As the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta is synonymous with the word “frantic”. With the nickname “Big Durian”, it may not seem like a fun city to visit at first. This nickname was given because it refers to the stifling fruit from South Asia. A lot of tourists make the “mistake” of using Jakarta as an entrance and exit point to the country itself. But, if you take some time to fully explore the city, you will not regret it. There are a lot of exciting activities you can be a part of. For that reason, we made a list of the top 30 things to do in Jakarta.
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Top Best 30 Things to Do in Jakarta
1. Admiring Istana Merdeka
At the heart of the city is this presidential palace with a picturesque view. It is in close proximity to the Merdeka Square. This building is full of historical and political significance. The construction of this magnificent structure began in 1879. This structure has a special place in the history of Indonesia. The reason for that is, this is the exact place where flags changed in a ceremonious way. Of course, we are referring to the end of the Dutch rule and the start of the country’s sovereignty.
2. Shop in Menteng
As soon as you visit the city’s center, you will learn about this very popular yet common activity in Jakarta. A lot of tourists spend a large chunk of time in Jakarta, visiting various shops. If you want to buy a souvenir, then head straight towards the Menteng district. There is no better place to buy art and handicraft from. There are other premium items such as ornate wood carving and vinyl records. So, this is a very exciting activity on the list of 30 things to do in Jakarta.
3. Checking Out Monas Tower
No other monument in Jakarta represents its glory as much as the Monas Tower. It symbolizes the independence of Indonesia while standing as proudly as ever. If you are unaware, the country gained independence from the Dutch Colony during 1945. You will be able to find the monument when you visit the Merdeka Square. Once you get close to the monument itself, you will be able to notice a unique gallery. The gallery represents a clear depiction of the country’s troublesome past.
4. Visiting Ragunan Zoo
Sprawling in excess of 185 hectares in terms of land, it is indeed a large zoo. In this zoo, you will be able to meet 3,600 species. Among all the animals, the Komodo Dragons is a key feature of the zoo. Other than that, there are Orangutans that add grace to an already incredible view. In addition, the zoo houses a wide range of elegant local flowers and plants. Among the 30 things to do in Jakarta, it is the best place to gain knowledge of Indonesian wildlife.
5. Taking the day trip inside Thousand Islands
First of all, they are a part of the greater Jakarta. Second of all, you now have a chance to visit the beaches of Jakarta if you have time to spare. Usually, it takes a couple of hours from the city’s center to visit these islands. In the local tongue, people call them Palau Seribu. By now you understand how the name came to be. So, if you really want to explore these beaches, it is best to go on a boat tour. It will help you jump from one island to the other.
6. Be amazed by the Istiqlal Mosque
There are no bigger mosques inside Southeast Asia than the Istiqlal Mosque. This holy place of worship can withhold of 120,000 at a time. When you visit the famous monument known as Monas Tower, the mosque will appear close by. There are quite a few things featuring on this elegant structure that will stun you. The list includes memorable decorations like stars to represent the religion. For non-muslim visitors, the mosque is open after prayer times.
7. Relaxing on Ancol Beach
This beach is a complete game-changer for big cities such as Jakarta. You will be able to find strips of golden sands when you visit the beach. This golden sand will normally skirt by the side of the sea-front. Keep in mind that you need to pay if you want access to the beach. In addition, you are sure to find numerous swimming pool by the side of the shores. It is the perfect way to illuminate your whole trip.
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8. Exploring the country at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
You must already know this but, the country comprises more than 17,000 islands. These islands have been split between twenty-six provinces. So, there is a strong chance that you will not be able to roam the entire country. However, you will be able to receive a proper overview from the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. It is a very interesting park to visit because the arrangement follows each province as correctly as possible. There are models to help represent conventional designs of homes within the place. Furthermore, it is a great place to learn about indigenous culture.
9. Visiting National Museum
A lot of visitors have a deep interesting in learning about Indonesia’s history, tradition, culture, and belief. For that, the best place to visit is the National Museum. Other than these, the museum is quite adept at telling the story of the nation’s geography and some ethnological aspect. There are sections for each and all of them consist of a separate gallery. In these galleries, you will even discover past Indonesian ceramics as well as Hindu art from different ages. Even though the museum represents the nation’s history, it is also a part of history since its inception was in 1868.
10. Spend time at Dunia Fantasi
Do you want to go to Disneyland but want the rides to be cheaper? Well, Jakarta has the perfect solution for you with the Dunia Fantasi. There are a lot of similarities between the two because it is Indonesia’s answer to Disneyland. Visitors of the park have a fun time at Main Street and the park even includes the Puppet Castle. To cap it off, you can take their version of the Ferris Wheel to observe the park from atop.
11. Strolling around Taman Anggrek Mall
You may initially think this is not one of the 30 things to do in Jakarta should be about. However, your perception is bound to change once you take a stroll around this mall. Firstly, the mall is big enough to withhold 10,000 individuals on a daily basis. Secondly, with a wide range of shops, it caters to the needs of people from all backgrounds. There are cafes and some eatery in every corner you look inside the mall. The best part of this mall is its ice-skating-rink.
12. Enjoying Kota Tua
A place of historical significance, Kota Tua attracts locals all throughout the year. If you take a stroll around the vicinity, the reason will become evident. You will still be able to find a strong trace of the Dutch Colonial rule through mesmerizing structures. There is a cobbled town square at the center which further signifies the importance of this place. Other than that, Kota Tua often inspires many artists and photographers when they visit it to refresh the mind.
13. Watching Music Festivals
It may come as a shock to many but, Indonesia is home to a lot of decent music festivals. The overall talent and passion for music are put on display at these festivals. Spare some time between all the activities to attend a concert to know better about the range of music events. If you can attend Hammersonic, it will open your eyes to Indonesian metal songs. All in all, it is a fun activity to engage in among the top 30 things to do in Jakarta.
14. Admiring the National Gallery
Since its inception, the National Gallery has been an incredible museum. You will find proof of it in the 2,000 pieces of artwork on display. If you are an art lover, it is a chance you should not miss it. On the contrary, if you are not familiar with the art, it is the best way to introduce art to yourself. There is no doubt that you will be on a colorful venture through the museum itself. Of course, that is the case with every visitor who goes to the museum for the first time.
15. Dining at Seribu Rasa Menteng
If you are a food lover then you have entered heaven in the guise of Seribu Rasa Menteng. Of all the 30 things to do in Jakarta, no other activity delights food lovers as much. What makes the restaurant stand out is the way it represents Indonesian tradition. With each spoonful of food you eat, the restaurant will introduce you to the class of indigenous dishes. So, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and taste the best of Indonesia.
16. Walking by the side of Taman Suropati
You will not hear much about the parks in Jakarta when you visit the city. For that reason, the Taman Suropati gives absolute joy to all comers. But, you will receive some surprise upon arrival. Taman Suropati is not your usual park. It is instead a shred of greenery right in the middle of a busy city. This part of Jakarta is also home to some events of cultural significance. Not only can you visit a wonderful park but also observe bungalows upholding the Dutch Colonial influence.
17. Peek inside Museum Wayang
If you have an interest in the culture of other countries, you need to visit Museum Wayang. The word “Wayang” translates to conventional puppets and has a deep influence on the country’s tradition. This museum is the perfect place to visit if you want to know more about Indonesia’s past. But more importantly, the museum also explains the way in which these puppets were first made. So, among the 30 things to do in Jakarta, it is one activity that helps you gain key insight about the country.
18. Checking out sailboats
Quite a large number of visitors miss the opportunity of checking out sailboats at Sunda Kelapa Port. It is a very valuable part of the city. In the past, this port gained a lot of fame. In fact, the port is one of the prime reasons why Jakarta has prospered as much. So, if you take a quiet stroll to the port, you will be able to witness schooners here and there. All of them are made of wood and there are elegant sails powering them on.
19. Paying homage at the War Cemetery
A lot of people do not remember that there was an invasion in Jakarta when the Second World War began. The outcome of this invasion was the death of several servicemen of the country itself alongside the British and the Dutch people. So, the War Cemetery was built to honor the memory of all those individuals who passed away in that incident. If you take a look at the Dutch portion, you will notice a significant difference. The reason is that this portion resembles a beautiful chapel. Of all the 30 things to do in Jakarta, paying respect here is the noblest thing to do.
20. Enjoy the splashes at Atlantis Water Adventure
When you visit Ancol, you will have more than one solution to a very hot day. The extra option here is the Atlantis Water Park. This park comprises of eight areas, each different than the other. People of all ages are free to take a dive in the large wave pool. There are water slides as well where you will be able to have a fun time with the family. In essence, this park showcases a very different side of Jakarta aside from the usual rush.
21. Take a tour of Museum Bank Indonesia
Here is another part of the city that outsiders know less about but is a great place to enjoy. The museum has been built on the main office of the previous bank. Due to this new construction, that bank has newly regained popularity. When you visit the museum, you will have the chance to know about the stories of Indonesian currency. The stories revolve around the transformation of the currency and a financial crisis that plagued the country in 1997.
22. Passing through Glodok
Chinatowns have a huge influence on this part of Southeast Asia. In Jakarta, Glodok takes up the role of Chinatown and is the biggest one inside Indonesia. The origins of Glodok can be traced back to the Dutch Colonial periods. With the Dutch rule over, it became the home of various temples and shops. So, this is the best place to start if you want to collect some souvenirs for a cheap price. In addition, keep an eye out for the local pharmacies because they sell unique medicine made from dried frogs.
23. Enjoy the view from Awan Lounge
Kosenda Hotel is home to this amazing lunge which is the perfect stoppage point in the city’s center. You are welcome to put a halt to all the activities and refresh your mind at Awan Lounge. There is a rooftop bar that contains a vertical garden. The sight of trees studding the area and a glassy skylight plunging down for nine stories is unique. There is no problem if you take a bird’s eye of the city and sip a cocktail. It is certainly a refreshing activity among the 30 things to do in Jakarta.
24. Enter the Museum Tekstil
It is not every day that you hear about textile museums, much less have the chance to visit one. But, we are here to assure you that visiting the Museum Tekstil is an opportunity you should not miss. This trip allows visitors to learn a lot regarding conventional weaving techniques. In addition, the museum allows you to learn about fabric painting techniques from a bygone age. Moreover, it is the best place to observe famous batik objects. As a bonus, you will have the chance to study the ways of making Batik artwork.
25. Get lost inside the Sea World
Among all the places in Jakarta that attract tourists, there is none better than the Sea World. If you want to visit this wonderful place, you will need to head over to Ancol Dream Land Complex. Once inside, your eyes will be blessed with the sight of over 4,000 varieties of sea life. You will get a close view of a lot of the aquatic life when you stroll through the tunnels. There are fish swimming all over the tunnels and it results in a picturesque view. Of course, that is not all as there is a huge oceanarium to go along with entertaining displays.
26. Taking a tour of Fatahillah Square
Whatever we say about Fatahillah Square will not be enough to showcase its historical value to Jakarta. The Square also goes by the name Old Batavia and can be found in Kotas. When the Dutch Colony was at the helm around the 16th century, it became the centerpiece of the city. So, now when you visit the Fatahillah Square, you will witness structures bearing Dutch influence. Other than that, there is the Jakarta History Museum which attracts a lot of people. One of the prime reasons that compel people to flock towards Fatahillah Square are the artisans and jugglers. During the weekend, this place becomes full of life and color. So, it definitely worth spending your time on among the 30 things to do in Jakarta.
27. Jet Skiing
Jakarta provides opportunities to engage in jet skiing in Pantai Indah Kapuk. Keep in mind that, this region falls under the Chinese neighborhood and consists of a tiny harbor. You will be in for a surprise when you see the many boats sailing at such a tiny harbor. However, the main concern is jet skiing. For that, you have to tread on toward the Regatta Apartment which is an icon on its own. There is a Jet Ski Café in close proximity of the Regatta Apartment to rent and ride jet skis from.
28. Sing Karaoke
Jakarta is one place where you can relax and enjoy without a care in the world. There is no shortage of fun activities such as, in karaoke you can do what you want to. Take on a mic and keep singing away until someone else’s turn comes. It is a sure-fire way to brighten the mood and also garner some boos if you sing horribly. In Jakarta, the best place to do that is Idul Vista. So, take some time from your list of 30 things to do in Jakarta and sing your heart out.
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29. Rent bicycles
Do you feel like exploring Jakarta completely? Well, the best way to do it is on a bicycle. Take one for the ride all over the city. The bike ride gets interesting when you enter Menteng thanks to the Colonial styled structures. After a while, you may feel like you have ended up in some European city. It is a really good activity among the 30 things to do in Jakarta if you want to release stress.
The best way to spend your leisure time is down on the golf course. In Senayan, there are a number of neatly cut golf courses that are waiting for you. This is one activity that people do not relate to Jakarta. However, once you set foot on a golf course, your mindset is bound to change. Other than that, it is the best way to relax after a long tiring week. So, that is everything on the list of 30 things to do in Jakarta you can enjoy in Indonesia.
All of these activities prove that many people miss out on the fun in Jakarta. As a whole, this city can offer some valuable lessons on culture and tradition while letting you naturally release stress.