Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, is a fascinating place to visit due to its long history, diverse culture, charming natural beauty, and never-ending development. From historical sites to high-end restaurants, discover these must-visit attractions.
This iconic landmark of Jakarta serves not only as a magnificent viewing deck with unrestricted views of the city, but also a museum depicting the nation’s history. Towering at 115 meters (377 ft) high, the building is also majestic to see from the outside, topped with a flame-shaped gold foil.
As the biggest mosque in southeast Asia, this building will not disappoint tourists in terms of architectural greatness, as well as cultural and historical significance. Previous satisfied visitors include Barack Obama, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and other world leaders.
Sunda Kelapa is an old port first established during the Pajajaran Hindu Kingdom. Once serving as a main port, the area now only lodged traditional pinisi ship. Other than its historical significance, this harbor also retains its aesthetic beauty, owed to charming colorful ships and clear blue skies.
A green area in the middle of the busy city, Taman Suropati is more than just a lush tropical garden with a calming ambiance. It also houses six ASEAN monuments placed as a symbol of peace and friendship. During the day, the area is lively with visitors who come to exercise, play music, or sit on the bench and enjoy nature. The park is also home for hundreds of doves roaming around freely.
Jakarta was first established as a capital city by Dutch colonials, and the area that is now called Kota Tua served as the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company. The area has several old, European-style buildings that still stand today. Tourists can tour the place by foot or rent a charmingly decorated bicycle.
First built by the Dutch colonials as the city hall, this building has reopened as a museum in 1974, showing historic relics found in Jakarta. The neo-classic architecture is inspired by the Dam Palace in Amsterdam. Fatahillah Museum is located within the charming Old City of Jakarta (Kota Tua Jakarta).
Technically still a part of the Jakarta Province, Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands) comprises of hundreds of pristine, idyllic small islands, many of them still inhabited. However, tourism is vibrant in some of the more developed islands, including Bidadari Island, Pramuka Island, and Tidung Island.
The National Museum of Indonesia is as intriguing outside as it is inside. The European architecture building houses historic and ancient archaeological collections from throughout the country. It was first built by the Dutch during the colonial era and has been developed further by the Indonesian government after independence.
One of the best restaurants in Indonesia, Lara Djonggrang Restaurant is inspired by the tale of an ancient Java princess by the same name. Guests will be served the most authentic Indonesian food and experience what it’s like to be an Indonesian royal in ancient times.
Located in the Jakarta Chinatown area, Petak Sembilan is a lively neighborhood with Chinese-style buildings, temples, and the most authentic Chinese food in the city. Tourists can munch on delicious Chinese street food while exploring the ornate neighborhood lined up with temples, old houses, and stores.
One of the largest amusement parks in Indonesia, Dunia Fantasi has something for everyone, from kids to the ultimate daredevil. Located in the same area, Ancol Dreamland has its share of the city’s stunning coastline, a SeaWorld, and various animals show.
The mighty cathedral stands tall at the heart of the city, boasting tall spires and impressive neo-gothic architecture. Built during the colonial era, many of the cathedral’s materials and pieces of furniture are sourced from the Netherlands, including its massive pipe organ and ornate main altar. One of the spires also serves as a museum that shows Catholic relics.
Despite its name that means “New Market”, Pasar Baru is one of the oldest markets in Jakarta. Most vendors have been trading there for generations, from textiles to antiques, Indian spices to electronics. Also packed with small restaurants and food stalls, some tourists even visit this place just for the experience.
Despite being a crowded metropolitan city, Jakarta has its share of tranquil nature. A vast and lush mangrove forest located in the northern area offers tourists a much calmer side of the city to enjoy. The forest also shares the neighborhood with some of the city’s best restaurants and cafés.
Dedicated to Java’s traditional puppet wayang, this museum showcases various kinds and forms of wayang from all over the country. Tourists can learn and observe the country’s lost art that dates back more than 1,500 years. The building itself is of historic significance, built by the Dutch in 1640 as a church before being devastated by an earthquake, repurposed as a research center, then reopened as a museum.
This facility is the oldest planetarium in Indonesia, initiated in the early 1960s by the country’s first President, Soekarno. Even so, the planetarium has undergone major renovations and technological upgrades, making it a legitimate place to learn and observe space objects.
Literally translated as “Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park”, this vast complex sums up Indonesia’s vast and diverse culture in collections and depictions of traditional houses, clothing, artifacts, and traditions. It also has a cable car, museums, and a cinema that plays documentaries about the country.
A part of Jakarta Chinatown, Glodok is known as the center of cheap goods, especially electronics. The area is still alive with some of the city’s oldest stores, restaurants, and temples. Tourists can experience service or taste meals from legendary vendors, such as the famous ice coffee from Waroeng Tak Kie that has been there since 1927 and Jakarta’s oldest barbershop Ko Tang, established in 1936.
An excellent epitome of Jakarta’s vibrant city nightlife, Skye is a lively bar and restaurant located on the 56th floor of Menara BCA building. The stylishly decorated lounge features a stunning infinity pool that makes the view of the city much more refreshing. The place also serves impressive cocktails and food.
An iconic building near Fatahillah Museum, Toko Merah (Red Shop) is one of the oldest buildings in the city, catching the attention of tourists with its bright red color. The building has a long history that involves being owned by the most influential Dutch governors and a Chinese local, giving the building its unique European-Chinese style. It is considered mystical and even haunted by some locals, adding intrigue to the interesting building.