Jakarta is a dynamic city, and one of the world’s greatest megalopolises. At first sight it can appear to be a crowded and confusing city, and it can be difficult to look past the maddening traffic and pollution for which it is known. Many tourists choose to take in other destinations throughout the archipelago instead. Their loss. Why should I travel to Jakarta?
Missing out on Jakarta on a visit to Indonesia is a mistake. Underneath what is often perceived as an unappealing facade are plenty of surprises; an exciting nightlife and vibrant shopping scene, and a melting pot of Indonesian culture and cuisine. What are the best cities in Indonesia?
The locals here are friendly, welcoming, and positive, and in comparison to many other world capitals, crime levels are low. “Because Jakarta is usually not on the radar of tourists, there’s an authenticity to much of it that is hard to avoid. Dutch colonial influences stand alongside those of the dominant Islam religion, while cultural traditions from the diverse Indonesian islands meld with the Western comforts of the expat community.” – Michael Turtle.
The following are 4 reasons to include Jakarta on your trip to Indonesia.
4 Reasons to Visit Jakarta, Indonesia
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Best Shopping in South East Asia
Jakarta offers the best shopping options in South East Asia, and you can’t claim you’ve been here without having visited at least one of the city’s many malls. Though Jakarta shopping centers aren’t your regular malls. These are “giant, marble-floored, extravagant malls, sometimes with apartments nestled on top for convenience“. There are indoor cafés, restaurants, karaoke bars, and billiard lounges. Shopping here isn’t an experience – it’s a way of life.
There are 150 + gigantic shopping malls scattered throughout Jakarta, with more and more popping up every year. Many people travel here just for a shopping expedition. From local Indonesian brands, to international labels, you can literally find anything you want. Is Jakarta worth traveling to?
Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia are two epic malls you shouldn’t miss. For smaller malls and shopping complexes selling electronic items and uncommon gadgets, make a trip to Chinatown. Things to do in Jakarta.
When in Indonesia, one of the most popular things to enjoy is the cuisine. Jakarta has a diverse range of food options available, and cuisine from all over the archipelago comes together to offer travelers the highest quality Indonesian food. Best places for good food in Jakarta.
There are markets and street food stalls for those looking to eat as the locals do. Though if you’re worried about the hygiene, you should eat at a restaurant chain called Sate Khan Senayan. They have locations across Jakarta and serve fantastic Indonesian food. Can I eat Jakarta street food?
With 33 provinces throughout Indonesia, each with their own specialty cuisine, there is a lot of Indonesian cuisine for you to sample. Though international cuisine is also available, and upmarket restaurants (including some by Michelin-starred chefs) serve everything from French to Chinese food. Many major hotels have great onsite restaurants too. Best food in Jakarta.
Indonesia is one of those fabulous destinations where stays relatively warm all year round. Warm tropical temperatures average around 28 – 30 °C every day, though those traveling to Jakarta from October to May will have to embrace the rain. What is the weather like in Jakarta? Fun things to do in Jakarta.
Jakarta has two distinct seasons, wet and dry. The dry season (June to September) is a popular time to travel because it’s more comfortable with lower humidity, and travel is easier. Though don’t let that stop you from enjoying Jakarta during the wet season too – the rain doesn’t have to spoil your trip, and there will be far fewer tourists around. Must visit in Jakarta.
Jakarta still sees many days that are sunny and dry during the wet season, and rain doesn’t last all day. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of white water rafting, or “join a trek into the mysterious and alluring Halimun National Park, alive with greenery and gorgeous scenery.” There are also plenty of indoor museums and cultural attractions to explore around town. Or if you’re at a luxury hotel there will be plenty of onsite facilities to entertain you for a few hours until the rain has cleared.
Best Nightlife City in Asia
Jakarta is known to have some of the best city nightlife in Asia, and there is a great party atmosphere here. As most tourists head to other islands and cities throughout Indonesia, there are hardly any foreigners, and you will find Jakartans are very friendly and welcoming. Visit Jakarta blog.
The majority of the bars and nightclubs throughout Jakarta are filled with a mix of upper class Indonesians and Western expats, so it is very easy to talk to people and have a safe night out. Partying is likely to be expensive though, and you should budget around $150 per night. Cocktails usually start from $10 (alcohol is heavily taxed), and entrance fees to popular nightclubs can set you back as much as $20. Best nightlife in Jakarta.
Be sure to visit SKYE. A rooftop restaurant and bar on the 56th floor of a skyscraper, it offers an amazing view of the Jakarta skyline at night. Cloud Lounge is another great rooftop bar with more of an “expat” vibe, and arguably better music. Things to do in Jakarta at night.
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