Jakarta Bucket List: 15 Best Things to do in Jakarta, Indonesia

The Balinese style Indonesia Museum by Gunawan Kartapranata via Wikipedia CC

Tourist Attractions and Best Things to do in Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta is a city known for its busy metropolis, but what even more fascinating is that it a very safe and affordable city. The city has numerous fun things that can easily feel up 52 weekends to complete your year.

Best Things to do in Jakarta
Best Things to do in Jakarta

When you arrive in Jakarta from the airport, the amusement can already start – the first thing you want to do is avoid the pack of drivers that vehemently offer you a ride. In Jakarta, the only reliable ride operator is Blue Bird and McDonald’s and they are stationed right at the airport. You can alternatively hire a private car or use Silver Bird service. The most important thing when you arrive in Jakarta is having own transport sorted out.

Here are 15 interesting things to do in Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Start your vacation with a day in Taman Mini Indonesia Park

The Balinese style Indonesia Museum by Gunawan Kartapranata via Wikipedia CC
The Balinese style Indonesia Museum By Gunawan Kartapranata – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

This unique park will easily make you spend the whole day here, whether you are solo or with your better half, or with a family. Taman Mini Indonesia Park is the best place to begin learning Indonesian culture and will prepare you well and make the rest of your stay in Jakarta worth your while. You will also get to witness amazing art performance from different Indonesian islands. At the heart of the park is a manmade lake that portrays the archipelago in small scale, which fascinatingly you can view from above as you ride in a cable car. There are also museums, a bird park, a flower garden, a library, a water park, an IMAX cinema, and theater shows.

Visit Ancol Dreamland

Tornado at Ancol Dreamland by Riyana Fauzy via Wikipedia CC
Tornado at Ancol Dreamland By Riyana Fauzy – Dunia Fantasi, CC BY-SA 3.0

To fully enjoy what Taman Impian Jaya Ancol offers, you will probably need more than one day. This is Jakarta’s major amusement park set on the northern waterfront. The park is a huge complex that sits on 552 hectares of space and features a golf course as well as a resort. There are plenty of fun rides to attempt at Dufan Fantasy World, some splashing thrills at Atlantis Water Park, and two major beaches that also double as concert venues. There are still numerous recreational sites at the park for water sport.

Schedule a day at Indonesia National Gallery

National Gallery of Indonesia by Chongkian via Wikipedia CC
National Gallery of Indonesia By Chongkian – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are an art lover, you are going to love spending time at the National Gallery. Located in Central Jakarta, the National Gallery is an art center and museum with over a thousand art pieces created by national as well as foreign artists. Permanent exhibits at this art center include statues and paintings by Indonesian famous painters like Raden Saleh as well as Nyoman Lempad of Bali. On the other hand, temporary exhibits are usually held in the museum’s three spacious art halls.

Stroll down Chinatown

Chinatown gate in Mangga Dua by Jakob Montrasio via Wikipedia CC
Chinatown gate in Mangga Dua By Jakob Montrasio from Shanghai, China – Jakarta’s Chinatown., CC BY 2.0

Jakarta’s Chinatown bears a lot of significance, historically as well as culturally. The Chinatown is also sometimes called Glodok and it is situated adjacent to Jakarta’s old town known as Kota Tua. Jakarta Chinatown and Jakarta old town share the nostalgic setting dominated by eastern architecture in streetscapes. You can find plenty of 17th-century temples, majestically forming the part of the area’s townscape among overriding rows of family-owned shops as well as eateries.

Cross over to Jakarta Old Town (Kota Tua)

Jakarta History Museum Photo by CEphoto via Wikipedia CC
Jakarta History Museum Photo By Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas or alternatively © CEphoto, Uwe Aranas, CC BY-SA 3.0

Jakarta old town has multiple names; Kota Tua, and Old Batavia. The area is full of history as the former Jakarta’s downtown area as well as the Dutch East India Company headquarters. You can admire the town’s building ancient architectural features and most of the city’s main museums, which are lined up here. The city currently is reconstructing the deteriorated buildings and pushing the Kota Tua to be included in the list of UNESCO’s world heritage sites.

Visit Ragunan Zoo

Komodo dragon in Ragunan Zoo by Midori via Wikipedia CC
Komodo dragon in Ragunan Zoo By Midori – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

This is Jakarta’s main zoo and it goes by either Kebun Binatang Ragunan or Taman Margasatwa. It is located right in the Pasar Minggu sub-district, southern Jakarta. The zoo has been around since the Dutch colonial era, and now it houses over 3,000 animals, among them from around the world. The settings of the zoo are perfect for pleasant walks, with its range of cool green trees. You can see a variety of animals from endangered species to indigenous like Komodo dragons, Sumatran tigers, orang-utans, tapirs, and variety of tropical birds.

Chill your day in Suropati Park and Lembang Park

Suropati Park by @ThisisinBalitimur Flickr CC
Suropati Park by @ThisisinBalitimur Flickr CC

Although Jakarta is one of the cities with a high concentration of skyscrapers, the city has several coop parks. Two of the main city parks include Suropati Park and Lembang Park. You will encounter friendly locals sitting or jogging around the park.

Do a car-free-day on Sunday

You can try a bit of a workout on a Car-Free day along the street of Sudirman-Thamrin. The event starts at 6 am all the way till noon. It is an amazing experience to see the main road without a single automobile. It is also a perfect opportunity to meet up with all of Jakarta communities who gather here in the morning.

Counteract Jakarta’s air pollution at Blue Terrace

AYANA Midplaza Jakarta
AYANA Midplaza Jakarta

Breathe fresh air at Blue Terrace as you enjoy health-conscious dishes. The menu is abundant with colorful salads as well as mains, all skillfully arranged and decorated with edible flowers.

Shop at the malls

Grand Indonesia Mall
Grand Indonesia Mall

There are too many malls in Jakarta you can shop in, just make sure you are loaded. The best mall is the Grand Indonesia Mall, inside which you can shop for souvenirs. Other affordable shops include Thamrin City, ITC, and Tanah Abang. You can also shop for groceries in numerous traditional markets around the city.

Enjoy Jakarta nightlife

Basque Jakarta photo via FB Page
Basque Jakarta photo via FB Page

Jakarta is most often referred to as the “city that never sleeps.” The city has a unique evening charm, with its glittering skyline that looks astounding. There are numerous nightclubs and bars which are forever busy.

Visit Thousand Islands (officially Kepulauan Seribu)

The archipelago of Thousand Islands by Rochelimit via Wikipedia CC
The archipelago of Thousand Islands By Rochelimit – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

A few hours of boat ride from inland Jakarta and you will come across a thousand islands, which are still part of Jakarta. You can escape the busy life of Jakarta by going to these tropical islands. Just relax on the beaches and enjoy the cool breeze. If you get a chance, visit the Pulau Macan for exotic Indonesian dishes.

Visit the Istiqlal Mosque and the Catholic Cathedral

Great Mosque Istiqlal, Jakarta, Indonesia by Rezky Ramadhani via Unsplash
Great Mosque Istiqlal, Jakarta, Indonesia by Rezky Ramadhani via Unsplash

This will amaze you, the symbol of intolerance and harmony that is rare in the modern world. The Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque not only in Indonesia but also the whole of Southeast Asia standing directly opposite to the Catholic Cathedral. Both buildings feature beautiful and dazzling architecture.

Browse for antiques at Jalan Surabaya

Flea Market at Jalan Surabaya by Danumurthi Mahendra via Flickr CC
Flea Market at Jalan Surabaya by Danumurthi Mahendra via Flickr CC

Spare an evening to stroll down Surabaya Street. You can find plenty of antique stores lining up the street.

Try as many restaurants and cafes as you can

Nasi Lemak
Nasi Lemak

Jakarta has a lot of cafes, bars, and restaurants. You will be served with a variety of foreign dishes such as Indian, Lebanese, Italian and much more.

Jakarta Tour Packages

Jakarta Travel and Tour Packages

Jakarta Old Batavia Walking Tour

Jakarta Old Town Tour photo via KLOOK
Jakarta Old Town Tour photo via KLOOK

Known as “The Queen of the East, Jakarta’s old district is the gateway to the city’s colonial period. On this three-hour old district tour, you will get an informative introduction to the events that have shaped Jakarta’s history.

Jakarta Old Batavia Walking TourBOOK THIS TOUR

Check out our complete list of recommended Hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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