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Merdeka Square

The lookout of Jakarta’s colossal National Monument offers breathtaking views of the plaza and gardens that make up one of the world’s largest public squares.

Enjoy sweeping city views, admire grand colonial architecture, relax on grassy lawns and spot free-roaming deer at Merdeka Square (Lapangan Merdeka). Measuring about 185 acres (75 hectares) inclusive of its gardens, it is one of the biggest squares on the planet. Merdeka Square was created in the 18th century as the Dutch East India Company’s Koningsplein (King’s Square). It was renamed after Indonesia declared its independence from Dutch rule. Merdeka is the Indonesian word for independence.

Rising above the square is the 433-foot (132-meter) tall National Monument (Monumen Nasional), also known as Monas. Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, gifted it to the nation as a symbol of independence. It features an obelisk crowned by a gilded sculpture of flames. Ride the elevator to the observation deck and marvel at the uninterrupted panoramas. On the ground floor is a museum exhibit with dioramas that portray Indonesian history from the prehistoric era to the battle for independence.

Stroll around the tree-shaded lawns, where groups of friends and families play games, enjoy picnics, fly kites and take shelter from the hot sun. Browse the collection of sculptures, including a bust of poet Chairil Anwar and an equestrian statue of the Javanese prince Diponegoro. Watch a musical fountain show, which takes place on weekends. Spotted deer live in an enclosure in the southeastern corner.

Inspect the colonial landmarks that frame the square. Among these are Jakarta City Hall and Merdeka Palace. At the National Museum of Indonesia, learn about the indigenous cultures native to the country’s many islands.

Located at the heart of Central Jakarta, the square is easily accessible via public buses. Gambir train station stands on the square’s eastern edge. Walk here from other major city attractions such as Immanuel Church, Istiqlal Mosque and Jakarta Cathedral.

Merdeka Square is busy 7 days a week and often hosts artisan markets and military parades. The National Monument is open daily and has an admission fee. Arrive early in the morning to avoid lines. The National Museum of Indonesia is open from Tuesday to Sunday.


Guide to Exploring Merdeka Square


Map

Top Merdeka Square Hotel Deals

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Pullman Jakarta Indonesia SG$109
Pullman Jakarta Indonesia

Pullman Jakarta Indonesia

Jl. M. H. Thamrin No. 59, Jakarta, Jakarta
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Jakarta, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall. Istiqlal Mosque is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) away. Jakarta Sudirman Station is 13 minutes by foot and BNI City Station is 16 minutes.

    Mercure Jakarta Sabang SG$67
    Mercure Jakarta Sabang

    Mercure Jakarta Sabang

    Jl. H Agus Salim No. 11, Gambir Jakarta Pusat, Jakarta, Jakarta
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Jakarta, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mahabharata Monument (Arjuna Wijaya) and National Monument. Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall and Plaza Indonesia are also within 1 mile (2 km). Jakarta Gambir Station is 16 minutes by foot and Jakarta Gondangdia Station is 17 minutes.

      ibis budget Jakarta Tanah Abang SG$26
      ibis budget Jakarta Tanah Abang

      ibis budget Jakarta Tanah Abang

      Jalan Tanah Abang II No 35, Jakarta
         
        2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Jakarta, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Museum of Indonesia and National Monument. Thamrin City Shopping Mall and Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall are also within 2 miles (3 km). Jakarta Tanah Abang Station is 20 minutes by foot.

        Hotel Borobudur Jakarta SG$130
        Hotel Borobudur Jakarta

        Hotel Borobudur Jakarta

        Jalan Lapangan Banteng Selatan, Jakarta, Jakarta
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Jakarta hotel is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Pasar Baru and Jakarta Cathedral. National Monument and Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall are also within 3 mi (5 km). Jakarta Gambir Station is 12 minutes by foot and Pasar Senen Station is 19 minutes.

          ibis Jakarta Tamarin SG$42
          ibis Jakarta Tamarin

          ibis Jakarta Tamarin

          Jl. KH Wahid Hasyim 77 Jakarta Pusat, Jakarta, Jakarta
             
            3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Jakarta, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Sarinah Mall and Bundaran Hi. Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall and National Monument are also within 1 mile (2 km). Jakarta Gondangdia Station is 10 minutes by foot and Jakarta Gambir Station is 23 minutes.

            ibis Jakarta Arcadia SG$41
            ibis Jakarta Arcadia

            ibis Jakarta Arcadia

            Jalan K H Wahid Hasyim 114, Jakarta, Jakarta
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in the heart of Jakarta, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Farmer Statue, Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall and National Monument. Sarinah Mall and Bundaran Hi are also within 1 mile (2 km). Jakarta Gondangdia Station is 9 minutes by foot and Jakarta Gambir Station is 19 minutes.

              Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta SG$56
              Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta

              Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta

              Jl H Fachrudin 3, Jakarta, Jakarta
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in the heart of Jakarta, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of National Museum of Indonesia and Tanah Abang Market. National Monument and Merdeka Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Jakarta Tanah Abang Station is 15 minutes by foot and Jakarta Gambir Station is 24 minutes.

                Ibis Jakarta Harmoni SG$39
                Ibis Jakarta Harmoni

                Ibis Jakarta Harmoni

                Jl Hayam Wuruk No 35, Jakarta
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Jakarta, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Old Town and Pasar Baru. National Monument and Istiqlal Mosque are also within 2 miles (3 km). Jakarta Sawah Besar Station is 17 minutes by foot and Jakarta Juanda Station is 21 minutes.