Jakarta Travel Guide: Things to Do in Jakarta

As a capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta has a unique fusion of different cultures of Indonesia’s richness. It’s like having each of Indonesian culture miniature in a city. Not only that, Jakarta is the home to many business activities of Indonesia.

Jakarta is surely not a main tourist destination with its bustling traffic and activities. But, this is a place where you can get to know Indonesia better in one place. The is a very large city with various places to visit and, of course, there are tons of things to do in Jakarta.

Due to the large area, it’s hard to get around and visit all the attractions in a day. Mainly, the location can be divided into 5 districts. First is the Central part of Jakarta. It is the most vital district because it’s where Indonesia’s political and administrative activities are held. Here is where you can find five-star hotels and high-end malls.

The second is the South where the business happens along with elite housing and entertainment. On the opposite end, the North is the gate of Jakarta from the sea port, so expect to see beach lines here. There are office buildings and malls around. There are also housing, but you can barely see it from the main roads.

The West and East parts of Jakarta are mostly for industrial and housing area. Choose which area you would want to see first to determine your staying area.
Seeing at the cost side, Jakarta welcomes all. You can stay at the cheapest comfortable hotel and go to a sophisticated fine dining the next day. Prepare and plan your budget on what kind of things you want to do in Jakarta.

To get started with it, let us take a look at Jakarta’s accommodation.

Where to Stay in Jakarta

Jakarta has a wide range of hotels and even apartments to rent for a longer stay. Due to this, the price can also be different for each of the stay. You can stay close to the Jakarta airport as there are many hotels ranging from unrated hotel to 5-star hotel like Bandara Hotel.

If you are going to the central part of the city and want to get a luxurious hotel room, you can look for a hotel at SCBD area and Sudirman Road. Here, you can find a line of hotels on both sides of the main Road.

There are hotels like Grand Indonesia Kempinski Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Four Season Hotel, and Pullman Hotel. All this hotel room will cost you above IDR 2.000.000,00 for the simplest room type. The price is adequate to the pampering services that you will get during your stay.

For a middle range hotel, you can look for Santika and Amaris Hotel chain which has several hotels in Jakarta. The price range for 3 to 4 star hotels in Jakarta starts from IDR 500.000,00 to IDR 1.500.000,00. You can always take advantage of online booking websites to get a lower price.

If you are looking for a low-cost stay, you can go to Jaksa Street to find an unrated hotel for only IDR 100.000,00 to IDR 300.000,00 per night. Another choice is to find budget hotels like Ibis Budget Hotel and Fave Hotel which can cost around IDR 300.000,00 for a night.

It’s not hard to get a room in Jakarta. if you’re going to be in Jakarta for a short stay, we recommend you to stay at a bit pricey hotel, for its services and facilities undoubtedly will pamper you.

While for a longer stay, rent an apartment instead for a lower price yet still convenient. Rented apartment has monthly cost starting around IDR 5.000.000,00. The price can be higher depending on the type and location.

How to Get to Anywhere in Jakarta?

Being in Jakarta, public transportation can be a bit hustling experience. The traffic is average to other busy cities. Yet, the choice can be very limited for the public transportation.

There are TransJakarta which is a bus that has its own lane on the roads. The TransJakarta transportation system has almost reached every part of the city and around it. However, you need to be clear about the bus stop to avoid from getting lost.

The easier way is to take motorbike taxi called “ojek.” They can be found almost everywhere. To get a local ojek, you need to bargain the price to make sure you don’t get ripped off, as some people may charge you higher fare for a short trip. Taxi is also considered safe, and they have a more precise price since they have taximeter on their cars.

Or, for more comfort, you can rent a car during your stay in Jakarta. But, if you are new to the city, you may need a driver to go with you. This is because the driver would be helpful in pointing out the way for you. Avoid driving alone since you might not be ready for the traffic and street signs.

The latest trend on public transportation is to use mobile applications like Go-Jek or Grabbike. It is an official application for motorbike taxi, and it fixes the price before the driver picks you up. Make sure you input the right pick-up place and destination. Although new, this kind of transportation is a big help for those who are in a rush to get around in Jakarta.

Sure, traveling by motorbike or even walking is the best way to travel through the Jakarta’s traffic. That’s totally okay if you want to experience the traffic on the public transportation. But, be sure you spare at least an hour before the schedule to avoid getting late.

Things to Do in Jakarta

There are many things to do in Jakarta depending on what kind of experience you would want to have. Take a look at the city’s historical and cultural sites and imagine what happened in the colonial era in Jakarta. There are old town complex and museum to give you this experience.

Or, have your culinary experience in Jakarta. Jakarta is the place where all cultures in Indonesia melt in into one place. This makes Jakarta has a complete list of what you can eat in the city. From the street food hawkers to the fine dining restaurants, Jakarta provides all. It’s easy to suit the budget to your taste since the street foods are also a delight to your taste. However, fine dining can be an experience only if you have the budget.

And, don’t forget the malls. Malls in Jakarta are where you can find some of the best restaurants and shops. Jakarta has middle and high range malls where they provide one-stop entertainment from dining to shopping.

Jakarta Beach Spots

Let’s start at the North part of Jakarta. This location is the main sea port of Jakarta so you might be seeing big container trucks around. There are three places you can visit around here. First is the Ancol Dreamland area. To get inside, you need to pay for an entrance ticket.

You will find an organized beach where you can go to the amusement parks, restaurants and do water sports inside. The ticket costs IDR 25.000,00 per person. However, the entrance ticket does not include the ticket to amusement parks and other attractions.

The second place you can visit is the Thousand Islands Jakarta. It is a chain of small islands on the North of Jakarta. To get there, you need to buy a ferry ticket and sail for around 2 hours to see Jakarta’s hidden paradise.

Once you’re there, you can also stay for the night. There are houses and rooms for rent at an affordable price. The beaches are still clean and natural. You can visit one of the islands there—Tidung Island, Pari Island, or Harapan Island are among the most visited ones. One of the things to do in Jakarta beach is ride around with the bicycle you can rent.

Lastly, you can go visit the place called Pantai Indah Kapuk Eco Tour. You can enjoy the beach and take a stroll down the mangrove forest there. The entrance ticket is IDR 25.000,00 for each person. Make sure that you wear comfortable shoes as you will take a long walk around.

Historical and Cultural Tour through Jakarta

Jakarta has been the center of business activities since the colonial era. This is why Jakarta has a lot of history in it. Museums are spread around the Old Town and the Central Jakarta.

One of the most famous is the National Monument or Indonesian called it “Monas.” The iconic monument of Jakarta also has a museum inside. There you can see the country’s history towards its independence.

Of course, you can also go to the Jakarta History Museum Square. It’s where most of Jakarta histories are. You can see the historical trails of Jakarta not only in the museum but also around the museum. This is why they call this part of the city the “old town” of Jakarta. The buildings are worn out due to age, yet it can be a great photography scene.

Another interesting building to visit is the Jakarta Cathedral in Central Jakarta. The building was built in 1901, thus giving the cathedral its old and classic look. What makes it unique is that the location of the Jakarta Cathedral is right across the biggest mosque in Southeast Asia, Istiqlal Mosque. This has a strong representation of Jakarta’s diversity living in harmony.

For more cultural insights, you can visit Museum Gajah where you can see the ancient Indonesian history. Statues, jewelry, and ancient weapons are kept here. The entrance tickets for museums will not cost you more than IDR 15.000,00 and can be even lower during the weekday.

Places to Go Shopping in Jakarta

Now, as a central business district, finding places to go shopping in Jakarta is a piece of cake. Shop the best price of fabrics, clothes, and electronic stuff at some of Jakarta’s best shopping points. Not to mention that there are also sophisticated malls to get high-end things with a higher price. Still, there are more things to do in Jakarta before you decide to go shopping.

If you are aiming to shop antiques, go to Surabaya Street at Menteng area. Here you can find a lot of antique home accessories. Or, find cheap clothes, bags, and fabrics at the North Jakarta on Mangga Dua area. Beware that these shopping centers might be overflowed with shoppers every day, but especially on weekends and holidays.

While for electronic and gadget shopping in Jakarta, the famous areas are Glodok and Kuningan. The prices are quite average compared to other places. But, you can always find one store that is cheaper than other stores in the building.

Another place that you need to visit is the SMESCO building. This building is located on Gatot Subroto Street. Inside, you will find souvenirs from almost all areas of Indonesia in its own sections. You can buy snacks, handicrafts, and batik fabrics from all around Indonesian provinces.

The 17-story building has the souvenir galleries on the 1st, 3rd, 11th, 12th, and 15th floors. You can read the details on its website www.smescoindonesia.com to find the information.

Jakarta Nightlife

As a busy city, Jakarta has a side for their people to have fun. There are complete options of bars, pubs, clubs, karaoke, and lounges. This is one of the people’s favorite things to do in Jakarta to slow down a bit.

Each of Jakarta districts has its own characteristic of nightlife. The North part of Jakarta is the place to go for a more underground entertainment. The area never sleeps since there are clubs which are open for 24 hours. If you are looking for a crazier part of the town, this is where to see unexpected things to happen.

But, if you want to have a laid-back Jakarta nightlife, you can go to the South area. There are more upmarket clubs and lounges which can give you fun time hanging out after a full day of activity.

Jakarta is a rather safe city for night entertainment. However, you will still need to look out for illegal drugs and drinks to avoid troubles with the local authorities.

If you are planning to visit Jakarta for a holiday trip, you might want to visit it on national holidays. The roads are oddly quieter during big holidays like Eid Al-Fitr and Christmas. This is because most of the Jakarta people came from another area across the country. So, they will be most likely to go back to their hometowns outside of Jakarta during these holidays.

In the end, Jakarta is a diverse city due to the cultural fusion. For Indonesian people, having to live in Jakarta is the symbol of success. This big city accommodates all kinds of people with different cultures. Minus the traffic jam that usually happens, Jakarta is a fun place to visit with tons of things to do.

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