Visiting the Monas in Jakarta
Everything you need to know about Indonesia’s National Monument in Jakarta
The Monas, short for Monumen Nasional is one the top tourist attractions in Jakarta. Visiting the Monas should definitely be something to consider during your trip to Jakarta.
Monas Jakarta Attraction Overview
Although the Monas is not quite as tall as some of the world’s most famous towers like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, or the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, it still does offer excellent panoramic views of Jakarta and the surrounding area.
If you visit the Monas you will gain additional perspective about Indonesia, particularly, from a cultural and historical point of view.
The Monas was officially opened in 1975 after its construction began in 1961. It was built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesian Independence. Consequently, it presently remains a very meaningful symbol of independence and pride for local Jakartans and domestic tourists visiting Jakarta.
The base of the Monas is white and it becomes increasingly narrower as it ascends up to 132 meters above the ground.
At the top of Indonesia’s National Monument, you will notice a large golden flame – the Flame of Independence. This is the most significant portion of the Monas and the focal point of the Monument.
When you visit the Monas you can take the elevator up to 115 meters. This means that there is a 17-meter height differential between the observation deck and the upper tip of the Flame of Independence.
Going up to the top of the Monas is one of the main things to do in Jakarta. Domestic tourists, in particular, get excited about going up to the view of the city.
This makes your timing very important when you are fitting the Monas into your travel itinerary for your visit.
Going up the Monas Observation Deck
If you are visiting the Monas in Jakarta, you should highly consider going up to the viewing platform.
Going up the Monas is a popular thing to do with visitors to Jakarta. However, If you don’t show up at the right time, you could be in line for a while.
To go up the Monas you will first have to:
- Enter one of the gates of National Monument Park. Then walk across to the northern side of the Monas.
- Purchase a ticket to go up the elevator and walk through the underground tunnelway to the Monas. The Monas personnel will direct you to the elevator.
The observation deck of the Monas usually opens up at 8 am. Going up the Monas is very popular especially with domestic tourists. If you arrive at the Monas before 8 am you will have the best chance of going up without waiting in line.
If you visit the Monas on a weekend at 10 am, for example, it’s very likely that there will be a large line-up to go up to the observation deck.
Visiting The National History Museum at the Monas
Despite the Monas (Indonesia’s National Monument) being one of the most popular attractions in Jakarta to visit, many visitors don’t realize that there is a very interesting Museum (the National History Museum) located in the lower hall of the Monas.
For those who discover it, they typically find it to be a very informative summary of the development of Indonesia over the years.
The National History Museum does an effective job of outlining Indonesia’s history by using what are called ‘dioramas.’ In this context, dioramas, can best be described as three-dimensional miniature models that are enclosed in glass displays.
There are 51 dioramas organized in a timeline to document the historical development of Indonesian from prehistoric times all the way through Soeharto’s administration.
Visiting the National Monument Park
If you decide not to wait in line and go up the Monas, to see it up close by walking around the National Monument Park is a great alternative.
The National Monument Park is the large green space that surrounds the Monas. It is the most well-kept park in Jakarta. Many tourists are content just walking around the park and get photos of the Monas in the background.
The National Monument Park has become a popular recreational area for Jakarta residents. It is also a convenient spot to run, jog and exercise while visiting Jakarta.
If you are planning on visiting the Monas then you will have to walk through at least one corner of National Monument Park to reach the central monument.
The National Monument Park has some nice green space and some athletics courts that visitors can use. There are multiple outdoor futsal courts, a basketball court, and a badminton court.
In some areas of the National Monument Park, you will also see some pools of water and monuments scattered in different places. Although the pools are nice, they are not designed for visitors to use.
General Reminders about Visiting the Monas in Jakarta
When you visit the Monas do keep in mind that Merdeka Square is not protected from the sun. Although there is some shade along the outer edges of National Monument Park, the area right around the monument doesn’t have shade.
Bring a hat, water, and even an umbrella especially if you are visiting after 10 am.
If you are visiting the Monas and planning on going up to the observation deck try to arrive early.
Remember that the entrance to the Monas is located about 100 meters north of the actual monument. People who visit the Monas usually spend an extra 10 minutes trying to figure out where they should buy the tickets.
Visiting the Monas in Jakarta can be a great experience, but come prepared. Visiting in the early morning is a wise decision because it isn’t too hot, the lines are smaller and the sky is generally clearer during the morning hours.