Jakarta, a city that never sleeps, is one of the world’s most dynamic megalopolis. The capital city has a vibrant social scene for everyone, from street food to high-end restaurants, from historical museums to shopping centers, and more. Grab a taxi or a public transportation to tour the town.
The 433-feet high National Monument, also known as Monas, is a historical place to reminisce the fight of Indonesian people to freedom, which is displayed on an exhibition, located at the basement level. The top of the monument is made of gold with design resembling fire – you should go to the top of the monument to see the city’s skyline.
Situated on Jalan Merdeka Barat, the National Museum is home to over 100,000 historical artifacts, ranging from pre-historic era to the glorious years of Hindu-Buddha kingdoms, European colonization and the Indonesians’ fight to freedom. The museum is locally known as Museum Gajah (the Elephant Museum) due to an elephant statue on its front yard.
Indonesia National Gallery
This is a must-visit place for every art enthusiast. Nestled on Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur, the Indonesia National Gallery houses over 1,700 artworks created by local and international artists. Each art piece is hand-selected by experienced curators for both of its permanent and temporary exhibitions. Need a drink after a tour? Simply visit the alfresco café to relax.
Jakarta Art Building
The Jakarta Art Building, or Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, is the city’s most magnificent concert hall. The building was constructed during the Dutch colonization, and is now designed with neo-classical style. From live acoustic music concerts to theatrical shows, the Jakarta Art Building will get you tuned in and turned on with the city’s artsy performances.
Taman Ismail Marzuki
Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) or the Jakarta Cultural Center is the city’s hub where art, culture and science meet. Named after Indonesia’s legendary composer, Ismail Marzuki, TIM is actually a complex of six art theatres, cinemas, an exhibition hall, a gallery and an archive building. Within the area also stand Jakarta Art Institute and Jakarta Planetarium.
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
One of the grandest malls in town, Grand Indonesia Shopping Town has everything from affordable outlets to high-end fashion brands, homeware products and more. Strolling around this mall is a workout on its own, so make sure you wear your fashionable yet comfortable shoes. Don’t forget to enjoy some drinks and food at one of its restaurants and cafés as you rest your legs.
Wear your most comfortable casual outfit and shoes, and get ready to hunt for some eclectic items at Tanah Abang. As the main textile market in Indonesia – and the biggest one in Southeast Asia – Tanah Abang is the place to go to scout for some affordable unique souvenirs. Don’t be afraid to bargain to get the best price.
Another affordable shopping destination in town is Thamrin City where you can find selections of batik, hand-woven fabrics from across Indonesia, and more. To make it more fun, search for some attractive fabrics, clothes and ornaments, then get creative and craft your own design at home.