Kota Tua (Old Batavia): A Must-See in Jakarta, Indonesia

I only learned a few things about Indonesia before I came here and so exploring the Old City is the one of the best things to do to be acquainted with the place I’ll be spending years with.

One of the must-see places in Jakarta is Kota Tua or the Old Batavia. Kota Tua is full of fascinating, historic buildings turned museums (including the Museum Bank Indonesia) boasting of its wonderful architecture and amazing designs – a testament of the Dutch colonization in the past.  According to history, Indonesia was once under the Dutch for more than 300 years. In the 16th Century, Kota Tua is known as the “The Queen of the East” and “the Jewel of Asia”.

We went there on a Sunday afternoon so there were a lot of tourist locals and international. According to my friend Natalia, this is one of the most visited places for families and friends looking an inexpensive weekend adventure.

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The busiest place in the area is the Fatahillah Square fronting the city’s former municipal building now turned museum – the Museum Fatahillah. There was a sort of art and culture exhibitions and “cos-play” entertainment as kids and adults alike donned on anime costumes and you can have your photo taken with them BUT you need to pay 2000-5000 IDR.

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I love Naruto and Hello Kitty so I didn’t miss the chance to have a photo with them.

Other important building around includes the former Court of Justice, the  Puppet Museum, and several banks. The entire area is around 1.3 square kilometers so you need to stretch those leg muscles first. Or, bikes for rent are available.

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Natalia and I wandered around under the scorching heat of the sun (I didn’t put a sunblock on!!!), enjoying the busy square. When we got tired, we thought of trying the Café Batavia which is just right around the corner. This art gallery turned café is the second oldest building in Central Jakarta next to Museum Fatillah and is famous for Dutch cuisine, pastries, coffee and tea. In as much as we wanted to get a taste of their food, we decided to go for a local restaurant nearby and opt for a delicious nasi goreng (fried rice).  Maybe,next time.

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So if you want to visit Jakarta soon, make sure you include Kota Tua in your bucket list.This is truly a must-see destination.

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