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How to Spend 3 Days in Jakarta

How to Spend 3 Days in Jakarta

Three days in Jakarta gives you plenty of options to explore not only this southeast Asian megacity but West Java as well. See the city’s signature sights, including the historic center; discover the rich variety of Indonesian food; explore the colonial hill town Bogor; and choose a day trip of theme parks or volcanoes. Here’s how to get the most out of your stay.

Day 1: Capital Culture

Spend your first day in Jakarta seeing the city’s signature sights and getting an overview of Indonesian food, history, and culture. Begin with a tour of Jakarta’s three historic districts: Jakarta Old Town (Kota Tua), with its canals and colonial buildings; Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa, where sailing ships still visit the old harbor; and Jakarta Chinatown (Glodok). After a lunch of Chinese Indonesian favorites, such as noodles with wonton ( mie pangsit ), discover the center of the modern city. Visit MONAS (the National Monument of Indonesia), check off Jakarta Cathedral and Istiqlal Mosque, then immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the archipelago at the National Museum. Spend the evening like a local, grazing on street food from simple stands and stalls. Savor Indonesian favorites such as nasi goreng (fried rice) and bakso (meatball soup) alongside Javan specialties such as coconut satay and jackfruit curry.

Day 2: Colonial Country

On your second day, begin your exploration of West Java’s lush volcanic highlands in Bogor, a hill town that served as a hot-season retreat during the Dutch colonial period. Start at the Bogor Botanical Gardens, a historic research center that sprawls over 215 acres (87 hectares) of hillside, complete with over 15,000 species of plants including orchids, palms, and lotuses. Travelers with children won’t want to miss Taman Safari Bogor, a wildlife attraction that’s home to Komodo dragons, orangutans, elephants, and more. If time permits, discover the beauty of Indonesia’s tea plantations and taste traditional Javanese tea at a farm in the Puncak area. Return to the city in time for a rijstaffel (rice table) dinner, a colonial Dutch feast of multiple dishes that’s served with ritual and theater at the city’s grand hotels.

Day 3: Contemporary Culture

If Jakarta is your only stop in Indonesia, you might choose to spend your last day exploring one of the nation’s 100-odd active volcanoes, depending which are safe to visit: Krakatau and Tangkuban Perahu are viable day-trip options from Jakarta. Alternatively, make like a local and spend the day relaxing at one of the city’s theme parks or water parks: Waterbom will satisfy both children and your inner child, while Fantasy Land in Ancol is another popular choice. Yet another option is Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, a cultural park with fascinating exhibits on the archipelago’s diverse islands and people; it makes great preparation for wider Indonesian exploration. Wrap up your stay with a journey into this cosmopolitan megacity’s contemporary side. Dine on modern Indonesian cuisine at a stylish restaurant, then sip cocktails at a rooftop bar with skyline views.

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5 Tours and Activities

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Private Tour: Full-Day Highlights of Jakarta Tour with Lunch

Private Tour: Full-Day Highlights of Jakarta Tour with Lunch

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11
Discover the heritage that lies beneath Jakarta’s high-rise surface on this private guided door-to-door tour. Start the day with Jakarta Cathedral, Istiqlal Mosque, the National Museum, the National Monument, and the sailing ships of Sunda Kelapa Harbor. Then savor a local restaurant lunch before you explore beautiful Jakarta Old Town.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$102.00
From
$102.00

Jakarta’s Old Batavia Trail

Jakarta’s Old Batavia Trail

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3
Venture into the 13th-century streets of Jakarta, formerly Batavia, accompanied by a private guide who sheds light on its Dutch colonial history. You’ll explore Glodok, Indonesia’s oldest Chinatown, characterized by winding lanes and red-tiled roofs. See multiple attractions including the Chinese temple Jin De Yuan and the Dutch drawbridge, and stroll through Fatahillah Square and the Jalan Surabaya flea market. Visit the Wayang Museum for a look at kulit shadow puppets, stop by Sunda Kelapa Harbor, and view cultural artifacts at the National Museum of Indonesia.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$69.24
Price varies by group size
From
$69.24
Price varies by group size

Kota Tua Food Tour

Kota Tua Food Tour

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5
Meet your guide at Jakarta Kota Station for a small-group food tour of Kota Tua. Explore the former Dutch-colonial district, then known as Batavia, which provides an atmospheric journey through Jakarta’s culinary history. You’ll visit a number of sites and hear legendary tales while you get a taste of specialties like Indonesian curry, coffee, and snacks. Complete your morning with a Batavia-style lunch.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$63.59
Price varies by group size
From
$63.59
Price varies by group size

Private Arrival Transfer: Jakarta International Airport to Jakarta Hotels

Private Arrival Transfer: Jakarta International Airport to Jakarta Hotels

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1
Experience a hassle-free arrival in Jakarta using this private transfer service. Meet your driver at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and then sit back and relax as you're whisked to your hotel or private residence in Jakarta. Your private vehicle can accommodate up to six passengers and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$42.67
Price varies by group size
From
$42.67
Price varies by group size

Private Departure Transfer: Jakarta Hotels to Jakarta International Airport

Private Departure Transfer: Jakarta Hotels to Jakarta International Airport

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1
Arrange for a stress-free ride to Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport with this private transfer service.  Meet your driver at your Jakarta city hotel, and relax on the journey to the airport in an air-conditioned private sedan or minivan (depending on the size of your group).
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
From
$42.67
Price varies by group size
From
$42.67
Price varies by group size


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