Jakarta is a fast-paced city, like any major city in the world. Thanks to the frenzied speed at which the place and its people function, you can accomplish quite a bit in just a little time.
So, if you happen to have just a day to spare at the capital, here’s an itinerary that will ensure you get to savour the essence of Jakarta.
9:00am – Have a Breakie like the locals
Rise and shine and have a traditional Indonesian breakfast at our Frangipani Café. Local staples like mie goreng (fried noodles), nasi goring (fried rice) and bubur ayam (chicken porridge) are what you will need to fortify you for the exciting day ahead.
9:45am – Explore the city on foot
The newly furbished Ascott Jakarta welcomes you to a new level of refinement and exclusivity, making it a wonderful starting point for your whirlwind romance with the city. The Dutch colonial décor of each of its 204 apartments is a foretaste of the mix of old and new that the city has to offer. Upon entering the main lobby, guests will experience a completely new ambience and refreshing business concept. A collection of art pieces including Balinese paintings and sculpture featured in the lobby add a local touch and vibrancy to the renovated property.
Located right in the centre of the city’s business and shopping district which we call the Golden Triangle, it is also within walking distance of Jakarta’s major attractions like the Convention Centre, Plaza Indonesia Shopping Complex, Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, Jakarta City Centre Shopping Mall, and a wide variety of dining and entertainment options. Work off breakfast by taking a slow stroll around the area to enjoy modern Jakarta.
I recommend the Grand Indonesia Shopping Town for a spot of shopping. It is one of Southeast Asia’s largest malls and is worth a visit based on that fact alone.
If you get peckish, there are street food vendors along the way peddling their wares on mobile carts that the locals call pedagan kaki lima . Have a deep fried banana, cashew nut murtabak (pancake filled with crushed cashew nut) or a satay (barbecued meat on a stick) for a mid-morning snack. If you dare, sip some sop kaki kambing (lamb feet soup).
12:00pm – See the historical treasure at the Museum Nasional
Grab a taxi next and in 10 minutes you will be transported from Jakarta today to Jakarta of old at the Museum Nasional (National Museum). The museum is also called the Museum Gajah (Elephant Museum) because of the bronze statue of an elephant that stands guard at its entrance. The sculpture was a gift King Chulalongkorn of Thailand in 1871 when he visited Batavia.
The two-century-old museum is home to a unique collection of Indonesian cultural relics as well as artefacts from the region. Don’t forget to snap a picture of the National Monument or Monas from the museum. The tower is a symbol of the country’s struggle and reconstruction under President Sukarno.
1:30pm – Lunch in Style
Just 10 minutes away is Seribu Rasa (One Thousand Flavours), an Indonesia restaurant that prides itself on traditional recipes from the region. Have lunch here and rest your feet because you have an afternoon of activities ahead.
2:30pm – Turn back the clock at Kota Tua
Track back a little and 20 minutes away is Kota Tua (Old Batavia), an area that still bears the strong influence of Dutch colonisation in the 17 th century. The architecture is reminiscent of European buildings with hints of Chinese influence. Here is where historical tourism thrives and you can wander the streets and alleyways and be lost in the past.
To escape the afternoon heat, there are lots of museums here - Fatahillah Museum (Jakarta History Museum), Wayang Museum (Puppet Museum), Museum Bahari (Maritime Museum), Bank Indonesia Museum, Fine Art and Ceramic Museum - that you can pop into to learn intriguing tidbits about the city’s colourful past.
4:30pm – Have an adrenaline rush at Ancol Dreamworld
Since this is your day off, let the child in you out at the Ancol Dreamworld, a recreation hub on Jakarta Bay. Beaches, a marina, an amusement park, a water park, an aquarium, bars and restaurants – this place has it all. Sure, it is a little distance away. But after a leisurely historical walk, this adrenaline rush may be just the change of pace you need.
9:30pm – Have a 360-degree view of the city over a late dinner & drinks
Finally, have a late dinner at Altitude The Plaza on the 46 th floor of the prestigious Plaza Office Tower. You have your pick of three amazing restaurants - Gaia by OSO Ristorante offering North Italian cuisine; Salt Grill with modern Australian delicacies; and Enmaru for delightfully fresh Japanese seafood. Watch the city lights twinkle as you relax during dinner.
When you have had your fill, go three floors up on the 49 th floor to the Cloud Lounge & Living Room, a swanky rooftop bar. Here, you can nurse a drink and continue to take in the sights from up high or chill out at a cold room where you can enjoy Vodka the way Russians do.
Like most cities of today, Jakarta has old world wonders with a healthy dose of cosmopolitan charm. With this itinerary, you will be able to capture the essence of the city’s vibrancy and the rich brocade of its history all in a single day. And when your sojourn is done, come back to Ascott Jakarta for a well-deserved night of rest. Our spacious luxury service apartments make for the ideal retreat while our sauna rooms, a fully-equipped gym, a pool and tennis court provide myriad options to end an already action-packed day.
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