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Know Before You Go
- Jakarta is notorious for its gridlock traffic. If you need to get somewhere, even if it's only a few kilometres, plan your trip carefully. Don't schedule too many places to visit in one day and give yourself buffer time to get to your destination.
- Indonesia is not a cashless society. In some stores, you'll need to spend a minimum of IDR 50,000 to be able to swipe your card. It's easier to use cash you unless you are making a big purchase.
- You only need to tip if you feel like it. Most restaurants in Jakarta add a 5-10% service charge onto your bill, but servers won't be offended if you decide to leave more.
- If you get hungry in the early hours of the morning, you won't struggle to find something to eat. Jakarta has 24-hour restaurants and street food vendors that will be able to satisfy your hunger.
- The water in Indonesia is not drinkable. Rather buy bottled water to stay safe and avoid getting sick during your holiday.
Getting Around Jakarta
- Thanks to low petrol prices, taxis are a cheap mode of transport to get around Jakarta. Download the Blue Bird taxi app, they are one of the most reputable companies in the city, and their rates start at IDR 7,500. Or if you are on a tight budget, you can save money by using ride sharing apps like Uber, Gojek or Grabtaxi.
- If you decide to take the bus in Jakarta, be prepared for long waiting times and a packed ride during rush hour. On the weekends, it's less busy, and it's a cheap way to get to most of the tourist destinations in the city.
- Buses run from 5 am to 11 pm with certain routes operating 24 hours a day. You'll need to buy an electronic card to use the bus service. It costs IDR 40,000, and one-way trips will set you back IDR 2,000 between 5am-7pm and IDR 3,500 thereafter.
- To explore Jakarta by foot, take a taxi to the city centre and go from there. It's a great way to get your bearings, and there are free walking tours to help you discover the city at your own pace.
When is The Best Time to Visit Jakarta?
The best time to visit Jakarta is during its dry season. From May to September, temperatures are 30º C on average, and the city experiences little rain. The good weather attracts tourists from all over and prices for hotels increase. If you want to avoid this, book your flights and accommodation in advance to lock in better rates and save money.
Another great time to visit Jakarta is during its holidays. Locals tend to vacate the city especially during Lebaran and for Christmas. As a result, the city is less busy, and you won't have a problem finding cheap flights and hotel rates. The only downside about visiting the city over a public holiday is that some of the museums might be closed
During the wet season (October to April), the city sees a dip in tourism. While temperatures are still hot and humid, the high rainfall puts many travellers off. If you don't mind the frequent downpours, you'll be able to find deals on hotels, but keep in mind during January the city sees 400 mm of rain.
Airports in Jakarta
Jakarta has two airports Soekarno–Hatta International Airport and Halim Perdana Kusuma. Halim serves a limited amount of domestic routes and is mainly a military, private and presidential airport. You should rather book flights at Soekarno which is the main international gateway for the city.
Soekarno–Hatta International Airport
Soekarno-Hatta is the largest and biggest airport in Indonesia. It's ranked as the 7th most connected airport in the world and offers daily nonstop flights to destinations in Asia, Australia and Europe.
The airport is a hub for a number of airlines including Indonesia AirAsia, Lion Air, Nam Air, Sriwijaya Air and more.
Getting To and From Soekarno–Hatta International
The easiest way to get into the city is with a hotel pickup. Contact your hotel before arriving as many offer their guests a free airport transfer.
Alternatively, Soekarno-Hatta has a comfortable bus service to and from the airport. The Damri Bus comes with a television, Wi-Fi and storage for luggage. A one-way ticket into the city centre costs IDR 40,000 and buses leave every 20-40 minutes from 5 am to 11 pm every day.
Taxis are the most convenient way to get into Jakarta. A one-way trip will cost you IDR 150,000 excluding the roadway tolls. Due to the traffic problem in the city, it can take anywhere from 40 minutes to two hours to get to your destination, so give yourself enough buffer time.
If you want to save yourself the hassle of haggling with taxi drivers, you can use one of the ride sharing apps. The airport has free Wi-Fi making it easy for you to request a cab from Uber, GoJek or Grab. Remember to save the driver's license plate, vehicle model and arrival time as the Wi-Fi signal won't reach the pickup lane. Fares into the city are usually about half the price of regular taxis.
For travellers that wish to rent a car, the TRAC Astra-Rent A Car is located at Terminal 2F. There are also other car rental companies right after customs.