5 Practical Tips for Getting Around Jakarta


Jakarta is notorious for being one of the world’s worst cities for traffic.

That makes it important to stay in a hotel that provides easy access to your meetings. It’s also wise not to try to fit in more than two per day if they involve any travel. Download the Waze app to find out if there are traffic delays on your planned routes.

Business cards are a must and Japanese-style two-handed delivery demonstrates you know something about Asia.

Most Indonesians are big on manners and building relationships is crucial. A suit or jacket is not essential but shows you value the meeting.

Don’t assume you can visit Jakarta on business on a tourist visa.

While visas are available on arrival, Indonesia’s immigration authorities are sensitive about misuse. Take the time to apply for a business visa from an Indonesian consulate before you visit.

Avoid hailing taxis if you can.

A safer alternative is to book ahead with a reputable company. The most reliable brands are Blue Bird and Express. The Blue Bird app is a great way to pre-book a taxi with them. 

Sarinah, the state-owned department store in the main business area, isn’t exactly glamorous but is the best for souvenirs.

The fourth floor is dedicated to batik fabric while the fifth is handicrafts heaven. If you find yourself working closer to South Jakarta, the lower ground floor of Pasaraya Blok M has a great selection of Batik clothes and fabrics and handicrafts. There's also a high quality food court with a selection of local cuisine, including an excellent rendition of Gado Gado, perfect for a quick lunch in-between meetings. 

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