Batavia’s city centre in the heydays of the VOC
Welcome to Jakarta Old Town
Start your journey at the attractive cobblestoned Fatahillah Square busy with tourists and locals riding brightly coloured bicycles wearing straw hats, eating from street stalls and being photographed in front of the historical facades. The splendid buildings are reminiscent of the area’s heydays when it was the commercial and administrative hub for international trading and famously known as the “Queen of the East”, now recognised as Kota Tua – Old Town.
The square is named after the Muslim scholar turned warrior Fatahillah, He masterminded the attack on the Portuguese settlers who were trading from Sunda Kelapa harbour. On June 22nd, 1527 he conquered the harbour and renamed it Jayakarta or ‘glorious victory’. June 22nd is still celebrated every year as Jakarta’s birthday. Most museums have free entry, including the ones in old town.
Rent a bike!
Feeling adventurous? Rent one of the colourful old-style bicycles (onthels). Depending on your bargaining skills, bike rental will cost you between Rp. 50.000-100.000 an hour. Take your bike for a leisurely spin all the way to the old Sunda Kelapa harbour.