In a city as colossal as Jakarta it’s hard to know where to start with a top 5, so I’ve kind of condensed these 5 down and kept them to a personal top 5 rather than your usual. These are the 5 things I enjoyed most in Jakarta, that’s not to say these are the top 5 things you should do, you know how it is…each to their own. My top 5 things to see and do in Jakarta, Indonesia
1. Monumen Nasional (The National Monument)
Siting in a large square called Lapangan Wierdeka is the proud National Monument. You can’t miss it and it’s free to walk around. If you want to go inside and head to the top, then there’s a price to pay and a queue, but I’ve heard the views are good. On the trains, get out at Gambir. On the buses, you can’t miss it if you’re heading along Jalan Merdecka Barat.
2. Mesjid Istiqal (The Muslim Mosque)
The Mosque in Jakarta is massive and welcomes foreign tourists. You’ll need to avoid wearing shorts and take your shoes off on the way in, but we got inside, went up a few floors and marvelled at the size of it! It’s one of the biggest Mosques I’ve ever been in and they claim it’s the biggest in the world!
3. The Harbourside Slums
Our evening stroll in Jakarta took us down to the Harbourside Slums. It was a real eye opener and something I really recommend doing. The locals live a basic lifestyle but are mostly happy. We ended up in amongst these old market streets and played football with the kids there. In fact my visit to the harbour side slums in Jakarta is still one of my favourite travel memories!
4. The Dutch Colonial Influence
Check out the buildings in the Old Town Square and you’ll see the Dutch Influence. This country was once known as the Dutch East Indies and was ruled by the Netherlands. The old buildings are still there and you can even pop into the quiet but old school Cafe Batavia for a beer over looking the square.
We did this, although bear in mind your beer will be three times the price as one in the street from a vendor!
5. A Night Out in Jalan Jaksa
We did two mega nights out in Jakarta. One was to the famous Stadium Nightclub and the other night was along a street with a load of local poky pubs and bars called Jalan Jaksa. We partied the nights away in Jakarta. It’s almost as if the fact this is a Muslim State doesn’t affect what really goes on. Alcohol is widely available, even at 7/11 they sell it 24 hours a day – we found this a cheap way to drink in Jakarta! It’s a party city that’s for sure. Beware of druggies, prostitutes and pickpockets though!
There were a few major sights I missed out on in and around Jakarta as we focused on Yogyakarta while in Java, but these are my top 5 things to see and do in Jakarta. And on a final note – be warned – the traffic is CRAZY. One of the busiest and most mayhemic cities I have ever been to, but i loved it and I would go back.
Motorcycle Mayhem in Jakarta:
Dutch Colonial Square in Jakarta:
Inside the world’s largest Muslim Mosque:
Chilling with the lads in Cafe Batavia:
How to cross the road in Jakarta:
Playing football with the kids in Jakarta: