As much as Jakarta is bustling with locals, many tourists also flock here. Others stay for long while some only have a few days to spare. It could be a little cramped up to make a three-day visit for the books given the numerous tourist sites you can find in the city. But if you know what to do in Jakarta, you can have a wonderful three-day respite in the capital.
All of these activities will be worth it if you do one thing: wake up early. Seeing Jakarta bustle from sun up to sun down is enough of a wonder, but discovering its hidden gems would level up your stay. So what else can you do aside from splurging on yummy local foods? Read this three-day guide:
Head to the old town or Old Batavia
The Old Batavia, also known as the Fatahillah Square was the base of the famous Dutch East India Company during the 1600s. It may not be as preserved as other old attractions, this spot is worth the visit before you embark on other destinations.
You can walk at the Kota Intan Bridge and have the view of the merchant ships at the extending Kali Besar canal. It’s always advisable to join a tour group since the bustling cars can be a little intimidating at times. You can spend your whole morning here just wandering the streets of the old times.
What To Do In Jakarta? Have your lunch at the Café Batavia
If you got hungry on your morning tour, head to the Café Batavia that is a 200-year old building at the Northwest side of the square. This is a sophisticated place and imbibes a hint of Western touch through its interior design. This café has a grand staircase and photo displays that you can also enjoy looking at while waiting for your meal.
The yellowish, dim lighting will give you a laidback feeling. It’s a bit expensive than the other places in town, but every cent is worth it with the delicious food and colonial atmosphere.
Visit the largest mosque in the country
The Grand Istiqlal mosque is the largest in Southeast Asia and has become one of the most iconic spots in the capital. The façade alone is already a spectacle but remember that you’re not supposed to use your phone inside. Bringing a camera is allowed but you may have to declare it at the entrance gate.
The entrance fee here is free but be diligent enough to follow Muslim customs. A staff will lead you to a room where you can leave your shoes and wear hijab and other clothing that will cover your legs and arms.
End your day on a night market at Monas
If you still have time, you can drop by the National Museum or locally known as Monas. There are walking tours organized to visit this place during weekdays and it’s advisable to join one if you’re traveling alone. During weekends, there is a night market close to the monument where you can shop and possibly have your dinner. If you’re wondering what to do in Jakarta in the evening, this is where you should be.
It wouldn’t be advisable to go inside the museum as the queue can be really long and will just eat up your time. Instead, stroll in the night market and get your loot of souvenirs.
Visit the Chinatown known as the Glodok
Glodok is Jakarta’s Chinatown. During the stay of the Dutch East India Company in the 18th century, this place has been the residential area for Chinese traders. On your visit here, you can find cheap finds like medicine (that can be quirky at times), electronic products, and lots of Chinese bites.
You can either take a bus or train if you’re staying far from the place, say Central Jakarta. It’s advisable that you wear casual clothes if you’re planning to stroll in the streets. You shouldn’t miss the Dharma Bhakti Temple which is the oldest in the whole Jakarta.
Visit the Museum Bank Indonesia
After a morning stay at the Glodok, head to the Museum Bank Indonesia near the center of the capital. This is at the Fatahillah Square and now serves as the information center for Indonesia’s central bank. It provides information about the institution’s role in the country via electronic displays, touch screen monitors, and static panels. What to do in Jakarta? Look for a little history!
As you would expect, there are also exhibits of the country’s legal tenders. You can unleash the inner numismatist in you as far as ancient Indonesia and the Dutch colonial times. Entrance fee here is free and there’s also a guide to accompany you. Just book ahead of time so you can be accommodated.
Eat at the Garuda Padang Restaurant
After a tiring morning, head to the Garuda Padang Restaurant to splurge on different cuisines for lunch. Mostly, they serve Asian and halal foods up to 3 pm. The place is a humble respite as it has the common essentials you’ll look for a decent place to eat. If you’re planning to taste authentic Indonesian food, this is the place to be.
Try rendang, nasi padang, and chicken pop and you won’t regret it. The price is reasonable given the fact that you will experience the Indonesian vibe.
Head to the Fishing Market at Sunda Kelapa Harbor
On your last day, let yourself be lost in the rustic view of the Sunda Kelapa Harbor. The majority of the shoreline is rugged, but if you can pay a humble fee, you can visit beautiful spots. For a certain fee, you can ride a traditional boat to take photos of the harbor. Weekends are best days since only a few locals go here and the harbor is not crowded.
A boat tour will let you visit neighboring villages. Just keep your expectations to the minimum and you can enjoy your ride. If you’re thinking of what to do in Jakarta in a laidback mood, this might serve you well.
Spend the afternoon at SeaWorld Ancol
After a short morning trip at the harbor, head to the SeaWorld Ancol. Let your eyes tire on the view of the underworld where many marine species are kept. The place has a ‘sharkquarium’ and a feeding show. You can also walk on the Antasena tunnel that looks like a massive aquarium.
Entrance fee here is worth seven dollars only and you can enjoy different fish displays. If you don’t want to spend much time inside the SeaWorld, head to the Pantai Ancol beach and seal your last day with a nice dip on an Indonesian beach. The Ancol Beach City Mall has all you need for a short but memorable visit.
This isn’t a wide beach, but it’s enough for a quick swim. With the 17,000+ islands of Indonesia, you surely can’t miss a short beach visit before you go home. Besides, it’s the only public beach closest to the central Jakarta.
If you know what to do in Jakarta, you can enjoy every single moment of you three-day getaway. This guide here is just a simple list of what you can do without breaking the bank or wasting time commuting or lining up in queues. It could be hard to get enough of the capital, but for now, enjoy your visit and start planning the next one with us!