Max out your May with a taste of the world’s most expensive froyo, an early summer dance party, and other fun happenings in the city.
May means tons of reason to celebrate – from International Mother’s Day to Star Wars Day and Whiskey Day to Vesak Day. There’s also a European film festival, a rendition of the West Side Story, and many other artsy happenings around the city – not to mention it’s the start of fasting season! Alas, where did the year go? Ahead, our top 30 picks of things to do in Jakarta to make May a more than memorable month!
1. Take your tastebuds on a trip around the Nusantara at Kampoeng Tempoe Doeloe
Now here’s a pop-up market worth traveling for! The Kampoeng Tempoe Doeloe food festival features traditional carts serving over 200 different types of food from around the Nusantara. If you’ve never tried Betawi delicacies like kerak telor, nasi uduk, and rujak juhi this is the place to go. But hurry on over, the festival only lasts until 7th May!
2. Get your rave on at this early summer dance party!
Above & Beyond, Cosmic Gate, Emma Hewitt, and Sam Feldt are just a few of the big-name DJs on the snazzy line-up of SHVR Ground Festival. We all know that Jakarta loves a good party, so we’re thrilled that this ace weekender is returning to JiExpo Kemayoran on Saturday, 13 May.
3. Find out what it means to be #SelfMade at Indoestri
Indoestri Makerspace hosts their semi-annual event Indoestri Day with the theme I am SelfMade, where Makers demonstrate what it’s like to handcraft everything from pottery to ukeleles. Visitors can also get a hands-on experience by joining natural skincare making, bookbinding, and pottery painting classes during this two day event.
4. Sip on a solid spirit on World Whiskey day
Did you know that 20 May is World Whiskey Day? Well, you do now! Celebrate the water of life by dipping into one of the best speakeasies in town, or just host your own party. All it takes is a bottle (or two!) of whiskey to share with friends anyway.
5. Festival Palang Pintu Kemang
Kemang Raya gets closed off for a traditional Betawi street festival happening on 6-7 May! Don your traditional best, witness dancing ondel-ondel, shop handmade crafts, and eat your way through delectable Betawi treats.
6. Watch the epic saga of Tony and Maria from West Side Story
Jakarta Performing Arts Community (JPAC) will perform this all-time favourite musical at Taman Ismail Marzuki from 12 to 14 May. We seriously can’t wait to hear their renditions of the show’s most iconic numbers like “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” and of course, “America.”
7. Take mum out to the best brunch spots around town
Need inspo on what to give mum for Mother’s Day? Round off those thoughtful gifts of beautiful bouquets and greeting cards with a reservation to any of these best brunch spots around town, since she deserves the best after all.
8. Master new moves and learn how to Samba
Do you have dreams of one day joining Carnivale in Rio? Well, here’s your chance to practice. Komunitas Salihara is hosting a set of Latin American dance classes with the spotlight on the hottest Brazilian dance of all: the Samba. Get those twinkle toes ready!
9. Down a shot of tequila on Cinco de Mayo
Super Loco is hosting a ‘Cinco de Mayo’ fiesta on Friday, 5th May and you and your amigos are invited! Try your luck by picking one Mexican Loteria Bingo card and see if you can win yourselves free margaritas, beers, tacos, tequila shots, or a chance to hit the piñata!
10. Be fancy and try the 24-karat gold froyo at Sour Sally
Yummm… Unicorn fraps and mermaid toast can step aside – we have our eyes on Sour Sally’s White Gold frozen yogurt. Not only is it named the World’s First Most Expensive Gold Yogurt Gelato, a serving of this ice cold baby has a high content of probiotics and collagen – win win!
11. Check out ‘Unit Produksi Berita’ by Ninditiyo Adipurnomo at Dia.Lo.Gue
Visual artist Ninditiyo Adipurnomo’s exhibition ‘Unit Produksi Berita’ is a collaborative effort between the artist and ten friends of Dia.Lo.Gue Artspace. The artist involved these “dialogue stakeholders” by first lending them his work, and then using their constructive criticism and selfie photographs to create new art pieces to exhibit alongside the borrowed pieces during the show.
12. Catch up on Europe’s best motion pictures on the silver screen
Europe on Screen is baaack! Entering its 17th year running, the festival will be screening 74 films from highly acclaimed European filmmakers. Jakarta film junkies can watch all these masterpieces at Taman Ismail Marzuki, Institut Francais Indonesie, Istituto Italiano Di Cultura, Kineforum, and Sae Institut Jakarta. Jump on this page to see the deets!
13. Substitute the gym with a street workout
Sick of the gym? Maybe it’s about time you hit the streets instead – street workouts that is! Join one of several communities across town, we recommend The Workout Embassy, Street Workout Velo, and Indobarian, all operating in Central Jakarta.
14. Get your zen on
Experience how a collaboration between yoga, live music, and essential oils can bring you to a whole new level of Zen. The two-day mind and soul therapy takes place from 13 to 14 May at Sanctuary Wellness in Menteng.
15. Reserve a seat at the MoVida Bali pop-up
Bali’s acclaimed Spanish restaurant MoVida will transform Attarine Jakarta into a lively tapas bar on Friday, 5 May. Expect a set of delicioso authentic Spanish dishes plus the latino’s signature wine Cava right on your exclusive table. Better lock in those reservations, stat!
16. Take in a classical music show
Together with Jakarta Sinfonietta, Indonesian pop singer Isyana Saravati and a 14 year-old pianist Jonathan Kuo are sharing the same stage at classical-music concert “Vienna: at the Turn of 19th Century”. Catch the magnificent musical collaboration paying homage to the legendary Mozart’s and Beethoven’s best pieces on at Simfonia Hall Jakarta.
17. Hop on ‘Mpok Siti’, the city’s double-decker tour bus
Have you tried taking Jakarta’s free tour bus? Over 25 unit of double-decker buses are now operating every day to take you to most iconic parts in town. Also recently announced the fixed schedule of routes to help you figure when’s best to take this ‘Mpok Siti’ out.
18. Check out (and order!) Tulisan’s newest collection
Artist-slash–author Melissa Sunjaya has just launched her latest collection for Tulisan, Dry Season 2017: Nexus. From her fun printed backpacks to casual tote bags, we’ve got so many things on our wish list already.
19. Light up at the night at Belvedere’s Playground
Put on your dancing shoes, ladies and gents, because Belvedere Vodka is bringing its exciting party series back on Saturday, 6 May. Italian DJs Matisse and Sadko will be spinning alongside Tiara Eve and P Double for a fun night on the town.
20. Win a free trip to Japan and China!
Sushi Groove and Fook Yew are giving away a pair of return tickets to Japan and China, but there’s a catch. You’ve got to first eat your way through a cut-throat sushi and dim sum eating challenge where you face off with other competitive eaters. The competition has begun since April and will end in mid-May 2017. Get your chopsticks ready, folks!
21. Watch Jack Sparrow’s new sequel in theatres
Who else here is excited to get another dose of the fascinatingly quirky Captain Jack Sparrow? Ouyeah, Pirates of The Caribbean is back on the silver screen in May this year!
22. Break your fast at this luxe restaurant
We can’t believe that it’s already fasting season again! That means many breakfasting agendas are yet to fill your calendar. Make sure one of them is situated at Keraton The Plaza’s Bengawan. Trust us, your tummy will appreciate their lavish Ramadhan buffet full of most-inviting pan Asian dishes.
23. Check out Jakarta’s top family friendly outdoor places
Believe it or not, there are TWO more Thursdays off in May! If you’ve already used up all your holiday, why not take an adventure closer to home? We think heading to these family-friendly spaces with kids in tow sounds like a plan!
24. Relive boyband mania at the Boyzone – Westlife (Boyzlife) concert
Calling all Walkman listeners from the 90s! Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy from Westlife and Boyzone have joined forces to create a new formidable duo named Boyzlife. Curious to see how these former members from two record-breaking bands work together? Catch them live on stage on Sunday, 21 May at Sultan Hotel Jakarta.
25. Learn about Indonesia’s indigenous ingredients at NUSA
NUSA Indonesian Gastronomy is collaborating with the Indonesian Chef Association to host the “The Journey of Indonesia Indigenous Ingredients” event, a one-of-a-kind culinary seminar and discussion that is open to public on 17 May. Limited seats are available so book your spot now. Seats are IDR 350,000++ a person and include a 3-course dinner at NUSA. Reserve your spot by calling +62217193954 or +6281317783408.
26. Add an exquisite Irwan Tirta piece to your batik collection
Irwan Tirta fashion house continues to impress us with their latest collection: Condrosengkolo. Derived from the Javanese traditional calendar system, the collection features a perfectly wearable gorgeous ombre pattern that works for any occasion.
27. Explore Kota Tua
Believe it or not, Kota Tua (Old Town Jakarta) is brimming with interesting historical spots. There’s only one problem… In a city that is less than friendly to pedestrians, it’s hard to know where to step foot next. Luckily, a bunch of young volunteers by the name of Jakarta Good Guide has got you covered with their walking tour service to take you around all the interesting spots.
28. Enjoy a cuppa at Jakarta’s legendary coffee shop
Just in case you’ve been missing out, it’s high time you to visit Tak Kie Coffee Shop in Glodok, West Jakarta. Oh boy, just to think of their siobak rice topped with charsiew plus their signature iced-coffee is enough to make us drool right about now! No wonder this legendary coffee shop has been standing strong since 1927.
29. Visit the oldest Chinese temple in Jakarta
Then, you’re at the Glodok area, why don’t you step into Jin De Yuan, the oldest Chinese temple in Jakarta? It’s home to a set of magnificent statue of deities, pillars with beautiful carvings and calligraphy, and all historical marks left by the artists from hundred years ago.
30. Check out the ‘Jakarta Kita’ exhibition at Jakarta Creative Hub
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Jakarta Creative Hub for yourself, now’s a great time as any. One of our favourite batik brands Sejauh Mata Memandang have collaborated with the Jakarta National Crafts Council on an exhibition called ‘Jakarta Kita’ (Our Jakarta) showing until 13 May. You won’t want to miss this!