As with every trip, a trip to Jakarta cannot be considered complete without some shopping. When it comes to Jakarta, shopping takes many forms. From shopping at the most traditional Pasar (market) to world class malls with a lot of international designer shops. Now, you might prefer to shop most comfortably in malls and department stores where you will find fixed prices and absolutely no need to bargain, but that still won’t be reason enough to miss out on the more traditional markets for a true cultural experience.
Malls and Shopping Centers
International fashion items may not be at the top of a tourist’s Jakarta shopping list, but still worth the visit are several high-end malls in Jakarta that offer their patrons an international shopping experience. In these malls and shopping centers, you can find both local designer boutiques and many of the most popular and famous brands from around the globe.
Jakarta also has a number of handicraft stores like the Alun Alun and the Pasaraya Grande, with entire floors and sections dedicated to traditional handicrafts, textiles and clothing.
Often grouped together according to the merchandise sold, there are a number of specialty shops, lining the streets of Jakarta. They give specialized shopping options to the people browsing the streets.
Pasar (Traditional Markets)
A majority of Jakarta’s population shops for their daily needs at the Pasar. The Pasar is a hive of activity and culture, crowded with small carts and lined with small stores. However, if you opt to shop at the traditional markets of Jakarta, it is best to have a good idea of the actual value of items, because once you are at the Pasar, you need to be able to bargain.
Another famous market of Jakarta is the Gemstone Market in Rawabening, Jatinegara. Here you can find a number of precious and semi-precious stones available for sale. Being a traditional market, you are expected to bargain. So if you can brave the traffic, the Gemstone Market is another cultural experience up for grabs.
The “bazaar season” occurs twice a year in Jakarta, and offers a great opportunity to look for some unusual and delightfully unique items that are often brought from the other islands, and that too at relatively inexpensive prices.
One of the major attractions at Jakarta malls has got to be the large number of cafés, restaurants and food courts. Almost at every mall that you can visit, you will find a number of establishments selling Indonesian food as well as international cuisines for those who wish to skip the Indonesian food. Whether you want to try some on the go fast food or some light snacks, many mall food courts feature Indonesian fare. There are also restaurants with relaxed settings for a proper Indonesian meal.
So whatever your shopping preferences are, whether it is high-end designer shops, or a crowded and culture-rich Pasar, Jakarta literally has hundreds of options to offer, for you to shop till you drop!