Preparing a Party Weekend in Jakarta?

By The Jakarta Team
Don't worry, you are not alone!

Every Friday, the expats in Jakarta try to leave their work early, hoping they can beat the traffic and arrive at the airport on time to enjoy a week-end in Bali or Singapore, away from the pollution.

News September 2015: I wrote a guide to organize a bachelor party in Jakarta with updated information.

On the same day, on the contrary, another crowd of people, expats and locals from nearby Asian countries actually choose to spend their weekend in Jakarta. These people have one thing in mind: To enjoy the great atmosphere of the nightlife in our city!

Many of them write us because they don’t feel as safe in Jakarta as in KL, Singapore, or even Bangkok. Forums on the internet are full of stories about scams, tourist traps, annoyances and even terrorism that it makes sense to have people scared. We, at Jakarta100bars, cannot tolerate that! But since we cannot pick up each of you at the airport, we decided to write this little guide. We hope it will answer all the basic questions you may have about your trip in the capital and if it doesn’t, we encourage you to comment. If you have more interrogations, please just ask, and we will answer as soon as we can.

From the airport to your hotel:
Like in any airport, the arrival in Jakarta can be stressing since you become the center of attention as soon as you exit, in particular from taxi drivers. To prevent them from insisting too much, act as confident as possible and give the impression that you know where you are going.

So where are you going? You have a $3 shuttle than can take you in the centrally-located Gambir Station, but it is better for the first time to take a cab, unless you are on a tight budget.
Taxis won’t cost you more than $10 to $15 and you will arrive directly in front of your hotel. People are still recommending the use of Blue Bird taxis only, but in my opinion many brands are safe as well, including Express, Gamya, Taxiku and all the taxis looking brand new. It may sounds like an approximate rule of thumb but it works. You may have bad luck and have to deal with a bad driver, but it happens with Blue Birds as well.

You can book a taxi straight after the custom check at one of their counters. Alternatively, you can go to the taxi line, a 100 meter away from the arrival gate on the left. There are several brands there you can choose from, and you will get a coupon with your destination and a number to call in case you have a problem with the driver. Before accepting to enter a taxi, ask if the toll is included or not to avoid surprises.

Which hotel should you choose and where?
First tip: Lower your expectations! The overall quality of hotels is pretty low in Jakarta, except in the 5-stars range where the offer is plethoric. You can see that many hotels were decent at the time they were opened, but they are deteriorating fast. Don’t listen to someone if he tells you a place was good “a few years ago”. Far too often, you don’t get the good-value you could expect from a country with such a cheap cost of living. Apart from this guide, check what people are saying on internet forums but pay attention to the date the message was posted.

I won’t give you the names of all the hotels that are acceptable, but a more general overview of which are the good areas to stay and what are the popular hotels in these areas. If you come with the intention of partying, you will be happy to know that most hotels in Jakarta are girl-friendly, except for some family hotels. I’m not saying the front office won’t give you a bad look if you come back drunk at 4AM with a hooker, but they won't call the cops either. If you encountered a problem in one of the hotels listed below, please comment.

Low-budget/Midrange Hotels
In the low-budget range (from Rp. 50,000 to Rp. 200,000 per night), the hotels in Jalan Jaksa will be your best option. Most of the places are quite crappy, but it is in a good location and you will find a lot of services available for travellers. The street, a much smaller version of Bangkok’s backpacker street Khao San Road, has also many cafés and restaurants and is a good spot for meeting other people. Jalan Jaksa residents are somewhat looked down upon by other expats and girls in particular could be a little turned off at the idea of coming to your place. You can do as I did when I was there and say that you "live near Plaza Indonesia”.

Without prior reservation you should be able to find something quickly but you can also call the following places (I remind you that almost all hotels in Jaksa are shitty, but some are worst than others):
Kresna Hotel (021-325403): 40,000rp, no aircon and bathroom is outside. Basic but calm.
Bloem Steen Hotel (021-325389): Friendly, cheap (40,000 rp), no aircon and bathroom outside.
Borneo Hostel (021-3140095): Very basic, but clean and it has big rooms (around rp. 100,000)
Memory Café Hotel: Memories Café has a few bad rooms upstairs, with no aircon but bathroom inside. Noisy, yet lively.
Margot (021-3913830), very popular, is full of girls brought by other travellers. It costs rp. 220,000, with TV, hot water, air-con.

Jalan Jaksa is approximately 5 minutes away in walking distance from Sarinah Mall and from a Transjakarta bus station. With these, and for a fraction of the price of a taxi, you can reach Blok M or Kota easily. It is also a great way to avoid traffic since they have dedicated lines.

If you feel a little adventurous, the best places to sleep in Jaksa are actually located within the “gangs”, i.e. the tiny streets that run perpendicular from Jaksa. Sometimes you will see a sign indicating there is a room (such as “KOS”), and sometimes nothing. Ask around. If you bargain, you can get quieter, cheaper rooms this way. Not girl-friendly however because they are usually run by local families.

The street south of Jalan Jaksa, Jalan Wahid Hasyim has been developed more recently and it has some good-value hotels. Among which, my favourites are the Ibis Arcadia (+6221-2300050) and Ibis Tamarin (+6221-3912323), which will cost you Rp.550,000 including breakfast. If that is the budget you intend to spend, don’t look anywhere else because nothing comes close in Jakarta in terms of value for money. Do make a reservation to make sure you have a room. If the Ibis are both full, you can try Paragon (+6221-3917070) and Cipta Hotel (+6221-3904701), but they aren’t as good by far. The new Akhmani Hotel, a four stars, is excellent as well and not so expensive (weekend rate of Rp. 650,000). We can expect a price increase when the place will be more well-known though.

There are a lot of locally-owned midrange hotels in Central Jakarta, in the areas of Senen, Pecenongan, Menteng and Pasar Baroe. They should all be second choices since hotels there are quite expensive for what you get. I tried a few ones because I arrived late in Jakarta with no reservations and I was always disappointed. Quite often, the hotels there are naughty spots and may have a karaoke/bar with prostitutes, for instance Golden Boutique, Classic Hotel, Hotel Menteng. You end up wondering if you are in a “short-time” hotel with regular clients. Two hotels I could recommend are:
- Formule 1 Hotel, in Menteng, very popular, is a low-budget equivalent of the Ibis hotel (you can book online on
- Hotel Red Top (+6221-3500077) in Pecenongan: Clean, modern and well-priced with a weekend package at Rp 520,000.

Near Mangga Besar and Lokasari, there is another number of mid-range hotel options, that I do not recommend unless you want to stay in North Jakarta. Very often, these hotels have short-time rooms and some have bars/massage parlours/karaoke. If you came to Jakarta only for girls, then you won’t be bothered here and you will be right in the action.
My opinion is that it gets quite boring to be surrounded by hookers and dodgy guys and I’ll rather be in “normal” hotels. If you end up in a hotel with a mirror on the ceiling, a condom on the table, and a porn movie in the DVD player, don’t complain!
Possible options in Mangga Besar include:
Hotel Labu Indah (+6221-6009250, +6221-6009253), in the end of Jalan Labu, is a good place to stay, for around Rp. 200,000/night.
Prinsen Park Hotel (+6221-6289101): Correct price for this hotel, around Rp 200,000, located 100 meters from Lokasari Plaza.
Sparks Hotel (+6221-6252534) is new and clean but very noisy due to the karaoke and the bar.
Hotel Mercure Rekso (+6221-6248680): Perfect location and clean hotel. Popular with foreigners. You can get a room for as little as Rp 600,000 on weekends.

In South Jakarta, I believe there are less low-budget and midrange hotels available. You should stay here only if you do not intend to go up North (which, if I may say, is a very sad thing to do). Popular addresses are:
- Amaris Hotel (+6221-7267111), Rp 450,000, clean and well decorated. Short distance from Blok M.
- Grand Flora Hotel (+6221-7198000): Rp 800,000, good service, clean, good location, the best midrange accommodation in Kemang.
- Ambhara Hotel (+6221-2700888) is similar, with a certain Indonesian charm, but more expensive (Rp 900,000).
- Grand Mahakam (+6221-7209966): more luxurious and more expensive, it’s close to a 5-stars in terms of quality. Rp 1,000,000 per night.

Five-stars Hotels
5-stars hotels in Jakarta are well-worth the money. You will find them on average at least 3 times cheaper than in Europe, for a similar quality of service. If you are staying in 5-stars hotels, popular options are the Shangri-La, Hotel Mulia and Hotel Le Meridien which have good bars with live music.
Ritz-Carlton and Marriott were bombed twice so I would stay away from them.
Grand Hyatt is perfectly located, above the mall Plaza Indonesia, and if you book in advance, you can get a room for Rp 1.5 million.

Day activity: Malls/Spas/Cafés/Museums
Shopping for cheap stuff is one of my favourite things to do in Jakarta. Going to malls is actually the most popular activity of Jakartans, and you will find them packed during weekends. The hottest high-end mall in Jakarta is Grand Indonesia, which was completed in 2007. It is huge, and you can easily spend hours walking in it before seeing a shop twice. It has a good, non-expensive theatre, the Blitz Megaplex, on its last floor. Other luxurious malls are Senayan City and Pacific Place, all of them very similar. I think these malls are good to have a coffee or for eating, but when it comes to shopping, they have prices that are similar to those we can have in the US or in Europe.

If you want to buy cheap products, you should head to medium-class malls, where you may buy, among other things, pirated DVDs, fake clothes, ink cartridges and cheap electronic. I also like to print my best photos on large format in Jakarta, as it costs 10 times less than in France.
Though there are some options in the centre (Ambassador Mall) and in the South (Blok M Plaza), I like to stay in North Jakarta, and spend some times in Glodok Plaza or Mangga Dua Square.
If you are on the way back to the airport, you can stop in Jakarta’s biggest mall: Taman Anggrek Plaza, where you will find everything listed above.
For souvenirs, the best place to go to is Sarinah Mall, on the 5th floor. They have a large choice of handicraft from all over the archipelago. It’s very convenient but pricey. There is also a flea market in Jalan Surabaya, in Menteng, selling antiques but it’s quite expensive.

Apart from shopping, Jakarta is also a great massage parlour and Spa destination, with hundreds of excellent value establishment. I wrote two guides about massages in Jakarta, one on where to get the best traditional massages, and one with a list of the 10 best Massage Parlours with extra service in Jakarta.

If you want to do more touristy/cultural activities, then you’ve come to the wrong town… There are a few museums, plus the National Monument, plus a few other things, but it is really poor we have to admit.

When I have friends coming over for partying, I always take them to the same places during the day and they seem to enjoy the tour. Here is our program: We start early morning by going to Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta’s old port, where a dozen Sulawesi schooners are lined up. Photo time #1.
We then head for Kota Tua (Old Town), and eat breakfast in the upscale Café Batavia. Once on a full stomach, we spend an hour or two in the Museum Fatahillah, and go across the street inside Stasiun Kota. Photo time #2.
On the way back, we make two stops: The first stop in Glodok, to walk in the small streets and observe some local life. We also visit some Chinese temples. These are not properly indicated so you will need to ask your way around. The temple you are looking for is the Jinde Yuan Temple, also called Vihara Dharma Bhakti.
At last, you can make a last stop to see the Monas, which is a great place to make silly photos by playing with the depth of field... This little tour can be extended by a visit to Mangga Dua Square if you have more time to do some shopping. It’s not extraordinary, but it should keep you busy before the nightlife starts…

Transportation: Getting Around in Jakarta:
I already wrote something about how to get around in jakarta, you can access it here.

You can read my article: Safety in Jakarta

You can read the following articles:
Top French Restaurants in Jakarta
Top Italian Restaurans in Jakarta
Top German restaurants in Jakarta
Top Arab and Middle Eastern restaurans in Jakarta
Top Indian food in Jakarta
The Best Dim Sum in Jakarta
Street Food in Jakarta

You can read: Cost of Living In Jakarta

Top 100 Bars and Clubs in Jakarta (2011)
Top 10 Bars and Clubs in Jakarta (2010)
Ladies' nights in Jakarta
Jakarta Regular Events and Special Parties
Where to Party If You Are a Woman?
Kemang Nightlife
Jalan Jaksa Nightlife

For an updated article about nightlife in Jakarta in 2014, please visit this link: Jakarta Nightlife Update 2014.

I will complete this guide with new articles regularly. Please comment if necessary.

64 comments to '' Preparing a Party Weekend in Jakarta? "

  1. Very great information. Thanks for creating this blog. Keep up the good work!!

  2. To anyone planning to stay in Kota area, the best budget hotel to stay is Hotel Peninsula in Jalan Mangga Besar Raya. Got a deluxe room for IDR 250,000 per night (best looking room with bath tub). Tried Hotel Permai (not bad, same price as Peninsula for a deluxe room, but smaller in comparison & no bath tub). Tried Hotel Labu Indah also( avoid it at all cost). Cheaper by IDR 50,000 compared to the other two but the room was ugly as hell. And there's a lot of clubs and bars nearby, most of them are walking distance. Lokasari is just across the street (Mille's). Glodok is also nearby. 15 minutes by cab + the trafic jam time. Crowne is in Plaza Glodok. You can walk to Stadium, Club 36(Hotel Jayakarta) is 5 minutes away by cab. Around 15 to 20 minutes u could reach Alexis. If you wanna party in Kota area, the best place to stay is the Hotels in Jalan Mangga besar raya (very strategic). And the best value for money hotel is Hotel Peninsula by far. Didn't try Sparks and Prinsen. And Mercure Rekso Hotel was to expensive.

  3. nl_bhatia@yahoo,com is my email i am planning to visit jakarta in june 2010

  4. so where or which hotels u strongly recommended (reasonable & entertained hotel),if in jalan mangga besar? cos we decided to stay in spark hotel..?

  5. I think Sparks is excellent if you come to Jakarta to party and get girls...

  6. ok, tq for u info..but sparks hotel its too noise at nite ? and how the cost per day ? can call girls overnite into u room?

  7. Great site, good work!

    I am try to find the website for some of the above hotels mentioned.

    Hotel Peninsula
    Hotel Permai
    Hotel Margot

    Thank and keep up the good work, will repot back at Christmass.

  8. The three hotels you mentioned do not have website to my knowledge.. it's best if you just call them..

    Another good hotel I go to is Sun City Hotel, on Jalan Hayam Wuruk. It is right in the heart of the action and very girl-friendly. One night is a little less than rp600,000, which is a good deal for a 4 stars.

  9. Hotel Classic is my favourite stay in Jakarta, including in the hotel which has good midrange room for around 40 dollars. Terminal Classic, the spa on the second floor is awesome: full of sexy local and imported girls waiting to be chosen... they have full body massage + you can get threesome (sex with two girls) for rp. 400,000

  10. Website of Hotel Peninsula:

  11. regarding classic hotel,got room services for massage? rp 400,000 all for 2 hour? how about whole day?tq

  12. I recommend to stay in the new Citadines Hotel on Jalan Wahid Hasyim, I think it's more expensive than Ibis, but you have free broadband access to internet and you don't have to pay more for the breakfast.. Hotel Akmani also is good value..

  13. just open sort of like bed+breakfast...they call it sandal asia, a home for friend said it was homey, clean+cheap..located behind terminal grogol...just 10 mnt to mangga besar (w/o traffic)...only 125rb/night... did anyone know about this lovely place?

  14. Bryan, the Hotel Peninsula you mention is NOT 250,000 p/night. Their website show that it is 385k. Are you get the rooms from the travel agent which offer lower price ?

  15. what club should i go on sunday?
    if i stay in the city or the south, how can i travel to the north? is it worth it to go to the north at night? is it safe?

  16. The north is safe if you stick to the famous places.. Malio club, stadium, alexis, club 36 should be ok on sunday... I think going north is your best plan if you want to be somewhere happening.. try the 5-stars hotel bars too like BATS, CJ, 30, Burgundy, MO Bar..

  17. hello guys,

    im planning to stay at akmani hotel jakarta for 2 nights. where should i go to have "fun" if i stay at that hotel? e.g. clubs, girls, and so on. thank you. i love this blog.

  18. Jakarta Nightlife CzarDecember 23, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Akhmani is quite central.. What kind of fun do you want? Western type nightclubs fun or Bangkok style fun?

    For regular bars, check Dragonfly, Immigrant, Blowfish, X2

    For bars in between normal and "hot": Bats, CJs, Red Square, Kampus

    For naughty clubs, head north to Stadium, Malio club, Sun City, Club 36, Alexis, King Cross, Illigals

    For massage parlours: Malioboro, Alexis, Terminal Classic, M Star

    Hope that helps!

  19. Another recommendation if you are looking for a discreet girl-friendly short-time hotel in North Jakarta. Hotel Pondok Impian on Jalan Martadinata (next to Alexis Hotel) has clean, yet basic rooms for Rp225k for 6 hours. This hotel is designed and marketed for short-timing: The rooms have large mirrors on the side and on the ceiling, you can rent porn movies, and it is very discreet since you can park your car directly next to your room. That way, you don't have to walk in shame through the lobby and reception. Most clients are Indonesians, very few expats.

  20. Another place offering similar short time facilities for bringing girls is the BI executive hotel (maybe Rp50k more expensive).

    BI Executive Hotel Jakarta
    2 Jl. Laks L Re Martadinata
    14420, Indonesia
    Phone number: +62 21 641 1415

    And for Pondok Impian:
    Jl. RE Martadinata
    Phone: +62 21 690-8924

  21. hi, is it betta to book or walk in for hotel? i'm travelling on a tight budget, but i want to be near to the entertainment clubs/pubs area...? any recommendation?

  22. If you want to go to a cheap hotel, no need to book ahead, you can just go to Jalan Jaksa or Wahid Hasym street, and there you will find plenty of hotels costing from $10 to $30..

  23. Are Hotel Peninsula in Jalan Mangga Besar Raya, Hotel Labu Indah and Hotel Prinsen Park girl-friendly hotels?


  24. Yes, these hotels are girl-friendly. Almost every hotel in Jakarta is girl-friendly, except some guest houses run by muslim families.. Have a great weekend in Jakarta!

  25. i am filipino never been to indonesia and would like to party in jakarta... kind of skeptical but willing to try. where can i find guides? preferably females? will pay for the service..

  26. Hi,

    Know where is the new Amaris Hotel Mangga Besar located? Full address:
    Jl.Mangga Besar Raya,No.7-11,Jakarta 11180.

    Is it near to Mercure Hotel Jl Hayam Wuruk?


  27. Mercure Rekso is a good spot for a weekend in Jakarta if you are here to party... Amaris is not very far as well but the facilities in Mercure are better..

  28. Peninsula Hotel at Mangga Besar's website and reservation:

  29. Howzit

    How would you rate the Aston Hotel in Cengareng. Is it worth booking in there?

    Is the any entertainment close to the hotel etc?

  30. The Aston hotel in Cengkareng must be new and good-value, but far from the best spots to go out in the city... What do you call entertainment?

  31. well pubs, clubs, restaurants and places to meet good people and have fun. Im not to keen on the meeting the "working girl" kind, but more than happy to meet good woman that i can strike up good conversation and ad value to me while im there.

    Im not keen on paying for sex sort of thing, as i could do that in my country instead.

    What would you recommend?


  32. Near Cengkareng, you have nowhere I can think off... you should go in the city center, try Cazbar, Eastern Promise, MO bar, Loewy, Social House, Immigrants, etc...

  33. i'll be in Jakarta Sep.1, if any of you guys want to hang out buzz me at cheers!

  34. Hi guys, I will visit Jakarta and Jogjakarta next December for two weeks, I love photography and meet new friends. Maybe there among you who want to go out with me together. I am a male living in Australia but I`m not `Bule`. Thx

  35. Can anyone provide advice on what to do if I arrive late night and depart early morning, and want to go out rather than sleep, considering that I am travelling and have luggage? Not sure if the left luggage in terminal 2D is open 24 hours, and it seems you cannot leave valuables such as a laptop there. Many saunas seem to be on the other (north) side of Jakarta and close around 2-3am. I guess ideal would be a sauna type place that has a concierge and is open 24 hours, on the south side of Jakarta. Does this exist?

  36. Hello Everyone,I am planning to travel to jakarta by January 2nd week,I like to know if the weather will good in Jan and I came to know it rains a lot in jan,So need advise on this guys,I dnt wanna rain ruin my party there!!thanks in advance

  37. About the weather in Jakarta in January: Expect some rain every day yes, at least for a few hours. Since there isn't anything to do outside in Jakarta, it won't bother you too much though. The only real problem is that the traffic is even worse when the roads are wet. There was some floods in Jakarta a few years ago too, but if that happens again when you're here that would be really bad luck...

    To the other anonymous asking where he could go with concierge, I was thinking Sun City/Malioboro/Alexis could be a good option since they are both hotels and clubs and sauna so they can probably keep your stuff safe while you party.

  38. thanks Callie for the information,

  39. I am in Jakarta until the end of January on holidays whilst my wife is working. I am from Australia and don't fancy having a beer with my wife after reading the posts on this website. I'm staying in Kuningan and happy to get on an ojek and travel. Email me at

  40. i recommend BI Executive hotel, nice place to stay

  41. are there any places in jakarta like soi 33 on sukhumvit in bangkok, with lounge bars with hostesses

  42. Halo guys,

    We provide a crazy guide while your visit in Jakarta, please do check us out and send us you e-mail to and we will send a reply describing our package in details. Our team all are fluent in English so you would not difficult communicating your interest.

    Safety and enjoy is a guarantee from us from airport back to hotel if necessary, but mutual respect is necessary. Looking forward for your e-mail.

  43. How far it takes & cost by taxi from Airport to 9M massage ? Any Recommended hotels to stay nearby it ? Any attractions for shopping or foods nearby ? Thank u v m !

  44. I'm not sure about 9M massages , but if you want to Message, Shopping and Food, You can go to Kota (Mangga Besar, Gajah Mada, Hayam Wuruk ...etc)
    You can find hotel as describes above, For a cab about US$ 12-15 excluding toll, Shopping at Glodok or Mangga Dua

  45. Forget the hotels ask around or do a web search for home stay, I'm in a clean and decent place in Mangga Besar Total cost is 1,500,000 RPH per month.

  46. After reading this post i think i might go to Jarakata for a change from always going to Pattaya to polish my rod

  47. does any one know which hotels are pay by hour, i heardsome you can drive your car into the garage right beside the room

  48. Where to party when you're an asian expat? Any good places to meet girls for asians?

  49. im planning to stay in jakarta for 1 month. where should i go to get a furnished apartment for not more than $ 600

    thank you

  50. We stayed at Grand Flora Hotel during our vacation there. It was a pretty decent hotel and the staff were nice and accommodating.

  51. Terima kasih! This is a fantastic website, and I enjoy your humour and your honesty about the places / transport / etc. I'll be there in January2014, along with the rain! Oh well...

  52. Thanks for great info man, great job.I love to travel indonesia they are very nice and soft people.

  53. just text me if want to jakarta,maybe i can help you.

  54. hello, good morning. I am going to travel to Jakarta in the next two weeks, is there any place can suggest?

  55. I am in Park hotel jakarta timur 13340,
    Please suggest good night club / place to enjoy sex in nearby area

  56. Staying at Grand Whiz hotel Kelapa Gading, where good place for massage and girls close by ?

  57. Hi, am Luis Walters, I like making friends. I am here looking for a business partner with the Asia Region, i want a honest and reliable person with Business orientation. if you are interested contact me on

  58. stay di apartemen sudirman park, ada saran tmpt clubbing yg asik?

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  60. Anyone know if the All Seasons Thamrin hotel is girl friendly? Any experiences anyone?

  61. Shall reach to Jakarta on 21st Oct for 4 days. If you are a decent & educated girl and interested to enjoy for the whole night, then pls feel free to contact the undersigned. Email: undefined.beings

  62. Here's latest info :
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  64. Does anyone know if the new Fairmont Hotel has a club that is frequented by friendly local women similar to CJ's at the Mulia Hotel or BATS at the Shangri-La Hotel?