Nightlife in Jakarta

By Elizabeth May
Posted at 02/08/2014

We already know that Jakarta is a megacity in Asia, but what we don’t know, is what there is to do in the evening, when people get off work, and need some diversion.  It’s a cement jungle, teeming with life and activities.  It’s even been said that Jakarta is Asia’s best kept secret.  Few people can imagine what the nightlife is like in Jakarta, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, but this article will help you to understand.  

Below are some of the most highly recommended places to check out while here!  


  1. Lucy in the Sky
    This is a perfect oasis amidst the skyscraper jungle.  Lucy in the Sky is a rooftop bar and restaurant that offers great views on a garden terrace, strong cocktails and yummy food.  This is a great place for a drink and a theme party, although it isn’t everyday that they host these theme nights, but you should check out their website and see what’s happening while you’re there.  Otherwise just head over for a couple of drinks to begin your night!  It’s usually full of the trendy, wealthy and young.
  2. Equinox at X2
    Sleek, Edgy and Glamorous is their slogan.  You’ll find locals (mostly upper class Indo Chinese) as well as many more expats and travelers here.  If you want to dance, listen to top DJ’s, and drink the night away, this is where you should do it.  It’s usually packed full of people, so come ready to rub elbows.
  3. Molly Malone’s Irish Pub
    This is a great place to have a pint of Guinness, hang out with friends and chow down on some of the best Irish fare around.  The interior comes furnished with wooden décor and sometimes even a live band!  They’re open everyday from 11am until 1 or 2am, so make your way down here to try the famous Beef and Guinness Pie, or Molly’s Irish Stew!
  4. De Leila
    The Middle East café in Jakarta!  This bar is slightly off the beaten track, and where the Saudi’s go to party.  Enjoy the Middle Eastern food, vibe and décor here at De Leila. The staff is very friendly and the service is good.  You’ll be taken aback with the entertainment you find inside.  It’s definitely worth a visit!
  5. Jalan Jaksa
    This is an area dedicated entirely to bars, clubs, restaurants, cafés, and souvenir shops.  Here, you’ll find young Indonesians, working girls, professional girlfriends, backpackers, expats on a budget, gays, and other travelers.  You can probably imagine it.  Every country has one of these streets/areas.  Everything is in walking distance and you may even get into trouble with the ease of access to drinks!  Be careful, the drinks are cheap and strong around here.  This place is usually a lot of fun.
  6. Tree House
    Very laid back and possibly a bit hipster.  It’s the “alternative” hangout spot, more like something you would find in Europe or the US.  It’s a cozy environment, and deliberately messy, which makes one (hipster/alternative fan) feel more at ease in the place.  The place is open everyday except Monday, from 4pm to midnight and 3am on weekends.  It’s a popular place, maybe because it’s eco-friendly, artsy, and original.
  7. Café Mondo.  One of the best, hidden places in Jakarta, Café Mondo provides great fusion food (Japanese/Western) and beverages.  It’s got tons of bright pictures hanging on the walls, giving it a creative and lighthearted mood.  It’s small but has so much charm, with a hint of Indonesian retro. It’s easy to see how one could become a regular here.  You have to go and experience it to truly understand.  Normally open until 8pm, except on Friday’s and Saturday’s, they’re open until midnight.
  8. Colusseum Club
    One club, to rule them all.  Ok, so it’s not Lord of the Rings, but this club really does trump all others.  In a city of 10 million + people, you’ve got to do something to stand out.  They did.  They built Colusseum 1000 sqm big, and 16 m high!  Not only did they make this club massive, but they have the crispest sound system, and a lightshow likened to those of Ibiza and New York.  The club is 2 stories, so you can watch the stage show from the balcony on the 2nd floor.  They say you’ll do 2 things for sure: drop your jaw, and take out your camera.  You’ll have to check it out to see for yourself.
  9. Bistro Boulevard
    What used to be called Buddha Bar, is now called Bistro Boulevard.  Apparently there were complaints about using the word Buddha in front of Bar.  Anyhow, it’s quite an interesting mix of concepts.  Inside this beautiful restaurant sits a large golden Buddha, but the cuisine served is French, and of course the location is Indonesia.  Indeed it’s worth a visit, because of the beauty of the old house in a leafy green part of Jakarta’s suburb, Menteng, as well as the superb French cuisine.  Have a glass of wine while you’re there too, I mean, why not?
  10. Golden Crown
    This is kind of your all in one place.  It’s a hotel, with a digitech lounge, club, karaoke room, karaoke hall, and health spa.  Make a night of it, have dinner, drinks, dancing, then finish off with karaoke, stay in the hotel and pamper yourself the next day with spa treatments.  Maybe that’s what they were intending for you to do in the first place?  But really, you can’t say you’ve been to Asia without singing a bit of karaoke, so if there were only one thing you should do here, it’s the karaoke room (if you’re shy and don’t want to sing in front of others), otherwise the Karaoke hall is full of wild, thundering pop stars.