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Indonesia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Indonesia in 2022

Indonesia Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Indonesia in 2022

Welcome to Indonesia

Indonesia is a country full of magical corners that will steal your heart. With more than 17,000 islands, there is something for everyone. From pristine beaches to amazing culinary traditions and a rich culture.

In this ultimate Indonesia travel guide, we will tell you what to consider when planning your vacation in this exotic wonder of Southeast Asia, such as the best time to go, currency info, and if you need a visa. Let's start our adventure in this incredible country!

Document checklist for Indonesia

  • Visa

  • Health declaration

  • Valid passport

  • Sufficient funds

  • Return airline ticket

Essential Indonesia travel information

  • Currency - Indonesian rupiah (Rp). $1 is equivalent to approx. Rp 15760.50.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - Allow a daily budget per person of Rp 736,906 ($47).

  • Languages - The official language is Bahasa Indonesian, but a good level of English is widely spoken in major tourist hubs, such as Bali.

  • Socket type - For Indonesia, there are two associated plug types, C and F. Indonesia operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Time zone - Western Indonesia Time in Jakarta (GMT+7), Eastern Indonesia Time Jayapura (GMT+9), and Central Indonesia Time in Bali (GMT+8).

  • Top 3 cities to visit - Jakarta, Kuta, and Yogyakarta.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Prambanan, Ubud Monkey Forest, and Borobudur.

Visa information for Indonesia

According to your nationality, you may need an Indonesia Visa B211A, so we invite you to use our [Visa Checker Tool] (/) to check which documentation you need for your trip.

It is also essential that travelers have filled out the Indonesia Electronic Customs Declaration, before arriving in Indonesia. This is mandatory for the authorities.

The Indonesia Electronic Customs Declaration explained

This tourist visa is ideal for any foreigner visiting the country for tourism or business during COVID-19. This is not a multiple-visit visa and is only valid for a single entry to Indonesia.

This visa, which is available online, has two purposes: tourism and attending business meetings, seminars, and exhibitions, and monitoring investment projects.

The Indonesia Electronic Customs Declaration explained

Each traveler must fill out a declaration for the customs department of Indonesia, and state what type of goods and cash they are bringing into the country. To ease the immigration process, this can now be filled out online before departure.

Typical costs and budget for Indonesia

Some of the costs and expenses to keep in mind for a trip to Indonesia.

Daily spending per person - Allow a daily budget of Rp 736,906 ($47).

  • Meals - The total costs for meals are as low as Rp 192,873 ($12) for one day per person.

  • Transport - Local transportation will set you back about Rp 94,778 ($6) per day.

  • Hotel - On average, a night at a hotel costs about Rp 392,080 ($24) depending on your standard.

Indonesia is a very affordable country to visit for many tourists, and you can have a fantastic vacation if your budget is in the mid-range. Luxury villas are also affordable when shared with a group of people.

Transport and best ways to travel around Indonesia

Although Indonesia can be intimidating because of its impenetrable jungles, mountainous terrain, and scattered islands with its vast seas, there is no need to worry. There is a great network of private and public means of getting from A to B, such as buses, trains, ferries, and domestic flights.

  • Bus and mini buses - One of the cheapest ways to travel in Indonesia, but may not be the most comfortable. Buy your travel tickets in advance from stations. Bus routes can offer short or long distances, so you can be sure to find routes that take you to the most popular tourist spots.

Mini buses are known as "Angkots" and have fixed routes. When traveling with these, keep in mind to check with the driver if your destination is on the way.

  • Trains - Trains are the most comfortable and reliable way to travel in Java, where most railways are located. In addition to being comfortable, you can enjoy the landscapes of mountains, rice paddies, and volcanoes along the way.

Train tickets can be booked up a month in advance on the Kai website, the Indonesia operator of the public railways.

  • Ferries - Public and private ferries can be used between neighboring islands, such as Sumatra, Java, Lombok, Bali, the Gili islands, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Penida. Ferry companies differ greatly in comfort and price, always check reviews.

Most ferry companies offer tickets in advance which you can pay for on the day of departure in the harbor, and include luggage.

  • Domestic flights - Flying is a wise option to travel between islands that do not have a direct ferry connection. It is possible to find reasonable prices on standard airlines. You can find flights from $35 from Jakarta to Bali with Air Asia or Lion Air.

Safety in Indonesia

In general, Indonesia is a safe country to travel to. However, always stay updated on local news, as natural hazards can occur. Crime may consist of petty theft, pickpocketing, or common scams. Keep in mind the following tips:

  • Don’t show off your valuable belongings, and keep small items in a locked bag. Pickpocketing is common in crowded places like bus and train stations. Never leave your luggage unattended.

  • Indonesia is a populous Muslim country, so it is important to be mindful about local customs. Bali is Hindu, with their own traditions and customs, and while it’s a popular beach destination, respect the local culture wherever you go.

  • A local guide can be helpful to see more off the beaten path locations, as sometimes tourists may be scammed for bribes to enter tourist sites.

  • Drugs and cannabis are illegal in Indonesia, and buying or possessing drugs is even punishable by death. Do not seek for or buy drugs, even in the most touristy spots.

Weather in Indonesia

Weather in Indonesia can be split into two seasons, the wet season and the dry season. It offers mostly warm tropical temperatures averaging 28 °C/82 °F during the day throughout the year. In most regions, the dry season spans from May to September, with the rainy season between October and April.

Popular cities and towns in Indonesia

Most travelers love these top 5 cities:

  • Jakarta - The capital of Indonesia, and a dynamic metropolis full of life. You will find good restaurants and cafés and a vibrant nightlife.

  • Kuta - A trendy place on Bali island among tourists for its party atmosphere and nightlife. You can also surf and walk on the soft and golden beach with a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean.

  • Yogyakarta - Located in Central Java and famous for the most important cultural, intellectual, and literary centers in Indonesia. It is also called the heart of history. Here you can find the world's largest number of Hindu temples, like the Prambanan temple.

  • Bandung - The third-largest city in the country offers traditional local markets to learn more about Indonesian culture. In the city's surroundings, you can see volcanoes, relax in hot springs, or take a tour of the tea plantations.

  • Ubud - It is said that Ubud is the spiritual center of Bali. Known for its temples and artistic heritage, the village has in recent years become an international hub for expats, yogis, and digital nomads.

Must do and see in Indonesia

What to see when visiting Indonesia? Here is our top 5.

  • Prambanan - A complex of multiple 9th-century Hindu temples in Central Java, which originally had 240 temples. The temple's restoration began in 1930 and continues to this day. The shrines are decorated with elaborate carvings, and is the largest complex to worship Shiva in Indonesia.
  • Ubud Monkey Forest- This nature reserve and 14th-century temple complex is home to over 600 wild Balinese macaques. The cheeky animals run, jump, climb, relax, and eat here, and it’s a popular tourist attraction. No feeding allowed, and keep your shiny objects in a locked bag.

  • Borobudur - This striking Buddhist monument was built on top of a hill in Java between 778 and 850 AD. It is the largest Buddhist temple in the world with 504 statues of Buddha.

  • Gili islands - Visit the Gili islands, a group of small islands, about an 1.5 hours by ferry from Bali or a jump from Lombok. Gili Trawangan is the largest of the 3 Gili islands and the most popular for swimming with sea turtles, relaxing on the beach, watching a romantic sunset, and more.

  • Komodo islands - Beyond fiction and fairy tales exists the island of Komodo, where you can find the "Komodo Dragon", one of the largest lizard species in the world. Discover these magnificent animals and enjoy hiking, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Typical Indonesian food to try

A good way to understand Indonesian culture is to learn about its dishes and gastronomic flavors. Here’s a list of the most popular food to try when visiting Indonesia.

  • Indonesian Satay - These juicy meat skewers are usually cooked over coals, and served with rice cakes (ketupat) and peanut sauce. It is a national dish and a popular street food all over the country.

  • Nasi Goreng - This is Indonesia's version of fried rice, and gets its sweet-savory flavors from kecap manis and a hefty dose of umami from shrimp paste. A fried egg is usually served on top.

  • Soto - The Indonesian equivalent of chicken soup, soto ayam (chicken soto), can be found in many bars, warungs, and street corners all throughout the country. It’s considered a comfort food, and bursts with flavor from the broth, meat, and vegetables.

Vaccine information for Indonesia.

Visitors wishing to enter Indonesia are usually recommended to get vaccinated for diseases such as the measles, polio, influenza, diphtheria, and tetanus. Contact your local GP and check the website of the CDC to find out more.

Additionally, in order to enter Indonesia, travelers aged 18 and older need to present a COVID-19 vaccine passport or a vaccination certificate. Accepted vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Sinopharm.

Travelers are considered vaccinated if all doses of a vaccine against SARS-Cov-2 have been administered for at least two weeks before traveling.

Walk with dragons in Komodo National Park

The Unesco-protected Komodo National Park is the habitat of Indonesia's apex super-predators, the Komodo Dragon. As one of the most exciting predator territories on the planet, Rinca Island (just east of Komodo) is home to many particularly aggressive dragons.

The Komodo Dragon is a dangerous animal and you can only visit this island and walk on the trails with a guide. Combining dragons and orangutans in a single tour will allow you to see two of the world's most diverse wildlife zones (only the Amazon is more diverse than Indonesia).

Fun facts about Indonesia

Here are some fun facts about Indonesia to know before you head off.

  • Indonesia is the world's leading exporter of frog legs, with many European countries like France, Netherlands, and Belgium being the major importers.

  • Indonesia is home to the largest flower in the world. Due to its foul odor upon blooming, the Rafflessia Arnoldia, is also known as the “corpse lily”. These unique flowers mostly grow in Indonesia's rainforests.

  • Indonesia’s inhabitants together speak more than 700 languages and dialects. Even though Bahasa Indonesian is the official language, the province of Papua only has more than 270 dialects.

  • Indonesia is the only place in the world where Komodo dragons can be found. These species of the world's most giant lizard can grow to 10 feet (3.05 meter) long. They only exist on 5 islands of Indonesia: Padar, Gili, Montang, Flores, Rinca, and Komodo Island.

  • Indonesia has a very similar flag to Monaco. So don't get confused! Both flags are red at the top and white at the bottom, the only difference being that the Indonesian flag uses a different shade of red.

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