24 hours in Jakarta

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Indonesia’s answer to New York, Jakarta is a beguiling mix of old and new Asia with more than enough to entertain visitors.


Jakarta can be a hard nut to crack. With a population of over 10 million people, ubiquitous skyscrapers, and legendary gridlocks, Indonesia’s capital is a metropolis in every sense of the word. There are two sides to every story, however, and those who take the time to explore this sprawling giant will soon realise that Jakarta is one of the most vibrant cities in Asia.

Abounding in contrasts, this dynamic city is a fascinating amalgamation of traditional Indonesia and all that modernity has to offer. There is plenty to do here, from museum-hopping and strolling through Jakarta’s Old City one minute, to spending big at a luxury mall the next. In addition, those wishing to unleash their inner hedonist can wine and dine at some of the top restaurants in Asia, before exploring the city’s legendary nightlife.

Begin your day
with a history lesson at Sunda Kelapa, the city’s old port which dates back to the 13th century. The fleet of picturesque dual-mast phinisi schooners is definitely worth a photo or ten.

Once hailed as the ‘Jewel of Asia’
by European sailors, Kota boasts numerous historic buildings, many of which house Jakarta’s finest museums, such as the Wayang Shadow Puppet Museum.

For a change of pace,
head to Ancol Dreamland, the city’s largest recreation park. Visit Seaworld or Fantasy World, a theme park based on world regions such as Africa, America, and Europe.

Housed in a beautifully
preserved 19th century Dutch-style building, Cafe Batavia is a great spot to grab lunch. Don’t forget to check out the impressive collection of old photographs on the walls.

Gain a new perspective
from the observation deck of the National Monument. Popularly known as Monas, the 132m high tower also houses the Indonesian National History Museum.

Head south
to the Jalan Surabaya Market, Jakarta’s most well-known antique and traditional art market. The open-air stalls stock everything under the sun, from batik and Javanese puppets, to old records and typewriters.

Not done shopping yet?
Make a beeline for Plaza Indonesia, one of Jakarta’s favourite weekend hangouts. The large shopping complex houses a plethora of luxury boutiques and offers a wide variety of dining options.

Take a breather at
SKYE Lounge and Restaurant, one of Jakarta’s newest and fanciest bars. Located on the 56th floor, this is probably the best spot in the city to grab a relaxing sundowner with a view.

If you have worked up
an appetite, there is no better area of Jakarta to dine than Kemang. Visit Payon for an authentic Javanese feast in a traditional garden setting, complete with traditional gamelan music playing.

Stay in the area
and unwind at one of Kemang’s sophisticated bars. Delight in a glass of wine from a selection of some 1,000 varieties at VIN+, or head to Koi for one of their signature cocktails to round off the evening.


Jakarta, Indonesia
Distance: 6,918 km
Flight Time: 8 hours, 55 minutes
Frequency: 14 flights a week

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