Jakarta Nightlife Explained in Less Than 500 Words

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)
I've written dozens of articles about Jakarta nightlife, but some people don't have the time to read them. This is a summary of everything there is to know, in less than 500 words:

Even though Jakarta is the capital of a conservative and Muslim-majority country, it has a fun and diverse nightlife that comprises some of the best bars, nightclubs and spas in Southeast Asia.

As you can see on my Jakarta nightlife map, most of the trendy venues are located in the South of the city while "naughty" spots can be found in the North. For this reason, it is ideal to stay in the city center around Plaza Indonesia or Sarinah Mall (Where to Stay in Jakarta?). Budget hotels in this area cost around 40$ per night and 5-star properties around 200$.

The only way to get around at night in Jakarta is to use taxis or apps like Uber/Grab. A 30-minute midnight ride from the nightclub X2 in the South to Colosseum in the North will cost about Rp60,000 (5$). Taxis are cheap and safe as long as you use companies like Blue Bird or Express.

South Jakarta Nightlife

This area corresponds to the business district. If you decide to party there, you are more likely to meet normal girls (non-prostitutes), rich Indonesian-Chinese, expats and business travelers.

I recommend you to start around 8pm with a dinner in a bar/restaurant. Current hotspots include Basque, Loewy, E&O, Bluegrass, Social House, Cork&Screw, Union and Potato Head. They are very similar as they all belong to the same groups.

After eating, you can head to a bar for more drinks. My favorites are rooftop venues like Cloud or Skye. Young and trendy expats may prefer Safehouse, Lola or Bauhaus while rich Indonesians will hide in speakeasies like Hemingway, Monty's or Proof. If you are on a budget, Beer Garden is a good option. If you are looking for girls, try Jalan Falatehan, B.A.T.S or CJs.

Most nightclubs get busy at 1am and close after 4am. Dress codes are strictly implemented: Men should wear a shirt and women should wear high-heels. All the best nightclubs have a first-drink charge between Rp150,000 and Rp300,000 on weekends. You can avoid it if you reserve a table and order bottle service. Smoking is normally allowed inside. The best nightclubs in Jakarta are Immigrant, Dragonfly, Empirica, Blowfish, Domain, Fable and X2.

Kemang has cheaper nightclubs that are popular with a younger crowd (999, Nu China or Tipsy).

North Jakarta Nightlife
North of the Monas (National Monument), you will find large one-stop entertainment venues that have nightclubs, karaokes and spas in the same building. They are filled with prostitutes, freelance or not, and the clients are mostly locals.

The famous ones, from most expensive to cheapest are: Alexis, Malioboro, 1001, Illigals, Emporium, King Cross, Golden Crown, Classic. Each have striptease/sexy dancers. The spas are hidden brothels. If this is too hardcore for you, have a massage plus-plus instead in Delta or My Place.

Clubbers in North Jakarta often take drugs in karaoke rooms or inside after-hour clubs like Mille's. Punishment for drug use is harsh in Indonesia, it's best to abstain.

495 words. Still confused? Please leave a comment below and I'll do my best to answer.

10 comments to '' Jakarta Nightlife Explained in Less Than 500 Words "

  1. Immigrant (Plaza Indo)cover fee is now 400,000 K

  2. went to immigrant last night, cover was 300k

  3. Hey thanks for all your articles. I haven't seen or perhaps I missed this answer. Between grand paragon for example and b fashion which hotel of these 2 or any other is a one stop place? I.e you can get a room in the hotel and get girls from the hotel/spa/bar stright to your room?
    Thanks! If you could attach a link to the hotel via agoda. I'd definitely use it.

    1. Hi B'Fashion is what you are looking for... Similar to it you also have Classic and Orchardz... Paragon only has a karaoke... You can read more about this topic in the article: Hotels with Massage Parlours in Jakarta . For a direct link to book B'Fashion, you can click here B'Fashion Hotel Jakarta. Thanks for the booking!

    2. sorry for super late reply... paragon has a karaoke but does not have a spa... b'fashion hotel has a spa, a nightclub and a karaoke... it's cool if you book it from this link: B'Fashion Hotel - Book With Agoda

  4. Hi,I will be staying one night in jakarta in hotel at airport area,
    What is your recommendation for a nightclub close to my hotel? Thanks

    1. Hi there, close from airport there is not so many nightclubs... the closest is to go to PIK (see my review PIK nightlife) or to Nebula in Grogol... but you need at least 30 minutes with taxi...

  5. Thibaud, heard there was some raid at Mille's.....have they shut down? visiting again in a couple of months....preparing wish-list as much to visit in a week

    1. Yes Mille's is closed now... I don't think there is a real alternative to it now apart from Illigals... Exotis might be fine as well if you don't mind funky house...

    2. I would say Illegals would be your best option too for Milles style small room progressive house music. Friday night you will often find DJ Bobby Suryadi and the Stadium Allstars playing at Illegals.

      You might also try Exodus on a Sunday for their famous "Minggu Ceria" night where DJ Bobby is also a regular and the closing time is quite late - 7am, but check the schedule as it's not on every weekend.

      Colosseum can be good but only worth going if they have a decent international playing the main room or if they have opened the underground techno "Enter the void" room which closes very late as well at 10am.