There is a small charge to enter the National Museum. While you don’t need a guide or a tour to visit, many will find a guide helpful to edit down the vast collection and provide cultural context on the various traditions in different parts of the archipelago. The Indonesian Heritage Society runs free tours in English several mornings a week, or you can join an organized tour.
As an essential introduction to Indonesia’s thousands of islands and cultures, the National Museum is a common stop on Jakarta city tours, Jakarta history tours, and even Jakarta antique tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
A must for fans of history, ethnography, archaeology, and culture, the National Museum is Indonesia’s finest museum.
The National Museum is undergoing ongoing renovation. Newly renovated exhibits are clearer and more informative than those with old signage.
This is a large museum. Start at the area that interests you most, be that ethnology, archaeology, textiles, or gold, and work from there.
The National Museum does not yet have wheelchair ramps.
How to Get There
The National Museum stands proudly on Merdeka Square, one candidate for the center of Jakarta, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) south of Fatahillah Square. To get here using public transport, ride a Transjakarta bus to the Monas (National Monument) stop—or, if you’re planning to explore Jakarta further, consider booking a private driver or joining an organized tour.
When to Get There
The National Museum is open from morning until midafternoon Tuesday to Friday, with an extension on Saturdays and Sundays; it’s closed on Mondays. The Indonesian Heritage Society runs free museum tours in English at 10am on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and 1:30pm on Thursday, with other languages available as well.
Archaeology at the National Museum
What is now Indonesia played an important, only partially explored role in human evolution. Celebrated finds in the museum include Java Man, an early hominid from the species known as Homo erectus, which may date back a million years, and the controversial Flores Hobbit, which many believe to have been a miniature species of human. The archaeology section of the museum has displays on both.
- Things to do in West Java
- Things to do in Banyuwangi
- Things to do in Sentosa Island
- Things to do in Kuching
- Things to do in Seminyak
- Things to do in Kuta
- Things to do in Jimbaran
- Things to do in Ubud
- Things to do in Nusa Dua
- Things to do in East Java
- Things to do in Bali
- Things to do in Sumatra
- Things to do in Kedah
- Indonesia National Monument (Monas)
- Jalan Surabaya Market (Pasar Antik Jalan Surabaya)
- Glodok (Jakarta Chinatown)
- Museum Wayang (Puppet Museum)
- Fatahillah Square (Taman Fatahillah)
- Sunda Kelapa (Jakarta Old Port)
- KidZania Jakarta
- Ancol Dreamland (Taman Impian Ancol)
- Waterbom Jakarta
- Pejaten Village
- Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park)