6 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Jakarta

Jul 22, 2021

It's hard to imagine that the bustling capital of Indonesia - home to 12 million people - is not at least a little bit of the Jungle, and that's a good thing: the tree-clad skyscrapers and crowded streets, buzzing with shoppers and budget travelers, are a testament to the country's rapid growth. Indonesia is also home to the world's best-preserved Hindu temple, the dazzling Hindu-Buddhist architecture of Borobudur and Prambanan, and the lush jungles of Sumatra and Borneo.

Of course, Jakarta's popularity with tourists means that prices can be higher than normal. But for a real bargain, try to book your lodging and transportation in advance. Explore some lesser-known sites and look beyond the kitschy commercialism of Indonesia's top sights.

For those who love urban cities, this is the perfect city to visit in Indonesia. If you love shopping, visit Jakarta and experience the bustling markets; if you love to shop and dine, come to Jakarta, you won't be disappointed. For those who love to walk, do it in the chaotic streets of Jakarta; for those who love to see the sun, go to visit at Jakarta - you will always find something in the city for you.

Plan your trip to Jakarta with our list of the best things to do and tourist attractions in Jakarta, Indonesia.

National Monument

Photo of National Monument (Indonesia)
National Monument (Indonesia): en.wikipedia.org

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson put Jakarta on the list of New World "national monuments," his way of ensuring that the city would be spared destruction in the name of European colonialist expansion. While Jakarta is certainly no Venice, this city's list of cultural heritage sites and national monuments include colonial churches, mosques, and public buildings, along with the Tomok that protects the Kartika Canal, a key street on the Indonesian capital's UNESCO-listed colonial residential area. If you'd like to see more of Jakarta, consider booking a city tour organized by a guide who will bring you to these sites.

Jakarta Museum

Photo of Jakarta
Jakarta: en.wikipedia.org

Established in 1996, Jakarta Museum (Museum Kebun Raya Jakarta) is the principal museum of the Indonesian capital and presents collections of cultural, natural, ethnographical, and archeological assets. Built into the rocks of the Surakarta area of Central Java in the 19th century, the Museo Antropologico and Ethnografico has a large collection of artefacts representing most of the ethnic groups in Indonesia. The most well-known of these is a human-sized wooden canoe that was excavated at a sacred site in West Java. Another large collection consists of traditional artefacts from the past such as weapons, clothing, and vessels from the various regions of Indonesia. The Museum, located beside Prambanan, also includes a modern display of Buddhist artefacts.

Merdeka Square

Photo of Merdeka Square, Jakarta
Merdeka Square, Jakarta: en.wikipedia.org

The iconic building for Independence Day celebrations in Jakarta is Merdeka Square, a major junction at the north end of Jalan Merdeka, in the Muslim west of the city. Inaugurated in 1891, Merdeka Square was once the seat of government until a new administrative center was built. It is now an open space that hosts Jakarta's Independence Day celebrations, on September 17. Here the air is filled with balloons, confetti, and flowers, and with the crowds around the National Museum, the National Monument, and the Presidential Palace. The square is not to be confused with Merdeka Mall, a large shopping mall directly opposite the Presidential Palace, which has several small restaurants.

The Presidential Palace

Photo of Istana Negara (Jakarta)
Istana Negara (Jakarta): en.wikipedia.org

The Presidential Palace was built in 1929-1930 to represent the Dutch colonial style in Indonesia. The palace is the official residence of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. It is here that Yudhoyono prepares for his national and international duties as President of Indonesia. Visits to the palace is prohibited to the public and is only open for events and official functions. The palace was originally designed for the governor-general of Indonesia. When the Dutch transferred the capital from Batavia to Jakarta, the palace became the residence of the first Vice-President of the Republic of Indonesia. One interesting feature of the palace is the ceramics made by local artists. They are sold at the state's open-air market, Pasar Paksa.

Grand Mosque

Photo of Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta
Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta: en.wikipedia.org

With a history dating back more than 700 years, the beautiful mosque (now attached to the National Museum) is the oldest public building in the city and is Jakarta's cultural landmark. According to legend, the mosque is said to have been built for the Sultan of Banten in 1320 by architect Toghrul Pahlawan to celebrate the reign of Sultan Hasanuddin. Possibly the most famous of Jakarta's monuments, the mosque was officially inaugurated on 20 April 1527. From this landmark, Jakarta's history unfolds. Famous places and events in Jakarta's ancient past include the Dutch colonial era, where the mosque was a meeting point and where Toghrul Pahlawan was buried, and also the National Revolution, where the Dutch colonial rule was finally ended.

Taman Fatahillah

Photo of Taman Sari, Jakarta
Taman Sari, Jakarta: en.wikipedia.org

The Taman Fatahillah, which has been converted into an attractive park, was first established in 1941 to commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the Independence of Indonesia. It is located on the north-eastern coast of Jakarta. This tranquil park is a popular destination for picnics, sightseeing, shopping and eating in the street stalls at one of the open-air markets which surround the gardens. Another attraction here is the Shah Alam Campus of the Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, a prestigious university founded in 1998. Located on the site of a former palace, it has 20,000 students and offers a broad range of academic programs. The park is popular with children for its small swimming pool and playground. During the holidays, the park is filled with people and light vehicles, but there are many quieter parks and beaches around Jakarta. Jakarta's Pantura or Pond, the area between the Serangoon River and Lebak Bulus, is a popular evening promenade and known as Jakarta's Fifth Avenue. The West Park in Pasar Senen is another great spot for an evening stroll.