You want to have a joyful travelling to Jakarta in holiday as foreigners, but have limited time and budget? Hope my pages can give you basic guide for traveling to Jakarta.
This page will give you a way to spend days in Jakarta in Cheap (let's say budgeted) and Enjoyable. I won't talk about luxury hotels here.
Jakarta Map and Regions
When I tried to travel to Kuala Lumpur or London or Paris, I got difficulties in finding correct place to stay. That was because I haven't got information about city regions and tourist hotspots. So in my guide, I recommend you to understand a bit about Jakarta Regions so you won't end-up in staying in hotes at remote area or red-light district.
Now, imagine a rounded birthday cake then slice it into 4 equal piece. Then you'll have North, West, East, and South of Jakarta. And make a inner small circle in center to make Central Jakarta. To have your travel as efficient as possible, make sure you stay close to Central, West, or North. These regions have many malls, attractions, etc. Avoid Eastern part of Jakarta for staying. Western part to Eastern part is about 15km and so is North to South.
Arriving in Jakarta
100% chance you'll come to Jakarta by airline. So you must be arriving at Soekarno Hatta International Airport. This airport is situated 40km from central, actually located on Tangerang city. There is 2 terminal, Terminal 1 for domestic and Terminal 2 for International. This airport was design to adapt Bali architecture, so it is a bit traditional but very rich in detail. Just because poor management brings this airport a bit mess.
New Cengkareng T3 airport: Bandara Soekarno Hatta Terminal 3 open on 15 April 2009. This airport will be used by AirAsia and Mandala for domestic flight.
From airport to city, the best transportation you can take is by taxis. Approx. time is 40 minutes to 1.5 hour depending on traffic. Fare about IDR 100,000 - IDR 200,000 (USD 10-20) depending destination. Stick with Blue Bird Group taxi, Express taxi, Gamya, or Putra Taxi brand. Cheapest way is by comfortable Damri bus to various major bus terminal, ticket price is IDR 20000-IDR 25,000. Damri Bus can be catch in front of arrival terminal.
If you want to reach Semanggi, Bintaro, Serpong, or even Bandung, a new option now available by using airport shuttle car company called X-Trans. One way ride costs IDR 25,000 to Semanggi and scheduled every hour each way. Group of 3 people together will pay cheaper price.
In 2010, hopefully airport train will be ready and serving airport passengers to Manggarai station in Jakarta.
Where to Stay
When you want to choose hotel to stay in Jakarta, just check your budget. From a very cheap hotel to most luxury hotel can you find in Jakarta. Average Price range from IDR 100,000 to IDR 1,000,000 for 5 star hotel.
Avoid Hotels in Mangga Besar Road area (or Hayam Wuruk Rd) since this is red light district in the night, although it is safe and business as usual in there (lot of tasty food restaurant in Mangga Besar).
Here I compile some luxury hotels as I think the rates are still cheap comparing to stay one night in average hotels in Europe. They offers airport shuttle so you can safe a bit money. All quoted in USD.
(5* at Semanggi, Central Jakarta, rate ± USD 70-100)
This is an ultimate 5-star hotel to choose if you want luxury but cheap combined with location. It is in the heart of Jakarta Business District (and also traffic jam)
(5* at Central Jakarta, rate ± USD 55)
Also ultimate 5-star hotel with bargain price. Walking distance to Cathedral Church and Pasar Baru shopping district. Surrounded by government offices, so need to eat at hotel restaurant or go out.
- Grand Hyatt, (5* at Thamrin, Central Jakarta, rate ±200)
- Ritz-Carlton Hotels, (at Kuningan and SCBD, rate ±200)
- Shangri-La Hotel, (5* at Sudirman, rate ±120)
- Kemang Icon by
(5* at Kemang,South Jakarta, rate )
Can be categorized as boutique hotel and located at Kemang, one of expatriate favourite location because lots of 24-hour western restaurants.
But if you want to taste a much cheaper hotel, why don't you try these hotels. They don't have online booking system, so you'd better find a way to reserve, or just go show on low season.
(at Mangga Besar, West Jakarta, rate ±45)
Although located at Mangga Besar, I can say that this is a 'clean hotel'. Distinct architecture and interior design. Lots of small restaurant in surroundings.
- Mega Anggrek Hotel, (at Tomang, West Jakarta, rate ±35)
Main access to this hotel is by taxi, conveniently located near malls. Nothing at surrounding. Recommended for sleep only.
- Ibis Slipi
(3* at Slipi, West Jakarta, rate ±45)
A good value for 3 star hotel, located on busy street. Easy access to city central and west Jakarta with taxi.
- Hotel Karya Bahana (at Jaksa, Central Jakarta, rate ±40)
- Ibis Tamarin
(3* near Sarinah & Jaksa, Central Jakarta, rate ±45)
Near Jalan Jaksa and lots of food around. 24 hour activities and restaurants are around here. You can walk by foot to anywhere from here. Busway stop is not far away.
Jalan Jaksa is well-known for backpackers hotels with range from USD 10-30. Jl. Jaksa is located in Central Jakarta, lots of restaurant and easy access of transportation. You'd better find forums in Internet regarding Jaksa hotels.
Note: All hotel links above will bring you to Agoda hotel reservation site. Click the link to find more hotels.
**Transportation in Jakarta
There's limited transportation tools for foreigners, so make sure plan your route and know where you are going to. Jakarta has local commuter train but not suitable for tourists.
Taxi is preferred way to travel, but not for long distance. Choose taxi if you plan to go to same or adjacent region (intra Western Jakarta or west to central, but do not try using taxi for west to east). There are 2 type of taxi pricing, old scheme price and new scheme price. Old price taxi will be marked with "Tarif Lama" or "Tarif Bawah" as it is cheaper. Actually no different service between those two, only some companies insists in not increasing their flagfall price.Only choose Blue Bird Group Taxi for New Price and Express Taxi for Old Price. For US Dollar holder, I think Jakarta taxi fare is very cheap.
The only public transportation for foreigner that is safe to take is to ride TransJakarta (known by people as Busway). It is a Bus Rapid Transit run on a dedidated road lane and covers a lot of major area in Jakarta. It is packed with people on rush hours and also on weekend, long queue on bus stops, but actually this buses are quite comfortable. Don't forget that TransJakarta is very cheap, IDR 3500 to anywhere you want with unlimited connections as long as you don't exit gate.