Apart from the ubiquitous malls, Jakarta is filled with traditional markets and shopping streets. This review covers all the shopping areas to visit as a tourist. Some of them are very famous and some completely off-the-beaten track.
I've listed them in 4 different categories:
- Traditional markets used by Indonesians for their daily household needs
- Interesting shopping streets for the tourist or the urban explorer
- Low-cost / wholesale shopping centers and malls with fake goods and great bargains
- Specialty markets (Precious stones, birds, flowers, fish, etc...)
There are probably a lot more places worth mentioning so don't hesitate to comment below if necessary.
Traditional markets in Jakarta
Traditional markets in Jakarta are managed by Pasar Jaya, a public company controlled by the provincial government. There are around 150 traditional markets all around Jakarta, with over 100,000 stalls and 2,000,000 daily visitors. The opening hours may vary but they will always be the most crowded early morning. I only visited a few, often by coincidence:
Pasar Rumput and nearby Pasar Manggis are quite old and kind of dirty. If you are adventurous though, they will provide plenty of great photo opportunities. They are located along the Manggarai railroad, not far from Jalan Sudirman so they are quite easy to reach.
Pasar Manggis, Jalan Guntur, Setiabudi, 12970
Pasar Rumput Jalan Raya Sultan Agung No.4, Setiabudi, 0218296376
Pasar Petojo Ilik and Petojo Enclek are nearby traditional markets in relatively good condition. Very colourful, the outside has a lot of small shops selling fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and meat.
Pasar Petojo Enclek, Jalan Suryo Pranoto Gang IX, Petojo Selatan
Pasar Petojo Ilir, Jalan A.M. Sangaji, No.16-18, 003/04, 0216329375
Pasar Mayestik is located in the affluent district of Kebayoran Baru. For this reason, you may see some expats going there. It is popular for fashion and fabrics.
Pasar Mayestik, Jalan Tebah III, Kebayoran Baru, 0217209918 / 021 722 2294
Pasar Pagi Kota
Pasar Pagi is not far from Taman Fatahillah (see below). Painted with bright colours, it is teeming with life, especially outside. It is a good idea to visit it on a day trip to Kota.
Pasar Pagi, Jalan Petak Baru, Malaka, Tambora 11230, 0216927675
Pasar Blok A Fatmawati
If you are an expat living in South Jakarta, you will find that Pasar Blok A is conveniently located. It is similar with other traditional markets with a large choice of food, fruits, vegetables, spices, meat and fish. A revitalisation of the market is planned in the upcoming years.
Pasar Blok A, Jalan R.S. Fatmawati Raya, 008/09, Kebayoran Baru, 0217393088
Shopping streets for tourists
Taman Fatahillah is probably the number one thing to do in Jakarta for tourists, both local and foreign. Naturally, lots of street vendors are trying to sell anything from precious stones to fake watches and temporary tattoos.
Jalan Pemenangan (Glodok)
Jalan Pemenangan is a small street off Jalan Pancoran. It is the street that bring you to the Dharma Bhakti Temple. Most shop keepers are Indo-Chinese and sell from frogs to fireworks. Don't forget to walk in the small gangs (tiny streets). It is one of the few areas in Jakarta with becak (cycle rickshaw) and sepeda ojek (bicycle taxi).
In the heart of Glodok, Petak Sembilan is one of the best streets to visit if you are a tourist in Jakarta. It has an indoor market with mostly Chinese goods and ingredients for Chinese cuisine. I recommend you to visit during Chinese New Year. There is also great street food stalls nearby.
Jalan Pintu Besar Selatan
Jalan Pintu Besar Selatan is located at the end of Jalan Gajah Mada. It is popular with street artists and caricaturists. It can be visited on a day trip to Kota as well.
Jalan Thamrin on Car Free Day
Every Sunday from 6am to 11am, Jalan Thamrin and Jalan Sudirman are blocked to cars from Sarinah to Plaza Senayan. Near Plaza Indonesia, you have a sort of Sunday market with mostly clothes and fashion accessories.
Photo by Reyna Jung
Low cost / wholesale shopping centers and malls
Tanah Abang is probably the craziest shopping experience you can have in Jakarta. It is made of several markets, malls, blocks and shopping streets that will probably get you lost. Most shops sell clothes and fabrics, in particular Muslim wear. Don't hesitate to go on the small streets such as Jati Baru or Jelita: They are the closest you'll get from an arab-style open-air bazaar in Jakarta.
Constructed in 1820, Pasar Baru is one of the oldest markets in Jakarta. An institution in the city, it is famous for its large and affordable choice of fabrics and tailor shops, many of whom are owned by Indonesians from Indian ancestry. You will also find sports accessories, glasses, gold and shoes shops.
Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua
Mangga Dua is made of several malls, from low-end to mid-range. Pasar Pagi is one of them. It is a multi-storey wholesale shopping center with tons of great deals on clothes, especially if you buy large quantities. Not to be confused with Pasar Pagi in Kota listed above.
Pasar Senen is the oldest traditional market in Jakarta. Located next to Senen Atrium and the Senen rail / bus station, it was severely affected by a fire in 2014. You will find some cheap bags, shoes, luggage, glasses and vintage clothes.
Blok M Square
Located next to Blok M Plaza, Blok M Square is a popular shopping center, particularly for clothes. It also has a wide range of electronics, phones, kid's games and accessories.
Pasar Subuh Blok M Square, Jalan Melawai V, Kebayoran Baru, 0217262295
Pasar Induk Kramat Jati
As the biggest traditional wholesale market in Southeast Asia, Pasar Induk Kramat Jati is open 24 hours a day. In particular, you will find endless fruits and vegetables shops. Due to its off-center position, it is not as popular with tourists as it should.
Specialty markets (Precious stones, birds, flowers, etc...)
Pramuka Bird Market
Pramuka is a bird and pet market started in 1975. It has attracted some bad reputation recently as a center for endangered species trafficking.
Pasar Burung Pramuka, Jalan Pramuka, Matraman, East Jakarta
Flower Market Pasar Bunga Rawa Belong
With over 430 shops, the flower market of Rawa Belong is reputed to be one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Prices are easily 20% less than anywhere else in the city. It is best to avoid street sellers and go directly inside the market. Bargain hard. Photo by https://instagram.com/fxheri/
Pasar Bunga Rawa Belong (Flower market), Jalan Sulaiman No.1, Kebon Jeruk, West Jakarta
Gem Market (Precious stones) - Rawa Bening
Jakarta Gems Center (Pasar Batu Akik), Jalan Bekasi Barat Raya No. 2, Jatinegara, East Jakarta, 0218197064
Antiques / Handicraft: Jalan Surabaya and Jalan Kebon Sirih Timur
Jalan Surabaya and Jalan Kebon Sirih Timur are both in Menteng, distant by a few kilometers. On both, you will find many antiques, Indonesian artefacts and souvenir shops. Prices are not fixed so you will need to be a tough negotiator. There are many fake objects too. The good thing is you can get prices much lower than in any of the specialized boutiques in Kemang or Bali.
Fish market: Pasar Ikan Luan Batang
Pasar Ikan Luar Batang is nice to visit for several reasons. It is just in front of the Bahari Museum (Maritime Museum) and from there, you can take a nice stroll to the Luar Batang mosque nearby. The fish market in itself is smaller than the one in Muara Angke listed below.
Pasar Ikan Luar Batang, Jalan Pasar Ikan 14-15, 011/04, Penjaringan, 0216621556
Fish: Pasar Ikan Muara Angke
The fish market in Muara Angke is the largest in Southeast Asia. It is recommended to visit it early morning. You have some great seafood restaurants as well, making the trip a must-do if you live in Jakarta.
Pasar Ikan Muara Angke (Fish Market), Jalan Dermaga I, Pluit, Penjaringan
Fruits and Vegetables: Pasar Minggu
Located in the South of Jakarta, Pasar Minggu is known for its large fruit and vegetables market, especially popular on Sunday. The area used to be cultivated but most of it is now residential housing.
Viagra, sex toys and accessories: Jalan Gadja Mada
Starting 10pm every night, dozens of small shops open on Jalan Gajah Mada and Jalan Mangga Besar. Here you can find a multitude of medication to make your manhood bigger and stronger. Some stalls also sell sex toys, blue movies (porn), condoms and weird accessories.