Our Get-Ready-Guide to Jakarta
Jakarta is a thrilling city where cultures clash in spectacular fashion. Here, the food seems tastier, the colours more vibrant and the culture richer.
Jakarta today is a sprawling metropolis of some nine million people set around a bay on the northwest coast of the island of Java. It’s the capital city of a country with 240 million people across 13,400 islands and has the second largest metropolitan area in the world. In short, it’s huge.
Spending time to explore its teeming streets should be on every traveller’s list. That’s why we’ve made this Get-Ready-Guide to make visiting Jakarta as easy as possible.
Visas and vaccinations
Holiday visitors from the UK don’t require visas for trips less than 30 days as long as they arrive and leave through approved airports and seaports. This includes the principle Jakarta airport Soekarno-Hatta. Proof of onward travel may be required on entry.
If it’s a family visit or for business, a single entry visa is required before travelling. The latest information and a full list of entry and exit points can be found at the Indonesian Embassy website.
Always talk to a health professional six weeks before travelling for the latest advice. According to TravelHealthPro, vaccinations for Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid are recommended*. Your health professional may also recommend Cholera, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies and TB. If you are arriving from a country with a risk of yellow fever, a certificate is required.
While in Jakarta, be sure to drink bottled water, even when brushing your teeth. In reputable bars they will usually use clean ice cubes, but be careful with ice from street vendors.
What to pack
Jakarta can get steaming hot. Take loose, comfortable clothing and a sunhat. While you’ll definitely need sunscreen, also take a light waterproof for any fierce downpours. The rainy season is December, January and February, and the most pleasant time is between April and October.
If you plan to visit any religious sites be sure to dress appropriately. Finally, a money belt is always sensible in a large city.
When you arrive
The old town, known as Old Batavia or Kota, is on the south part of Jakarta Bay. If you’re looking for bars, clubs and restaurants, it’s Kemang and Blok M where you should be heading, while the modern city centre revolves around Freedom Square, known as Medan Merdeka.
To travel around a neighbourhood, a tuk-tuk or rickshaw is often the quickest (and most memorable) way to travel. However, if you’re moving any distance, then jump on the clean and efficient TransJakarta busway system. Taxis are abundant, cheap and still probably the best way to travel. Always be sure to use a reputable company.
Don’t be shy with the local food! Food in Jakarta is a spicy mélange of Chinese, Sudanese, Arab, Indian and European styles formed over hundreds of years. The resulting Betawi cuisine – named after the creole ethnic group that is local to Jakarta – is a carefully balanced, lip-tinglingly delicious food dominated by flavours of coconut, spice, sweet and sour.
- AccuWeather - for up-to-date weather forecasts.
- Enjoy Jakarta – the official city tourism site.
- The Jakarta Post – an English language newspaper.
- Now Jakarta – a local site for lifestyle news and cultural events.
- Currency Calculator - for staying on top of exchange rates.
- Airbnb - stay like a local, with these private lodgings.
- TripAdvisor - reviews of local restaurants and business, written by visitors like you.
- Google Maps – make sense of the city.
One more thing
Garuda Indonesia flies direct to Jakarta from Heathrow, so don’t forget to book your Heathrow airport parking with us at Good To Go for a smooth journey from start to finish.
With our Meet & Greet parking service, you can spend more time researching your trip to Jakarta, so you’ll be ready for an adventure like no other.
* Information correct as of April 2017.
Whether you're jetting away on a city break or following the sun to the beach get ready to travel with our expert tips and guides.
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