Travel advice for a hassle-free trip to Indonesia
Travelling to Indonesia is an exotic voyage that everyone should make once in their lifetime. To ensure your holiday goes well, we strongly recommend preparing in advance and not leaving too many things to chance. Bear in mind that Indonesia is made up of 17,000 islands and the culture, number of tourist attractions and visiting requirements can be very different for each. For starters, did you know that over 300 languages are spoken around the country? Some say that visiting Indonesia is like making a hundred trips in one because each island has its own unique characteristics.
This post shares our recommendations for a trip to Indonesia with essential advice on preparing for your journey and stay. Although it might seem completely safe, it’s worth taking a few precautions and discovering the customs of each place. We’ll also explain what documents you need, the easiest way to travel between the islands, where you should exchange currency, health care precautions and great hotels.
Once you’ve got all this in hand, all you’ll have to think about is having fun and enjoying your Indonesian adventure!
- Which is the best time of year to visit Indonesia?
- Is Indonesia safe to visit?
- What documents do you need to enter Indonesia?
- Exchanging currency
- How to travel around Indonesia
- Internet and communications
- Health care recommendations
- Where to stay in Indonesia
Which is the best time of year to visit Indonesia?
The best season to visit depends on where in Indonesia you’ll be going. If you’ve chosen Bali, the best months are from March to October, however, it’s extremely popular with tourists in summer so try to avoid the summer months if possible. If you’re visiting Jakarta, the best time of year is from April to November. There are always fewer people at the beginning or end of this period because it’s the rainy season, which also means prices for all services will be lower.
Is Indonesia safe to visit?
Indonesia is safe but in tourist areas you should watch out for thieves, just like anywhere else in the world. Keep your belongings close when you visit nightclubs, busy beaches or travel on public transport. It’s also a good idea to store passports and money in your hotel room safe. We recommend taking out travel insurance to cover petty theft and mishaps that can occur when doing sports like diving. Insurance isn’t expensive and helps to avoid major inconveniences. An important thing to remember is that gambling, drugs and pornography are illegal and that penalties can be extremely severe, even including the death penalty. Finally, watch out for some police officers… They have been known to accuse tourists falsely to be paid off with “tips” – but this obviously isn’t normal. If you run into any serious problems, contact your consulate or embassy.
What documents do you need to enter Indonesia?
EU citizens need a passport that is valid for a minimum of 6 months and has at least one blank page for each time you’ll enter the country (the visa fills a whole page). Stricter visa conditions were introduced following the pandemic and it became harder to get one; requirements change all the time, so we recommend visiting your country’s foreign office website or your nearest Indonesian consulate. Visas can be requested in advance and are valid for 60 days; they can also be obtained on arrival with a validity of 30 days (this duration cannot be extended). Please check this information before you travel because it frequently changes.
The official currency of Indonesia is the rupee and it comes in 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 rupee notes. It’s easy to exchange foreign money into rupees and vice versa, especially US dollars, euros, GB pounds and yen. However, the banknotes you plan to change should always be in perfect condition, and not even folded, as this will affect their value when they are exchanged. And remember – only change money in official places (that state they are official or licensed) to avoid scams.
Paying is also easy and you can use cards, mobile apps and NFC.
How to travel around Indonesia
You’ll use different types of transport to move around Indonesia depending on the islands that you’re planning to visit. Plenty of airlines fly nationally so check with a local travel agent because they are often reasonably priced. Another option is travelling by ferry from islands including Java, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi. There are regular services with short, set routes, and also larger boats with longer routes. If you’re interested in a day trip by boat, people often travel by motorboat, fishing boat etc. and owners offer their services at each port. Bus is the most common way to get around inland but for shorter journeys you could hire a motorbike or bicycle. Unfortunately, if you enjoy travelling by train, it’s only possible on the islands of Java and Sumatra.
Internet and communications
Most public spaces have a place where you can connect to the internet and it’s also possible in airports and hotels. If you’d like to have internet access on your own phone, you can buy a SIM card at the airport when you arrive; there are plenty of options and you’ll have your own local telephone number.
Health care recommendations
This is probably one of the most important aspects to organise before your trip. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, specific vaccines against the virus have been added to those that were previously needed. The exact requirements depend on where a traveller is arriving from and where they’ve been in recent months. For example, if you’ve been in Africa or South America, you may need to be vaccinated against yellow fever. Several other vaccines are also recommended, including tetanus, hepatitis B and typhus. If you’ll be visiting the jungle on your trip, you should also consider medication to prevent malaria. We also strongly recommend taking anti-mosquito spray and travel mosquito nets with you to avoid contracting this illness.
Where to stay in Indonesia
One of the most gorgeous places to stay in Indonesia is The Orient Jakarta, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, a five-star hotel in Jakarta. Set on one of the city’s main thoroughfares, the hotel is like an oriental dream brought to life. It has 153 rooms with panoramic views and unique decoration. Interior designer Bill Bensley has created a hotel where luxury and good taste work in harmony to create comfortable spaces with an air of the local culture. In addition to its stunning rooms, the hotel also has three restaurants (one specialising in Japanese cuisine), two swimming pools, a spa and fitness room. You’ll fall in love with The Orient Jakarta the moment you set eyes on it.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time of year to visit Indonesia?
The best time of year to visit Indonesia is during the dry season, from March/April to October/November. It also depends on which island you plan to visit; some can be visited all year round. Avoid July and August, which are the busiest months for tourists.
What is Indonesia’s official currency?
The rupee is Indonesia’s official currency and it comes in 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 rupee notes. You can exchange foreign currencies such as euros in Indonesia easily, although the US dollar is most widely accepted.
Is Indonesia safe to visit?
Yes, generally speaking, Indonesia is a safe country. Having said that, like all tourist destinations, it’s a good idea to take precautions to avoid theft in nightclubs, beaches and on public transport. Crimes such as drugs and pornography are severely punished, sometimes with life imprisonment.