How to get from Jakarta International airport to the city center by public transport
Arriving at Jakarta by plane (Soekarno–Hatta International Airport), you can use the public transport to reach the center of Jakarta… ok, in this huge city is difficult to identify a “center”… but Gambir (also called Manunen Nasional… a huge pillar) is a good central point with a train station, and from there you can get a moto-taxi or the train (Stasiun Gambir).
If you are alone or traveling with a tight budget, the bus is the best way to reach Jakarta!
The DAMRI (Indonesian state-owned public transit bus company) operate buses from Soekarno–Hatta International Airport to Gambir.
When you leave the airport building (arrivals) you must turn left, and keep walking under the roof until the end of the arrivals building. There you will see a sign (a kind of gate) with the words “Shelter Bus”. Keep walking and you’ll see a few buses and wait for passengers. The DAMRI buses are blue and are modern and well identified.
There isn’t a fixed schedules and but they frequent, every 15 minutes or so. Apparently (I couldn’t check this information) there are DAMRI buses from 3.00 a.m. until 9.00 p.m.
The ticket cost 40.000 Rp for the “executive” class bus, with air-con. Apparently there’s wi-fi on the bus but is never working 😉
I’m not sure if there is a “business” class bus from the airport to the city center.
How to move around in Jakarta:
- TransJakarta: modern and confortable buses that have the advantage of using dedicated lanes in some parts of the city. Unfortunately, the single journey tickets are not longer available and you need to buy a monthly card that is not really an option if you stay just for a few days in Jakarta.
- Train: if your accommodation is nearby a train station this is maybe the easier and cheapest way to move. I stay at Cikini and this line has trains every 10 or 15 minutes to Jakarta Kota, the “center” and old colonial quarter. The tickets cost 3.000 Rp for trips inside the city. You need to buy a card (10.000 Rp) that you charge for each trip, and in the end of your stay you can give it back and get the 10.000 Rp return… but the train doesn’t reach the airport yet, but the line is supposed to open in August 2017.
- GoJek, Uber, Grab… all these companies offer moto-taxi services. They are everywhere and are the best way to move through the intense traffic. You just need to download their app and have an Indonesian SIM card. The most efficient way to move around if you are alone. It’s ok to travel with your backpack! Usually, the trips inside de city cost around 10.000 Rp. The ojek (independent moto-taxis are easy to find but with them, you need to deal the price).
- On foot… forget about it!!!!! Everything is too far, and the hot and humid climate makes a short walk during the day in a sweaty experience.
- There is no subway in Jakarta!