After major revitalization in this area, Kota Tua has become one of the most highly sought tourist destination in Jakarta for the last few years. After being famous of its Dutch colonial architecture and history, Kota Tua is also now increasingly in demand to visit with the presence of cafes, local culinary, and folk markets, which make Kota Tua an attractive choice for weekends not for tourists but also for Jakarta citizen. So, here is my several places to visit and to try in Kota Tua.
To Get There
It is very easy to visit Kota Tua, because of its strategic location which integrated by several transportation modes. You can take KRL Commuter Line with the destination of Jakarta Kota Station, Transjakarta busway with the destination Kota (close to Fatahillah park) and Kali Besar Barat (to get off at Kali Besar) or you can also take the Transjakarta #JakartaExplorer bus (and the good news is: IT’S FREE!).
I also highly recommend that for those of you who drive, you can park in the Kali Besar parking area, because it is safer and more organized (don’t forget to bring an electric money card, because parking fees are paid through automatic machines).
To Visit # 1: Kali Besar
Kali Besar is the new famous spot in Kota Tua, here we can see the line of white old buildings along the river sidewalk.
After a little walk along the river, you can also try several local snacks culinary, as Pecel (mixed vegetables with peanut sauce, Gorengan (various fried snacks) and my favorite childhood snacks; Egg Rolls!
In addition, I can say, Kali Besar scenery is very pretty to visit any time; day, evening or night and in each time, it always shows different impressions. Kudos for the revitalization!
To Visit # 2: Taman Fatahillah
Walking a little from Kali Besar, we can immediately enter the most famous main area in the old city: Fatahillah park. For visits on weekends, the Fatahillah park is quite crowded and is usually people chose to sit around, relaxing, watching music busking or renting bicycles.
Besides these activities, there are several museums to visit around Fatahillah Park, such as the Fatahillah Museum (Jakarta History Museum), Puppet Museum (Museum Wayang), Bank Indonesia Museum, Mandiri Museum, etc. For museums, the time of the visit is generally open Tuesday to Sunday from 09.00 to 15.00 WIB.
To Try: Acaraki @ Gedung Kerta Niaga
After being in the sunshine too long, there are also many beautiful cafes you can visit to cool down a bit and rest, and Kerta Niaga Building attract me the most. Kerta Niaga Building itself is the newest building revitalized and now opened to become a modern market place for culinary shops, cafes, and souvenirs.
So, after looking to several cafes, I decided to try something new: Acaraki. What’s interesting is, this cafe is not selling coffee but jamu which is a Javanese traditional herbal medicine drink. Maybe for those of you who don’t like jamu because of its strong flavor are not interested to give it a try, but worry no more, this traditional herbal medicine has been processed so it is lighter to consume, especially for a modern palate like us.
I tried 3 different menus, Iced Saranti and Golden Sparkling which are their specialty menu, and Hot Tubruk Medium which they called as a new wave jamu menu.
For Iced Saranti, the taste is very similar to milk tea or latte, as they used milk and creamer composition to the recipe. It is very suitable for coffee lovers.
As for Golden Sparkling, for me, tastes very similar to orange soda, and doesn’t taste like herbal medicine too much. If you are a sparkling soda lover and need something refreshing to cool yourself, I recommend you to order this menu
For people who used to drink jamu regularly as herbal medicine, Hot Tubruk is recommended for you, because of its quite familiar jamu taste and it is very good for relieving your cold (if you are not in a good condition)
From the three menus, I preferably chose Iced Saranti, because it doesn’t have strong herbal scents, and taste very light. I really recommend this menu for a not-too-fan of jamu like me.
So, this will wrapped up my first post for Kota Tua trip. There are still many spots and places to visit in Kota Tua area, and maybe I will make a follow-up post for remaining places (if you are interested, of course hehe). So, stay tuned and keep wandering, wanderers!