(Jakarta, Java, Indonesia)
Indonesia's capital city of Jakarta has plenty of museums available to educate visitors on Indonesian culture. In the base of the National Monument, the Jakarta Museum of National History is a shrine to the centuries-long struggle against Dutch colonial powers.
Meanwhile, the Museum Nasional gets more critical acclaim than any other cultural attraction of its kind within the Jakarta region. Finally, those interested in the local tradition of puppetry will want to pay a visit to the Puppet Museum in the Kota district, particularly if you are accompanied by children.
Jakarta History Museum
Address: Taman Fatahillah Square, Jakarta Kota, Jakarta, Java, Indonesia, ID
Tel: +62 021 692 9101
Housed in the Stadhuis building, the Jakarta History Museum also goes by the name of the Museum Fatahillah and is home to an extensive collection of materials and artefacts relating to the city's development. Exhibits span prehistoric and modern ages, and include: colonial weapons and furniture, inscriptions from the era of King Purnawarman, and Dutch maps from the 16th century.
Open hours: Tuesday to Thursday, Sunday - 09:00 to 15:00, Friday and Saturday - 09:00 to 13:00
Address: Jalan Pasar Ikan 1, Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta, Java, Indonesia, ID
Tel: +62 021 669 3409
This maritime museum is housed in a warehouse used by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. Exhibits cover the history of seafaring in the archipelago, and one of the best displays is a collection of weathered photographs depicting a past voyage from Europe to Jakarta. There are two interesting fixtures outside of the Museum Bahari - portions of the city's old walls and a 19th-century watchtower. The latter is occasionally open to visitors, offering panoramic views of the city.
Open hours: Tuesday to Thursday, Sunday - 09:00 to 15:00, Friday - 09:00 to 14:30, Saturday - 09:00 to 12:30
Address: Jalan Merdeka Barat 12, Central Jakarta, Java, Indonesia, ID
Tel: +62 021 386 8172
Fronted by a bronze elephant gifted by the king of Thailand in the 19th century, the Museum Nasional is one of the finest cultural institutions in all of Southeast Asia. Inside is a vast collection of cultural artefacts, including musical instruments, traditional ethnic costumes and scaled-down models of architectural achievements found throughout the archipelago. Be sure to take in the Han Dynasty Chinese ceramics, which are more than 2,000 years old.
Open hours: Monday to Thursday - 08:30 to 14:30
National History Museum
Address: Jalan Pintu Besar Utara, Jakarta, Java, Indonesia, ID
Tel: +62 021 692 9101
This collection is found in the base of Jakarta's towering National Monument. Dozens of dioramas are to be found within the city's National History Museum and relate the story of Indonesia's struggle for independence. The events of the uprising against Dutch colonists are emphasized, and while the objectivity of the story presented is questionable, the exhibits remain an interesting diversion for tourists.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 17:00
Address: Taman Fatahillah, Kota, Jakarta, Java, Indonesia, ID
Tel: +62 021 692 9560
Dedicated to preserving the nation's 'wayang' puppet tradition, this ever-popular museum is particularly appealing to families holidaying in Jakarta with their children. Puppets from historic performances are on display here, with this century-old building. You will also find puppets from other countries in Asia. Formerly the Museum of Old Batavia, the building still holds vestiges of its former collection, including memorials to Dutch officials.
Open hours: Tuesday to Thursday, Sunday - 09:00 to 15:00, Friday - 09:00 to 16:30, Saturday - 09:00 to 14:30
Bogor Zoological Museum
Address: Jalan Juanda 2, Bogor, Java, Indonesia, ID
Tel: +62 025 133 2775
Located close to Jakarta and within the neighbouring city of Bogor, the Bogor Zoological Museum is easy to reach, by bus or train. Established as long ago as the end of the 19th century, this family-friendly attraction has a strong natural history theme and contains almost half a million specimens, covering literally thousands of different Indonesian creatures. Always impressive is the enormous skeleton of a blue whale, along with a number of realistic dioramas and stuffed animals.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for children