Travel across Jakarta often requires a combination of many forms of transport. Commonly used is the Transjakarta, a modern bus system that is allocated special street lanes to circumnavigate the often hectic traffic in the city centre. These buses are cheap and plentiful although going long distances can become confusing when transferring. Other bus lines are more crowded and less safe and do not run on a fixed schedule. Taxis are abundant but can be expensive for longer rides. Blue Bird taxis are the most trusted, although there are many impostors with questionable reputations. Many narrow street lanes are better suited for ojeks, also known as motorbike taxis. Also popular for shorter trips are three-wheeled vehicles known as bajaj. Be sure to bargain with both ojek and bajaj drivers before accepting rides. Jakarta is a difficult city to navigate through and unfortunately, as it lacks a coherent city centre, attractions are spread quite far apart. For this reason walking is not really an option when sightseeing. Crime is also a problem and if you are walking from place to place you should be conscious of your possessions and ensure that they are difficult to access for pickpockets. It is best to leave valuables in hotel safes when possible.
Local time is GMT +7.
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. A variety of plugs are in use, including the European two-pin.
The Indonesian currency is the Rupiah (IDR). Foreign currency can easily be exchanged at banks, hotels and money changers in major tourist destinations; the US dollar is the most accepted currency. Ensure that foreign bills are in good condition, as creased and torn notes may be refused. The best exchange rates in Indonesia are generally found in major centres like Jakarta and Bali. Visa and Mastercard are accepted at more expensive hotels and restaurants, however smaller businesses may not have card facilities (especially in more remote areas). ATMs are available in main centres. Small change is often unavailable so keep small denomination notes and coins for items like bus fares, temple donations and soft drinks.
The international access code for Indonesia is +62. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the UK). The area code for Jakarta is 21. Buying a local SIM card is a good option as international roaming fees can be expensive. Free wifi is available in most cafes, restaurants and hotels in main cities, towns and tourist areas.
110 (Police); 113 (Fire); 118 (Ambulance)
Shuttle buses run hourly to the city centre and various other destinations in and around Jakarta until about 11pm. The bus that terminates at Gambir Station passes through the city centre. Taxis are metered and will be more expensive as a single traveller, but about the same price if you are sharing with three or four people; note that road tolls may be added to the fare.
Avis, Hertz and Europcar are represented at the airport, along with a number of local car rental companies.
Official taxi booths are located in the arrival terminal, where a host of unofficial taxi drivers also vie for business with varying prices. Depending on traffic, the 12-mile (20km) trip to the city centre will take between 30 and 45 minutes, but can be as long as an hour and a half if traffic is bad.
A free bus connects the terminals.
Facilities are limited but the airport is clean and the staff are friendly and efficient. There are shops, banks, bars and restaurants, and tourist information and hotel reservations at the airport. There are facilities for disabled travellers; passengers with special needs are advised to inform their airline in advance.
There are more than 2,000 parking bays at the airport, all within easy access of the terminals. Short and long stays available.
Wifi is available free of charge in the airport.