How to plan Jakarta 1 day city tour with less than $3 USD

How to plan Jakarta 1 day city tour with less than $3USD


Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia. Most of the people who visits Indonesia, visit only Bali and nearby islands, however if you want to know the culture and architecture of the country, this place is a must visit. It is in the North West part of Java. If you have just one day to explore Jakarta, please read the article to know how to plan 1day city tour in cheapest way.

Kota Tua, Jakarta

How to Reach Jakarta:

By Air:

If you are travelling from different country, or other parts of Indonesia than Java (e.g. Bali, Sumatra or other small islands) then you can book ticket up to Jakarta International (Soekarno-Hatta) Airport. Please read “Things to know before visiting Indonesia” for getting info of how to book cheap flight and plan your tour in very less budget.

By Train:

If you are travelling from any other parts of Java (West, Central Java), then train may be the cheapest option to travel Jakarta. I personally used the train service to reach Central Java by train from Jakarta. It’s Cheap and comfortable, but time consuming. So if you have no time restriction than this may be good alternative to flights.

Best Time to visit:

Like other South Eastern countries, Indonesia is also hot and humid in most of the time of the year. From May to October is dry Season and November to February is Monsoon, so based on your preference, you can plan you visit.

Where to Stay:

Jakarta is a big city, having lot of option of hotels, hostels etc. You can book hotels or hostel from Airbnb or For getting Rs. 700.00 discount, you can book using this link. ( ).

Intercity Transport:

The first and most important thing which is important for city tour is the transport. Jakarta can be explored by taxi, Uber car or Uber Bike. It will cost you approx. $100-$150 in Uber and in taxi, it is even more.

However if you don’t want to spend that much and still want to travel those places like me then I will share my secret!! It’s nothing than move with locals! After interacting with my host (Host for my Airbnb stay and I must admit he was really help full) and my Jakarta friend Clarinda (whom I met first time in Jakarta), I came to know the cheapest but most comfortable way to travel in Jakarta is the busway. Busway is almost same service offered by Metro’s in many Indian cities, but I found the similarity mostly with Delhi Metro, as the busway also connects east, west and Central Jakarta with its Blue, Yellow and Red line bus services same as Delhi Metro. Every 5 min there is a bus to your destination and as there is separate road for busway, so the traffic is also less for it. I found it is most comfortable way of communication in Jakarta. The Card (no ticket only card, which is not returnable) costed me Rp 40.000 ($3) and compare to taxi /Uber it is nothing. With that card I roam around the city whole day (almost all the places to see are near some busway stop with 5-10 min walking distance). Only thing you have to plan how to go and the sequence how you would want to see the places. You can download the Bus way map  or refer the map at any station.

Places to See in Jakarta:

As it is not possible to cover all the places in one day, I would suggest to make your own wish list and plan accordingly. However here I am giving a list of places which are amazing and must visit in Jakarta.

  1. Monas Tower:

This is the most important attraction in Jakarta. This 433ft. national monument symbolize the fight for Indonesia. The tower, situated in Central Jakarta is a National monument of Republic of Indonesia.

            How to reach:

Monas Tower, Jakarta

If you want to travel in trans-Jakarta Busway, if have to stop at Monas station and then walk 10-15 minute to reach there.

Entry fee: There is no entry fee. However if you want to see the city from the top of the tower, then you have to pay Rp. 50.000, but for that you have to reach there before 12pm for getting the ticket.


  1. National Museum:

Located in central Jakarta, this museum is must visit if you want to understand Indonesian culture. This museum was established in 1862 by Dutch people. This 4 storied building is full of various showpieces of Indonesian jewelleries, traditional houses, the dresses used by Kings and Queens. There I got to know how Indonesian culture evolved from Pallawa dynasty, India. The Javanese, Devnagari, Tamil, Balinese, Sundanese all languages evolved from India and now used in many South Eastern Countries e.g. Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar etc.

equipments for making Batik

The video of local folk song by school students was amazing. Here is the video.


  1. Istiqlal Mosque:

Ever since I saw the photograph of the Mosque, while searching for places to see in Jakarta, I wanted to visit this Mosque. This is the largest mosque in South East Asia and third largest in world in terms of capacity. This mosque is also in Central Jakarta and almost 5 Km from Monas. You can reach the mosque by Bus, as there is a bus way stop near the mosque. But remember that no Bus way service is available from Monas to Istiqlal, as the route is one way. You have first see the Mosque and then go for Monas in the next stop.


Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta

While going inside, small kids will offer you plastic bag to keep your shoes and you can offer them some money (as per your wish). Inside for foreigners, the guide will help you to explore inside. If you are in shorts, then they will give you the robe to cover the body. The architecture of the inside is awesome, you can see the dome from the inside of the mosque.


  1. St. Mary Cathedral, Jakarta:

The Cathedral is just opposite of the Mosque and that is the beauty of the Indonesian Culture. This 60 meter tall church was built by Dutch East India Company in 1901. The day I visited, there was a marriage ceremony going on and I was lucky to witness that.


  1. Kota Tua:

Jakarta’s old town Old Batavia is known as Kota Tua. You can witness the age old Dutch culture by visiting this place. All the building, the roads will remind you about the East India Dutch era. There are 5-6 museums to see-  The Fatahillah Square, The Wayang Museum, The Fine Arts and Ceramic Museum, The Bank Mandiri Museum, The Bank Indonesia Museum, Toko Merah: the Red Shop, The Maritime Museum. However Monday all the museum are closed and it was my bad luck that I planned it on Monday.


      How to reach:

You can get a free Bus way service (every 10-15 min frequency) from Mosque. This free service is from Jakarta Govt. It will take 30-40 min to reach there if you take the bus from the Mosque. However the Trans Bus way route is also there. I took the free bus while going and I returned via Trans Bus Way.

In the weekend and holidays, the place is more crowded. You can see people singing, dancing. Here is one video of a Band performing the folk song.

Do you have any question regarding Jakarta tour? Please drop a question below.

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