Fatahillah Square (Taman Fatahillah) is the heart of the Jakarta Old Town (Kota Tua) with a cobbled square with historic colonial buildings. Notable landmarks include the Cafe Batavia restaurant and bar, Wayang Museum of puppetry, and Jakarta History Museum, housed in the old town hall.
Fatahillah Square in Jakarta Old Town is a pleasant place to explore, whether to learn more about the puppets at the Wayang Museum, to soak up history at Jakarta History Museum, or for a stop at the historic Cafe Batavia for a drink.
As the center of colonial-era Jakarta and one of the city’s most photogenic locations, Fatahillah Square is an essential stop on any Jakarta history tour. Most Jakarta full-day tours will make a stop here, and it’s a great place to start a guided or self-guided walking tour of Old Town.
Things to Know Before You Go
- With its refurbished colonial buildings, Fatahillah Square is a must for fans of history and architecture.
- Wear comfortable shoes to cope with the cobbled square and streets.
- Save time navigating Kota’s confusing warren of streets by pre-booking an organized walking tour or a comprehensive Jakarta tour that includes hotel transport.
- Fatahillah Square takes its name from the Indonesian national hero Prince Fatahillah, who captured the port from the Portuguese in 1527.
How to Get There
Fatahillah Square sits at the heart of the city’s historic quarter. The pedestrianized square is an easy walk from Kota train station—which you can reach riding the Korridor I busway from Jalan Thamrin. Save time navigating and explore Jakarta with the help of a private driver or on an organized tour. Self-driving is not recommended.
When to Get There
If visiting Old Town’s museums are on your to-do list, avoid visiting Fatahillah Square on Monday, when its museums are closed; a few also close for prayers at Friday around lunch. Museums in Indonesia shut early—typically around 3pm—so aim to visit in the morning or at lunch. Photographers will find the light best and the square less crowded in early morning.
From Fatahillah Square to Kota
Many Jakartans know Jakarta Old Town simply as “Kota” (City), and its crumbling buildings are part of the atmospheric. A wander around Fatahillah Square reveals the shapes of the Dutch colonial-era city, Old Batavia, with its canals, grand houses, and administrative buildings. While much of Kota remains slum land, some historic sites are undergoing restoration.