On the northwest coast of Java sits Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta. Jakarta is a melting pot of cultures from Chinese to Arab to Dutch, many of whose influences are still seen around the city today. If visiting Jakarta for the first time, consider this your guide to the best sights, where to sleep and what day trips to take!
What Not to Miss in Jakarta
Museum Nasional: Built in the 1800s, the Museum Nasional is a popular place to visit to get some insight into Indonesia’s history and culture. With over four floors, the Museum Nasional showcases the origin of Indonesians as well as historic artifacts that will teach you about this vibrant country’s past.
Jakarta’s Old Town: Officially known as “Kota Tua,” Jakata’s Old Town is in the north end of the city and was a former Dutch settlement. A visit to the Old Town is to remember that European settlers once called this city home; as Kota Tua is home to well-preserved buildings from when the Dutch were living there.
Fatahilla Square: Fatahilla Square is where you can find the best preserved buildings from back when this area was a Dutch settlement. The square is in north Jakarta and is flanked by The Museum of Fine Arts & Ceramics, The Jakarta Historic Museum and the Portuguese Si Jagur cannon.
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah: This is a culture-based recreation park in East Jakarta and seems to encapsulate all of Indonesian culture within its walls. Picture Disney’s Epcot Center and how different countries and cultures are represented within the park walls and you can imagine the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, which is essentially the same idea but for different provinces of Indonesia.
Pasar Baru: Considered the oldest shopping district in Jakarta, the Pasar Baru dates back to the 1800s and is one of the only pedestrian streets in the city. It’s worth visiting Pasar Baru for a glimpse of local, Indonesia culture. Fun fact: Pasar Baru is popular with beauty salons so you can find any beauty product imaginable on this street.
Where to Sleep in Jakarta
Merlynn Park Hotel: For the best room to stay, the Merlynn Park Hotel is your best bet! The 5-star hotel is conveniently located in the heart of Jakarta’s city center and is a great place to stay if visiting Jakarta for the first time. Merlynn Park Hotel offers spacious, modern suites with top rated in-house fitness and spa facilities. The Merlynn Park Hotel is just 15 minutes away from Jakarta’s national monument and offers a central, comfortable and affordable place to stay.
Amazing Day Trips from Jakarta
Thousand Islands: For a break from the city, the Thousand Islands offer the perfect getaway. The Thousand Islands are a chain of islands to the north of Jakarta and best reached by ferry (about an hour each way). Of the 36 islands that make up this chain, only a handful are open to the public (the rest being privately owned or uninhabited). The main tourism islands to visit are: Ayer Island, Bidadari Island, Kotok Island, Putri Island, Pantara Island, and Sepa Island.
Bogor: About 60 miles south of Jakarta is Bogor, an entirely different world from the fast-paced city. Bogor is best known for its Botanical Garden and Safari Park, which spans over 200 acres and is home to hundreds of animals.
Bandung: Bandung is the capital city west of Java and is home to mountains, paddy fields and tea plantations. For a great day trip, head to Bandung and visit the Puncak Tea Plantation. Bandung also boasts geothermal hot springs, the Tangkuban Prahu crater and so much more.
Have you been to Jakarta? Share your best travel tips in the comments section below!
*This post is sponsored by Merlynn Park Hotel. As always, The Pin the Map Project only works with brands that we fully support and recommend to our readers.