The Jakarta Special Capital Region (DKI Jakarta) is the main gateway to Indonesia. This vibrant city is a contrasting mix of the modern and the traditional. Its rapid growth into a metropolis reflects the economic, political, social and industrial development of the nation. In recent years, Jakarta has expanded its tourism industry, adding a large number of luxury hotels, meeting facilities, world-class golf courses, fine restaurants, exciting nightlife and shopping centers. The past few years have also seen increased efforts to preserve cultural heritage sites. Jakarta offers an abudance of attractions, from museums, to entertainment center, recreation parks, art & cultural activities, and an exciting nightlife. The city's many multi-level shopping centers, art and antique markets, and colorful traditional market create a heaven for shoppers. As a melting pot of cultures, Jakarta is a gourmand's paradise. Reastaurants, cafes, and hawker stalls serve specialites from the four corners of the globe.
Jakarta's unique characteristics and identity borne of a unique melange of cultures encompass a broad range of tastes, and with tourism, transportation and communication infrastructures constanly being improved, the city has a strong appeal as a MICE destination.
Places of Interest in Jakarta
In the days of old, this was once a strategic and busy trading port where sea-faring merchants come to trade spices and exotic goods from far-off lands. Today, it is a bustling traditional fish market (pasar ikan), best visited very early in the morning to catch the action. This market is located in the northernmost part of the city at the mouth of the Ciliwung River and it was from here that the colonial Dutch entered and colonized Jakarta, and later the rest of Indonesia. Remnants of colonial Kasteel Batavia, an old fort and trading post of Dutch East Indies Company, can still be seen. The phinisi, the famed tall Bugis schooners from South Sulawesi, are still anchored in Sunda Kelapa Harbor, making it one of the finest sights Jakarta has to offer.
The Jakarta Museum of History at Taman Fatahillah Square in the heart of old Batavia is housed in the beautifully restored 18th century Dutch town hall (Stadhuis).
Museum Gajah or National Museum is located on the west side of Merdeka Square and showcases an extensive collection of more than 140,000 artifacts from across the Indonesian archipelago. The objects on display extend over a wide range of historical periods and geographical locations, giving evidence of Indonesia’s long and far-ranging relations with the rest of the world through the ages.
The Wayang Museum
The Wayang Museum is located at the western side of Taman Fatahillah, in ‘The Old Town’ area. It has the finest displays of wayang puppets from various parts of the Indonesian archipelago as well as Southeast Asia. The wooden and leather puppets displayed here represent the finest craftsmanship in this particular form of traditional theatre. The museum also shows condensed performances of the wayang kulit (leather puppet) show every Sunday morning.
Two of the original warehouses from the first Dutch East Indies Company trading post in Java are now the Maritime Museum. The museum exhibits large replicas of traditional boats from the various islands of Indonesia. The old harbormaster’s tower stands nearby. The Maritime Museum is open to the public from 8.00 am to 2.00 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. On Fridays it is closed at 11.00 am and on Saturdays at 1.00 pm. The Museum closes on Mondays.
The Textile Museum
The Textile Museum is an interesting place to see the many kinds of Indonesian textiles. Visitors can also learn how to make the famed batik of Indonesia.
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah or the Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park is a cultural park which exhibits the cultures, traditions and architecture indigenous to 30 provinces across the nation. Dramas and dances performance of the various provinces are regularly staged in the pavilions every Sunday morning.
Ragunan Zoo is situated in the southern part of the city. It was first open to the public in 1864. The zoo is built on 140 hectares of land, and houses 295 species and 4,040 specimens of wildlife including indigenous fauna such as the Komodo dragon, the Java tiger and wild ox. The exhibits are given ample living space set in a lush tropical setting. The zoo is open daily from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm.
Pasar Burung (Bird Market) is located at Jalan Pramuka. This market trades an amazing array of colorful tropical birds, including the highly popular perkutut songbird, the pride of the Javanese people. The market opens daily from 9.00 am.
Pulau Seribu or the Thousand Islands. The chain of 140 islands, mostly pristine, scattered across the Java Sea to the north of Jakarta offers a serene getaway from the bustling city life. White sandy beaches fringed with coconut palms line the coast and the surrounding waters is a paradise for snorkeling and scuba diving. The islands can be reached from Tanjung Priok or Pasar Ikan (Sunda Kelapa) by ferry or by chartered boat. Bungalows, restaurants, diving and sailing facilities are available. See for more info diving in Diving in Java / Thousand island.
The Jakarta Convention Center
The Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) measures 6,120 square meters and can simultaneously accommodate three conferences and three public exhibitions. The main hall has a seating capacity of 3,300, and is equipped with a giant video-wall, hi-tech lighting and sound system, VIP lounge, board rooms, translation booths, and multifunction meeting rooms. The JCC is a favored venue for domestic and international exhibitions, ranging from local crafts exhibitions to motor shows and music concerts.
The Shopper’s Paradise. Hunt for high quality batiks at Sarinah and a selection of antiques at Jalan Surabaya. Mangga Dua and many ITC (International Trade Centers) offer more than 10,000 kiosks and shops, selling everything from fashion, accessories, gifts, home appliances at lower prices.
The National Monumen or Monas
The National Monument is a 137 meter tall monument, topped with a 35 kilogram gold coated flame. It represents the people’s determination to achieve freedom. It is located in front of the Presidential Palace and is open to the public. An elevator carries visitors to the top of the structure, offering a bird’s eye view of the city.
Jakarta Tourism Events
Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival.
International Kite Festival.
Arts and theatre at the Gedung Kesenian Jakarta and Taman Ismail Marzuki centers for the arts.