Where to stay in Jakarta for first time: 4 Safe areas

In today’s article, I will help you to find the best places to stay in Jakarta. I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Jakarta for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. 

I’ll also recommend some of the best hotels in Jakarta for visitors with various budgets and then share where I stayed in Jakarta. Before getting into the details, let’s look at some facts about Jakarta.

Jakarta is the largest city  and capital of Indonesia situated on the northwest coast of Java. It has a rich history that dates back to the 4th century when it was a part of the Tarumanagara Kingdom. 

Over the centuries, it has been influenced by various cultures, including Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic civilizations. The Dutch East India Company colonized Jakarta in the 17th century, and it became an important center of trade during the colonial period.

Jakarta is known for its vibrant street life, shopping malls, cultural attractions, and a mix of modern and traditional architecture. The Old Town (Kota Tua), National Monument (Monas), Istiqlal Mosque, and the Taman Mini Indonesia Indah are among the notable landmarks in the city.

Is Jakarta safe for tourists?

Jakarta is generally safe for tourists, but just as you would in any unfamiliar city, it’s important to take standard precautions to ensure your safety. There is pickpocketing, so keep an eye on your belongings, especially in markets and public transportation.

The city is known for heavy traffic, so exercise caution when crossing roads and be aware of your surroundings. It is also recommended to take health precautions, such as vaccinations and using mosquito repellent, to prevent diseases like dengue.

You should also familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions. Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, and conservative dress is appreciated in certain areas.

Where to stay in Jakarta for the first time?

The best and safest areas to stay in Jakarta for first-timers and tourists are Menteng, Sudirman Central Business District, Old Town/Kota Tua, and Kemang. It’s important to exercise common-sense precautions regardless of the area you’re staying in.

Menteng is a popular area in Jakarta for first-timers to book their accommodations. It is a residential area known for its tree-lined streets, colonial architecture, and upscale atmosphere. It’s relatively quiet and offers a more laid-back experience compared to some other parts of Jakarta.

Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD) is a great base for tourists and business travelers who want convenient locations with easy access to shopping malls, upscale restaurants, and modern amenities. It is the main financial and business district in Jakarta. 

Kota Tua is Jakarta’s historic old town, featuring Dutch colonial architecture and museums. It’s a great choice if you’re interested in history and culture. There are also cafes and art galleries in the area.

Kemang is known for its vibrant nightlife, trendy restaurants, and cafes. It’s a popular area among expatriates and locals for socializing. While it’s generally safe, like any nightlife district, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

As a tourist in Jakarta, it’s advisable to exercise caution in certain parts of West Jakarta, such as Tambora, known for higher crime rates. The infamous nightlife district of Blok M in South Jakarta may pose risks, especially late at night.

During my trip to Jakarta, I stayed at the Stanley Wahid Hasyim Jakarta. It was a great value for money hotel located in a central location in the Menteng district. It is close to Jalan Jaksa, Jalan Sabang and Sarinah Mal. The room was clean with basic amenities.

Below is a map of the popular areas in Jakarta for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Jakarta first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Jakarta first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Jakarta, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Jakarta have been carefully selected by me, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

4 Safe areas to stay in Jakarta for first-timers and tourists

1. Menteng 

Menteng is a great area to stay in Jakarta, especially for first-timers who prefer a quieter and more residential atmosphere with a touch of historical charm. 

This area is home to numerous cultural and historical attractions such as Taman Suropati (Suropati Park), Presidential Palace (Istana Merdeka), Museum Nasional (National Museum of Indonesia), and the Proclamation Monument.

There are various dining options, including both local and international restaurants, providing a diverse culinary experience. Cikini Raya street has a vibrant culinary scene, with numerous cafes and restaurants.

You can go shopping at the Jalan Surabaya Antique Market, where you can find a variety of vintage items, including art, furniture, and traditional Indonesian crafts.

Best places to stay in Jakarta in Menteng for first-time travelers:

  • Luxury ($$$): Mandarin Oriental Jakarta, great 5-star good value for money hotel in a prime location, close to shopping malls. The rooms are spacious with first class amenities. It has an Outdoor swimming pool, 6 restaurants, free parking, and Excellent Breakfast.
  • Mid-range ($$): Ashley Wahid Hasyim Jakarta, popular 4-star  good value for money accommodation located in a central area, short distance from Sarinah shopping center, Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia Shopping Town. Close to Gambir Train Station and a reasonable taxi price to get to other places. It has Free airport shuttle, Free parking, and a good breakfast.
  • Budget ($): Konko Hostel Jakarta, great value for money backpacker hostel, located within 10-15 mins walk from Gambir Station. It has a tour desk, luggage storage space, and a 24-hour front desk. Close to the National Monument, Istiqlal Grand Mosque, and Sarinah. 

2. Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD)

SCBD is an excellent choice for those who want a modern, cosmopolitan experience with easy access to business facilities, shopping, dining, and entertainment.

SCBD is Jakarta’s central business and financial district, making it an ideal choice for business travelers. Many corporate offices, banks, and business centers are located in this area.

SCBD is home to upscale shopping malls, such as Pacific Place and Senayan City, offering a wide range of international and local brands, dining options, and entertainment facilities.

The district boasts a diverse array of restaurants, cafes, and bars, catering to different tastes. It’s a great place for those who enjoy a mix of culinary experiences and nightlife.

SCBD features modern infrastructure, including well-maintained roads, efficient public transportation options, and a generally well-developed urban environment.

Being centrally located, SCBD offers relatively easy access to other parts of Jakarta, including cultural and recreational attractions.

Weekdays in SCBD can be busy and crowded, especially during rush hours. Traffic congestion is a common challenge in Jakarta, and SCBD is no exception.

Best places to stay in Jakarta in Sudirman CBD for first-time visitors:

  • Luxury ($$$): Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta, 5-star accommodation, good value for money according to guests staying in booking.com. It is a short taxi ride from SCBD, Grand Indonesia, and Kuningan Business District. It has excellent breakfast,  24-hour security, and laundry services.
  • Mid-range ($$): Citadines Sudirman Jakarta, great accommodation in a good location in the middle of everything. It has an Outdoor swimming pool, paid airport shuttle services, and comfortable family rooms.
  • Budget ($): Ayaka Suites, 3-star hotel in a nice location close to malls and restaurants. They have a Good gym and swimming pool. 

3. Old Town/ Kota Tua 

Old Town is a popular destination for both locals and tourists interested in history and architecture. It provides a glimpse into Jakarta’s colonial past.

In Kota Tua, you’ll find well-preserved colonial-era buildings from the Dutch East Indies period. The area has been a center of commerce dating back to the 17th century when the Dutch established Batavia (now Jakarta) as the capital of the Dutch East Indies.

History buffs can explore many museums, including the Jakarta History Museum (Museum Fatahillah), Fine Art and Ceramics Museum, Wayang Museum, and Museum Bank Indonesia. 

While not exactly in Kota Tua but nearby, Sunda Kelapa is a historic harbor that dates back to the 5th century. It features traditional Indonesian sailing ships known as pinisi.

Kota Tua has a growing number of cafes, art galleries, and creative spaces, making it an interesting place for those interested in art and creativity.

The compact nature of Kota Tua makes it conducive to walking tours, allowing you to explore the area on foot and discover its unique charm.

The architecture and atmosphere of Kota Tua provide excellent opportunities for photography, especially for those interested in capturing historic buildings and street scenes.

Best places to stay in Jakarta in Old Town for first-time tourists:

  • Mid-range ($$): Mercure Jakarta Batavia, great 4-star hotel, conveniently located in the Kota area in the Central Business District of Glodok. Its location offers easy access to public transportation, making it a great base to explore the city. Also easy to reach the Mangga Dua Shopping Area, the airport, and the Glodok Electronic Center.
  • Mid-range ($$): Holiday Inn & Suites Jakarta Gajah Mada, 4-star good value for money hotel,  located close to Museum Bank Indonesia, offering free private parking, a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage for guests. Walking distance to Chinatown.
  • Budget ($): Wonderloft Hostel, great backpacker accommodation located close to the toll road, where you can catch the free tour bus to the city center. Also near Kota Train Station and Kota Busway Station.

4. Kemang 

Kemang is an excellent option for those who enjoy a lively atmosphere, trendy cafes, and a vibrant nightlife scene. 

Kemang is renowned for its lively nightlife scene, featuring bars, clubs, and entertainment venues. It’s a great choice for those who enjoy going out in the evenings.

The area is home to numerous trendy cafes, restaurants, and eateries offering a variety of cuisines. It’s a paradise for food enthusiasts looking to explore different culinary delights.

Kemang has a bohemian vibe, attracting a creative and artistic community. You’ll find art galleries, boutique shops, and unique spaces showcasing local creativity.

Kemang is popular among expatriates, creating a diverse and international atmosphere. This can be advantageous for those who appreciate meeting people from various backgrounds.

Like many parts of Jakarta, traffic can be a challenge in Kemang, especially during peak hours. However, the area itself is walkable, allowing you to explore on foot.

Best places to stay in Jakarta in Kemang for first-timers:

  • Luxury ($$$): Ra Suites Simatupang, good value for money 5-star condo hotel, set in a convenient location close to MRT, shopping mall. It has a nice rooftop bar and an elite restaurant with the view of Jakarta. 
  • Mid-range ($$): Ra Premiere Simatupang Jakarta, 4-star hotel, featuring Free parking, 24-hour front desk, good breakfast, and family rooms. It is close to the highway entrance and restaurants.
  • Budget ($): ibis Styles Jakarta Simatupang, 3-star hotel offers  free bikes, fitness center, a terrace and restaurant. Short ride from Ragunan Zoo and Pondok Indah Mall.

In conclusion, Menteng, Sudirman Central Business District, Old Town/Kota Tua, and Kemang are the best places to stay in Jakarta for first-timers and tourists. These are generally safe areas for visitors that provides a range of accommodations and amenities for all budgets.

You can continue reading this post:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Jakarta. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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