Best things to do in Jakarta
Find out more about those top places in Jakarta
The capital of Indonesia, Jakarta is one of those Asian cities that never sleep. Situated at the mouth of the Ciliwung river, the city is Indonesia's most populous city and is at the center of its economy, culture and politics.
Considered an alpha city, one of Jakarta many gifts is its strength of diversity – the city has a strong mix of different cultures, with several of its influences coming from Arab, Indian, European, and Malay traditions. Whether you are visiting for a short while or you plan on exploring all the hidden secrets Jakarta has to offer, the city would give you memories to last a lifetime.
It's the most conspicuous structure in Jakarta, the monument can be seen from most parts of the city – located at the center of Merdeka it is a national symbol and represents the fight on the Indonesia War for Independence involving Indonesia and the Dutch empire. The obelisk type monument began in 1961 under the orders of President Sukarno and was finally completed in 1975. Its design represents the Alu (rice pestle) and Lesung (rice mortar) – it is opened to visitors daily but it is best to avoid weekends due to long queues.
Easily the most revered place in the capital, the Jin De Yuan is a crucial part of the culture of Jakarta's citizens. Also known as the Vihara Dharma Bhakti, it is a large Chinese Buddhist temple compound, completed in 1650 making it the oldest Chinese temple in Jakarta. The Jin De Yuan is actually a replacement for the first temple which was burned down in protest – but like the first one it's equally majestic both in its interior and exterior. The best time to visit the temple is during one of the Chinese related festivities of which it is always the main venue.
The Taman Fatillah is one of the places where you go to if you are looking to take a breather from the fast paced life of Jakarta. Considered to be an historical place, surrounded with several colonial buildings and many tourist attractions including the Jakarta History Museum and Fine Arts and Ceramics Museum. With so many things to do visitors can opt for just having a good meal or drink while admiring the park or wander off as they explore its gifts.
There are few museums in Asia that can compete with the National Museum of Indonesia – beautifully built, it is evident that no stone was left unturned for the establishment of the museum. Founded in 1778, the museum has over 141,000 objects, covering the entire history of Indonesia from prehistoric to modern times. Featuring in its diverse collection include stone statues of classical Hindu-Buddhist period of ancient Java and Sumatra, as well as other anthropological and ethnographic artifacts.
Lovers of animals can stop by Ragunan zoo. Located in Pasar Minggu, south of Jakarta the zoo covers 340 acres and has over 3,000 animals of 270 different species. The zoo with almost 150 years old also has an aviary section for its flora presence – while visiting you are likely to see some crocodiles, Sumatran tiger, tapir and peacocks. Being a very family friendly zoo there are a children’s zoo as well.