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“What Square ? It's become a bus station”
Review of Fatahillah Square

Fatahillah Square
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Private Tour: The Old Batavia Trail from Jakarta
Ranked #17 of 271 things to do in Jakarta
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Fatahillah Square, also known as Old Batavia, is the historical district of Jakarta located in Kotas. During Dutch Colonial times in the 16th century, this was the heart of the walled city. Home to attractions such as the Jakarta History Museum and many colonial buildings, this area fills up with artisans, jugglers, and tourists on the weekends.
Lyon, France
Level Contributor
104 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“What Square ? It's become a bus station”
Reviewed February 15, 2013

the least I can say is that I wasn't expecting anything like this . I thought it was actually gonna be a square , but the bus station took over. the place is crowded with people selling random stuff . the traffic is absolutely insaine , the streets are so noisy and dirty . there is noting to see really, unless you go to see one of the museum.

Visited February 2013
Thank karendurst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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410 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Indonesian first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jaipur, India
Level Contributor
537 reviews
395 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,251 helpful votes
“good place to hang around”
Reviewed February 9, 2013

Fatahllah Square is situated in old Jakarta town very near to Kota Railway Station. It is a public square where many people, specially in the afternoon till evening hang around and do lot of fun. This Square is bustling at all times. There are many food stalls, from which you can order Jakarta street food like kerak telor (omelet) and bakso (noodles). All around the square Bicycle shops are available for rent and you can go around the place. At night, street performers, food stalls, and live music make the atmosphere very lively.

There are three museums to see on this square: Museum of Jakarta history, museum of Puppets, and museum of Ceramics. On one side there is Café Batavia, doing brisk business, and an impressive building of Jakarta Post office. Lot of people stand on the square with fancy dress to attract tourists to take photo with them and pay them some money.

This square has been declared as National Heritage Area in 1970s. To reach this place take trans Jakarta bus rout no.1 or train to Kota Stn.

Visited February 2013
4 Thank RajnishPathak
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
“Heart of the Old City: Batavia”
Reviewed January 27, 2013

Fatahillah Square gives you a window into the old Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia. Even though there is some attempt right now for restoration, the current state of disrepair of the old Town Hall also gives you some idea of the contempt of the Indonesians for the treatment they received at the hands of their colonial overlords. The Square itself is a large space which is hellishly hot when the sun is out and dismally deserted on days when it rains. It was raining the day we visited. Undeterred, we posed for photos beside the "human statues" who had taken up positions beside the canons on display there, we eavesdropped on a reluctant boy whose father insisted that they hire an old fashioned Dutch bike and wobble around the space in front of the Town Hall. Inside the Town Hall the first image that confronts you is a depiction of a hanging, one of a full menu of cruel ways that people were executed in the Square during colonial rule. Naturally, being the only foreigners there on that day, the locals queued up, insisting that they have their photos taken with us in front of this image, and seemingly every other image in the building. This building was once grand and the remnants of the fittings and furnishings show that there had been some sense of formality and presence. These historic artifacts have been pushed into corners, some have plastic sheets thrown over them upon which layers of dust have collected. There have been some half-hearted attempts to display related objects and to create dioramas, a seemingly favourite form of display of Indonesian museums. We have heard that on the weekends the local folk like to hang out here and there is a lot of activity because of the large space. On the day that we were there the Old Town Hall was full of young mainly school aged people, oblivious to any implications of the place they were in other than it was a large space and building within which they could congregate. The joyous sounds of them laughing and chatting with one another confirmed this. In the end, for us, this place was not so much about its history, but about the opportunity to interact with school aged Indonesians who wanted to practice their English. They happily shared their aspirations and dreams for their future. They seemed to have come from further afield than Jakarta. One group of boys, who were under the watchful eye of their teacher, swarmed us wanting to know all about our country and about what their counterparts would be doing. We were impressed by their curiosity. As we were leaving this space to go look at the nearby Puppet Museum, having been recruited by an ever watchful 'guide' whose 'Uncle made the puppets', we noticed some restoration activity to the rear of the Town Hall building. We hope this augers well for this grand old structure, regardless of its cruel history.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank Star707
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2013

Fatahillah Square was the place for public execution in the Dutch colonial. it has a great history to tell.
but now the square is way too crowded. the scary atmosphere of the execution is no longer there. when a place is crowded, the trashes are everywhere. so is Fatahillah Square.

Visited September 2012
1 Thank vaniayutami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
29 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Sadly it’s not revitalized….”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

To get a sense of the Dutch colonial past of Jakarta, Fatahillah Square / Old Town Batavia is a good place to start and spend a few hours. There are many old buildings from the era, unfortunately almost all are in disrepair and the environment is far from clean. There are many museums in the surrounding area with the banking museum just down the street. However, If the banking museum is any representation of the others, they are not very good though cheap enough (Highly recommend the National Musuem instead).
In general there are lots of locals hanging around the square so it is a great place to people watch. On many of the street and in the square there are numerous vendors selling all sorts of foods and souvenirs. The place is worth a visit and could be a real tourist attraction if they fix up some of the buildings and the area made more attractive to walk around, it's just sad that it's not revitalized.

Visited November 2012
2 Thank lyclee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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