After spending 15 months in Bali, I finally made it out to Indonesia’s capital: Jakarta.
I had gotten used to Bali’s chill vibes, coconuts on the beach, and scenic ocean views.
So, when I touched down in Jakarta, it was so fun and different to see the skyscrapers, busy roads and public transportation. This was my first big Asian city experience, and I was beyond excited to see what Jakarta had to offer.
Turns out there is much to do in this city, so here are my recommendations based on my experience.
This was my first stop in Jakarta, and it was a wonderful way to start my trip.
It was cool to see all of the markets and street food in this area.
I bought some chocolates, hair clips, and other little trinkets.
We ended up at Bakmi Loncat to eat some of the famous menu items like Bakmi and Sukiaw.
For more of my adventures in this area, watch my YouTube vlog about Chinatown & Kota Tua.
From Glodok Chinatown, we took a blue bajaj over to Kota Tua.
This little buggy was a fun way to go a short distance, and I even haggled with the driver in Indonesian.
Kota Tua is in Jakarta’s old town center.
There is a lot of history here with antique buildings and a plaza filled with performers, street food and the infamous multicolored bikes.
It was a great pit stop after exploring Glodok Chinatown on the way to PIK Avenue.
PIK is a newer unique area with lots to explore.
There is a huge mall called PIK Avenue with lots of shops and restaurants to eat at.
Beyond the mall, there is a new higher-end street food area with tons of delicious eats.
This is a super cool area to explore and grab a bite (or 2, or 3!) to eat.
Street food is everywhere in Jakarta.
There are delicious, infamous spots like Nasi Goreng Kebon Sirih and the newer stands at PIK.
Yet, everywhere you look you are bound to find something!
If you are a bule (foreigner) like me, just be careful and make sure the stand upholds cleanliness and your stomach can handle it. :)
We visited a fancy restaurant in Jakarta called Tugu Kunstring that had the interior of an art museum.
This was the fanciest place I had eaten in Indonesia.
To be honest, the food was okay and the service was slow, but I enjoyed people watching and experiencing the ambience.
However, I have heard really great things about a different fine dining experience at Seribu Rasa, so that is definitely on my list for my next visit!
With all of the skyscrapers in Jakarta, there are picturesque views from high up.
That’s why Henshin at the 67th floor of the Westin hotel or Skye Bar are popular because the views are unbeatable from this height!
Of course with Jakarta being one of Southeast Asia’s big metropolitan hubs, there are tons of malls to explore.
My favorite mall that I went to was Central Park Mall because there is this really cool walkway that gave me Las Vegas vibes.
I was dancing on the walkway and having a blast roaming the mall.
We also spent a whole day wandering around Grand Indonesia--another huge mall to explore.
You can see more of my mall experience in my shopping vlog.
One thing Bali doesn’t have is public transportation, so it was a definite must on our list to try the new MRT public transportation in Jakarta.
Being from Chicago and taking the L train all the time, this was like a little taste of home.
Except Jakarta’s MRT was so clean, efficient and NEW.
I was in shock at all the technology on the train cars, the monumental space, the cleanliness, the doors outside the cars to walk on…. The list goes on and on.
Although it’s only one line, it was super enjoyable to ride the MRT and go to Blok M to try out Tokyo Town.
Kemang is in South Jakarta, and it was recommended to me to check out because it has more “chill” “hip” vibes.
There was a whole street basically dedicated to cool coffee shops.
I had a matcha latte at 1/15 Coffee Shop & it was the best matcha latte I’ve ever had.
Therefore, the cool, hip Kemang Area makes it on the list to explore because even though it still has the big city Jakarta vibes, it adds its own flare with all the trendy restaurants and shops.