Clubbing in Jakarta is almost always expensive, especially if you drink alcohol (thanks to a 150% tax in imported liquor).

If you are a backpacker, a visitor on a budget, or a student, you may be wondering how you can party in the city without emptying your bank account.

In this article, I will give you tips to spend less when you go out, as well as a list of the cheapest bars/clubs in Jakarta (including those with free entrance).

How much does it cost to party in Jakarta?
For most high-end nightclubs and bars, the prices are approximately as follow (on weekends):
- Entrance fee: Between IDR 200,000 and IDR 300,000 (usually waived if you book a table or a sofa)
- Beer Bintang: IDR 70,000-100,000 net
- Classic cocktail: IDR 150,000-230,000 net
- Bottle of Whisky with 2 mixers: IDR 1,500,000 net
- Standing round table for 4 people: You must spend a minimum amount between IDR 2,000,000 and IDR 4,000,000 on drinks and food.
- Sofa for 4 people: You must spend a minimum amount between IDR 3,000,000 and IDR 5,000,000 on drinks and food.

Typically, when I go out in Jakarta, I spend about IDR 2,000,000 ($140) per night from dinner until sleep. And I don't consider myself a big spender, on the contrary.

How to party in Jakarta for less:
- Pre-drink at home, if possible with a bottle you bought at the duty-free shop before arriving in Jakarta. You can also buy alcohol online on websites like Boogaloo, but it will be pricier.

- Stay in a central, but affordable area of Jakarta like Kebon Kacang (near Grand Indonesia). You will save money on taxis/Grab. Check my article Jakarta Hotel Guide for more details.

- Don't feel shy to use the Transjakarta (busway) or the MRT (metro). Many busway lines are open 24/7, and the MRT closes at midnight. The Busway line 1, the red line, is very convenient as it goes from Blok M to Kota and doesn't even cost half a dollar to use.

- Find friends to party with (for instance on Couchsurfing), and share the cost of a bottle with them. It will grant you free entrance, a table, and cheaper drinks.

- 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 to avoid paying expensive entrance fees (a much better night to party anyway).

- Find an "All-you-can-drink" promotion, for instance on Chope. You can also follow the Instagram accounts of Jakarta's most famous bars to stay up-to-date with their promos (happy hours, ladies' nights, etc).

- Party in one of the bars listed below:

Cheap Bars in Jakarta
Camden Menteng
From Plaza Indonesia, 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 garden 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: IDR 50,000 per bottle, tower (5 liters) available for IDR 430,000
Shooters: IDR 60,000 (as low as IDR 30,000 on promo nights).
Bottle of Jack Daniel’s: IDR 1,300,000
Mojito: IDR 70,000

They have another branch in Sunter as well.

Pennylane Menteng
This beer garden 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 and Sarinah Mall.

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.

Beer Garden
There are currently 2 locations for this popular hangout spot: SCBD and Radio Dalam. In the past few years, their prices have increased quite a bit and they are no longer so cheap.

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: IDR 50,000
Mojito: IDR 95,000
Bottle of Jack Daniel’s IDR 1,650,000

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: IDR 45,000
Mojito: IDR 80,000
Gin Tonic: IDR 60,000
Bottle of Jack Daniel’s IDR 1,150,000

Spacious bar with an indoor and an outdoor area, very similar to Camden but with cheaper prices. It is located in the student area of Tebet and crowded mostly with young Indonesians.

One of the busiest bars in Pantai Indah Kapuk (North Jakarta). Good selection of beers and soju. Not so pricey. They usually have live music (Indonesian and English pop/rock) followed by a DJ (EDM, top 40, RnB).

6 comments to '' Cheap Bars in Jakarta for Backpackers / Students "

  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.

  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.

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

  3. The girly bars in Tanjung Priok are very cheap as well, you can get a local beer (big bottle) for 50K and below.

  4. Jalan jaksa papa pappa cafe is the cheapest I find 45,000 to get big beer. Is like shantytown shack tho but ok

  5. you guys did not mention about very good bar, old fashioned, neat and good place for beer stop. fantastic food guaranteed. i love to go there near gajah mada. price is same as selling price in supermarket. hat's off to them. let them rock as usuall and we go there and celebrate. thanks.