Jakarta: 12 Cheap Bars for Backpackers / Students

By Thibaud (Jakarta100bars)
Clubbing in Jakarta is almost always expensive, especially if you are a heavy drinker.

For most high-end nightclubs and bars, the prices are approximately as follow (on weekends):
- Entrance fee: Between IDR200,000 and IDR300,000 (usually waived if you book a table or a sofa)
- Beer Bintang: IDR70,000 net
- Classic cocktail: IDR150,000 net
- Bottle of Whisky with 2 mixers: IDR1,500,000 net
- Standing round table for 4 people: You must spend a minimum amount between IDR2,000,000 and IDR4,000,000 on drinks and food.
- Sofa for 4 people: You must spend a minimum amount between IDR3,000,000 and IDR5,000,000 on drinks and food.

Typically, when I go out in Jakarta, I spend about IDR2,000,000 ($140) per night from dinner until sleep. And I don't consider myself a big spender, on the contrary.

If you are a backpacker, an expat on a budget, or a student, you are probably wondering how you can party without emptying your bank account.

In this article, I will give you a list of 12 cheaper bars and nightclubs + some tips on how to spend less money on nightlife.

9 Tips to party in Jakarta for less:
- Pre-drink at home, if possible with a bottle you bought before arriving in Jakarta at a duty-free shop.
- Read my guide: How to Buy Alcohol in Jakarta to find cheap bottles online.
- Go around using Uber/Grab/Gojek or even the Transjakarta. The Koridor 1, the red line, is operational 24 hours and it goes from Blok M to Kota.
- Find friends to party with, and share the cost of a bottle with them.
- Order mega-drinks such as the Cendana cocktail, a powerful Jakarta specialty combining 7 types of alcohol. They are more expensive but one is enough to get you drunk.
- Get free entrance to most nightclubs by visiting them before midnight.
- Party on Wednesdays instead of Fridays or Saturdays (a much better night to party anyway).
- Find an "All-you-can-drink" promotion.
- If you are a woman, find a Ladies' night (though you will realize few bars are very generous)

Cheap Bars located near the backpacker district (Jalan Jaksa)
If you are a backpacker or a traveler, these are some cheap bars located near Jalan Jaksa, in Central Jakarta. This area is generally the most recommended for tourists on a budget.

All prices are net, inclusive of taxes and service charge.

Camden Menteng
From Jalan Jaksa, you will need to take a taxi for 15 minutes to go to this bar, but it is the best one in the "cheap" range in my opinion. It is crowded most nights of the week and features several rooms, both indoor and outdoor. The outdoor is relaxing, perfect for chilling out with friends, while the indoor is better for dancing or flirting. Most customers are young students in their early 20s. Live music. Large choice of beers and spirits. The only problem is that it takes forever to get served.

Small beer: IDR45,000 per bottle, tower (5 liters) available for IDR330,000
Shooters: IDR60,000 (as low as IDR25,000 on promo nights).
Bottle of Jack Daniel’s: IDR1,200,000
Mojito: IDR70,000

They have another branch in South Jakarta near the mall Gandaria.

Beer Garden Wahid Hasyim
As the name indicates, this is a beer garden, part of a larger chain that owns 3 more outlets in Jakarta (see below). It is very crowded on most nights and you might have to wait to get seated. Live music every night. Trendy, young Indonesian crowd.

It is walking distance from Jalan Jaksa.

Small beer: IDR38,000
Mojito: IDR80,000
Tequila shot: IDR65,000
Bottle of Jack Daniel’s IDR1,000,000

Melly's Garden
This is a very large outdoor bar and restaurant, full of mosquitoes and a bit old-fashioned. Popular with all age groups, both locals and foreigners. You can even spot a few jilbabs. The atmosphere is lively and friendly, with a band playing occasionally. Also walking distance from Jalan Jaksa.

Small beer: IDR40,000
Cocktail: IDR70,000

This is the main backpacker bar on Jalan Jaksa (and where I drank my first Bintang, almost 15 years ago). It's a mess, with a random crowd that includes tourists, expat regulars and semi-prostitutes.

I haven't been there in a while, but the prices are probably as low as they can be.

Ya Udah Bistro
Not exactly a bar, but they have very reasonably-priced beers and food. Popular with older, long-term expats.

Small beer: IDR35,000

Cheap Bars and Nightclubs in South Jakarta
Camden Gandaria
Similar to Camden Cikini in terms of price and crowd, but with a different layout.

Beer Garden SCBD, Beer Garden Kemang, Beer Garden
There are 3 more Beer Gardens in South Jakarta (see above for description). You can see their addresses here: Beer Garden Locations.

This new nightclub is one of the most happening currently in Kemang. It is disorganized and not stylish at all, but cheap. They are pretty relaxed about ID checks so there are a lot of teenagers inside. DJs play EDM, Top 40 or Rn'B.

Small beer: IDR50,000
Mojito: IDR85,000
Bottle of Jack Daniel’s IDR1,650,000

Halfway Bar
I think it is owned by the same people behind Camden. Cool bar, quite dark, packed with young people on weekends. Mostly a place for sitting with friends.

Small beer: IDR41,000
Mojito: IDR75,000
Gin Tonic: IDR55,000
Bottle of Jack Daniel’s IDR1,150,000

Noname Bar
Also part of the same group as Camden, I only visited once and it was empty. That said, I heard that it was busy on weekends and special nights. Same atmosphere and prices as Halfway Bar.

Cheap Bars in North Jakarta

Europe Kelapa Gading
This sports bar is next to Mall of Indonesia. There seems to be a crowd of regular. Karaoke on the second floor.

Small beer: IDR38,000

Hangover Pantai Indah Kapuk
Hangover is one of the main hangouts in Pantai Indah Kapuk. It is a semi-open beer garden specializing in soju drinks. Indonesian-Chinese crowd.

Small beer: IDR40,000
Bottle of Jack Daniel's: IDR1,400,000

In Pantai Indah Kapuk, you can also try Hugo's or Mixology. 

3 comments to '' Jakarta: 12 Cheap Bars for Backpackers / Students "

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  1. Good list - D’s place in Blok M is cheap before 9 pm, also Historia in the Kota Tua area wasn’t pricey the last time I was there.

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  2. Loads of cheap bars in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta. Off the top of my head...Beertender, Rock n Goal, Bier n Flugel, District, Base, Chamber of Liqour...there may be more. Some of them have regular 3 for 2 or 5 for 3 offers on beer.

    None of them are particulary exciting, but if you all want are a few cheap drinks in a hassle-free environment, then they do the job.

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    1. Thanks, I haven't spent that much time in Kelapa Gading and I didn't know there were so many cheap bars...

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