Home to historic buildings, Kota Tua in West Jakarta is a popular destination for both local and foreign tourists. Its main attraction is Fatahillah Square, an open space area surrounded by colonial buildings. There, visitors can do some museum hopping and stroll around the outdoor area.
In addition to visiting museums, Kota Tua is also known as a favorite spot for lovebirds to take pre-wedding photos.
Kota Tua is strategically located in the heart of Jakarta, which makes it easy for both local and foreign tourists to visit.
Those coming from Bogor or Bekasi in West Java can board a train to the nearby Jakarta Kota station.
From South Jakarta, visitors can hop on the Transjakarta Blok M to Kota route.
Those residing in Central Jakarta can opt to ride mikrolet (public minivan) M12 from Pasar Senen to Kota or the M08 from Tanah Abang to Kota. Meanwhile, North Jakarta residents can hop on mikrolet M15 from Tanjung Priok to Kota.
As for those who live in East Jakarta, the recommended option is a public bus, the Mayasari Bakti AC70 from Kampung Rambutan to Sarinah. From Sarinah, passengers can continue on Transjakarta to Kota Tua.
The open space area usually gets hot during the day. Hence, casual outfits like T-shirts, short pants and sandals are highly recommended.
Museum hopping is a recommended activity while visiting Kota Tua. There are three museums located in Fatahillah Square: the Jakarta History Museum (Museum Sejarah Jakarta), the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics (Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik) and the Puppet Museum (Museum Wayang). The entrance fee for each museum is Rp 5,000 (less than 50 US cents) for adults, Rp 3,000 for college students and Rp 2,000 for children and students.
History buffs may want to visit the Jakarta History Museum as it has exhibits about the history of the capital from Dutch colonization to the Japanese occupation.
In addition to Jakarta’s history, the place also showcases antique furniture on the second floor, such as the the large Schepenkast bookcase made in 1748. In the backyard, visitors can visit an underground dungeon, where Indonesian heroes Pangeran Diponegoro and Untung Suropati were said to have been imprisoned.
The Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics is a must-visit place for art enthusiasts. There, visitors can marvel at paintings by Basuki Abdullah, Antonio Blanco, Lee Man Fong and Henk Ngantung.
As the name implies, the museum also exhibits ceramics from various cities across the archipelago, including Malang in East Java, Yogyakarta and Bandung in West Java.
Those wanting to learn about wayang (traditional puppets) should schedule a visit to the Puppet Museum. Originally built by the East Indies Company (VOC), the building is now home to more than 6,500 wayang. Every Sunday, the place also hosts a wayang performance, which is free for museum patrons to enjoy.
In addition to those three museums, visitors can also drop by the Bank Mandiri Museum and Bank Indonesia Museum that are located opposite the Jakarta Kota train station.
Meanwhile, those wanting to take pre-wedding photos may consider Rumah Akar, an empty building on a corner of Kota Tua that has giant roots growing inside. Available for rent for Rp 200,000 per hour, the place is tad creepy, but it is popular for both photos and video shoots.