Jakarta is the bustling heart of Indonesia, where tradition meets modernity in a vibrant fusion of culture and commerce. This sprawling capital city beckons with its captivating contrasts, where ancient temples stand amidst towering skyscrapers, and the aroma of sizzling street food blends with the scent of incense in serene mosques.
We were keen to unravel the secrets of Jakarta’s rich history, diverse neighborhoods, and exciting attractions, offering a glimpse into a city that never ceases to surprise and inspire.
Discovering Jakarta’s Charm and Diversity
From the historic Old Town of Kota Tua, where Dutch colonial heritage echoes through centuries-old buildings, to the modern shopping paradises of malls like Grand Indonesia and Pacific Place, Jakarta is a city of boundless diversity.
Whether you’re a culture enthusiast eager to explore museums and religious sites, a foodie ready to indulge in the tantalizing flavors of Indonesian cuisine, or an urban explorer seeking the pulse of a metropolis, Jakarta has something for everyone.
For our short return visit to Jakarta, we opted to stay in the Jakarta Takes Mansion hotel, close to the center of the city. The hotel is just a 20-minute walk across the park from Gambir train station, and not far from a central shopping area.
Jakarta Takes Mansion Hotel
Takes Mansion is a medium sized hotel located in central Jakarta. It is within easy walking distance of the central park and Independence monument.
We chose this hotel because of its proximity to Gambir train station, where we were arriving from Semarang. It was also one of the few hotels in this price range (€25) that featured a rooftop swimming pool.
The hotel comprises 2 buildings: The original Takes Mansion plus a newer, more modern block.
We were given a room in the older building. The room was fine, if a little worn and faded. It included airco, TV with decent film channels in English, and a kettle.
Importantly, the bed was large and comfortable.
Our room rate included a good buffet breakfast, with Asian and Western food options.
Local Shopping Mall
Within a 20-minute walk of the hotel, we found an area with lots of eating options. There was also a large shopping mall with a supermarket on the ground floor. This shop stocked an excellent variety of fresh fruit as well as bottled booze.
Those IDR 50,000 bottles of Bintang beer could be picked up here for just IDR 30,000.
Getting to the Airport from Central Jakarta
Our return stay in Jakarta was just a 1-nighter. This was to ensure we got back to the airport in good time to catch our flight home the following day.
The next morning we took one of the recommended Blue Bird taxis from in front of our hotel. The taxi was running on a meter, and our fare came to IDR 138,000 plus IDR 16,000 for 2 toll booths along the way (a total of €11).
The journey took just 40 minutes, travelling around 12 pm midday.
In the rush hours, the journey can take twice as long.
Another option is to take the Airport Bus from the central Gambir train station. They run regularly and cost just IDR 280,000 per person (€4 for 2 people).
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