Monas, perhaps Jakarta’s most iconic sight, is a national monument erected in Merdeka Square to honor Indonesia’s independence from the Dutch in 1961. It was officially dedicated by President Sukarno in 1975 and is largely seen as evidence of his decadent taste in architecture. Proud Indonesians and dedicated travelers ticking bucket lists ascend 122 meters (400 feet) to the observation deck in order to see the marble obelisk’s crown jewel—a golden flame shooting triumphantly upward.
Commemorating the nation’s independence, the National Monument resides within the central city-center of Jakarta. Atop this 400+ foot structure is an observation deck from which viewers have a 360 degree panoramic view of the city’s landmarks, skyscrapers, and even cargo ships docked in Jakarta Bay. Visitors driving to the monument will find ample parking available within Merdeka Square while those using public transportation will only have a short distance to walk once arriving at the Gambir Metro Station.
Follow the signs to the underground entrance on the east side of the monument and pay Rp 2,000 - Rp 15,000 for admission. The base of the monument contains the National History Museum which relays the people and story of Indonesia through 50+ dioramas. But no visit to Indonesia’s capital city is complete without having ridden the elevator and gazed over one of the world’s largest cities.