In case you did not satisfy your banking museum thirst, there is another museum a few steps north from Museum Bank Mandiri. This one, called Museum Bank Indonesia, is definitely worth a visit. Not only because it is entertaining and fun, it also completely free. I think that is very smart and pretty neat thing to do.
Similar to Museum Bank Mandiri, this museum is also accommodated in an old heritage building. The original purpose of the building was to provide hospital services, and later to house the headquarters of De Javasche Bank, the central bank of the VOC (Dutch East Indies). Years after Indonesia gained its independence, in 1953, De Javasche Bank was nationalized and became Bank Indonesia. In 2009, the building was re-opened as a museum.
Museum Bank Indonesia is not so much a traditional museum in which you can set your own trail and go to sections that interest you personally. The design and layout is more as a ride in a theme park where you follow a designated path from beginning to end. During the ride you’ll learn about trading, Indonesia’s history, currencies, and other banking related information. It’s pretty fun to learn about trading in the archipelago and everything is nicely laid out. As a bonus the whole place is air-conditioned! That was a nice surprise for as the tropical heat can get too much.
If you happen to be in Kota Tua or Jakarta, I would visit both Museum Bank Mandiri and Bank Indonesia, as they are located right next to each other. Check out Museum Bank Mandiri first, and then move on to Museum Bank Indonesia for the air-conditioning. Overall, I thought I’m glad I’ve seen both of these places. The buildings itself are worth a trip of these kind of historical sites interest you.