Opening Times in Jakarta
Updated May 2016
The population of Indonesia is primarily Muslim (more than 85%). However, unlike most other Islamic countries that consider Friday a rest-day dedicated to religious prayer, Indonesia adopted the Saturday-Sunday weekend prevalent in the Christian world. Nevertheless, on Fridays, in general, workers are allowed an extended lunch break so that they can take part in the weekly congregational prayers at the Mosque.
Banks generally open from 8:30am to 3pm during weekdays (give or take a half-hour) and a few open also on Saturdays from 8:30am. However, many will only change foreign currency during the morning.
As an alternative there are exchange bureaux in many parts of the town. They can be found in many hotels, department stores, and malls - the latter are usually open until 10pm. You should shop around before exchanging large amounts of money as rates differ between banks and money changers without a definite tendency to which offers the best rates. Do not take notes smaller than $50 US dollars, or equivalent in other currencies, except for tipping. Small denomination bills are usually not accepted, neither are those that are not absolutely clean (no writing, or stains on them).
Jakarta has a horrendous traffic jam problem and one of its consequences has been the mushrooming of gigantic shopping malls throughout the city offering everything that you may need without having to go too far away from where you live. In 2014, the government placed a moratorium on more construction, as the number of malls threatened to reach two hundred!
The list below is just a sample. We suggest that you find the ones near where your hotel (or vice-versa if your interest is in a particular mall). If you need to take a taxi, there are a number of permutations to take into consideration. Weekends are easier on the roads, but the malls are fuller. Many of these shopping centres form part of large buildings housing offices that pour thousands of workers into the restaurants and cafes at lunch-time. So, the best time to go, if you prefer to avoid crowds, is mid-week if you don't need transport, and during office hours.
The malls have taken away the clientele of the traditional shops and these are fast disappearing. Interesting flea markets continue to exist and we have included two at the end of the page.
Many shopping malls remain open until 10 pm or later. The few street markets left do not open until around 7 pm and remain active until as late as midnight. Many smaller shops close at dusk on Friday and only reopen Saturday night.
Grand Indonesia - Central - Jl. M.H. Thamrin No. 1, Menteng, Daerah Khusus Ibukota
The largest and most luxurious mall in Jakarta, catering for the rich and famous, and many in the western expatriate community. Modern and comfortable it hosts most of the well-known international fashion brands, a wide selection of restaurants and trendy cafes, jewelry stores, beauty treatment parlours, banks, supermarket, electronics shops, cinema, handicrafts merchants, and a lot more. Within walking distance of major hotels like the Pullman, the Grand Hyatt, or the Mandarin Oriental.
Plaza Indonesia - Central - Jl. M.H. Thamrin No.28-30
A beautifully decorated, elegant, exclusive shopping mall centrally located, adjacent to the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Older than the Grand Indonesia, which is opposite, it is preferred by expatriates, while locals tend to go to the newer and comparatively less expensive neighbour. Here, you can find dozens of luxury shops from well-known luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Dior, Gucci, Chanel, Bvlgari, Cartier, or Rolex. A Gourmet Food Hall, cinema, banks and money changers, restaurants and cafes explain its popularity with western residents.
Plaza Senayan - South - PT. Senayan Trikarya Sempana
Another high-end shopping mall on a much smaller scale of the Grand Indonesia. This is an older mall that is starting to show its age, especially in comparison to the new development opposite, the Senayan City Mall (see below). It is still a very popular spot with two department stores, good quality restaurants, and some fast-food outlets. Unlike in some other malls, there is plenty of parking spaces.
Senayan City Mall - South - Jl. Asia Afrika Lot 19
Part of a modern development, that includes a convention hall, offices, and residences, it offers mostly shops, cinema, and nice, but fewer restaurants than in other malls. Still an upmarket shopping centre, but one that targets a younger and not quite so rich type of customer with more affordable luxury brands like Gucci and Burberry, and even the popular Debenhams or Marks & Spencer . Kids are not forgotten with their own amusement area: "Lollipops".
Pacific Place - South - Jl. Jend Sudirman Kav. 52-53
A beautiful mall in a prestigious site that must be visited. Fashionable, elegant and dedicated to luxurious, exclusive brands. It shares the building of the Ritz Carlton hotel. Among the tenants here, you can find Parisian glamour in the form of a branch of Galeries LaFayette. Young ones can have fun in the theme park, Kidzania, while their parents empty their wallets. There is a wide variety of eating places, which accounts for the large crowds at lunch-time.
Pondok Indah Mall - South - Jl. Metro Pondok Indah, Kebayoran Lama
A very popular large mall that attracts large numbers of people, sometimes too many for comfort. It has just about everything you may need, from department stores, fashion boutiques, bookshops, a hair cut, a massage, to watch a movie, or have a coffee, or choose from the wide selection of restaurants one that fits your taste and budget. If that's not enough, there is also golf driving range. There is something for everyone and that is why it gets so full. Avoid week-ends!
Lippo Mall Kemang - South - Jl. Pangeran Antasari No. 36
Not too big and away from the crowds of the most popular malls this one in Kemang Village remains calm and elegant, and is one of the favourites for the resident expatriates who often outnumber the locals. Still with a wide variety of stores, from mid-range to the more expensive branded shops, selling the usual range of goods found in Jakarta malls. It is also the Jakarta home of Debenham's. There is a cinema and a gym and plenty of cafes and restaurants. Wide choice of eating places from Western to Japanese cuisine.
Tamang Anggrek - West - Jl. Letjen. S. Parman Kav. 21
Large, impressive, comfortable mall in West Jakarta renowned for its skating ring, possibly the largest in South east Asia (Rp. 65,000 and skate all day; more expensive and limited time on week-ends). All kinds of shops, supermarket, cinema, banking, play area for children. Wide choice of eating places from Western to Japanese cuisine. The mall is near the Central park (see below) and considered to be more affordable than its neighbour. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the mall.
Central Park - West - Jalan Letjen. S. Parman Kav. 28
Part of a large complex that includes residences and offices, as well as the Pullman Hotel. Open space in the outside plaza with a fountain surrounded by a refreshing pond provides an alternative to just shopping or eating. Inside the elegant mall, the extensive range of shops includes top-brand shoes, clothing, and electronics. In the food court, or in the variety of international restaurants and cafes, there is something for every taste and wallet. The mall is a mere 5-minute walk from the nearby Tamang Anggrek (see above).
Kuningan City - South - Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio Kav. 18, Karet Kuningan, Setiabudi
A mall in decline with many shops closed. It is included only because of discount shops and outlets outsourcing from boutiques elsewhere in the city putting their older collections for sale with anything up to 80% off. Convenient only if you are staying nearby or looking for a bargain.
Kota Kasablanka - South - Jl. Casablanca Kav. 88, Menteng Dalam, Tebet
This mall, nicknamed Kokas by the locals, is part of a large development that includes two tall office towers. It explains why it is congested at around lunch-time and after work. To avoid them come during office hours. The mall is big and has all the trendy designer boutiques (mid and high brands), countless food courts, cafes, restaurants, and other facilities of the kind that you find in every mall. You can also find hairdressers and barber shops, massage treatments, travel agents, and a Garuda Airlines office. Carrefour hypermarket, H&M, Mango, and Zara are there. It is a favourite with the younger crowds, especially at week-ends.
Lotte Shoping Avenue - South - Jalan Professor Doktor Satrio Kav. 3-5, Karet Kuningan
You can't reinvent the wheel, so this large mall follows the trend of their competitors but positioning itself below the truly luxury segment. It provides a wide variety of goods and services: not only the usual clothing and shoes, like Sebago, but also shoe repairs, hairdressing, cosmetics, among others. There are plenty of cafes, including Starbucks, and restaurants with Japanese and Korean cuisine dominating. A great part of the mall is taken up by Uniqlo department store (3 floors). It is also the home of the duty-free company: Lotte. Kids can have fun at Lollipop Playland.
Surabaya Street - Central - Jalan Surabaya
Jakarta is full of markets and streets dedicated to particular trades. There are also the department stores from the time before the malls. The list would be too long to contemplate. One interesting that can be recommended is the Surabaya Street market, which can be described as an antique market (with many fakes...) and a flea market for the profusion of cheap, low-quality objects. Go early, look around and you might find a gem among it all. And be prepared to barter!
Taman Puring Market - South - Jl. Gandaria Tengah, Kebayoran Baru
Once a black-market, selling contraband and stolen goods, it has lost that reputation and is today where the Jakartans shop for real bargains. Branded clothes and leather shoes sold as factory rejects due to minor faults, along with counterfeited items, and second-hand ones go for a song, especially if you are good at bargaining. You'll find also Indonesian music from decades ago in vinyls and cassettes, along with just about anything old that could be sold. You will not see many foreigners there and will be a million miles away from the plush air conditioned malls! It is advisable that you take a local along with you. It helps in the haggling and provides extra security in the narrow passages and cramped stalls of the market. Leave your valuables behind (watch, camera, jewelry, and beware of pickpockets. But do go and experience the real Jakarta!
The usual hours are 9am to 5pm (most close for lunch for one hour from 12am or 1pm)
Government offices generally open 8am-4pm or 9am-5pm Monday-Friday.
The National Museum ("Museum Nasional"), is located in Jl. Merdeka Barat No. 12, Jakarta. The museum opens from 8:30 to 14:30, except on Fridays (8:30 to 11:30) and Saturdays (8:30 to 13:30). On Mondays and public holidays it is closed.