The Istiqlal Mosque is probably the most impressive monument to visit in Jakarta, before the Monas. The largest mosque in Indonesia, the largest in Southeast Asia and the sixth largest in the world, it can welcome up to 120,000 people during special celebrations. If you want to see it fully packed, you should go during Idul-Fitri or Idul Adha.

It was Sukarno who first had the idea of erecting a national mosque in the 1950s, following the independence of the country. It took 25 years for the building to be completed and it was finally inaugurated by Suharto in 1978. Interestingly enough, the architect of the Istiqlal Mosque, Frederich Silabanis, was a Christian. Also, the Mosque is located next to the Jakarta Cathedral to symbolize religious tolerance.

Contrary to other less famous mosques in Jakarta (for instance, Al-Anshor), it is frequently visited by tourists so you won't feel uncomfortable or intimidated if you are a non-muslim. 

You should just be careful to remove your shoes upon entering (you can carry them in small plastic bags sold outside the mosque) and to stay away from the main central area at prayer time. Don't miss the huge bedug (drum) on the right side of the mosque.
Istiqlal Mosque (Independence Mosque)
Jl. Taman Wijaya Kusuma, Jakarta 10710, Indonesia
Phone number: +62 21 3811708

Entrance ticket: Free

If you need more ideas to kill time in Jakarta, read my list of Best Things to Do in Jakarta.

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