Bali is the most famous tourist destination in Indonesia but there is much more to the country than just this incredible island.
Lombok is a wonderful throwback to the paradise that was Bali before mass tourism and is worth visiting either as the primary destination or as an add on to Bali.
Bali, known as the Land of the Gods, Bali offers exciting nightlife, wonderous beaches, temples and much more.
Lombok is the quieter neighbour to Bali but offers incredible beaches, excellent scuba diving and majestic mountains to explore.
Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and is home to more than 10 million people making this a busy, exciting city.
Bandung is the popular choice for Jakarta residents for weekends and holidays due to being just 2.5 hours drive away.
Yogyakarta is known as the Cradle of Civilisation on Java and has magnificent temples dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries at Borobudur and Pramnaban.
When to Visit
The climate of Indonesia is almost entirely tropical. The uniformly warm waters that make up 81% of Indonesia’s area ensures that temperatures on land remain fairly constant, with the coastal plains averaging 28 °C, the inland and mountain areas averaging 26 °C, and the higher mountain regions, 23 °C. Temperature varies little from season to season, and Indonesia experiences relatively little change in the length of daylight hours from one season to the next.
The main variable of Indonesia’s climate is not temperature but rainfall. The area’s relative humidity ranges between 70% and 90%. Although air temperature changes little from season to season or from one region to the next, cooler temperatures prevail at higher elevations. In general, temperatures drop approximately 1°C per 90-meter increase in elevation from sea level with some high-altitude interior mountain regions experiencing night frosts.
Indonesia does not have spring, summer, autumn, or winter, instead of just the two seasons of Rainy and Dry, both of which are relative. While there is significant regional variation, in most of the country (including Java and Bali) the dry season is April to October, while the wet season is November to March. However, global warming has made the seasons less predictable.
How to Get to Indonesia
Most visitors will arrive at either Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang (on the outskirts of Jakarta) or Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.
Most international travellers from outside of Asia and Australia will need to transit through an Asian hub although there are a few direct flights from Europe to Jakarta.
Overland border crossings are possible from Malaysia and there are regular buses between Kuching (Sarawak, eastern Malaysia) and Pontianak (West Kalimantan).
Language and Currency
Bahasa Indonesia is the national and official language of Indonesia and is used in the entire country. Most Indonesians also have their own ethnic language and dialect, with the most widely spoken being Javanese and Sundanese although some ethnic Chinese communities continue to speak various Chinese dialects, most notably Hokkien in Medan and Teochew in Pontianak.
English is not widely spoken, however, an acceptable level of English can be understood in a number of major cities and tourist destinations including Bali, Batam, Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, and Yogyakarta. Most hotel and airline staff can also communicate in English on a basic to moderate level.
The official currency of Indonesia is Rupiah which is Issued and controlled by the Bank of Indonesia. The currency code for Rupiahs is IDR, and the currency symbol is Rp. By law, all transactions are required to be conducted in rupiah, and information on the daily exchange rate can be found in newspapers or from the internet and online apps. Indonesian banknotes come in denominations of IDR1000, IDR2000, IDR5000, IDR10000, IDR20000, IDR50000, and IDR100000. Coins in circulation include IDR1000, IDR500, IDR200, IDR100, and IDR50.
Most international credit card networks are acceptable in Indonesia’s major cities and tourist hotspots like Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Surabaya, Medan, Yogyakarta, etc. We advise you to check in advance that your card is accepted.
You can exchange foreign currency in major cities throughout Indonesia at banks and money changers. Most tourists’ resorts have money changer facilities; however, if you are traveling to more remote areas it is advisable to exchange your money beforehand. ATM’s are widely available but it is advised to utilise those in major areas.
Visa and Passports
Please note that this guidance is not currently valid due to COVID-19 restrictions. Indonesia has currently closed its borders to foreign travel.
Indonesia offers visa-free entry to passport holders from 169 countries and visa on arrival for residents of 68 countries. More information is available here (external site).
Health and Vaccinations
Unless you are arriving from a Yellow Fever zone there are no compulsory vaccinations to enter Malaysia.
Travelers should ensure that they are up to date with routine vaccinations.
We recommend checking the latest information available for your country at least two months prior to departure.
Additional care should be taken if you have underlying health conditions or are planning on undertaking a number of higher risk activities, for example getting a tattoo, unprotected sexual intercourse with a new partner etc.
We recommend only drinking sealed bottled water and not tap water.
Food and Drink
Food in Indonesia will vary considerably depending on the region that you are visiting and cultural influences of that area.
Western and international food is widely available in most tourist centres although may be more difficult to find in more remote areas or those with less western tourists.
The standard voltage throughout Indonesia is normally 230 V. If you’re from the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia or Africa, most of your phones, laptops and other gadgets could be charged like normal. However, if you come from countries like the United States, Canada, and most South American countries, the range of voltage differs here in Indonesia and you advised to use a voltage converter.
Most power plugs and sockets in Indonesia are type C and F. This plug is the 2 pin socket and plug design which is the standard European plug. If you’re coming from a country that does not use this type of sockets, you should buy an adapter.
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