Traveling in Jakarta and not wanting to spend any more money in the many tourist attractions along your travel here or elsewhere? Already seen and done all there is as a tourist? Thinking what else to do without using up your travel budget anymore?
Well good news, there are more to Jakarta than just traffic jams, eating, shopping and all the tourist attractions that you would need to pay for. You will be surprised that there is a lot of fun things to do in Jakarta that is actually free!
Here are Top 10 Fun Things to Do for Free in Jakarta for you.
Car Free day in Sudirman every Sunday
There will be no motorized vehicles on Jalan Sudirman every Sunday after the Jakarta government had decided to enforce this due to the success of the initial trial. Now every Sunday from 6am to 12pm, you can roam the street from Jalan Sudirman to Jalan Thamrin without any vehicles to hamper your activity. Many people come here for a run, where this 5km stretch will run from Monas in the north to Semanggi Cloverleaf in the south. Others come here for a family day out to enjoy walking around the golden triangle. At the same time, many opportunists opened up stalls selling local food and even coffee!
After the car-free walk come and enjoy the National Monument Monas
Monas National Monument is well known and well loved by the people as it stood prominently in the center of Jakarta at Merdeka (freedom) Square park. This 137-meter monument is known stands magnificently against the backdrop of hustling and bustling Jakarta. You will get an interesting view and sort of an orientation of where you stand in this hectic city.
Then pass by the Presidential Palace (Istana Negara)
This palace that is also known as the Merdeka Palace (Istana Merdeka) is located in between the veteran street and North Medan Merdeka street, facing National Monument at the south and Ciliwung River to the north. This neoclassic building from Dutch origin is used as the official residence of the President of Indonesia. The palace was renamed to Merdeka, which means freedom in Indonesian in 1948 when the country gained independence. This palace is a regal sight and would host various important state events like the annual Independence Day ceremony.
Check out Fatahillah Square (Taman Fatahillah)
Also known as the Old Batavia, this place is the historical part of Jakarta and located in Kotas. Fatahillah square was built during the Dutch Colonial times back in the 16th century as the heart of the walled city. It boasts many tourist attractions like the Jakarta History Musem and other colonial buildings. Walk around to take in the sights for free and also enjoy the many antics of the artisans and performers that entertain here on weekends. You may also sit around and absorb in the age-old culture of the place while enjoying the view of the fountain.
Wander around Chinatown
Chinatown, also known as Glodok, is made of narrow streets lined with malls and various stalls selling all kinds of things from antiques, laptops to food. Come here to enjoy with the flock of people the many good foods you can find here or simply find a place to sit down and have tea and people watch. There are also some beautiful Chinese temples as tourist sights to be enjoyed like the Da Shi Miao or the Vihara Dharma Bhakti temples.
Catch a bus ride around the city
Yes technically not free but the price is so ridiculously cheap at 4000 Rp it is almost as good as free. Take a bus ride around the city and have a good experience on this special bus ride that is known as Bus Istimewa, literally special bus. The name is due to the fact that the bus has its own special lane that only it can use while the rest of the millions of cars have to squeeze into the other lanes. If you do not want to be crushed by the many people that take the bus daily, try it on a weekend.
Marvel at Istiqlal Mosque (Mesjid Istiqlal)
This amazing structure should be one of the top things to do in Jakarta even if it is not free, but here to top it off it is! Istiqlal Mosque is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and has the highest capacity – up to 200, 000 persons maximum. This impressive building consists of four floors of beautiful sculptures and surrounded by balconies. World leaders around the world have come to visit this mosque themselves. It is located just next to Merdeka Square and Jakarta Cathedral.
Continue to Jakarta CathedralThis cathedral in Jakarta has its own unique architecture for a church, somewhat reminiscent of Notre Dame of Paris with its two tall spires. Jakarta cathedral dates back to Dutch colonial era. It opens 7 days a week for visitors or worshippers. Standing large and looming, it also brings peace and serenity and definitely worth a visit for a photo or two.
End the day with the bustling Pasar Baru (New Market)
Come here for a free walk down memory lane in Pasar Baru, enjoying the many local and family-run businesses here. You will be enticed with local goods, vintage fashions and knick-knacks. You will also find that you are spoilt with choices of good local Indonesian foods such as bakmi. Start walking from Metro Atom at Jalan H. Samanhudi and then walk towards the rear end which is the Jakarta Art center ( Gedung Kesenian Jakarta).
Or just join a Free Walking Tour
With free walking tours that, you will have a guide that will let you learn more insights into the past and present of Jakarta. These are usually what makes a walking tour worthwhile when you truly understand the places that you visit. Read about all the available walking tours in Jakarta and if you want to go straight to a Jakarta Free Walking Tour, you can find it here.
As you can see there are so many fun and free things to do in Jakarta that is possible despite the city’s crazy traffic and immensity in size. Do share if you know more fun and free things to do in Jakarta!
Best Accommodations in Jakarta
Booking.com is my favourite site to book a place Jakarta when I am planning my trip. The main reason is that most of the bookings can be cancelled right up to the trip, allowing flexibility. The best areas to stay in Jakarta would be the north and central Jakarta, having most of the tourist attractions here. Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend to stay in Jakarta:
- Luxury (from 150 USD)
- The Hermitage, by Marriott, Central Jakarta
A really beautiful refurbished colonial house made into an elegant hotel. The location is also really strategic, being a near train station and quick access to the city center and beyond. With an outdoor pool, a gym, luxurious lounge area and restaurant situated in a courtyard, this hotel also gives a romantic atmosphere with some rooms opening up to a back garden. Truly a dream. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Ritz-Carlton Hotel Jakarta Pacific Place, Kuningan, Central Jakarta
For those who wants a high security and well-known hotel with world class services. You will find all the usual luxury here, with impressive outdoor pool and bar, featuring a view of the city skyline. Kuningan area is also well known for its upmarket, shopping malls and restaurants all well located with good sidewalks. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Mid-range (50 – 150 USD)
- Oakwood Premier Cozmo Apartment Hotel, Kuningan, Central Jakarta
For those looking for luxury and with comfort of a home. This hotel comes with apartment suites completed with kitchen, dining and washing facilities. Breakfast are also included and the location is also strategically located in Kuningan. This would also be a good fit for a family or a group. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Harris Vertu Hotel Harmoni, Gambir, Central Jakarta
For those who are looking for the best value mid-range hotel in the middle of the action. It is situated smack in between all the top must see things in Jakarta. Recommended for smart travelers who wants to cover everything in a short time. Modern clean rooms, an outdoor pool with a view, spa, gym and restaurant. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Budget (below 50 USD)
- Yello Hotel Harmoni, Gambir, Central Jakarta
For those on a budget but wants an alternative to a hostel. This place comes with private rooms set in a hip and stylish budget hotel style. The location is great, just walking distance to the National Monument park. There is also a restaurant if you are too lazy to go out and brave the traffic at the end of the day.Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
- Wonderloft hostel, North Jakarta
For those on a budget and still want to be in the city center. Located in the north, this hostel is right at the corner to the famous Jakarta’s Old City, Fatahillah Square. It has a charming mix of old colonial style with hipster-inspired interiors. Best value for money! Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *