For history buffs Jakarta offers a number of interesting museums that can give an insight into the past of this city as well as of the Indonesian archipelago. Several of the museums that specialize in particular topics can provide enjoyable family outings.
When visiting museums in Jakarta, however, you should not expect to find the same standards as in well developed countries. In general Indonesian museums do not display items in a very imaginative and attractive way and have few explanatory notices to assist visitors to gain an understanding of the artifacts they are seeing.
If there are any explanations in English, the standard of translation is often so poor as to make the reader amused or bewildered. In spite of this, many of the museums are still worth visiting due to the priceless relics and fascinating items on display.
For this reason it is highly recommended to visit the museums with a guide or someone who can give you a full explanation. Volunteers from the Indonesian Heritage Society provide free guided tours of Jakarta’s foremost museum the Museum Nasional or National Museum. The tours are conducted in several languages with tours in English being given at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as every second Sunday and the last Saturday of the month.
Regular tours are also given in French, German, Japanese and Korean and may also be given on request in several other languages. Additional days and times or individual tours can be arranged for groups including embassies, companies and schools.
The Indonesian Heritage Society is a multinational volunteer organization dedicated to the study and appreciation of Indonesian culture, art, history and nature. In addition to providing tours of the National Museum the Heritage Society’s members are active in a wide variety of behind-the-scenes work at the museum such as assisting with the cataloguing of collections, translating records and providing language instruction to staff.
The Indonesian Heritage Society organizes a series of evening lectures twice a year as well as study groups and explorer groups. Members are able to access the extensive collection of books in the IHS Library. The Indonesian Heritage Society has also published an authoritative guide to Jakarta’s historical sites and museums, The Jakarta Explorer, which is an excellent reference book for learning more about the city and its museums. Further information on the Indonesian Heritage Society is available on its website.
8.00-16.00 Tue – Fri
8.00-17.00 Sat & Sun
Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 12
Gambir, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10110
Phone: 021 386 8172
The National Museum houses a large collection of Indonesian antiquities with more than 100,000 items, including prehistoric artifacts, ethnographic objects, stone sculptures, bronzes, ceramics, textiles and a collection of historical maps, etc.
There are also two treasure rooms where a stunning collection of gold objects and delicate metalwork is displayed. The museum building is often referred to as Gedung Gajah (Elephant Building) because of the bronze statue of an elephant in front of the entrance. An extension to the original building was built several years ago.
Hours: 8.00-17.00 Tue – Sun
Jl. Taman Fatahillah No. 1
Kota Tua, Pinangsia, Tamansari, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 11110
Phone: 021 692 9101, 021 690 1483
There are three museums situated close to each other at Taman Fatahillah square in the old part of the city. The Museum Sejarah Jakarta or Jakarta History Museum is located on the south side of the square in the Stadhuis, or City Hall, of old Batavia, which is one of the finest remaining buildings from the Dutch colonial era.
The upper floor of the building displays many fine examples of colonial furniture while the ground floor depicts the historical development of Jakarta from prehistoric relics, through the colonial era, to items from the recent past.
Balai Seni Rupa dan Keramik (Fine Arts and Ceramics Museum)
Hours: 8.00-15.00, Tue – Sun
Jl. Pos Kota No. 2
RT 9/RW 2, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 11110
Phone: 021 690 7062, 021 692 6090
On the east side of Taman Fatahillah square is the Balai Seni Rupa dan Keramik (Fine Arts and Ceramics Museum) where a permanent exhibition of Indonesian paintings, sculptures and ceramics is housed in a Greek classical style building which formerly served as the Council of Justice in Dutch colonial times.
Hours: 9.00-17.00, Tue – Sun
Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No. 27
Pinangsia, Tamansari, Special Capital Region of 11110
Phone: 021 692 9560
A museum dedicated to puppetry, the Museum Wayang, is located on the west side of the square. Wayang or puppetry is one of Indonesia’s best known cultural traditions. Hand carved leather and wooden puppets and paraphernalia from across the archipelago have been brought together in an extensive collection. Wayang performances are held on the second and third Sundays of the month at 10.00 a.m. at the museum.
Museum Bahari (Maritime Museum)
Hours: 9.00 -15.00, Tue – Sun
Jl. Pasar Ikan No. 1
Penjaringan, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10120
Phone: 021 669 3406
Not far to the north of Taman Fatahillah square is Sunda Kelapa harbor where you can see the traditional inter-island sailing ships called phinisi, and Pasar Ikan or the Fish Market where not only fish is sold, but also all manner of fascinating items, including seashells, curios and nautical equipment. Along side the market is the Museum Bahari or Maritime Museum which occupies former 17th century warehouses originally built to store spices and other trade items.
The restored buildings now house a collection of original and scale model boats, navigational charts and nautical equipment, seashells, historical photographs and paintings, and other maritime memorabilia. Nearby stands the Lookout Tower, Menara Syahbandar, a three-storey lookout tower that provides an excellent view of what remains of old Batavia, and is the only remaining part of the old city wall built by Dutch traders centuries ago.
Hours: 9.00 -15.00, Tue – Sun
Jl. K.S. Tubun Raya No. 2 – 4
RT 4/RW 2, Kota Bambu Sel., Palmerah, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 11420
Phone: 021 560 6613
The Textile Museum or Museum Tekstil, in West Jakarta was built in the 19th century as the home of a Frenchman and now houses a large collection of textiles and garments demonstrating the highly varied techniques employed by traditional craftswomen throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Indonesia’s hand made textiles are among the most sophisticated in the world.
Museum Taman Prasasti (Memorial Stones Park Museum)
Hours: 9.00 – 15.00, Tue – Sun
Jl. Tanah Abang I No.1, RT 11/RW 8
Gambir, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10160
Phone: 021 385 4060
Info (Indonesian): https://www.museumindonesia.com/museum/3/1/Museum_Taman_Prasasti_Jakarta_Pusat
Not far from the Textile Museum is the Park of Memorial Stones or Taman Prasasti. This 1.2 hectare park contains an interesting collection of tombstones and memorials dating back to the year 1690, many of which were transferred to this site from churches and churchyards that have since been demolished as well as from private properties.
Some of the stones commemorate well known figures such as Olivia Raffles, wife of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who died in Batavia in 1814 at the age of 43. Within Taman Prasasti is a small museum on the topic of traditional methods of burial.
Museum Manggala Wanabakti (National Museum of Forestry)
Hours: 9.00-15.00, Mon – Fri
Gedung Manggala Wanabakti Blok VI
Jalan Gatot Subroto, Senayan, Jakarta 10270
Phone: 021 570 3246
In the complex of buildings of the Forestry Department, there is a small museum called Museum Manggala Wanabakti or the National Museum of Forestry. It contains educational exhibits on the history of forestry, as well as varieties of forests and their usefulness to mankind and importance to the world’s environment.
Museum Gedung Joang 45 (1945 Fight for Freedom Museum)
Hours: 9.00-15.00 Tue – Sun
(Closed 12:00-13:00 on Fri)
Jalan Menteng Raya No.31,
RT 1/RW 10, Kb. Sirih, Menteng, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10340
Phone: 021 3909148
Another small museum is the Museum Gedung Joang 45 or 1945 Fight for Freedom Museum. This building, originally a luxurious hotel built in about 1820, was the site of historic events during the struggle for Indonesia’s independence that was eventually won on 17th August 1945. Photographs and memorabilia of national heroes and the independence struggle are displayed here.
Museum Satria Mandala (Armed Forces Museum)
7.00-15.00, Mon – Fri
9.00-15.00, Sat – Sun
Jl. Gatot Subroto No. 16, RT 6/RW 1, Mampang Prapatan, Special Capital Region of 12710
Phone: 021 522 7946
The development of the Indonesian armed forces is displayed in Museum Satria Mandala or the Armed Forces Museum. The museum occupies a large mansion where Ratna Sari Dewi Soekarno, one of the wives of Indonesia’s first president, lived in the 1960s. Exhibits include weaponry, uniforms, and dioramas illustrating important events in the history of the armed forces. Equipment displayed in the grounds includes aircraft, tanks, missiles and cannons.
Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi (Service to the Motherland Museum)
Hours: 9.00-18.00, Mon- Sat
Jl. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah,
RT 1/RW 3, Pinang Ranti, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 13560
Phone: 021 840 1687, 021 87792078
Museum Purna Bhakti Pertiwi, which can be roughly translated as Service to the Motherland Museum, is a tumpeng (rice cone) shaped building full of symbolism that houses a collection of over 10,000 items most of which are treasures and memorabilia accumulated by the Soeharto family as well as gifts from many nations to the former president.
Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII)
(Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park)
Hours: 7.00-22.00, everyday
Jl. Pinang Ranti
Phone: 021 840 9270 (information), 021 87783530
You will also find seventeen museums located on the premises of Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. These museums specialize in a wide range of themes and include the following: Army Museum, Asmat Museum, Electricity & New Energy Museum, Fauna Museum, Heritage Museum, Information Museum, Insect Museum, Oil & Gas Museum, Science & Technology Center, Sports Museum, Stamp Museum, Telecommunications Museum and Transport Museum.
Museum Indonesia (Indonesia Museum)
Hours: 8.00 – 16.00, everyday
Jl. Taman Mini Indonesia Indah,
Ceger, Cipayung, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 13810
Phone: 021 840 9213, 021 840 9246, 021 877 93537
The main museum in the TMII is the Museum Indonesia (Indonesia Museum) which displays over 3,000 ethnographic artifacts and items from all of the regions of the country in a three-storey Balinese style building. There are displays of costumes, musical instruments, traditional household utensils and tools, model houses, textiles, jewelry, handicrafts, weapons and coins.
Hours: 10.00-17.00 every day except
Jalan Haji Kamang No.38 RT 08/RW 10, Pd. Labu,
Cilandak, South Jakarta,
Special Capital Region of Jakarta 12450
Phone: 021 7590 4863, 021 765 8075
A small but fascinating privately owned museum is the Museum Layang-layang Indonesia, or the Kite Museum of Indonesia. Kite flying is a very popular pastime in Indonesia and a wide variety of traditional and modern kites from Indonesia and other countries is displayed at the museum.
Activities held at the museum include workshops in kite making and training for flying controllable kites, while the museum also acts as an information center for domestic and international kite events and other related activities. The primary objective of the museum is to preserve kite flying as a part of Indonesia’s cultural heritage.
There are also many other museums and galleries you are able to visit while you are strolling around Jakarta, here are the list:
In Central Jakarta
Museum Sasmitaloka Jenderal Besar DR. A.H. Nasution (Sasmitaloka Museum of Great General DR. A.H. Nasution): Jl. Teuku Umar No.40, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10350, operational hours: 08.00-16.00, on Tuesday – Sunday
Museum Katedral (Cathedral Museum): Jl. Katedral No.7B, Pasar Baru, Sawah Besar, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10710, operational hours: 10.00 – 12.00 on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Phone: (021) 345 7746
Museum Kebangkitan Nasional (Museum of National Resurgence): Jl. Abdul Rachman Saleh No. 26, RT 4/RW 5, Senen, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10410, operational hours: 08.00 – 16.00 on Tuesday – Sunday, Phone: (021) 3847975
Museum Mohammad Hoesni Thamrin: Jl. Kenari II No.15, RW 4, Kenari, Senen, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10430, operational hours: 09.00-15.00 on Tuesday – Sunday, Phone: (021) 3909148
Museum Perumusan Naskah Proklamasi (Museum of Proclamation Manuscript Formulation): Jalan Imam Bonjol No.1 RT 9/RW 4, Menteng, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10310, operational hours: 08.00-16.00 on Tuesday – Sunday, Phone: (021) 3144743
Museum Sejarah Nasional (Museum of National History): Jalan Tugu Monas, RT 5/RW 2, Gambir, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10110, operational hours: 08.00 – 16.00 on Tuesday – Sunday, Phone: (021) 3504333
Museum Sumpah Pemuda (Museum of Youth Pledge): Jalan Kramat Raya No. 106, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10420, operational hours: 08.00 – 16.00 on Tuesday – Sunday, Phone: (021) 3103217
Museum Sasmita Loka Ahmad Yani: Jl. Lembang No.67, RT 11/RW 7, Menteng, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10310, operational hours: 08.00 – 16.00 on Tuesday – Sunday
Bentara Budaya Jakarta (Jakarta Heralds of Culture): Jl. Palmerah Sel. No.17, RT 4/RW 2, Gelora, Tanah Abang, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 10270, operational hours: 08.00 – 17.00 on Monday – Friday, Phone: 021 – 5483008 ext. 7910-13
In West Jakarta
Museum Bank Indonesia (Bank of Indonesia Museum): Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No.3, RT 3/RW 6, Kota Tua, Pinangsia, Tamansari, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 11110, operational hours: 08.00 – 15.30 on Tuesday – Friday & 08.00 – 16.00 on Saturday – Sunday, Phone: 021 2600158
Museum Bank Mandiri (Bank of Mandiri Museum): Jl. Lapangan Stasiun No. 1, RT 3 / RW 6, Pinangsia, Tamansari, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 11110, operational hours: 9.00-15.00 on Tuesday – Sunday, Phone: 021-690 2000, 021 6923131
In South Jakarta
Museum Basoeki Abdullah (Indonesian Painter): Jl. Keuangan Raya No. 19, RT 7/RW 5, Cilandak Barat, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 12430, operational hours: 8.00 – 16.00 on Tuesday – Friday & 09.00 – 15.00 on Saturday – Sunday, Phone: 021 7698926
Museum Polri (Police Museum of Republic of Indonesia): Jl. Trunojoyo No.3, RT 5 / RW 2, Selong, Kebayoran Baru, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 12110, operational hours: 08.00 – 12.00 & 13.00 – 14.30, everyday, Phone: 021 7210654
Museum Reksa Artha (Museum of Indonesian Rupiahs Printing): Jl. Lebak Bulus No. 1, Cilandak, South Jakarta, operational hours: 08.00 – 18.00, everyday, Phone: 021 7395000
Museum di Tengah Kebun (In the Middle of Garden Museum): Jl. Kemang Timur Raya Nomor No. 66, RT 7/RW 3, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 12730, operational hours: 09.30 – 15.00 on Saturday – Sunday, Phone: (021) 7196907
In East Jakarta
Museum Pengkhianatan PKI (Museum of Betrayal of Indonesian Communist Party): Jl. Raya Pondok Gede, RT 4/RW 12, Lubang Buaya, Cipayung, Special Capital Region of Jakarta 13810, operational hours: 10.00 – 16.00, everyday, Phone: (021) 8400423
Gedung Promenade 20
Jl. Bangka Raya No.20 Unit A-B
South Jakarta 12730
Phone: +6221 71794306, +6221 751 2557
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 72
Phone: +6221 7195668
Opening hours: 08.00 – 00.00
Phone: 021 7195668
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara (MACAN)
AKR Tower Level MM
Jalan Panjang No. 5 Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta Indonesia
Opening hours: 10.00 – 20.00 on Tue – Sun
Phone: +6221 2212 1888
Jl. Tebet Timur Dalam Raya No.6
South Jakarta 12780
Opening hours: 11.00 – 21.00 on Mon – Sat
Phone: +6221 218304220
Art:1 New Museum
Jl. Rajawali Selatan Raya No 3,
Central Jakarta 10720
Opening hours: 10.00 – 18.00 on Tue – Sat, 10.00 – 16.00 on Sun
P: +6221 64700168
Hadiprana Art Gallery
Mitra Hadiprana Boutique Mall, Ground Floor
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 30 Jakarta
South Jakarta 12730
Ph : +6221-7194715/ +6221-7182765
Ciputra Museum at Ciputra Artpreneur
Ciputra World 1, Retail Podium Level 10,
Jalan Profesor Doktor Satrio Kav. 3-5, South Jakarta
Opening hours: 12:00 to 18:00 on Tue – Sun
More information: +6221 29 889 889
Mandarin Oriental Hotel
Jalan M.H. Thamrin, Central Jakarta 10310
Opening hours: 11:00 – 20:00, everyday or by appointment
Phone: +62 21 2993 8997
Akili Museum of Art
Mutiara Kedoya, Blok A1-1 JKLM Jakarta 11520
Phone: +6221-581-1212 | +6221-583-01705
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 1 Unit 2, South Jakarta
Opening hours: 11.00 – 18.00, Mon & Sat
Phone: +6221 7199719
Ruci Art Space
Jl. Suryo No.49, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta 12180
Opening hours: 10.00 – 22.00 on Thu – Sun, 10.00 – 00.00 on Fri – Sat
Phone: +62 812-1010-3374
Instagram: Ruci Artspace
Instagram: Ruci’s Joint
Gallery Kemang 58 @MammaRosy Restaurant
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 58
South Jakarta 12720
Phone: +6221 91647959
Jl. Kemang Raya No. 21
South Jakarta 12730
Opening hours: 09.00 – 18.00 on Mon – Fri, 09.00 – 17.30 on Sat
Phone: +62 21 7194721, +62 21 71790049
Jl. Kemang Selatan No. 99A
South Jakarta 12730
Phone: +6221 7199 671
Opening hours: 9.30 – 18.00 on Mon – Thurs, 9.30 – 21.-00 on Fri, 9.00 – 21.00 on Sat – Sun
DUTA Fine Arts
Duta Fine Arts Foundation
Jl. Kemang Utara No. 55A, South Jakarta
Phone: 021 7990226
Jl. Kemang Raya 20
South Jakarta 12730
Tel: +6221 71796264
What has been your experience at these museums and galleries? Please do share in the comments below.