Admittedly the traffic and pollution of the city cannot be denied, but the ultimate attraction of Jakarta is that it is still a very safe and an affordable metropolis. Now by listing more than 105 things to do while you are in this unique city can easily fill 52 weekends to complete a year of things to keep you busy with while secretly falling in love with the gentleness found underneath the smog and macet!

Once arriving in the city from the airport the fun can already begin – the first thing to do is to avoid all the drivers that offer you a ride! The only reliable taxi operator and service provider in Jakarta is Blue Bird and McDonald’s and the airport is the best place for you to experience both! If you planning to arrive in style make use of the Silver Bird service or hire your own personal car and driver with Gamya driver service at their booth inside the arrivals terminal. If you already reside within Jakarta – hopefully you have your own transport sorted and all that is left to say is Selamat Datang and have a great time!

Something NEW to try – brought by What’s New Jakarta’s Team!

1. Ciputra Artpreneur has a World-class stage theatre – finally, we can look forward to stage productions of operas, theatre or artists performing. Keep a look out in the press for advertisements about upcoming shows in the new venue. The art gallery promoting Artrepeneur investment of Ciputra is also worth a visit!

2. Try a NEW Restaurant – What’s New Jakarta is the top online media to find out more about any NEW RESTAURANT opening in the city. Just follow our posts and try a new one at least once a month!

3. Stay in a NEW hotel! It is not just in Bali where hotels are popping up like mushrooms, every major hotel group has a hotel or is opening one in the capital and each one offer immaculate service levels and comfort making your stay both memorable and relaxing. Even old hotels always offer something new, such as Hotel Indonesia Kempinski that recently launched their presidential suite! Again just check out What’s New Jakarta to see the latest developments in the hospitality industry within the capital.

4. View a NEW art exhibition. Yes Arts and Culture is alive and thriving in the current economic climate here in Indonesia. A valuable source of information about the latest contemporary art exhibitions in Jakarta can be found from ISA Art Advisory, follow them on social media and always be in the know on what’s happening in the art world.

The OBVIOUS evergreen activities of ‘The Big Durian’

5. Visit MONAS – just do it again and again. Soekarno did trade in his car to build it and create a heritage for Indonesians to be proud of and besides seeing what the city looks like from way up in the tower, the basement also provides a valuable history lesson about the diverse democracy of the Republic of Indonesia.

6. TAMAN MINI is still the all in one stop to go to enjoy the cultural richness and ethnic heritage of Indonesia. An activity for the entire family from young to old is on offer as you take a guided tour of the archipelago in the captivating ring of fire consisting of over 17 000 island and 300 different ethnic groups!

List of theme parks in Jakarta

7. ANCOL – our very own version of ‘Disney World’ called Dufan. If you not into adrenalin fueled rides, for sure the food will be worth it, and this is also the only place in Jakarta where you can attempt to have a beach day! Take the kids, or even a new boyfriend or girlfriend and just enjoy being carefree, childish and playful.

8. HAVE A MALL DAY… Yes Jakarta is the city of a million malls, or MORE! Although each mall has its regular franchised stores, you will be surprised that each one actually does have something unique to them, actually a list of 1000 things to find in a mall would be very easy to make! Top malls to visit is of course Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia, Pacific Place, Taman Anggrek, Central Park, Pondok Indah Mall, Mall of Indonesia and Pasaraya Mall or any Lippo Mall. Pasarya is great for oleh-oleh shopping and Lippo for convenient shopping. If you not up for the trip to a new mall just visit the mall down your street or around the corner, there is always one no matter what area you live in.

9. Take a day trip to the 1000 island – yes technically you leaving Jakarta – but you can only do this trip from Jakarta so make a day of it. The Pluit Landscape project will soon provide a floating land experiance that could extend the right to these fabled islands of the coast of Jakarta.

List of Jakarta’s weekend getaway ideas

List of Tourist attractions in Indonesia

OUTDOOR activities! Yes you can GO OUTSIDE and have a nice day too.

10. CAR FREE DAY – such a pity you cannot rent a bicycle anywhere if you don’t have your own or staying at a hotel that provides the service, but never the less Car Free Day is always filled with fun and entertainment. Live music, organic markets, street artists, skateboarders, families, friends and eventually even YOU can participate every Sunday in the GO GREEN initiative.

11. JET SKI in Pantai Indah Kapuk – yes this predominately Chinese neighborhood in North Jakarta has a little safe harbor, as many house owners actually have their own boats as well. Very close to the iconic Regatta Apartment you will find the Jet Ski Cafe where you can rent and ride while having someone waiting their turn take some fun selfies of you!

12. Invest in a bicycle or rent one – you might be scared at first but you can ride a bicycle in around Jakarta. Especially Menteng with its very colonial building style homes can easily make you think you are somewhere in Amsterdam as you cycle and de-stress on Saturday or Sunday mornings around the parks in the area.

13. GO FOR A WALK. Avoid stepping into random gaps in the sidewalk. Falling suddenly into a sewer is one way to immerse you in Jakarta, but it’s not the recommended one. This activity will improve your observation skills as you need to look up, down and around you at all times, the lucky thing is that to cross a street you can simply put up your hand and stop on coming traffic -Jakarta drivers are actually very cautious and considerate.

14. Have a PICNIC – Yes you can pack a little basket and discover the few green areas or parks in the city or just enjoy your own backyard if you have one! Making homemade delights and taking a blanket to sit outside and enjoy it can be pleasant! Justdare to explore and you WILL find the perfect spot!

List of city parks in Jakarta

15. Relax in Surapati Park…  Lying in the upscale Menteng residential area, this neat and lovely park is shaded by a number of giant trees. It inherited its name from Suropati, a Balinese slave who rebelled and escaped from his Dutch master in 1684. A series of statues representing each of the original six members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) sits against the backdrop of greenery. These statues symbolize friendship, peace, harmony and fraternity. Street artists also sell their work along the side of the park.

16. VISIT THE ZOO…Ragunan Zoo is located in Pasar Minggu South Jakarta. It is home to over 270 species of animals, 171 species of flora, and employs over 450 people. There are a total of 3,122 animal specimens including birds in a lush tropical setting, including such indigenous animals as the komodo dragon, orangutan, tapir, anoa, sumatran tiger, banteng wild ox and various brightly colored birds can be viewed.

17. PLAY A ROUND OF GOLF – Senayan or Pondok Indah has green manicured golf courses for you to enjoy – make use of them and discover a whole new world and green side to the city. Golf clubs and carts are for rent and this gentleman’s game is very relaxing.


18. Karaoke at Idul Vista or Happy Puppy is where you can just sing yourself into a good mood or destroy a song by singing out of tune – this is still the single most popular activity in Asia. I am sure your Asian friends even have home Karaoke sets you can practice on before going mainstream.

19. FANTASY GAMES – In Kemang, around the corner from KOI restaurant, there is the new indoor fantasy games you can play. Simply book, choose your theme and Bob’s your uncle!

20. Bowling – there are many upscale bowling allays in the malls of Jakarta. Go to Pasar Festival where you can play tenpin bowling to your hearts desire and make new friends in the process.

21. BASKET BALL – Here is an idea, why not form your own Basket Ball Team and book playtime in many of the Air-conditioned Basketball courts available in the city. By booking the venue you will be surprised to find that many other teams exists and friendly tournaments are arranged every month.

22. BADMINTON – this sport will make it easy for you to find a partner to play with if you are on your own. This must be the most widely played sport in Jakarta!

23. PLAN A MURDER DINNER – Feel like you could kill somebody? Live out this urge by getting creative and invite friends over for a murder dinner – home entertainment makes Jakarta living personable and inviting friends over should be an important social activity.

24. Have a Cuppa – Jakarta has many international and local coffee shops and tea houses cause nothing beats a cuppa with your bestie.

25. Indoor Aquarium – Known for the range of underwater animals and renowned for its many varied zones which transport guests into different regions and continents. It has an area of 7,200 m2 with 3598 animals and 354 species.


26. Take your own green shopping bag to a mini mart and shock the cashier.

27. Go to BLOK M Plaza with your old jeans and have them redesigned and tailored creating a new look for a song!

28. Try the local markets – yes the supermarket is more expensive – go early get a morning price and half your grocery bill.

29. Visit any area named after a day of the week or the word PASAR, like Senin there you will find second-hand books for sale, Pasar Minggu has a variety of merchandise for sale. Pasar basically means “MARKET” so bargain and buy local.

30. FIND A SALE or EXHIBITION – it’s the in thing to do for sure. Bargain hunting in the Big Durian can take the entire weekend to make the perfect kill. Simply look out for the BIG RED signs and take your wallet with you filled with cash or credit cards!

31. ORDER A TAKE OUT ON LINE – Don’t want to cook or leave home – order junk food or even check what healthy food options are available online and eat in. You can even do a bit of shopping for fashion and any convenience you might want all with a click of your mouse.

32. BUY CHEAP ELECTRONICS – put your bargaining skills to the test and head to Ratu Plaza (most comfortable, although the priciest among similar shopping centers), ITC Fatmawati, ITC Kuningan, Ambassador, ITC Mangga DUa.

Be Happy and Fabulous!

33. Party the night away in Jakarta, and even SE Asia’s biggest clubs! – check out our list here

34. Enjoy the drag show and Go-Go dancers at Apollo nightclub in the Belagio over the weekend.

35. Check out the Gay Saunas (guys only) at 9M or Atlantis.

36. WATCH ‘Selamat Pagi Malam’ or ‘Lovely Man’ – there is a whole alternative lifestyle openly sharing the city without corrupting it – ‘corruption’ in any case is a politic activity, not a moral one, in Indonesia.


37. Get around on a Gojek, Uber Motor, or Grab Bike! The fastest and cheapest way to get around. Guaranteed!

38. Take a Bajaj – only God and the Bajaj driver knows when your luck will turn anyway!

39. TRANS JAKARTA – try the Busway, as soon as it gets too crowded just get off and take a taxi again – but it’s certainly worth seeing the city from the bus lane perspective.

40. No need for a rollercoaster ride just take a Metro Mini, ONCE, and see street musicians get on and off and sing for pennies while you hold on for dear life around sharp corners – even if you are seated.

41. Sit on the front seat of a Ancol – it’s the same price but so much more comfortable than getting into the back.

42. If you do get stuck in traffic while being a passenger in a taxi or your own car with a driver use this time to practice your Bahasa rather than making the batteries flat on all of your gadgets. If you fluent or a native speaker simply asks your driver about his life – the stories will amaze you!

43. Take a walking tour of Jakarta – you will get to see the itty and gritty of the city, not just the beautiful sides!

KEMANG – the village filled with Expats

44. QUIZ night at Murphy’s Irish Pub


46. Nightlife Night Club’s and LIVE MUSIC you find it ALL here!

47. Salsa Dancing at Amigos or Spanky’s

48. Relax Living Spa

49. Aksara Book Store

50. MUST DINE AT WARUNG TURKI and enjoy their shisha while watching belly dancer performing.

51.  Dia – Lo –Gue coffee shop

52.  BIKRAM Yoga at Lippo Mall Kemang

53. Celebrity Fitness

54.  Amino Massage Therapy – keep your clothes on and have 30min to spare to feel 10 years younger? Give it a try – enough said.

55. KOI KEMANG restaurant

56. Anatolia middle east restaurant complete with the belly dancing

57. BIASA cloth shop

58. Payon Indonesian restaurant

59. Eastern Promise – GO AT LEAST ONCE you might LOVE IT or HATE IT depending on the crowd.

60. Kemang Village Mall for movies, Colonial, The Harvest and SHOPPING!!!

61. Alcohol from RED & WHITE, VIN+ and other great outlets.

62. Jalan Ampera – Rolling Stone Cafe, Nefeeza, Istanbul, Jason’s Supermarket and Sederhana (YUMMY) just to name a few…

The BEST KEPT SECRET of Jakarta – Pejaten

63. If you are a Fitness First Member run on the treadmill at the gym in Pejaten Village Mall or alternatively

64. Dine at Kopi Legit and see the GREENNNNN view.

65. In Jalan Warung Buncit hidden behind Ace Harware at the Promenade is a Hello Nico – an authentic GREEK and Javanese Restaurant worth a daytime visit.

66. Check the real estate market adverts and go to any open house in this area – you bound to eventually find the right home for you here!

67. Play Billiard and eat the most delicious food in the little warungs all along Jalan Warung Buncit – if you live in the South you bound to go to Immigrasi anyway so check out the neighborhood.


68. Keep smiling, no matter how annoyed you feel. Never lose your cool.

69.  Stand your ground when exiting a lift and people try to push their way in and notice if there is a 4th floor…

70. Get ripped off by street vendors, but don’t haggle too low unless you are completely insensitive to human misfortune.

71. Learn the hard way that eating street food does not make you a native. It can make you a walking disaster.

72. Cure mystery ailments by getting a filthy coin scratched on your back.

73. Get an invigorating massage. Options include a clean totok wajah (face, back and shoulder massage), suction cups and the felicitous finale.

74. Reduce your life expectancy to 60 by chain-smoking kretek, and eating Indomie and gorengan (food deep-fried in palm oil).

75. Bribe a civil servant to obtain a free form.

76. Write the word ‘None’ or ‘Communist’ in any form that asks for your religion. Always gets a laugh.

77. Learn to dance to dangdut music at the bars on Jalan Blora. Then strut your stuff at wedding parties

78. Spend five minutes speaking English to the youngsters outside Cafe Batavia in Kota Tua. And don’t say no to having your photo taken.

79. Invest in earplugs or double glazing if you live near one or more noisy houses of worship.

80. Get some serenity at a cemetery or by listening to classical musicians jamming at Taman Suropati in Menteng on Sundays.

81. Watch an Indonesian film at the cinema. You don’t need to know the language to follow the plot. Observe audience reactions.

82. Get yourself on local TV, preferably without breaking the law. Wearing bright clothing and shouting “bule” should work.

83. Rid your house of cockroaches and ants with an insecticide called Kemut, sold at Ace Hardware. Beats not-so-magic chalk and smelly sprays.

84. Separate your rubbish into glass, paper, metal and biodegradable – if possible – to make life easier for local rubbish collectors and scavengers.

85. Of the 100-plus international schools in Jakarta, try to find one of the few that have genuine international accreditation.

86. Study the arcane cryptology of Indonesian Internet Service Providers. Discover that “up to 14.7Mbps” actually means “3.2Kbps, if you’re lucky”.

87. Thank scavengers or rubbish collectors for their hard work and ask how their day was.

88. Adopt a rescued cat or dog from Jakarta Animal Aid and make it a member of your family for life. Befriend geckos or rats if lacking space for bigger animals.

89. Support a reputable local charity. Such as twin sisters, Rian and Rossy, who run a free school and medical clinic for impoverished kids. Contact them on 08128101860.


90. ROOFTOP BARS!!! Find them and patronize them Cloud, Skye, Artotel etc.

91. Turkuaz for the best Baklava and Turkish Food in town

92. Pullman Hotel Central Park – if you are not staying there then come for visit to see their art collections surround the hotel.

93. Amuz, Artoz or any delight by Cheff Gilles Marx

94. The Gran Mahakan Hotel – see their roof top pool.

95. The Spa at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski

96. The Darmawangsa Hotel – for their famous chocolate martini!

97. Borobudur Hotel is simply amazing

98. Shangrila Hotel is where it’s happening for sure!

99.Try the saturday and Sunday brunch at Keraton at The Plaza

Four things we simply cannot leave out:

100.The annual Jazz Festival

101. The annual Highlander Festival

102. A day around Sudirman – The Manhattan of Jakarta

103. And a trip to PUNCAK

104. Jakarta Fashion Week – See what Tex Saverio and many more talents are up to!

Oops the list is full enough to fill a year of activity and there are so many more things to do try these for a BONUS:

105. Watch a local football game at Senayan Stadium (pronounced ‘Gelora Bung Karno’).

106. Play chess under the bridge at Kampung Melayu.

107. Eat bat at a Manadonese restaurant or try all the many ways they prepare PORK.

108. Go to Jalan Surabaya and buy an old record, even though you have nothing to play it on.

109. Drink shots of cobra blood, infused with alcohol, on Jalan Mangga Besar Raya. Recommended only for men suffering erectile dysfunction and for women with bad skin.

110. Attend a human wayang show staged by the Wayang Orang Bharata theatre group at Senen on Saturday nights.

115. Pay a black magic dukun (shaman) to cast a spell on business or romantic rivals.

116. Make yourself sick by eating an entire box of martabak laden with margarine, cheese and chocolate.

117. Visit Pasar Tanah Abang and buy fabric to make your own clothes.

118. Try OASIS restaurant for the Rjeis Tafel served up by 12 ladies dressed in Kabayas.

119. Travel to Ciputat and find the many antique treasures on sale!

120. Visit Kota Tua and Cafe Batavia for an authentic OLD TOWN experience…

Simply be one of the positive people that stands by the fact that Jakarta is indeed a mayor Asian city with lots to offer and many things to do!!!

This article @Copyrights What’s New Indonesia