If you, your family, your partner and your friends love traveling, there’s a strong possibility that you wanted to offer them to spend a holiday in Jakarta as a gift. Yet, because you don’t know anything about Jakarta, Indonesia, you changed your mind.
Next time, DON’T. A holiday in Jakarta may as well be the best gift anyone would receive.
I am going to tell you everything you need to know about the Indonesian capital. So, pack your bags, get your partner, and head to the airport. You are about to enjoy the most unforgettable days of your lives.
Taking the Plane to Jakarta
There is no telling the exact price for your ticket, but here are some averages and even cheaper prices.
From North America to Jakarta
A lot of airline companies travel to Jakarta daily. Among them, you find American Airlines, United Airlines, and Air Canada. The trip is going to be on average 25 hours long. If you are traveling from Los Angeles, CA, or New York, NY, or Toronto, Canada, the average ticket price is $900.
However, flying with lesser known companies such as China Airlines and Philippine Airlines will cost around $600.
From Europe to Jakarta
If you are flying from Paris, France, or Berlin, Germany, or London, U.K., your flight will be around 18 hours long. Air France, Air Berlin, and British Airlines are three of the most known companies to travel to Jakarta, Indonesia regularly. The average ticket price is $1000.
Although, companies such as China Southern, China Eastern charge ONLY about $500-$600.
From Middle East Countries to Jakarta
Departure flights from Dubai, UAE, or Ankara, Turkey, or Riyadh, Saudi Arabia cost an average of $800. The length of the trip is approximately 15 hours, with airlines such as Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, and Emirates.
Cheaper flights can cost around $500, flying with companies such as China Eastern and China Southern.
Jakarta Soekarno–Hatta Airport
Considered the 18th busiest airports in the world in 2015, Jakarta’s airport is as old as 1985. It has 3 terminals. T1 and T3 are for domestic flights only; T3 takes on few international flights when T2 is overcrowded. Terminal 2 is for both domestic and international flights, with the ability to handle about 10 million passengers per annum.
It has three subterminal; T2D, T2E, T2F, each has 7 gates and 25 check-in counters. All international flights out of Jakarta use T2D, while international arriving flights use T2E.
Read more on the airport from the official website.
Getting to and from the Airport
There are taxis stands in front of each Terminal. It is preferable to look for Blue Bird or Silver Bird Taxi Company as they are the most reputable ones. All taxis are metered, and the flat cost for standard taxis is 7500Rp, with a 4000Rp for each kilometer.
There is an airport surcharge depending on your destination. Heading to city center from the airport will take about 45 minutes, maybe more if it is a rush hour.
The Damri Bus is available in front of every Terminal building, and departs from the station every 20 to 40 minutes. The cost is around 40,000Rp, heading to Gambir Train Station, as it is in the center of the Jakarta.
The ride will be one hour and a half long, maybe two hours depending on traffic. From there, you’ll need another means of transportation to reach your destination. The bus may be ideal for one traveler, but for groups, it is better to take a taxi.
Hotels in Jakarta
Where to stay is always an important question. And each traveler needs a different answer than the other. Therefore, I have here for you a sample of the best luxury hotels in Jakarta, the best family hotels, and the traveler’s best deal hotels.
Jakarta's luxury hotels can be found in the center of the city, so they offer a wonderful view. They have large entertainment spots such as big pools, 24 hours fitness rooms, balconies overseeing the heart of the city, spas, massage parlors, and much more.
Such hotels are usually expensive for the stay as they average $200 per night. There are hotels like Mandarin Oriental Jakarta ($230), Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta ($210), The Dharmawangsa Jakarta ($220).
Best Family Hotels:
Families coming to visit Jakarta together may want to stay and sleep together. Standard hotel rooms usually accommodate two adults maximum; however, there are bigger rooms that can handle up to 4 people. Thus, it is better for families to stay at hotels such as Aryaduta Semanggi ($90), Somerset Berlian ($70), Fraser Place Setiabudi ($110).
Not all travelers want luxury, but they most definitely look for comfort. As they do not want to spend huge amounts of money on hotels, they need to find the best deals with the highest level of comfort possible. There are hotels that offer the most enjoyable time in a room, with such low prices as $20 on average, like Favehotel LTC Glodok ($25), Antoni Hotel ($15), RedDoorz Hotel ($15).
When to Visit Jakarta
Year Round HOT
Due to the tropical monsoon climate, Jakarta only knows two seasons; dry and wet. The dry season is from June to September; however, the heat is all year round. On any typical day in Jakarta, the weather reports will say that it is around 27- 30°C (80-86°F). It is rare that the temperature drops below 25°C.
The wet season is the longest in comparison to the dry season. It is actually from October to May. However, it does not rain all day every day. Rather, it rains some days, for some time. It is probable that it will rain 12 days in November, and up to 20 days in January. It’ll also rain 5-6 days a month during the dry season.
Best Time to Visit
Most tourists prefer visiting during the months of the dry season. That is because it relatively is more comfortable and the transportation is easier. However, even if you visit during the wet season, there are plenty of sunny days to try the outdoor activities in Jakarta.
And if you happen to live through a rainy day during the dry season, you can use the opportunity to visit the indoor spots such as museums.
Ultimately, you are better off visiting during the dry season; but it would not be any bother visiting when it is raining.
Getting Around in Jakarta
Now that you are in your hotel room, during a nice day, the question that is bothering you is how to travel within the city. There is not just one answer, but THREE.
Though they are available all around the city, it is better to call reputable taxi companies such as Blue Bird, so you won’t have to hustle your way out of a scam taxi driver. However, calling up the company will enforce a minimum 30.000 Rp. Each additional 100 meters will cost 300Rp. It is not a must to tip the driver, but it is nice a gesture if the driver is friendly.
The most reputable public transport is Transjakarta Busway. It is faster than the usual buses and much safer. It is not usually crowded, but you may have to wait for your seat during peak hours.
The bus runs all day from 5am to 10pm. The ticket costs 3500Rp, and you purchase it before you board. You don’t have to pay again if you decide to switch the corridors (there are 15 of them) provided that you do not leave the shelter.
You can decide to rent a car, with or without a driver, to take you around the city. Your travel agency may manage to connect you to several car-rental companies to provide with a car, which cost up to 650,000Rp per day, without a driver, and 800,000Rp with a driver. You can also find private operators as they are usually cheaper. In any case, check here for cars.
What to Do in Jakarta?
You have chosen your way of transportation around the city, and it is time to decide where to go and what to do. If it is your first time there, the choices may seem unlimited and too much to handle. So, here are some of the best of the best things to do in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Visit the National Museum
Also known as the Elephant Museum, the National Museum holds a collection of more than 140.000 of prehistoric, archaeological, colonial collections and much more. There are two exhibition halls. Near the National Museum, there is the National Monument, President Palace, and other must-see places. You can book a tour here.
Istiqlal Mosque and Jakarta Cathedral
In an outstanding representation of religious tolerance, Istaqlal Mosque and Jakarta Cathedral are two magnificent architectural pieces representing two different religions. They are actually facing each other and separated only by a road. Istiqlal Mosque is actually the largest of its kind in all South Asia.
One way to get away from the busy modern life of Jakarta is to blend in with nature. Ragunan is both a park and a zoo, with over 3000 animals, some of them are almost instinct.
There’s also 30.000 plants that you can learn about, in addition to the whole number of animals mentioned. The zoo is mostly crowded on weekends and holidays; however, some facilities like horse ride, elephant ride are only available on Sundays. Read more about the zoo.
Part of Java Ancol Dreamland Complex (which you should totally visit, by the way) Seaworld Indonesia is an underwater recreation area with thousands of marine fauna in different colors.
There are four aquariums in the facility; Saltwater aquarium, Freshwater aquarium, Dugong Aquarium, and Antasena Tunnel. You can watch the animals as they get fed throughout the week at the scheduled times. Read more about it.
Glodok is one of Jakarta’s oldest districts. It is full of narrow streets filled with shopping stalls that sell everything culturally related to Indonesia specifically and Asia in general.
There are many Chinese buildings and temples to look at and visit as a tourist, either on your own or with a local guide. You can also find many food outlets and restaurants offering all Asian types of food for your liking. Book a tour with a guide here, or read more and visit on your own.
Where to Shop in Jakarta?
After taking pictures and enjoying the sights and the animals in Jakarta, you should also buy some souvenirs.
Of course, you can plan to spend just a few hours in a mall, but we all know only a full afternoon will be enough. So, plan ahead, and here are two best shopping places in Jakarta.
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
Right in the heart of Jakarta’s center, this shopping center houses a lot of shops that sell both international and locals merchandise. It is Indonesia’s largest; so large that you may actually want to book a private tour. It has two wings: East and west, joined by several bridges. Don’t be afraid to bargain the prices, and make sure you have enough time to spend, as you may need a LOT of it.
Jalan Surabaya Market
This one is for the lovers of antiques. Jalan Surabaya is one long road filled with stalls that sell all stuff antique, from wooden to porcelain, sculptures, masks, ceramics, souvenirs, and much more. Everything there is nice to have as a souvenir to bring back home.
Time to Pack and Go
Jakarta is a very nice window to Indonesia and its culture. Although a bit more modernized, the city is still true to its old roots and history.
You are better off visiting during the dry season, though no matter when you visit, it is sure to be hot.
You can read our article about Bali Travel Guide for your next trip to Indonesia.
Any more question? Something you want to ask? Let me know.
Enjoy your trip.