Photo by CC user joe-joe on Flickr
Arriving to Indonesia via Jakarta? While many people transit through Indonesia’s capital city without spending time within its borders, there is much to see and do here.
If you are planning on staying for several days before carrying on to places such as Yogya or Bali, it is important not to wait until you arrive in a destination to find accommodation, as Jakarta is such a sprawling (and occasionally chaotic) city.
As such, we highly recommend that you arrange a reservation before arriving in Indonesia’s capital city. There are many places to choose from, but we personally recommend Gran Melia Jakarta; click here to book the hotel and you’ll have that part of your travel planning out of the way in less than five minutes.
With that matter settled, let’s get to the top four attractions to see on a holiday in Jakarta…
Take a trip back to colonial times
While much of Jakarta is modern in its composure, it does retain buildings from the times it was subjected to colonial rule.
A visit to Old Town Batavia will take you back to the days when the Dutch ruled over Indonesia as one of its Asian colonies.
Preserving the last few remaining Dutch colonial structures standing in Jakarta, it is a charming place to be certain.
Whether you choose to sip on a refreshing drink at Cafe Batavia, explore Indonesian puppeteering culture at Museum Wayang, or grab a snack at one of the many Indonesian street food stalls found in the main Square, your time spent in this corner of Jakarta will be a memorable one.
Sample every corner of Indonesia in one convenient park
Indonesia is a large country; from the northernmost tip of Sumatra to the easternmost reaches of Papua is the same distance roughly from Los Angeles to New York City.
In short, seeing every corner of this country in one visit is an impossibility, never mind in your lifetime. You can get a small taste of each of Indonesia’s provinces though by paying a visit to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.
Each of Indonesia’s 26 provinces has its own pavilion, with a house that is typical in each being the centerpiece. Within, food, cultural performances, and artifacts that speak to the individuality of each province can be found.
Soak in the atmosphere at the largest mosque in Southeast Asia
With 87% of the population professing faith in Islam, Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s most predominantly Muslim country.
As such, it shouldn’t be too big of a surprise that Jakarta is home to the largest mosque in the region. Istiqlal Mosque is an imposing sight, as its massive modern dome and its internal capacity that can hold upwards of 120,000 worshippers will be the first thing that visitors notice upon arrival.
A cool fact about this mosque is that they share their parking lot with attendees of big masses at the neighbouring Jakarta Cathedral, and vice versa during major Muslim religious observances.
This symbol of religious tolerance will impress those that are used to hearing a different story from media sources about this part of the world.