As a massive archipelago with thousands of islands, hundreds of different ethnic groups and a fascinating history, Indonesia is rich in culture, local wisdom, and arts. Imagine being offered Indonesia’s elaborate culture in bite-size in museums, where you can observe, learn, and experience life in the beautiful country. Discover the best museums to visit with this list.
Museum Nasional or The National Museum in the capital Jakarta is Indonesia’s biggest and oldest museum, established before the country itself in 1778. As of now, the museum has more than 142,000 historical collections from the pre-historic and historic eras of Indonesia, including primitive tools, traditional crafts, ancient inscriptions, gold collections, and more. Also considered one of the biggest museums in Southeast Asia, the building itself has an enjoyable grand, classic architecture.
As a country with a rich geological and natural landscape, Indonesia is bound to have equally opulent geological museums, one of the biggest being the Museum Geologi in Bandung. The museum has impressive collections of fossils, rocks, and minerals that can be found throughout the country. A visit will guarantee tourists a better understanding of the planet, natural resources, energy, and even natural disasters.
Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA)
Located in Bali, one of the world’s busiest tourist destinations, this museum is a popular spot to observe and experience local cultures. From theater plays, traditional dance and music, and other visual arts, the ARMA museum shows an elaborate approach to understanding the country’s cultural and artistic landscape. Tourists can find the works of Indonesia’s most prominent artists in this museum, including Affandi and Sudjojono. Also dedicated towards education, tourists can join classes, workshops and events on the spot.
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Museum Bank Indonesia
Despite dating back to the colonial era of Indonesia, the displays and facilities in this museum are high-tech and modern, including animation, touch screen devices, and VR. Bank Indonesia is Indonesia’s central bank, but the museum offers so much more than the history of the country’s economy. Tourists can also see historic artifacts from many different ancient kingdoms in the archipelago before it became the unified country it is now. The colonial European-style architecture is a treat in itself, grandiose architecture dominated by white.
Museum Batik Danar Hadi
As one of Indonesia’s authentic, most popular crafts, batik is now cherished worldwide as a form of traditional art often incorporated into modern artworks. The Museum Batik Danar Hadi in Solo captures the journey of the traditional textile from before the colonial era decades ago, until after. Tourists can find and learn about many different kinds of batik the country has, including the precious royal Batik Kraton and Batik Sudagaran. One thing not to miss while visiting the museum is observing the batik-making process in its on-site workshop.
Museum Ullen Sentalu
Indonesia is very diverse, but the Javanese culture is one of the most prominent customs that shapes a big part of the country. Tourists can learn and experience all about it in the Ullen Sentalu Museum in Yogyakarta, a private museum with impressive artistic and cultural collections of ancient Java. Even locals are drawn to this museum because it paints a picture about what it’s like to be a Javanese royal. The museum also has a majestic, Javanese-style exterior and interior, embellished with calming lush vegetations.
This modern transportation museum is an educational and entertainment space in Batu, near Malang, East Java. The museum features different vehicles from different eras and areas from around the world, including ancient carriers, classic European cars, and modern electric vehicles. The vehicles are displayed in a matching landscape setting, crafted contextually, so tourists can see the streets of Paris and Indonesian mountainous roads inside the museum. Visitors can also engage in a sophisticated Flight Simulator, one of the most popular on-site attractions.