It can be hard to find the right information about Jakarta when you are visiting the city for the first time. While Jakarta will never be a tourist city. That said, there are still a lot of places to visit and even more nice places to eat, stay and go out to in the evening. To help you make the most of the city, here is a short Jakarta Travel Guide of places to see in Jakarta.
Our Jakarta guide covers everything from where to stay, how to get around and the best places to eat in town. We’ve created some shortcuts below. Press them to go to the relevant section of the guide.
Still with us? That’s great. We’ll start from the beginning (if you follow all of the links below I promise you’re going to be an expert on the city).
Jakarta is a sprawling city with limited public transport (though it is improving now that the Jakarta Underground is being built). With big traffic jams it’s notoriously difficult to travel around. For most travellers their troubles begin at the airport.
In anticipation of your arrival we wrote an article on the best way to get from Jakarta Airport to the city. It covers bus routes and there’s a section on getting a taxi and avoid getting ripped off.
Public transport in Jakarta is limited and until they finish the subway uncomfortable. I’d recommend getting private transport around the city. There’s lots of options from Uber through to Gojek, which allows you to order motorbike taxis anywhere in the city.
If you have the budget a private car rental is the most convenient way to get around Jakarta when you are visiting the city. With Discover Your Indonesia you can arrange an affordable car rental with an English speaking driver for your stay in Jakarta. Click the link here to find out more about this service.
Getting to Yogya
If you have the time, one of the best ways to see the beauty of Java as a tourist is to take a train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. Though the train ride is long, it is a great way to see the rice fields, forests and villages of Java. You can read our guide here.
Jakarta is huge and is split into a number of different districts. The most popular areas for tourists in Jakarta are Menteng, Mega Kuningan and Kemang. Find out more about the different districts of Jakarta and which area you should stay in Jakarta. To help you arrange your stay in Jakarta I’ve shortlisted the best hotels in the city. There are a number of different options available to suit the interests of every traveller. You can find my recommendations for best hotels below.
DYI Favorite Hotel
With so many hotels available in Jakarta it’s hard to select a favourite. I recommend:
If you’re just passing through the city and only intend to stay overnight you’re better off getting a hotel close to the airport. You can find a list of the best budget hotels, mid range hotels and luxury options here. If you do intend to spend the night in Jakarta and have the budget you’ll find Jakarta has some amazing 5 star hotels. To help you choose we shortlisted the best 5 star hotels in Jakarta.
Jakarta Cafes and Restaurants
Jakarta has a lively restaurant, bar and café culture. Find out the best places to eat and cafes where you can spend a lazy day in the following guides to Jakarta. As someone who works online and passes through Jakarta frequently I’ve got my favourite cafes (here is a list of 5 of my favorite cafes in Jakarta).
While Cafes are great during the day, you’ll want to head to the bars at night. Even though this is the capital of the country with the largest Muslim population in the word the bar scene is lively. There are exclusive rooftop bars, themed bars and busy beer gardens. We cover the best places in this post.
Jakarta is not known for its tourism, there are a lot of things to do and places to visit in the city. In fact it was a struggle writing a list of the 15 best things to do in the city, but I did surprise myself. A much easier guide to write covered the best Jakarta nightlife (it’s a city that wakes when the sun sets).
I recommend setting some time aside to explore the city. A nice way to explore the city is a custom walking tour. These tours help you get away from the traffic congested streets and take you through some of the backroads while offering you a snapshot of the city’s history. For more options of things to do in Jakarta check out the Jakarta tour pages.
Best Attractions Near Jakarta
It’s all too easy to forget that just a few hours from Jakarta you can find your own tropical paradise. In fact there are a few top destinations to choose from. Top of the list are the Thousand Islands, which are actually part of Jakarta. While most of the islands cater to backpackers you’ll find a few places, like Tiger Island, that cater to luxury travellers.
A good weekend escape from the city is Krakatoa Volcano. The volcano is in the middle of the narrow strait that separates Java and Sumatra. It’s difficult to reach, especially when the weather is bad. For those that venture you’ll be rewarded with a real slice of paradise (the snorkelling here is amazing).
An alternative option is a tour to the Baduy. This tribe is a traditional Sundanese ethnic group. They live in the province of Banten, a few hours outside of Jakarta. The villages where they live are famous, because the Baduy do not use modern technology, though this is changing. You can visit the villages of the Baduy on a Jakarta tour.
Jakarta is one of those cities that you either love or hate. While it’s easy to hate, you’ll find plenty of great things about the city when you start to look. I hope that this Jakarta Tour Guide gives you some inspiration on where to stay, what to see and where to go (so you’ll leave the city with some great memories).
What did you think of the Jakarta Travel Guide? Is there anything that I should add to this article? Share your thoughts in the comments below.