Being the country’s economic, cultural and political center, Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia, it is the most populous city in whole Southeast Asia. Heavy traffic and high level of pollution are present in the city, but it still attracts tourists with its exciting nightlife, sandy beaches followed by diving and surfing and vibrant shopping areas. The city is the center of Indonesian culture and you are guaranteed to meet people of all sorts here.
The Old City, with the Dutch style buildings, stays as a reminder of how the city looked like before the modern buildings were built. Among other areas interesting to include on your agenda if coming here are Jakarta History Museum, Maritime museum and Sea World Indonesia.
Warnings & Dangers in Jakarta
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
When the overall risk is in question, Jakarta can be considered not so safe city. Tourists need to exercise a high degree of caution in Jakarta, and this is all due to the high threat of terrorist attack. Your personal security is at danger at all times, so you need to pay special attention. Before deciding to come here, you should watch media to get the latest information about safety.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
People are friendly, hospitable, and helpful, but make sure to keep away from the mini-bus drivers and some notorious taxi drivers. There are unfair taxi drivers that do not use meters. Public transport in Jakarta can be considered safe, but overcrowded and thus targeted by pickpockets.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Taking into account the fact that it is a city with a high touristic flow, pickpocket risks are possible. In order to decrease the chances of being robbed, little precautions is enough. Theft and other petty crime, such as robbery and bag snatching, are frequent with violence, which is sometimes used.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
Natural disasters occur. Earthquakes and tsunamis are common in Jakarta and the eruption of the volcanoes might be a threat, because they can erupt at any time and cause widespread loss of life and destruction. Floods and mudslides occur during the wet season, and after the water recedes, it leaves the high risk of contracting water-borne diseases. In the event of a natural disaster, follow the advice of local authorities.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Mugging and kidnapping risks in Jakarta are rare and it is unlikely that you might get assaulted. However, you should not rely on this, and should always practice common sense and make sure to avoid some risky areas at night.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Since terrorism is a worldwide threat, tourists need to be careful in case of any suspicious activity. Security in Jakarta tends to be heavy and constant information indicating that terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia is received. Attacks might occur anywhere, anytime, including locations frequented by tourists.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Drink spiking with toxic substances occurs. Fake Arak, dangerous for your health, is often offered to tourists, since it costs less, due to the fact that methanol is used instead of alcohol. Scams with credit cards are frequent in Jakarta and criminals use electronic “skimming” to steal credit card credentials and pin code at some ATM’s. Some scammers pretend to recognize the victim offering him/her a drink and a ride, in order to mug him/her.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women can feel safe in Jakarta. There are no reports of foreign women being assaulted, but you should always be vigilant and do not accept help or drink from unknown males.
So... How Safe Is Jakarta Really?
Jakarta is a huge city with several districts that have a strong cultural value, but, unfortunately, many of the buildings are not well preserved. The area around Old Town covers very interesting places to visit and it is safe, but be aware that the big flow of tourists attracts pickpockets and scammers.
When it comes to crime, you should stay away from the Ancol Port area and other neighborhoods in North of the city, which have the highest crime rate among other districts. Criminal problems have become more serious in the last 10 years and pick-pocketing or bag snatching are the most common crimes. Business travelers need to watch for their laptops, which have been known to disappear even from within office buildings.
In general, as long as you exercise awareness and precaution, avoid walking alone at night and be wary of strangers you do not have to worry about your safety in Jakarta.
- Visas - For the stays that are shorter than 30 days, you do not require a visa. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months. Visas are available at the airport and they may be paid in cash or credit card. If you intend to stay in Indonesia for more than 30 days, you need to apply for a visa. The period of your stay is calculated from the day you arrive.
- Currency - The official currency of Indonesia is the rupiah. You can withdraw money from the ATM using your credit or debit card. ATMs are available, but you should always have some money with you, since Indonesian taxis do not accept credit cards.
- Weather - The dry season in Indonesia lasts from May to October and the peak season is August. Jakarta has a tropical monsoon climate. The majority of precipitation falls from November to April. The best part of the year to visit Jakarta is spring and early autumn.
- Airports - The busiest airport in Indonesia is Soekarno–Hatta International Airport which operates all international and most domestic flights. It is 20 km away from the city. The older Halim Perdanakusuma Airport is used by the military, VIP flights, charter flights and private jets and several domestic flights.
- Travel Insurance - Regardless of how healthy you are, travel insurance is obligatory. It should cover medical expenses, since numerous diseases might happen to you such as measles, mosquito-borne illnesses and Zika virus. Do not consume magic mushrooms considering the fact that they can cause major health problems.