Top 10 Fun Things to do for Free in Jakarta

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!

SJakarta Car-free day at Sudirman, Indonesia

Jakarta Car-free day at Sudirman

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.

National Monument Monas, Jakarta, Indonesia

National Monument Monas, Jakarta

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.

Fatahillah Square, Jakarta, Indonesia

Fatahillah Square, Jakarta

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.

Chinatown, Jakarta, Indonesia

Chinatown, Jakarta

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.

 Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Indonesia

Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta

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 Cathedral

 Jakarta Cathedral, Indonesia

Jakarta Cathedral

This 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!

Photo credits from top: Brianna Laugher, Victor Ulijn, Brian Giesen, Jakob Montrasio, Prayudi Hartono and Spidysg

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Related articles:
Top 10 Things to Do and Must Visit in Jakarta
Jakarta Travel Guide
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Top 10 Things to do in Java

Author: Rachel

Fascinated by Indonesia, Rachel hopes to bring the best Indonesia Travel Guide to independent travelers so that they can enjoy what Indonesia has best to offer. Being an independent wanderer herself, Rachel knows what it takes to make a good, fun-filled yet responsible independent traveling. So let’s join her to discover wonderful Indonesia together. Google+

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