Renting a cheap room in Jakarta has become much easier in the past few years, thanks to the internet.

The following guide will give advice to anyone on a budget looking to stay in Jakarta from a few days until several months. You will learn:
  • Where are the best-value areas in Jakarta near the offices, attractions and entertainment
  • What are the options available for cheap stays in Jakarta
  • How much does it cost to rent a room in Jakarta for a day, a week or a month
  • What are the best low cost apartments in Central Jakarta

Best Areas To Look for A Cheap Room or An Apartment in Jakarta

Jakarta is a huge megalopolis with dozens of different living areas to choose from. Because of the traffic, the lack of public transport, and the absence of sidewalk, it is very difficult to get from one point to another.

For this reason, you should choose your room/hotel/apartment carefully. Do not stay more than 5 kilometers away from your office, your school or the attractions you are planning on visiting. Keep in mind that 5 kilometers in Jakarta during peak hour can mean up to 1 hour in traffic!

If you need to go to multiple locations, then try to find a hotel near Jalan Sudirman or Jalan Thamrin, for instance in Setiabudi or Tanah Abang (see below for a description).

With this information in mind, these are the best neighborhoods to check if you are looking for a cheap place to stay in Jakarta, by order of preference (if you are a tourist, you can also check Best Areas to Stay in Jakarta):

Setiabudi
If you have your office in the Central Business District of Jakarta and a small budget, look no further than Setiabudi. From there, you are just 10 minutes away from Mega Kuningan, SCBD, Jalan Sudirman or Jalan Rasuna Said. You can also walk to several malls like Ambassador, Lotte Avenue and Kuningan City. You have hundreds of cheap street food options and many handy services like laundries, internet cafés and printing shops.

Most accommodations in Setiabudi are small residences and kos (guest houses). The price for a day is usually around Rp300,000 to Rp600,000 and for a month from Rp2,5M to Rp4,5M.

Tanah Abang
Tanah Abang is a central area, west of Jalan Thamrin. It is a strategic location for both tourists and permanent residents because of its proximity to Jalan Sudirman, the most important avenue in Jakarta. From there, it is easy to go almost anywhere, including Jakarta's best malls (Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia), lots of nightlife spots, many offices and several key tourist attractions like the Monas and the National Museum.

Prices in Tanah Abang can be slightly lower than in Setiabudi. Locals living there are usually quite conservative and religious.

Jalan Jaksa / Wahid Hasyim / Menteng
This area is also strategic in terms of location and price. While you won't find that many expats, it is a favorite for travelers and backpackers. You have several travel agents, money changers, internet cafes, cheap bars, street food stalls and budget hotels. If you are alone in the city, it is easier to meet people there as well.

Short term accommodation can be found on Jalan Wahid Hasyim and Jalan Jaksa while long-stay guesthouses are numerous around Cikini.

Kemang
Kemang is home to one of the largest expat communities in Jakarta. Until recently, it was almost entirely made of small buildings and villas, but things are changing and you now have a growing number of apartment towers. 

Kemang is great for social life as you can easily make a group of expat friends living nearby. You also have a a large choice of bars and Western restaurants with decent prices and taste.

The number of budget rooms is limited though. If you stay for several months, your best option is probably to find a house to share.

An alternative is to stay in Cipete (15 minutes from Kemang).

Tebet
Tebet is an area on the east of Jalan Rasuna Said. It has many student kos and a lot of cheap street food stalls. You can have horrible traffic to go there though, especially in the morning and after office hours. It is not so popular with foreigners as the options for entertainment are limited apart from Kota Kasablanka Mall.

Mangga Besar:
This area is one of the cheapest in Jakarta and it is very close from the main tourist attractions and museums of Kota Tua. Jalan Mangga Besar is also fantastic for street food. Beware though as it is in the heart of the red light district of Glodok. It's not particularly dangerous but it's likely that you'll run into a prostitute in the lobby of the hotel.

Mega Kuningan
Mega Kuningan is an expat-heavy residential and business area. You have some of the best nightclubs and restaurants in Jakarta nearby, but it is very pricey. For visitors on a budget, Karet is a perfect alternative as it is only 10 minutes away.

What Are The Options Available For Cheap Stays in Jakarta?

It is not difficult to find a cheap place to stay in Jakarta. You have the following options:

Kos (Guest Houses)
A kos is normally a spare room inside someone's house that can be rented out. You can find them everywhere in Jakarta and particularly in Setiabudi and Menteng.

Since the prices in those areas have soared, some home owners have started renting every room in their house. Others have built bigger houses with several floors and dozens of rooms. They've also improved the facilities and services to look like normal hotels.

The main difference with a normal hotel is that the licenses and permits are easier to obtain with kos. For the guest, it means that the prices are generally lower.

To find a kos, you can try your luck walking around looking for "Kos Available" signs. If you speak Indonesian, you can also try some of the websites like sewakost.com or infokost.com. OLX Indonesia, a free classifields website, is another option.

Budget Hotels
Central Jakarta is not cheap, even if you stay in a budget hotel.

Local budget hotel chains can be quite disappointing. A decent one is Fave hotel, particularly the one on Wahid Hasyim and the one one Gatot Subroto.

ZenRooms
ZenRooms is a great option for affordable stays in Indonesia. They are offering at least the same quality as traditional budget hotel chains, if not better, with prices that are much lower and with more amenities available - wifi etc..  (see details on picture above).

The idea is that they are selecting the best kos and small residences, invest to renovate them up to standards, then implement standard hospitality procedures.

Compared to the famous budget chains mentioned above, I've noticed that the price is around 20%-30% cheaper. 

Capsule Hotels and Dormitory
To my knowledge, you have only a few dormitory and capsule hotels in Jakarta. Their prices and locations, near Kota, are not really interesting unless you really want to save a couple dollars.

AirBnB
I've used AirBnB a few times in Jakarta and I've had good and bad experiences. Since it isn't really that developed yet, you generally don't have many guest comments so it's hard to get an idea of what to expect. Also, I find the owners rather greedy, charging expensive prices that are not so interesting compared to hotels. The level of cleanliness can be quite disappointing also.

Still, Airbnb is interesting if you need a kitchen or if you need an apartment with several bedrooms. It is ok for daily or weekly rent, but pricey for monthly rents.

Budget Apartments
You can easily find apartments to rent for daily, weekly or monthly online, but most websites I know are in Indonesian.

The easiest one to use is http://www.sewa-apartemen.net/. Most owners are looking for 6 months minimum rental period and they expect a full upfront payment.

See below for recommended budget apartments in Jakarta for weekly and monthly rentals.

Share Housing
If you're budget is under 400$/month but you want a big room, a garden and an expat lifestyle, the solution is to find a house to share. Kemang have plenty of fantastic villas with swimming pools. You can look on facebook groups like "Interns in Jakarta" or "Expats in Jakarta". The forum livinginindonesiaforum.org can also be a source of information.


How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Room in Jakarta?

All prices listed below are for Central Jakarta without breakfast. Prices in South Jakarta are about the same. North, East and West Jakarta are 25% lower.

Kos (Family Guest Houses) - With AC, Hot Water, WIFI, Private Bathroom
Daily: Rp250,000 to Rp500,000
Weekly: Rp1,200,000 to 2,000,000
Monthly: Rp2,500,000 to Rp6,500,000

ZenRooms - Standard Double Room with AC, Flat TV, Amenities, Hot Water, En-suite Bathroom
Daily: Rp280,000 to Rp600,000

Budget Hotels
Daily: Rp550,000 to Rp800,000

For studios and 1-bedroom apartments, the price is usually from Rp5,000,000 to Rp10,000,000 if you book directly with the owner (25% more on AirBnB or through agent). You must generally add to the price of the room the service charge, the water and the electricity. If you always turn on the AC (1 unit) every day for 12 hours, you can expect to pay an additional Rp1,000,000 per month.

Best Low Cost Apartments in Central Jakarta?

If you are looking for a studio or a small apartment in Central Jakarta for monthly rental, I advise you to try one of the following. They are all priced between Rp5,000,000 and Rp10,000,000 for a 1 bedroom apartment or a studio.

Incredibly enough, I have actually lived in all of these.

Taman Sari Semanggi
They have studios, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments. It is walking distance from Lotte Mart and easy to reach from the airport. Semi-olympic swimming pool.

Taman Sari Sudirman
Located in Setiabudi just behind the World Trade Center. Cheap but small studios with a freezing swimming pool. Near from the Transjakarta and tons of street food stalls.

Thamrin City
Big complex with several towers and probably half of all interns living in Jakarta. You can easily go to Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia. Easy for meeting people too. Different kinds of rooms available from studios to 3-bedroom apartments.

Sudirman Park
4 towers with affordable apartments within 5 minutes from Jalan Sudirman. Lots of small businesses around, in particular coffee shops and small restaurants. Located next to the London School of Public Relations.

Taman Rasuna
Huge complex with 18 towers (if not more as they are still adding new ones). It is rather old so even 2-bedrooms apartments can be quite cheap to rent (around 500$ per month). I don't like it personally as it feels really too big. The swimming pool is too crowded. Several expat bars and malls available nearby. It is also 500 meters from Jalan Rasuna Said.

Outside the city center:
Prices can be much lower outside the city center, but you have to be sure that the money you saved will not be spent in taxis.

You may want to check Kalibata City where the starting monthly rate is Rp3,000,000 or Mediterania Kebon Jeruk in Taman Anggrek.

In October-December 2016, I stayed for 2 months in U-Residence in Karawaci (Tangerang). I was paying Rp7,000,000 per mont + electricity for a 35m2 studio. It is within Supermall Karawaci so very convenient for shopping/food/entertainment. To go to Jakarta, it takes around 1h to 2h though (there is a bus departing from Supermall costing Rp25,000 per trip to FX Sudirman).

Partying with friends? Read my guide: 18 Best Apartments for Bachelor Parties in Jakarta

5 comments to '' How To Rent A Cheap Room in Jakarta (Daily, Weekly, Monthly) "

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  1. Hello.
    It was very helpful information.
    I will be in jakarta soon.
    I checked apartment with one agency. 1yr contract is the base and they asked me to pay for 1yr rental fee in advance.
    commision fee is 5% of total whole 1yr rental fee.
    Is it normal?

    Hope to hear some advices from you.

    Kayla

    my email address is ILOVESTV@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Kayla, yes unfortunately you usually need to pay 1 year in advance in Jakarta (to get a yearly price)... Some even pay 2 years in advance sometimes... 5% commission seems normal as well... If I were you I would stay in a hotel for a week first though so I have time to visit a few different apartments and see how far it is from work...

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    2. Thank your ur quick reply.
      Yes, Company offer me hotel for 2weeks so I have some time.
      I think I will be there round 14-16th of January.
      I heard that there is batavia apartment right around company.
      But batavia apartment seems old..
      so I'm trying to find apartment near there.
      It's not easy to find right place with right price..
      Is there any real estate agency you may know near this area?
      Thanks!

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    3. I had a friend who stayed in Batavia about 10 years ago and it was fine then... but I don't know how it is now... Sudirman Park is very near from Batavia and you can get a 1-bedroom apartment for around 5-6 million rupiah... I think you can go there directly and ask to the management office if they have apartment...

      I never used real estate agencies but you can check on this website: http://www.sewa-apartemen.net/category/apartment/sudirman-park

      Most apartments advertised are sold through agents...

      You also have the website OLX but the ads are in Indonesian... https://www.olx.co.id/properti/apartment/disewakan-apartment/jakarta-pusat/q-sudirman-park

      Delete
    4. Thanks, It helps a lot.
      Yeah I agree with you to check things in local when I get there.
      It's soon! so I will find out things and also your blog explain details, so
      I'm surprised that.

      Thank you so much.
      Happy New Year~

      Delete