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“Worth a visit”

Flea Market at Jalan Surabaya
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Private Tour: The Old Batavia Trail from Jakarta
Ranked #24 of 270 things to do in Jakarta
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Owner description: The Jalan Surabaya market is the place to find antiques, rare finds, and other oddities.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Level Contributor
99 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

If I had two hours to kill in Jakarta, the Jalan Surabaya flea market would be at the top of the list together with art exhibitions of local artists and Kota (the old colonial city centre). Don't get discouraged when all you see is plenty of cheap luggage shops when you enter the road from the "wrong side", just keep walking until that stretch is behind you. It is a flea market with small shop-units that are open towards the road. Most are over-stocked and getting an idea of the range of goods on offer you will have to step inside. As usual for a flea market, there is plenty of rubbish but there are also always some veritable trouvailles: art, antiques, lamps, ship paraphernalia (real and replica), watches/clocks, wood carvings etc. etc. Some of the stuff sold there is genuinely old. If you go, make sure you first walk the whole stretch because you may find more than one of the same one-of-a-kind item and prices can differ not just by fractions but by factors! Drive a hard bargain.

Visited July 2013
5 Thank C073
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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312 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
48 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
“Lovely ambience for a late morning visit”
Reviewed May 27, 2013 via mobile

Friends brought my husband and I here for a stroll, and we didn't leave empty-handed! We bought 2 antique clay wine bottles for a fraction of what was selling on eBay, and 2 antique kris with lovely carvings and forging patterns. Just remember to check your home country's Customs restrictions and be on the right side of the law! ;) For Singapore, blades under 30cm are allowed without having to surrender them to Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. Just declare them at the red line at the airport and you'll have a really unique souvenir from Jakarta :-) Remember to bargain!! We got ours for 40% off asking price - maybe because my friends who have been staying here for a couple of years speak the language.

Visited May 2013
Thank kokonuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helsinki, Finland
Level Contributor
157 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Get your souvenir here”
Reviewed April 16, 2013

I been to Sarinah Thamrin Plaza and Pasaraya mall before coming to the flea market and I was glad that I did not buy anything from the two malls until I got to the flea market. The prices at Jalan Surabaya was 75% cheaper than the prices at the malls. I was able to purchased wooden souvenirs that was also available at the mall for a fraction of the price. Haggling is a must at Jalan Surabaya and you are expected to bargain.

A good eye and knowledge of the culture is a must if you are looking for an antique work. Many of the stores is not coy about trying to make it look old.

Overall, its a single street with many stalls. No bathroom facilities.

Visited March 2013
6 Thank Jonnhyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
157 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
“Antiques Haven!”
Reviewed March 8, 2013 via mobile

Jalan Surabaya is in the posh neighbourhood of Menteng where the houses are huge, the pretty tree lined streets are clean & quiet & there is an air of calmness. The antiques are sold in the long stretch of little wooden shops (some 40 or so of them, I reckon!) along part of the street. You may want to book a taxi or rent a car to get here & back, especially if you intend to purchase large items, since other means of public transport doesn't seem available (well, this is a posh part of town where presumably everyone living here have cars!)

Since there are so many shops, it will take you at least an hour to cover all of them from one end to the other and that's just for browsing, more time if you decide to stop at every shop, even longer if you decide to bargain & buy! There's lots to see as they sell everything from books, jewelry, wooden craft items, silverware, beautiful bottles, old typewriters, cameras, telescopes, microscopes - the list goes on & on & on! Shopowners are very friendly & obliging, often allowing you to photograph their wares (or even themselves!) & never pushy to secure a sale.

We got there at about 9.30am when most shops had only just opened, which was good as most of them were looking to "pecah telur", literally translated as "break egg" meaning shopowners would be eager to secure a purchase from the first person who walked into their shop, ensuring good luck throughout the day. Again, eager but never pushy.

So we took our time to browse, stopping to enquire prices of items that interested us, made a mental note, continued browsing & returned later to negotiate a price for the items we wanted. Between my friend & I, we ended up with some silverware & a pair of vintage sunglasses & were pleased with our purchases & the prices we paid.

Yes, there's a dirty river right behind the shops. We were fortunate as it didn't smell when we were there, but you may want to bring along something (whatever works for you) in case it does! Even though you're in the shade, it can get quite hot, so, dress light & maybe bring along a fan, tissues/wet wipes (also for wiping your hands as some items may be dusty) & some drinking water. We did also spot a nice cafe across the street, so, if the heat (or smell) gets to you, I suppose you can go there to seek refuge, have a drink & use the loo.

I foresee that we'd most likely be back here during our next trip to Jakarta. Even if you don't end up buying anything, it's a great place to visit & a bit of a trip down memory lane as you're bound to spot something from your childhood or something that your grandparents/parents owned.

6 Thank GPenaflorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Star707, Sydney
Level Contributor
486 reviews
204 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 874 helpful votes
“Jakarta's Famous Antique Market”
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Jalan Surabaya, or, Pusat Barang Antik, is a stretch of street shops in Jakarta's suburb of Menteng, the posh part of Jakarta where President's have had their mansions and diplomats love to live. This stretch of shopping is where you may find a hidden treasure or that special piece for your house. Here you can find old Dutch chandeliers, wooden carvings (masks, figurines, reliefs), old keys, coins (especially old Dutch coins), lots of jewellery (some valuable, most trinkets). The day we went there marine memorabilia were the go: all manner of diving helmets of a variety of vintages and from a number of different sources; and any number of collectibles from the bridges of seagoing vessels. You will see vendors working on newly acquired pieces, cleaning them up, restoring them, or even 'antiquing' them. Getting there is easy, catch a taxi. We asked our driver to wait for us at the other end of the street so we could take our time. Taxis in Jakarta are not expensive, and better to hold onto a good one rather than be constantly trying to hail one. You can come to arrangement with your driver that makes everyone happy. You can find genuine treasure in this place, it is unlikely, but it is a lot of fun searching through the shops and exchanging repartee with the vendors. This street is a great photo shoot! There are Kaki Limas (food stalls on wheels) if you need a snack. Children will enjoy it as much as adults.

Visited December 2012
8 Thank Star707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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