How to Spend 2 Days in Jakarta
Two days in Jakarta gives you time to soak up the city’s historic highlights, explore Indonesian food, and get out into the cool green spaces of the hill town known as Bogor. Along the way, enjoy an introduction to the rich culture of Indonesia, an archipelago of around 18,000 islands. Here’s how to make the most of 48 hours in Jakarta.
Day 1: City Signatures
Morning: Start the day by discovering Jakarta’s historic districts: Jakarta Old Town (Kota Tua), especially the colonial-era buildings around Fatahillah Square; Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa, the old harbor where traditional sailing ships still visit; and Jakarta Chinatown (Glodok). Savor a Chinese Indonesian lunch at a Chinese restaurant or market stall.
Afternoon: Check off the city’s more modern landmarks: MONAS (the National Monument of Indonesia), Jakarta Cathedral, and Istiqlal Mosque. Then learn about Indonesian heritage and culture, either at the historic National Museum or at the family-friendly cultural park known as Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.
Night: Experience this city of contrasts on a street-food safari. Discover dishes from bakso (meatball soup) to coconut satay, jackfruit curry, and the notoriously stinky durian fruit at street stalls and simple warung eateries. Wash it down with iced tea and potent Indonesian coffee.
Day 2: Colonial Charms
Day: Spend your second day in Jakarta exploring Bogor, a hillside retreat during Dutch colonial times that can still feel like an escape from the big city today. The 200-year-old Bogor Botanical Gardens are the big draw here, with lush grounds home to over 15,000 species of plants, including world-class selections of orchids and palms. Families will want to add in a visit to Taman Safari Bogor, a safari park that shelters wildlife from Komodo dragons to elephants and orangutans. A few tours also include a trip to one of the pretty tea gardens in Puncak.
Night: Staying with the colonial theme, indulge yourself in a classic treat from the Dutch era, a rijstaffel (rice table) feast with myriad dishes; pick a grand hotel to enjoy the ritual at its finest. Finish with a cocktail at a rooftop bar as you soak up views over Jakarta’s gleaming skyline.