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Sunda Kelapa

Watch the lively maritime activity unfold at this ancient harbor, which served as the main port during the Dutch colonization of Indonesia.

Sunda Kelapa is a bustling city harbor that has been in use since as far back as the 1100s. Visit this place where dockworkers load and unload ships bound for the islands of the Indonesian archipelago as they have done for centuries. Sunda Kelapa was the principal port of the former Sunda Kingdom between the 13th and 16th centuries. The Dutch East India Company took the port in 1619 and began the foundation of Batavia (present-day Jakarta).

Take your time to admire the age-old pinisi boats, which are wooden sailing vessels built by the tribe’s people of the South Sulawesi province. They form part of a fleet delivering supplies and merchandise to Indonesia’s many islands and islets on a daily basis. Note the boats’ tall twin masts and the brightly painted hulls. Ask the captains about the possibility of stepping onboard and taking a look around a ship.

Arrive early in the morning to witness the liveliest action. Observe as hardened workers carry goods, including coal, spices and timber, to and from the boats. Marvel as they deftly run along narrow and wobbly gangplanks while supporting heavy loads on their backs.

Take a guided tour of the area on a motorized dinghy. See boats sailing into the harbor and spot the polygon-shaped lighthouses. Visit a fish market and listen as stall owners shout prices to the customers. 

Go to the Maritime Museum, housed inside the one-time spice warehouse of the Dutch East India Company. It holds an important collection of artifacts related to Indonesia’s maritime heritage. Among these are centuries-old anchors, cannons, navigational equipment and a display of original and model boats. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday and has an admission fee.

Located in northern Jakarta, the Sunda Kelapa Harbor is about 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) north of Merdeka Square. Get here conveniently via an ojek motorbike taxi or a becak cycle rickshaw. About a 5-minute drive east is Marina Ancol. From here, take a cruise for the magnificent Thousand Islands.


Guide to Exploring around Sunda Kelapa


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Lodging Near Sunda Kelapa

See all 791 Hotels near Sunda Kelapa
Airy Ancol UBM Lodan Raya 2 Jakarta

Airy Ancol UBM Lodan Raya 2 Jakarta

Jalan Lodan Raya No. 2, Jakarta
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Jakarta, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta History Museum, and Museum Bank Indonesia. Bank Mandiri Museum and Mangga Dua are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Hotel Mustika Gajah Mada

Hotel Mustika Gajah Mada

Jl Gajah Mada No 193E, Jakarta
5.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Jakarta, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Candra Naya and within 3 mi (5 km) of National Monument and Jakarta Cathedral. Plaza Glodok and National Archives Museum are also within 15 minutes.

$42
Aston Pluit Hotel & Residence

Aston Pluit Hotel & Residence

Jl. Pluit Selatan No.1, Jakarta
3.7
of 5, from 32 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Jakarta, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta History Museum, and Museum Bank Indonesia. Bank Mandiri Museum and Plaza Glodok are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$24
Amaris Hotel Pluit - Jakarta

Amaris Hotel Pluit - Jakarta

Jalan Pluit Raya No. 35A, Jakarta
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Jakarta, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta History Museum, and Museum Bank Indonesia. Bank Mandiri Museum and Plaza Glodok are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$22
Sanno Hotel Jakarta

Sanno Hotel Jakarta

Jl. Pluit Selatan Raya No. 2, Jakarta
3.0
of 5, from 1 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Old Jakarta, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta History Museum, and Museum Bank Indonesia. Bank Mandiri Museum and Plaza Glodok are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$15
Cordex Hotel Ancol Jakarta

Cordex Hotel Ancol Jakarta

Jalan Lodan Raya No.2, Ancol, Jakarta
2.5 out of 5.0

Located in Old Jakarta, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta History Museum, and Museum Bank Indonesia. Bank Mandiri Museum and Mangga Dua are also within 2 mi (3 km).

$38
Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Pluit Citygate

Holiday Inn Express Jakarta Pluit Citygate

Emporium Pluit Mall 10th Floor, Jakarta
3.9
of 5, from 29 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in Old Jakarta, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Dunia Fantasi, Ancol Dreamland, and Mangga Dua. Waterbom Jakarta is 5.8 mi (9.3 km) away.

$15
Wonderloft Hostel

Wonderloft Hostel

Jalan Bank no 6&8, Pinangsia, Tamansari, Jakarta
5.0
of 5, from 4 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

Located in Old Jakarta, this hostel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Museum Bank Indonesia and 3.1 mi (4.9 km) from Jakarta Cathedral. Jakarta History Museum and Bank Mandiri Museum are also within 5 minutes.