Between love and hate, Jakarta is a captivating city that will keep you on your toes, one thing is for sure; you certainly won’t forget it. Indonesia’s sprawling capital is a city of extremes. Its sprawling metropolitan area is home to over 10 million people originating from all corners of Indonesia and the world, Jakarta is a true cultural melting pot. The city boasts a colorful mix of religions, cultures and languages representing Java, Malaysia, China, the Middle East, India, and Europe. These international influences have left their mark on the city’s architecture, language, and cuisine, making Jakarta a truly fascinating place to explore.
THE CHARM OF THE METROPOLIS
Discover Jakarta as one of Asia’s most exciting, most lively global cities. There is plenty to do in Jakarta, from green parks & historical centers to cosmopolitan shopping, diverse gourmet choices, and one of the hippest nightlives in Southeast Asia!
Jakarta has a tropical monsoon climate and the average rainfall measures 1.816mm (71.4 inches). The city experiences very small seasonal variations, since the average 24-hour temperature ranges from 26.1°C (79°F) in January to 27.2°C (80.6°F) in May, while heat and humidity persist year-round. Temperatures have never fallen below 18°C (65°F) or risen above 36°C (97°F). Most of the precipitation falls from November to April.
The main airport is the commercial Soekarno-Hatta international airport, which’s located in Cengkareng to the west of Jakarta. Jakarta is served by several international airlines, by Garuda Indonesian Airways (the national airline, with international and domestic service), and by other domestic airlines. Travelling to destinations on the island of Java besides taking the plane, there are frequent overland train connections available from Gambir Station, the city’s main railway station. Either way, one can travel by rented cars by wide toll roads.
The best way to travel around Jakarta is by rented car or taxi. Anticipate when travelling during peak hours and into business districts to avoid the traffic jams. It is advisable therefore to choose a hotel near the location where you will have your appointments or to the attraction or destination you wish to visit. Distances between points of interest in Jakarta can sometimes be far and might be interspersed with traffic.
Visas on arrival (VoA) are available at the airport, they may be paid in cash or with credit card. Pay 35 USD on arrival, get a visa in your passport and get it stamped.
Nationals of 167 countries and 2 special regions can get a free 30-day non extendable visa. This 30-day free visa cannot be used for journalism. It is not extendable, and you cannot convert the visa into a different visa. Visitors from these 169 countries can both enter & exit through 29 airports, 88 harbors and 7 land borders.
The 169 countries free visa are Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina, Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Commonwealth of Dominica, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican, Republic Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau SAR, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Island, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and Grenadines, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, USA, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
GET INTO TOWN
To get to the city, the easiest option is to contact your hotel to pick you up in the airport such as blue taxi, Blue Bird. GoJek and Grab are online ride-hailing services which will ensure you a fair price while requiring minimal communication with the driver.
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the monetary unit in Indonesia. Notes come in denominations of IDR 100.000, IDR 50.000, IDR 20.000, IDR 10.000, IDR 5.000, IDR 2.000. Foreign currency and traveler’s cheques can be converted into Rupiah at authorized money changers or banks; however, some banks do not have foreign exchange dealing on Saturdays. The exchange rate is subjected to market fluctuations approximately IDR. 14.000 – 14.500. Passports are required when cashing in travelers’ cheques. A nominal commission may be charged. Many places accept credit card such as Visa and Master however we strongly advice.
ATMs are available either in or past luggage collection in all 3 terminals of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, and as Indonesian taxis don’t all support credit card, it’s advisable to have some Rupiah on hand for your journey onwards. These ATMs may have low withdrawing limits; ask your driver to drop by another ATM on your way into town if necessary. Taxis are available at designated queues outside the arrival halls.
ATMs are everywhere, which may connect to international banking networks, so you can withdraw cash in Rupiah from your home account. Look for those affiliated with your own ATM network, noted by signage on your card and the compatible ATM.
ELECTRICITY & TELEPHONE
Electricity voltage is 220 voltages. There are two mobile phone networks: GSM & Internet Mobile. To make international calls, the access codes is +62 and Jakarta access code is +21
Most larger hotels and restaurants automatically add government tax and service charge of up to 21 percent to the bill. Tipping is unusual and you are not compelled to tip. However, if you like the service a tip 10-15 percent is appreciated.
IT’S A CITY THAT LOVES SHOPPING
If there’s one thing Jakartans love, it’s shopping. Amongst the city’s towering skyscrapers sit over 130 mega-malls selling almost anything imaginable, from local designer goods to imported foreign items. If you enjoy a good shopping spree, Jakarta is the place to be.
ENJOY THE FULL EXCITEMENT OF NEW HIPSTERS PLACES AROUND JAKARTA WITH MRT TOUR
1. Sarinah Mall
Sarinah Mall was the first modern department store in Indonesia and the first sky crapper in Jakarta. Build in the 60s, Sarinah went to a significant revamp and finally opened again on 12 March 2022.
Sarinah returns with a “community mall” concept geared towards attracting young people and communities to gather. At Sarinah, you can shop and dine in unique local F&B stalls, fashion brands, and premium batik collection that combines modern and traditional style. You can also take amazing photos of yourself and your companion on the sky deck.
How to get there: Located in Central Jakarta, 500m from MRT Bundaran HI station within 5 minutes walking distance.
2. Dukuh Atas
Dukuh Atas is an area on top of MRT Dukuh Atas station. After the renovation was made, Dukuh Atas became one of the most popular spots in Jakarta to take photos. There’s a Kendal tunnel, a viewing deck to take pictures, a skate park, and a garden. This area is totally filled with instagrammable spots.
How to get there: Walk up and exit MRT Dukuh Atas station and just walk around from there
3. JPO Pinisi
JPO Pinisi is the newest and hottest overpass in Jakarta. It is a style with elements from Pinisi shipbuilding style native to Makassar. With its overpass and sky deck offering amazing views and photo spots. Hundreds of lights will be turned on when the night comes on this overpass. This is definitely a must-visit place in Jakarta. Additionally, another instagrammable overpass is also around the area.
How to get there: Get off in MRT Setiabudi Astra or Benhill, and JPO Pinisi is within walking distance.
4. Gelora Bung Karno – Next to MRT Istora Mandira (west side)
Gelora Bung Karno is a sports complex in the heart of Jakarta. It is an iconic place with Gelora Bung Karno stadium, the international stadium in Jakarta made by Ir. Soekarno back in the 60s. After the renovation of the ASEAN games, the sports complex is now a place where Jakartans spend their free time.
How to get there: Get off at MRT Istora Mandiri station and walk. Additionally, Hutan Kota GBK is also around the area.
5. Hutan Kota GBK – Next to MRT Istora Mandira (west side)
Hutan Kota GBK is a park where visitors can enjoy a green space surrounded by skyscrapers. Located in the Gelora Bung Karno complex. Comprising 340 hectares of green area, it is a fantastic place to relax from a busy Jakarta. Next to Hutan Kota GBK, There is also a restaurant named Taman Kota by Plataran. You can enjoy an Indonesian fine dining experience with its beautiful decoration and architecture.
How to get there: Get off at MRT Istora Mandiri station and walk. GBK complex is also within walking distance.
6. Little Tokyo Blok M – Next to MRT Blok M (Westside)
Little Tokyo Blok M is an area in Blok M filled with Japanese cuisine. It is one of the hottest places to hang out for young people where they go and explore this district while enjoying delicious Japanese food.
How to get there: Get off on MRT Blok M, and Little Tokyo is right under the MRT station.
7. MBloc – Next to MRT Blok M (North West side)
Mbloc is an event space filled with select tenants full of delicious F&B vendors and hipsters products. It is a hangout space for teens in South Jakarta. It is hipster and cool
How to get there: Get off at MRT Blok M station, and Mbloc is within walking distance.
8. Jakarta Aquarium Safari: West of Sarinah
Jakarta Aquarium Safari is a new aquarium in West Jakarta and the giant indoor aquarium in Indonesia. You can go see multiple aquatic animals, eat while surrounded by marine animals and enjoy the experiences.
How to get there: 15-25 minutes ride from Sarinah (depending on the traffic)