A hostel, or small hotel, can be a good choice for a place to stay if you are looking for a melting-pot experience in your travels.
Usually located in the happening areas of a destination, hostels provide few barriers between you and the local culture, as opposed to more spacious and private luxurious hotels.
Aside from being a great place to mix with the city and fellow travelers, another obvious reason for choosing a hostel is the affordable range of prices that suit budget backpackers.
However, being small and cheap does not mean that hostels can't offer great comfort. Modern day traveling sees plenty of hostels display themselves as miniature boutique hotels and even offer a complimentary Wi-Fi service.
Here are five of our recommended picks for the best hostels in the capital city.
Having finished a full-scale renovation last year, Teduh Hostel has reopened with a more modern look and design.
Located close to the cultural Jakarta Kota Tua (Old Town) complex, its contemporary design is quite a contrast compared to the classic colonial ambiance in Kota Tua.
Teduh Hostel provides minimalistic pods with only a bed, a lamp and an electric plug; queen-size pods are also available to house two people. The bathroom is shared and a hot shower is available.
Their beds cost as little as US$10 (S$14) per night.
Its location on Jl. Fatmawati puts Kamar-Kamar close to many of South Jakarta's happening scenes, like Blok M and Kemang.
The name Kamar-Kamar translates as rooms; as such, it is possible for you to book a room just for your own occupancy, although most of the layout consists of several bunk beds in a room - you can just rent a bed if you wish to.
The Hippo Homestay would be a perfect choice if you are looking to roam the northern part of Jakarta thanks to its location in the Pluit area.
It also serves as a great base if you want to explore the Thousand Islands as it is also close to the harbour.
If you would rather have hotel-like facilities, Hippo Homestay has some rooms with queen-sized beds and a private bathroom.
The Packer Lodge
In terms of variety, The Packer Lodge offers plenty of room options to suit your need; there are single and double rooms for those who want more privacy, twin rooms with bunk beds, or dorm rooms where you sleep in a pod and share the space with other people.
Its strategic location allows guests easy access to tourist sites like Kota Tua, Candranaya (Chinese heritage building), the Archive Building (De Klerk's former home), Jin De Yuan (1620 Chinese temple), Petak Sembilan Traditional Market, Zion Church (1695, the oldest serving church to date), the old financial district in Kali Besar and the Bank Indonesia Museum -- all within walking distance with the farthest only 20 minutes away.
Capsule Hotel Old Batavia
As with our previous entries on this list, Capsule Hotel Old Batavia also follows the trend of minimalistic pod rooms that started in Japan.
The hotel is located close to Cikini train station, making it easy for guests to travel around using the commuter line.
The nearest places you can reach on foot would be the parks in Menteng area and Taman Ismail Marzuki (an art centre, cinema and planetarium).