48 hours in Jakarta

Home to more than 10 million people, Jakarta is a vibrant melting pot of culture and religion and boasts a wealth of attractions to squeeze into 48 hours. The best way to round out two days in the Indonesian capital? Soaking up bird’s eye views from a helicopter.

Jakarta is a sprawling city home to a wonderful blend of people with roots from across the world, ranging from local Javanese to European and Chinese. As the capital of the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, Jakarta also sees a wealth of other religions harmoniously live side-by-side, including Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians.

The city houses a range of restaurants, lively bars and nightspots, as well as an ever-growing collection of attractions that showcase Jakarta old and new. The city is also known for its traffic which is the city’s main bugbear, with huge swathes of the road network gridlocked.

This makes hiring a helicopter to enjoy aerial views of the bustling city from the sky a must and there are several perfect packages to explore Indonesia by charter flights.

Day 1: Morning

Istiqlal Mosque is a must-see in Jakarta

No trip to Jakarta is complete without a visit to Istiqlal Mosque, Southeast Asia’s largest mosque and the third largest Sunni mosque in terms of capacity – its six floors can accommodate up to 200,000 worshipers at one time.

The vast national mosque was built to commemorate Indonesian independence and named "Istiqlal", Arabic for "independence". It opened in February 1978 and sits close to the National Monument, making that the ideal next stop after a tasty local lunch at one of the many eateries that dot the area.

The Indonesian capital is also aptly nicknamed the Big Durian, and if you haven't sampled this exotic and opinion-splitting fruit before, why not try it in Jakarta!

Day 1: Afternoon

The National Monument in Jakarta is 132 meters tall

The National Monument is a must-visit in Jakarta. Standing proud as the country’s symbol of independence, the 132-metre tall landmark sits in the centre of Merdeka Square and is popular with visitors who flock there to take a lift to the top to soak up the spectacular 360-degree panoramas. The base of the monument houses a museum detailing Indonesia’s fight for independence, with a well-manicured park surrounding the monument.

The Gudang Sarinah art space in Central Jakarta showcases independent artists and there are some ad-hoc live performances by local musicians. The Bentara Budaya Jakarta and Salihara art spaces in Central and South Jakarta also offer programmes if you are seeking more Indonesian art.

Depending on where you are staying in Jakarta, many of the best hotels have excellent dining options for lunch, also available to outside guests. Some of the most luxurious hotels in Jakarta are:

  • Hotel Indonesia Kempinski Jakarta
  • Raffles Jakarta
  • The Dharmawangsa Jakarta
  • The Westin Jakarta
  • Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta

Day 1: Evening

Spend the evening on a high and head to 56-story BCA Tower. Sitting on its top floor is stylish SKYE, dubbed a lifestyle resort in the sky. The exclusive rooftop restaurant and bar boasts a sumptuous menu comprising a blend of Southeast Asian, Japanese, Italian and Mexican dishes accompanied by breath-taking city views.

After dinner, try one of Jakarta’s most fashionable nightspots, MO Bar, or venture to a South American-inspired speakeasy bar, LOLA, in South Jakarta - a great way to spend the night.

Alternatively, try the 33rd Asia's 50 Best Bars 2021 and The Best Bar in Indonesia 2021 by taking in all the pleasures of Union Brasserie, Bakery & Bar. The bar excels with its French bistro setting and award-winning cocktail menu and they also have Jakarta’s largest single malt collection.

Day 2: Morning

Start the day delving into Jakarta’s rich heritage at Kota Tua, which sits as the capital’s Old Town. Kota Tua is home to a collection of Dutch buildings that give a glimpse into Indonesia’s colonial days. The area is home to Jakarta History Museum aptly on the site of the original town hall, which was the capital of the Dutch East Indies in the 17th century and served as the epicentre of the Asian spice trade during the time.

You can enjoy the area over brunch with a glass of wine on the second floor of the Cafe Batavia; overlooking the Fatahillah Square and watch the world pass you by. The venue is an award-winning restaurant with excellent Indonesian food and fine dining available (try their Signature Menu). It is also one of the oldest dining venues in Jakarta and has hosted a number of international dignitaries and leaders

Day 2: Afternoon

Afterwards, stroll to Cikini in Central Jakarta, which is home to an iconic landmark-, the Taman Ismail Marzuki Arts Centre (TIM). If you want to sample some of that famed local coffee, then Bakoel Koffie coffee shop on Cikini Raya street serves a brew made with locally grown beans and the 150-year old venue offers a number of signature blends. They claim to be the oldest coffee roaster in Indonesia and try to promote Indonesian coffee beans and their culture. They even have an online graphic novel explaining their story!

After visiting Jakarta’s main attractions by foot, you can skip the traffic and take to the skies to enjoy unparalleled views of the city sprawling below. There are several sight-seeing helicopter tours that take in outlying neighbourhoods of the vast city and beyond. Alternatively, private helicopters can be booked through Yugo for hand-curated itineraries. Either way, forge unforgettable memories and spend the final afternoon exploring Jakarta from the sky.

Jakarta Central Mall offers daily shows and designer brands

A trip to one of the exclusive malls in Jakarta includes the popular Plaza Indonesia which is an extension of the Grand Hyatt Hotel and houses fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Armani and many more. Or head to Sudirman Central Business District in South Jakarta, and explore the Pacific Place Mall (attached to the Ritz Carlton Hotel) for high-end brands.

Finally, there is Central Park Mall (located in one of the largest buildings in the world) which is home to the 5-star Pullman hotel and resort. The mall has an outdoor park and a musical fountain with daily shows.

Day 2: Evening

If you're looking to end off 48 hours on a high, head to Tugu Kunstrking Paleis for an incredible dinner in a beautiful setting. The historical and grand venue also showcases excellent art and exhibitions with the gallery also selling beautiful art, jewellery,  and other designer items.

Image Credit: Tugu Kunstrking Paleis

For the dining, there is an excellent restaurant, the elegant Suzie Wong Lounge, as well as a tea house (which offers high tea events). The cuisine is Indonesian and Dutch with a wide selection of meats, fish and vegetarian options.

End off your 48 hours and head to one of the many excellent high-end bars in Jakarta.  A/A BAR is a hidden speakeasy-style establishment that specialises in aromatic, herbal and floral cocktails. There is also live jazz in the intimate setting which is very stylish. “A/A Bar offers a true one-of-a-kind drinking experience where each drink exudes a distinctive mystery and class of a hidden establishment.”

Find out about more experiences and our 48 Hour City Guides as well as our huge range of charter options throughout the globe. Contact YUGO for tailored experiences and exclusive private flights.