Indonesia’s capital is home to a plethora of vibrant neighborhoods, ranging from bohemian hotspots to high-end shopping malls. Here are the coolest neighborhoods in Jakarta worth visiting during your trip, so hop in a bajaj rickshaw and get to know this vibrant city.
The Coolest Neighborhoods in Jakarta, Indonesia
Menteng is one of Jakarta’s oldest and most prestigious neighborhoods, with some of the city’s most opulent structures, ranging from restaurants to homes. Many Indonesian administrations and high-ranking officials call Menteng home, as well as famed restaurants serving exquisite, authentic Indonesian food. Many of the structures in this neighborhood are cultural and historical landmarks, and new construction must adhere to a set of strict requirements to ensure aesthetic and quality.
This neighborhood, one of the city’s most important business districts, adds significantly to Jakarta’s ever-expanding skyline, with tall, attractive buildings housing hundreds of enterprises. This area, which is not only renowned as a business sector, is just as lively at night as it is during the day, as the neighborhood’s colorful bars and clubs transform it into a youthful nightlife destination.
This up-and-coming neighborhood is not to be missed if you enjoy interesting restaurants and edgy street art. Jalan Benda, tucked between Jalan Kemang Selatan and Jalan Benda Bawah in Jakarta’s south, is home to artists who are steadily changing their formerly run-down neighborhood into one of the city’s hippest hangouts. While you’re here, check out Simon Kristiandi’s haunting black-and-white photography of old Jakarta at Glory Frame & Gallery, and refuel with a coffee from Kopi Dimana, which is known for its single origin brews.
If you go to the heart of Jakarta’s ancient Chinatown, you’ll find a vibrant neighborhood unlike any other. While navigating the city’s narrow passageways and muddy alleys may seem daunting, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best street food the city has to offer. Visit Bakmi A-hin for their famed noodle and wonton dishes, Gado-Gado Direksi for their distinctive rice dish, and Kopi Es Tak Kai for their iconic Medan-style condensed milk coffee.
When visiting Jakarta’s Old Town, don’t forget to bring your camera because photo opportunities abound. With European-style architecture, crumbling houses, and even old timey bicycles with matching helmets to rent, Kota Tua, formerly known as Batavia, is a visual reminder of Indonesia’s colonial past. The Jakarta History Museum, housed in the city’s ancient Town Hall, is located on Fatahillah Square. The Wayang Museum (puppet museum) is well worth a visit, where visitors may learn about the importance of puppets in Indonesian storytelling and ceremonial. Every Sunday, a live puppetry performance with a traditional Indonesian gamelan orchestra can be seen.
Kuningan is one of Jakarta’s major business zones, including skyscrapers and tall structures. In response to the area’s ever-growing development, dozens of high-end hotels and leisure complexes have opened. Kuningan also features some of the top retail malls in the city, including Lotte Shopping Avenue, Kota Kasablanka, and the modest but popular Mall Ambassador.
Panglima Polim is the one place to visit if you want to experience a hipster, quirky vibe. Jakarta has numerous heavens for foodies or coffee lovers, but Panglima Polim is the one location to visit if you want to experience a hipster, quirky feel. Numerous hipster-inspired coffee shops, eateries, and even concept stores can be found there. It’s no surprise that the trendy area is also home to Jakarta’s hipsters, making it a terrific site to people-watch or meet interesting individuals.
Pantai Indah Kapuk
Every month, new concept cafés and eateries open in this up-and-coming district in North Jakarta. Pantai Indah Kapuk is also a prestigious residential area, complete with a golf course, country club, water park, market, shopping mall, and a large mangrove forest.