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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


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 1,602 properties near Merdeka Square
Pullman Jakarta Indonesia ฿2,887
Pullman Jakarta Indonesia

Pullman Jakarta Indonesia

Jl. M. H. Thamrin No. 59, Jakarta
     
    4.3
    of 5, from 834 reviews
    5.0 out of 5.0

    Located in the heart of Jakarta, this luxury hotel is 0.2 mi (0.3 km) from Plaza Indonesia and 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from Istiqlal Mosque. Jakarta Sudirman Station is 14 minutes by foot and BNI City Station is 18 minutes.

    Hotel Borobudur Jakarta ฿2,038
    Hotel Borobudur Jakarta

    Hotel Borobudur Jakarta

    Jalan Lapangan Banteng Selatan, Jakarta
       
      4.2
      of 5, from 355 reviews
      4.5 out of 5.0

      This family-friendly Jakarta hotel is located in the business district, within a 10-minute walk of Pasar Baru and Jakarta Cathedral. National Monument is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) away. Jakarta Gambir Station is 14 minutes by foot and Jakarta Pasar Senen Station is 20 minutes.

      Alila Jakarta ฿1,548
      Alila Jakarta

      Alila Jakarta

      Jalan Pecenongan Kav 7-17, Jakarta
         
        4.1
        of 5, from 286 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Situated in Jakarta, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Pasar Baru and Jakarta Cathedral. National Monument is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) away. Jakarta Juanda Station is 8 minutes by foot and Jakarta Sawah Besar Station is 10 minutes.

        Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta ฿1,488
        Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta

        Millennium Hotel Sirih Jakarta

        Jl H Fachrudin 3, Jakarta
           
          4.0
          of 5, from 529 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          Located in the heart of Jakarta, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of National Museum of Indonesia, Tanah Abang Market and Sarinah Mall. National Monument and Merdeka Palace are also within 1 mi (2 km). Jakarta Tanah Abang Station is 17 minutes by foot and Jakarta Gondangdia Station is 27 minutes.

          Mercure Jakarta Sabang ฿1,587
          Mercure Jakarta Sabang

          Mercure Jakarta Sabang

          Jl. H Agus Salim No. 11, Jakarta
             
            4.2
            of 5, from 133 reviews
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Situated in Jakarta, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Sarinah Mall and National Monument. Jakarta Cathedral is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) away. Jakarta Gondangdia Station is 16 minutes by foot and Jakarta Tanah Abang Station is 26 minutes.

            Aryaduta Jakarta ฿1,647
            Aryaduta Jakarta

            Aryaduta Jakarta

            Jl. Prapatan No. 44 - 48, Jakarta
               
              4.1
              of 5, from 222 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in the heart of Jakarta, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Farmer Statue and National Monument. Jakarta Cathedral is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) away. Jakarta Gondangdia Station is 9 minutes by foot and Jakarta Senen Station is 17 minutes.

              Four Points by Sheraton Jakarta Thamrin ฿1,626
              Four Points by Sheraton Jakarta Thamrin

              Four Points by Sheraton Jakarta Thamrin

              Jalan M.H. Thamrin Kav 9, Jakarta
                 
                4.1
                of 5, from 206 reviews
                4.0 out of 5.0

                Located in the heart of Jakarta, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sarinah Mall and National Monument. Jakarta Cathedral is 2.1 mi (3.4 km) away. Jakarta Gondangdia Station is 19 minutes by foot and Jakarta Sudirman Station is 20 minutes.

                Ashley Hotel Jakarta ฿1,028
                Ashley Hotel Jakarta

                Ashley Hotel Jakarta

                Jalan K.H. Wahid Hasyim No. 73-75, Jakarta
                   
                  4.3
                  of 5, from 75 reviews
                  3.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Sarinah Mall, Plaza Indonesia and Tanah Abang Market. National Monument and Thamrin City Shopping Mall are also within 1 mi (2 km). Jakarta Gondangdia Station is 10 minutes by foot and Jakarta Sudirman Station is 25 minutes.