Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Java Jakarta



Sky line Jakarta

Sky line Jakarta

© pelopor

Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, located on the northern coast at the western end of the island of Java. It is a mixture of a city and a big village. In some places you can see high-rise buildings, luxurious hotels and shopping centres, and in the others you can see the small houses of poor.

The province of DKI (capital area of) Jakarta spans north through the Thousand Islands, the small islands scattered off Jakarta bay. Some islands are located in the underwater preservation area, a nice place to go snorkelling and diving.




Jakarta sprawls from the port to the mountains, with true centers and neighbourhoods hard to find. There is plenty to see at Sunda Kelapa port while Ancol is a separate seaside recreation area. Kota ("downtown") refers to a crowded, poor, but generally very interesting area that begins south of the port. Kota has shopping, nightlife, traditional markets and Chinese temples. Just to the south, Pasar Baru has a shaded Indian market and interesting environs. The national monument (MONAS) is a large park in an area which used to be central but is no longer, as the city has shifted vast distances in all directions, but especially southward. Not far from Monas is Jl. Jaksa, Jl. Sabang and the long-standing Sarina department store. This area retains a central feel, as does the Cikini area just to the east of Monas.

The old Dutch neighborhood of Menteng separates the Sarina area from Plaza Indonesia, Kuningan and the banking district (Jalan Sudirman). Official residences, churches and embassies are housed here, often in attractive buildings under large trees. As the sprawl finally reached Bogor and the Puncak mountain resort areas, new centers emerged. The Plaza Indonesia area and the old Hotel Indonesia has received considerable developer attention as has Kuningan, especially Mega Kuningan. However, these are more real estate concepts than neighborhoods. Just five years ago the focus was on Semanggi, less of a neighbourhood than a shopping mall.

In South Jakarta, the Senayan area is full of attractive shopping centers, parks, and nightlife. To the south - once again -is Blok M, which is due for a renovation but remains popular. Even further (from Kota), are other true neighborhoods such as Kebayoran Baru, Senopati and Dharmawangsa. Here you find houses, trees, and space to breathe. Kemang, a popular residential area for foreigners, has a lot to offer in terms of galleries, restaurants, boutique stores and nightlife, but also narrow roads. Blok M is between 30 and 90 minutes from Kota, depending on traffic. Suburbs like Cilandak and Cipete are as many as two hours from Kota in bad traffic, but otherwise a part of Jakarta.




Old Jakarta (Jakarta Kota)

You can see old buildings from Dutch colonial time. Even the train station (Jakarta Kota Station) is still using the same station since the Dutch colonial time. There are museums like the Fatahilah Museum (used to be the Dutch major's office, with jails in the basement which used to be soaked with water), Wayang (Puppet) Museum, Marine Museum. If you are interested to see traditional/old-fashioned ships, go visit the old port of Sunda Kelapa.

Ragunan Zoo

The Ragunan area in Jakarta is known for the zoo, which people call Ragunan Zoo. An interesting part of the zoo is the Schmutzer's Primate Centre, donated to the city of Jakarta by the late Mrs. Puck Schmutzer, an animal lover. The primate centre has many kinds of primates (monkeys, gorillas, and the kind) mostly which had been taken by humans from their natural habitats. The zoo is more of an animal conservation rather than a commercialized place. There are many endangered species. You can see them but mostly you cannot interact with them, to keep them as they are. But there is a spot where you can ride an elephant.

Ancol Recreation Park

Ancol Recreation Park is located at Jakarta bay (North Jakarta). It is also the departure port for the Thousand Islands.


  • Dunia Fantasi (Dufan) - an amusement park.
  • Sea World.
  • Gelanggang Samudera - dolphin attraction, etc.
  • Marina Bay.
  • Pasar Seni - art craft galleries and performance stage.


  • Raddin
  • Mercure

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII)

This Indonesia miniature park has traditional design houses from all around Indonesia, from Sumatra to Papua. Each house is a museum showing traditional clothes, ceremonies (e.g. wedding), and music. TMII is a big park with many other attractions such as Fresh Water Aquarium, Marine Museum, Philately Museum, Science Museum, Bird Park, Flower Park, Butterfly Park, etc. You can ride a cable car and see the big park from above. TMII was built under the government of President Soeharto, and is said to be "built" by the first lady at the time, the late Ibu Tien Soeharto. At the front area of TMII there is a big museum that keeps many souvenirs Soeharto got from his presidential visits to other countries.




Shopping and Eating

There are many places to shop and eat in Jakarta. From traditional market to modern shopping malls.

Shopping malls:

  • Plaza Senayan
  • Senayan City
  • Plaza Semanggi
  • Pondok Indah Mall 1 & 2
  • EX Entertainment
  • Taman Anggrek Mall
  • Pacific Place


Singing is becoming popular in Jakarta as a way to release stress and have fun with family and friends. Don't worry, English popular songs are the most in list; Along with Indonesian, Mandarin, and some Japanese songs.


  • Happy Puppy - This family-friendly karaoke is decorated to bring you happy moments with friends and family. Computerized--Song selection & controls, food & drink order, staff call, and time extension are only a single click away. Locations: D'best shopping centre Jalan Fatmawati, Kelapa Gading, Puri Indah, La Piazza.
  • Inul Vizta - This karaoke is owned by a controversial Indonesian celebrity, Inul. Although it claims to be a family karaoke, this place is not so family-friendly in terms of its nightclub-like atmosphere and the bar serving alcoholic drinks. Locations: Melawai, Plaza Semanggi, Poins Square.
  • Uta Park - A Japanese-oriented karaoke box with many collections of Japanese popular songs as well as Indonesian and English songs. Address: Kamome Building 3rd Fl., Jalan Melawai Raya 189B. Tel: (021) 7280-0266.

Record your own audio CD:

  • Wannabe: Jl K.H. Ahmad Dahlan, South Jakarta.


  • Blitz Megaplex - The new movie theatres located in the centre of Jakarta, in Grand Indonesia, just near the roundabout of Patung Selamat Datang (the "Welcome" Statue) near Plaza Indonesia. The second Blitz Megaplex in Jakarta is located at the Pacific Place, in Sudirman Commercial Business District (SCBD).
  • 21 Cineplex - The 21 Cineplex had been the only mid-range to upscale favourite movie theatres in Jakarta, before Blitz Megaplex came. With the competitor around, it discounted its ticket prices. 21 Cineplex has many theatres scattered all around Jakarta.

Water Sports, Snorkelling, and Diving

Off Jakarta bay is the Thousand Islands. The small islands are scattered at shallow waters, which in some part is WWF underwater conservation area. Some islands are nice for water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat riding; some others are nice for snorkelling and diving. Be careful of sting rays, sea urchins, and jelly fish.

Water Park Recreation

Located at the suburbs, water parks are popular to families with children for splishing and splashing in the pool and enjoying the spiral water slides.

  • Pondok Indah Waterpark, Pondok Indah Mall complex, South Jakarta
  • Ocean Park, Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD), Serpong
  • El Dorado Waterpark, Cibubur.

Body, Mind & Soul

Jakarta citizens need a little time to balance their body, mind & soul. Either by doing some stretching, meditation, or just having a body massage or the like. You might want it after an exhausting trip around the city.

  • Bale Bale Spa - Inexpensive (mid-range) spa for women with very good value for money. They offer services such as aromatherapy & traditional massages, body scrub, milk bath, face massage, scalp & hair treatment. The nice traditional Javanese interiors make an exotically relaxing feeling. Addr.: Gandaria, South Jakarta. Tel: (021) 725-3326, 720-4809
  • Rumahyoga - An upscale place for yoga, pilates, reflexology, body massage, and hot stone massage. Addr.: Jalan Lamandau, South Jakarta. Tel: (021) 739-3266




The weather is mostly bright and sunny during the dry season, which normally happens from May through September. And it is usually overcast and rainy during the wet season from October through April, although some sunshine is possible as well. Humidity and temperatures are always high. Daytime temperatures are around 31 °C, nights are around 24 °C.

Avg Max29.9 °C30.3 °C31.5 °C32.5 °C32.5 °C31.4 °C32.3 °C32 °C33 °C32.7 °C31.3 °C32 °C
Avg Min24.2 °C24.3 °C25.2 °C25.1 °C25.4 °C24.8 °C25.1 °C24.9 °C25.5 °C25.5 °C24.9 °C24.9 °C
Rainfall384.7 mm309.8 mm100.3 mm257.8 mm133.4 mm83.1 mm30.8 mm34.2 mm29 mm33.1 mm175 mm84 mm
Rain Days262015181317524692212



Getting There

By Plane

Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CGK) is about 20 kilometres from Jakarta. Several dozens of airlines serve the city. Non-budget airlines include:

Budget airlines serving Jakarta are:

Some more destinations with other airlines include Dubai, Xiamen, Manila, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Nanning, Phuket, Istanbul and Sana'a.

To/from the airport

  • Bus: A shuttle bus route links the airport to Rawamangun, Blok M, Gambir Station, Bekasi, Depok, Lebak Bulus, Tanjung Priok, Kemayoran, Kampung Rambutan, Pasar Minggu, Serang, Merak, Cikarang and Bogor. Primajasa buses now also serves Bandung from the airport.
  • Car: Depending on traffic, Soekarno–Hatta is a 30-minute-drive away from Jakarta's city centre via Soedyatmo Expressway. Rental cars are available, as well as taxis.

By Train

Jakarta is reachable by train from cities on the island of Java, like Bogor and Yogyakarta. It takes about 2 hours from Bandung by Argo Gede executive train (good couches with air conditioner), through scenic areas between the cities.

By Bus

Buses connect Jakarta with numerous cities around Java, including Bogor, Bandung, Surabaya and Yogyakarta. Bus terminals such include Rawamangun (East Jakarta) Kampung Rambutan (Southeast Jakarta), Pulo Gadung (East Jakarta), Kali Deres (West Jakarta) or Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta). The terminals are notorious for muggers and pickpockets, so observe normal safety precautions.

By Boat

The national ferry company, ASDP Indonesia Ferry, and other sealines, operate passenger services to destinations across the archipelago from Tanjung Priok port in the north of the city. Some smaller speedboats, particularly to the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu), depart from Ancol also on Jakarta's north shore.



Getting Around

By Car

Due to bad traffic, it is best not to drive yourself. It is best to have a local who knows Jakarta streets well drive for you. You can rent a car with the driver.

  • Blue Bird Group - Offering transportation services from taxis, limousines, to charter buses, Blue Bird Group has a good reputation in Jakarta as the most reliable transportation service company. Its clients range from personals, schools, to corporate. Tel: (021) 7917-1234, 798-9000, 798-9111
  • Cipaganti Car Rent - Originally started in Bandung, Cipaganti Car Rent is now offering their services in Jakarta. Tel: (021) 720-4766, 720-4447/ 720-4616

By Public Transport

TransJakarta is the city's bus rapid transit system. There are currently 7 routes in operation. Buses have their own dedicated lanes to ensure they don't get stuck in traffic. To get on a bus, passengers must pass through turnstiles to get to a platform. You will need to purchase one ticket for your journey. The ticket can be used on connecting buses, and is valid until you exit the turnstiles. A single ticket costs Rp3,500. If you are travelling before 7:00am, you can get a discounted ticket for Rp 2,000.

The Jakartan equivalent to Thailand's tuk-tuk is the bajaj, orange mutant scooters souped up in India into tricycles that carry passengers in a small cabin at the back. Beside the average orange bajaj, there is blue bajaj, which uses gas as their fuel. They're a popular way to get around town since they can weave through Jakarta's interminable traffic jams much like motorbikes can. Although slow, boneshaking, hot and windy, riding around in these little motor-bugs can really grow on you. There are no set prices, but a short hop of a few city blocks shouldn't cost much more than Rp 5,000. Be sure to agree to a price before you set off.

By Foot

Jakarta is quite a big city and unlike Singapore, Indonesia rarely has independent retail stores on street and easy access by the pedestrians, all international branded retail stores located inside malls and plazas. It is never been good idea to getting around Jakarta by foot and pedestrian walk also terrible and narrow.




Indonesia is a country of spices.The food is good and tasty. And Jakarta has all kinds of food from traditional food to Oriental to European food. For a different experience, try the street food and sit together with local people.

Some good/favourite street food where locals go:

  • Nasi Uduk Kebon Kacang - Open in the evening. This place is always crowded by many Jakarta citizens for their supper. Located in Kebon Kacang area. Nasi uduk is rice cooked in coconut milk. Malaysians call it nasi lemak.
  • Bubur Ayam Barito (Barito Chicken Porridge) - Open late in the afternoon. It is a place locals go to for late afternoon/early evening light meal. Located just outside the cemetery on Jalan Barito, South Jakarta.
  • Roti Bakar Eddy (Eddy's Toast) - Roti Bakar Eddy is a favorite place among young locals for late afternoon snack while getting together with friends. It has become a chain, which among them are located at the street behind Al Azhar Mosque, South Jakarta and in Kemang Food Fest.

Alternatives to street food (if you are not sure about it):

  • Dapur Sunda - A good sample of Sundanese food - West Javanese food, that is. You can choose to sit on the chairs with table, or sit down in traditional lesehan style (like Japanese). Dapur Sunda is a chain restaurant, so you can find it in many places in Jakarta. Some locations: Pancoran, Setiabudi Building.
  • Waroeng Podjok - Pronounced "wa-roong po-jok", it literally means corner warung. Warung is a small, traditional place to eat and/or drink. This is chain restaurant. The restaurants are decorated as traditional warung, serving Indonesian food and drinks, such as fried chicken with ketumbar (a kind of spices), rawon (beef soup with black spices, served with bean sprouts and egg), tea, ginger drink, etc. Locations: Plaza Senayan, Pondok Indah Mall 1.
  • Kemang Food Fest - Located in Kemang area, this place offers a unique outdoor food experience. It is a good place to go with friends and family. Ranging from light food such as toast, dumplings, and porridge to heavy food such as steak and rice, you have choices of Indonesian to Oriental, or fusion food.
  • Apollo Hainan Chicken Rice - Located in Kelapa Gading and Sunter (North EastJakarta), offers original recipe of Hainanese Chicken Rice among other chinese food such as Sapo chicken/shrimp/porridge with mushrooms, Lo Mie Ebi, Bakut Teh. Other branches: Muara Karang, Green Garden, Gajah Mada. Open everyday from 10:00am - 10:00pm.
  • Anatolia - An upscale Turkish restaurant with a nice room with Turkish traditional decorations, beside the common tables and chairs. Located in Kemang area.
  • Little Baghdad - Another restaurant in Kemang area, offering Middle Eastern snacks, tea, and shisha.
  • Sederhana - Sederhana restaurant chain serves food cooked with recipe from Padang, West Sumatra. Padangnese food is well known for its tastiness and spiciness. It has many franchises all around Jakarta, but only some are really good.
  • Chamoe Chamoe - Serves Manadonese food. Manado is a small city in North Sulawesi. Manadonese food is known for being spicy. Unlike Padangnese food's kind of spicy, Manadonese food is not cooked with coconut milk so it brings a different spicy taste.
  • Mbah Jingkrak - Javanese words literally means 'jumping granny'. This restaurant serves Javanese food. Although Javanese food is considered as mild and sweet, this restaurant has its own special recipe that makes some of their food very hot and spicy, such as Pitik Rambut Setan (meaning devil's hair chicken) and Sambal Iblis (meaning devil king's chili sauce). But don't worry, as they have other recipes for the real mild and sweet Javanese food.


When it's very late at night, and you are starving but too tired to go out and find something to eat, you can call the probably unwanted saviour, McDonald's 24-hour delivery service, on phone number 14045.




Jakarta may be the capital of the world's largest Islamic country, but it has underground life of its own. If you're the clubbing type, its nightlife is arguably among the best in Asia, except in fasting months when some of it are closed or open in limited time. From the upscale Kemang to the seedy Mangga Besar, nightlife is there for all levels of loudness, but bring a friend if you decide to brave the seedier places (though they tend to have the best DJs). Fans of live music, on the other hand, are largely out of luck if they go to budget bars, at least unless they're into Indonesian pop.





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Casual work in Jakarta is difficult to come by and Indonesian bureaucracy does not readily facilitate foreigners undertaking employment in Indonesia. As in the rest of Asia, teaching English is the best option, although salaries are poor (US$700–3000/month is typical, although accommodation may be provided) and the government only allows citizens of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA to work as teachers. Formal work visas, residency permits and registration with several government offices is necessary. Formal approval from the Department of Manpower and the provision of documentation and guarantees from an employing sponsor is required to engage in any form of employment in Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia. Business visas are available for the purposes of conducting business related activities in Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia, this class of visa has strict conditions and requires a local business to sponsor the applicant. A business visa does not permit the holder to undertake any form of employment.




Keep Connected


Internet is becoming more widely used in Indonesia, and warung Internet (warnet) - Internet cafés - are emerging everywhere. A lot of restaurants and cafés in big cities normally have wireless internet available for free. Internet connection speed in Indonesia varies between ISP and location. Prices vary considerably, and as usual you tend to get what you pay for, but you'll usually be looking at around Rp3,000 to Rp5,000 per hour with faster access than from your own mobile phone. In large cities, there are free WiFi hotspots in many shopping malls, McDonald restaurants, Starbucks cafes, 7 Eleven convenience stores, and in some restaurants and bars. Some hotels provide free hotspots in the lobby and/or in their restaurants and even in your rooms.


See also: International Telephone Calls

You can use 112 as an emergency number through mobile phones. Other numbers include 110 (police), 113 (fire) and 118 (ambulance).
The international phone code is 62.

If you have GSM cellular phone, ask your local provider about "roaming agreement/facility" with local GSM operators in Indonesia (i.e.: PT Indosat, PT Telkomsel, PT XL Axiata). The cheapest way is buying a local SIM card, which would be much cheaper to call and especially use internet compared to your own cell phone's sim card.

The Indonesian mobile phone market is heavily competitive and prices are low: you can pick up a prepaid SIM card for less than Rp 10,000 and calls may cost as little as Rp 300 a minute to some other countries using certain carriers (subject to the usual host of restrictions). SMS (text message) service is generally very cheap, with local SMS as low as Rp129-165, and international SMS for Rp400-600. Indonesia is also the world's largest market for used phones, and basic models start from Rp 150,000, with used ones being even cheaper.


Pos Indonesia provides the postal service in Indonesia. Pos Indonesia is government-owned and offers services ranging from sending letters and packages to money transfers (usually to remote areas which have no bank branch/ATM nearby) and selling postcards and stamps. Sending a postcards, letter or parcel is relatively expensive, but fairly reliable. It takes several days at least to send it within Indonesia, at least a week internationally. It is recommended to send letters from a Pos Indonesia branch, not by putting it inside orange mailbox (called Bis Surat) in the roadside, because some of the mailboxes are in very bad condition and aren't checked regularly by Pos Indonesia. Opening times of post offices usually tend to follow general business hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm (sometimes shorter hours on Fridays), Saturdays from 8:00am to 1:00pm, closed on Sundays. Bigger cities, tourist areas and central post offices tend to keep longer hours, into the evenings.

Private postal services based in Indonesia include CV Titipan Kilat (CV TIKI), Jalur Nugraha Ekaputra (JNE), Caraka, and RPX. There are also foreign postal services that have branches in Indonesia, including DHL, TNT, UPS, and FedEx.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: -6.18619
  • Longitude: 106.8063

Accommodation in Jakarta

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