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Is Jakarta Safe for Expats? How is the Law Enforcement?

by Tanti Karina
Is Jakarta Safe for Expats? How is the Law Enforcement

If you an expat and would like to stay in Indonesia specifically Jakarta, you may wonder about its safety. It is a normal thing. Since you are far from home and will stay in relatively long time, you should consider how safe a place can be and make a prevention to adjust that.

Jakarta is a capital city of Indonesia, which means it is the central for government, and business. For you who have not been into this city before, you might be heard that Jakarta is cruel and unsafe. In fact, Jakarta is not as dangerous as people might think, and here are some useful tips to understand this city.

Jakarta is a metropolitan city where people come from smaller provinces to make a living. Being a capital city since 1945, it is often called as “city of dream” since it has promisable future and attract people from small cities to get a chance and pursue their goals. Unfortunately, not all of them succeeded. Lack of skilled made lack of opportunity, and it change them into marginal community and some of them even become a criminal. Besides, different cultures may cause an ethnic violence, but it is rarely happened nowadays.

If you are a traveler or expat and about to stay in Jakarta, there are some things to consider about Jakarta.

Public transportation

Jakarta is really crowded and you may be surprised with its traffic jam. For alternative, the government has been developing new transportation mode called MRT, so you can use it as you go around this city. As another option, you can use public taxis such as Blue bird. Most Indonesian drivers are nice are ready to help even they rarely can speak English.

Safety tip when taking MRT/busway: Pay attention on your valuables.  Place your belongings in front of you and keep  them close with you. Do not put your wallet in your back pocket, and prepare cash only as much as needed.

When in the airport, there will be people persuade you rides when you reach exit area. You can kindly ignore and take the Blue bird taxi which a way safer.

Another option beside taxi is airport bus called Damri. Taking you in many destinations. they are affordable (about $4 )and offer convenient seats. Here’s more about What Are The Best and Worst Things About Public Transit in Jakarta and How Could It Be Improved

Food and drink

Indonesian cuisine is one of the delicious food in the world. Mention kari, rendang, soto, gudeg, satay, gado-gado, are the popular ones, including Jakarta. Since Jakarta has become destination for many people from other cities in Indonesia, it offers you culinary experience you must try. But, there are some thing you must take caution when you buy food and drink in Jakarta. Here’s more about Cheap Street Food Jakarta in Sabang Street : What’s Tasty and Affordable 

It is preferable to buy mineral or bottled water while you outside, because the tap water is not really safe to drink directly. For your information, you can try some street foods, for they are delicious but consider to buy them in hygienic places without explosion of dust.

Traffic jam

Jakarta is a an urban city with chaotic traffic jam. In hectic hours, the road will be overcrowded by motorbikes, and most of them have lack of  of safety riding awareness. It may be a cause the high rate of accident number in Indonesia.

The police have been socializing about riding safety to the public, but it takes time to the people to practice it in life. So, if you are new in Jakarta and still unfamiliar with surrounding,  consider take a public transport or hire a private driver for safer journey if you want to stay longer. Here’s more about How to Get to Monas in Jakarta Pusat by Bus or Train : Simple Ways to Go


As urban and metropolitan, crime rate in Jakarta is relatively high compared tto another small cities. As mentioned before, in urban city like Jakarta the most common crime is pickpocket . To avoid this, traveler can wear secure bag with many hidden compartments inside that can keep your valuables safe.

Another crime is home-break-ins, so if you are living in remote area, it is better to add some secure system in your house or hire private security guard. Here’s more about Is It Safe to Walk Around Jakarta at Night Alone? Things You Should Know

Credit card fraud also seems to be a common crime, though security system has been developing by most of banks. You should pay attention of your account activity and make a report immediately if you found suspicious activity. 


Terrorism is a kind of crime that scared so many people, not only in Indonesia but in around the world. From Bali Bomb and another attacks commited by group of terrorists, make Indonesia government take seriously against this crime. Some attacks were unpredictable and took places in the center of many tourists stay in, including shopping mall, night club, and hotels. So it is safer to stay attentive and register yourself to your Embassy.

While it has many things to be aware, Jakarta has its persona since it is an old city and has many historical buildings to visit, such as Monas and Kota Tua.

Here some to explore 

Last, if you wonder is Jakarta Safe for Expats? The answer is Yes! You just need some preventive things to do and you can enjoy whatever business you do in this awesome city! Here’s more about Underrated Places in Jakarta

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