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Timings : Changing of guards ceremony- Last sunday of every month: 8:00 AM

Entry Fee : No Entry Fee

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Istana Merdeka, Jakarta Overview

Istana Merdeka is a presidential palace in north Merdeka Square. The former residence of the Governer-General of Dutch East Indies plays an important part in Indonesian history because here the Indonesians got independence in 1949.Thousands of Indonesians gatherered around to chant "Merdeka" meaning freedom, thus granting the palace its name. The building's exterior can be admired from the Merdeka Square and visitors are allowed inside under strict security.

This official residence of the President is one of the six presidential palaces in the country. The attraction consists of six different buildings within the complex. Some of these are palaces while some are offices. Istana Merdeka served as an important venue to celebrate the independence of Indonesia from the Dutch in the mid-20th century. The historical significance, architecture and political importance of Istana Merdeka make this is a popular tourist attraction. However, entry is permitted only on set days.  

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History of Istana Merdeka

Before Istana Merdeka was built, the Palace complex had only one building, the Istana Negara (a late-18th century building). Istana Merdeka was built in the early 1800s as a retreat for J A Van Braam, a Dutch Businessman. Around 1820, the building was sold to the Dutch Government and was recognised as the official residence of their Governor-General until the mid-1940s. Some significant events/ achievements were celebrated here too like the Lingarjati Treaty ratification ceremony of 1947, the declaration of the Cultivation System and the Independence of Indonesia from the Dutch in 1949.

Things to do in and around Istana Merdeka

The public cannot enter the Istana Merdeka complex but they can surely see it from outside. The complex has three more buildings - Istana Negara, Istana Wakli Presiden and Istana Bogor, surrounded by lush green lawns.

If visitors are around on 17th August, Independence Day, they may pay a visit to enjoy the celebrations and explore the premises.

One can also attend the Changing of the Guard Ceremony which is held on the morning of every last Sunday of the month.  

Tourists can also pay a visit to other attractions nearby like the Monas Tower, Lampangan Banteng, Gedung Pancasela, Museum Nasional, Pasar Senen Jaya, Merdeka Square, Galeri Nasional, Masjid Istiqal, etc.  


·         Entry into the premises of Istana Merdeka is permitted only occasionally. Therefore, it is always a good idea to plan a day for sightseeing and explore other attractions around the palace.

·         One can click pictures outside the palace complex even if they cannot enter.   

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