There’s something for everyone in Jakarta's most famous tourism spot.
It’s not every day that you get the chance to ride a rainbow bicycle around a place that has seen centuries of colonization, protests, riots and change. Kota Tua, which translates to ‘Old Town’, stands as a relic of Indonesia’s history and Jakarta’s colonial past. With something for everyone, Kota Tua is a place worth battling the traffic for. Here is a list of 4 must-do activities:
Immerse yourself in J-Town’s history
History seeps from each building in Kota Tua, the most famous of which is the Jakarta History Museum, or more popular as Museum Fatahillah. Built in 1710 as the Batavia city hall, the museum exhibits paintings, furniture, objects from the Dutch East Indies Company and ancient archaeological remains. It includes the richest collection of Betawi style furniture from the 17th to the 19th century. A good place to get your bearings, the Museum’s second floor provides a view of the square and surrounding buildings from above.
The museum is open on Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..
Ride a colorful bike around Taman Fatahillah
Named after an Jakarta's own hero, Taman Fatahillah is the centre point of all activities in Kota Tua. Street vendors offer pimped up bicycles for two, an ideal mode of transport for exploring the square and capturing those winning Instagram photos. You can rent one only for Rp 20,000-30,000 per 30 minutes.
Watch a free Wayang performance
Museum Wayang offers free Wayang performances every Sunday at 10 a.m.. If you can’t make it on the weekend, the collection of over 4,000 puppets from territories all across Indonesia is still worth a visit. Open since 1975, the museum provides visitors with a unique glimpse of Javanese cultural heritage over the years.
The museum is open on Tuesday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..
Sipping on a cocktail and listening to live Jazz is the perfect way to end a day spent exploring Kota Tua.
Constructed in the 1830s, the interior of Café Batavia was refurbished to give guests a taste of what it was like to live and dine during the colonial era. Vintage photographs of 1930s celebrities and royals deck the upper floor or ‘Grand Salon’. Constructed mainly of wood, the café is blessed with an abundance of natural light thanks to large shuttered windows that look out over Taman Fatahillah and the colonial buildings surrounding it.
Quick tip: the Dim Sum set is perfect for a quick bite.
References: Kota Tua
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