If one is willing to go beyond the prickly surface and find the sweetness within, there is plenty to see and do in the 'Big Durian', a nickname often used by expats and locals alike. Jakarta is an excellent choice for people looking to explore cultural and natural wonders, and expats relocating to Jakarta will be spoilt for choice.

Explore the myriad of attractions in Jakarta that draw the expat community into the heart of Indonesia's vibrant culture and natural beauty.

Recommended attractions in Jakarta


Monas, short for Monumen Nasional, is a famed landmark among expats and locals. It is popular with parkgoers who like to fly kites, ride bikes, stroll and picnic on the grounds. It was built in remembrance of the local struggle to fight colonial domination. The impressive monument, which might look small from afar but is astoundingly large up close, is gorgeously clad in marble and topped with a bronze flame that is lit up at night. There is a museum at the base, and for a few dollars more, one can ascend to the top and get a 360-degree panoramic view.

National Museum of Indonesia

Situated close to Monas, the National Museum of Indonesia is a treasure trove for expats keen on delving into the country's rich history, and it houses the most comprehensive collection of cultural artefacts in the entire archipelago. Allocate at least half a day to wander around and learn about the fascinating and rich Indonesian history. 

Fatahillah Square

Nestled in the heart of Jakarta's Old Town, Fatahillah Square is a hub of cultural exploration for expats. The Jakarta History Museum, the Fine Art and Ceramics Museum and the Wayang Museum, which showcases traditional puppets, are all located in the area. The square itself is dotted with locals hanging about and vendors selling their wares and services.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, often frequented by expats, hosts a number of gardens that show the lives of local people in different provinces throughout Indonesia's history. It's a microcosm of Indonesia's diverse culture, offering expats a unique journey through the country's varied landscapes. In the middle is a lake with miniature islands in the shape of the archipelago, complete with volcanoes. There are also museums and rides for children to enjoy.

Bogor Botanical Gardens

Bogor Botanical Gardens is a popular escape for both expats and locals for picnicking. It's a serene retreat from Jakarta's bustling city life, offering expats a slice of Indonesia's lush flora.

Drive in with a car to explore the vast grounds and see gigantic trees that are hundreds of years old and wondrous to behold. An alternative to picnicking is lunching at the cafe, where diners can enjoy a breathtaking hilltop view of the gardens and a tranquil pond with giant lotus lilies.

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