Jakarta’s population is a massive 10,770,487 people, with a growth rate of 1.15%, which means that the city centre has a population density of 14,464 people per square km. With the metropolitan area has a density of 4,383 people per square km. So you could say, this is a bustling, overpopulated city to visit.
So if you only want to visit Jakarta in a day, then you need to start early, as the traffic is heavy almost every part of the day.
Where to stay in Jakarta in a day
The Westin Hotel
The Westin Hotel Jakarta is on Jalan. H.R. Rasuna Said Kav.C-22 A Jakarta, 12940 Indonesia. The Westin Hotel is everything you come to expect from the Westin chain of hotels. It is a modern, slick hotel; and rooms come with breakfast included, like every other 5-star hotel you will find a great fitness centre and luxurious gym. But the stand out is the rooftop bar and fabulous restaurant.
Where to eat in Jakarta in a day
Batavia Cafe is in the perfect location in Fatahillah Square (Old Batavia). Although you can find all types of cuisine here, I recommend trying an Indonesian favourite. It has an old-world charm, where you feel like you are sitting around eating lunch during the Dutch Colonial times although you can’t help feeling that it is full of tourists and therefore a little touristy! It was worth it just to be transported back in time (even if it was only for an hour).
Dinner and cocktails
The Heshion is on the rooftop of the Westin Hotel and has a reputation as being one of the best rooftop bars in Jakarta. I can see why, the view is phenomenal, and the interior is sleek (borderline funky), with couches surrounded by lights and the bar the main focus of the area.
The Heshin restaurant is a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese flavours, with pisco based cocktails. This restaurant has the best of both cuisines with delicious flavours from both regions. Dress code is smart casual, and bookings are essential.
Things to do in Jakarta in a day
VISIT THE GRAND ISTIQLAL MOSQUE
Standing across the road from the old Catholic Church at the corner of Jalan Lapangan Banteng is the Istiqlal mosque, which was designed in by Frederich Silaban in 1954 he was a Christian architect from North Sumatra. The Istiqlal Mosque opened to the public on 22 February 1978.
The grand Istiqlal Mosque of Jakarta is the largest in South East Asia which can accommodate 20,000 people. The mosque is enormous with many levels; all levels are looking down at the one big main hall.
STEP INSIDE JAKARTA’S NEO-GOTHIC CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL
Right opposite the Istqlal Mosque you will find Jakarta’s neo-gothic Catholic Cathedral. The Cathedral in honour of Mary is named Gereja Santa Maria Pelindung Diangkat ke Surga, which translates to the Church of Our Lady of Assumption. You will find a statue of Mary at the front Cathedral. The Cathedral was re-built in 1901 where previously stood the old Cathedral, which collapsed in 1890.
DISCOVER HIDDEN GEMS AT THE JALAN SURABYA ANTIQUE MARKET
The Jalan Surabaya Antique Market is one long strip of hidden gems, with everything from gramophones to old Asian pottery. There is something for everyone, especially to those interested in history because there is a heavy influence of Dutch merchandise here. The Dutch reigned here for 146 years which you can see in and around Jakarta.
VISIT JAKARTA’S CHINATOWN
Jakarta’s Chinatown is said to be the largest in Indonesia. Chinatown which is in the area of Glodok which started as far back at during the Dutch Colonial Period. Here you will find a bustling food market, a Temple that is worth exploring and a busy market full of all Chinese goods that you can find in any Chinese market around the world.
STEP BACK IN TIME AT FATAHILLAH SQUARE (OLD BATAVIA)
Fatahillah Square, (Old Batavia), is the historical district of Jakarta. This area found in Kotas was a busy centre during the Dutch Colonial times this was part of the walled city. Here you will find the Jakarta History Museum, Wayang Museum and Fine Art and Ceramics Museum. Sit in the city centre and soak up the atmosphere and take note of the Colonial architecture from a time long ago.
EXPLORE THE CANALS THAT WERE LEFT BEHIND BY THE DUTCH
The Indonesian Government has started to clean up the murky canals left behind by the Dutch. In most areas, the canals are dark and dirty, but in the areas that the Government has started to clean up, you can envision a time long ago, when the Canals were the central transport hub for the spice markets in and around this area. It will be exciting to see once it is all complete.
MARVEL AT THE SHIPS AT SUNDA KELAPA PORT
As the Sunda Kelapa Port is an integral part of Jakarta’s history, this is why this stop is a must-do in your day. You will find wooden 2- masted pinisi sailing boats, which have been transporting goods since the 13th century. If you want to visit here and see how it all works, then visit the port around 6 am, if watching the hustle and bustle isn’t necessary, then visit at any time of the day.
STOP BY THE NATIONAL MONUMENT
The National Monument is 123 metres, and it symbolises Indonesia’s independence. You can take an elevator to the top and enjoy the panoramic view of Jakarta or walk around the grounds of the park. Here you will find a little peace amongst the crazy traffic outside the gates. Visit during the day or at night, however, at night the National monument lights up.
GET LOST IN TANAH ABANG MARKET
Tanah Abang market (which translate to The Red Land) is located right next to the National Monument. Here you will find loads of textiles because it is known as the largest textile market in South East Asia. The market has been around since 1735 and is still the main textile trade in Indonesia.
OTHER THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW TO VISIT JAKARTA IN A DAY
If you want an easy no-fuss way to see all the sites in Jakarta, then I recommend Jakarta” Old Batavia Guided Coach Tour our guide was extremely knowledgable and I enjoyed the tour immensely. A lot of the information she supplied I would not have been able to find out if I was travelling on my own.
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