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Making friends in Jakarta 101

If you are new to Jakarta and are in search of fellow expat or local friends, then you came to the right place. We understand how challenging it can be to move to an entirely new city without knowing anyone. Meeting new people may not be as easy as it sounds, especially if you are working from 9-5 every Monday to Friday. With your busy schedule, it might seem impossible to connect with new people in Jakarta.

Fortunately, we have some tips for you to begin your journey of making new friends. So set aside your worries and get ready to take notes.

Join a club

One great way to make new friends in Jakarta is to join a club. Everyone has an interest, no doubt. Even if you don’t, you can always find a new one. Not only joining a club may help you share your interest with fellow people who have similar minds like you, but you can also connect with them on a whole new level.

One of them is Soroptimist International. Founded in 1921, this club connects more than 72,000 members in 121 countries. Its main activities concern the issues of human rights and gender equality to help women and girls achieve their individual potential, realize aspiration and have an equal opportunity in the world. You can check their website at for further information

If you are not into humanities issues and are looking for other clubs related to sports, culinary, your home country or anything else, you can easily find them on On their Expat clubs & Associations, you’ll find a long list of clubs, organizations, and communities from different backgrounds that may just fit your interest. In addition, they also attach the website links and email addresses of each club if you are looking for further inquiries. Or you can just click here to see a compilation of great clubs that we made.

Go grab a drink

EP Kemang

They say bars are the best places to fall in love, but we’d say it’s also one of the best spots to make friends. Heads up, we don’t suggest you go out and drink every night (but if you do, who’s judging?) But going out to a bar with colleagues is a good start to building your friendship. Not only with the people, you are bringing with you, but you may also befriend new faces you’ll meet at the bar.

Our favorite bars to check out are mostly located in Kemang, South Jakarta. A lot of expats go here and some even live in this area. Sporst and beer usually come as a package, so you’ll see plenty of those around. Eastern Promise (EP) Kemang is raved by both locals and expats alike. Inside, you may find 4 different areas; Bar, restaurant, sports cafe, and a beer garden with live music. During the weekends, this place is filled with expats, especially during the sports competition season such as the World Cup. You can also click here to see a list of the best bars in Jakarta.

There is nothing easier than to hang out with strangers over the sport. Go check their website for more information.

Take Bahasa Indonesia lessons


Learning Bahasa Indonesia may not be the easiest thing for a lot of people (even locals). But just like any other language, it will help you to communicate better with the people as well as practice with fellow expats who are learning. Furthermore, Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, recently addressed that expat workers or business owners are required to be proficient in Bahasa Indonesia, so this is just one more reason to find friends through learning the language. 

From all the Indonesian courses offered in Jakarta, BIPA University of Indonesia is a well-established institution that we highly recommend for you to check out. The program is usually 16-weeks long and consists of classes and a one-day field trip. You will be offered great opportunities for visiting public places and institutions such as schools, TV stations, governmental offices, and even Jakarta jails –  Interesting, isn’t it? For more information, you can check their website at http:// 

Charity work

Komunitas Taufan

Charity work is more than just doing good things for others; it’s also about self-reflection and can help you achieve goals, such as finding a friend. Charity work in Jakarta will definitely give you a sense of gratitude as the income disparity and poverty in this city is still highly severe. There are a lot of people, including fellow expats, who travel and settle in Jakarta just to help the unfortunate. By joining one of these activities, there is a big chance for you to meet and connect with fellow expats volunteers.

Rumah Taufan offers great volunteering opportunities. This community was established by Yeni Mulyangsih who lost her son due to Leukemia. The community is a “safe haven” for families with financial issues facing similar conditions. Volunteers are welcome to help financially or other support, such as tutoring or home visits. If you happen to be a talented guitar player or like to perform stand-up comedy, you are more than welcome to join.

Interested in joining? Head over to their website at or contact them through email;

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