Guest Post: Jakarta, Indonesia Nightlife

Jakarta, Indonesia Skyline

I have traveled to pretty much all the capital cities in Asia and there is not one place I like more than Jakarta, as far as the party scene is concerned. One of the best things about it is that there are still very few foreigners around. Even in luxury malls or expat neighborhoods, you will only meet a handful of them who are either working or visiting on business. Tourism is almost non-existent as there are hardly any attractions to visit. To make it worse, the reputation of the city in terms of pollution and traffic discourages many of the most adventurous travelers.

The direct consequence of this lack of foreigners is that you will feel very welcomed by Jakartans, and particularly the girls. If you go to the right clubs and approach girls in the appropriate way, you are also almost certain not to end your night alone (this is of course without paying). If you use online dating apps, you will be surprised at how popular you will be and how easily you can get dates.

Jakarta is a huge, 20-million inhabitant city, yet it is not too hard to learn the lay of the land. Most of the venues worth visiting are located on a South/North axis from Kemang (South) to Kota (North). Normal clubs are located in the Southern part of the city, particularly inside the Golden Triangle of Jalan Sudirman, Jalan Rasuna Said and Jalan Gatot Subroto. As you go towards the North, past the Monas (national monument), you will have all the underground, red-light district nightclubs. In those, striptease, drugs, and prostitutes are very standard.

There is usually a great party atmosphere in Jakarta. It is easy to talk to people and you will rarely feel any tension. Indonesians are amazingly welcoming and friendly people so you should not be afraid to visit even to the most local of venues in the North. The only problems I ever encountered at night were with other drunken foreigners who could not behave. Apart from that, my only safety tip would is to be careful with taxis and to only choose the Blue Bird brand. They have an Uber-like app that is very convenient and extremely easy to use.

If you come for a weekend don’t worry too much about the traffic, except on Sunday night going back to the airport. If you choose a hotel near Plaza Indonesia, you will be less than 30 minutes from all of the top bars and clubs worth visiting. All hotels in Jakarta are girl-friendly except family guesthouses so you don’t have to worry about that either (a common problem in Vietnam).

Plaza Indonesia

Plaza Indonesia

Partying in Jakarta can be quite expensive and you should be prepared to spend $150 minimum for a good night out. Alcohol is heavily taxed so you won’t find many places with cocktails under $10. The entrance fee of the most popular nightclubs can be as high as $20 and taxis aren’t that cheap either ($5 for a 15 minutes ride without traffic).

The best places in Jakarta for a pre-party drink

To avoid traffic, my advice would be to have your dinner and first drinks in a bar or restaurant as close as possible to where you are staying.

Loewy Bar and Restaurant is a good option. Located in the center of the business district in Mega Kuningan, it is full almost any day of the week with a mix of expats and Indonesians. You can easily meet girls there, especially if you stay near the bar, which is a hunting ground for both sexes. If you like Loewy, you also try: Bluegrass, Potato Head, Union, Cork & Screw, Social House or Bauhaus.

The best places in Jakarta for live music

BATS in the Shangri-La Hotel and CJs in Mulia Hotel have very busy bars with imported live bands playing Top 40. The drinks are very expensive, but if you can afford it, you should have a great night out. Note that in these two places, 90% of the girls are prostitutes. (Editors note: This sounds exactly like BRIX in Singapore!)

Live Music in Jakarta

Live Music in Jakarta

The best rooftop bars

Jakarta has two great rooftop bars, SKYE and Cloud Lounge, both of which are very close to Plaza Indonesia. I tend to prefer Cloud who has more of an “expat” vibe, better music and a better view. On weekends, the bar at Cloud is very busy and it is an excellent pickup joint.

Another option is Lucy in the Sky. Although not as spectacular as SKYE or Cloud, it is very busy on weekends with a crowd comprised mostly of young and trendy Indonesians. It is at the center of the SCBD district, which is to Jakarta nightlife what RCA district is to Bangkok nightlife.

The best nightclubs for foreigners

If you came to Jakarta hoping to score with an Indonesian girl (and if you are under 30), then look no further than X2 in Plaza Senayan. It has become so popular with expats that probably has more foreigners than any other nightclub. For this reason, it attracts hundreds of Indonesian girls who are looking to hookup with expats. If X2 doesn’t suite you, you may want to try these other popular clubs: Immigrant (close to Cloud) or Dragonfly on Jalan Gatot Subroto. Both are a bit smaller than X2 and usually have an older crowd. They are also very popular with expats.

Jakarta Nightlife at Club X2

X2 Club, Jakarta

My personal favorites

Blowfish and Empirica which are the favorite clubs of the Indo-Chinese community are also my favorites. You will find wealthy Indonesian Chinese partying here in large groups. They rarely hit the dance floor so it means it will probably be a bit harder for you to meet a girl there. This is similar to what I observed when I tried Saigon’s nightlife. If you want to be successful with this crowd, you must first befriend someone in one the groups. Once you are in, then there is no stopping you and they payoff can be huge.

North Jakarta nightlife

Until now, all the venues I have mentioned are located in the South of the city and they are considered to be “normal”. If you want to explore Jakarta’s seediest clubs, you will have to take a cab at least 20 minutes north of Plaza Indonesia.

North Jakarta clubs are all owned by people linked to the Indonesian mafia and as such they make most of their money from drugs and prostitution. Considering that Indonesia is reputed to be conservative, newcomers to Jakarta are often shocked by the craziness that can be found inside these clubs.

Golden Crown Club, Jakarta Nightlife

Golden Crown Club

Three of the most famous places are Alexis, Tease Club and Malioboro, all of which have become extremely pricey over the past few years. I would recommend these options only if you have some serious cash to burn.

Alternatively, you can go to King Cross, Colosseum, Classic Hotel or Golden Crown. These often referred to as “one stop entertainment” because you can do anything there including clubbing, massage, karaoke, eating, etc. If you are not looking to spend a lot of money, you can just stay in the lounge area where all of the clubs listed above have sexy dancers, sometimes going full nude.

Jakarta Nightlife

Colosseum Club in Jakarta

If you are feeling adventurous, you should check one of Jakarta’s underground clubs such as Mille’s or Exotis. Mille’s in particular is the best after-hours club in Jakarta. People tend to arrive after 6 or 7am and may leave as late as the afternoon. Even though drugs are almost sold in the open, I would strongly recommend against making purchases this way. The Indonesian police would be absolutely thrilled to catch you so they might extort as much money as possibly can from you.

If you’re a first timer in Jakarta, these tips should ensure every night you spend there is full of action. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need more tips. Also please check out my website at


Thibaud is the writer of, Indonesia’s most popular blog about party and expat life in Indonesia.

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  • Ferry Praw

    wow amazing once this place, I love it. But sometimes I’m afraid to place nightclub because if you drink beer or martel and the like, the next day I had a headache or something called hangover, job messy and unfocused work because of headache. But fortunately the time a brother I went to Okinana Japan, he give me a pill whose name Ryukyu Shugo Densetsu, it is a pill hangover from Okinawa Japan, the basic ingredients that turmeric of Okinawa Japan and all the herbs no preservatives, chemicals and dye. First of all I do not believe this pills, but when I try to wow amazing, my HEADACHE is really lost at all the next day, highly recomended, how to use easy to drink only after they finished drinking beer, then the next day you will not be a headache if you are keen to try and find out the info can contact this number CP: 0878-7530-3038 This item already exists in many countries and has passed the test of GMP in Okinawa Japan and the first in Indonesia. NO MORE HANGOVER WITH SHUGO DENSETSU

  • Calven

    Well written, good article.

  • Ally

    Not sure if this page implies you had sex with a prostitute, but: Women just don’t become prostitutes for the sake of being raped for money. In many small villages, you either become circumcised or (if the pimp deems you “pretty” enough) you work for 2-3 years as a prostitute to pay off a loan your family needs (or the woman does). Barely any of the “johns” wear condoms. AIDS is rampant, still. If the woman makes enough, she can try and make an actual living, but prospective employers might look down at her.

    If you’re lucky and have money and a family who isn’t tied to old Indonesia ways, you’ll get an education and won’t have to be a prostitute.

    Think about that next time you go to a place where prostitution is legal, anywhere. You further ruin another woman’s life because you can’t find sex with a willing, non-prostitute. Way more of a reflection on you than a prostitute.

    • Guest John

      Prostitution should be legal everywhere, so that protections can be put in place to protect women. Don’t stand on a pulpit and presume to know the reasons or desires of women who do become prostitutes. There are men who are otherwise undesirable, unable or just plain unwilling to put in the time and effort to find a woman without the exchange of cash, and sex is never free, it always cost time, money, good, or promises of fidelity. Most everyone in the world is forced to work, why should some of these women be forced to work in fields, sweatshops or other low paying jobs when they can use their youth and beauty to get ahead. I don’t pay for sex with women, I pay for them to leave afterwards. 🙂

      • Ally

        Of course you’re writing under the guise of “guest”. Sad.

        • dragorn

          what have you done in your life to help these women then Ally? what kind of solutions are you proposing? saying that is like saying all women are gold diggers? you disagree right? then dont act like a wonderwoman behind keyboard criticizing men and thier needs!

          • Ally

            “Men and their needs”. You give good men a bad name.
            I like how you managed to turn the conversation around to insinuate I’m the low-life scum who take advantage of their terrible economy by having sex with girls who barely had their first period. Fantastic. Of course, there is also a population of male prostitutes that aren’t talked about it. Or the children sex slaves.
            Anyway, due to the loose terms of “prostitution” in Indonesia, it’s not heavily enforced; except, of course, when its convenient for prosecutors.
            Education and messages of a better life can reach them. However, their government (especially local governments) do not see this as a problem, so the problem persists because they simply ignore it.
            The government has proposed to give (some) the prostitutes money for their job or some vocational training. Change is coming, but not as readily as one would hope.
            And no, dear, I never said women were gold diggers. I said they wouldn’t have income if it weren’t for prostitution and are faced with it out of dire necessity to merely exist.

    • badonkadunk

      bitch it’s called the worlds oldest profession. ever heard of that saying?

      • Ally

        There’s that lovely attitude with the name calling. You must be an upstanding person. XD
        You know why it’s the oldest profession? At that time, necessity. Right now in Indonesia, necessity. I’m sure the prostitutes loved being raped at knife point, beaten and chastised for “providing needed services” (as one commenter said). It’s not enough prostitutes are already providing said “service”, but it’s also being taken.
        Ever heard of the phrase “you give them an inch, they take a mile”? But please, whatever it takes to make this horrid situation “okay” in your eyes.

        • badonkadunk

          bwhahahaha omg u have no clue

          • Ally

            Keep telling yourself that instead of seeing the truth.

          • badonkadunk

            Sounds like what you say to the mirror lol

          • Ally

            That doesn’t even make sense to what we’re speaking about. If you want to talk like an adult and have a discussion, act like it. From what I can see, you’re just throwing insults to somehow make your “argument” more palpable.

    • Paul

      Have u sat down and talk to one of these prostitutes?? I have where most of them choose to do it and look at it as a normal job for you and me! If they don’t make money their children can’t eat and they can’t put them through school. Some westernise women do the same thing to put themselves through college!

      The only difference between a hooker in these countries and a normal westernise woman is that one gets paid and the other one doesn’t!

      AIDS in Indonesia is at 0.025% where you have a 33% chance of having a life threatening accident on motorbike in a westernise country where the death toll is 1/10000 smaller!

      I think you are just brainwashed by “fake news” where these no damaged if it’s consensual sex with money or without!

      • Ally

        You lost all credibility with flashing the website “returnofkings” That site is heavily one-sided. News flash: not all women are horrible or evil, just the same as not all men are horrible or evil. However, by bringing up that site, I’m pretty I know how you feel about females in general.
        If you bothered to look at my other comments on this site, you’ll know that I’m not against prostitution. However, Indonesia’s culture isn’t about men and women striving for equality or respect. Although there are men who are also prostitutes (and children, but that is called R-A-P-E as children cannot consent; something returnofkings fails heavily to understand) women are looked down upon. It’s he way the culture is setup. Women are conditioned to feel and act a certain way, much like in other countries.
        I think prostitution should be legal here in the U.S. Legal means pay and protection.

  • alex

    Hey. sorry for my ignorance but what exactly do you mean?: “Our straw poll had blowfish coming up time and time again so we went.” i just arrived jakarta for a few days and thinking to stay longer. You had good results on tinder? thanks

  • Irish

    Excellent write up, I have been following – excellent resource and came in useful for my numerous trips to Jakarta myself.

    Jakarta is also my number one party spot in Asia, perhaps even the world. I am based in Singapore but have travelled to most main cities around SE Asia and although there are certainly nicer cities to stay in, nowhere else comes close to Jakarta nightlife and in particular the girls. Personally I prefer DragonFly as my #1 club, then Immigrant, but being mid 30s it’s more my crowd than X2 (which I still also like).

    I wrote up my own Jakarta city guide here: . Although it is old and in need of an update given I have been a few more times since and checked out a few more venues. Plus I want to revise some of my initial observations.

    I’ll drop you a line next time I am planning on heading back to the city, likely after Ramadhan. It would be good to meet. Tho wouldn’t be surprised if we actually had run into each other already before.

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