12 Things to Do in Jakarta: Tourist Attractions, Underrated Spots & Tours

12 Things to Do in Jakarta: Top Tourist Attractions, Underrated Spots & Exciting Tours

There’s so much more to see beyond its concrete jungles!

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia, with a large population and an abundance of high-rise buildings. In fact, it is the most densely populated city in all of Indonesia. That said, most people who have visited the city are greeted by infinite crowds and heavy traffic! But behind the city’s commotion are hidden treasures and beautiful tourist spots any visitor wouldn’t want to miss.

Unlike the tropical paradise of Bali, which boasts more greenery and tourist attractions, Jakarta offers a whole different city life experience. Here, you’ll get to witness varied cultures and ways of life while living amongst Jakartans. Here are 12 things to do in Jakarta that’ll surely add more depth and diversity to your travelling experience!

Also read: 18 Reasons You Should Visit Indonesia

1. Visit the National Monument (MONAS)

historical monument in jakarta indonesia

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Anyone who visits Jakarta should at least catch the sight of the iconic National Monument standing in the middle of Merdeka Square. The 433-foot tall structure was built to serve as a tribute to Indonesia’s fight for independence. 

If you’re curious to know more about Indonesia’s history and heritage, be sure to check out the National Museum located near the area as well. The museum exhibits an array of historical and archaeological artefacts that are significant to the country’s past.

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2. Visit the Istiqlal Mosque

Situated right next to the Merdeka Square is the Istiqlal Mosque. It is said to be the biggest mosque in all of Southeast Asia, which  was built to symbolise the country’s independence. This place of worship can hold up to 200,000 pilgrims, making it the 6th largest mosque around the world in terms of capacity.

istiqlal mosuqe in jakarta

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The Istiqlal Mosque’s interior and exterior features lean toward modern or contemporary designs. It’s quite impossible to overlook this beautiful structure when you’re already around this part of the city!

3. Check out the Jakarta Cathedral

The Jakarta Cathedral is another iconic spot you should check out! It’s a Roman Catholic cathedral that features a stunning exterior, highly influenced by the neo-Gothic architectural style. Although most Indonesians practise Islam, there’s also a Christian population throughout the country. 

places and things to do in jakarta

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This beautiful cathedral is simply a reminder of Indonesia’s inclusivity and diversity in culture and religion. You can find the cathedral near the Merdeka Square and stands right in front of the Istiqlal Mosque, so you definitely cannot miss it!

Also read: Walking in Jakarta: The Hidden Sights No Guide Will Tell You

4. Go for a stroll at the Lapangan Banteng Park

If you’re looking for more open and greener spaces, the Lapangan Banteng Park is a beautiful park hidden in the city centre. It’s the perfect place for breathing in some fresh air, going on walks, and hosting picnic dates. More recent renovations of the park have allowed visitors to indulge in a variety of outdoor activities. 

historical attractions, top tourist spots and things to do in jakarta indonesia

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Standing in the middle of the historic square is the West Iranian Liberation Monument, which symbolises rebellion and independence. Other park features include a running track, a playground, an amphitheatre, and a fountain that exhibits pretty lights at night. It’s got the right balance of entertainment, leisure, and history!

5. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

If you’re in search of an immersive experience of Indonesian culture, this is the place to be! One of Jakarta’s most charming and notable tourist spots is the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah located in East Jakarta. The park area covers about a hundred hectares and offers a variety of transportation options for you to get around. 

things to do in jakarta mini indonesia recreational park

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This recreational park perfectly highlights Indonesia’s diversity through its pavilions, museums, and attractions. Its pavilions are replicas of traditional Indonesian houses you can find in provinces Java, Aceh, Kalimantan, Papua, and Sulawesi. Here, you’ll get to appreciate local crafts, art, traditions and the history of each of the provinces. At the centre of the park is a beautiful man-made lake that displays a miniature version of the archipelago. It is truly a miniature of wonders and marvels!

6. Learn more about Indonesia’s heritage at the Jakarta History Museum

If you’re the type to dig deeper into culture and history, then undoubtedly, museums are the best places to explore. The Jakarta History Museum is also known as the Fatahillah Museum or Batavia Museum located in Old Jakarta. The museum displays artefacts and relics from the prehistoric era and exhibits how the city has developed since then. 

things to do in jakarta history museum

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This building is situated in front of a public square called the Fatahillah Square, where you’ll also spot an Insta-worthy fountain in the centre. This area used to be the City Hall Square ages ago. Fun fact: The museum’s exterior is meant to emulate the Royal Palace of Amsterdam.

Also read: Travelling in Tropical Indonesia: The Ultimate Outfit Sheet for Different Activities

7. Admire contemporary art from around the world at the Museum MACAN

The Museum MACAN (Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara) exhibits modern and contemporary artworks created by local and international artists. It’s the first museum in the country to feature paintings, sculptures, performances, and installations of that particular period or movement. 

museum macan in jakarta

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Museum MACAN provides a platform that allows artists to showcase their craft to a universal audience. If you’re a fan of more current styles and experimental designs, we definitely suggest you stop by! 

8. Go on a Jakarta shopping spree extravaganza

Glodok Chinatown Market

What’s a trip without a little retail therapy? The Glodok Chinatown in West Jakarta is home to a variety of traditional houses, architecture, and a few Chinese temples. It is more commonly visited for its markets and shopping centres that sell local produce, food, clothing items and electronics. 

Also read: Jakarta Souvenirs: 10 Authentic and Budget-Friendly Things to Buy in Jakarta

glodok chinatown jakarta indonesia

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Starving from all the walking? No worries! Glodok has a bunch of food places and stalls where you can buy traditional and authentic Chinese meals and snacks. 

Jalan Surabaya Flea Market

On the lookout for some local antiques, random knick knacks, or interesting finds? You might want to wander around the Jalan Surabaya Flea Market located in the Menteng District in Central Jakarta. Here you’ll find second-hand items, handmade crafts, and refurbished decor waiting for a new home. Your haggling skills will surely be put to the test! 

flea market in jakarta

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Grand Indonesia Mall

If you’re looking for a more casual shopping and leisure experience, Jakarta brims with huge malls and shopping centres. One of the best places to shop and dine is at the Grand Indonesia Mall in Central Jakarta. Expect that you won’t run out of restaurants and boutiques to scour through or activities to do because there’s so many to choose from!

9. Sign up for a guided walking tour around Jakarta

Old Batavia Tour

Book a walking tour around Kota Tua, Jakarta to travel back to the 17th century! It is also known as Old Batavia, a home to several buildings modelled after Dutch architecture styles. Here, you’ll find the Jakarta History Museum situated in the Old Town Square where you can try out some local Indonesian street food and refreshments. To know more about the tour, click here

Jakarta Food Tour

Spice up your travel experience and fully taste the Indonesian capital’s incredible cuisine. The Jakarta Food Tour allows you to try out unusual spices, ingredients, the best street food, staple meals, and local beverages that Jakartans love. Take a break from all the walking and sightseeing, and indulge your taste buds with rich flavours! To know more about the tour, click here

Also read: Jakarta to Yogyakarta by Train: An Easy Guide for This Scenic Train Journey in Indonesia

10. Have a picnic at Hutan Kota GBK

Amongst skyscrapers and popular tourist attractions, parks and recreational centres are scattered all throughout the city. Hutan Kota GBK is a huge sports complex with a couple of restaurants and an impressive picnic park. The tree-filled green area hosts all sorts of events and activities that are open to the public as well. From sports festivals and music gigs to social gatherings and relief operations, it’s an ideal space for everyone and everything! 

11. Chill and hangout at the M Bloc Space

The M Bloc Space used to be a residential area back in the 1950s up until the 1990s. Now, it has been fully converted into a food strip and shopping centre featuring a variety of local brands. There are a lot of aesthetically pleasing spaces and places for hanging out with friends and family in this hub. Let’s not forget the IG-worthy murals designed by different local artists! 

This space takes great pride in being a melting pot where different artists, musicians, makers, and entrepreneurs come together and share their craft. Indeed, it’s a place where creative individuals get to collaborate with each other and share their craft. Listen to live music, eat good food, and splurge a bit whenever you’re around!

Also read: This Pretty in Pink Café in Jakarta Will Give You ‘Emily in Paris’ Vibes

12. Spend a day trip at the marvellous Thousand Islands

tourist things to do in jakarta

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Located on the North Coast of Jakarta and scattered across the Java Sea are the exquisite islands of Pulau Seribu. This is Jakarta’s Thousand Islands, where there are about 342 tropical islands, but only a handful of explorable ones. Spend a day relaxing and wandering around the main islands if you’re looking for a break from the busy city. Trust us, you wouldn’t want to miss it for the world!

Also read: A Review of Pulau Macan: A Beach Getaway Near Jakarta

Ultimately, there are more things to do in Jakarta, where endless possibilities for a fun-filled getaway await. And of course, there’s more to the Indonesian capital than its concrete jungles, busy streets, and huge crowds. Its rich culture and deeply-rooted traditions are ingrained in its art, cuisine, architecture, and people. We guarantee that you’ll get a kick out of Jakarta’s diverse and energetic character! 

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About Author

Andrea Larice Yap
Andrea Larice Yap

Andrea is a writer and creative individual based in Manila. This tiny human runs on iced coffee, music and films. You’ll probably catch her daydreaming in a park or jotting down random words to to put in a song. Otherwise, expect her taking a dive in the pool of uncertainty called “life.”