Before you relocate to the Big Durian, here is a quick lowdown on the city’s top places to live - plus their pros and cons.
Thinking about moving to the Big Durian? A fact of life here is the traffic so finding a place to live is a priority. Depending on your lifestyle, needs and priorities, living in Jakarta can mean many different things. We’ve rounded up some helpful tips about the city’s most popular neighbourhoods:
Menteng is located in the middle of Jakarta making it one of the most convenient places to be if you’re working here in a number of international and national industries and businesses. Enjoy the city’s best shopping, dining, and nightlife right at your front door. Also, if you’re thinking of settling down in a house, Menteng is known for its beautiful historic architecture and charming tree-lined streets.
Pros: You would be in the center of the city and close to most of the cosmopolitan features of Jakarta.
Cons: Be prepared to pay a premium price for almost everything from rent to dinner. Also, rush-hour traffic is no joke.
This southern Jakartan neighbourhood is popular with expats with families, thanks to its proximity to international schools and premium cafes and grocery stores. The streets are small so there is usually a lot of traffic in the area and during the weekends, the bars and clubs add to the hectic roads, but Kemang does Sunday brunch really well! Just a word of warning, during the rainy season, the area floods heavily and frequently.
Pros: A walkable neighbourhood feel.
Cons: The small streets almost always guarantee traffic and flooding.
Encompassing Senayan, Simprug, Wijaya SCBD and Blok M, Kebayoran Baru makes up a large swath of the Southern Jakarta. During the day, Kebayoran Baru is really convenient for traveling into the center of the city and in the evenings, it has been the place to go if you want a drink, a nice meal, and a boogie.
Pros: The area is one of the most exciting and thriving in Jakarta right now.
Cons: Because it’s so popular, the traffic on these quaint streets can get pretty crazy.
Kemang is a pretty expensive part of town to live in but if you move just a little bit further south to the neighbourhoods of Kebayoran Lama, you’ll find international schools, great dining, new high-rise apartments, and homes with yards. And it will be more reasonably priced than Kemang! There are a lot of neighbourhoods in this area including Cipete/Cilandak, just a stone’s throw from Kemang; Gandaria, a new neighbourhood centered around a one-stop mall; Permata Hijau, a bit further out but located close to major toll roads; Pondok Indah, the moneyed neighbourhood known for their McMansions and vast two-part mall.
Pros: More reasonably priced than Kemang but with similar amenities.
Cons: Hellish traffic in the evenings as everyone makes their way home.
Pantai Indah Kapuk
In just the last couple of years, Pantai Indah Kapuk has transformed itself from a far-off suburb filled with new empty shop fronts to Jakarta’s newest culinary hotspot. In addition to all of the restaurants (with new ones opening all of the time), PIK is known for it’s wide, clean and orderly streets. Once thought to be too far, the new Lingkar Luar toll road takes a lot of the pain out of commuting.
Pros: This new neighbourhood is a foodie heaven with easy access to main toll roads.
Cons: Although close to the airport, PIK is quite far from the city center.
Located in West Jakarta, Tangerang is a sprawling suburb-like region composed of Bintaro, Bumi Serpong Damai (BSD City), Alam Sutera, and Lippo Karawaci. Tangerang has developed really well and now has its own malls, dining, and amenities so you don’t have to go into the city for anything. For more info about what Tangerang has to offer, check out our in-depth guides to the area.
Pros: Lots of entertainment, dining, shopping in the area.
Cons: Commutes to the center of town average about two hours during peak commute periods.
On the east side of town is Kelapa Gading, a well-planned but older area. The expat community isn’t huge here and you might need to go to the central or south to pick up specialty or import items or for a night out.
Pros: The area has a very reasonable cost of living compared to other parts of the city.
Cons: The area is known for its propensity to flood every year during the rainy season.
Moving Jakarta, but not really a big city person? Consider Bogor in West Java, and you won’t be the only one, the Presidential Palace is located there as well. You won’t totally escape the urban touches, but you will get a huge dose of greenery and a break on rent. To do the commute, you can either take a long drive in or take the commuter train.
Pros: Escape the hustle and bustle of Jakarta.
Cons: The weekends are packed with city dwellers looking for an escape.
This article is sponsored by Crown Relocations.