JAKARTA TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG

Jakarta is a city with its finger most firmly on the pulse, constantly embracing new developments.  Nonetheless, try to mention Indonesia travel, and Jakarta will most likely be overlooked.  But it need not be, for this bustling city has an intriguing blend of culture, wealth of shopping choices and a flashy nightlife to boot.  Though Indonesia is by far my favorite country in Southeast Asia because of its amazing topography, interesting culture and genuinely friendly people, like most travelers, I have often hightailed Jakarta for the temples of Yogyakarta, the highlands of Bandung or the beaches of Lombok.  On my recent trip to Indonesia, I got the chance to stay in Jakarta and explore this lively capital.  Perhaps like most travelers, I was pleasantly surprised and this metropolis left me curious and searching for other underrated attractions.  Here’s a Jakarta travel guide to help you plan your trip.


 

HOW TO GET TO JAKARTA, INDONESIA FROM MANILA, PHILIPPINES

 

 

Philippine Airlines fly directly to Jakarta, Indonesia from Manila, Philippines at 9:30 AM to 01:05 PM. Travel time is about 4 hours. Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific fly to Jakarta from Manila with lay over in Singapore and Airasia fly to Jakarta from Manila with lay over in Kuala Lumpur.

 


HOW TO GET FROM JAKARTA AIRPORT TO JAKARTA CITY

 

jakarta monas 11 (1 of 1)

From Jakarta International Airport (Soekarno Hatta Airport) to Jakarta City, you can either take a taxi or Damri Bus.

 

BY TAXI

 

When taking a taxi from Jakarta International Airport to Jakarta City, the most reliable taxi companies are Blue Bird (Blue), Taxiku (Yellow), Gamya Taxi (Green) and Express (White).  If you will be staying at Jalan Jaksa, the backpacker street in Jakarta, expect to pay around IDR 150,000 / PHP 565 / USD 11.24 to IDR 200,000 / PHP 753/ USD 15. Travel time is about 1 hour.

 

BY DAMRI BUS

 

When I first backpacked in Indonesia 5 years ago, I took a Damri Bus to Gambir Station, it’s a train station in Jakarta which is also close to Jalan Jaksa.  Damri Bus is the cheapest option to travel to Jakarta City from Jakarta International Airport.  Fare is around IDR 40,000 / PHP 150.65 / USD 3.

 

Aside from Gambir, Damri Bus also has buses to Blok M, Mangga Dua, Kemayoran, Rawamangun, Pasar Mingu, Lebak Bulus and Bogor from Jakarta International Airport.

 

TRAVEL TIP:  If you just need to stay overnight in Jakarta because you are flying to a different town, you can stay at a hotel near Jakarta Airport like Ibis Styles Jakarta Airport Hotel, Ibis Budget Jakarta Airport , D’primahotel Airport Jakarta 1

 and my personal favorite Swiss-Belinn Airport

 


GETTING AROUND IN JAKARTA

 

Jakarta City is massive and is quite complex for a first-time tourist here to navigate.   Here are the transport options you can use to guide you in your travel around Jakarta.

 

jakarta monas 15 (1 of 1)

 

BY HOP ON HOP OFF BUS

 

My Indonesia friend Olyvia Bendon informed me of Jakarta’s Hop on Hop off double decker bus and we got to try it during my recent trip to Jakarta. Good news is, it’s for free and it stops at designated bus stops and is available from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM only.

 

BY TRAIN

 

Traveling by train in Jakarta is also recommended, just avoid the peak hours.  I took a train from Gondandingan Station (because it is near my hotel) to Kota Tua and fare is only IDR 12,000 / PHP 45 / USD 0.90.

 

BY TAXI

 

A reputable taxi company is Blue Bird, make sure you read the taxi logo because there are other blue taxis in Jakarta.  You may also opt to ride Grab or Uber.

 

BY MOTORCYCLE

 

For short distance ride, I usually take a motorcycle to avoid the traffic, a cheaper way is to book through mobile apps like Ojek or Grab.  Usual fare is IDR 5,000 / PHP 19 / USD 0.38 for short distance ride.

 

BY TUKTUK

Another option for short distance ride is Jakarta’s tuktuk. Fare is roughly IDR 20,000 / PHP 75.35 / USD 1.50 per ride.

 

 


 JAKARTA TOURIST ATTRACTIONS

 

Jakarta is composed of the following districts: East Jakarta, West Jakarta, Central Jakarta, North and South Jakarta.  First time travelers to Jakarta are generally greeted by Jakarta’s notorious traffic jam, which is quite a buzzkill. But endure this and you’ll find Jakarta is after all an interesting city to explore.  Here’s a list of some of the top tourist spots in Jakarta for first-time tourists, you can read a detailed post of Jakarta tourist attractions here.

 

 

CENTRAL JAKARTA

 

The administrative and financial center of Jakarta.  This is where you’ll find some of the city’s historic and neck-swiveling buildings.

 

MONAS (NATIONAL MONUMENT)

jakarta monas_2

Entrance Fee: IDR 20,000 / PHP 75 / USD 1.49

 

MERDEKA SQUARE

jakarta monas 6_5

Entrance Fee: Free

 

NATIONAL MUSEUM INDONESIA

Entrance Fee: IDR 10,000 / PHP 37 / USD 0.75

 

JAKARTA CATHEDRAL

-jakarta church 1_7

Entrance Fee: Free

 

ISTIQLAL MOSQUE

jakarta monas 5 (1 of 1)

Entrance Fee: Free

 

 WEST JAKARTA

 

Home of Jakarta’s well-preserved old town constructed by the Dutch when they attempted to build an Amsterdam-inspired city in Indonesia.

 

KOTA TUA JAKARTA (OLD TOWN JAKARTA)

jakarta monas 21 (1 of 1)

Entrance Fee: Free

 

PORT OF SUNDA KELAPA

Entrance Fee: Free

 

SION CHURCH

-jakarta china town 12_7

Entrance Fee: Free but donations are accepted.

 

GLODOK CHINATOWN

-jakarta china town 8_7

Entrance Fee: Free

 

CANDRA NAYA

-jakarta china town 9_7

Entrance Fee: Free

 

EAST JAKARTA

 

TAMAN MINI INDONESIA

-jakarta taman mini 18_6

Entrance Fee: IDR 10,000 / PHP 37 / USD 0.75


 

WHERE TO STAY IN JAKARTA

 

 

Most budget travelers visiting in Jakarta would stay at Jalan Jaksa, the backpacker street of the city.   It is near Gambir Station, so if you are on a tight budget, you can take the Damri Bus at  Jakarta International Airport to Gambir train station (see getting to Jakarta City from airport section above). Below is my handpicked list of hotels near MONAS (National Monument) that is also near Gambir Station.

BUDGET

 

YELLO Hotel Harmoni
agoda yello cover
JL Hayam Wuruk No.6, Gajah Mada, Jakarta, Indonesia

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

G7 HOTEL
agoda g7 cover
JL. Samanhudi No. 47, Pasar Baru, Jakarta, Indonesia

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

POP HOTEL PASAR BARU
agoda pop cover
Jln. KH.Samanhudi No 17-19 Pasar Baru-Sawah Besar Jakarta Pusat, Pasar Baru, Jakarta

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

MIDRANGE

 

agoda mercure

Grand Mercure Jakarta Harmoni Hotel
Jl. Hayam Wuruk No. 36 – 37, Gajah Mada, Jakarta

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Wahid Hasyim
agoda holiday inn cover
Jl. K. H. Wahid Hasyim No. 123, Thamrin, Jakarta

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE

 

Hotel Borobudur Jakarta
agoda hotel borobudur
Jl. Lapangan Banteng Selatan No.1, PO Box 1329, Monas, Jakarta, Indonesia

CHECK ROOM RATES HERE


WHERE TO EAT IN JAKARTA

 

There are many must-try places to dine in Jakarta, but because of limited time and my hotel’s location, I was only able to try a few.   To maximize my time, I usually dine near the attractions I am visiting like the following:
jakarta monas 18 (1 of 1)

Cafe Batavia

jakarta batavia (1 of 1)

Old Town Batavia Hawker Stalls

-jakarta china town 5_7

Chinatown


 

 

NIGHTLIFE IN JAKARTA

 

 

Potato Head Jakarta

Pacific Place, Mall Pacific Place Lt. G 51A, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman Kav 52-53, RT.5/RW.3, Senayan, Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan, DKI Jakarta
Open Hours: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Skye Bar 

 BCA Tower Lt. 56, Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 1, Menteng, RT.1/RW.5, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat, Kota Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta

Open Hours: 4:00 PM – 1:00 AM

Cloud Lounge and Living

Altitude The Plaza Office Tower Lantai 46&49, Jalan M.H. Thamrin No. 28 – 30, RT.9/RW.5, Gondangdia, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, DKI Jakarta 10350, Indonesia
Open Hours: 4:00 PM – 2:00 AM


JAKARTA TRIP ITINERARY

 

-jakarta wayang museum_6

Here’s a sample itinerary for your Jakarta trip, you can adjust it to fit your travel schedule.  Flights to Jakarta, Indonesia from Manila usually arrive in the afternoon, you can also check out another detailed Jakarta itinerary on this blog. 

 

 

DAY 1ACTIVITIES
01:05  PMETA Jakarta International Airport
01:30  PMTaxi to Hotel. Check in.
02:00 PMTravel to Taman Mini Indonesia
03:00 PMExplore Taman Mini Indonesia
06:00 PMETD to Hotel
07:00 PMDinner. Socials
09:00 PMSleep
Day 2
07:00 AMBreakfast
08:00 AMETD to MONAS (National Monument)
08:30 AMExplore Merdeka Square and surroundings (Jakarta Cathedral, National Museum, Istiqlal Mosque, Presidential Palace)
11:30 AMLunch. ETA to Sion Church.
01:00 PMVisit Sion Church
01:30 PMExplore Kuta Tua / Batavia Old Town (Wayang Museum, Jakarta History Museum)
04:00 PMSnack at Café Batavia or Hawker Stalls
05:00 PMSunset watching at Port of Sunda Kelapa
06:00 PMBack to Hotel. Freshen up.
07:00 PMDinner.
08:00 PMTry Jakarta’s nightlife: ETA Potato Head.
09:00 PMTransfer to Sky Bar or Cloud Lounge and Living
11:00 PMBack to hotel
Day 3 
Fly home or travel to Bandung, Bogor or Yogyakarta

 


 

JAKARTA TRIP BUDGET

 

jakarta monas 17 (1 of 1)

If you are going to spend 3 days / 2 nights in Jakarta, you can explore Batavia / Jakarta’s Old Town, Merdeka Square and its surroundings and Taman Mini Indonesia.  Here’s my sample Jakarta trip budget for a 3 day 2 nights travel , good for a solo traveler, but this list doesn’t include the food, drinks and souvenirs.

 

EXPENSESACTIVITIES
IDR 150,000 / PHP 565 / USD 11.24Taxi from Airport to Hotel
FreeHop on Hop Off Bus (double decker bus)
IDR 5,000/ PHP 19/ USD 0.38Ojek (motorbike)
IDR 5,000/ PHP 19/ USD 0.38Ojek (motorbike)
IDR 12,000 / PHP 45 / USD 0.90Train to Kota Tua from Gondandingan Station
IDR 12,000 / PHP 45 / USD 0.90Train from Gondandingan Station to Kota Tua
IDR 20,000 / PHP 75 / USD 1.50Jakarta tuktuk
IDR 238,878 / PHP 900 / IDR 18 x 2  nights = IDR 477,756 / PHP 1,800/ USD 35.81Hotel (2 nights)
IDR 20,000 / PHP 75 / USD 1.49MONAS Entrance Fee
IDR 10,000 / PHP 37 / USD 0.75National Museum of Indonesia
IDR 10,000 / PHP 37 / USD 0.75Taman Mini Indonesia
IDR 132, 710 / PHP 500 / USD 9.95Taxi to Taman Mini Indonesia
IDR 132, 710 / PHP 500 / USD 9.95Taxi from Taman Mini Indonesia to Hotel
IDR  987, 176 / PHP 3,679 / USD 74TOTAL

 

 * This JAKARTA TRAVEL GUIDE is a work in progress.  Feel free to  comment your suggestions below.

 


 

ALSO READ: 

 

TRAVEL GUIDE FOR FIRST TIME TOURISTS IN BALI  

THINGS TO DO IN MAKASSAR

IJEN TOUR FROM BANYUWANGI


 

FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK FOR TRAVEL GUIDE UPDATES

 

Comments

  1. Thank you for this useful information.

  2. Hi, thank you for covering up my city. Since your report is in 2017, I suggest that you include the MRT/LRT construction in Jakarta. Tourists feel moving around Jakarta is painful and the city is not pretty accessible. Well the wait is almost over. In December 2017 the sky train connecting all terminals of Jakarta airport is in operation, in 2018 the airport train will connect the station in the city with the airport (Integrated Building), and in 2019 the MRT Jakarta (phase 1) and the suburb LRT are in operation. Hope those help to add an unforgettable experience to explore Jakarta in the future.

    1. Awesome, thanks for the info. Looking forward to seeing the MRT in operation

  3. Hi Gael,

    thank you for visiting my country and writing a report on it. I lived in Jakarta for 13 years before moving abroad and I understand why foreigners are not attracted to it: traffic jams, horrible sidewalks, the chaos of the streets, public transport concern, air pollution, etc. I got frustrated as well when driving on the streets. It’s called The Big Durian not without aim: some may get addicted to it but others don’t. Just for information, the government has been trying hard to upgrade the facilities and hope they will help ease foreigners enjoying Jakarta in the future. At least some are ready for now. Here is the commencement of the facilities:

    The newest Terminal 3: August 2016
    Skytrain connecting terminal 2 and 3 at Jakarta airport: Sept 2017
    Skytrain connecting all terminals: Dec 2017
    Airport train to the city: beginning of 2018
    MRT Jakarta phase 1: beginning of 2019
    LRT Jakarta-suburban areas: mid 2019

    The government is planning the construction of the next phase of MRT/LRT development in 2019 so we still have much to prepare. We will always welcome all tourists to Jakarta and hope you can still find its charm amidst its “organized” chaos. Looking forward to your visit during ASIAN GAMES 2018 in Jakarta-Palembang. See you.

    1. Hello, thanks so much forth information. Looking forward to visiting Indonesian again. It’s my favourite country in Southeast Asia! 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for this very detailed budget travel guide! I’m going to Jakarta tomorrow and it was quite unexpected. This post just made my life easier 🙂

  5. Hello Ma’am, I am going to Jakarta sometime this coming August 2018, should I change Php to USD or IDR? Will our local credit cards be acceptable in some establishments there?

    1. If may IDR here, you can do that. But if wala, change to USD. Yes,some establishments do accept CC, but you can also withdraw sa ATMs there

  6. Ate pano pmntang taman mini indonesia, near monas ang hotel nmin? ang hirap mgtanong dito di sila marunong mag english 😩

  7. Thanks for your post! We are visiting Jakarta next month. Will I have a difficult time exchanging PHP? I’m planning to bring peso only since I don’t have much USD right now. Thanks

  8. good morning. as lang po ako possible po ba na 1 day kami ng bali and 1 day in jakarta. how far is jakarta to bali? anong recommended routes po pls.? our flight is manila to jakarta(VV)

    Thanks

    1. You have to fly, it’s too far.

  9. Hello! This is really helpful!! Thank you indeed… I’ve been searching over the internet the best travel guide yet cheap for my upcoming Jakarta Trip. BTW how much in peso the fee to Skye Bar, just having drinks and eat there not planning a sleep over. Thanks 🙂

    1. I can’t remember. I’m sorry. Have fun!

  10. Hi, for a 4d2n trip to Jakarta, how much pocket money will I bring there? Including shopping?

    1. It depends on your shopping habit. I just wrote here my estimated expenses for the transportation and tours.

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