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Where to Stay in Jakarta?
Since Indonesia has always been a popular stop for backpackers, it’s no surprise that there are cheap hotels and hostels on offer in the city. The commercial centre Jalan Jaksa is historically the hub of budget travel accommodation in the city and it buzzes with travel agencies, book shops, hostels and hotels. Stay in this part of the city and you’re also close to the fabulous Mesjid Istiqlal mosque, the largest in South East Asia. It can hold up to a quarter of a million people and if you ask the security guards nicely and offer a small tip, they will give you an unofficial tour of the building.
Of course, Jakarta is a seaside city too and there are also good hotels on the front, where you can go see the sharks at Seaworld and take the kids to children’s amusement park Fantasyland opposite Jakarta Bay. If you want to breathe the sea sir, try the Atlet Century Park Hotel and the Mercure Convention Centre Ancol.
Jakarta Accommodation Options
The cheapest hotels and hostels can mostly be found in central Jalan Jaksa and its worth going in to check the room out before you commit to it. Some old favourite include Nick’s Corner which has cheap dorms, Tator which offers a good breakfast thrown in and Yusran, a cheap hotel on the end of Gang 6 with very clean rooms.
If you are looking for a mid-priced hotel, the best bet is the Jalan Wahid Hasyim area at the southern end of Jalan Jaksa. Cemara Hotel is literally a quick trot from Jalan Jaksa and has its own pool and restaurant for a mid-range room rate while Hotel Menteng is popular for its midscale rates and disco.
Jakarta Hotel Recommendations?
Treat yourself to some Asian massage treatments plus a sauna and whirlpool session at the The Meridien Hotel Jakarta, a plush modern building right opposite The World Trade Center in the heart of the business district. For a taste of old Jakarta, head to the Batavia Hotel in colonial Kota not far from Sunda Kelapa where industrious fishermen tend to their nets and real Jakarta unfolds before your eyes. If money’s tight but you like clean sheets and bathrooms, try Bloemsteen in Jalan Jaksa where you can get a room at rock bottom prices.
Transport in Jakarta
From Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta airport, it’s an eight mile trip by road to the central railway station at Jakarta. The DAMRI buses operate from the airport to the station and run every half hour. Taxis are plentiful at the terminal too. Once you’re in the heart of the city, the easiest way to get around is by using the Busway system which has designated stops and its own bus lane, making it the fastest way to get about. The backstreets of Jakarta are well served by motorised rickshaws – agree a price before you set off.