Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, and according to city records, an average of 2.5 million foreign tourists and 30 million domestic tourists visit the city each year. That is largely because most visitors treat Jakarta as an entry point to the rest of Indonesia.
However, that does not change the fact that the city itself has a lot to offer. If you are among the millions of people who plan to visit or pass through Jakarta this year, you should consider taking a few days to explore the town and its various attractions.
In particular, here is a breakdown of five fun things to do when in Jakarta.
1. Shop in Menteng
Jakarta is home to the Jalan Surabaya Flea Market in Menteng district. Established in 1970, Jalan Surabaya is one of the most popular flea markets in Jakarta. Moreover, at approximately half a kilometer long, the market is large which means you will be spoilt for choice in terms of what to get and whom to get if from.
The market boasts of antiques, textiles, food items, arts and crafts items, vinyl records, and ornate wood carvings.
Prices are reasonable, and since most sellers expect customers to haggle, be free to bargain until you feel the price or amount is equal to the value of the piece.
2. Visit the Ragunan Zoo
The Ragunan zoo located in South Jakarta is home to numerous endangered and threatened animals from various parts of Indonesia and the rest of the world.
The zoo has over 3000 species, and if you choose to visit, you will get to see unique animals such as the babirusa, Sumatran tiger, Komodo dragon and orangutans.
Note that because the zoo is easily accessible via the Trans Jakarta Corridor 6 bus and the Jakarta Outer ring road, it is advisable to get accommodation in hotel Jakarta. That way, you have a base of operations from which you can access not only the zoo but also all the other events or happenings.
3. Explore Kota Tua
Kota Tua is also known as Old Town Batavia thanks to its history and its importance to the history of Jakarta.
The architecture of Kota Tua dates back to the colonial era when the Dutch still ruled. If you are into culture and unique architecture, then this is the town for you. As you walk around, you are likely to bump into photographers and artists who naturally gravitate to this region.
Note that the town is full of charming coffee houses and cafes that allow you to relax and enjoy the surrounding. Moreover, the region has a large concentration of museums that allow you to learn the history of both the town and Jakarta.
4. Take Your Kids to Dunia Fantasi
Dunia Fantasi is Jakarta's version of Disneyland. If you happen to be traveling with children, then this is the place to take them.
Dunia Fantasi has over 30 rides, a Puppet Castle, a Star Wars section and a large Ferris wheel. Moreover, there is a theatre where the adults can relax and watch shows about Indonesia.
5. Take in Indonesian Artwork
The National Gallery of Indonesia is located in the Gambir subdistrict of Central Jakarta. It hosts close to 2000 pieces of Indonesian artwork.
Irrespective of whether you are an art enthusiast or not, you are bound to enjoy discovering Indonesia through the eyes of artists.
In addition, the gallery also has a section dedicated to foreign artists which means you will still get a chance to enjoy foreign collections such as paintings, sculptures, photographs, and ceramics.
There are so many things to do in Jakarta that you cannot possibly exhaust them all. For instance, in addition to the above, you can take the time to watch music festivals, dine in unique food stalls, visit religious monuments and bike around the city like a local.
With that in mind, you should definitely take the time to visit Jakarta and not treat it justs as an entry or leaving point.