Plan your own tour in Indonesia
Find all the answers to the most frequently asked questions about traveling to Indonesia and planning your own tour.
If you have a question that is not listed here, let us know and we will answer your question within a few days.
How do I visit the Borobudur at sunrise?
You can enjoy breakfast close to the Borobudur
It is currently not possible to climb Borobudur before sunrise. The earliest opportunity to climb Borobudur is at 8:30 in the morning.
It is possible to have breakfast on the nearby hill, Dagi Hill, before the sun rises. You will then see the sun rise around 6am. Here you can enjoy the view and the morning sounds from the surrounding villages. The view keeps changing due to the light of the rising sun.
After breakfast you will go to Borobudur for the first session.
Borobudur is an impressive temple full of stories and symbolism. The guide can give you more background information and answer all your questions. You visit Borobudur under the guidance of a guide who works for Borobudur.
Are ATM’s available in Indonesia?
How can I withdraw money on Java and Bali?
Yes, in most places you can find an ATM where you can easily withdraw cash money.
With one bank card you can withdraw money two or three times a day. Depending on the type of ATM the maximum is between 500,000 rupiah to 2,500,000 rupiah at a time (around 30 to 150 euros). Your bank will charge costs each time you withdraw money (around 2 or 3 euros). This depends on your bank’s policy.
To be able to withdraw money abroad you need a bank card with a Maestro, V PAY or Cirrus logo. To avoid fraud, most banks block their bank cards, so the cards cannot be used outside of the own region (like Europe). Make sure you change the area in which you can use your card to “worldwide” before departure. Often this can easily be arranged via internet banking.
To avoid problems, it is wise not to depend on one bank card only. Many guests also bring their credit card. You can also withdraw cash at an ATM with a credit card. However, the transaction costs are higher, around 4 euros at a time.
Bank and credit card costs
To send money or to withdraw money at an ATM in Indonesia, using the services from your own bank or creditcard company, will come with high transaction costs. Next to the transaction fee, your bank or credit card company will convert the money by adding a percentage to the exchange rate. So whether you withdraw money in cash or transfer the money to an Indonesian bank account, the costs are high.
If you like to save on the costs, you can consider to use a Wise.
Wise is an online platform for sending and receiving money internationally. It was created in 2011 in the UK.
It works completely different than ordinary banks. Wise has domestic bank accounts in many different countries of the world. Wise uses these domestic bank accounts for the payments, so you save on international fees.
Debit card as a credit card
The Wise debit card is available for residents of Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA and Brazil and can be used in many countries in the world, including Indonesia.
What is a Wise debit card?
A debit card means you have to put money on the card before you can use it (with the money on the card it works like a credit card but it is not a “credit” card on which you can loan money, so you are not charged interest). You can put the money in your own currency, but also in other currencies, like the rupiah.
Wise is member of the Mastercard network, so the Wise debit card is accepted where ever (shops, hotels, ATM’s) a Mastercard is accepted.
Check the websites of Maestro (for the Mastercard netwerk) for the available ATM’s.
Why a Wise debit card?
- Real-time exchange rate
Wise processes so much international payments that they can use real-time foreign exchange rates (the mid-rate) without adding a percentage, instead of your bank who distincts between buyer-exchange rate and the seller exchange rate.
- Low fees
The fees are very low compared to regular bank cards.
So if you you like to save money on the bank costs, use the Wise debit card. With Wise you get more rupiah for your euro.
Transfer money to your Wise account, change it into any currency you like, using a fair exchange rate, and spend it like a local.
How to get it?
First you register at Wise on your computer (later you can download the Wise app on your phone).
When register Wise will ask you to identify yourself, according to the international agreements to keep international banking safe. The verification procedure is easy and quick. When your account is verified you can apply for the debit card.
How to use it?
Do you like to pay for your dinner in a restaurant? you can use your Wise debit card like any Mastercard credit card, without the high costs.
Do you need to withdraw money at an ATM? Use your Wise debit card at an ATM where Mastercard is accepted and get your money for free (or for a resonable small fee).
When you are in transit in another country and like to buy some food or drinks, you can use your Wise debit card in the local currency.
What do other travellers say?
Wise has very good reviews on Trustpilot and is easy to use.
Wise Money Transfer
Often it is easier to transfer money than to withdraw the money at an ATM, because of the daily limit and transfer costs.
When you transfer from a regular bank you pay administration costs which can be as high as 20 euros, and the exchange rate is, not in your advantage (as a buyer) and often also the recipient has to pay a fee to receive the money.
Next to the high costs it can take a long time before the money arrives in the Indonesian bankaccount.
Also in this situation Wise offers a cheap and quick way to send your money to any bankaccount in Indonesia. If the recipient has a Wise account you can easily send the money from your bank account to the local bank account of Wise.
The difference with Wise? Wise charges you the real time exchange rate and charges only a small fee for adminstration cots, and the transfer often only takes a few hours.
If the recipient doesn’t have a Wise account you can send money to his or her local bank account in Indonesia. If you have their bank details, add them in, and Wise will send the money to that account. If you don’t have their bank details, just enter their email address. If they’re on Wise, Wise find the account they want to receive money into. If they’re not on Wise, Wise will send them an email asking for their bank details. As easy as it can get.
Which holidays are important to take into account?
You should certainly take some public holidays into account.
Indonesia consists of many different people with different beliefs. All the different backgrounds are taken into account and therefore Indonesia has many official holidays. Traveling on a public holiday can be difficult, but it can also be a special experience.
The most important fixed holidays are:
- On January 1, New Year’s Day
- On August 17, Independence Day
- on December 25, Christmas
There are also many public holidays that occur on a different date each year.
In 2024 these are:
- April 10 and 11 Idul Fitri; the celebration at the end of Ramadan
Almost everything is closed on Java. Everyone is free.
- On May 23, 2024 Hari Raya Waisak; the Buddhist new year.
The Borobudur is closed and the hotels at the Borobudur are quite full and expensive. There are, however, interesting festivities around the Borobudur temples.
It is also busy at the Bromo.
- On June 17th, 2024 Hari Raya Idul Adha; the Islamic sacrifice festival
The kraton is closed.
At the Bromo:
- On March 11nd, 2024, hari Nyepi;
The Bromo is closed.
- The Kasada Festival 6 and 7 July 2024
The local Tengger population sacrifices to the Bromo. This yearly event attracts many tourists.
- On March 10, 2024, New Year’s Eve in Bali: Ogoh-Ogoh
Parades and a lot of sound on the street (with traffic jams).
- On March 11nd, 2024, Hari Raya Nyepi; Day of silence and reflection.
Everyone has to stay inside (tourists as well) with the lights out, everything is closed, even the airport (except for medical emergencies).
- Galungan on February 28th and September 25th, 2024
Almost everything is closed.
- Kuningan on March 9th and October 5th, 2024
Almost everything is closed.
Hari Raya Idul Fitri 31 March and 1 April 2025
Hari Raya Waisak 12 May 2025
Hari Raya Idul Adha 7 June 2025
Hari Nyepi 29 March 2025
Kasada Festival July 2025
Galungan 23 April and 19 November 2025
Kuningan 9 May and 29 November 2025
Can I travel during Ramadan?
Yes traveling is possible, but on Java it is good to consider it, while planning
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. This means that they are not allowed to drink, eat or smoke. Most people on Java are Muslims and therefore fasting.
On Bali, most residents are Hindu. Because of this the Ramadan will not influence life on Bali.
Ramadan on Java
The Ramadan lasts approximately one month. Every year Ramadan starts on a different date, because the start is related to the position of the moon. Ramadan is the month of reflection, charity and tolerance. Fasting makes people more aware.
Some restaurants are closed during the day during Ramadan, other restaurants have covered their windows to prevent the people who fast from being confronted with people who are eating.
When you can be seen in public, also try to avoid smoking, eating and drinking yourself.
After sunset (around 18.00h) it gets lively on the streets, with many food stalls where people break the fast together.
Life is also a bit more sober. For example, there are no dance performances in the Kraton during Ramadan.
An advantage of traveling during Ramadan is that there is less local tourism and therefore tourist spots are not that busy and hotels can be cheaper.
When Ramadan is over, there will be a celebration for a number of days (Idul Fitri). Everyone will visit their family and from the big cities many people go to their native villages to be together as a family. You can compare this with celebrating Christmas in Europe.
Therefore at the end of Ramadan it is very busy on the roads. Trains and airplanes are fully booked. If you travel at the end of the Ramadan it is very important to make your reservations and bookings in time. Prices can be higher than normal. Because a lot of people take some days off, some tourist spots are closed around Idul Fitri.
The Ramadan will start and end:
- in 2024 from 10 March till 9 April
- in 2025 from 28 February till 30 March
Which rental car is suitable for you?
How to rent a rental car in Indonesia?
With your driver you travel in a safe, tidy car.
All cars are air-conditioned, have tinted windows and seat belts. If you are traveling with small children, child seats are available upon request.
Whether you are traveling alone, with your family or in a group (no matter how large) there is always a suitable car, van or bus available.
The cars that are most chosen are the Toyota Avanza, the Toyota Innova, the Elf Short, the Toyota Hiace and the Elf Long, but other cars are also available.
The Toyota Avanza can accommodate up to 2-3 passengers with luggage.
The Toyota Innova can accommodate up to 2-4 passengers, depending on the amount of luggage.
The Elf Short is ideal for families and can accommodate up to 6-8 passengers with luggage.
The Toyota Hiace is extra luxurious and suitable for up to 9 people with luggage.
The Elf Long can accommodate up to 12 people with luggage.
Can I take my medication with me to Indonesia?
Of course you can take your medication to Indonesia.
However, it is necessary to make arrangements in advance to prevent problems at customs.
- Make sure you have an European Medical Passport or a medical statement (in English) from your doctor before you leave. Your doctor can arrange this for you. In the Medical passport or statement your doctor will indicate which medication you are using.
- Take your medication (sufficient for your entire trip) with you, in the original packaging (with your name on it).
There are special rules for medicines which fall within the Drugs Act (such as certain sleeping medication, some heavy painkillers, for example, oxazepam or ritalin). You need a special (legalized) medical statement to be able to take this medication with you. If you live in the Netherlands, you can request this statement from the CAK.
Check the website of the nearest Indonesian embassy for the most recent regulations.
If you live in Australia, the embassy in Sydney can help you>>
Medication that contains cannabis is always prohibited in Indonesia, even with a doctor’s statement.
Make sure that you do not take more medication with you, than you need for your journey according to your doctor’s prescription.
Can I Whatsapp with my Indonesian SIM-card?
Yes, you can continue to use Whatsapp with an Indonesian SIM card.
WhatsApp gives you the option to continue using WhatsApp with your own number, even if you have an Indonesian SIM card in your phone. This way you remain easily (and cheaply) accessible to your family and friends.
You can have your SIM card replaced at a limited number of places in Indonesia. For example, you can have an Indonesian SIM card installed and registered at the airport after arrival. At the airport, your device can be unblocked for the Indonesian network. Your device must be SIMlock-free. It is difficult to find other places in Indonesia where they can help you to replace your SIM card. A few years ago this service was available in many places, but registration has become more and more difficult and the possibilities limited.
Therefore it is a good idea to start using an eSIM card. It is no longer necessary to use a plastic SIM card. Most phones are suitable for an eSIM card. You can easily download the eSIM card onto your device.
No more waiting in long lines, no risk of losing your own SIM card and no hassle with phones and covers that are damaged when opened. You can now download an eSIM card on your phone before departure. Upon arrival in Indonesia you can activate the e-Sim card (as with any other SIM card) and immediately use the mobile network.
Check whether your phone is suitable for an eSIM card>>>
Nomad is a reliable provider that uses reliable Indonesian networks. You can choose the package that best suits your plans on the Nomad website. You can easily install the eSIM card via the app or a QR code.
Nomad’s motto is: No contract, no hidden fees, no unexpected roaming charges
The eSIM-card only offers an internet bundle. You cannot call via the eSIM card, but you can of course use the internet to make a call (for example Whatsapp).
How about Corona in Indonesia? Can I go on holiday?
Corona in Indonesia
Just like in the rest of the world, Indonesia was also affected by the COVID 19 virus.
How about your vacation? Are there travel restrictions and corona measures you have to take into account?
Indonesia is open for tourists
Starting June 9th 2024 all corona travel restrictions are cancelled.
So you don’t need to prove you are vaccinated on arrival. Everybody is welcome again!
Do I need vaccinations for Indonesia?
Some vaccinations are recommended.
The advice whether vaccinations are recommended, varies from person to person. Approximately 4 months prior to departure, contact your own physisian or an agency specializing in travel vaccinations, so you can discuss your personal situation and choices.
Only if you are traveling from South America or Africa to Indonesia vaccinations might be required under certain circumstances.
Is WiFi available in Indonesia?
Yes, but the mobile network is often better and more secure.
WiFi is available in many hotels and restaurants, but the quality is not always that good.
The 3G and 4G network in Indonesia, on the other hand, is pretty good and often faster (and more secure) than the average WiFi connection.
Most phones are suitable for an eSIM card. With an eSIM you can use a reliable Indonesion network, without high costs and without changing your SIM-card. Just download an eSIM card and choose a package that fits your needs.
This way you can continue to use the internet cheaply and quickly as you are used to.
Nomad is a reliable provider which offers packages for many countries including Indonesia. You can easily install the eSIM card by using the app or a QR code.
Nomad’s motto is: No contract, no hidden fees, no unexpected roaming charges
The eSIM-card only offers an internet bundle. You cannot call with this eSIM card, but you can of course use the internet to make a call (for example Whatsapp).
What is the best way to visit the Bromo?
The Bromo can be reached in different ways:
The Bromo from Malang
The most beautiful way to visit the Bromo vulcano is the route from Malang. The travel time between Malang and Bromo is approximately 5 hours by car.
You can make the trip shorter by transferring to a jeep in Tumpang (to be rented separately; your own driver takes your luggage on the paved roads to the Bromo).
The trip by jeep is adventurous and you will experience the special Tengger landscape in all its aspects. You drive over a narrow ridge where the jeeps can hardly pass each other. If you wish, you can take a short walk to a waterfall, then drive through a misty forest and past the villages and fields of the Tengger people. Eventually you will arrive at the desert landscape of the Tengger in which the Bromo is situated.
When you arrive at the end of the day it is relatively quiet on the Bromo. A good time to climb the Bromo.
From Surabaya or Probolinggo
It is a 4-hour drive from Surabaya. It is approximately a 2-hour drive from Probolinggo. With your driver you drive to the Bromo volcano.
From Yogyakarta or Denpasar
It is approximately 11 hours by car from Yogyakarta. It is also about an 11-hour drive from Denpasar in Bali. Most people experience this long journey as very tiring and this can be difficult. So if possible, try to find more room in your travel schedule for a more relaxed visit.
You can spend the night in Cemoro Lawang, a village on the edge of the large old Tengger crater.
Early in the morning you drive in the dark with a jeep (to be rented separately) to a higher view point where you can see the sunrise behind the Bromo. Spectacular views, which almost nobody wants to miss.
It is cold at the Bromo, around 5 to 10 C degrees. So bring along warm clothing.
For a visit to the national park where the Bromo is located you pay an entrance fee (around 22 euros per person on weekends or public holidays and about 16 euros during the week). In addition, you also pay for renting the jeep (mandatory if you want to drive unto the Bromo.)
Please take notice
On some Hindu holidays the area around the Bromo is prohibited for motorized vehicles. It is still possible to visit the Bromo. The car can be parked at the entrance of the old Tengger caldera and you can admire the Bromo and the old Tengger crater peacefully on foot, by horse or by bike.
During the Hindu holiday hari Nyepi the Bromo is closed.
The Kasada festival takes place on different days every day. These days the local Tengger population offers sacrifices to the Bromo. An impressive event, witnessed by many visitors.
Do I need a visa?
Most tourist can travel on a visa-on-arrival
For tourists from most countries it is possible to get a visa on arrival (visitor visa). The visa costs 500,000 IDR.
The convenience of an online application
It is possible to arrange a visa online from 14 days to 48 hours before departure. This saves time on arrival. Another advantage is that the visa (which is issued for 30 days as standard) can also be extended online with another 30 days.
Want to save even more time? Fill out in the customs form online too. This saves you a lot of time at the border:
Check the latest information on the website of the Indonesian Embassy
Please note: your passport must be valid for at least 6 more months on the day you arrive in Indonesia!
How do I arrange my insurance when I organise my trip myself?
It is best to arrange a good travel and cancellation insurance
Many travel agencies also offer to arrange an insurance for you, but often this is more expensive than arranging an insurance yourself at an insurance company.
This insurance reimburses the extra costs if an unexpected event would occur. It is also possible, for example, to insure the additional costs that would arise if you needed medical assistance during your return trip. Your luggage is also insured. Consult with your insurance company which policy suits you.
This insurance will reimburse the costs you are faced with if you unexpectedly have to cancel your trip due to urgent circumstances. This insurance is often offered when you book your trip, but also this insurance is usually cheaper if arranged with your own insurance company.
If you organize your trip yourself, it is most practical to have one insurance policy covering all the reservations you make, instead of insuring each booking separately.
How to tip in Indonesia?
In Indonesia it is common to show your appreciation by giving a tip.
This is seen as a normal part of the reward system. It is useful to keep some small change for tipping (notes of 5,000 and 10,000 rupiahs) in your pocket.
Of course, giving a tip is never mandatory, but it is certainly appreciated.
The following amounts are general guidelines; your tip will of course mainly depend on your satisfaction:
- At the hotel your suitcase is often carried to your room for you. It is customary to tip around 5,000 to 10,000 rupiahs per suitcase.
- At the station 10,000 rupiahs per suitecase is normal.
- In restaurants, often the tip is already included in the price, or you automatically pay extra for tipping when paying. If the tip is not yet included in the bill, 10% is normal.
- For guides at sightseeings sites it is normal to give around 30,000 rupiah (or 100,000 rupiah for the entire day).
If you are unsure whether a tip is appropriate in a certain situation, you can always ask your driver for advice.
In Indonesia there is no social safety net. The moment someone cannot turn to family when ill or unemployed, there is no income. Many of these unfortunates take the opportunity to provide small services. Keep this in mind when you take a picture of someone, or if someone helps you cross the road, but never feel obliged to tip:
Most people in Indonesia are very friendly and are happy to help you, whether they receive a tip or not.
What is the best time to travel to Indonesia?
Every season has its pros and cons:
On Java and Bali the rainy season is between October and April. Most travelers choose to visit Java and Bali during the dry season. Also because of the summer vacation in Europe and North America.
On Bali it is also busy in December and January. At this time Australia have their summer holidays and also tourists from Europe and North America are escaping the cold North.
The advantage of a holiday during the low season (rainy season) is:
- the prices of, for example, airline tickets and hotels are lower,
- it is more quiet at tourist spots,
- nature is greener and more beautiful.
In the rainy season it does not always rain. Often it rains only briefly (but intense) every day.
Java and Bali can also easily be visited during the rainy season.
What are the best tips for a perfect holiday in Indonesia?
Create beautiful memories!
In addition to all practical and organizational tips, this is actually the only tip that is really important.
- Meet the locals,
- Take your time and not only enjoy all the planned activities but also be open to unplanned meetings and live the moment,
- Think in advance what you really like, what are your interested in, what is on your bucket list?
With your own driver there are so many options, use these possibilities!