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Merdeka Square

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

RT.5/RW.2, Gambir, Central Jakarta City, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Verry
Local tour guide
"Before visiting Merdeka Square in Jakarta, make sure to check the local event calendar; this historic spot often hosts cultural festivals and ceremonies that you won't want to miss. Also, head to the nearby 'Kota Tua' for a picturesque landscape perfect for photos after exploring the square."

What is Merdeka Square?

Merdeka Square, or locally known as Lapangan Merdeka, is the beating heart of Jakarta, Indonesia, symbolizing the nation's pride and independence. The name 'Merdeka' itself means 'freedom' or 'independence' in Indonesian. This expansive city square covers about one square kilometer in the center of Jakarta and is enveloped by an array of important governmental buildings, museums, and the monumental National Monument, commonly referred to as Monas.

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The square is a central point for locals and visitors alike, offering a wide-open space amidst the urban hustle where one can appreciate a slice of Jakarta's history and bask in open greenery. Think of it as the lungs of the city—a place where both history and recreation breathe together.

History of Merdeka Square

The history of Merdeka Square is rich and multilayered, reflecting the deeply rooted complexities of Jakarta's past. Originally a parade ground for the colonial armed forces, it was called Koningsplein, or the King's Square, during the Dutch colonial period. Post Indonesia's declaration of independence in 1945, this square was rechristened to commemorate the country's newfound freedom.


The National Monument (Monas) which now rises majestically in the center of the square, was commissioned by President Sukarno in 1961 and completed in 1975. It's the embodiment of the nation's struggles and serves as a museum and a viewing deck providing panoramic views of the city. Throughout its existence, Merdeka Square has been a silent witness to various historic events, including the annual Independence Day ceremony.

Why is Merdeka Square Important?

Merdeka Square holds a pivotal place in the hearts of Indonesians. It's not just a geographical feature but a symbol of national sovereignty. The square has witnessed some of the most significant events in Indonesia's history, from rallies and political gatherings to cultural festivities celebrating the diverse heritage of the archipelago.


The presence of Monas, soaring to a height of 132 meters, is a constant reminder of the people's fight for independence, and the space around it offers a platform for public expression. In today’s bustling Jakarta, Merdeka Square continues to be important as a social and recreational center that caters to outdoor activities for the city’s residents, fostering a sense of community and togetherness.

Things to Do & See at Merdeka Square

When you visit Merdeka Square, start with the National Monument (Monas). Inside, you can delve into Indonesian history at the museum, and then take a lift up to the observation deck for stunning views. Around the base of Monas, you'll find a lovely park area perfect for leisurely strolls or picnics. Don't miss the chance to witness the Independence Day celebrations if you happen to be here in August—it's a spectacle of national pride.

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Next, explore the surrounding structures—the Merdeka Palace, the Indonesian National Gallery, and the Museum Nasional, also known as the Elephant Building due to the bronze elephant statue in front. These attractions blend educational insights with architectural beauty. After a day of sightseeing, indulge in some local food sold by street vendors around the square, sampling Indonesian delicacies that tantalize your taste buds.

For an authentic experience, join in with locals during the early morning or late afternoon and partake in popular activities such as jogging or group exercises, offering a genuine feel of the local lifestyle. Whether you're soaking in the rich history or enjoying the square's vibrant present, Merdeka Square is an essential chapter in the Jakarta storybook, revealing the depth and dynamism of Indonesia's capital.

Frequently asked questions

What is Merdeka Square in Jakarta?

Merdeka Square is a large public square located in the heart of Jakarta, Indonesia. It's a symbol of Indonesian independence and home to the National Monument, which commemorates the struggle for Indonesian independence.

How big is Merdeka Square and what can visitors do there?

Covering an area of about 1 square kilometer, Merdeka Square is one of the largest squares in the world. Visitors can stroll around the lush greenery, enjoy the open space, and visit the National Monument and the Merdeka Palace.

Is there an entrance fee to Merdeka Square?

There is no entrance fee to enter Merdeka Square itself; however, there may be a fee to enter specific attractions within the square, such as the National Monument.

What is the National Monument and can visitors go inside?

The National Monument, or Monas, is a 132-meter tower in the center of Merdeka Square. It houses a museum and a platform with panoramic views of Jakarta. Visitors can go inside with the purchase of a ticket.

Are there any special events that take place at Merdeka Square?

Yes, Merdeka Square often hosts national events, government ceremonies, festivals, and communal activities, especially on significant dates such as Independence Day on August 17th.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

RT.5/RW.2, Gambir, Central Jakarta City, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps