Expat-Friendly Neighborhoods in Jakarta
In general, the Special Capital Region of Jakarta is a dynamic city filled with people from different cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds coming in seeking better lives. Although expats could settle (and have settled) all over Jakarta, some districts are a little bit more expat-friendly than the rest. The reason could range from its multiculturality, friendliness of the locals, to the variety of work opportunities. Living in an expat-friendly neighborhood where there are foreign groceries, world-class health facilities, and international schools nearby is most of their first choice. This is why there are several neighborhoods in Jakarta filled with expatriates or as locals call them, Kampung Expats (Expats Village). We know that it can be a headache to look through all of the neighborhoods one by one. No worries! we have scouted and picked our list for the most expat-friendly neighborhoods in Jakarta.
Kemang is the top area for expatriates to live in Jakarta. It is a favorite neighborhood for international residents due to its progressively becoming open to the diversity of many cultures. Since the 1970s Kemang has been a popular district where the dynamics of business and estates created a vibrant neighborhood, a favorite of the hip local youths and expats of Jakarta.
Located in the more developed part of South Jakarta, it used to be a modest kampung (village). But, it has been gentrified into an upscale expatriate residential area. When you live in Kemang, there’s no need to worry if you get bored. The vibrant neighborhood is the home of many trendy hot spots that provide dining, shopping, and nightlife activities. Not to mention, because many international schools in this sub-district (Jayakarta Montessori School, SPH Kemang, New Zealand SChool Jakarta, etc.), many expats’ families choose it as their home in one of its housing options. It could be high-end apartment units or independent houses. Kemang is one of the most welcoming and expat-friendly neighborhoods in Jakarta.
Menteng is an affluent and exclusive neighborhood. The residential area consists of prominent people from the government and politics due to its proximity to embassies, ambassadors’ residences, and other government offices. Situated in Central Jakarta, Menteng is fairly close to Sudirman and Thamrin. Thus, many expats working in the central business district choose to stay here.
The neighborhood is located in the heart of the city. It is surrounded by Dutch-colonial era buildings and old tall and shady trees. Such an interesting neighborhood to walk around in. Plus, due to its proximity to the business district, it also has shopping venues, well-tended parks, upscale apartments, fine-dining restaurants; which makes it an interesting neighborhood to walk around in. The main attraction of this neighborhood is the abundance of apartment towers which makes it convenient for expats to live in.
For those who are looking for an eco-friendly area might prefer Kuningan, South Jakarta. This expat-friendly neighborhood has wide well-designed streets lined trees, parks, and green open spaces. As a part of the central business district of Jakarta, the well-planned area is a favorite for professionals expats to stay in. Kuningan has the atmosphere of any metropolitan city in the world. It is surrounded by high-rise office and apartment buildings, large shopping venues, and crowds of people running around during rush hours.
Many works and business opportunities could be found in Mega Kuningan. Therefore, it is a mixed-use development area with offices and towers of multinational and international companies. There are also several embassies, such as the British and Australian embassies which heightened the security in the area. Moreover, this sub-district has easy access to other urban centers with only a 15-minutes drive to Thamrin and Sudirman area. Kuningan is one of the perfect expat-friendly neighborhoods in Jakarta for the business-oriented people to settle in.
Cilandak is another popular expats-friendly residential neighborhood in South Jakarta. It is especially popular for middle-class expats to settle in. A wide range of apartments and modest independent houses are available for lease or buy. The area is also a developing commercial area with a few foreign and local shopping venues, hospitals, international schools, and other essential public services.
Cilandak is especially popular for expats families due to its quiet suburban atmosphere, which is different from the bustling center of the city. Houses in Cilandak typically have nice gardens. Thus, it seems to be ideal choices for those with children and pets. Plus, it is also the home of the prestigious Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS), Nord Anglia School Jakarta, and other international educational institutions.
5. Kelapa Gading
Kelapa Gading is one of the few places outside of Central and South Jakarta where expatriates usually reside. Located in North Jakarta, the sub-district is a well-planned neighborhood with wide streets and designated areas for business and commercial activities. The area has a handful of wide-range of residential options, from reasonable apartment units to high-end housing complexes.
The business areas in Kelapa Gading is still developing. However, it is a thriving commercial area with many grand shopping malls, restaurants, and entertainment centers. Similar to Cilandak, it is a more suburban neighborhood with residential complexes of houses with gardens/yards. For those with children, there are options for international schools, such as Beacon Academy and North Jakarta International schools. The only drawback is that it is quite far from the central business districts of the city.
Although it is ideal to settle in an expat-friendly neighborhood, we must still consider a few critical factors. That could be the distance between home and office, or for people with children the distance between home and school. Moreover, we should also take into account the accessibility of essential public facilities in our neighborhood. It is why everyone should have different criteria and priorities in deciding which neighborhood they should live in.