Visiting the Bank of Indonesia Museum
The complete guide to Museum Bank Indonesia in Kota Tua. Everything you need to know.
The Bank of Indonesia Museum which translates to ‘Museum Bank Indonesia’ in Bahasa Indonesian, is one of the most popular museums in Kota Tua – Jakarta’s Old Town.
If you visit Kota Tua it is also a practical decision to visit the Bank of Indonesia Museum.
The Museum itself was created to document and showcase the central bank’s role in the development of the banking industry and the historical development of Indonesia. If you visit the Bank of Indonesia Museum, you will get an overview of monetary policies and banking systems dating back before the colonial era right through to the present day.
The Museum does a sufficient job of outlining how the banking industry evolved during different periods in time.
There is a section of the Bank of Indonesia Museum which focuses on the early-spice trade in the country. If you don’t know much about spice and its role in developing Indonesia a visiting the Bank of Indonesia Museum will surely help!
Banknotes and More Banknotes
Another really interesting section of the Bank of Indonesia Museum displays a massive collection of different banknotes. The notes are from different currencies from around the world.
You might find it interesting to see how notes from different countries have evolved over the years. Some of the banknotes look prehistoric and you will be shocked by how some of the bills have evolved over the years.
The Bank of Indonesia Museum was formally opened in 2009, but the original building it is located in was actually built during the 1800th century. Therefore, when you visit the Bank of Indonesia Museum in Kota Tua you will actually feel you are part of a historical journey back in time. Very high ceilings and aged flooring make the experience feel quite authentic.
Even if you don’t have much knowledge of the banking industry or the role the central bank plays in a country, the exhibits within the Bank of Indonesia Museum make it easy to understand with the use of multimedia displays, static panels, monitors and audio information.
JTG Insider Tip: Camera Usage in the Bank of Indonesia Museum
During our experiences visiting the Bank of Indonesia Museum in Jakarta, you should be prepared to store your bag at their security desk upon entering the Museum. It’s important to give you a forewarning regarding this so that you are not left in line scrambling to fit everything you have securely into your bags.
While entering the Museum, you probably will be asked to place everything into a secure bag, with the exception of our cameras, phones, and wallets. We brought our cameras into the museum and took photographs throughout.
They prefer that visitors do not take photos of the ‘dark room’ that has all the banknotes from around the world.
What is around the Bank of Indonesia Museum?
When you visit the Bank of Indonesia Museum in Kota Tua you will notice that it is located in one of the best areas for sightseeing in Jakarta.
It is only about 400 meters south of Fatahillah Square – the heart of Kota Tua (the former Dutch colonial district of Jakarta).
While you are visiting the Bank of Indonesia Museum, you will also have the opportunity to check out another attraction, the Mandiri Bank Museum. you might find it fun to draw comparisons between the two. They both focus on the development of banking systems in Indonesia.
Directly in front of the Bank of Indonesia Museum, you will find some local street vendors selling some of Indonesia’s famous street snacks. If you have a sensitive stomach take some caution before eating anything.
If you walk about 300 to 400 m north of the Bank of Indonesia Museum, you will eventually reach Fatahillah Square. This is the central square of Jakarta’s Old Town. Fortunately, you will find various museums directly surrounding the square. They include the Wayang Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics as well as Jakarta History Museum.
You can easily walk from the Bank of Indonesia Museum to any of these in under 5 minutes.
If you travel a few kilometers north of the Bank of Indonesia Museum then you will also be able to check out Sunda Kelapa and Jakarta’s Maritime Museum. Typically, tourists choose to arrange a ride to access both of these points of interest.
A few kilometers south of the Bank of Indonesian Museum is Chinatown. Here you will find various street markets. It is possible to walk between the bank of Indonesia Museum and Chinatown in Jakarta. But depending on the temperature you may want to arrange a ride instead.
If you are looking for electronics, then you should travel from the Bank of Indonesian Museum in Kota Tua to Mangga Dua. Mangga Dua has a wide selection of electronics malls that are popular with local and international shoppers.
Best Accommodation Options
If you plan on staying near the Bank of Indonesia Museum, then you were probably going to have to stay at a budget hotel. This area of Kota Tua is not particularly well known for luxury hotels or apartments.
If you are looking for more comprehensive service and better amenities then consider staying in Gadjah Madah. Some of the best properties in this area of Jakarta include:
If you stay at one of these hotels then you will be centrally located between Kota Tua and the Monas. This can make your trip a bit more efficient if you plan on seeing some of the city’s central attractions.
The Pro’s and Con’s of Visiting Museum Bank Indonesia
Why you should visit the Bank of Indonesia Museum in Jakarta?
The Bank of Indonesia Museum in Jakarta is a very affordable, and stress-free attraction in Jakarta to visit. This is especially if you’re already sightseeing in Kota Tua.
If you are up for trying some Indonesian street food, there are various vendors who have set up shop directly in front of the Museum.
Visiting the Bank of Indonesia Museum can be a rewarding educational experience as well from many different perspectives. The display of banknotes and how they have evolved over the years is particularly interesting. Therefore, even if you aren’t from Indonesia, there’s a good chance that you will find your home country’s banknotes and how they used to look hundreds of years ago!
Why you might not want to visit the Bank of Indonesia Museum in Jakarta?
If you’re not a museum person, then the Bank of Indonesia Museum probably shouldn’t be on the top of your Jakarta itinerary. In comparison to some European and Western Museums, you might find some of the exhibits at the Museum a bit outdated. It isn’t the largest Museum, but this can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your level of interest.
Visiting the Bank of Indonesia Museum in Jakarta
During our first visit to the Bank of Indonesia Museum, we had very little knowledge about the role the Central Bank had played in the development of Indonesia or any country for that matter.
We found the basic, yet informative exhibits quite effective in explaining the role the Bank of Indonesia has played over the years. Don’t expect the exhibits to be overly sophisticated at the Museum. As mentioned before, the banknote section of the Museum was particularly interesting. We spent the most time in this room and we took a look at various currency notes, not only Indonesia’s.
Considering its ideal location, affordable entrance fee and interesting exhibits, the Bank of Indonesia is a worthwhile sight to visit in Jakarta, even if it’s for only 30 minutes. During our first visit to the Museum, we spent about 45 minutes, but many stay shorter and some stay longer.
Again, this will depend on your interest level. Visiting the Bank of Indonesia Museum in Kota Tua might be a nice addition to your itinerary while in Jakarta.