10 Most Popular Destinations in Jakarta
The main gateway to Indonesia, it is a contrast of modern western architecture and traditional Indonesian culture. Its rapid growth into metropolitan city reflects the economic, political, social and industrial development of the nation. In recent years, Jakarta has expanded its facilities for the visitors which luxury hotels, meeting facilities, world class golf courses, fine restaurant, exciting nightlife and shopping centers besides tourist attractions heritage, sea resort in the Bay of Jakarta, and an extensive beach recreation complexes.
1. The National Monument (Monas)
It is the 137 m tall table marble obelisk is topped with a flame coated with 35 kg of gold and represents the people’s determintation to achieve freedom. It is located in front of the Presidential palace and opens to the public. An elevator carries visitors to the top, offering a bird’s eye view across the city to the sea.
2. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Indonesian Miniature Park)
It is a cultural park, which attempts to present the ethnic cultures and traditions in permanent exhibits of traditional architecture native to the 33 provinces. Performances of drama and dances of the various provinces every Sunday Morning.
3. Pulau Seribu (Seribu Island)
There are 140 islands scattered across th Java Sea to the north of Jakarta offer a haven away from the bustle of city life. Golden beaches fringed with coconut palms line the sea, surrounding waters are paradise for snorkeles and scuba divers.
4. Fatahilla Museum
The Jakarta museum of history on Taman Fatahilla square in the heart of old Batavia is housed in the beautifully restored 18th century dutch town hall.
5. Taman Impian Jaya Ancol
Along the bay front, between Kota and Tanjung Priok, the people’s dreamland is built on land reclaimed in 1962. This 300-hectare landscape recreation park, providing non stop entertainment, has hotels, theater, and a variety of sporting and leisure facilities including bowling. It’s easily the city’s best entertainment for kids in the city. Taman Impian Jaya Ancol’s prime attractions include Pasar Seni (Art Market) which has sidewalk cafes, a host of craft shops, cable-ca rides, art exhibitions, and live music every Friday and Saturday night, and Seaworld.
The biggest draw card in the larger Ancol recreation park is Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy Land). A fun park that must have raised eyebrows at the Disney legal department. Spectacular rides here include the Halilintar twisted roller coaster, the Niagara flume ride and a Ferris wheel. The park gets very crowded on weekends, but on city train to Kota train station than bus 64, 65, 125 or angkot 51.
6. Sunda Kelapa
The bustling fish market “Pasar Ikan” the best visit in early morning. It is located in the far north of the city at the mouth of Ciliwung River. Dutch domination of Jakarta and the rest of Indonesia began from this area and the remnants of Kasteel Batavia, the old fort and trading post of Dutch East Indies Company, can still be seen. Tall Bugis schooners from South Sulawesi anchoring there offer one of the finest sights Jakarta has to offer.
7. Maritim Museum. Two of the original warehouses from the first trading post of the Dutch East Indies Company in Java now house the Maritime Museum. Exhibits include large models of boats from various islands. The old harbormaster’s tower stands nearby. Open from 8.00 a.m till 2.00 p.m on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday. On Friday closed at 11.00 a.m and on Saturday at 1.00 p.m. It closes on Monday
8. Ragunan Zoo
It is situated part of the city. Indigenous animals such as Komodo dragon, Tapir, Java Tigers, Wild Ox, and brightly colored birds are given ample room in a lush tropical setting. Open daily from 8.00 a.m to 6.00 p.m
9. Lapangan Banteng
Just east of Merdeka Sq, in front of the Hotel Borobudur Jakarta, Lapangan Banteng was laid out by the Dutch in the 19th century, and the area has some of Jakarta’s best colonial architecture. The Catholic Cathedral has twin spires and was built in 1901 to replace an earlier church. Facing the Cathedral is Jakarta’s principal place of Muslim worship, the stiking, modernist Mesjid Istqlal which was completed in 1978 to a design by Catholic architect Frederich Silaban. The mosque has five levels, representing the five pillars of Islam, its dome is 45m across and its minaret tops 90m. During Ramadan over 200,000 worshippers can be accommodated here. Non Muslim visitors are welcome. You have ti sign in first and then you’ll be shown around by an English speaking guide (who will expect a tip).
To the east of Lapangan Banteng is the Mahkamah Agung built in 1848 and nest door is the Ministry of Finance Building formerly the Witte Huis (White House). This grand government complex was built by Daendals in 1809 as the administrative center for the Dutch government.
The southest is Gedung Pancasila which is an imposing neoclassical building built in 1830 as the Dutch army commander’s residence. It later became the meeting hall of the Volksraad (people council) but is the best known as the place where Sukarno made his famous Pancasila speech in 1945, laying the Foundation for Indonesia’s constitution.
10. Shopping Centers
- Tanah Abang. This is an enormous wholesale market with some Jakarta’s cheapest clothes, and accessories as well as a host of other goods.
- Mangga DuaMall. Across the road from Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua, this is the place for computers, electronics. The surrounding area has other malls making it Southeast Asia’s biggest shopping precinct.
- Blok M Mall. This mall by the large bus terminal has scores of small, reasonably priced shops offering clothes, shoes, CD’s and DVD’s
- Plaza Senayan. This huge Plaza has a cinema, one of the city’s best clubs and stores including Mark & Spencer and Prada though prices are very steep.
- Plaza Indonesia. Exclusive Plaza Indonesia tops Jakarta’s A list for Shopping center with dozens of designer stores. There’s a good, suprisingly inexpensive food court in the basement.