be the National Monument in central Jakarta or the various parks and gardens spread around the city.
You also could spend some awesome time on the various beaches that are spread around the city. While some are near the city, others are located a few hundred kilometers. You could also indulge in some crazy shopping in the local shopping markets and also the big malls. Food is another big pastime that you could indulge and there are endless options to cater to the taste buds of different types and classes of people.
Yoga and Retreats
Indonesia in general and Jakarta in particular respects old cultures and traditions and yoga without any doubt is one of the earliest forms of workouts and exercises for mental and physical health. Hence, Yoga is quite popular in this city and there are many yoga retreats that you could pick and choose. We are listing down a few of them.
- The Yoga Barn
- Desa Seni
- The Yoga Place
- Bikram Yoga @42
- Bali Silent Retreat
Being the capital city of Indonesia apart from being the economic hub of the country, thousands of people flock to Jakarta from many islands of the country and also from other countries. Hence, providing accommodation for such a floating population is a must. Hence, the hotel and hospitality industry is quite well developed in Jakarta. Customers have many options to choose from. They could select some of the best 5-star hotels for accommodation. On the other hand, there are budget hotels that are quite decent. Students could also opt for guest houses and other such places where the rates are quite affordable.
Gran Malia Jakarta is located in the central area of the city. It lives the promise of offering the best of green staying arrangements. You have many places of tourist interest within a stone’s throw away and therefore you will like it as a foreign tourist.
- Green Bamboo Residence: It is a great place to stay in a relaxed and natural environment and at the same time not be very far off from the commercial and tourist centers of Jakarta
- Green Apple: It is a reasonably priced green hotel and the rooms, and other services are in line with the accepted norms of green living.
- Hotel Bogor Green Forest Marketing: This is located in Kota area of Jakarta. It has a swimming pool and other facilities that can be considered as green living from all points of view.
Hostels and Guest Houses
Here is a look at some affordable and comfortable guest houses
- Six Degree Backpackers' Hostel: Six Degree Backpackers’ Hostel is a nice place to be in, especially for students and others who have a specified budget in mind.
- MK House Tendon: This is a neat guest house that is extremely competitive as far as pricing is concerned. It is serviced by friendly, warm, and compassionate service providers.
- Grand Sakinah Syariah Clinicing: It is around 10 KM from the famous Dunia Fantasi. It has rooms with air conditioning facilities and also has private bathrooms.
If you plan to live in Jakarta for a reasonably long period and would like to save on hotel accommodation, you could choose private apartments. You will have many such options available to you. However, not all apartment owners may feel comfortable renting out their properties to foreigners, but things are changing. This is because they would like to earn some passive income from their apartments that otherwise would have remained vacant. You can choose different sizes of apartments depending on your budget and requirements.
There is an online community known as couchsurfing.com and if you are a part of it, you will be able to come across dozens of CouchSurfing mates and companions. It is a new concept but has taken off quite well in Jakarta.
Indonesia a tourists’ paradise and therefore you will have many places where camping could be the best way to enjoy the places. Here are some famous camping options when you are visiting this city
- Jamboree Campsite Cibubur
- Silas Papare Camp
- Rhion Outdoor & Camping
- Base Camp Outdoor
- Bumi Perkemahan Ragunan
How to Get There
Jakarta is the capital city and therefore it is extremely well connected by air. You can reach the city from almost all parts of the world and there are dozens of flights that land and take off from the city. Let us have a look at some of the easiest ways of getting into the city.
Soekarno Hatta International Airport is around 25 km from the main city center. It is one of the busiest airports in Asia and also is among the top ten in terms of air traffic. It is connected to almost all major cities in the world.
The city has reasonably advanced local bus transport services but the intercity bus services are not very comfortable. This is because the intercity bus terminus is located around one hour from the city of Jakarta. The bus terminuses are chaotic and you may have to take some local help to find out as to which bus to choose for your requirements.
If you want to move away from Jakarta, the train is the best mode of transport. Gambir is the most famous railway station and is located in the center of the city. There are train lines connected to the northern and southern parts of the country from Jakarta.
Hitchhiking is very much in vogue in the city but you have to be careful when it comes to choosing the right person. Avoid hitchhiking during the nights and in lonely places.
Since Indonesia comprises of scores of islands, boats, launches, and trawlers are commonly used as means of transport from Jakarta to most islands across the country.
You also could make use of motorbike taxis and regular cars and there are smartphone apps that can be used for this purpose.
Jakarta is a huge city and moving around on feet will not be possible beyond a certain limit. Hence you will have to look at other means of transport.
If you are visiting crowded markets, parks, and monuments you have no option but to walk. Walking during the summer could be tiring.
Bicycles are available on rent and you can make use of them to move around a few kilometers.
Though this is a new concept a beginning has been made and you can see some electrically powered public vehicles moving around Jakarta.
Public transport services are reasonably well developed and you can use local buses and local trains on a limited scale. They are an eco friendly option and very inexpensive as well.
Tram, Train and Subway
The city has an efficient MRT system that connects many parts of the city and many tourists make use of it.
Here are a few places for sustainable shopping in Jakarta:
- Naked Inc
- Saruga Pack free store
- The bulk store and Co
Some of the famous food markets are:
- Pasar Mayesik
- Tanah Abang
- Santa Modern Market
- Pasar Bloc A
- Pasar Baru
Being a predominantly rural economy driven country, the city of Jakarta has many popular Flea Markets and here are a few of them:
- Kebayoran Flea Market
- Pasar Loak Jatinegara
- Family Markets Hi Bekasi
- Taman Puring Market
- Glodok Chinatown Market
Second Hand Stores
- Flea Market
- Palmerah Market
- Ozhie Motor
The country is famous for handicrafts and other homemade items that are green, organic, and eco-friendly. Here are a few famous eco-fashion markets in Jakarta:
- Jakarta Fashion Week
- Green Fashion
The city authorities in Jakarta are taking a lot of initiative to recycle waste that is generated by the city daily. They have many recycling methods in place that help to segregate waste materials at the source. It is not a perfect system but improvements and the dialogue about this means there is hope.
Almost all waste that is generated in Jakarta is dumped in a major landfill at Bantar Gebang. Almost 2000 tonnes of plastic waste is sent into the ocean by Jakarta rivers. It is not the most eco friendly place and does not have sustainable ways of garbage disposable but it is definitely better than some other countries.
Work and Study Abroad
The city attracts thousands of students from other neighboring countries, especially those who wish to receive the Muslim style of education. There are many work opportunities available for foreigners in Jakarta, you just have to look in the field you wish to work in.
There are many exchange programs that you can be a part of in order to study in Jakarta. You will live with a host family in most cases. Check with your University for more information about this. Overall being an exchange student in Jakarta can be an amazing and enriching experience for you.
The concept of Au pair is yet to catch up in Jakarta however it is not completely unheard of. Maybe if you reach out to a few local people they will help you navigate around and get you in touch with people who are interested in the idea and you can stay with a host family like that.
There are many local volunteering organizations and many Muslim charitable organizations that do a lot of good work. These organizations played a major part during the 2004 earthquake and tsunami that devastated many parts of the country. Some of these include:
- Rumah Harapan
- Tamaan Bacaan Pelangi