Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. It is located on the coast of Java and is the economical, cultural and political hub of the country. It is the most populous city in Indonesia with over 10.1 million people, which makes it the twelfth largest city in the world. The cultural city of Indonesia offers lots of monuments to visit. The Merdeka Square is most famous for its cluster of museums and monuments showcasing the history and culture of Indonesia.
Monas is Jakarta’s most famous national monument which commemorates Indonesian Independence in August 1945. The imposing structure stands at a height of 132 meters and is made of gold, bronze and marble. The tip of this monument is made of 35 kilograms of pure gold. The National monument houses an exhibition at the base of monument and its statues preserve the history of Indonesia’s post-independence key moments. To enjoy some excellent views of Jakarta, a lift carries you up the tower. Use binoculars and keep a map of the city to enjoy the lovely skyline from atop the monument.
2. Istiqlal Mosque
As Indonesia is one of the biggest Muslim countries in the world, it houses the 4th largest mosque on the globe and the largest in Southeast Asia. It is located in the center of Jakarta, next to Monas and can handle 250,000 worshippers in its five floors. The construction of this mosque was started by President Sukarno in 1960s but was finished in the times of his successor who also contributed a huge cowhide drum which stands in the 2nd floor hallway. The mosque gets completely filled during the Holy month of Ramadan.
3. Taman Mini Indonesia
Taman Mini is a large park which houses representations from different provinces of the country within its acres. There are museums on different themes like science, sports and subjects on Indonesia. The IMAX theatre provides you with a deep insight into the culture and norms of Indonesia. A cable car takes you above a lake which has a replica of Indonesian archipelago. When you take a walk around the park, you will find a number of traditional houses representing living styles of each province. The houses also display information about their origins and culture.
4. Ragunan Zoo
Indonesia offers a great deal of biodiversity. It is only natural for the country’s capital to show off its wild life in a huge zoo. To fulfill this purpose, Ragunan Zoo houses around 300 animal species from across the world. It also houses the world’s largest primate center where gibbons, gorillas and orangutans live in enclosures that are replicas of their natural habitats. The huge zoo is spread across 135 hectares. The special features include a crocodile section, hippopotamus pool and an orangutan tour on pony carts.
5. Sunda Kelapa
Sunda Kelapa is the oldest part of the city from where it developed into what it is now. It was an important harbor during the times of Dutch Colonization. Now it is a fisherman’s wharf and an inter-island port. The place is quite famous for its lovely sights of the boats arriving from neighboring islands. It is best to visit the port early in the morning to enjoy wonderful views.
6. Taman Impian Jaya Ancol
Taman Impian Jaya Ancol is the most visited amusement park in the city and also stands proudly as the most modern entertainment center in the country. It offers something for everything in this huge complex, for example an 18-hole golf course for golf lovers. The Sea World is a major attraction in this complex which encompasses pools, tunnels, an alligator pool, a shark pool with 300 sharks and displays of sea creatures in their natural habitats. The park also has a bowling center and lots of different forms of entertainment in this modern complex worth a visit.
7. Art Market
This is a colorful open air market which holds lots of amusing sights of fascination. It is located in the Ancol Amusement Park and gives you a wonderful experience to explore the lovely art and craft of Indonesia in a different way. You can buy what you like and also meet the artists who make these beautiful pieces. You can watch them at work making hand-made puppets, enjoy how wood-carvers work and see the masterworks of painters all in one market. It is a delightful place to visit especially if you enjoy art.
8. Jalan Surabaya
Jalan Surabaya is an antique open market located near the posh Menteng residential area.
The 500 meter open market is a delight for antique lovers who can hunt some excellent treasures at a very low cost. The stalls have lots of options to look for and you can find antique crafts from Balinese, Javanese and Dutch Colonial origin at reasonable bargains. Do not forget to buy the famous Leather Wayang puppets which are the most popular items of this unique market.
9. Stadium Jakarta
This club can house 4000 partying people in its vicinity, has an excellent sound system with top class DJs and is one of the most visited clubs in the city since it opened in 1997. It comprises of four levels but the dance floor is in the main room on the fourth floor where the action is on-going. Forget disco, the whole mood of this underground club is hard rock. The dark and underground Stadium Jakarta is the most famous bar of the city and worth a visit.
10. The Cascade Lounge
The Cascade Lounge of luxurious Hotel Mulia is situated in the center of Jakarta. It has an impressive ambiance with classical Roman furniture and a classy aura. The hotel serves drinks, Indonesian and Western food for your taste buds. Relax in the lovely interior and listen to the music played by a Filipino band. The Sunday nights are dedicated to Jazz for all Jazz lovers.
Jakarta has lots of cultural and historical sites to visit and its nightlifeis quite active with lots of clubs and bars spread across the city. The unique taste of Indonesia is in Jakarta’s markets which are famous for antiques and traditional crafts sold at reasonable prices. The air, environment and people of Indonesia, along with the cultural and historical venues blend into a perfectly good reason to visit Jakarta.