In the heart of Jakarta city stands a national monument called Monas. The name is an abbreviation of Monumen Nasional. It was built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesia independence.
The construction began in 1961 under the direction of President Soekarno and was opened for the public in 1975. The 137 meter tall National Monument is obelisk shaped, and is topped with a 14.5 meter bronze flame coated with 32 kilograms gold leaf.
Monas also houses the first red-and-white flag flown at the Proclamation of Independence on 17 August 1945. In the ceremony of Independence Day at the Merdeka Palace, the original flag is taken out but only to accompany the replica flag to be flown.
When you visit the place, there are two parts which you can explore:
- Monas area / kawasan Monas
- The monument
How to get to Monas
Transjakarta Bus – It’s the easiest, fastest, and safer way to get there. Depending on your location you might want to switch bus at Harmoni Central Bus Stop and then take the next bus of Koridor 8 – Blok M direction. Then you get off on the Monas Bus Stop, just 1 bus stop after Harmoni.
From there you can already see the monument. You just need to cross the road and walk the opposite direction to the nearest gate near Merdeka Palace.
If you don’t know how to take a Transjakarta bus in Jakarta, read this post:
Car – If you had a car available to you, you can park at IRTI parking lot. It’s located on Merdeka Selatan Street. When you drive along the street, you’ll see this street sign showing the direction of the parking lot:
Drive a little bit further until you see the parking gate and another street sign saying “TEMPAT PARKIR KENDARAAN IRTI (MONAS) or in English “Vehicles parking lot IRTI (Monas)”
4 entry gates of Monas
If you look at the map the monument is in the center of vast rectangle area called Kawasan Monas.
Each gate that can be accessed by people has a peacock metal statue nearby and the road is blocked from vehicles.
Kawasan Monas is the vast area surrounding the monument. There are trees, plants and flowers everywhere supplying the area with fresh air. Here people can do various kind of activities, such as martial art training, jogging, picnic, playing kite or just spending time together with family.
It’s free to enter the area.
Interesting hidden public toilets
When you are near the gates of Monas you can easily spot on box like structures to release your natural waste.
But when you walk around the park, you may miss it. Because the toilet is build below the ground level. If you see something like the picture below, that’s the toilet.
There are also toilets near the entry gates if you will.
The secret entrance to the monument
It’s a bit difficult to find the entrance into the monument for first timers. The monument is surrounded by a long fence and all doors are locked.
So how do people get in?
It turns out, on one side of Monas, across the road, there’s a structure where you can see the statue of a horseman and the words “Tugu Monumen Nasional” written on the wall. On the left and right side, there are stairs leading to underground.
Here’s the place where you can buy the ticket at the counter / loket.
On the Kawasan Monas there’s a small train that can carry you to the Monas Monument entrance. It’s free. For your information you are not allowed to hope in if you just want to go around the place.
The ticket price
Based on the information on Feb 5th, 2016, the price for the ticket depends on your status and which part of the Monas you want to visit.
A child/a school student
Goblet: Rp. 2000,-
Top: Rp. 2000,-
A college student
Goblet: Rp. 3000,-
Top: Rp. 5000,-
The number of visitors that may access the top is limited and divided into 2 shift:
- Morning shift: 08.00 – 16.00 (Max. 1800 visitors)
- Night shift: 19.00 – 22.00 (Max. 700 visitors).
On holiday the ticket to the top could have been sold out before 12.00PM and you have to stand on a very long line. For your information there’s only 1 lift that can carry max. 11 people to the top. So it would be better if you go to Monas early. As alternative you can go at night, there are not many people at that time and there’s no line at all.
What’s inside the monument
Inside the Goblet there are 3 sections you can look around:
- The Museum Sejarah National or the National History Museum
- The Proclamation Room
- The roof of the Goblet
The National History Museum
This is the first room you’ll enter.
Here you can see the 50 or 51 Dioramas, 3D miniatures showing acts or events since the prehistoric era of Indonesia, the struggle against the Dutch and Japanese colonization up to the Independence day and beyond.
Here are some examples of the Dioramas:
The room is quite dark even at day. If you want to take some pictures, you’ll need a very good camera that can take photos in a low light condition. If you don’t have it you can use a tripod for support. No restriction for bringing one here.
This is very wide room, with stairs to sit on. At the center there’s 4 sides big wall hanging the giant nation symbol, Garuda and the independence proclamation script.
The top of goblet
I’ve decided to take to go to top at night. The advantage is there are not so many people. You can enjoy the view and night wind.
Where to eat at Monas
There’s one spot near the gate near the chariot statue. You will find people selling stuffs and there’s also a little playground. At the same location there are people selling food and drinks. This place is also near the IRTI parking lot.