Kota, also called Old Batavia or Old Town Jakarta, is the only surviving piece of the Dutch colonial district; the Dutch had their heyday in the 16th century and at this stage Jakarta was at the centre of Asia's trade with the west. Today the area's colonial buildings are falling into disrepair but the central cobble stone square, Taman Fatahillah, still invites visitors to imagine life in the 16th century, when there was little outside the colonial fortifications of Kota except orchards and rice fields. The area is open to roam about in and there is no admission charge or distinct boundary to delineate the old district. Although information on what you are seeing is non-existent and attractions are lacking, exploring Kota still allows a rare glimpse into the city's history which is mostly swallowed by new development elsewhere. A few, somewhat dilapidated but still interesting, landmarks of the area include the Luar Batang Mosque, the Maritime Museum, the Jakarta History Museum (housed in the former City Hall building), the Jin De Yuan Temple, and Sunda Kelapa Harbour. The area is set pleasantly on the waterfront and gives a quiet and cooler reprieve from the bustle of Jakarta's inner city. There are plans to rejuvenate this historic area and some of the roads around the square have been pedestrianised as a first step in this process.
Address: Kota Fatahillah Square
Opening times: Daily