Q&A: Jakarta 1-Day Cultural Itinerary

Q: I will be coming to Jakarta for 1 day. I will arrive Friday night, and flying out on Sunday morning. Can you suggest what should I do on Saturday?

A: First, welcome to Jakarta. I assume that you pick a Hotel at Central Jakarta to make it easier to move around. You have heard about the famous traffic jam of Jakarta, haven’t you?

If you are an early riser, you can have a breakfast at Kopitiam Oey in Jalan Sabang Kopitiam Oey provide local-style breakfast and coffee. I used to frequent that place when I’m working with a client nearby.  Or, another favorite place for breakfast is Sun City Hotel, where they serve tasty Dim Sum.

After your breakfast, go to Museum Nasional. The museum was built by The Dutch, and has since maintaining collection from various Indonesian Ethnicity. Not only that. Museum National also keep archeology artifact from various part of Indonesia. Collection includes ceramic from China as old as Tang Dynasty (AD 618–690), and from Japan.  Also, the open space in the center of the museum host bigger artifact, like statues from the old Java Kingdom. Expect 2-3 hours to explore the whole museum.

Inner Courtyard
Courtyard of Museum Nasional

The next destination is Taman Fatahillah. To go to Taman Fatahillah, take a taxi or busway right in front of Museum Nasional. Once there, if it is still too hot, you can rest at nearby Cafe Batavia for lunch, or nearby Museum Mandiri. This museum is smaller than Museum Nasional, and will take between 1-2 hours to explore. In the evening, once the weather cool off, there are 2 options. First, to hire a bicycle and tour around the old Batavia city. The tour will see Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa, the original Batavia Harbor that still bustling today. Mighty Wooden Boat still sail from here to Kalimantan and Sulawesi. The tour will also pass the old lighthouse and Draw Bridge that no longer function.

Option 2 is to stroll around Taman Fatahillah, and see the urban activities in a rare open space in Jakarta. There you can take a photo with KOMBAT (Komunitas Manusia Batu), who pain their whole body to look like a statue. Or simply immerse yourself in the crowd.

KOMBAT - Komunitas Manusia Batu
Take unique picture with KOMBAT (Komunitas Manusia Batu)

Once the sun set, step into one of shopping malls that is everywhere in Jakarta. One that I would recommend is Grand Indonesia, due to location at the center of Jakarta. Grab food from food stalls and restaurants in the mall. Or, if you prefer food outside the mall, I would recommend Rendevouz Restaurant for Chinese Food, or Ya Udah Bistro for German Food. I would have Rendevouz Restaurant, and after that, move to Ya Udah Bistro for few beers and ambiance.

The itinerary above should give you enough activities to do in one day in Jakarta

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