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Traditional Spa| © Merlin Phuket/Flickr
Traditional Spa| © Merlin Phuket/Flickr

The Top Things To Do And See In Jakarta, The City Of Mixed Cultures

Picture of Naintara Gurung
Updated: 9 February 2017
Jakarta is a panorama of concrete buildings and gridlocked streets showcasing a unique blend of cultures and historic chronicles. In this metropolis you’ll come across a lively crowd, remarkably warm and welcoming. You might get lost in translation at a bohemian café or seek redemption at the Jin De Yuan, the largest Buddhist temple in the city. Jakarta is full of unexpected surprises.

Traditional Spa © Merlin Phuket / Flickr

Traditional Spa © Merlin Phuket / Flickr

Traditional Body Treatment at Jamu

Indulge in a centuries-old ritual at Jamu, a traditional spa that offers some exotic and luxurious body treatments. Using a fresh assortment of natural herbs for each treatment, Jamu practices an inherited therapeutic tradition using recipes that are hundreds of years old. For a pure healing effect, the practitioners at Jamu use rich ingredients such as sensuous floral elements in their stimulating massage therapy. Whether you’re cleansing your body using a blend of candle nut extracts or bathing your pores in the afterglow of a coconut Mangir scrub, Jamu is one of the best places to visit for a revitalizing experience.

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (8am to 5pm)

Price: Mid-Range

Address and telephone number: Jl. Cipete I No.8, Cilandak, Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12410, Indonesia+62-21-7659691

Children’s Day Out at Ancol Dreamland

This recreation site provides a fabulous experience for families visiting Jakarta. Visitors can engage in a chartered tour through some of the most exciting exhibits at the park. Nestled on the waterfront of Jakarta’ shore, the park is a fun destination home to the high-tech aquarium at Sea World, where visitors can gaze at a spectrum of Indonesian fishes, and the children can engage with marine life at the Touch Pool. The Fantasy World (Dunia Fantasi) is another exciting theme park designed to inform visitors of the latest scientific discoveries. The Atlantis Water Adventure is an expanse which features different kinds of swimming pools built especially for children.

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (10am to 6pm)

Address and telephone number: Jl. Lodan Timur No.7, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 14430, Indonesia+62-21-2922222

Dolphin Show, Marine Life© Peter & Michelle S / Flickr

Dolphin Show, Marine Life© Peter & Michelle S / Flickr

Sacred Pilgrimage at Glodok

This part of the Old Batavia City is best known for being an electronic trade center in Jakarta, which has become a pillar of economy for people of different ethnicities. As you follow a trail of ancient buildings and bustling traditional stalls, you’ll land at the Vihara Dharma Bhakti, Jakarta’s oldest Chinese temple. The site, sprawling with religious activity, preserves the ancient temple initially built by a Chinese Lieutenant, Kwee Hoen, in 1650. Built in passion red, this traditional building is dedicated to Goddess Kwan Im. The temple is packed with devotees during the Chinese New Year.

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (6am to 8pm)

Address and telephone number: JL. Kemenangan III, No. 19, Petak Sembilan, Glodok, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia+62-21-6250101

Smoke, Incense Sticks © TRIXIE / Pixabay

Smoke, Incense Sticks © TRIXIE / Pixabay

Ethnic Shopping at Ramayana Pasar Baru

This ancient shopping street brimming with a lineage of traditional stalls is an ideal place to be if you want to do some shopping in Jakarta. Found near Lapangan Banteng, the shopping complex recreates a scene from the colonial era, originally established back in the 1800s. A large number of textile shops attract many customers, showcasing a beautiful collection of clothing made from brocade, Indian silk and more. Whether you’re looking for elaborate accessories or antique souvenirs, Pasar Baru, with its old-fashioned stores, is a great place for getting the best buys at unbelievable rates.

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (10am to 6pm)

Address and telephone number: Jalan Otto Iskandar Dinata No.70, Bandung, Jawa Barat 40181, Indonesia, +62-22-4245555

Souvenir Shopping © Tun Tun Win / Flickr

Souvenir Shopping © Tun Tun Win / Flickr

Get a Glimpse of Nature at Muara Angke Wildlife Reserve

This small reserve is a mangrove habitat on the north-east coast of Jakarta that was established in 1939 as a conservation site. Covering an expanse of 25.02 hectares, the mangrove forest is a runoff area for floodwaters and is one of the most ecologically sound areas of Jakarta. The mangrove swamp is divided into different areas. The national sanctuary houses exotic bird life and is home to an endemic species, the Javan Coucal. You can enjoy a boat ride that takes you to a breeding colony of exotic bird species like the Sunda Woodpecker, Black-winged Starling, Slaty-breasted Rail and others on the Rambut Island situated in the Jakarta Bay.

Address and telephone number: Jalan Muara Angke, Penjaringan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 14450, Indonesia, +62-21-5205455

Sunda Coucal © FatihPR / WikiCommons

Sunda Coucal © FatihPR / WikiCommons

Gorge on Delicious Martabak from a Local Food Truck

One of the most delicious treats Jakarta offers its visitors is the Martabak, stuffed pan-fried bread. If you happen to come across a food truck like the Martabak Boss, a well-renowned hot spot for young students, you must try the Martabak roll. This food joint is a childhood favorite for many old customers who usually order a wholesome dish like the Steak Gokil or a sweet delight like the Pandan-Nutella. 

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (2pm to 12am)

Address and telephone number: Jalan Tebet Utara Dalam No.13, Tebet, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 12820, Indonesia, +62-812-10510745

Martabak (patty) © Taman Renyah / WikiCommons

Martabak (patty) © Taman Renyah / WikiCommons

Sip Coffee at Old Batavia

Those who land in Jakarta must visit the Cafe Batavia, a place that captures the historical essence of the old city with its traditional interiors and age-old recipes. This 200-year-old building is located on the northwest corner of the Fatahillah Square. It evokes the colonial past with its structure, cuisine, and ambiance. The unique landmark is a distinguished establishment offering authentic Indonesian delicacies that you can gorge on with a cup of their soothing herbal infusions.

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri (8am to 1am), Sat-Sun (7am to 12am)

Address and telephone number: Jalan Pintu Besar Utara No.14, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 11230, Indonesia+62-21-6915531

Cafe Batavia © Prayitno / Flickr

Cafe Batavia © Prayitno / Flickr

Discover History at the National Museum

The National Museum of Jakarta is the heart and pride of the metropolis, located on Medan Merdeka Barat. The museum provides a wonderful retrospective of Indonesia’s history covering a wide range of subjects. Showcasing artifacts in the Archaeology section and featuring an impressive collection in the Numismatics-Heraldic department, the museum also houses inscriptions, ancient statues, and ethnic carvings. Established in 1868, the museum offers tours supervised by the Indonesian Heritage Society. Visitors should also take a look at the prestigious ornamental collection that showcases jewels of the Sultans and the Maharajahs of the beautiful archipelago. 

Opening Hours: Tue-Thu (8:30am to 2:30pm), Fri (8:30am to 11:30am), Sat (8:30am to 1:30pm)

Address and telephone number: Jl. Silang Monas | New Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia, +62-21-681512

By Naintara Gurung