24 hours in Jakarta
Written by Anita Surewicz Illustration by Patrick Hruby
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.
Bright orange and easy to spot, bajaj are an option in some parts of the city. Be prepared to haggle.
With 12 routes, the TransJakarta bus network can be the fastest way to get around the city in rush-hour traffic.
Unfortunately, exploring on foot is only a realistic option in certain parts of the city, such as Kota and Kemang.
Jakarta’s ubiquitous taxis are a great way to get around outside peak-hour traffic. Bluebird and Express are the reputable options.