Menteng, the best place to stay in Jakarta
Menteng is a sub district within central Jakarta and is a popular destination for tourists visiting from all around the world. The area is filled with modern bars, restaurants and hotels, just as you would see in any major city around the world. South of the main square (Merdeka Square), Menteng is home to one of the most affluent residential areas, with an influx of wealthy residents moving to live in the area. Menteng is enjoying a healthy boost in trade, with many top class restaurants, bars and hotels populating the area. Tourists wanting to enjoy luxurious accommodation favour Menteng, as it has all the amenities one needs for a holiday.
Accommodation ranges from luxury hotels, such as The Hermitage Hotel, to budget hotels like The Ibis and serviced apartments for those wanting an extended stay. Although Menteng has been impacted by tourism, there are still lots of residents of Jakarta living in the area and there are still lots of Indonesian traditions upheld. With a good road network, wherever you stay in Menteng you will never be to far from the centre of town or CBD.
Attractions wise, Menteng is near the National Museum and National Monument, both top tourist attractions. For a chance to see the ‘real’ Menteng, you can stroll down Pasar Baru, a pedestrianised road that is home to Jakarta’s biggest market, with stalls giving a true insight to Indonesian life.
The highlight of the Menteng area is Merdeka Square is the hub of central Jakarta and is crossed by four diagonal streets which form an "X" (The Monument is in the centre of the ‘x’). Jalan Silang Monas is the main street that separates four parks that occupy each direction of the city and separates the square into four parts: North, East, South, and West parks. The Parks are a great place to hang out and take in the unique atmosphere of Jakarta. If relaxing in the park is not your thing, there is always plenty to do in Menteng, from shopping and sight seeing by day and enjoying a stint of the karaoke at night.
Other neighborhoods to stay in Jakarta
Tanah Abang is another subdistrict of central Jakarta, located in the centre of the Kebon Melati reservoir. The Tanah Abang Market is the largest textile market in Jakarta and attracts thousands of visitors each week. Whist you may not want to take any materials home with you, it is definitely worth making the trip to soak up the Jakartan culture and see how locals go about their business. There is also a textile museum, where you can learn about the history of the textile trade and how it has impacted Indonesia.
History buffs can also visit the Dutch cemetery, that was used during Dutch colonial times, and is now a museum (Museum Taman Prasati). Sports fans head to the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Tanah Abang, to watch their favourite games before heading to one of the popular chain restaurants in the area. Whilst you will get traditional Indonesian cuisine in Tanah Abang, there are many international restaurant chains, such as TGI Fridays and Wendy’s that cater for the international market. The area is a popular business district but is also home to many top class hotels and as well as budget accommodation.
The Central Business District (CBD) is enjoying a surge in popularity, with new businesses popping up every day. The area is popular with international businessmen and businesswomen, with many hotels close to the Jakarta conventions Centre and many international business properties. CBD is one of the best shopping destinations in Jakarta, with dozens of shopping malls and brand name shops.
The Plaza Semanggi Shopping Complex is home to dozens of retailers and restaurants as well as a multi-screen cinema. Whilst there are many high class restaurants and popular chains, there is still a great street food scene in CBD, with every traditional Indonesian dish you can think of on your doorstep. You will be spoilt for choice with hotels in CBD, with plenty of luxury hotels to choose from, some of which have spa’s, shopping malls and gyms attached. There are also plenty of serviced apartments or small studio flats, for those enjoying a long stay in the city. Transport in the area is excellent, with good rail and road links in and around the city, making it a great place for exploring Jakarta and a good base for exploring further afield.