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The best places for expats to live in Jakarta
Jakarta is a sprawling metropolis, and expats moving to the city may initially be overwhelmed in their house search. But there are plenty of areas and suburbs in Jakarta for expats to choose from, and they’re bound to find something that suits their lifestyle and budget. South and Central Jakarta are the most popular areas among expats.
Read about Accommodation in Jakarta for more on finding and renting a home in Jakarta.
Central business districts for expat professionals in Jakarta
Known for their bustling business environments and high-end residences, these neighbourhoods are ideal for expats looking for a cosmopolitan lifestyle or those averse to a long commute into the city.
Known for the Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD), one of Southeast Asia’s prominent business areas, Sudirman boasts apartments, restaurants, bars, gyms and other expat-tailored facilities. Its central business locale makes it a magnet for expatriates working in Jakarta.
A planned neighbourhood near the Central Business District, Mega Kuningan has a modern metropolis vibe akin to Singapore. It offers walkable streets, a rarity in Jakarta, and an active nightlife scene, making it ideal for single expats or young couples without children. Its proximity to a number of embassies and international schools makes Kuningan particularly popular among expats.
Residences mainly consist of condominiums with varying price ranges, though there are also older spacious housing developments along tree-lined streets. There are also plenty of restaurants and hotels in the area and many nearby shopping malls, including Kuningan City Mall and Ambassador Mall.
Suburban retreats for expat families in Jakarta
These neighbourhoods offer a more suburban feel, providing a tranquil retreat from the city’s hustle while still being conveniently located – ideal for expat kids and families.
Pondok Indah is an upmarket neighbourhood of Jakarta that is popular with expat families thanks to its spacious living options and proximity to several good international schools. Large family homes sit along tree-lined streets. Commute times to the city’s commercial areas can be long, but there are plenty of entertainment opportunities to keep the family busy, with shopping malls, a water park and a golf course nearby.
Cilandak, a large district south of Cipete, is popular with local middle-class residents and some expat families. It offers a typical Indonesian atmosphere with cleaner, low-rise buildings. While some areas near Jalan TB Simatupang and Pondok Indah are expensive, other parts of Cilandak are relatively affordable, making it an attractive option for those working in South Jakarta.
Hosting many international company branches, Kebayoran Baru is another business-centric area in Jakarta. The Dharmawangsa and Senopati areas within Kebayoran Baru are especially popular among expats. The presence of international corporations invites a significant expatriate community to reside here.
Trendy and expat-friendly areas and suburbs in Jakarta
Known for their trendy vibes and expatriate-friendly communities, these areas offer a blend of local and international cultures, making them popular among expats.
A popular area for expat families, Kemang is close to several international schools and offers a range of housing options, from large family homes and villas to apartments. Kemang has wonderful entertainment options from restaurants to bars, and much of Jakarta’s art scene can be found here. A downside to Kemang is the fact it suffers from heavy traffic congestion, which can be a source of frustration for many residents.
A historically affluent neighbourhood, Menteng has been home to Dutch colonial government officials and, over generations, to politicians and expats who prefer a less modern ambience. Although a bit distant from international schools, it’s a viable living option for those working nearby.
Situated south of Kemang, Cipete is known for its more local Jakartan vibe. It’s also a favourite among the French community due to its proximity to the Lycée Français. Although it offers fewer attractions and luxury villas compared to Kemang, Cipete has a more laid-back atmosphere and is generally more affordable.
Are you an expat living in Jakarta?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Jakarta. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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