Jakarta is one of the main Indonesian destinations in terms of expatriation. How to proceed to find an accommodation there? Find out in this article.
Jakarta, nicknamed “Big Durian” by Indonesians nationals, is found in North-west Java, stretching over some 664 km². It is deemed to be a real metropolis, ranking second among the world's most densely populated cities with nearly 10 million inhabitants. Jakarta is hence known as an international city as it hosts the third busiest and most important Asian airport, the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, as well as the Tanjung Priok Port.
Jakarta is definitely a dynamic city, but it can become quite stiffing for foreigners who are not used to such a busy atmosphere. Moreover, traffic jam is part of the city's architecture and daily routine, reflecting the inequality between modernity and poverty. But Jakarta still attracts expatriates looking for new professional adventures in a friendly, resourceful and generous environment.
Jakarta is divided into five administrative regions which are known as kota. These are:
- East Jakarta -Timur
- West Jakarta- Barat
- North Jakarta - Utara
- South Jakarta - Selatan
- Central Jakarta - Pusat
- Bumi Serpong, Lippo Karawaci, Damai Bintaro, which are satellite cities and metropolitan suburbs.
Note that Central Jakarta (Pusat), South Jakarta (Selatan) and East Jakarta (Timur) are more popular with expatriates.
If you have chosen Timur (East Jakarta), you will more probably settle in Kelapa Gading which includes Cileunsgi and Cikarang which are two industrial and commercial non-exclusive zones. You are more likely to find Indian expats there. The Gandi International School is also located there.
Utara (North Jakarta) may be quite disadvantageous for foreigners not only due to traffic jam, floods, poor quality of air and water, etc., but also because of its distance from international schools. However, it is the only part of the city to be bordered by the Java Sea. Utara also hosts large-scale industries and numerous medium enterprises.
Selatan (South), for its part, hosts huge modern and luxurious shopping malls as well as posh residential areas. You can choose among different neighborhoods such as Cipete/Cilandak, Lebak Bulus/Cilandak, Kemang, Permata Hijau/Simprug, Pondok Indah, Senayan and Kebayoran Baru.
In Cipete/Cilandak, you will mostly find luxurious individual houses in a quiet and pleasant environment, ideal for families. Children will be able to enjoy swimming pools and gardens, etc.
Lebak Bulus/Cilandak is adjacent to the Singapore International School and the Jakarta International School. You can find various types of houses in green and pleasant setting. This neighborhood is very lively and dynamic and includes the Cilandak.
Town Square has been nicknamed citos by locals. This neighborhood hosts many grocery shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as theaters, a lively shopping mall, etc.
Permata Hijau/Simprug is another interesting and developing neighborhood. Many expatriates have settled there over the years, particularly in the Pakubowono Residences. You will also find many shopping malls there.
In Pondok Indah, you will find big houses in a green and serene atmosphere. It is also close to the Cilandak Jakarta International School (JIS) campus. Moreover, this neighborhood hosts a big apartment complex and a golf course, as well as the Pondok Indah Hospital which is accessible to everyone.
In Senayan, you are more likely to find flats. It is definitely one of the region's most dynamic neighborhoods due to the presence of several shopping malls, including leisure activities.
Kebayoran Baru, for its part, hosts not only shopping malls but also big houses surrounded by green spaces. Close by is the Pattimura campus which is affiliated with the Jakarta International School (JIS).
Pusat (Central Jakarta) is deemed to be the capital city's administrative and political center, including two attractive neighborhoods, namely the Golden Triangle and Menteng.
The Golden Triangle consists of Jalan Gatot Subroto HR, HR Jalan Sudirman and Jalan HR Rasuna Said. This vibrant neighborhood hosts several residential towers, numerous shopping malls, parking lots, oil and gas companies, etc.
Menteng, meanwhile, is Pusat's posh neighborhood. It is especially famous for its colonial houses dating from the Dutch colonization era, as well as the residences of ambassadors, especially that of the President of Indonesia and his subordinates. Menteng also hosts banks and the head offices of many national and international companies, as well as shopping malls. As regards housing, available units are very modern and luxurious, but you can also find cheaper villas surrounded by peaceful green spaces.
Finally, Barat (West Jakarta) holds the city's highest concentration of industries, as well as a Chinese district and many Dutch colonial monuments such as the Chinese and Toko Merah Langgam building. You will also find some remnants of Ancient Jakarta.
In general, you can find apartments, houses and rooms in Jakarta. Rent prices range between 100,000 and 500,000 Indonesian rupees in the city outskirts, that is between 80 and 400 euros. If you prefer modern and luxurious accommodation, you will need some 700 to 1,500 per month.
For cheaper accommodation, it is best to opt for kos or more affordable studios. These should cost some 50 euros per month. Make your choice according to your budget.
Word-of-mouth seems to be the best method to find accommodation in Jakarta if you have friends or contacts on the spot. But you may also seek the help of a real estate agency, or even view housing offers on specialized websites.
Jakarta is world famous for its traffic jams. Thus, you are advised to search for accommodation quite close to your place of work and your children's school so as to avoid being stuck for long hours in traffic jams. However, many foreigners have chosen to settle there and have gradually adapted to this new bustling lifestyle.