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[ART AND CULTURE] Hipster and artsy things to do in Jakarta in 2 days

[ART AND CULTURE] Hipster and artsy things to do in Jakarta in 2 days

This article contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase I will make a commission at no extra cost to you. This article was first published on July 19, 2016 and updated in February 2018.

Escape the tourist attractions and glass-encased towers of the CBD and head to the unique neighbourhoods of South Jakarta. Enjoy lanes filled with hip restaurants, art galleries, boutique shop houses and underground pubs. Here are some cool things to do in Jakarta for an alternative weekend away.

Day 0 in South Jakarta, Indonesia 

10.30pm: SHY Rooftop

SHY Rooftop Bar

SHY Rooftop Bar. Source

If you fly from Singapore on Friday night, you’ll likely to arrive at around 9-11pm. After checking-in at your hotel in South Jakarta, head out to SHY Rooftop. Marvel at the night view of the Kemang neighbourhood while listening to a live acoustic band by the bar. If you want to stay late, there will also be a DJ playing house music. Expect to pay around Rp. 400,000 for 2 pax.

The Papilion Lantai 4, Jl. Kemang Raya No. 45 AA,
Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia

Open Tuesday to Saturday, from 8pm to 3am

Day 1 in South Jakarta, Indonesia

9am: Breakfast at Sophie Authentique

French bakery Sophie Authentique makes for the perfect morning hang out with its wooden décor and natural lighting, which will guarantee an #instagenic meal. Satisfy your sweet tooth craving with their extensive variety of pastries. Their products typically cost around Rp. 10,000-50,000 per serving.

Jl. Kemang Selatan 1 No. 20A,, Jl. Kemang Raya Blok Kemang No.10F,
South Jakarta City, Special Capital Region of Jakarta, Indonesia

Open Sunday to Friday, from 8am to 5pm,
Saturdays from 8am to 6pm

11am: Hit the flea market at Jalan Surabaya

Jalan Surabaya market

Jalan Surabaya market

There’s no better place to get unique and quirky items than at Jalan Surabaya. You’ll discover traders selling antique lamps, old telephones, retro cameras, phonograph records, wood carvings, silver-and-brass cutleries, maritime items- the list is endless. Not surprising given that the market has existed since 1974! You’ll find all the best things to buy in Jakarta in this expansive market. 

Jl. Surabaya, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat,
Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia

Open daily,  from 9am to 5pm

2pm: Lunch and shopping at Pasar Santa

Ever try a durian kitkat green tea

Ever try a durian kitkat green tea?? Source

All the foodies looking for things to eat in Jakarta will want to visit trendy Pasar Santa. This former traditional market has turned into Jakarta hipster area for an out-of-ordinary culinary experience. Be sure to check out the black hot dog at DOG, the ice cendol oreo and the durian kit-kat green tea at Beyond Cendol, the black martabak brownies at Mabro, the matcha churros at Tsurro and the chocolate-covered bananas with sprinkled toppings at Barnana.

Do check out the list of eateries if you’d like to dive deeper into Pasar Santa’s gastronomic experiment. Quick bites at Pasar Santa typically cost around Rp. 20,000-100,000 per serving.

Feeling full? There are also shops selling old vinyls, posters, clothing, shoes, skateboards, etc. Hunt for rare records from the 60s all the way to modern indie rock at Laidback Blues Record Store or shop for clothes at Tokio Fuku, a shop that sells T-shirts with a unique twist on global cultural icons. The T-shirts are distinctive for taking non-Japanese characters (such as X-Men and Ghostbusters) and “making them Japanese”.

Jalan Cisanggiri II, RT.5/RW.4, Petogogan, Kebayoran Baru,
Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia

Most of the vendors open from 2 to 9pm from Tuesday to Sunday

Lunch Alternative: H Gourmet & Vibes

For the love of Phillycheese. #hgourmetandvibes #gourmetandvibesallday

A post shared by H Gourmet & Vibes (@hgourmetvibes) on

For those looking for the finer things in life, you can head to H Gourmet & Vibes at 1pm before heading to Pasar Santa for a quick shopping spree. H Gourmet brings a 1970s industrial feel (check out the giant wall clock) and blends it with Jakarta’s urban social scene.

Make sure to try the impeccable Benny & Joon (grilled sandwich with melting cheese) as well as the Rick Reuben (crunchy wheat toast with ham and cheese). Expect to pay around Rp. 50,000-175,000 per person.

Jalan Gunawarman No. 41, Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
Open Monday to Thursday, from 12pm to 12am
Friday to Saturday, from 12pm to 3am
Sunday, from 10am to 12am

4pm: Edwin’s Gallery

Having operated since 1984, Edwin’s Gallery is Jakarta’s most important and longest-running private gallery. It plays a vital role in showcasing local contemporary works and promoting them on the international stage including exhibitions in Italy, China and Singapore. Beyond local arts, Japanese and Chinese artists are also represented in the gallery.

Jl. Kemang Raya, RT.6/RW.1, Bangka, Mampang Prpt.,
Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia

Opens Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 5.30pm

6pm: Hotel

Head back to your hotel. Drop the shopping bags, bathe and dress up in something funky ’cause you’re gonna have a smashing evening tonight!

7pm: Dinner and night life at Bau-Haus 1933

Inspired by the 1920-1933 speakeasy period, entering the hidden underground bar of Bau-Haus 1933 is a thrilling experience that simulates the hush-hush and secrets of the period. Vintage décor made from antique and recycled objects only adds to the atmosphere. There are plenty of references to literature, painting and arts at the bar (it’s named after an iconic German design school after all).

The food costs around Rp. 55,000-200,000, while the drinks range from Rp. 100,000-200,000.

The East Plaza Lantai Basement, Jl. Dr. Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung,
Mega Kuningan KAV E3.2 No.1, Kecamatan Setiabudi, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia

Open Monday to Thursday, from 4pm to 1am
Friday to Saturday, from 4pm to 2am

10pm: Bar-hopping to Dyna Pub

Are glamorous, glitzy pubs too mainstream for you? Check out Dyna Pub for a unique nightlife experience, with décor made from postcards of old Jakarta, wayang puppets, plastic flowers, old-school furniture, etc. Drinks cost Rp. 45,000 upwards.

Jl. K.H Wahid Hasyim No.116, Kebon Sirih,
Special Capital Region of Jakarta, Indonesia

Open daily, from 5pm to 2am

Nightlife Alternative: Blackout

If you just want to party and not be bogged down by pretentious people who go to nightclubs all-dolled up just to show off, then Blackout is for you. The music played ranges from retro, contemporary indie, new wave, new rock, new rave to hip-hop.

The venue and dates are unpredictable and always changing, so make sure to check their page before visiting Jakarta.

If you love Indonesia, make sure to check out our itineraries for Belitung and Medan!

Day 2 in South Jakarta, Indonesia

Shake off the hangover and wake up fairly early today as there are still so many things to do in South Jakarta.

10am: dia.lo.gue

dia.lo.gue cafe

dia.lo.gue cafe. Source

Established as a public artspace aiming at fostering conversation between artists, designers and the public, dia.lo.gue offers plenty of exhibitions, programs and workshops. Uniquely designed collectibles and products not found elsewhere are sold here. Feeling like relaxing after last night’s debauchery? Then grab a warm morning coffee and have some me-time reading books in their hipster café.

Jl. Kemang Sel. No.99A, RT.1/RW.2, Bangka, Mampang Prpt.,
Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia

Open Monday  to Friday, from 9.30am to 6pm
Saturday to Sunday, from 9am to 6pm

12.30pm: Brunch at PARC 19

Parc19 lunch

Parc19 lunch. Source

Dine at the gorgeous PARC 19 bistro, which brings out its rustic charm through wooden elements, brick walls and lush greeneries. All three different sections of PARC 19 come with its own uniquely-designed interiors: Dine-In, Terrace & Glass House. Offering various Asian and Western cuisine with haute cuisine presentation, the dishes here come at price tag of Rp. 60,000-185,000.

Jl. Taman Kemang No.19, RT.14/RW.1, Bangka, Mampang Prpt.,
Kota Jakarta Selatan, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia

Open Sunday to Thursday, from 11am to 1am
Friday to Saturday, from 8am to 2am

2.30pm: Ciputra Artpreneur

Ciputra Artpreneur museum

Ciputra Artpreneur museum. Source

Hassling for things to do in Jakarta during the day? We’ve got you covered. Take a visit Ciputra Artpreneur, an art concept space that marries gallery, museum and theatre in one place. Both local and international performances are shown here, so make sure to check their events and programs before visiting.

If there are no performances on the day you visit, you can visit the Ciputra Museum where modern paintings and contemporary art is exhibited. Entrance costs Rp. 50,000 for museum only, or Rp. 100,000 for museum and artshow.

Ciputra World 1, Retail Podium Level 10, Jalan Professor Doktor Satrio Kav. 3-5,
Setiabudi, Ciputra World Jakarta 1, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia

Open Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 6pm

4.30pm: Catch your flight back home!

Head back to your hotel, pack your things up and take a cab to the airport to catch your night flight back to Singapore.

Places to stay in Jakarta, Indonesia

All hotels are located around the Kemang region of South Jakarta and their staff speaks English. Prices listed are based on average daily rates for a Standard Room.

HotelType of accomRating on TripadvisorPrice per nightMore Photos & Availability
Sunrise HouseBudget4S$20

POP Hotel Kemang JakartaBudget4S$25

Favehotel KemangBudget3,5S$35

Neo Hotel Melawai Mid4S$50

Manhattan HotelMid3,5S$80

Fraser Residence Sudirman JakartaHigh4,5S$120

Kemang Icon By AlilaHigh4S$140

The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific PlaceHigh5S$260


Sunrise House pool

Sunrise House pool

Sunrise House is great value for money with fast internet with AC. It is somewhere between central and south Jakarta though. You can even dip into the pool when it gets super hot.

Price range: SGD$23-50


Favehotel Kemang

Favehotel Kemang

Favehotel Kemang offers stylishly-designed, air-conditioned rooms with rooftop recreational and entertainment area, swimming pool and stunning Jakarta skyline views. The 24-hour front desk offers luggage storage, car rental and laundry services.

Price range: SGD$40-59.


Kemang Icon By Alila suite

Kemang Icon By Alila suite

Kemang Icon By Alila fuses artistry with hi-tech functionality create a hip retreat experience. Each suite comes with flat-screen cable TV and living room. Guests can unwind over drinks or indulge in the beautifully-designed swimming pool in the rooftop bar. Ticketing, car rental, luggage storage and massage services can be arranged at the 24-hour front desk.

Price range: SGD$152-227

Getting to Jakarta, Indonesia

Singapore AirlinesGaruda Indonesia and Jetstar have several daily flights from SGD$120-190 return all departing between 6-9pm on Friday and returning on Sunday 6-8pm as well. The flight lasts slightly less than one hour.

Getting around Jakarta, Indonesia

Due to traffic jams it is not uncommon for the commuting to take 30-60 minutes within the city centre area, even for attractions within close distance. This is especially true during the weekday rush hours between 8-10am and 5-7.30pm. Despite this, taxis are the easiest way to get around. They can be easily found in front of shopping centres and major hotels. Only board reputable operators such as Blue Bird (who also runs Pusaka and the premium Silver Bird) or Pusaka, and always make sure they put the meter on.

Blue Bird (+62 21 7917 1234) charges Rp. 7,500 flagfall with Rp. 400 increase for every 100 meters or minute stuck in traffic. Express (+62 21 2650 9000). charges Rp. 7,500 flagfall with Rp. 250 increase for every 100 meters or minute stuck in traffic. It is common for taxi drivers to round up the fares to the nearest Rp. 1,000 or Rp. 5,000, so make sure you carry small changes if you’d like to pay only for the exact amount.

Uber and Grab are both available in Jakarta. Another alternative is an Indonesian variant called GO-JEK. All three provide standard carpooling services.

Transjakarta Busway can also get you to most places (view routes). Busway has its own lane separate from passenger cars, so it’s relatively less jammed, but occasional passenger cars cutting through the busway lane would still slow the journey down. Busway runs 5am-10pm and costs Rp. 2,000 before 7am and Rp. 3,500 after 7am.

You can also rent cars from Rentalmobil or Please note, however, that traffic in Jakarta is chaotic and can get frustrating for a non-experienced driver. If you choose to self-drive, please note that traffic regulation requires a minimum of three occupants in city centre area between 7-10am and 4.30-7pm, so you may want to visit Jakarta in a bigger group.

Other important notes

Time difference

Jakarta is 1 hour behind Singapore.

Things to pack

Breathable clothes: The weather in Jakarta is hot all year round
Smart casual evening wear: Dress nicely for the nightlife


Be careful of pickpockets and snatch thieves in crowded places, public transportation and roadsides. Keep your valuables on the front and away from the street side and exercise the usual common sense.


Police: 110
Ambulance: 118 or 199
Fire brigade: 113 or 1131
Search and rescue: 115

share your experience by using #singaporenbeyond on social media!

Photos by Danumurthi Mahendra & Haryo Bintoro

Feature photo by Robin Widjaja

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