Famous Museums in Indonesia

Explore famous museums in Indonesia and find priceless treasures of all time | #ExploreSunda

Famous museums in Indonesia vary in terms of themes and sizes. 

Many museums display the historical side of Indonesia as a nation and its rich culture. 

Other museums inform us about the history of textiles, transportations, puppets, animals, banking, geology, etc. Think of a theme. You will likely find a museum that covers that theme :)

Looking at so many museums, you might wonder: which museums you don't want to miss? So here is the list of famous museums in Indonesia. So far, most of them are still on Java island. But I will keep updating this page :)

Famous Museums in Jakarta

Long before Dutch settlement in the 16th century, Jakarta has held an important role in trading and defense. Its first name was Sunda Kelapa; then it became Jayakarta. Next, it became Batavia during the Dutch settlement. Finally, it became Jakarta after Indonesia reached its independence. You see now that Jakarta has a long history to reveal. Thus, we will find many museums in this city. 

Some of the famous museums in Jakarta are:

Museum Gajah, The National Museum of Indonesia

Museum Gajah is the best museum in Indonesia. It has vast collections that are all well-preserved in the well-maintained buildings. 

Perhaps you wonder why it is called an Elephant Museum? Of course, it is not because of its size or shape ;-) The official name of Museum Gajah is Museum Nasional Indonesia (the National Museum of Indonesia in English). But most people call it Museum Gajah (the Elephant Museum) due to the elephant statue at the front of the museum.

One highlight of this museum is the scheduled free guided tours. You can choose the language you want to hear, either English, French, Mandarin, or Korean :)

Continue reading Museum Gajah: The National Museum of Indonesia here ...

Museum Gajah, The National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta

Museum Sejarah Nasional (The National History Museum)

Monas, the National Monument of Indonesia

Right across the street from Museum Gajah, you will see Indonesia's landmark: the National Monument. Indonesians call it Monas, a short version of Monumen Nasional.

You will find a museum inside Monas called Museum Sejarah Nasional (The National History Museum in English).

Continue reading on Monas and its National History Museum to know what is so special about this museum.

District Museum at Kota Tua Jakarta

Kota Tua Jakarta (The Jakarta Old Town in English) is an area where Jakarta was first established. The location is very close to Sunda Kelapa harbor, which used to be one of the most important trade centers in South East Asia. 

Over the years, these old buildings were abandoned. Some of them now have been transformed into museums. There are six distinct museums in Jakarta Old Town. Hence, the name of  District Museum:

Museum Bank Mandiri at Kota Tua Jakarta
Museum Bank Indonesia at Kota Tua Jakarta
Museum Fatahillah a.k.a. Museum Sejarah Jakarta - Jakarta History Museum at Kota Tua Jakarta
Museum Wayang - Puppet Museum at Kota Tua Jakarta
Museum Bahari - Maritime Museum at Kota Tua Jakarta
Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik Indonesia - Fine Art and Ceramic Museum at Kota Tua Jakarta

Famous Museums in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (TMII).

Museums in Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, Jakarta

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah has the most museums in Indonesia in one area. Presently it has 18 museums ranging from fauna, history, culture, to science.

Continue reading on the summary of the museums in TMII …

or read the full story of the particular museum:

Famous Museums in Bandung

In the 18th century, the Dutch prepared to move the capital city from Batavia to Bandung. Hence, the city of Bandung was built accordingly. There are many colonial buildings scattered all over the city. Some are still in good condition. They become great outdoor displays of Bandung history. Some of them have become museums.

The famous museums in Bandung are: 

Geology Museum

Geology Museum - Bandung

The first famous museum in Bandung is the one and only Geology Museum in Indonesia. 

As its name implied, all displays in this museum are related to geology, such as meteorites, types of minerals and their usage in our daily life, fossils of t-rex, mammoth, and woods. 

Read more on Geology Museum ...

Asian African Museum

The first Asian African Conference in 1955 was held in Gedung Merdeka (Freedom Hall) Bandung. Since then, every time Indonesia hosts the Asian African Conference, they will use this Freedom Hall for one or two venues. Usually, the closing ceremony is held here.

Therefore, as a memorial for this Asian African Conference that created the Non-Aligned Block, the Asian African Museum was established inside Gedung Merdeka.

Continue reading on Asian African Museum ...

Asian African Museum - Bandung

Sri Baduga Museum

Sri Baduga Museum, Bandung

Sri Baduga Museum is the state museum in Bandung. Its collections have reached 6,923 pieces, starting from the prehistoric era through Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms until the present, thick with Sundanese culture.

Read more on Sri Baduga Museum …

In addition to these museums, Bandung has other attractive museums we can explore, such as the postal museum and military museum. 

Continue reading on Famous Museums in Bandung ...

Other Famous Museums in Sunda

Zoology Museum

When you enter Bogor Botanical Garden, you will see the Bogor Zoology Museum or more popularly known as Museum Zoologi Bogor, near the entrance gate. 

This museum has vast collections of preserved animals. The masterpiece is the 27-meters blue whale skeleton. The whale washed up to the shore of Pameungpeuk beach in 1916.

Benteng Heritage Museum, Tangerang

A private museum in the antique house in the middle of Pasar Lama Tangerang (Old Market in English), Benteng Heritage museum is full of a private collection that presents the history of Indonesian Chinese in Tangerang. 


Read more on Benteng Heritage Museum …

Benteng Heritage Museum - Tangerang

More Famous Museums in Indonesia

Each city in Indonesia has its own unique museums. We, at the ExploreSunda.com, visit them whenever the opportunities arise. Some of these famous museums are:

Museum Batik Yogyakarta

Museum Batik Yogyakarta - Yogyakarta

Museum Batik Yogyakarta has hundreds of collections of batik from many centuries ago. The tour guide will show us the tools used to produce batik and the different types of batik. You even can learn and create your own batik in this private museum.

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Museum Angkut (Transportation Museum)

Here you will see various types of transportations, from the most classic and traditional to the modern ones. Some areas of this museum are set up to look like movie sets theme.

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Museum Angkut - Batu, Malang

Museum Satwa - Natural Wildlife Museum

Museum Satwa - Batu, Malang

Museum Satwa resides in a grand building next to the exit of Jawa Timur Park 2. 

This museum has thousands of collections of preserved animals. Most of them are displays in dioramas showing how they live in their natural habitats.


Read more on Museum Satwa …

We will keep updating this page, since we realize there are still many museums in Indonesia we haven't covered yet :)