I recently wrote about the best things to do in Jakarta. In the following review, I will be more specific and focus on night-time activities.

A cliché used to describe Jakarta is that of "a city that never sleeps." While this could apply to any major capitals in the world, I think it is particularly accurate here. There is always some kind of life in Jakarta, whatever the time and whatever the location.

It is quite logical considering the city has one of the highest population densities in the world. Another reason is that there are a lot of Indonesians working long shifts or night shifts, especially small business owners and independent workers. As long as money can be made, they won't close shop or go home. This is why you can always get food, cigarettes or a taxi ride at any time of the night.

For the traveler, the advantage of this situation is that there are a lot of things to do at night. Even better, if you go out after 9pm, you'll also enjoy less traffic, cooler temperatures and less pollution. 

The following list will give you some ideas on how to spend time after the sun sets in Jakarta. If you feel I forgot something, please don't hesitate to leave a comment below the article.

Street Food
Photo: Jonathan Perugia
Night-time is the best moment to go around and try some delicious Indonesian street food. Many of the small stalls on the sidewalk are actually only allowed to operate in the evening (to avoid disturbing pedestrians during the day).

My personal favorite location for street food in Jakarta is Jalan Mangga Besar, a red-light area busy with an eclectic mix of people. It's a great place to try some authentic Chinese food or some more unusual specialties like cobra and monkey.

If this is too far or too weird for you, Jalan Sabang and Jalan Wahid Hasyim in Central Jakarta are a good alternative. You'll also find many 24/7 restaurants in the area.

Rooftop Drinks
Photo: Sandrine VB
Jakarta is the 9th city with the most skyscrapers in the world and it is at night that the view is the most spectacular. The darkness hides all the city's flaws: The potholes, the dirt, the dust and the rust disappear, replaced by millions of colorful lights.

The best rooftops to enjoy the view of the skyline are Cloud or Skye. I give more recommendations in my review Top 10 Rooftop Bars in Jakarta as well. I also enjoy watching the city from the Burgundy Bar in Grand Hyatt even though it is not a rooftop.

Live Music, Theater and Concerts
Photo: Aura Kasih and Atika Dora
There are several great venues for listening to live music in Jakarta. Two of the most famous are B.A.T.S in Shangri-La and CJ's in Mulia. Both have a Western band playing Top 40 and pop/rock hits. They may not suit everyone's taste though as they attract a lot of working girls. Paulaner Brauhaus in Kempinski, Hard Rock Cafe in Pacific Place or Eastern Promise in Kemang are three more family-friendly options. I also like to visit the speakeasy Prohibition in Senayan Arcadia (make sure to check their secret live jazz room).

For cheaper drinks and a younger atmosphere, you can try any branches of Beer Garden.

In Menteng, Taman Ismail Marzuki (TIM) is an art complex popular with Indonesians. There are daily cultural performances (concerts, theater, movies, etc).

Clubbing and Karaoke
Normal clubs (meaning those that don't have a majority of prostitutes) are usually busy on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night. You can read about my favorites here: Best Nightclubs in Jakarta.

The other days of the week, only the more naughty places are crowded. Apart from BATS and CJs mentioned above, you can try the famous one-stop entertainment centers like Malioboro, Alexis, King Cross, Emporium or Golden Crown. The bar Club 36 is also always very lively. North Jakarta is also where several 24h karaokes can be found.

Cinemas
Jakarta has excellent and modern cinemas that cost about half what you would pay in Europe. The CGV-Blitz chain has movies until 10pm during the week and until midnight on weekends.


Massage and Spas
Some massage parlors and spas close rather late in Jakarta (and I'm not talking about the naughty ones), especially those located in 5-star hotels: Bimasena (Dharmawangsa Hotel) and Willow Stream (Fairmont) close at 11pm, the spa at the Ritz-Carlton Mega Kuningan is open until 12am.


Shopping
Photo: Pasar Bary by Art535
All the high-end shopping malls close at 10pm in Jakarta but there are some more traditional markets (pasar) that stay open 24 hours, for instance the fish market of Angke Muara and the flower markets of Cikini and Rawa Belong. Closer from the city center, you also have Pasar Senen and Pasar Mampang Prapatan.

Exercise
Photo: Jeremy Tobing
Running/cycling at night or very early in the morning is very common among fitness enthusiasts in Jakarta. It is a way to avoid the heat, the traffic and the pollution. Popular running spots include the Monas, the Senayan Stadium and Ragunan Zoo.

A good way to meet Indonesians is to join a running club. Indorunners run every Thursday starting 7.30pm from FX Mall in Senayan. On the same day, you can also join the Nike Run Club.

Amazingly, there are also some 24h gyms in Jakarta such as Rai Fitness in Senopati, Clark Hatch in Sari Pan Pacific Hotel (which I heard is a gay hangout) and Club Olympus in Grand Hyatt.

Night Tourism
Photo: Bunderan HI by Inguna
Many tourist sights in Jakarta can still be visited at night. Taman Fatahillah, the Monas, Ancol or the Kota Intan Bridge remain crowded until very late. They attract middle-class Indonesians, especially tourists, and all kind of street vendors. During Ramadhan, you can also visit the Istiqlal mosque all-night long.

Young Indonesians also like to hang out in some public areas like the Taman Suropati and Taman Menteng parks or around the Bunderan HI fountain.

1 comment to '' 9 Best Things to Do at Night in Jakarta "

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  1. also, if you wanna go out at night in Jakarta but you think that drinks in beer garden are still too expensive, you can go Taman Suropati for some cheaper ones. you know, nutrisari or granita. It's very close to Beer Garden Menteng.

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