You can now read my Jakarta nightlife review. Jakarta nightlife has been a bit disappointing recently. After living over 10 years in Jakarta, is so far my worst year in the city when it comes to party. In this review, I will update you on the nightlife scene in Jakarta as of and the 6 reasons I was disappointed.
If you need a hotel close to the best nightlife spots, I recommend one of the following near Plaza Indonesia: Read more here on my Jakarta Hotel Guide. Why Jakarta nightlife is not as good as it used to be: Stadium has been closed, probably for political reasons, just months before the Presidential election.
It hasn't really been replaced yet. Illigals organizes parties regularly with the resident DJs of Stadium but it is absolutely not the same. The club is rarely crowded and it closes early. Other people go to Colosseum , which I find impressive and worth a look, but totally boring. Most of the crowd there is made of males, glued at their tables with escorts from Alexis.
It also closes early. The best choice would be Mille's , especially if you are looking for an after-hour venue, but it only attracts the hardcore clubbers using drugs. If you are not into drugs, you won't manage to stay in Mille's for more than an hour. The karaoke rooms of Golden Crown or Level 5 in Kelapa Gading can be used as small, private clubs and they can be considered as an alternative if you are with a group of friends.
To compensate, not many new openings. You have Nebula in Central Park which is not really happening. Kemang has its new favorites but I can't keep up with the scene there. Immigrant has been renovated and it is a disappointment now, I've stopped going there.
Blowfish 's renovation on the contrary was a success and it might be the best club in Jakarta at the moment. The lease of this land is supposed to expire soon so all those bars and clubs are built for a short time only.
Each of these bring their own kind of crowd: Fable the spoilt kids from international high schools, Lucy in The Sky the spoilt students, Potato Head Garage the spoilt young executives, Empirica the spoilt young Chinese. The area has welcomed new bars and lounges too such as Hide and Seek. On weekends, all of these will be packed so it's easy for you to move around and to find which one best suits you. During the week, it is much more quiet unless there is an event. The hipster trend is great for business: Basically, you can charge premium prices for people to hangout in dumpsters and receive zero service.
I love underground places when they charge underground prices. I hope this trend will fade as it has become ridiculous. Apart from a few exceptions such as Safe House , Cloud , Skye or , the music played is mostly horrible. Clubs have no identity and they all seem to be satisfied with the current mainstream hits.
I don't want to sound too snobbish, but hearing weeks after weeks and clubs after clubs the same songs over and over again makes me depressed. I don't understand why they have a DJ since the guy just plays the same mix-tape every night. There are so many great musicians and DJs, it's not too hard to check on internet what is going on in the world of electronic music. Your only chance at hearing good music in a club in Jakarta is to patiently wait for a "famous" invited international DJ to play.
Fortunately there is one about once a week either in Blowfish , Dragonfly , Illigals , X2 and others. If you are into paying for girls or massage parlours, it will be even more. It is probably the curse of every city to become more pretentious as it develops but it surely makes me feel nostalgic.
The prices of alcohol have increased even more since I wrote this review See: X2 was once a club with 20 or 30 "bules" maximum. Now you have at least on weekend nights. Same things in Immigrant , Dragonfly , etc. I am a foreigner too so I'm not in a position to criticize it too much, but I just regret the time when Jakarta was more authentic and less international. It seems people were more friendly then too. Naturally, tourists are one of the reasons the prices are going up.
Jakarta was much better in Some people still come to Jakarta thinking it is a hour clubbing city. Unfortunately, apart from the most extreme clubs in North and West Jakarta, you will most likely be home by 5am. It is still not bad compared to other cities in Asia, but it is another sign that Jakarta is becoming a more reasonable city. In spite of all this, I still consider that Jakarta nightlife is among the best in the region. My Jakarta Nightlife guide is still rather up to date except for the closing of Stadium , Red Square and Millenium.
Most places haven't changed: With all the talk about fighting drugs we hear from Jokowi, I am also surprised that some ecstasy factories like Sydney , Exotis or Mille's still exist. I will also post in a few days my recommendation for the best clubs, bars, restaurants and spas in In the meantime, please comment on this article if you don't agree with me or if you have some interesting information for others to read.
All photos were taken on Blowfish facebook page.