Cost of Living in Jakarta: This article was updated in June 2011. Thanks for those who sent me feedback.

The cost of living in Jakarta for an expat can be very different whether you try or not to buy products or services that are imported. Generally speaking, things are much cheaper than in Europe so you should enjoy a much greater quality of life here, provided you can live without a few things.

If you have an expat salary, the cost of living will seem low and you will have access to a luxurious quality of life. You will be able to sleep in great serviced apartments or huge houses, employ a guard, a gardener, a driver, a maid, a cook and a baby-sitter, go to the restaurants twice a day, party in the hippest clubs, etc... Normally, your company should pay for housing, cars, school and plane tickets, so you won't have to worry about money. I've worked in an oil company and Indonesia was among the favourite destinations for that reason (also because of girls, see my article Indonesian Girls and Expats).

Even if you are not paid like an expat, you can live comfortably with around 10 million rupiah per month or US$1,000, or less. You can still afford a room in a kos, or take a smaller apartment, go out a lot, pay for the gym, take the taxi and treat yourself a spa on the weekend. Once in a while, you can go to Bali/Lombok for holidays. Some expenses might be a problem though: For instance anything medical or international schools. You may want to be careful with taxis too because they end up being quite pricey. And of course, don't underestimate your party budget.

By far, and you may understand why if you've browsed this blog, my biggest expense is in the nightlife. A restaurant, plus 2 or 3 bars on a particular evening, plus the entrance of a nightclub, plus the taxi, and repeat that 5 times a week and you will end up with US$300/week. That's way too much and I'm ashamed of it. The only positive thing about it is that at least I got Jakarta's most popular blog from it!

To give you an idea of the prices in Jakarta, here is a list of items you may buy (Updated June 2011, the conversion mistakes were corrected, with $1=Rp8,500):

- Taxi ride from the airport to Central Jakarta: Rp 130,000 (US$15.27)

- Bus ride from the Airport to Jakarta: US3$

- Soup in the street: Rp 4,000 (US$0.46)

- Meal in a warung (basic restaurant): Rp 25,000 or US$2.94

- Meal in a restaurant: Rp 60,000 or US$7

- Large local Beer in a cheap bar: Rp 24,000 or US$2.8

- Cocktail in Dragonfly club: Rp 100,000 or US$11.74

- Coffee at Starbucks: Rp 27.500  or US$3

- Instant coffee: Rp 1.500 a sachet or US$0.20

- Price of entrance of: Stadium (Rp50,000, US$5.87), Red Square or X2 (Rp 100,000, US$11.74), Monggo Mas (Rp 15,000, US$1.76)

- Big Mac menu delivered at your door with ice-cream: Rp 50,000 or US$5.87

- Taxi ride if traffic is not so dense, for 15 minutes: Rp 20,000 or US$2.35

- Ride with Transjakarta: Rp 3,500 (US$0.41)

- Cigarettes (Marlboro or Lucky Strike): Rp 10,000 (US$1.174)

- Serviced-apartment rent: US$2500/month

- Normal apartment: US$500/month (Taman Rasuna)

- Kos accommodation (for students/young executives): From Rp 800,000 to 3,500,000 (US$94 to US$411)

- Hotel room in cheap hotel: Rp 80,000 (US$9.4)

- Hotel room (2/3 stars): Rp 400,000 (US$47)

- Hotel room (5 stars): Rp 1,500,000 (US$176)

- Massage 90 minutes in nice hotel: Rp 400,000 (US$47)

- Massage 90 minutes in a local salon: Rp 80,000 (US$9.4)

- T-shirt in a popular mall with no brand: Rp 30,000 or (US$3.52)

- Pair of jeans, same as the above: Rp 75,000 or US$8.8

- Cutting your hair in Tony & Guy: Rp 250,000 (US$29.4)

- Cutting your hair in a normal salon: Rp 60,000 (US$7.04) with tips and shoulder massage

- Food: When I buy fruits from the street, I usually give around Rp 10,000 and I get a lot of them, without even asking the price (bananas especially). Food is quite cheap in the supermarket; the only problem is that you may not find what you like. Imported food is very expensive; add 50% to the price you usually pay in your home country.

- Electronic: Quite cheap, especially non-branded, low quality products like DVD players, mp3s, cellphones. A very good deal is to buy your Playstation 3, PSP, or Wii here since the vendor will crack it for you and give you very cheap games.

- Fake stuff: Jakarta is a paradise for fake DVDs (US$1 each), CDs, bags, clothes, etc...
The prices may not be completely exact but it should give you a first idea of the cost of living in Jakarta. If you feel you can improve this list, please make a comment to add other items. Idem if you want to ask about the price of something.

More info on this website about living in Jakarta/travelling to Jakarta: Party Weekend In Jakarta.

37 comments to '' Cost of Living in Jakarta for Expats "

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  1. Need to check the currency conversions for some of those prices above - some are out by a decimal place. Otherwise, good article.

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  2. Hi T, I only made a mental calculation to give an idea... the correct price is in rupiah, the one in dollar is an estimate in dollar...

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  3. i agree with T, there's a staggering difference in the currency conversion

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  4. Great blog! most up to date information available, great info for potential English teachers to Jakarta.

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  5. I write a travel guide for poor, hip students. I am hella excited to test your site out when I move to Jakarta this September. I've added your blog to my blog roll. Good job, I'll be on this blog again.

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  6. The life in Jakarta can be cheap, it depend how you like to live.
    Can be expensive too if you want to live like in Europe or America.
    If you like to go to Bars at night uuuuummmmm........expensive.
    Mi favorite is Tartine, in FX mall Senayan. Every day diferent music.

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  7. I think those prices are accurate and they give an excellent idea of the cost of living in Jakarta. May I suggest you do the same thing for Bali, so travellers could get a better idea of how much their holidays will cost them?

    Thanks, Tahar

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  8. hi, i am coming to jakarta 8 days and i'm bring almost 4million rupiah. but staying in friends house and share rent a car with the others around 100000. can i have good time there? i dont do shopping for branded anyway. thanks!

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  9. How long are you staying in Jakarta and what do you want to do?

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  10. this is a very informative blog with regarding to life in jakarta.

    i have come questions, how;s the place called Jendral Sudirman Kav.3-4 in jakarta? is it safe? i might be working in jakarta and the address they told me is the one mentioned above.

    also, are the companies there usually provide accommodation and transportation in jakarta?

    lastly, does the govt make tav-cut to expats salaries in indonesia?

    i used to worked in riyadh, saudi arabia and as an expats i get free housing, transpo, paid-vacation, plane tickets, tax-free etc.

    are these perks also same in indonesia?

    i appreciate if anyone here can answer to my inquiries.

    thanks in advance guys.

    martin

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  11. Sudirman is very safe, apart from the potential bomb threat as it is a street with many international companies.

    Usually, if you have an expatriate package, your company will provide you with accomodation, transport, medical insurance, plane tickets, school for the kids, etc... But if you are on a local contract it may be harder to get. I don't know about tax issues...

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  12. Thanks to those who commented, I just updated the prices for the 2011 cost of living and did again the conversion dollar to rupiah. If you find any mistakes let me know. Cheers, Thibaud.

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  13. @martin
    Jendral Sudirman Kav.3-4 is the Kyoei Prince Center (cmiiw), it's the main business area. dont know where you'd be living tho, the apartments near there are quite pricey.
    taxes are usually borne by your company. but re-check on this on your contract (along with the perks)

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  14. Hi! I'm planning to go to Jakarta this December. I'll be visiting my friends there. So I would have a free accommodation and for most of my transportations, I believe, because she told me that they own a private car. I'm planning to shop some imported and local/cheap items somehow and travel some of the best places there. I also plan to stay from 5 to 8 days. How much do you think would it cost??

    Bang

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  15. You're not giving many details... I would say about US$60 dollars per day for restaurants/clubs

    And after, you will shop for the amount you decide..

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  16. Hi, I just went to the Food Hall supermarket to buy some groceries, I thought it could be helpful to give the following prices for some items popular with expats (most of them are imported):

    - Chocolate Lindt Extra Fine 100gr: Rp33,000
    - Nutella 375gr: Rp52,000
    - Borges Olive Oil Extra Virgin: Rp125,000
    - Tuna Ayam Brand: Rp19,000
    - Barilla Spaghetti 500gr: Rp24,000
    - Barilla Napoletana Sauce 400gr: Rp43,000
    - Instant Coffee Nescafé Gold 100gr: Rp82,000
    - Cereals 375gr: Rp30,000 (average)
    - 1 kilo organic tomatoes: Rp25,000
    - Haagen Dazs pint: Rp98,000
    - Prime tenderloin steak (local): Rp38,000/100gr
    - 10 organic eggs (local): Rp30,000
    - Rice 5 kilos first quality: Rp70,000
    - Lux shower gel 250ml: Rp15,000
    - Dove Shampoo 180ml: Rp20,000
    - Pampers 68 diapers: Rp160,000
    - Baygon Mosquito Repellent 600ml: Rp31,000
    - Tampons Playtex (8): Rp32,000

    Thank you for this amazing blog, I hope this will help people. It is an indication of the cost of living in Jakarta only for people who buy top quality products. Most of the items listed here can be found for half the price in local supermarket, under different brand names.

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  17. I guess while having Fun. We should also consider medication which is costly. Also if you notice, the cost of food here is much more expensive as compared to Malaysia, Bangkok and sometimes Singapore.....

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  18. im studying in malaysia now, im indonesian, as i compared about the food, it much more expensive in malaysia, the food in indonesia is quite cheaper same as thailand as i went there 2 month ago

    some day i will be a great expat like you all haha :D

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  19. With a salary of 2000$ usd , can I live a luxurious life in downtown jakarta?

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  20. English Teacher with $1000 a monthNovember 12, 2011 at 6:39 AM

    With 2000$, you won't leave in luxury, but comfortably (if you're single). You should be able to afford: One two bedroom appartment (Taman Rasuna), a maid, 2 or 3 dinners in fancy restaurants, partying once a week, a weekend in another Asian country once a month... Not incredible but if you like your job and want to discover another country, it's a great opportunity..

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  21. HII

    Can you please list for us the Non-service Apartments websites , to check them out.
    Thanks

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  22. You should put a 'donate' button to a paypal account on your (every) page so that I can send you money to help you afford your drinking/partying/nightlife 'research' so you can blog about it and tell me the newest, greatest, hippest places to go.

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  23. great post, any idea how do i get more info about cost of living at other asian cities?

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  24. I am moving to Jakarta. My office just opposite to BloK M market. Is a Net (after taxes)monthly salary of $4,600 ( includes Car+Driver+Gas+House) is gud? I want to stay close to office. Can you please help me understand if i need to negotiate more.

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  25. To last anonymous, your salary is quite decent, especially if it includes housing + car. But it all depends on your experience.

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  26. What a whole bunch of hogwash. If you live like you do in the west then it is more expensive here than say Singapore or KL!! Do You know why: Anything "bule" carries a premium.

    4600 US/month plus house & driver? Livable. If you go to CJ, Bats every weekend then count on spending $ 400, plus girl 100 to 150 so that's 550 per weekend. Eating out: Don't go eat at warung as it does not appear to be hygienic. Food and taxi will cost you about 250 - 300 / week. I lived there for 3 months at the end of 2010 and stayed at the Ascott. With that lifestyle I spent approx 2000 - 2500 / month. Obviosuly I did not go to Bats / CJ every weekend. Bottom line: With 4600/month you can have a good life.

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  27. I'll be in Jakarta for a day and a half towards the end of June, on my way to Borneo. Could anyone kindly tell me what is a must to see and do in Jakarta in that space of time? Maybe a day tour with no rip off? How much money I'll need? I've already paid for the hotel. Any info would be greatly appreciated! Thx

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  28. how about prices for girls ST / LT? Thank you guys

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  29. Why do you "gentlemen" always ask about the price of girls as if they were meat for sale and you want the best price. Have some humanity. these girls wouldn't be seen dead with most of you if they did not live in absolut poverty. They put up with this because many of them have children that are lucky to have rice and some greens each day. So have a little heart and don't be so cheep.

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  30. Yea living in jakarta may cost cheaper to some people, but i think cost of life everywhere depends on the lifestyle. While most ppl say food is cheap in jakarta, in my opinion it isn't especially in mid-above restaurants. The prices range from 30-70 bucks a meal but the problem is the quality of the food. For example, You get less fillings in meals with seafood and sometimes the meals are made from mediocre ingredients (not worth the money).
    Other than the above, i think that entertainment services here are definitely cheaper

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  31. wow..nice blog...
    i think live in jakarta is depend what u choose..
    u can have lower price and higher price..depend mall u want to go..
    and depend bar and restaurant u choose...
    u can ask me too in my facebook, eka11capri@yahoo.com

    Eka

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  32. boring n lonely ,,,loli 087820040080

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  33. Living cost in Bekasi's much cheaper, but dont live anywhere else other than Kemang Pratama house complex, it's barbaric outside the complex: dust, industry, trucks, motorcycles, etc.

    In Kemang there's feeder bus, cost only Rp.12.500 one way to Jakarta every 1 hour, you can stop at Senayan, Blok M, or Komdak. House rent's various prices from Rp.10.000.000 to Rp.30.000.000 rupiah per year. Sport club only Rp.2.000.000/year.

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  34. LOL,that girl loli above said "boring and lonely" you mean bored,not boring,haha

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  35. Sorry with a salary of 1000 euro per month, is that possible to live decently in Jakarta?

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  36. @Diana : Yes, it's very possible, u can live comfortably with that amount of salary if u're single :)

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  37. Hi
    I going to work at North Jakarta
    Moi is good place to stay?

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