This Jakarta nightlife review is an update to my 2015 article and it should cover any questions you may have about partying in Jakarta in 2017.

If you are a first-time visitor, you might also be interested with my Jakarta Travel Guide.

Nightlife Areas
There are so many nightlife areas in Jakarta that it can be confusing even for residents.

Broadly-speaking, South Jakarta (the modern part of the city) has a normal and upmarket nightlife, while North Jakarta (the historical center) has a naughty nightlife.

In detail, the following neighborhoods are the most happening:
Mega Kuningan: You'll find chic bars walking distance from each other (Basque, Loewy, Flow, Safehouse, McGettigan's, Jack Sparrows, etc). Popular with young expats, westernized Indonesians and girls looking for expats.
SCBD: The trendiest area among young Indonesians. There are two complexes: One called Fairgrounds (with Lucy in the Sky, Fable Club, Hide and Seek and the Pallas Lounge) and a smaller one with the Foundry 8 and Empirica Club.
Senopati: An affluent residential neighborhood with exclusive bars and restaurants that cater to the elite, particularly Indonesian-Chinese. The current hotspots are Monty's, Savoi, Lola and H Gourmet and Vibes.
Jalan Jaksa/Menteng/Sarinah: This is where you will find good-value accommodation in central Jakarta. Bars in that area are cheaper than average and they will attract travelers, backpackers and Indonesians on a budget.
Kemang: Another residential area, favored by expat families. It has some expat bars and restaurants  (EP, Frank's, Murphy's) mixed with nightclubs for late teenagers (Dronk, 999, Nu China).
Pantai Indah Kapuk: A strip of restaurants and bars for the young, usually wealthy, Indonesian-Chinese living in Pluit.
Glodok: One of the main red-light districts in North Jakarta.
Blok M: A tiny red light district in South Jakarta, popular with older Westerners. All the hostess bars are lined up in Jalan Falatehan.
Melawai and Grand Wijaya: Two red light districts in South Jakarta targeting Japanese and Koreans (karaokes and massage parlours).

Some luxury malls also have bars and clubs: Grand Indonesia, Plaza Indonesia, Pacific Place, Senayan City, Plaza Senayan, Central Park and Pondok Indah.

Luckily for you, I wrote a detailed article about all these areas: Where to Party in Jakarta: Nightlife + Hotels.

When to Party?
Jakarta nightlife is busy all year round with a pause during Ramadhan. South Jakarta nightclubs get busy from midnight to 3AM-4AM and the ones in North Jakarta from 8PM to 3AM. Some venues have longer opening hours (Golden Crown, Illigals, Exotis). If you want to party 24-hour, the best solution is to rent a karaoke room (Karaoke in Jakarta).

→ Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: Quiet in the South, normal in the North.
The "normal" nightclubs will be closed, but not the naughty ones like Alexis, Malioboro, Golden Crown, 36, Tease, etc. From what I was told, this is because it's easier for married men to go out during the week. There are also more businessmen in Jakarta on weekdays.

All bars will be open, but only the most famous will be busy: Basque, Loewy, Social House, Cloud, BATS, CJs.

→ Wednesday is my favorite party day in Jakarta.
All clubs and bars are normally open and busy.  Entrance fees are lower and you have ladies' nights promotions.


→ Friday and Saturday are the crowdest nights. 
Prices can be higher on those days. The entrance fee to luxury clubs may reach IDR300,000. There are much more foreigners in Jakarta as many come from all over Southeast Asia to party.

Hotels in Jakarta Near the Nightlife
I receive emails almost every day from readers asking me where to stay near Jakarta nightlife. My answer is always the same: "Find a hotel within 500 meters from Jalan Sudirman".

Booking.com has a list of hotels in the area that you can check here: Hotels Near Jalan Sudirman Jakarta.

My personal recommendations are:

5-stars (more than 150$/night)

Shangri-La and Mulia both have busy live-music bars full of working girls.
Oakwood Premier Cozmo has a great location in Mega Kuningan and I recommend it if you plan on having dates with Indonesian girls (you can invite them downstairs to Loewy).

4-stars (more than 100$/night)

Fraser ResidenceFraser Place and Ascott Kuningan are new, centrally-located and near the nightlife. Near Sarinah, ArtotelMorrissey and Kosenda have their own bars.

3-stars (more than 40$/night):
Harris FX (very popular due to the location within a lifestyle mall), Ayaka SuitesLiberty HotelA-OneAshley.

→ Under 40$ per night:

All the hotels below are well-ranked on Agoda. Please consider booking them with the link I provide as I get a commission each time. The price for you is the same and it helps me run Jakarta100bars.com.

Backpackers with no money to spare can check for guest houses directly in Jalan Jaksa and the nearby streets. You can get a room with a fan for under IDR100,000.

Best Bars in Jakarta
I already wrote a long article about the 50 best bars in Jakarta so I won't repeat myself here. Instead, I will just summarize it as follow:

Bars for Meeting Girls
→ Girls who are 20+: Basque, Loewy, Bluegrass, Social House
→ Girls who are 30+: Eastern Promise, Aphrodite
→ Girls who want money: BATS, CJs, My Bar, Top Gun, 36

Cheap Bars
→ For students: Camden, Halfway, Beer Garden
→ For backpackers: Melly's Garden, Memories' Pub
→ For expats: Master's, Everest

Trendy Bars:
→ For young expats: Basque, Loewy, Bluegrass, The Dutch, Safehouse, Jack Sparrows
→ For Indonesian Chinese and Hi-So: Monty's, Léon, Savoi, Proof, Union, Cork and Screw, Pao Pao
→ For hipsters: Lucy in the Sky, Lola, Hide and Seek

Best Bars for Meeting Expats and Watching Sports
Eastern Promise, Aphrodite, Murphy's, Master's, De Hooi, McGettigan's


Best Bars for Live Music
BATS, CJs, Eastern Promise, Hard Rock, Rolling Stones, Paulaner Brauhaus

Best Bars for Chilling
→ Rooftops: Cloud, SKYE
→ Lounges: Flow, Burgundy, Prohibition

Best Nightclubs in Jakarta
As for the best bars, I also wrote a ranking of my favorite nightclubs in Jakarta: Top 10 Nightclubs in Jakarta. Below is a quick overview:

Nightclubs for Meeting Girls (also the most popular with foreigners)
X2, Dragonfly, Immigrant, Jenja


Nightclubs for Younger People:
Blowfish, Fable, Foundry 8, Dronk, 999, Nu China

Upper-Class Nightclubs
Empirica, Dragonfly, Blowfish, Immigrant

Nightclubs with Electro/Techno
Jenja, Foundry 8

Nightclub with Hip-Hop
Equinox (upper floor of X2)

Nightclubs with EDM
X2, Empirica, Domain, Exodus

Cheaper Nightclubs:
Dronk, Nu China, 999, Camden
To a lesser extent: Domain, Exodus

Nightclubs with Lady Companions and Working Girls
→ Upmarket clubs: Colosseum (1001 complex), Alexis, Illigals, Malioboro, Tease Club (Emporium complex)
→ Mid-range clubs: Classic, King Cross, Sumo, Travel, Golden Crown, Newton, Tematik, B'Fashion
→ Lower end clubs: MTR, Starmoon, Cherry, Mars (usually they are in the red light districts of Lokasari, in Mangga Besar, in Kota Indah or in the suburbs).

Note that all of the upmarket and mid-range venues mentioned above are located within large "one-stop entertainment" complexes that feature a spa and a karaoke. They are de facto brothels with their own prostitutes, sometimes even foreign ones (Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Uzbek, etc.).

Surprisingly, a few are hotels as well in which you can book a room and sleep next door to the spa:

Classic Hotel: 30$ per night on Agoda (rated 7.2/10) - Location in Central Jakarta, quite convenient.
Tematik Hotel: 29$ per night on Agoda (rated 6.7/10) - Location in North Jakarta (Pluit)
B'Fashion Hotel: 39$ per night on Agoda (rated 7.1/10) - Location in West Jakarta between the airport and the city center
The Plaza Hotel (Golden Crown): 27$ per night on Agoda (rated 6.5/10)

Read also:

Meeting Girls in Jakarta
It is normally easy to meet a girl in Jakarta, especially if you are an expat. As a traveler, it might be a bit more complicated as most girls will assume you are not looking for a long-term relationship.

Meeting girls online:
The best dating apps and websites are Tinder, IndonesianCupid, Badoo, Skout and Paktor. You can try a few of them, knowing that:

→ Tinder works best with decent looking guys between 18 and 40 who live in Indonesia. If you are white, you will get plenty of matches, but don't expect it will automatically translate into one-night stands.

→ IndonesianCupid works best with guys who are not staying in Indonesia. For some reasons, this website is full of girls who want to marry foreigners and who don't mind long distance relationships. You can use it to make some contacts a few weeks before coming to Jakarta.

If you are planning a trip in Southeast Asia, it is a good idea to use AsianDating instead (sister company of Indonesian Cupid). The site has thousands of girls from everywhere (mostly Thai, Filipino and Indonesian).

→ Badoo and Skout are interesting as a backup option because they are free. Badoo has few English-speaking girls and some prostitutes. Skout has a lot of annoying ads and you can't change your location.

→ Paktor is the popular dating app among young middle-to-upper class Indonesians. I had very little success on it and it's expensive. I'd recommend it if you are Asian and under 25.

You can read a more detailed article on this topic here: Best Online Dating Apps in Indonesia and 15 Best Dating Apps in Asia.

Meeting girls in nightclubs
If you are young and confident, nightclubs are your second best option for meeting girls in Jakarta. One-night stands are pretty common, particularly with girls from X2, Immigrant and Dragonfly. Be careful, though, as the older you get, the more likely you'll be asked for some money in the morning.

Making the first step is a guy's prerogative: Indonesian girls may stare at you, but they will rarely approach you directly. The good thing is that they are never arrogant and even if they turn you down, it will be in a gentle way.

It is ALWAYS a good idea to buy a bottle in nightclubs. Not only does it get you a free entrance for several people, a table/sofa and more attention from waiters, it is also a great way to approach girls and to invite them to join you for drinks. Many are drawn to bottles like flies are drawn to honey. In the end, the cost is reasonable, especially when split between a few guys.

Frequently Asked Questions:
These are some of the most common questions I receive from readers:

Do I need an ID to visit a club in Jakarta?
Some clubs may ask an ID if you look less than 21 years old. Personally, I never carry one and I've only been asked once, in Camden Bar Cikini.

Upmarket nightclubs can be very strict with age requirements. Dragonfly does not allow anyone under 21. If you are under 18, you can try some clubs in Kemang, like Venue (famous for accepting underage clubbers).

How much will I spend for going out?
Partying in Jakarta is rather expensive, mainly because of the taxes on alcohol (200%).

In cheap bars, a small beer will cost 2-3$, a glass of alcohol 4-5$ and a cocktail 6$. In upmarket bars, a small beer is 5-6$, a glass of spirits 6-9$ and a cocktail 7-10$.

The entrance fee to the best nightclubs is around 15$ on Wednesdays and 20$ on weekends.

Taxi bills can pile up quickly, especially if you go from North to South and vice versa. A 15-minute ride costs about 5$. You can save a lot of money by using transportation apps like Uber, Grab and Go-Jek though (up to 50%).

In total, I would say you need at least 100$ to have fun. 

If you can't afford that, you can buy a bottle online or bring one from duty-free and start drinking at home before hitting the clubs.

What is the dress code in clubs in Jakarta?
You cannot enter a nightclub in Jakarta with flip flops and short pants. Make sure you are wearing a shirt, long pants and shoes. Avoid torn jeans, even if they cost 500$ a pair.

Women are often required to wear a dress and high heels. Dragonfly, Immigrant, Fable, Empirica, Blowfish and X2 all enforce this rule strictly.

Where can I buy drugs?
I always recommend not to buy drugs in Jakarta and in Indonesia in general. You can do that much more safely in Europe or in the US now. I wrote about this topic in an article: Is it safe to buy drugs in Indonesia?

If you are stubborn, these are the nightclubs where drugs are common: Illigals, Golden Crown, Exotis, Siera and Old Town.

How do you think the election of the new Governor will impact Jakarta nightlife? Will Stadium reopen?
Some of the people who backed Anies Baswedan, the new Governor, have probable ties to the nightlife industry in Jakarta (see Who Owns Jakarta Nightlife?). These people have an interest in reopening nightclubs like Mille's, Stadium, or the Kalijodo red light district.

Bars, clubs and spas are also money makers and they employ thousands of people. They are one of the few interesting things to do in Jakarta, and without them the city would welcome even less tourists.

The problem is that Anies made his whole campaign about religion and, to that effect, he promised he would eradicate prostitution.

While I'm convinced that those were empty promises, allowing the reopening of Stadium would be such an insult to his voters that I can't imagine it will happen. Under a different name, in a few years, why not, but not anytime soon.

He will probably need to close down a few emblematic venues, in particular those belonging to the Alexis group who had been spared by Ahok until now.

Will he go further? It's too early to say. It will all depend on how badly he needs to play the religion card to remain in office or to divert attention.

Whatever happens, Jakartans will always find ways to party and prostitution will not stop cease to exist. If it dies in one place, it just reincarnates somewhere else.

Photo credit: Close Art.

If you have questions, you can ask them in the comment section below or send me an email: thibaud@jakarta100bars.com.

4 comments to '' Jakarta Nightlife 2017: Best Bars, Clubs, Spas and Hotels "

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  1. Nice Summary. Keep up the good work.

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  2. For Hip Hop you could also try O2 Sky Club on Sudirman. They do play other music on some nights but seem to have 2 or 3 Urban/Hip Hop music nights a week. They also claim to be the highest club in Jakarta currently which could be true as you are on floor 59. Be aware they aren't open on Sundays unlike Sky and Cloud Bar.

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  3. Which KTV with LC you suggest? Im going to jakarta from 9 till 13. Which club to go on a wednesday?

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  4. Where would you recommend I go if I'm with a girlfriend?

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