Itinerary For An Action-packed 48 Hours In Jakarta

Although Jakarta offers some of the unique touristic places, the fact is most of the travellers do not plan a trip to only Jakarta. However, you might find yourself touched down, to scoot through to one of the thousand islands. Yes, you heard it right – thousands of islands!

Anyways, so, if you have just 48 wonderful hours to spend in this busy city, here is what you can do to – during the day and through the night.

Day 1 11 AM: Kota Tua and the History Museum
Colourful bicycles in Kota Tua, Old Town Jakarta
Colourful bicycles in Kota Tua, Old Town Jakarta. PC: Lavina Bhambhani

You can start your day and get the real flavour of this country by visiting Kota Tua, which is the old town of Jakarta. Home to several historic Dutch-inspired buildings, Kota Tua or Old Town is a reminder of the centuries of Indonesian history that was dominated by the Dutch people.

Wandering through streets and the main square of Batavia gives a taste of the European settlement. You will meet magicians, ghosts, puppets on the streets of Batavia that will tell you different stories about the cultures and traditions of Jakarta.

Jakarta is a potpourri of Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam, and this can be clearly seen from the museums of Jakarta. The Jakarta History Museum displays the history from primitive days to the founding of the town of Jakarta. The majestic collection includes a replica of inscription that dates back to the 5th century, which reflects the influence of different cultural elements present in the city of Batavia.

Artefact in Jakarta's museum
PC: Lavina Bhambhani
Day 1 2 PM: Museum Nasional

Best of its kind and a must-visit, the Nasional Museum is well-known of its enormous collection held in an old 1862 building. The National Museum was originally known as the Elephant Building and showcases some priceless treasures.

One can find the ceramics from ancient Chinese dynasties and artefacts that depict the diverse cultures and lifestyles of different regions found in Indonesia. The ancient Buddhist and Hindu sculptures look quite fascinating in the much-adorned courtyard.

The huge carving of Shiva in the form of Bhairava is believed to be carved out by Adityavarma, one of the greatest kings known during that time.

Artefact in Jakarta's museum
PC: Lavina Bhambhani
Artefact in Jakarta's museum
PC: Lavina Bhambhani
Day 1 6 PM: Where to Eat in Jakarta?

Apart from the museums and islands, Jakarta is famous for its street food stalls and restaurants that offer different styles of Indonesian food to the travellers coming from across the globe.

To experience the authentic Indonesian cuisine, you can visit the historic Café Batavia, the Ancol Jimbaran Resto or the Social House for fine dining.

While in Jakarta, one must try some of the local delicacies such as Nasi Padang – a full meal comprising of different curries prepared with coconut milk, chilies and lots of herbs and spices; Woku – a dish from Northern part of Indonesia that’s known for its full flavor and aromatic herbs; Gado Gado – a vegetarian salad covered with eggs and rice cakes coated in creamy peanut sauce.

One cannot make an Indonesian food list without including this delicacy known as Sambhal, which can be eaten with just anything in Indonesia. It is a chilli based garnish or sauce that is prepared in thousands of ways.

Food at a restaurant in Jakarta
Food in Jakarta. PC: Lavina Bhambhani
Jimbaran restaurant in Jakarta viewed from outside
Jimbaran restaurant. PC: Lavina Bhambhani
Food spread in jakarta, Indonesia
PC: Lavina Bhambhani
Day 2: 11 AM The Beautiful Island of Macan

Pulau Macan is a small island, situated within the largest archipelago of the world. The island is beautifully designed with private beach facing rooms and huts. The best feature of this tiny island is the beautiful, beach facing cabanas that are well-designed with wooden decks leading into the water. There are sunset huts, Zen huts and other types of rooms available with open air and great view.

Read about Pulau Macan in more detail here. 

Girl gazing out to sea from Pulau Macan (Tiger Island)
Cabanas on Pulau Macan Island
Cabanas on Pulau Macan Island. PC: Lavina Bhambhani
Day 2: Party till dawn in Jakarta

Nightlife in Jakarta is busy throughout the year but the nightclubs located in the southern part of Jakarta get packed after midnight. Although Indonesia is a Muslim dominated country, the sale of alcohol is quite uninhibited and the party scene quite colourful.

The nightlife is quite cosmopolitan in nature and is majorly defined by the clubs, pubs and bars. While few bars such as the Dragonfly club is meant for partying, there are pubs that are preferred by the corporate crowd and some are famous among backpackers. Some of the best nightclubs include Dragonfly Club, Colosseum, Blowfish, Jenja and Skye.

If you want to explore the city at night, another option available is the night markets at Jakarta. It is a perfect option for those who are looking to experience the local culture at night without indulging themselves in alcohol and parties.

The city of Jakarta might be quite an unexplored destination but you must head there to discover it’s hidden intricacies.



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