Jakarta is notorious for being somewhat difficult to get to know. The city is huge – a sprawling metropolis – and packed with people going about their daily routines. Getting into Jakarta is the easily done by hopping on a plane, but without a guidebook to help you, finding what to do once you’re there can be tricky – even if you do have a lot of cash to spare.
We’re here to help. Budget travelers can rejoice, below you’ll find some of the cheapest (or free) things to do in Jakarta. Just in case you don’t want to break the bank.
The National Museum
Check out the National museum of Indonesia in Central Jakarta. Packed with artifacts which provide information about the rich culture and history of Indonesia, you’ll find more about the country’s 922 inhabited islands than you probably would anywhere else (unless you were to visit them all, of course).
The National Monument
Whilst you’re finding out more about the city’s history, visit the National Monument, a 132m tower at the heart of Merdeka Square. It represents Indonesian freedom and is a sight to behold.
Just having a look from below can be more than enough for a thrifty traveler, but heading to the top offers some incredible views and will only cost Rp. 15,000 ($1.25 USD). Just know that the observation deck closes at 3pm.
The Kota Tua
Kota Tua is Jakarta’s old town. It’s a walk down the city’s memory lane; one which the Jakarta government decided to preserve in 1972.
The area is popular with tourists and offers a great look at the city’s history and the influence of Dutch colonialism. Rent a bicycle to get around the area faster, or for a fun activity to mix things up.
The second oldest building in Jakarta (the first being in the old town mentioned above). Café Batavia doesn’t only offer you a chance to look at the city’s architectural history, it also happens to serve food which will look right at home on your Instagram (or feel right at home in your mouth).
This market actually translates into the Santa Modern Market, but don’t worry christmas-phobes, there are no Christmas-themed old men dressed in red clothing here.
Pasar Santa is actually something of a vibrant area in the city. It caters to the city’s youth, providing pop-culture food, clothing and quite a few places to pick up a darn good cup of coffee. For those of you who want to see what’s popular in Indonesia, this market definitely shouldn’t be missed.
The center of what was once colonial controlled Jakarta. The square features some brilliant architecture and a place to see locals do their thing (which in this case is quite similar to something you might see at a carnival). To say the least, the place is lively and fun.
No trip to Fatahillah Square is complete without visiting the Jakarta Historical Museum. For only Rp. 5000 ($0.37 USD), you’ll find yourself immersed in the evolution of Jakarta. Also, note that there are dungeons to be explored as well.
Why not explore city park life in Jakarta? Taman Suropati is a great place to go for a walk and it is pretty important for the people of Indonesia. Six statues were erected by other founder countries in the ASEAN group in 1984. Because of this, the park is seen by locals as an international symbol of peace and friendship – one which happens to have some awesome greenery as well.