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Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, located on the northwest of the island of Java. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre and the most populous city not only in Indonesia but in Southeast Asia as a whole.


Jakarta is administratively divided into the following named districts (note that these district except central Jakarta are very dense in terms of area):

Districts of Jakarta
Central Jakarta (Jakarta Pusat)
The Heart of Jakarta's Administrative, Government and financial, an aptly named district and the site of Jakarta's symbol, the 132 metre Monas (Monumen Nasional) and also the world's largest city square "Lapangan Merdeka". The city is also considered as part of old Jakarta (Batavia) which could be recognized by its 2 noticeable colonial building the president's palace and the National Museum of Indonesia, both are built in the 19th century. However due to major development within the city, this area is now filled with modern highrise infrastructure such as office buildings, hotels, Shopping centres complex and is also home to Jakarta's famous Bundaran HI (Hotel Indonesia Traffic Circle). It is here that you can find Jakarta's most top exclusive and lifestyle malls, such as Grand Indonesia in the Hotel Indonesia Complex, Senayan Plaza and Senayan city in "Jalan Asia-Africa"(Asia-Africa street). Central Jakarta also consist one of the world's largest sporting stadium the "Gelanggang Olahraga Bung Karno" and South-East Asia's largest Mosque the "Istiqal Mosque" and Jakarta's only Gothic Catholic cathedral.
West Jakarta (Jakarta Barat)
This site is also part of the Old Batavia oldtown and is home to Jakarta's Chinatown called "Glodok" area. Glodok is more of electronic promenade of Jakarta, however is rich in street hawker food and Chinese cuisine restaurant as well as old Chinese temples complexes. There are a lot of shopping going on in this area as well, as it is home to Indonesia's largest shopping mall "Mall Taman Anggrek"(Orchid Garden Mall) and cheap shopping lanes could be found in Mangga Dua. This area is also home to Jakarta's biggest nightlife entertainment and red light district quarter "Mangga Besar".
South Jakarta (Jakarta Selatan)
Jakarta's middle upper class and elite's residential area and is also part of Jakarta's business centre. Where you can find upscale shopping centres and malls, restaurants, hotels, bustling nightlife and entertainment centre, Blok M, Senayan sports complex, and affluent residential areas. The Kemang area in South is very popular amongst expats and locals for its nightlife and entertainment.
East Jakarta (Jakarta Timur)
Industrial Quarter of the city, and Location of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah where you can see parts of Indonesia's multiethnic community rounded up as 1, also crafted good at Utan Kayu art community, Cibubur camping ground, and Jakarta's 2nd airport, Halim Perdanakusuma airport.
North Jakarta (Jakarta Utara)
Jakarta's main harbor area and home to Jakarta's only surviving old town area, "Jakarta kota tua". A small area consisting of Dutch colonial buildings, its streets are thronged with hawker food, crafted goods, street performers, artists and Jakartan youths hanging around. This area contains the Fatahillah Museum or Jakarta History Museum (former old Jakarta town hall), and a number of other museums and cafes converted from old Batavia's offices, banks, warehouses and shops also exist within the old town. Sunda Kelapa harbor, the city's very first foundation is near kota tua area. This is also the location of The Ancol Bayfront City Asia's largest integrated tourism area consisting of the fascinating Dufan theme park, Sea World, art markets, eco parks, shopping malls and beachside entertainment. The beautiful Thousand Islands, which can be accessed through a boat in North Jakarta's dock, are a place where people can escape the city's heavy pollution and enjoy beautiful beaches with marine parks and world-class resorts.

Satellite cities: The Jabotabek mega-city of 30 million includes Jakarta and the following satellite cities:

  • Bogor - Beautiful palace, world class botany garden, golf course.
  • Tangerang - Soekarno Hatta airport, golf course, industrial parks, Lippo Karawaci
  • Depok - Bogor - Home to the University of Indonesia


Finding places in Jakarta, especially smaller buildings not on the main arteries, tends to be difficult due to poor signage and chaotic street names. Sometimes, the same name is used for different streets in different parts of the city, and it's often difficult to find the correct street/address without the postal code/region. A sign with a street name facing you indicates the name of the street you are about to enter, not that of the cross street.

Alleys off a main road are often simply numbered, in a sequence that may not be logical, so a street address like "Jl. Mangga Besar VIII/21" means house number 21 on alley number 8 (VIII) off or near the main road of Jl. Mangga Besar.

If you don't want to waste time, ask for the descriptions/name of nearby buildings, billboards, colour of the building/fence and the postal code of the address. If you still cannot find the address, start asking people in the street, especially ojek (motorcycle taxi drivers).


Jakarta Skyline

Jakarta's nickname among expats is the Big Durian, and like its fruit namesake, it's a shock at first sight (and smell): a sweltering, steaming, heaving mass of some 28 million people packed into a vast urban sprawl. The contrast between the obscene wealth of Indonesia's elite and the appalling poverty of the urban poor is incredible and can be seen almost everywhere you go, with tinted-window BMWs turning left at the supermall with its Gucci shop, into muddy lanes full of begging street urchins and corrugated iron shacks. The city's traffic is in perpetual gridlock, and its polluted air is matched only by the smells of burning garbage and open sewers, and safety is a concern especially at night. Sights are few and far between, and most casual visitors to Indonesia transit through Jakarta as quickly as possible.

All that said, while initially a bit overwhelming, if you can withstand the pollution and can afford to indulge in her charms, you can discover what is also one of Asia's most exciting, most lively global cities. There is plenty to do in Jakarta, from cosmopolitan shopping at the many luxurious shopping centres to one of the hippest nightlife scenes in Southeast Asia.


The port of Sunda Kelapa dates to the 12th century, when it served the Sundanese kingdom of Pajajaran near present-day Bogor. The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese, who were given the permission by the Hindu Kingdom of Pakuan Pajajaran to erect a godown in 1522. Control was still firmly in local hands, and in 1527 the city was conquered by Prince Fatahillah, a Muslim prince from Cirebon, who changed the name to Jayakarta.

By the end of the 16th century, however, the Dutch (led by Jan Pieterszoon Coen) had pretty much taken over the port city, and the razing of a competing English fort in 1619 secured their hold on the island. Under the name Batavia, the new Dutch town became the capital of the Dutch East Indies and was known as the Queen of the East.

However, the Dutch made the mistake of attempting to replicate Holland by digging canals throughout the malarial swamps in the area, resulting in shockingly high death rates and earning the town the epithet White Man's Graveyard. In the early 1800s most canals were filled in, the town was shifted 4 km inland and the Pearl of the Orient flourished once again.

In 1740, Chinese slaves rebelled against the Dutch. The rebellion was put down harshly with the massacre of thousands of Chinese slaves. The remaining Chinese slaves were exiled to Sri Lanka.

In 1795, the Netherlands were invaded and occupied by France, and on March 17, 1798, the Batavian Republic, a satellite state of France, took over both VOC debts and assets. But on August 26, 1811, a British expedition led by Lord Minto defeated the French/Dutch troops in Jakarta, leading to a brief liberation and subsequent administration of Indonesia by the British (led by Sir Stamford Raffles of Singapore fame) in 1811-1816. In 1815, after the Congress of Vienna, Indonesia was officially handed over from the British to the Dutch government.

The name Jakarta was adopted as a short form of Jayakarta when the city was conquered by the Japanese in 1942. After the war, the Indonesian war of independence followed, with the capital briefly shifted to Yogyakarta after the Dutch attacked. The war lasted until 1949, when the Dutch accepted Indonesian independence and handed back the town, which became Indonesia's capital again.

Since independence Jakarta's population has skyrocketed, thanks to migrants coming to the city in search of wealth. The entire Jabodetabek (Jakarta-Bogor-Depok-Tangerang-Bekasi) metropolitan region was estimated to have 28 million people in 2010. The official name of the city is Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Raya (DKI Jakarta), meaning "Special Capital City Region".

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Main article: Soekarno Hatta International Airport

Soekarno Hatta International Airport (IATA: CGK) is the main airport of Jakarta. It's in Tangerang about 20 km from the city centre.

The older Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (IATA: HLP), to the southeast of the city, is used by the military, VIP flights, charter flights, helicopter leasing companies, and private jets.

  • Susi Air, ☎ +62 811 211 3080, provides services to local destinations across Western Java from Halim Airport.

By train[edit]

Trains at Gambir Station in Central Jakarta

Information about train tickets from PT Kereta Api (Persero) is available on the Web, but no on-line reservation is possible. In Jakarta, you can buy your tickets in the major stations up to 90 days in advance. Except on weekends, you can generally buy a ticket just before departure. Beware of ticket touts! They will offer their wares even to people waiting in the queues in front of the ticket sales points. You should expect to pay 50-100% more if you do so, and you might find that your coach has empty seats anyway. Alternatively, you can buy ticket from Indomaret or Alfamart, national chain of convenience stores that you can find everywhere around the city.

Jakarta has several train stations. All trains that come and go from Jakarta are now air-conditioned, including the business and economy coaches.

Stasiun Gambir[edit]

The current main station for long distance passengers in Jakarta is the Gambir station, in Central Jakarta, just east of the Monas. Eksekutif (AC) and some bisnis (non-air-con) class trains arrive at this station.

Most trains from big cities in Java (Purwokerto, Yogyakarta, Solo, Semarang, Malang and Surabaya) arrive in late afternoon or evening.

  • From Bandung: trains are frequent, with one arriving almost every 2 hr. Duration: 3-3.5 hr, in bisnis or eksekutif (the only air-conditioned class, Rp 60,000). Economy class trains are slower. Very nice views of rice and agricultural fields.
  • From Surabaya: the very good Argo Bromo Anggrek travels twice a day. Duration: 10 hr 30 min, Rp 265,000 during the week in eksekutif. Prices rise during the weekend and on public holidays. Be aware that the air-con is extremely cold, so bring some warm clothes. Moreover, the television is usually very loud during the whole trip. It is possible to order meals: Rp 18,000 for a nasi goreng, Rp 3,000 for a hot tea.
  • From Semarang: The Semarang-Jakarta route is served by the comfortable Argo Muria, which departs from Tawang Station in Semarang, as well as Argo Bromo Anggrek, Argo Sindoro, and Sembrani which transit in Semarang. Rp 170,000-210,000 or more during peak season.

An airport bus service (by DAMRI) connects Soekarno-Hatta International Airport with Gambir station. The cost is Rp 25,000 per trip.

Stasiun Pasar Senen[edit]

Cheaper trains without air-conditioning generally use the Pasar Senen station located two blocks east of Gambir. Beware that the location is rife with crime, although the station itself has been spruced up recently. Anyway, these economy trains are not really suggested for international tourist travel: they are slow, facilities are poor, and they are overloaded.

Stasiun Jatinegara[edit]

Most trains arriving in Jakarta also stop at Jatinegara station in the eastern part of the city, giving better access to the eastern and southern parts of the city.

Stasiun Kota[edit]

Jakarta Kota station

Jakarta Kota station is located in the old part of the city (Kota Tua Jakarta), and serves as the departure point for commuter trains and some trains to Merak. It is an interesting Art Deco style building that is currently being restored.

By bus[edit]

Passengers from other cities arrive in bus terminals such as Rawamangun (East Jakarta) Kampung Rambutan (Southeast Jakarta), Pulo Gadung (East Jakarta), Kali Deres (West Jakarta) or Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta). You'll need to speak at least functional Indonesian to manage, and the terminals are notorious for muggers and pickpockets, so observe the safety precautions under #Stay safe.

By boat[edit]

The national ferry company, ASDP Indonesia Ferry, and other sealines, operate passenger services to destinations across the archipelago from Tanjung Priok port in the North of the city. Some smaller speedboats, particularly to the Thousand Islands (Pulau Seribu), depart from Ancol also on Jakarta's north shore.

Get around[edit]

How to speak prokem like a Betawi

The everyday speech of Jakartans (Betawi) is liberally laced with slang (prokem) expressions. Like any slang, words come in and out of fashion with bewildering rapidity, but some features can be distinguished:

  • f becomes p
  • z becomes j
  • The prefix me- for verbs becomes ng-
  • The suffixes -i and -kan turn into -in

A short glossary of common Jakartan expressions:

tidak → nggak
saya/aku → gua/gue
kamu/anda → lu/lo
maaf → maap
to come up 
menaik → naek
to take 
mengambil → ngambil
to look 
melihat → ngeliat
to use 
memakai/menggunakan → pake/ngegunain
to visit 
mengunjungi → ngunjungin
Jalan Gatot Subroto & Intracity Toll Road in Jakarta, main access to office & business central

Getting around Jakarta is a problem. The city layout is chaotic and totally bewildering, traffic is indisputably the worst in South-East Asia with horrendous traffic jams (macet "MAH-chet") slowing the city to a crawl during rush hours (several hours in the morning and in the evening), and the current railway system is inadequate to say the least. The construction of a monorail system, started in 2004, soon ground to a halt over political infighting. The gradually expanding Transjakarta Busway (Bus Rapid Transit) system) helps to make things easier, but this is not enough for the biggest city in the world without rail rapid transit system. The first line of Jakarta MRT is currently scheduled to open in 2016 - but the latest news said that te construction are delayed from 2012 to mid-2013.

Various areas of the city have different levels of chaos. The most well organised traffic is only at Golden Triangle (MH Thamrin, Jendral Sudirman, and H.R. Rasuna Said.). Recently, new housing complexes also have good traffic too.

By train[edit]

Commuter line train across Gambir Station

Commuter trains in Jakarta connect the city centre with outlying regions, namely Tangerang, Bekasi, Depok, Bojonggede, Bogor and Serpong. Since 2011, the routes has been changed to 5 routes + additional line to Tanjung Priok.

Commuter services operate from 5AM (first train departing Bogor to Jakarta) to almost 10PM (last train leaving Jakarta for Bogor). Trains sometimes run late, though. Passengers have to wait 5–30 minutes if the train was late. Weekend special services connect Depok and Bogor with the popular Ancol entertainment park in Jakarta.

Commuter services operates over these lines:

  • Red line (Jakarta Kota-Bogor): JAKARTA KOTA - Jayakarta - Mangga Besar - Sawah Besar - Juanda - GAMBIR - Gondangdia - Cikini - MANGGARAI (Transit point to/from Bogor and Bekasi/Blue and Yellow line) - Tebet - Cawang - Duren Kalibata - Pasar Minggu Baru - Pasar Minggu - Tanjung Barat - Lenteng Agung - Universitas Pancasila - Universitas Indonesia - Pondok Cina - DEPOK BARU - DEPOK - Citayam - Bojonggede - Cilebut - BOGOR
  • Yellow line (Jakarta loopline-Bogor): JATINEGARA (Transit point from Bekasi/Blue line) - Pondok Jati - Kramat - Gang Sentiong - PASAR SENEN - Kemayoran - Rajawali - KAMPUNG BANDAN (Transit point to/from Tanjung Priok/Pink line) - Angke - Duri (Transit point to Tanggerang/Brown line) - TANAH ABANG (Transit point to/from Serpong/Green line) - Karet - Sudirman - Mampang - rest of stations are same as red line from MANGGARAI to BOGOR
  • Blue line (Jakarta-Bekasi): JAKARTA KOTA - Jayakarta - Mangga Besar - Sawah Besar - Juanda - GAMBIR - Gondangdia - Cikini - MANGGARAI (Transit point to/from Bogor/Red and Yellow line) - JATINEGARA Transit point to/from Jakarta loopline/Yellow line) - Cipinang - Klender - Buaran - Klender Baru - Cakung - Kranji - BEKASI
  • Brown line (Jakarta-Tanggerang): DURI (Transit point from Jakarta loopline/Yellow line) - Grogol - Pesing - Bojong Indah - Rawa Buaya - Kalideres - Poris - Batu Ceper - TANGGERANG
  • Green line (Jakarta-Serpong/South Tanggerang): TANAH ABANG (Transit point from Jakarta loopline/Yellow line) - Palmerah - Kemayoran - Pondok Betung - Pondok Ranji - Jurangmangu - Sudimara - Ciater - Rawa Buntu - SERPONG - Cisauk - Cicayur - PARUNG PANJANG
  • Pink line (Additional line for weekend): KAMPUNG BANDAN (Transit point from Jakarta loopline/Yellow line) - ANCOL - TANJUNG PRIOK

Station names written with CAPITALS are main station, with transit point, terminus, or both. Station names written in BOLD are intercity stations. Currently (after rearranging the route and erasing express line in 2011) there are 2 types of trains Commuter line train (Air conditioned, similar to ekonomi AC before, ticket price range Rp 7000 to Rp 9000 regarding each line) and Ekonomi train (non-AC, opened door, ticket price Rp 3000). Both types normally stop at all stations, except Gambir Station (since 2012). Gambir station, the main station in Jakarta, only serving as a stop for the intercity train, so this might be a problem for those arriving in Gambir from other regions and wanting to continue to other stations. The choice is continuing by other forms of transport, or taking a taxi to Juanda station, located a few hundred meters north of Gambir, close enough if you wish to walk. If coming from Jalan Jaksa area, another option is just to walk to Gondangdia (next one south of Gambir) station, it's just 5–10 minutes walk to the left from the southern end of Jaksa.

Riding the ekonomi class is not advisable: crime and sexual harassment are known to happen inside packed trains. During the non-rush hours, though, economy train travel is quite an interesting experience. It is a tour of Jakarta's darker side, with peddlers offering every imaginable article (from safety pins to cell-phone starter kits), various sorts of entertainment, ranging from one-person orchestras to full-sized bands, and a chance to sample real poverty; you are riding a slum on wheels. Just remember to keep an eye on your belongings all the time, do not flash valuables if you have any, and, if you have a bag, hold it in front of you (that's what many locals also do in these trains).

By Transjakarta[edit]

The Transjakarta Busway (in Indonesian known as busway or TJ) is modern, air-conditioned and generally comfortable, although sometimes service can be spotty (they have a knack of going to the depot for service and refueling at the same time during the rush hours). The bus is often crowded during rush hours. There are twelve lines operational as of February 2012. Bus Stop names written with CAPITALS (x) are transit stop to other corridor (corridor x), except ASMI, RSPAD, UNJ, and SMK 57 bus stops.

Transjakarta busway lines (per 2012, corridor 1-11)
Transjakarta bus in corridor 1
Corridor 1 BLOK M - Masjid Agung - Bundaran Senayan - Gelora Bung Karno - Polda Metro - BENDUNGAN HILIR (9) - Karet - Setiabudi - DUKUH ATAS (4,6) - Tosari - Bundaran Hotel Indonesia - Sarinah - Bank Indonesia - MONAS (2) - HARMONI (2,3,8) - Sawah Besar - Mangga Besar - Olimo - Glodok - KOTA (12)
Corridor 2
  • Pulogadung-Harmoni route: PULO GADUNG (4) - Bermis - Pulomas - ASMI - Pedongkelan - CEMPAKA TIMUR (10) - Rumah Sakit Islam - Cempaka Tengah - Pasar Cempaka Putih - Rawa Selatan - Galur - SENEN (5) - Atrium - RSPAD - Deplu - Gambir I - Istiqlal - JUANDA (2) - PECENONGAN (2) - HARMONI (1,3,8)
  • Harmoni-Pulo Gadung route: HARMONI - MONAS (1) - Balai Kota - Gambir II - Kwitang - SENEN (5) - Galur - Rawa Selatan - Pasar Cempaka Putih - Cempaka Tengah - Rumah Sakit Islam - CEMPAKA TIMUR (10) - Pedongkelan - ASMI - Pulomas - Bermis - PULO GADUNG (4)
Corridor 3 HARMONI (1,2,8) - RS. Sumber Waras - GROGOL 1 (8,9) - Jelambar - Indosiar - Taman Kota - Jembatan Gantung - Dispenda - Jembatan Baru - Rawa Buaya - Sumur Bor - Pesakih - Kalideres
Corridor 4 PULO GADUNG (2) - Pasar Pulo Gadung - Tu Gas - Layur - Pemuda Rawamangun - Velodrome - Sunan Giri - UNJ - PRAMUKA BPKP (10) - Pramuka LIA - Utan Kayu - Pasar Genjing - Pasar Pramuka - MATRAMAN 2 (5) - Manggarai - Pasar Rumput - HALIMUN (6) - DUKUH ATAS (1,6)
Corridor 5 KAMPUNG MELAYU (7,11) - Pasar Jatinegara (only bus from Ancol) - Kebon Pala - Slamet Riyadi - Tegalan - MATRAMAN 1 (4) - Salemba Carolus - Salemba UI - Kramat Sentiong NU - Pal Putih - SENEN CENTRAL (2) - Budi Utomo - Pasar Baru Timur - JEMBATAN MERAH (12) - GUNUNG SAHARI MANGGA DUA (12) - Pademangan - Ancol
Corridor 6 Ragunan - Departemen Pertanian - SMK 57 - Jatipadang - Pejaten - Buncit Indah - Warung Jati - Imigrasi - Mampang Prapatan - KUNINGAN TIMUR (9) - Patra Kuningan - Departemen Kesehatan - GOR Sumantri - Karet Kuningan - Kuningan Madya - Stiabudi Utara AINI - Latuharhari - HALIMUN (4) - DUKUH ATAS (4)
Corridor 7 Kampung Rambutan - Tanah Merdeka (only from Kampung Rambutan) - Flyover Raya Bogor - Rumah Sakit Harapan Bunda - Pasar Induk Kramat Jati - Pasar Kramat Jati - PGC 1 - BKN (10) - CAWANG UKI (9,10) - BNN (9) - Cawang Otista - Gelanggang Remaja - Bidaracina - KAMPUNG MELAYU (5,11)
Corridor 8 HARMONI (1,2,3) - GROGOL 2 (9) - Jelambar - Indosiar - Kedoya Green Garden - Kedoya Assiddiqiyah - Duri Kepa - Kebon Jeruk -Kelapa Dua Sasak - Pos Pengumben - Permata Hijau RS Medika - Permata HIjau - Simprug - Pasar Kebayoran Lama - Kebayoran Lama Bungur - Tanah Kusir Kodim - Pondok Indah 1 - Pondok Indah 2 - Pondok Pinang (only bus from Lebak Bulus) - Lebak Bulus
Corridor 9 Pinang Ranti - Taman Mini Garuda - Cawang UKI (7,10) - Cawang Sutoyo (10, only from Pluit) - BNN (7) - Cawang Ciliwung - Cikoko Stasiun Cawang - Tebet BPKM - Pancoran Tugu - Pancoran Barat - Tegal Parang - KUNINGAN BARAT (6) - Gatot Subroto Jamsostek - Gatot Subroto LIPI - SEMANGGI (1) - Senayan JCC - Slipi Petamburan - Slipi Kemanggisan - RS. Harapan Kita - S. Parman Podomoro City - GROGOL 2 (8) - Latumeten Stasiun Grogol - Jembatan Besi - Jembatan Dua - Jembatan Tiga - Penjaringan - PLUIT (12)
Corridor 10 PGC 2 - BKN (7) - CAWANG UKI (7,9) - CAWANG SUTOYO (9) - Penas Kalimalang - Cipinang Kebon Nanas - Pedati Prumpung - STASIUN JATINEGARA (11) - Ahmad Yani Bea Cukai - Utan Kayu Ramawangun - PEMUDA PRAMUKA (4) - Kayu Putih Rawasari - Pulomas Bypass - Cempaka Putih - CEMPAKA MAS 2 (2) - Yos Sudarso Kodamar - SUNTER KELAPA GADING (12) - Plumpang Pertamina - Walikota Jakarta Utara - Permai Koja - Enggano - TANJUNG PRIOK (12)
Corridor 11 KAMPUNG MELAYU (5,7) - RS. PREMIER JATINEGARA (5, only bus from Ancol & Pulo Gebang) - St. Jatinegara 2 - FLYOVER JATINEGARA (10) - Pasar Enjo - Imigrasi Jakarta Timur - Cipinang - Stasiun Klender - Flyover Klender - Kampung Sumur - Buaran - Flyover Radin Inten - Perumnas Klender - Penggilingan - Walikota Jakarta Timur - Pulo Gebang (currently in construction with new terminal)
Corridor 12 TANJUNG PRIOK (10) - Enggano - Permai Koja - Walikota Jakarta Utara - Plumpang Pertamina - SUNTER KELAPA GADING (10) - Sunter Boulevard - Sunter Karya - Sunter SMPN 140 - Danau Agung - Kemayoran Landas Pacu Timur - JEMBATAN MERAH (5) - GUNUNG SAHARI MANGGA DUA (5) - Mangga Dua - Pangeran Jayakarta - KOTA (1) - Kalibesar Barat & Bandengan Pekojan (only bus from Tanjung Priok) / Pluit Landmark, Pakin, Gedong Panjang, and Museum Fatahillah (only bus from Pluit) - PLUIT (9)

The other three corridors will be finished before end of 2016.

Unlike Jakarta's other buses, busway buses shuttle on fully dedicated lanes and passengers must use dedicated stations with automatic doors, usually found in the middle of large thoroughfares connected to both sides by overhead bridges. The system is remarkably user-friendly by Jakartan standards, with station announcements and an LED display inside the purpose-built vehicles. Grab onto a handle as soon as you enter the bus as they move away from the stop suddenly and quickly.

Park and Ride facilities are in Ragunan, South Jakarta, Kampung Rambutan, East Jakarta and Kalideres, West Jakarta and in late 2010 the city administration was holding a tender for the construction of Park and Ride facilities in Pulo Gebang, East Jakarta. That construction of that facility is planned to start in 2011.

Buses run from 5AM-10PM daily. Tickets cost a flat Rp 2,000 before 7AM, and Rp 3,500 after. Transfers between lines are free be careful not to exit the system until your journey is completed. The hub at Harmoni station is the busiest interchange. The buses can get very crowded, especially during rush hours at 7AM and 4PM, when office workers are on the move. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, a Transjakarta Application map is also available to download. As of May 2009, the application is free. For blackberry users a Transjakarta Guide for Blackberry software download [1] is available.

By bus[edit]

It's advisable to refrain from using other buses for intracity travel; stick with taxis as they are safer. If you're feeling adventurous, as of October 2005 the flat fare for regular buses is Rp 2,000, while air conditioned buses (Mayasari or Patas AC) cost Rp 5,000. Some buses have a box at the front next to the driver where you can pay your fares, while others employ a man or a kondektur who will personally collect the fares from passengers.

Cheaper yet are mikrolet (mini-buses) and angkot (small vans) that ply the smaller streets and whose fares vary from Rp 1,500 to 2,500, but good luck figuring out the routes. You pay the fare directly to the driver after getting off.

You may need to spare one or two Rp 500 coins before boarding the bus, since there is on-board "entertainment" and other distractions. On a typical day, you may find street musicians singing unplugged versions of Indonesian and Western pop songs asking for donations at the end of the performance, and street vendors, one after another, trying to sell almost everything, from ballpoint pens and candies to boxed donuts and health goods. If you do happen to be travelling in a bus, refrain from sitting or standing at the back area of the bus as this is where muggers find their prey. Always keep an eye on your belongings and be alert at all times as pickpocketing occurs.

Note that buses do not run according to any schedule or timetable. Sometimes a bus may take a while to come,in other circumstances it is possible that two of the same bus routes may come together and these drivers will definitely drive aggressively to get more passengers. They do not stop at any particular bus stop and can stop just about anywhere they like. If you want to get off, simply say "kiri" (to the left) to the "kondektur" or just knock on the ceiling of the bus for three times (be sure that the driver hears your thumping), and the bus driver will find a place to drop you. An additional tip to alight from these buses is to use your left foot first to maintain balance and try to get down as quickly as possible as they do not fully stop the bus.

Also note that seats in these buses are built for Indonesians who are typically shorter and more slender and agile than people with a larger build such as Caucasians and Africans. Non-Indonesians might find the seats in these buses to be confining and uncomfortable.

List of bus terminals in Jakarta: Blok M (South Jakarta), Lebak Bulus (South Jakarta), Pasar Minggu (South Jakarta), Grogol, Kota, Kalideres (West Jakarta), Manggarai (South Jakarta), Pulogadung (East Jakarta), Rawamangun (East Jakarta), Kampung Melayu (East Jakarta), Kampung Rambutan (South Jakarta), Tanjung Priok (North Jakarta), Senen (Central Jakarta).

By car[edit]

Rental cars are available, but unless you are familiar with local driving practices or lack thereof, take reputable taxis. If you're from a foreign country, it is not recommended to rent a car and drive on your own. The chaotic traffic will certainly give you a headache. Renting a car with a driver is a much better idea.

The price of fuel in Indonesia is relatively low due to the application of subsidies by the central government. Pertamina outlets supply gasoline (bensin) (petrol) at Rp 6.500/litre, diesel fuel (solar) is also Rp 5,500/litre. Non-subsidised prices for products such as Pertamax (RON 92 Pertamax high-octane gasoline are higher at Rp 10,200/litre, RON 95 Pertamax Plus Rp 10,350 and Pertamina-Dex (diesel fuel) is around Rp 10,100. Prices at outlets operated by Shell, Mobil and Petronas are similar.

Toll roads circle the city and are faster when the traffic is good, but are very often jammed themselves. The drainage systems of major roads are poorly maintained and during the rainy season from Dec-Feb major roads may be flooded, leading to even worst traffic congestion than normal. You can use e-toll card, that is issued by Mandiri Bank, a type of e-money card that will speed up your transaction at the toll gate.

Finding parking places in residential areas can be difficult due to the narrow roads. Paid parking is easy to find in shopping malls, offices and the like is typically Rp 2,000/hr - Rp 5,000/hr plus Rp 2,000 - Rp 5,000 for each subsequent hour. Street parking often requires to payment of Rp 2,000 to a parking 'attendant'.

If you do decide to drive by yourself or having a driver in Jakarta, please remember that there is a 3 in 1 system implemented in some of the main thoroughfares in the morning from 7.30-10AM and in the afternoon from 4.30-7PM, this requires a car to have a minimum of three occupants. The routes include the whole stretch from Kota train station through Blok M via Jl. Hayam Wuruk, Jl. Thamrin, Jl. Sudirman and Jl.Sisingamangaraja; Jl. Gatot Subroto from the Senayan-JCC overpass to the intersection with Jl. HR Rasuna Said. There are intentions from the local government to change this system to an Electronic Road Pricing system beginning in future.

By taxi[edit]

Beware the false Blue Bird

Blue Bird's reputation has spawned a host of dodgy imitators, so just because it's blue doesn't mean it's safe. Check the following before you get in:

  • The door and roof logo is either the Blue Bird or the Pusaka/Lintas "flying egg"
  • The windshield says "Blue Bird Group"
  • The driver is in uniform
  • The headrests have Blue Bird logos

Most visitors opt to travel by taxi, which is cheap and occasionally even fast. There are a multitude of taxi companies of varying degrees of dependability.

The Blue Bird group ☎+62 21 79171234, (24 hr) is known for their reliability, has an efficient telephone order service and always uses their meter.

  • The Blue Bird group also runs Silver Bird, Morante, Cendrawasih and Pusaka Nuri taxis, They normally use late model Toyota Vios sedans.
  • The Silver Bird executive taxi charges a premium for a larger car, normally a Mercedes Benz C & E Class or a Toyota Vellfire).

Some other large, generally reliable companies include Taxiku, Express, Dian Taksi, and newly established Taxicab. You can generally determine a good cabbie by asking "argo?" ("meter?") - if they say no or "tidak", get another taxi. Taxis parked near train/bus stations, tourist attractions, and hotels often refuse to use the meter and quote silly prices (especially from foreigners) - in this case, it's a good idea to walk away a bit, then hail a passing Blue Bird taxi.

Many of the numerous other "Tarif Lama" or Tarif Bawah" taxis are mechanically unsound and have drivers of questionable skill. They also often engage in determined efforts to overcharge.

The standard taxi rate (effective February 2009) for Blue Bird is Rp 6,000 flag-fall, and Rp 3,000/km after the first 2 km. Taxis marked TARIF BAWAH use the older, cheaper rate (flag-fall fare is Rp 5,000 typically), while Silver Bird is more expensive. Tipping is not necessary but rounding the meter up to the nearest Rp 1,000 is expected, so prepare some change, or else you may be rounded up to the nearest Rp 5,000.

Beware that some of the less reputable taxi operators may use a rigged meter. If using one of these less reputable taxis you may end up getting ripped off (and I mean, terribly ripped off) basically because you are new to the country. If you have no idea how much the taxi fare to your destination should be, it is better to stick to the companies mentioned above, as even the locals do this, or just use a Blue Bird since they can be trusted.

Keep the doors locked and the windows closed when travelling in a taxi, as luxury items or a bag can be an attractive target when stuck in a traffic jam or traffic light. Avoid using the smaller taxi companies especially if you are alone, and try to know the vague route - the driver might well take you a roundabout route to avoid traffic, but you will know the general direction. Stating your direction clearly and confidently will usually pre-empt any temptation to take you on the long route. It is also not uncommon for taxi drivers to be recent arrivals in Jakarta - they often don't know their way around and may be relying on you to direct them - ensure that they know the way before you get in.

By rental car[edit]

Another solution for getting around in Jakarta is to rent a car. However for most visitors it is best to use a local driver rather than self-drive as many local drivers are reckless and have little regard for safety.

By bajaj[edit]

Gas-Fueled Bajaj in Jakarta

The Jakartan equivalent to Thailand's tuk-tuk is the bajaj (pronounced "bahdge-eye"), orange mutant scooters souped up in India into tricycles that carry passengers in a small cabin at the back. Beside the average orange bajaj, there is blue bajaj, which using gas as their fuel.

They're a popular way to get around town since they can weave through Jakarta's interminable traffic jams much like motorbikes can. Although slow, boneshaking (suspension is not a feature in a bajaj), hot and windy (locals joke about the "natural A/C") and the quick way to breathing in more exhaust fumes than you ever thought possible (maybe less if you riding blue bajaj), riding around in these little motor-bugs can really grow on you.

There are no set prices, but a short hop of a few city blocks shouldn't cost much more than Rp 5,000. Be sure to agree to (read: haggle) a price before you set off. Bajaj drivers are happy to overcharge visitors, and can often ask double or even more of what you would pay by meter in air-conditioned Blue Bird taxi (obviously, the normal price should be less than even for a cheaper variety of taxi). Locals who regularly use the bajaj know what a typical fare should be and are happy to tell you. Also, since bajaj aren't allowed on some of the larger roads in Jakarta, your route may well take you through the bewildering warren of backstreets. Try to keep an eye on what direction you're going, because some unscrupulous bajaj drivers see nothing wrong with taking the "scenic" route and then charging you double or triple the price.

By ojek[edit]

One of many Ojek driver in Jakarta

If you're poking around narrow back streets, or just in such a hurry that you're willing to lose a limb or more to get there, then Jakarta's motorcycle taxis (ojek) might be the ticket for you. Jakarta's ojek services consist of guys with bikes lounging around street corners, who usually shuttle short distances down alleys and roads but will also do longer trips for a price. Agree on the fare before you set off. Insist on a helmet, and wear it properly. No need to make it more insanely dangerous than it already is. The ojek drivers will insist you're safe with them and that they'll drive carefully, some of them are true and sometimes just lies, depend on the drivers. Before you choose the driver, pay attention in their motorcycle outlook and their helmets, sometimes it can show the driver's character. What locals normally pay to them is Rp 5,000 for a short ride and Rp 7,000 to 10,000 for a longer (roughly more than kilometer or 15 minutes walk) one. Foreigners are likely to be asked for more, but generally ojek drivers will accept the proper fare if you insist on it, unless they see you really need to use their service, such as if you're in a hurry but there's a huge traffic jam so using a taxi or bus will be too slow.

In November 2011, Ojek with argometer is called Taxijek has launched in Jakarta and is provided with company's driver identity card, a helmet for passengers, disposable shower caps to wear underneath and an extra raincoat. The fee is cheaper than the non-argometer ojeks make drivers of non-argometer ojeks jealous, moreover the Taxijek can enter the gate of elite housing complexes to pick up passengers due to Taxijek have special driver identity cards. The first flag start at Rp 4,000 ($0.44) and Rp 1,000 ($0.11) for another each kilometer. Call (021)94440739 or visit www.taxijek.com for more information.

By helicopter[edit]

Janis Air Transport ☎+62 21 8350024. If you're in a hurry and seriously loaded, charter a helicopter.

By bicycle[edit]

Car Free Day in HI Roundabout

Cycling provision in Jakarta is (almost) non-existent, but the first signs of a cycling culture are emerging. Every Sundays, Jalan Sudirman and Thamrin (and every month in other place in each cities in Jakarta) from 6AM are emptied for cycling and walking and kept car free until 12AM. Some The atmosphere can be festive, because some weeks there's some event helded in some places (especially in Hotel Indonesia Roundabout).

Other than that, there are dedicated mountain biking paths in Cihuni and along the Jalur Gas Pipa, both in Tangerang. or you could head to Salak Mountain or other parts of the region beyond Bogor.

On foot[edit]

As a rule, walking around the centre of Jakarta is neither fun nor practical. With the exception of a few posher areas, sidewalks are crowded with pushcart vendors, drivers disregard pedestrians and crossing streets can be suicidal. As a matter of fact, pedestrian crossings do nothing, other than give the visitor a false sense of security, because the local drivers don't stop or even slow down for pedestrians, even at pedrestrian crossings. On many busy streets there are no pedestrian crossings, so it's best to latch onto a local and follow them as they weave their way through the endless flow of cars. Muggings do occur occasionally, such as on overhead bridges, and can happen even in the daytime. If you use pedestrian bridges, watch out for wonky steps and holes, and motorcycles that sometimes use the bridge illegally.


Jakarta History Museum, Kota
  • Ancol Dream Park (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol). Consists of Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy world) with ticket fee Rp 150,000 (US$17.60) per person in week days and Rp 180,000 (US$21.20) per person on week end-Sunday-and-Holiday, Atlantis Water Adventure (Waterboom) ticket fee Rp 100,000 (US$11.80) per person, Seaworld (for the largest aquarium in South East Asia), Gelanggang Samudra (Ocean Park) animals show ticket Rp 90,000 (US$10.60) per person, Fantastic Multimedia (Laser) Show ticket fee Rp 50,000 (US$5.90) per person, resorts, hotel, beach, marina, and great restaurants. It's one of the biggest such parks in Asia. Entrance ticket fee to the complex Rp 15,000 (US$1.80) per person excluding parking fee
  • Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, (Beautiful Indonesia in little park). See the whole Indonesian culture from here. It offers an exciting tour of 30 provinces of Indonesia with samplings of the country's more than 250 cultures. Highlight features are the Museum Indonesia and the Keong Emas IMAX theater. Entrance ticket fee to the complex Rp 10,000 (US$1.20) per person.
  • Gedung Kesenian Jakarta, (Jakarta Arts Theater). Neo-renaissance structure, previously meticulously restored, and now one of the proud landmarks among the Jakarta buildings which have been conserved. Some of the city best performance by both local and visiting artists are often held here.
  • Museum NasionalJl. Medan Merdeka Barat no.12 (BRT Monumen Nasional, Monas, Transjakarta Busway stop Gambir, Line I),  +62 21 3868172, +62 21 381 1551fax: +62 21 3447778, e-mail: . Tu-Fri 8:30AM-4PM, Sat-Sun 8AM-5PM and closed on Mon and public holidays. Houses a vast collection of prehistoric, ethnographic and archaeological artifacts, including one of the world's largest collections of Southeast Asian ceramics and Hindu Javanese art. The museum was opened in 1868. See the Jakarta/Central article for more detail, including tour information. Admission charge: Indonesian residents: Rp 5,000, foreign visitors: Rp 10,000.
  • Pasar Baru. Although the name means New Market, it doesn't mean the place is new at all. Dating back to the Dutch colonial era, it has been one of the main hub for commodities trading. And nowadays, it has been nothing short of a mixture of stores packed up in a very limited space. You can bet to find unbranded items with good quality and good price here.
  • Monas (National Monument). Jakarta's best known landmark, the 137 m monument is located in the centre of Merdeka (Freedom) square. From the observation deck, you can view the city. At the basement there are dioramas that portray the dramatic story of Indonesia history. Entrance ticket Rp 2,000 kids, Rp 3,000 students and Rp 5,000 adults. For those who want to access the top of Monas, the charge is Rp 2,000 kids, Rp 5,000 students and Rp 10,500 adults.
  • Presidential Palace, (north of the National Monument). Official residence and office of the Indonesian president is open to the public on weekends for free, preferably make reservation first and use formal clothes, no sandals.
  • Textile Museum. Houses a large collections of textiles related to the religious and social practices of the major islands of the archipelago, including batik, ikat and kain ulos.
  • Gedung Proklamasi, (Proclamation Building). The historical site of Indonesian independence, where on August 17, 1945 Soekarno-Hatta (Indonesian first President and vice-President) declared the nation's independence.
  • Lubang Buaya. Marks the site where an alleged failed coup d'état by Partai Komunis Indonesia (Indonesian Communist Party) met its end, alongside the bodies of several high-ranking generals who are believed to have been tortured to death.
  • Museum Sasmita Loka
  • Museum Wayang, (Puppet Museum). Dedicated to puppetry, one of Indonesia's most famous traditional art forms. On display are the wayang kulit shadow puppets, three-dimensional wooden puppets and special dance masks. Wayang performances are presented on Sunday at 10AM.
  • Jalan Surabaya, (Surabaya Street). Lively open-air antique market on the fringes of the Menteng residential neighborhood. A good place to bargain for exotic treaures.
  • Sunda Kelapa Port/Old Harbour. The old port area of Sunda Kelapa remains today as a bustling hub for inter islands trade. Graceful Bugis phinisi schooners, the world's last wind-powered sailing fleet used for trade, still berthed at the quay as they have for century.
  • Ragunan Zoo, (to the south Jakarta near Pasar Minggu). A 185-hectare city zoo contains a comprehensive collection of some 3,600 species of wildlife from throughout Indonesia. Look for the rare Komodo dragon. Pusat Primata Schmutzer consists of gorillas and other primates. Entrance ticket fee is only Rp. 4000 ($0.5) due to subsidies from Jakarta administration. A better alternative to Ragunan, however, is Taman Safari near Bogor (see the Get Out section for details.)
  • Istiqlal Mosque, The biggest mosque in Southeast Asia.
  • Cathedral Church, (in front of the Istiqlal Mosque).
  • Kepulauan Seribu (Thousand Islands), (north of Jakarta in the Java Sea). The Kepulauan Seribu are easily accessible by speed boat from Ancol marina. This spray of some 300 sandy, picturesque islets offers invigorating respitee for those wishing to escape from the bustling city.
  • Museum Adam Malik,. Small museum dedicated to Mr Adam Malik, a renowned figure who represented Indonesia in the United Nations, among many of his other feats including as an Indonesian foreign minister.
  • Museum ABRI, (Military Museum)
  • Jembatan Kota Intan, (Kota Intan drawbridge). The bridge was developed coincide with the development of Batavia by Jan Pieterzoon Coen in 1628, and the only one of the rests of many suspension bridge ever decorating Batavia city.
  • Bird Market, Jl. Barito in South Jakarta and Jl. Pramuka in Central Jakarta. Various colourful tropical birds are on sale.
  • Fish Market and Museum Bahari, ("Maritime Museum), (at the mouth of the Ciliwung river). This market area bustles with activities related to the sea. The Museum Bahari situated at the harbour, is housed in restored Dutch warehouses dating back to the first trading post of the Dutch East Indies.
  • Bird Island, in the Thousand Islands
  • Atmosfear Dry Slider, (in FX Lifestyle Centre Mall Sudirman). One of the world's longest slider and fastest
  • Museum Bank Mandiri, (in the Old Town area opposite the Northern Terminus of Corridor 1 of the Busway and Kota Station). See the history of banking in the Dutch colonial era. Sections include the history of how the Dutch segregated the services offered to bankers by race, the history of the creation of Bank Mandiri and it's memorabilia, Colonial Era Bank Governors and Rupiah bank notes through time.
  • Jakarta Hidden Tours. Ronny and Anneke will lead you around some local slums where you will have a chance to meet local people and witness how they live. The proceeds of your tour will go to the local people and Ronny's Interkultur foundation.


  • Cinema: Movie theatres are a more affordable escape at around Rp 25,000 for a plush seat (Rp 50,000 in the weekend, up to Rp 70,000 if you watching in 3D) in any of the capital's shopping malls. Beware of the heavy hand of the Indonesian censor though. The price of popcorn and drinks are exorbitant. Several other cinemas also show Indian, Chinese and Indonesian movies. And the lesser ones also exhibit Indonesian B-Movies with erotic themes (still heavily censored). The largest chain of cinemas in Indonesia are 21 group, Blitz Megaplex and Cineplex 21.
  • Fitness centre: Large hotels provide free fitness centres for guests. Some hotels have sauna, spa, tennis court and jogging track. They are also available in shopping malls.
  • Golf: Golf is the number one pastime of the upper classes and, as so many other things here, relatively cheap by Western standards. Green fees can go as low as Rp 60,000 on weekdays, although the better courses are twice that, and weekend rates are considerably steeper at Rp 300,000 and up.
  • Bowling: Most alleys are found in shopping malls. The fee for a game is US$2–3. Guest can rent bowling shoes etc. The length of the lanes are 32 ft.
  • Football: It is not advisable to watch any live local football match in Jakarta, because the Jakmania, Persija Jakarta's ultras often turn into rioters when facing Persitara's North Jak and Persib's Viking, but it's safe to watching the regional and international match (maybe like AFF Cup or SEA GAMES, but AGAIN it's not adviseable if you want to watch Indonesia vs. Malaysia match, because of their rivality tension between fans sometimes can make the situation to be worsen). During and after certain soccer games, foreign tourists should also not go near the Lebak Bulus Stadium, the site of similar feats by lesser teams. Jakarta also has plenty choices of Futsal fields in many areas. Dirt and grass makeshift fields are abundant in residential areas, and can be crowded with players, onlookers and vendors, especially on weekend afternoons. In these casual games, anyone can simply ask to jump in or relax.
  • Drifting: There's a drifting circuit on top of Mal Artha Gading (MAG)
  • Karaoke: One of the main entertainment program in Asia. With the most popular chains spread throughout Jakarta, such as Inul Vista (Sarinah, Plaza Semanggi, Kelapa Gading, etc.), Happy Puppy (La Piazza, etc.), and NAV (Kelapa Gading, etc.). Expect to pay as low as Rp 60,000/hr+tax for a 6 person room.
  • Badminton. As one of the powerhouses in badminton, Jakarta has a multitude of badminton courts, ranging from the national venues at the Senayan Complex to the suburban halls which cater to both futsal and badminton.

Most of them have wood-panel flooring, and are maintained in reasonably good condition. Lighting is strictly functional and is below par in comparison with standard badminton halls. The best way to find a playing venue (and players) is to post a request on badmintoncentral, the global badminton forum. It has a lot of members from Indonesia who would be happy to provide directions to a local hall. People play almost every evening - so, walk in, strike up a conversation with the group's captain, and expect to be accommodated in their group for the evening's session. If the captain refuses payment (usually less than Rp 20,000), it is polite to buy the players a round of soft-drinks (teh-botol is a good choice). Be warned that it is common for Indonesians to eat, smoke, drink and nap by the side of the court. So, watch your footing!


Casual work in Jakarta is difficult to come by and Indonesian bureaucracy does not readily facilitate foreigners undertaking employment in Indonesia. As in the rest of Asia, teaching English is the best option, although salaries are poor (US$700–3000/month is typical, although accommodation may be provided) and the government only allows citizens of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA to work as teachers. Formal work visas, residency permits and registration with several government offices is necessary. Formal approval from the Department of Manpower and the provision of documentation and guarantees from an employing sponsor is required to engage in any form of employment in Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia. Business visas are available for the purposes of conducting business related activities in Jakarta or elsewhere in Indonesia, this class of visa has strict conditions and requires a local business to sponsor the applicant. A business visa does not permit the holder to undertake any form of employment.


Roadside retail

Looking for an aluminum hubcap, a large clay pot, some reupholstered car seats or perhaps a full-length mirror with elaborate ironwork? Not to worry, in Jakarta there's an alley out there just for you, with specialist vendors laying out their goods on streetside racks to entice people driving by. And given Jakarta's traffic jams, there's often plenty of time to browse too.

Grand Indonesia Shopping Town located in Central Jakarta, as viewed from Plaza Indonesia
The southern entrance of the Plaza Indonesia Shopping Centre below the Grand Hyatt hotel

If you're stopping in Jakarta, consider buying an extra suitcase, because there's lots of good shopping to be done. Do consider too, however, that though quality can be excellent, purchasing real branded things or quality products in Jakarta comes with a real expensive price tag.

  • Shopping Malls: Despite the crushing poverty exhibited in some parts of the city, Jakarta has a large number of giant, glittering malls, well above expectations for newcomers. Note that, for imported goods, prices in many of the more expensive stores can be much higher than what would be charged in the same shops in other countries. The up-market malls in Jakarta are the centrally located Grand Indonesia (including the department stores of Seibu, Alun-Alun Indonesia and Harvey Nichols, as well as restaurants and a cinema on the top floors) and opposite to it Plaza Indonesia (including Marks and Spencer, as well as restaurants, cafes and a cinema), Pacific Place (including M Department Store, Kidzania Theme Park and Galeries LaFayette), Plaza Senayan (including Sogo and Metro), Senayan City (including Debenhams), Pondok Indah Mall (including Sogo and Metro), Mal Kelapa Gading (including Sogo), and Mall of Indonesia (including Centro).
  • Markets: In addition to malls, there are also numerous extremely large shopping centres, quite a few of which can be found in the Mangga Dua (Two Mangoes) area. These include the huge Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua and the gigantic WTC (Wholesale Trade Centre) Mangga Dua, massive indoor markets with hundreds upon hundreds of shops selling everything at wholesale prices. When you shop in those places, you can always bargain the price. Tanah Abang and Pasar Baru are hugely popular among Malaysian tourists.
  • Convenience stores: If you want to avoid the oversized malls and you're looking for smaller yet modern places to shop for daily needs then Indomaret or Alfamart stores are located virtually everywhere throughout Jakarta, including some of the housing complexes. These two Indonesian convenience store chains are complemented by international convenience stores. Circle-K is omnipresent, and since 2010, 7-Eleven has extended its franchise to Jakarta, with more than 50 stores.
  • Antique shop: If you are looking for some antique product such as local handicrafts, Indonesian traditional batik, wayang golek (Javanese puppets), you can go to Jalan Surabaya in Central Jakarta where you can find many antique shops along this street. Pasaraya Grande shopping mall at Blok M, South Jakarta has one dedicated floor for all Indonesian antiques and handicrafted goods. Pasar Seni at Ancol is the centre of paintings and sculpture, you can ask the painters to make you as the model for your paintings. Sarinah department store also has a vast section of traditional gifts for sale
  • Duty Free Shops: Duty Free shops are available at Soekarno Hatta airport and a small number of shops in the city. Bring your passport to the shops.


Colonial swank at Cafe Batavia

Jakarta has a vast range of food available at hundreds of eating complexes located all over the huge city. In addition to selections from all over the country, you can also find excellent Chinese, Japanese, and many other international foods thanks to the cosmopolitan population. Longer-term visitors will wish to dig up a copy of "Jakarta Good Food Guide" (JGFG) or "Jakarta Java Kini". The JGFG, as its affectionately known to Jakartans, is now in its 3rd edition, with the latest version published in 2009 and covering over 600 restaurants and casual eateries in the city. The JGFG has now also been made into an iPod touch & iPhone application, so you can download all 600 reviews and have them in the palm of your hand for whenever you're craving a bite of some good local food.

You can find Jakartan versions of many dishes, often tagged with the label betawi (Indonesian for "Batavian").

  • Sop iga sapi, beef spare rib soup that takes a simple Dutch dish and piles on Indonesian spices.
  • Soto betawi, coconut milk broth with beef tendons, intestines, tripe.
  • Kerak telor, omelette from egg cooked with glutinous rice and served with shredded coconut and a dried shrimp topping.
  • Ketoprak, rice roll, tofu, bean sprout, crackers in peanut sauce.
  • Bubur Dingin, lit. Cold Pouridge with beef sweet soup
  • Nasi uduk, rice cooked in coconut milk similar to nasi lemak, served with choices of various toppings; such as fried chicken, beef, fried shalots sambal
  • Nasi ulam, rice cooked in coconut milk served with fried minced beef, sweet fried tempe, many other toppings, cucumber, and sambal (chilli sauce).

Your stomach may need an adjustment period to the local food due to many spices locals used in their cooking. Standard price on this guide: The price for one main course, white rice ("nasi putih") and one soft drink, including 21% tax and service charge.

  • Street Food, Jakarta is famous for its street delicacies. Every Region of Jakarta has its own unique offering of street foods. Some areas for looking for great /exceptional and unique. street food are Kelapa Gading (Seafood), Muara Karang/Pluit (Seafood), "Nasi Uduk" (Kebon Kacang, Central Jakarta) and Tennis Sized Meatballs(Blok S, South Jakarta).

It is advised if you are a foreigner unfamiliar to the standard of Jakarta's food hygiene to ask for your companions opinion about the food joint's hygiene level before eating on the place, or even better to let your body 'adjust' to the different standards of hygiene on foods in Jakarta by eating on more cleaner restaurants for a few days before trying out food acquired from street vendors, as these foods may take a toll on your stomach. It is advised to be acclimated to the Indonesian environment for at least 2 weeks before eating street food. Prices are around Rp 5,000-25,000 and then do so with some caution.


The food courts of Jakarta's shopping malls are a great way of sampling Indonesian and other food in hygienic and air-conditioned comfort.

  • Plaza Senayan (basement)
  • Plaza Semanggi (level 3A and 10-Plangi Sky DIning), Taman Anggrek's Dapur Anggrek (level 4), all have good selections.

Mal Kelapa Gading

  • Mal Kelapa Gading's Food Temptation (level 3) claims to be the largest in Indonesia.
  • Gading Food City, offering a vast selection of mostly Indonesian outdoor eats with live music.
  • La Piazza is more upscale.
  • Eat n Eat in the New Kelapa Gading Mall 5, a new food court with a traditional colonial era Indonesian atmosphere and offers a great mix of Indonesian cuisine and others from the Malay Archipelago.

South Jakarta

  • Kemang Food Fest, in Kemang, the most popular expatriate neighborhood, offers great food for 24 hr/7 days a week. A number of restaurants (both offering eastern and western food) gather in this outdoor establishment.
  • Tebet is another great option near the centre of the city. The area offers great food (both indoors and outdoors), including a comic cafe and is surrounded by fashion outlets. If you happen to be near Bundaran H.I., Grand Indonesia's
  • Food Louver on the level 3 skybridge in the Grand Indonesia foodcourt near Bundaran H.I. offers a great variety of food from around the world, some seats offer a great view of the Jakarta Skyline.

Most budget restaurants have delivery service or you can call Pesan Delivery service [2], ☎ +62 21 7278 7070. You can order take away foods from most budget restaurants. Some traditional Indonesian cuisine may be too hot and spicy for many foreign tourists.At some restaurants you can ask for food without chilli: "Tidak pakai cabe" or "Tidak Pedas". Standard price is Rp 15,000-50,000.


Mid to Upper-scale restaurants are plentiful and prices range from Rp 30,000-100,000 for entrees.

  • Pondok Indah Mall 2's Restaurant Row
  • Mal Kelapa Gading's Gourmet Row
  • Senayan City's Basement Floor
  • Grand Indonesia's Crossroad of the World district
  • Cilandak Town Square.


The best gourmet splurges in Jakarta are the opulent buffet spreads in the 5 star hotels such as the Marriott, Hotel Mulia, Ritz-Carlton and Shangri-La, which offer amazing value by international standards. Standard price: Rp 150,000-300,000 per person


Jakarta may be the capital of the world's largest Islamic country, but it has underground life of its own. If you're the clubbing type, its nightlife is arguably among the best in Asia. From the upscale X-Lounge to the seediest discos like Stadium, Jakarta caters to all kinds of clubbers, but bring a friend if you decide to brave the seedier joints (though they tend to have the best DJs). Fans of live music, on the other hand, are largely out of luck if they go to budget bars, at least unless they're into Indonesian pop.

When out and about, note that Jakarta has a fairly high number of prostitutes, known in local parlance as ayam (lit. "chicken"), so much so that much of the female clientele of some respectable bars (operated by five-star hotels, etc.) is on the take.

A nightlife district popular among expats is Blok M in South Jakarta, or more specifically the single lane of Jl. Palatehan 1 just north of the bus terminal, packed with pubs and bars geared squarely towards single male Western visitors. While lacking the bikini-clad go-go dancers of Patpong, the meat market atmosphere is much the same with poor country girls turned pro. Blok M is now easily accessible as the southern terminus of BRT Line 1. For a more off-the-beaten track experience, head a few blocks south to Jl. Melawai 6 (opposite Plaza Blok M), Jakarta's de-facto Little Japan with lots of Japanese restaurants, bars and (what else?) karaoke joints.

To hang out where Indonesia's young, rich and beautiful do, head to Plaza Indonesia's EX annex, packed full of trendy clubs and bars including Jakarta's Hard Rock Cafe. Plaza Senayan's Arcadia annex attempts to duplicate the concept, but with more of an emphasis on fine dining. The Kemang area in southern Jakarta is popular with expats and locals alike. It has numerous places to eat, drink and dance.

The Kota area in northern Jakarta is the oldest part of town with numerous colonial buildings still dominating the area. It is also considered to be the seediest part of town after midnight. Most karaoke bars and 'health' clubs there are in fact brothels who mostly cater to local Jakartans. Even regular discos such as Stadium and Crown have special areas designated for prostitutes. Other notable establishments in this area are Malioboro and Club 36 which should not be missed. This part of town has a large ethnic Chinese population who also dominate the clubbing scene there.

The bulk of the clubbing scene is spread throughout Jakarta however, most usually found in office buildings or hotels. A help of an experienced local with finding these places is recommended. Do note that nightlife in Jakarta tends to be pricey for local standards.

Due to the liberty Jakarta has, there is no specific dress code that should be worn unless you are in a religious area. However, it is best not to dress too openly to prevent from people giving awkward stares or from giving the impression (especially for women) that you are a prostitute since most of them in Jakarta do have very short dresses or skirts. Sandals are fine to wear if you're heading for North Jakarta since it is mear the beach. During the month of Ramadhan, all nightlife ends at midnight.


Please see the individual Jakarta district articles for accommodation listings

The travel agencies at Jakarta's airport can have surprisingly good rates for mid-range and above hotels. Star ratings are reserved for midrange and better hotels, while budget places have "Melati" rankings from 1-3 (best). Tax and service charge of 21% are usually added to the bill.

  • Budget, Hotels with standard room rate below US$25/night. Backpacker hostels (losmen) can be found around Jalan Jaksa, which is close to the Gambir station, rooms starting from Rp 30,000/night. Another choice is hotels around Jalan Mangga Besar. Jalan Mangga Besar has a very wide variety of hotels, clubs, restaurants and low class spas. It also placed near Glodok
  • Mid-range, Hotels with standard room rate of from US$26–100/night.
  • Splurge, Jakarta has more than its fair share of luxury hotels, and after the prolonged post-crash hangover new ones are now going up again. Many remain good value by world prices, but opulent lobbies do not always correspond to the same quality in the room. The standard room rate on splurge hotels are more than US$100/night.

For stay over 2,5–3 weeks, monthly rental rooms (called kost) and apartments are a good alternative to budget and mid-range hotels, respectively. Fully-furnished rooms (with TV, A/C, large bed, hot shower, kitchen outside) can be rented for Rp 1.5-4 million/month. In most cases, rental fee already includes electricity and water usage, often there are additional services included like laundry, Internet access, breakfast, etc. There are cheaper rooms as well (starting from Rp 500,000-700,000), but those are usually small, without window, and the furniture includes just bed or even nothing. Also, some cheaper places are exclusively for either men or women (no opposite sex tenants or visitors allowed); many others allow couples to stay together only if they're legally married.

For apartments (one or more rooms + private kitchen + often balcony), prices are from Rp 3-4 million and up. Cheaper rates can be obtained in some places which are oriented to the long-term rental (3, 6 months or 1 year minimum); however, there may be same limitations as for cheaper rooms.

A good choice of kost and apartments available in Jakarta can be found here: [3] (Indonesian language only).



Wartel telephone shops are ubiquitous on the streets of Jakarta.

If you see a public telephone, lift the receiver and check the number in the display near the keypad. If the number is not 000, don't insert coins, because the phone is broken. They usually are, but are very cheap (just $0.01/min) when they do work.


If you have your own laptop you may be able to access networks at many of the capital's malls. Ask at the information desk for access codes. Free hotspots are also available in most McDonald's restaurants, Starbucks Cafés, and 7 Eleven convenience stores. Several hotels also provide a free wifi hotspot in their lobby.

Internet cafes are available in many parts of the city with a price of Rp 4,000-5,000. However, most of them only have dial-up capabilities. Most of the internet cafes can be found around universities, residential areas, and in most shopping malls. However, the internet connection speed can be better in the internet cafes found at malls.

If you are keen on using the internet for long hours, try to get the "happy hour" deals provided by internet cafes near universities or residential areas. They provide 6 hr of surfing on the internet for Rp 12,000, but only available at midnight-6AM.

Tourism information[edit]


  • Ambulance. ☎ 118.
  • Police. ☎ 110.
  • Search and rescue team. ☎ 115.
  • Indonesian Police HQ: Jl. Trunojoyo 3, South Jakarta. ☎+62 21 7218144.
  • Jakarta Police HQ: Jl. Jendral Sudirman No. 45, South Jakarta. ☎+62 21 5709261.
  • Hospitals with 24 hour emergency room UGD (ER): see the Jakarta district pages.


Embassies and Consulates[edit]

The Kementerian Luar Negeri (Kemlu) or Ministry of Foreign Affairs maintains a complete searchable database of diplomatic institutions. The embassies are located in Jakarta, some consulates general and honorary consulates are located in other cities such as Surabaya and Denpasar. This list may not be complete.

  • Afghanistan AfghanistanJl Doktor Kusuma Atmaja 15 +62 21 3143169fax: +62 21 31935390.
  • Argentina ArgentinaMenara Thamrin R. 1602 Jl Muhammad Thamrin, Kav. 3. 16th Floor Suite 1602 +62 21 2303061fax: +62 21 2303962.
  • Bangladesh BangladeshJl Denpasar Raya No. 3, Block A-13 Kav 10, Kuningan +62 21 5251986.
  • Brazil BrazilJl Jenderal Gatot Subroto, 12190 +62 21 5265656fax: +62 21 5265659.
  • Cambodia CambodiaJl Kintamani Raya C-15 No. 33 +62 21 520-1373, +62 21 919-2895.
  • Chile ChileBina Mulia Building I, 7th floor

Jl H.R. Rasuna Said Kav. 10 +62 21 2521982fax: +62 21 5201955, e-mail: .

  • Colombia ColombiaJl Jend Sudirman Kav. 47-48, South Jakarta Central Plaza Building 16th Floorfax: +62 21 52905217, e-mail: .
  • France FranceMenara BCA – 40th floor, Jl MH. Thamrin n°1, Jakarta Pusat +62 21 23557600fax: +62 21 23557601.
  • South Korea Republic of KoreaJl Jenderal Gatot Subroto Kav. 57 +62 21 5201915.
  • North Korea Democratic People's Republic of KoreaJl Teluk Betung No. 2 +62 21 31908425, +62 21 31908437.
  • Laos Lao People's Democratic RepublicJl Patra Kuningan XIV No. 1A, Kuningan +62 21 5229602.
  • Marshall Islands Marshall IslandsJl Pangeran Jayakarta No. 115 Blok A-11, Central Jakarta +62 21 6249054.
  • Myanmar MyanmarJl Haji Agus Salim No. 109, Menteng +62 21 3140440, +62 21 31927684.
  • Papua New Guinea Papua New GuineaPanin Bank Centre, 6th Floor, Jl Jenderal Sudirman No. 1 +62 21 7251218.
  • Philippines The PhillipinesJl Imam Bonjol No. 6-8, Menteng +62 21 3100334.
  • Saudi Arabia Saudi ArabiaJl MT Haryono Kav. 27, Cawang, Jakarta Timur +62 21 8011533fax: +62 21 3905864.
  • Singapore SingaporeJl H. R. Rasuna Said Blok X/4 Kav. No. 2, Kuningan +62 21 52961433, 5201489.
  • Serbia The Republic of SerbiaJl H.O.S Cokroaminoto 109, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat +62 21 3143560, +62 21 3143720, +62 21334157fax: +62 21 314 3613, e-mail: .
  • South Africa South AfricaWisma GKBI, 7th Floor, Suite 705, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman No. 28 +62 21 5740660.
  • Sri Lanka Sri LankaJl Diponegoro No. 70, Menteng +62 21 3141018, +62 21 3161886, +62 213190-2389.
  • Republic of China Taipei Economic and Trade OfficeGedung Artha Graha, 12th Floor(Service Division) and 17th Floor Sudirman Centre Business District Jl Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 52-53 +62 21 515-3939, +62 215151111.
  • East Timor Timor LesteGedung Surya 11th Floor, Jl. M.H.Thamrin Kav. 9 +62 21 3902678, +62 21 3902679.
  • Thailand ThailandJl Imam Bonjol No. 74, Jakarta Pusat 10310 +62 21 3904052.
  • Vietnam VietnamJl Teuku Umar No. 25, Menteng +62 21 9100163, +62 21 3100358.

Stay healthy[edit]

Tap water in Jakarta is not drinkable. Always drink bottled water. If buying bottled water from a street vendor always check the 'tamper proof' seal is intact. The price usually around Rp1,500-5,000 per bottle. Could be times more expensive when buying from hotels or restaurants

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Jakarta is the 3rd most polluted city in the world after Mexico City and Bangkok.

During the rainy season (December, January, and February), lower parts of Jakarta (mostly those to the north) are often flooded.

There is a law against smoking at public places in Jakarta, and the smoker can (in theory) be fined up to US$5,000. You may see the signs threatening a fine (denda) of Rp 50 million or 6 months jail for smoking, although that law seems not to be enforced, as locals still smoke everywhere on the street and even in local buses, as anywhere in Indonesia. It's generally prohibited to smoke, however, inside shops, offices, and air-conditioned buildings generally. If in doubt, you can ask locals: Boleh merokok?

Stay safe[edit]

The high-profile terrorist bomb blasts at the JW Marriott in 2003, the Australian Embassy in 2004 and the JW Marriott (again) and the Ritz-Carlton in 2009 mean that security in Jakarta tends to be heavy, with car trunk checks, metal detectors and bag searches at most major buildings. Statistically, though, you are far more likely to be killed in the traffic.

Strict gun control laws make Jakarta safer, but theft and robbery are real problems. Even these appear to have improved in recent years, but still take care. Violence is low, and most criminal acts are done by stealth or intimidation rather than lethal force. It is rare for even serious injuries to occur during these situations, although there are exceptions.

If the theft is done by stealth, often simple catching the thief in the act will cause him to run away. For intimidation such as robberies, simply giving them an object of value will usually satisfy the thief, who will leave without further ado. Most Indonesians are also very protective of their neighbors and friends; in many neighborhoods, a thief caught by the local residents will be punished "traditionally" before being taken to police. Indonesians rarely ignore pleas for help ("Tolong!").

Be on your guard in crowded places such as markets, because pickpockets often steal wallets and cellular phones. Keep a close eye on your valuables and choose your transportation options carefully, especially at night. Business travellers need to keep a close eye on laptops, which have been known to disappear even from within office buildings. For all-night party excursions, it may be wise to keep your cab waiting; the extra cost is cheap and it's worth it for the security. Lock your car doors and windows, and show no cellular phones or wallets on the dashboard. Organised criminals sometimes operate on the streets (especially at traffic lights) without fearing crowds.

Go next[edit]

Elephant show in Taman Safari
  • Anyer — resort beach 100 km west of Jakarta. Driving time: up to 4 hr.
  • Bandung — some 140 km southeast of Jakarta, full of universities and famous for both its food and its fashion markets. Driving time: 2-2.5 hr (through Cipularang toll road). X-Trans shuttle transport depart hourly from several location for Rp 80,000.
  • Bogor — cooler climes and a beautiful botanical garden an hour away. Several great Golf courses are located in Bogor. Sentul A1 Race Circuit is located in Citeurerup, Bogor. Express train takes a bit over an hour, economy a little longer. (Waiting and train cancellations are the bigger issue.) Driving time: up to 2 hr. On weekend, the trip may take up to 3 hr by road, and the trains can be crowded.
  • Puncak — cooler climes and beautiful view of tea plantation. Up to 2.5 hr by tollway.
  • Taman Safari Wildlife Recreational Park — Jl Raya Puncak 601, Cisarua, Bogor. 70 km south of Jakarta. Driv tieme2.5 hr from Jakarta (outside rush hours) and about 20 km past Bogor. Impressive drive-through zoo with lions, tigers, hippos, rhinos, zebras, giraffes, as well as plenty of other animals in well-kept large enclosures. There are also some amusement park attractions for children, a water park, a baby zoo, as well as conventional zoo exhibitions including penguins, snakes, kangaroos and Komodo dragons. This is a very well maintained zoo and a much better visit than other zoos found in the region. Admission is around Rp 100,000/person. When visiting with children reserve a full day. For adults 3 hr is enough to see the most interesting animals.
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