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9 Under-The-Radar Spots To Check Out When You're In Jakarta

When it comes to a weekend getaway, the idealistic beach settings of Bali and Phuket often come to mind. Good news city-dwellers, an hour away lies the subtly cool sensibilities of Jakarta, Indonesia – from museums to a vibrant nightlife. Here, we round up the best places to check out if you're not looking for a run-of-the-mill reset.
Art/Music: Museum Macan
The museum’s lineup for 2020 is nothing short of bombastic. Some of Indonesia’s most prolific artists will have solo shows: Melati Suryodarmo will have her first museum exhibition and Agus Suwage will be showcasing work from the ’80s. Manifesto, a film by German director Julian Rosefeldt which stars Cate Blanchett in 12 different roles, is also showing. Chiharu Shiota, the artist known for his large installations at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, will also have his biggest solo exhibition here.   Museum Macan, AKR Tower Level M, Jl. Perjuangan No.5, Kebun Jeruk, Jakarta Barat   Art/Music: Rubanah
Rubanah is a small, (literally) underground gallery with interesting contemporary exhibitions. It’s a fantastic space for art primarily because you never know what’s happening here: a film screening, a performance, a giant installation, a book launch. Yeah, it’s “Instagrammable” but please watch where you’re taking pics. The gallery is easily accessible from the Bundaran H.I. MRT station, from where you can take a 5-minute walk.    Rubanah, Jl. Timor No.25, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat   Bars/Nightlife: Slits
Image: Instagram @tristanpnv   This bar’s right at the back of Pelaspas Dharmawangsa, a compound with a great mix of eateries. They have noodles, pizza, tacos, ice cream—everything that might make for great bar good. So if you’re hungry at any point, just go downstairs. Slits has good drinks, a good vibe and good music. It’s a pretty small bar but they’ve done up the space real nice. I’ve had their umeshu drinks and highballs here and 10/10 would recommend.    Slits, Pelaspas Dharmawangsa, Jl. Dharmawangsa Raya No.4, RW.2, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan Bars/Nightlife: Egg Hotel
Though you might mistake this for a hotel at first, the Egg Hotel is a bar-and-brunch place. Contrary to its name, there aren’t a lot of egg dishes on the menu. It’s on top of a residential building, but hey, everyone loves a rooftop bar. Here you get a great urban view of Jakarta’s skyline, since it’s located right smack in the middle of the city’s CBD.    Egg Hotel, Suites at Seven, Rooftop 3rd Floor, Jl. H. Sidik No. 7, Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan Bars/Nightlife: Blok M
Image: Instagram @emanuela.dewiambarwati18   Jakarta’s red light district is dubbed Little Tokyo. Head towards the area early evening and start at Blok M Square where you can go downstairs to hunt for records and used books. Then you can go eat, drink, and karaoke. But be alert where you’re going, you never know what kind of an establishment you’re walking into. That’s what makes the area all the more thrilling!   Blok M, Jl. Melawai 5, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan Cafe: Chicory
Image: Instagram @tishakazan   They have a cherry pie named after Twin Peaks — that’s enough indication of how good this place is. Everything on the menu and what’s out on display is great. You should try the coconut cocoa and a warm beignet with vanilla filling that you can only get on weekends. Come when you want to relax, because there are few seats and it gets really loud when full.     Chicory, Jl. Sumenep No. 9, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat Shopping: Pasar Baru/ Pasar Senin
Image: Instagram @sasmitt16   Now, this is every vintage shopper’s dream. You’ll be greeted byntire floors of second hand for as little as $0.50 – with a selection of vests, saris, vintage and authentic Paco Rabanne suits as well as Christian Dior purses. Analog heads: it’s also a great place to buy film. While you’re here, hunt down all the little eateries which have been passed down generation to generation—they’re mostly in the back alleys.   Pasar Senen, Jl. Stasiun Senen No.14, Senen, Jakarta Pusat Shopping: Niniveh
Home-decor enthusiasts, this one’s for you. This decor shop is located at Jalan Cikajang, nestled above a restaurant and gourmet ice cream shop (which is also really delicious). You can find really quirky accessories, unique clothing and craft pieces for your home. Niniveh does a lot of limited-seats workshops with various designers and artisans.   Niniveh, Jl. Cikajang No. 63, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan Shopping: Ara
If you’re looking for a little taste of Indonesian design, Ara is a clothing store in the Kemang neighborhood that stocks contemporary Indonesian designers. Splurge here—you’ll find everything is reasonably priced and well done in craftsmanship and design. The space itself is beautiful, it’s no wonder that Ara hosts many of the city’s coolest pop-ups.   Ara, Colony Building, 1F #5-6, Jl. Kemang Raya No. 6, Kemang, Jakarta Selatan