Well, you can say Jakarta isn’t one among top places to visit around the world, especially in Asia. Indonesia as an archipelago country has numerous beautiful and extraordinarily great places to visit, we can exclude Jakarta. But, besides Bali, the very first city you will likely visit when you arrive in Indonesia for the first time is Jakarta itself since it is the capital city of Indonesia. So there’ll likely no choice but to enjoy your time exploring while you are in Jakarta.
Jakarta is the most crowded and polluted city in Indonesia, but at the same level, it is the most modern city. Not to mention, this is the capital of every ethnic groups in Indonesia. If you are already curious about what to see and what to do in Jakarta to make your day worth a while, here’s the list:
While in Jakarta, you can explore some great and historical buildings (monuments) such as Monumen Nasional (Monas/National Monument), Tugu Pancoran, Istiqlal Mosque and the Catholic Cathedral, etc.
- Monumen Nasional (Monas)
It is obvious that Monas is the icon of Jakarta and the most famous landmark in Indonesia. Monas was built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesian independence, the symbol of Indonesian struggle to fight the colonies. This 132m-height monument is located in Central Jakarta (Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat). You can find some notable things such as reliefs of Indonesian history, the hall of independence, national history museum, observation deck and Flame of Independence, etc. Also, you can watch the Jakarta’s view from the top of Monas, a really magnificent scenery. Actually, Monas is a-must visit place while you are in Jakarta. The Jakartans often say that “You have never been in Jakarta if you haven’t visit Monas”. Already eager to visit?
- Tugu Pancoran
Patung Dirgantara or Tugu Pancoran is one of the most famous landmarks in Jakarta. Located in front of Wisma Aldiron Dirgantara, Pancoran, South Jakarta, Tugu Pancoran will immediately welcome you from the exit gate of Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport. It is symbolizing how great the Indonesian aerospace was. See how magnificent this statue is.
- Istiqlal Mosque and The Cathedral
The Mosque of Istiqlal is claimed to be the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia. This iconic mosque can accommodate approximately 200,000 people, it is also notably known as the official mosque used by president and members of government to pray, especially during Ramadhan, Lebaran, and other Islamic holy fests.. Across the street there is The Catholic Cathedral with gothic architectural masterpiece. Two of the iconic buildings are the symbol of religious equality in Indonesia, since Indonesia has 6 different official religions. After visiting Monas, you should go to visit these two religious buildings. The range is not far at all.
While visiting Merdeka Square, Gambir District, Central Jakarta, some great symbolic buildings, monuments, and statues will amaze you right away such as Statue of Prince Diponegoro, The Master of Poetry: Chairil Anwar Statue, Women Emancipation Hero: Raden Adjeng Kartini Memorial Statue, Arjuna Wijaya, etc.
When first entering Jakarta, the famous Welcome Monument (Monumen Selamat Datang) will surely welcome you to enjoy your time exploring this great city.
Historical and Art-Related Venues
While the modernity dominates Jakarta, the historical venues can still be seen nearby. These are some great historical venues you should visit:
- The Harbor of Sunda Kelapa: Notably known as old harbor of Jakarta, where the pinisi are docked. This main port of Sunda Kingdom offers a very beautiful scenery of Jakarta in the past, while you are clothed with the modernity around you.
- Kota Tua (the Old City of Jakarta): In the past, Kota Tua has very unique names; Oud Batavia and Queen of the East. Alongside Sunda Kelapa Harbor, you can learn many things about Jakarta in the past, especially when you visit Museum Fatahillah, Museum Bank Indonesia, Toko Merah (The Red Store), and Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik.
- Other historical venues are Rumah Si Pitung (House of Si Pitung), Jembatan Intan, Menara Syahbandar (around Sunda Kelapa Harbor), Galangan VOC, Gedung Candrayana (The Chinese-Dutch Style Building), Museum Tekstil, Gedung Arsip Nasional, Gedung Joeang ‘45, Museum Wayang, etc.
Going Beyond the Bricks
If you feel bored to visit the bricks-related things or some old farts, let’s go visiting some other places. What place do you think the most relevant places to visit in your agenda, while in Jakarta?
Give Me Water!
Well, don’t underestimate Jakarta just yet. It is a very good advice while you’re in Jakarta. If you’re looking for water-related destination to visit rather than historical-boring-buildings, then you can enjoy your day much more. Here’s the list of where you can go:
- Ancol Dreamland (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol), enjoy the underwater views, games, island, beautiful beach, musics, etc.
- Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu), a link of hundreds islands located about 45 KM of northern Jakarta.
- Tidung Island
- Wisata Teluk Jakarta
What to do in Jakarta? The ‘whats’ are your choice!
If where-to-go is not enough to brighten your day, here’s the list of what to do (and must do) in Jakarta:
- Go Shopping: Tanah Abang, Mangga Dua, Plaza Indonesia, Grand Indonesia, Pasar Baru, Pasar Senen, Pasar Ikan, Blok M; from imitation goods to high quality local brands, can’t never get enough!
- Culinary: known as the best country for delicious foods, Indonesia indeed is known for its various menu. While in Jakarta, you can find cheap yet healthy and delicious foods almost in every corner of Jakarta. From street stalls, cafes to high quality restaurants, go and find what Indonesian food you’re eager to taste. Ah yeah, don’t forget to try some famous Indonesian foods such as nasi goreng (fried rice), rendang, soto, sate/satai, rawon, gudeg, bakso,
Highly Recommended: Other activities you should Try!
- Try different public transportations such as Transjakarta, taxi, bajaj, angkot, ojeg, becak,
- Get on your bike and ride if it’s Sunday or simply walk on foot (Car Free Day Weekly Event).
- Cheap Massage and Spa + Parlour.
- Public entertainment venues: Ancol, Waterboom, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Dunia Fantasi (Dufan), Ragunan (Ragunan Zoo), etc.
- Enjoy the parks and nightlife.
- Enjoy the sky dining, the view of Jakarta will surely amaze you.
Now, what do you think about Jakarta? The things listed above are not completed yet, you can of course find more great places to visit and activities to do in Jakarta. Think of Jakarta is no fun place to enjoy your time? Think again!