Jakarta is a unique city and there are a plenty of interesting attractions waiting for tourists to discover. Here are some recommendations for places to eat at, visit and stay when travelling to this beautiful city of Indonesia.
Seribu Rasa, which directly translates to “One Thousand Flavors”, is one of the well-known restaurants that offer delectable local dishes with very rich Indonesian flavors. The dining environment with its full glass walls, ponds, soft yellow lightings and wooden furniture is peaceful, serene, yet homely and welcoming at the same time. While it is true that the food here is a little overpriced, the ambience and elegance more than made up for it.
Dapur Babah Elite
Housed in a semi rundown shop house at Jalan Veteran, the large wooden doors of Dapur Babah open their gates to a heritage of an ethnic Chinese family. At the dining room there lies a long dining table that is prepared meticulously with red, blue and orange tablecloths and cutleries, and at the courtyard is a tall altar with distinctive Peranakan charms and real antiques. The cuisine is an amalgam of three cultures – Chinese, Indonesian and Dutch, which makes dining here an interesting experience. Dapur Babah, which belongs to the Tugu Group, is considered as one of Jakarta’s best and most impressive restaurants.
The National Monument (Monas)
The National Monument in Jakarta, also locally known as Monas, is probably one of the city’s most famous monuments. Opened for public viewing in 1975, it takes the form of a 129-metre tower with a representation of a flame, covered in gold foil, on its pinnacle representing the people’s determintation to achieve freedom. It is located in front of the Presidential palace and opens to the public. An elevator carries visitors to the top, offering a bird’s eye view across the city to the sea.
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah
The park is a synopsis of Indonesian culture, with virtually all aspects of daily life in Indonesia’s 26 (in 1975) provinces encapsulated in separate pavilions with the collections of Indonesian architecture, clothing, dances and traditions are all depicted impeccably. Apart from that, there is a lake with a miniature of the archipelago in the middle of it, cable cars, museums, Keong Emas Imax cinema, a theater called the Theatre of My Homeland (Theater Tanah Airku) and other recreational facilities which make TMII one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.
Hotel Indonesia (Plaza Indonesia / Grand Indonesia)
If you want to spend your holiday in a luxury hotel, this is definitely your right choice. The iconic Hotel Indonesia roundabout (Bunderan HI in Indonesian) is one of the most famous landmarks in Jakarta. All around it are 5 luxury hotels (Kempinski, Grand Hyatt, Pullman, Mandarin Oriental, Keraton at the Plaza) and the two best malls in Jakarta (Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia).
Both of these malls are great meeting points with lots of popular cafés, cinemas, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. It is a modern part of Jakarta ideal for lifestyle travelers who are interested with shopping, eating out and partying.
Sarinah Mall (Jalan Jaksa, Wahid Hasyim, Sabang)
The Sarinah Shopping Center is only a kilometer north of the Hotel Indonesia roundabout, but the feel is much different. It is a middle class area with affordable shopping and restaurants. You will also find great Indonesian street food 24/7.
There are many convenient businesses for travelers, some of which are open 24-hour: Money changers, travel agents, internet cafés, printing services, photography shops, etc. You also have several laundries (one of which is a coin laundry).
If your budget is very tight, meaning under 10$ a night, you can get a room in Jalan Jaksa. Many of the cheaper guesthouses are not listed on internet so it’s best to just walk around and look for “room for rent/kos” signs.