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 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 traffic!
Once arriving in the city from the airport the fun can already begin – the first thing to do is to avoid all the random drivers that offer you a ride! The only reliable taxi operator and service provider in Jakarta is Blue Bird and vehicles that are cooperated with trusty online platforms like GoJek and Grab. If you plan to arrive in style make use of the Silver Bird service or hire your own personal car. 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! Here is our vast list of things to do for expats in Jakarta!
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 offers immaculate service levels and comfort making your stay both memorable and relaxing! Again just check out What’s New Jakarta to see the latest developments in the hospitality industry within the capital. The recently opened The Langham, Jakarta and Park Hyatt Jakarta can be your top choices.
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 at Museum Macan, ISA Art Advisory, ART:1, CAN’s Gallery, and many more.
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 INDONESIA INDAH 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 islands and 300 different ethnic groups! Although it is still under renovation, we just can’t wait for the reopening.
7. ANCOL – our very own version of ‘Disney World’ called Dufan is there. If you’re 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 leisurely beach day! Take the kids, or even a new boyfriend or girlfriend and just enjoy being carefree, childish and playful. If you still don’t know what to do in Ancol. Our article may help you.
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 Malls. Click here to find out.
9. Take a day trip to the 1000 islands – yes technically you’re 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 experience that could extend the right to these fabled islands of the coast of Jakarta.
10. Pantai Indah Kapuk, or PIK has become a major destination for food and short escape. The extensive choice of restaurants and cafes always makes people go back and forth even though the area is always packed and crowded. Aside from cafe-hopping, there are also many great places to gather with other people with scenic background like Pantjoran PIK, Urban Farm PIK, The Cove at Batavia PIK, and more. Find the hippest spots in PIK area here.
OUTDOOR activities! Yes you can GO OUTSIDE and have a nice day too.
11. CAR FREE DAY – Before the pandemic, Car Free Day was always filled with fun and entertainment. Live music, organic markets, street artists, skateboarders, families, friends and eventually even YOU could participate every Sunday in the GO GREEN initiative. After the pandemic, a sensible working out activity
12. 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!
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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! Just dare to explore and you WILL find the perfect spot!
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. Explore Museum. Exploring museums in a city is a great way to learn and appreciate a nation’s wealth of history and culture. Check our museum list here.
20. Jakarta Old Town, officially known as Kota Tua, is a neighborhood comprising the original downtown area of Jakarta, Indonesia.
21. Karaoke at Inul Vista, Nav, 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.
22. Bowling – there are many upscale bowling alleys in the malls of Jakarta.
23. 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.
24. 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!
25. Have a Cuppa – Jakarta has many international and local coffee shops and tea houses cause nothing beats a cuppa with your bestie.
26. 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.
SHOP TILL YOU DROP!
27. Take your own green shopping bag when going for groceries.
28. Go to BLOK M Plaza with your old jeans and have them redesigned and tailored creating a new look for a song!
29. Try the local markets – yes the supermarket is more expensive – go early get a morning price and half your grocery bill.
31. 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!
32. 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 and tap.
33. 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.
34. Get around on a Gojek or Grab Bike! The fastest and cheapest way to get around. Guaranteed!
35. Take a Bajaj – only God and the Bajaj driver knows when your luck will turn anyway!
36. TRANSJAKARTA – try the Busway, the extensive corridor plus the feeder bus routes will take you to every corner of Jakarta – it’s certainly worth seeing the city from the bus lane perspective.
37. MRT Jakarta, feel the rush of the MRT from Bundaran HI to Lebak Bulus in 20 minutes.
38. KRL – This is the best way to get around to the satellite cities like Serpong, Tangerang, Depok, Bogor, and Bekasi.
39. 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!
40. 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
41. Have a really good night with good drinks, good vibes, and good crowdsat Eastern Promise
42. Taste the good South American grills and steaks on parillas at El Asador Restaurant
43. Nightlife Night Club’s and LIVE MUSIC you find it ALL here!
44. Salsa Dancing at Amigos
45. Relax Living Spa for rejuvenation
46. Aksara Book Store
47. MUST DINE AT WARUNG TURKI and enjoy their shisha while watching belly dancer performing.
48. Dia – Lo –Gue coffee shop and enjoy the art exhibitions
49. Visiting Como Park for a lot of mindfulness training and green-living cafes plus you can bring your pets here.
50. Don’t forget to savor the messy yet delicious Lawless Burger
51. Gudang Gudang Yoga for the healthy lifestyle
52. KOI KEMANG for restaurant and gallery
53. MOREAU for chocolate lovers out there
54. Mamma Rosy for a good comfort homey Italian food
55. Pawon Solo for a good traditional Indonesian menu
56. Beer Brother Kemang – if you want to go drinking
57. Lippo Mall Kemang for movies and SHOPPING!!!
58. Alcohol from RED & WHITE, VIN+ and other great outlets.
The BEST KEPT SECRET of Jakarta – Pejaten
59. If you are a Fitness First Member run on the treadmill at the gym in Pejaten Village Mall or alternatively
60. Dine at Kopi Legit and see the GREENNNNN view.
61. Chilling at HaloNiko Mini with lush green, pool, and outdoor setting.
62. Check the real estate market adverts and go to any open house in this area – you are bound to eventually find the right home for you here!
63. Play Billiard and eat the most delicious food in the little warungs all along Jalan Warung Buncit – if you live in the South you are bound to go to Immigrasi anyway so check out the neighborhood.
BE HAPPY & FABULOUS
64. Keep smiling, no matter how annoyed you feel. Never lose your cool.
65. Watch the standup comedy show
66. Watch comedy or romantic comedy movies in the cinemas or on streaming services.
67. Get an invigorating massage. Options include a clean totok wajah (face, back and shoulder massage), suction cups and the felicitous finale.
68. Reduce your life expectancy to 60 by chain-smoking kretek, and eating Indomie and gorengan (food deep-fried in palm oil). It’s really good but of course you need to know your limit.
69. Savor the great extensive Nasi Padang dishes for delectable savory indulgence. We recommend Pagi Sore, Bopet Mini, Simpang Raya, Sederhana, and many more.
70. Go around Senayan – GBK area to find the best Sate Taichan food vendors on the side road.
71. Find great books or comics to quench your sense of humor
72. Watch the street performers sometimes seen when passing the street and don’t forget to give tips
73. Learn to dance to dangdut music sometimes found on the street where they’re blasting the music with a big audio speaker
74. Spend five minutes speaking English to the youngsters outside Cafe Batavia in Kota Tua. And don’t say no to having your photo taken.
75. Get some serenity by listening to classical musicians jamming at Taman Suropati in Menteng on Sundays.
76. Exercise around Gelora Bung Karno, break a sweat and release the endorphins hormone.
77. Try the climbing wall activity, you can try it at fX Sudirman and Plaza Semanggi
78. Have fun and get crazy at the family entertainments in many malls in Jakarta like Time Zone and Fun World
79. Play video games, whether from your mobile phone or home consoles like Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo. You can play it alone, or with friends (offline), and with more advanced technology you even can play together with them via online multiplayer anytime anywhere.
80. Play Boardgames, to sharpen your intuition and interaction with others.
81. Hunt for the instagrammable bridges in Jakarta like Phinisi bridge, NEO SOHO bridge, Taman Anggrek – HUBLife bridge, and TransJakarta bridges around SCBD and GBK area.
82. Fabric mines hunting in Melawai, Mayestik, and Pasar Baru.
83. Citayam Fashion Week. The newest fastly popular hub in Jakarta where mostly youngsters dress whatever they want to express themselves.
84. Separate your rubbish into glass, paper, metal and biodegradable – if possible – to make life easier for local rubbish collectors and scavengers. This will make you smile.
85. Find the right international schools in Jakarta, try to find one of the few that have genuine international accreditation.
86. Visit the new Sarinah. Yes, the new revamped Sarinah offers a new experience of shopping. The lifestyle entertainment offers majestic local products, restaurants, cafes, exhibitions, and open-air spaces to perch. Click here to read things to do in Sarinah.
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.
91. Enjoy the drag show and Go-Go dancers at Apollo nightclub in the Bellagio over the weekend.
92. Massage and Reflexology. You deserve to have a good full-body massage or reflexology after a tiring week. Check out our list here.
93. ROOFTOP BARS!!! Find them and patronize them Cloud, Skye, Chao Chao etc. Find the list here.
94. Turkuaz for the best baklava and Turkish Food in town
95. Pullman Jakarta Central Park – if you are not staying there then come for visit to see the art collections
96. AMUZ by Chef Gilles Marx
97. Alto Restaurant & Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta for the great indulgence of the finest Italian food with a sweeping view of Jalan Gatot Subroto
98. The Westin Jakarta – see their rooftop bar at Henshin.
99. Park Hyatt, Jakarta has also Kita Bar with a sweeping view of Monas
100. Sunset Urban Rooftop Party at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta
101. The Darmawangsa Hotel – for their famous chocolate martini and BBQ Honey Ribs.
102. Hotel Borobudur Jakarta is simply amazing for the Oxtail Soup
103. Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta is where it’s happening for sure!
104. Pamper yourself at the luxury spas in the 5-star hotels in Jakarta.
The things we simply cannot leave out:
105. The annual Java Jazz Festival
106. The annual Djakarta Warehouse Project and We The Fest.
107. A day around Sudirman – The Manhattan of Jakarta
108. And a trip to PUNCAK
109. or Anyer and Carita for a quick beach getaway
110. Jakarta Fashion Week – See what the maestros in Indonesia fashion 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:
111. Watch a local football game at Senayan Stadium (pronounced ‘Gelora Bung Karno’) or at Jakarta Indoor Stadium (JIS).
112. Eat bat at a Manadonese restaurant or try all the many ways they prepare PORK.
113. Go to Jalan Surabaya and buy antiques, and old records even though you have nothing to play it on.
114. 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.
115. Attend a human wayang show staged by the Wayang Orang Bharata theatre group at Senen on Saturday nights.
116. Make yourself indulged 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 or find cheap clothes.
118. Travel to Ciputat and find the many antique treasures on sale!
119. Visit Tebet Eco Park. It is a popular place for exercise, socialization, and recreation in the neighboring community.
120. Taman Ismail Marzuki, where you can find art, cultural, and science center located at Cikini in Jakarta, Indonesia. Taman Ismail Marzuki complex comprises a number of facilities including six performing arts theaters, cinemas, an exhibition hall, a gallery, and the new library and an archive building.
Simply be one of the positive people that stands by the fact that Jakarta is indeed a major Asian city with lots to offer and many things to do!!!
This article @Copyrights What’s New Indonesia