Jakarta is such a unique capital and such a fascinating place to visit. There are so many different influences based on the history of the city in terms of colonization and the current residents and immigrants. Jakarta was established in the 4th century and was once central to the Hindu kingdom. Going to Jakarta is like being in a thousand places at the same time, but it all comes together in one amazing city that you need to put on your bucket list.
What to Do
Since Jakarta was colonized by the Dutch, you can see their architectural influence within the city. This is most prominent in the Old Town or Kota Tua. There are many colonial-style government and trade buildings that were once used for business and now have been re-purposed into museums and other fun activities to do.
Jakarta has always had a significant Chinese population, and visiting the Chinatown or Glodok neighborhood is a very interesting way to learn about the culture. It was the Dutch who actually created this neighborhood for the ethnic Chinese folks, and you can now find there amazing Chinese food, as well as gorgeous temples like Dharma Bhakti, which is the oldest and was built in the mid 17th century.
Since Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, it’s only natural to take advantage of the location and go to some fabulous beaches. There are many different islands you can travel to from Jakarta, depending on how much time you have, but if you only want to go for the day, one of the best is Bidadari Island. Allow yourself to relax and see some of the most incredible blue waters of your life.
Indonesia has such a rich history, it’s really worth taking some time to understand it. To do this, go to the National Museum of Indonesia where you will see artifacts from prehistoric times that really tell the story of the country through art and other relics. The National Gallery museum is also within the same area as the museum and showcases famous historical and modern artists, so it’s nice to visit both and compare the ancient to comtemporary.
Just across from the museum is the National Monument, which is an important reminder to the people and country of the power of liberation. It was constructed to commemorate Indonesian independence after so many years of colonization.
Nightlife and Food
If you want to taste some real authentic Indonesian food in a feast like setting, go to Lara Djonggrang. This restaurant not only serves traditional food like you’ve never seen before, but the interior of the restaurant is decorated in artifacts and unique treasures from Indonesia.
Jakarta is all about the nightlife, and if you love to dance, you have to hit up the club Fable. It’s super popular with the locals and has amazing local DJs that really step up the party.
If you’re in the mood to get some fresh air and be on an amazing rooftop, go to the bar BART. BART has the best cocktails with the best view, and there’s always an awesome DJ spinning great music.