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[FUN] A party weekend in Jakarta with friends

  • Jakarta_Skyline_Part_2

Getaway Category: Culture & HeritageGetaway Tags: Asia, indonesia, and Jakarta

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  • 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 6, 2016 and updated in February 2018.

    Jakarta is a city of many faces with towering skyscrapers and well-preserved historic monuments inhabiting the city centre side by side. Beyond the heavy traffic, the Indonesian capital hides a bustling art scene, glittering nightlife, mouth-watering cuisines and countless shopping paradise. This 2 day itinerary will help you uncover the many sides of this metropolis with a whole bunch of fun things to do in Jakarta, Indonesia. 




    Day 0 in Jakarta, Indonesia 

    If you fly from Singapore at Friday night, you’ll likely arrive at Jakarta around 9-11pm. From the airport, take a cab to your centrally-located accommodation (approximately 1 hour but traffic in Jakarta can be horrendous!) and then have an awesome night out.

    10.30pm: Beer Garden

    Beer Garden in Menteng Jakarta

    Beer Garden in Menteng Jakarta. Source

    Start your party weekend in Jakarta at Beer Garden. It’s an excellent place to enjoy affordable beers in a vibrant, friendly atmosphere. It’s one of the more relaxed things to do at night in Jakarta before your party tomorrow night.

    Want to sample local beers? The most ubiquitous brands are Bir Bintang (light with a sweet aftertaste) and Bir Anker (dry with a wheaty finish, similar to Czech pilsener). Depending on what brands you order, a bottle of beer usually costs around Rp. 30,000 to Rp. 72,000 here.

    Beer Garden has a few branches, but the closest one to the city center is Beer Garden Menteng (opens 5pm-2am). It’s a good way to get a taste of the Jakarta nightlife.

     Jl. KH Wahid Hasyim, No. 108, Menteng, Jakarta
    Open daily from 5pm to 2am

    The most popular branch is Beer Garden Kemang (opens 6pm-2am), which is around 40-60 minutes further away from the city center by cab, but if you’re a social animal and have extra time to spare, you’ll have an unforgettable time at the Kemang branch.

     Jl. Benda Raya No. 7, Kemang, Jakarta
    Open Mon-Thu & Sun from 6pm to 2am, Fri-Sat 6pm to 3am

    Day 1 in Jakarta, Indonesia

    Take a cab or board busway line 1 to Kota station. If you stay in centrally-located accommodation, your starting station is likely to be Bundaran Hotel Indonesia, Sarinah, Bank Indonesia or Monas (check with your hotel staff if unsure).

    8am: Breakfast at Historia Food & Bar

    Historia Food Bar - Sayur Babanci

    Historia Food Bar – Sayur Babanci. Source

    Start your day with a bite from this vintage eatery with retro décor. Try their classic fried rice (nasi goreng Historia for Rp. 45,000) or traditional Javanese rice with thick black beef soup (nasi rawon for Rp. 48,000) or steamed mixed vegetables with boiled egg, fried bean cake and tofu in peanut sauce (gado-gado at Rp. 35,000).

    Jalan Pintu Besar Utara, Jakarta 11110
    Open Mon-Fri 10am-10pm, Sat-Sun 8am-10pm

    9.30am: Explore Kota Tua (Old Town)

    Right outside of Historia Food & Bar is an area known as Kota Tua (old town), surrounded by historical buildings from the Dutch colonization period (circa 17th-19th century), when Jakarta was still known as Batavia.

    All attractions are within walking distance. While you’ll have sufficient time to view the exterior facade of all historical buildings mentioned below, choose only one museum to enter and explore in depth.

    Jakarta History Museum

    Jakarta Indonesia Jakarta History Museum

    Jakarta Indonesia Jakarta History Museum. Source

    Located at Fatahillah Square, Jakarta History Museum (Museum Sejarah Jakarta) was built in 1710 as Batavia’s city hall. Nowadays, it houses over 23,500 objects and documents from the Dutch East Indies company, prehistoric archaeological remains and Betawi furnitures (Betawi means “people of Batavia”). Entrance costs Rp. 2,000 per person.

    Open daily from 9am-3pm, except Mondays.

    Wayang Museum

    Museum Wayang

    Museum Wayang. Source

    Previously built as a Dutch church in neo-renaissance style, Wayang Museum now exhibits a large variety Javanese theatrical puppets known as wayang, designated by UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. The most famous ones are wayang kulit (shadow puppet) and wayang golek (wooden doll puppets). Entrance is Rp. 5,000 per person.

    Open Tues-Fri 9am-3pm, Sat-Sun 9am-3pm

    Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics

    The Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics (Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik) was formerly built as the Court of Justice, but it has since transformed into a display of over 500 traditional Indonesian handicrafts such as statues, totem woods, graphics, sketches and batik paintings. Important paintings from seven different periods in Indonesian fine arts history are showcased: Raden Saleh era (1880-1890), Hindia Jelita era (1920s), Persagi era (1930s), Japanese occupation era (1942-1945), Sanggar era (1945-1950), Realism era (1950s) and Contemporary Art era (1960-now).

    The museum’s collection also includes local and foreign ceramics, most notably the 14th century Majapahit ceramic (the Majapahit empire was a pre-Indonesia precedent with territorial conquest stretching across 7 Southeast Asian countries). Entrance costs Rp. 2,000 per person.

    Open daily from 8am-3pm, except Mondays.

    Museum Bank Indonesia

    Museum Bank Indonesia used to be the central bank of Dutch East Indies under the name De Javasche Bank. Today, it documents the evolution of currencies and monetary system in Indonesia. It also digs into the history of spice trading and its colonial conquest in Indonesia. Entrance costs Rp. 5,000 per person.

    Open Tues-Fri 8am-330pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm

    Toko Merah

    Toko Merah Kota Tua

    Toko Merah Kota Tua. Source

    Toko Merah (literally means “Red Shop”) is the oldest and most representative building of 1730s Old Batavia style, mixing classic European Baroque with Chinese influence. It was built as a former residence house of Dutch East Indies’ Governor-General. The building is now used for meetings, conventions and exhibitions. Entrance costs Rp. 10,000 per person.

    1pm: Lunch at Warung Leko

    At around 12 noon, take a cab or board busway line 1 to Bundaran Hotel Indonesia station. Expect the journey to take around 40-60 minutes depending on traffic.

    Iga Penyet

    Iga Penyet. Source

    Head to Grand Indonesia East Mall 5th floor to find Warung Leko, which serves iga sapi penyet (smashed fried beef ribs, around Rp. 27,500). A famous East Javanese cuisine, iga sapi penyet is deliciously crispy and spicy!

    22, Jl. Casablanca No.88, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
    Open daily from 1030am-930pm

    2.30pm: Shopping at Grand Indonesia

    After lunch, it’s time to shop ’til you drop! With a retail area covering 2.7 square feet, Grand Indonesia is one of Southeast Asia’s largest shopping malls. The place is so huge it’s technically two malls in one: East Mall and West Mall.

    Here, you can find not only internationally renowned brands such as ZARA, Dorothy Perkins, Swarovski, and Tissot; but also local products such as Alleira Batik and (X) S.M.L. You can also visit AlunAlun Indonesia department store to shop for local products such as high-quality batik, jewellery, artisanal bags, Balizen-brand homewares, carvings, paintings, etc.

    Dancing Fountain Show

    Don’t forget to watch the free Dancing Fountain Show with music and lights in front of a Rockefeller Center fountain replica at West Mall level 3A. The fountain show is performed every two hours between 12noon and 9pm on weekends, or every three hours between 12noon and 8pm on weekdays.

    5pm: Back to hotel

    Head back to your centrally located hotel. Drop the shopping bags, get a quick rest and change your clothes to something chic ’cause you’re gonna have an awesome night tonight!

    6pm: Sunset drinks and dine at SKYE Bar & Restaurant

    Take a cab, walk or board busway line 1 to Bundaran Hotel Indonesia station; then head to level 56 of Menara BCA (BCA Tower).

    SKYE rooftop bar

    SKYE rooftop bar. Source

    SKYE is a spacious rooftop restaurant offering a mixture of Hispanic, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine. But the main attraction here is the breathtaking panoramic view of the city’s skyline, especially as the sun sets and the city gradually lights up. There’s a strict dress code (smart casual for men, smart casual evening wear for ladies) which you’ll have to follow. To be safe, you may want to make a reservation with the restaurant first.

    Food costs Rp. 60,000 upwards and drink costs Rp. 40,000 upwards. Additional 10% tax applies.

    BCA Tower Lt. 56, Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 1, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia
    Open Sun-Thu from 1130am-1am, Fri-Sat from 1130am-2am

    9.30pm: Dessert at Grand Indonesia Mall

    While most of the dessert places around Jakarta close pretty early (around 4pm), you can satisfy your sweet tooth by heading to the Grand Indonesia Mall. It’s also in walking distance to SKYE, so you can take a slow stroll over.

    Try La Maison if its macarons you’re after, or try Union Deli for a delectable red velvet sunday or nougat creme. The eponymous BAKE cheese tart will get your mouth watering or head over to Pancious for cakes, waffles, crepes, or pancakes.

    Most stores are open from Mon-Sun from 10am-10pm

    11pm: Party all night at IMMIGRANT Lounge & Club

    Take a short walk to the nearby Plaza Indonesia level 6.

    IMMIGRANT Jakarta Interior

    IMMIGRANT Jakarta Interior. Source

    With music ranging from house to 80s and 90s party anthems, New York industrial interior with astounding view overlooking Jakarta night streets from above, IMMIGRANT attracts the expat and upmarket crowd, mostly around 25-40 years old. A blend of local and international club frequenters will show you how to party in Jakarta, so let your hair down and join the fun. 

    Entrance cost varies depending on the night, but expect to pay around Rp. 250,000.

    Open Mon-Tue from 11am-1am, Wed-Sat from 11am-4am and Sun 11am-12am  


    Day 2 in Jakarta, Indonesia

    10.30am: Brunch at Sate Khas Senayan

    After the unforgettable night of partying, reward yourself with a later start! Wake up around 9-10am, and once you’re ready, head to Kebon Sirih street no. 31A via cab or busway line 1 to Monas station.

    Chicken Skin Satays

    Chicken Skin Satays. Source

    You don’t leave Jakarta without savouring delicious satays (skewered meat), so head to Sate Khas Senayan where the meat is tender and irresistible! The meal will costs around Rp. 60,000-100,000 per person.

    JL. Kebon Sirih No.31 A
    Open 8am-12am daily

    12pm: Explore Monas (National Monument)

    Monas Jakarta

    Monas Jakarta. Source

    Monas is an icon of Jakarta. Built in 1961 as a symbol of the nation’s independence, the design resembles traditional Indonesian mortar and pestle, with a height of 132 metre and topped with gold foil-covered Flame of Independence.

    To enter Monas, find an underground tunnel at Lapangan Merdeka (Field of Independence) where Monas is located and arrive at the ticket gate (Rp. 5,000). After the tunnel, you’ll reach the National History Museum. From the glorious empires of Srivijaya and Majapahit, the battle against colonization towards independence to events in the New Order era, the museum displays 51 dioramas summarizing key milestones in the nation’s history.

    Other key features of Monas are relief wall sculptures narrating human technological advancement and traditional Indonesian culture side by side. Through stairs at the North and South doors, you can also visit the Hall of Independence, where you can see the original text of the Proclamation of Independence.

    For Rp. 7,500 more you can ascend an elevator up to the observation deck where you can get a gorgeous bird’s eye view of the city. The queue can be up to 1 hour during weekend so check before buying the ticket.

    Lapangan Merdeka

    Take a leisurely walk around Lapangan Merdeka (Field of Independence) just outside Monas. At 75 hectares, it’s one of the world’s largest squares (five times the size of China’s famous Tiananmen Square). You can watch the locals doing recreational activities.

    2.30pm: Galeri Nasional Indonesia / National Gallery

    Few people are aware that Jakarta has a burgeoning arts scene. Galeri Nasional Indonesia is an excellent way to get yourself acquainted with both the city’s classical and contemporary arts scene—free of charge!

    Open daily from 9am-4pm, closed on Mondays and P.H.

    The gallery consists of four different buildings with spacious halls showcasing paintings, sculptures, crafts, graphics, photographic works, installation arts, new media arts, etc. Notable permanent collections include Raden Saleh’s romanticism paintings of Indonesian landscapes and Nyoman Lempad’s sketches of old Balinese culture. Additionally, temporary exhibitions are also shown throughout the year (view 2016 schedule).

    5pm: Catch your flight back home!

    Head to Soekarno–Hatta International Airport for your night flight back to Singapore.

    Still have a little more time? There’s an A&W Restaurant at Terminal 2! If you’re a Singaporean, you would be thrilled to rediscover the taste of curly fries and root beer float from your childhood here! (Fun fact: A&W was the first fast food chain to operate in Singapore back in 1966 but exited the market in 2003.) Expect to pay around Rp. 30,000-50,000 per person for the meal.

    Tip: If you want a more artsy, hipster feel, you’ll want to head to South Jakarta. Here’s our weekend guide to South Jakarta.




    Places to stay in Jakarta, Indonesia

    All hotels are located nearby city centre 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
    Orchardz Jayakarta Hotel Jakarta Budget3,5S$33

    Red Planet Jakarta Pasar BaruBudget4S$30

    favehotel Pasar BaruBudget4S$30

    Ibis Jakarta ArcadiaMid4S$50

    Grand Whiz Poins Square SimatupangMid4,5S$50

    Mandarin Oriental Jakarta High4,5S$220

    Raffles JakartaHigh5S$260

    Four Seasons JakartaHigh4,5S$310

    Affordable

    Orchardz Jayakarta Hotel Jakarta

    Orchardz Jayakarta Hotel Jakarta

    Orchardz Jayakarta Hotel Jakarta is great value for money with a good location, Wi-Fi in all rooms, a 24-hour front desk and even an indoor swimming pool.

    Price range: SGD$33-39

    Mid-range

    Ibis Jakarta Arcadia

    Ibis Jakarta Arcadia

    Ibis Jakarta Arcadia provides comfortable rooms, an international buffet restaurant and a bar. Tour desk, business centre, laundry service and luggage storage are also provided.

    Price range: SGD$52-65.

    High-end

    Mandarin Orietnal Jakarta

    Mandarin Orietnal Jakarta

    Mandarin Oriental Jakarta offers spacious rooms with oriental and Indonesian decor, equipped with 42-inch flat-screen TV, DVD player, surround sound system, iPod docks and 24-hour room service. Hotel guests can also indulge in outdoor pool, massage therapies and beauty treatments.

    Price range: SGD$259-431

    Getting to Jakarta, Indonesia

    Singapore Airlines, Garuda 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 Rentalcars.com. 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.

    From the airport, you can also take the train which is not only affordable but also convenient and fast.

    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 rooftop bars and night clubs

    Safety

    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.

    Helplines

    – Police: 110

    – Ambulance: 118 or 199

    – Fire brigade: 113 or 1131

    – Search and rescue: 115

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