Top 11 Places to Visit in Indonesia for A Memorable Holiday Affair

Offering an assortment of adventures, cultures, customs, sights, foods, and activities, there are many places to visit in Indonesia for a fun-filled holiday.

Comprising thousands of pristine volcanic islands, the Southeast Asian nation of Indonesia is extremely popular for its stunning beaches, thick jungles, fiery volcanoes as well as its 100’s of ethnic groups speaking their native languages.

The dramatic landscape of Indonesia is another charmer. The ever-exciting and ever-vibrant land of Indonesia is one of the world’s most interesting holiday destinations. Read on to know the top Indonesian places to visit and add them to your itinerary for the next holiday.

11 Top-rated Tourist Attractions in Indonesia

Surabaya

A vibrant port city and the capital city of the island of East Java, Surabaya is juxtaposed with modernity and old colonial charm. Dotted with contemporary high-rise buildings with canals on one hand and Dutch structures on the other, it is termed as the ‘City of Heroes’ (Kota Pahlawan). It is the second-largest city in Indonesia and has a rich history because of being the birthplace of the independence movement of Indonesia.

Surabaya has attractive archeological sites at short distances and lip-smacking ethnic food. For the tourists, the city has zoological gardens and the very immaculate Sampoerna Museum.

One can also explore the island of Madura to experience the excitement of a local bull race. It is the best base for exploring the main attractions of East Java including the very popular Mt Bromo, the blessed natural scenery of Ijen Plateau, and breezy mountain resorts of Malang.

Best time to visit: May – September

How to reach Surabaya: Take a flight to Soekarno Hatta from Chennai, Kolkata, or Delhi. You can also get flights to Surabaya from Jakarta. Taxis can be hired from around Surabaya or you can catch trains from Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, and Yogyakarta.

Daily ferries from Surabayaês Tanjung Perak to different places around Indonesia. Becak (bicycle driven cart), buses, and taxis are also available for local tours in Surabaya.

Travel Tips: If you want to save 25%-40% overall on your trip costs to Surabaya, travel during shoulder season.

Sabang

Comprising the main Weh Island and a number of smaller islands, Sabang is placed right off the northern tip of Sumatra. Just 14 km northwest of Sumatra, it is the largest city on the stunning volcanic Pulau Weh Island.

Sabang is enveloped by unspoiled coral reefs that offer wonderful opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving. One of the best experiences here is visiting the splendid Sumur Tiga beach, which is just 5 km eastwards of the town.

The less crowded and laid-back Rubiah Island is another attraction that must be explored. Here you can witness the exotic underwater marine life. Sabang also has an amalgam of old colonial villas and traditional fishing hamlets that have a calming feel. This is an ideal place to simply relax and rejuvenate.

Best time to visit: December – late-March

How to reach Sabang: Fly to Andaman and Nicobar Islands from any major city in India and then take a ferry to Sabang.

Travel Tips: It is among the best places to visit in Indonesia for couples as it offers peace, privacy, and thrilling water activities.

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Lembar

Located on Lombok Island, 64 km eastwards of Bali, Lembar is a sprawling port and capital city with a number of delights including some gorgeous beaches.

From the Lembar harbor, you can visit the peaceful temples and well-maintained gardens of Mataram. Do not miss a ride in Bemo, a colorful local bus here. Azure inlets encircled by lush hills are a beautiful sight. The other places worth visiting are Kuta and Gili Islands.

Some of the places worth visiting in Lembar are the well-stocked West Nusa Tenggara State Museum, the well-maintained Narmada Park, and an eighteenth-century Pura Lingsar Temple.

Best time to visit: August

How to reach Lembar: You can take a ferry from Bali to reach Lembar Island.

Travel Tips: Regular shuttles are available to the beaches of Senggigi along with affordable taxis to visit temples and gardens.

Komodo Island

Home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the Komodo National Park, the tiny Komodo Island is home to the frightening monitor (large) lizards. White sand beaches, emerald grass, and steep hillsides form a wonderful sight.

Komodo has a beach that has pink-colored sand, which is one of the main attractions here. Surrender to the tropical lethargy of Komodo and treat yourself to pleasant surroundings. Indulge in treks and guided walks on the east coast.

There are eco-friendly budget resorts in Pulau Komodo. The island is also known for its diving and snorkeling opportunities for exploring the extensive colorful coral reefs. A wildlife safari at the Komodo National Park is a must.

Along with the decent popularity of the dragons, it has several other animals and over 150 species of birds. Sea turtles, manta rays, whales, and dugongs are the other highlights. The national park also has some wildlife resorts.

Best time to visit: April – December

How to reach Komodo Island: Travel to Bali first and then to Labuan Bajo by plane or boat. Get to Komodo Island by boat. Local airlines also fly from Bali to Labuan Baji in Flores Island.

Travel Tips: Besides spotting endangered Komodo dragons, indulge in kayaking, trekking, diving, and guided tours on the island.

Jakarta

The sprawling capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta astounds you with a lot of things going on at once. While on one hand are modern restaurants, clubs, and malls, on the other hand, the city also conserves its history through its historic town Kota and well-kept museums. The many faces of Jakarta do not fail to surprise you. The place is also known for its friendly citizens.

Jakarta has several tiny islands, called the Pulau Seribu or the Thousand Islands, a famed tourist retreat offering memorable snorkeling and swimming experiences. Towards its south is the imposing volcanoes of Pangrango and Gede, along with relaxed retreats such as Puncak, Bandung, Sukabumi, and Bogor.

One of the chief megalopolises in the world, Jakarta has to offer several experiences. From the aromatic streets of Chinatown to the ill-famous nightlife of northern Jakarta, there is much to explore. Jakarta has historical museums, amusement parks, zoos, religious sites, and much more.

Best time to visit: June – September

How to reach Jakarta: You can get flights from Delhi and other cities to Jakarta. The road and train network in the city is also quite nice and is well-connected with highways and train routes.

Travel Tips: Do not use tap water for drinking and also, leave tips after eating at a restaurant.

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Belawan

The busiest port of Indonesia outside Java, Belawan is the world’s fourth-biggest island, which is located on the island of Sumatra.

In the port of Belawan, Medan city is a must-visit for its remarkable Chinese and Dutch architectures belonging to the colonial era. Here one can also shop for handicrafts, carved figures, antiques, textiles, and basketry.

The city is also the entry to the largest volcanic lake in the world – Lake Toba, and a flourishing Orangutan Sanctuary. Belawan waterfall is a delightful attraction here. Another popular thing to do here is enjoying a cruise to and from Belawan, relishing the sumptuous local cuisine, and visiting the museums and a zoo.

Best time to visit: Late-December – early-March

How to reach Belawan: Take a flight to Jakarta from India and from there, hire a bus, txi, plane, or ferry to reach Belawan.

Travel Tips: It is best to spend at least 2 days in Belawan to enjoy sightseeing and other fun activities.

Bali

This pretty Indonesian island is famed for a lot of things such as traditional terraced rice paddies, stunning coral reefs, tranquil beaches, and forest-enveloped volcanic mountains.

It is dotted with a number of sacred sites including the Uluwatu temple, placed on a cliffside. On one hand, there are fabulous resort towns such as Nusa Dua, Seminyak, and Sanuk, on the other, there is the beach city of Kuta, filled with lively bars.

The serene surroundings of Bali are ideal for indulging in some fruitful yoga and meditation sessions. The island also owns popular resorts, golfing and surfing opportunities, and world-renowned dive sites.

The people of Bali are known to follow Balinese tradition very strongly and this sets them apart. They have their own dances, crafts, temples, and rituals, showcasing a strong culture.

Adventures like horse riding, nature walks, white water rafting, bungy jumping, surfing, and diving wait for you. Nightlife in Bali is a must.

Get your hands on some amazing stuff like wood carvings, embroidered cotton, silk fabrics, fabrics with gold and silver thread work, special tortoise shells in silver, gold, and other metals.

Best time to visit: April – October

How to reach Bali: Denpasar Airport of Bali is well-connected with major cities in India and offers regular flights.

Travel Tips: Make sure to carry a first aid kit with you. Bargain for everything while on a shopping tour. Also, do not forget to indulge in exhilarating activities.

Choose from our Best Bali Tour Packages from DelhiMumbaiKolkataChennai and Ahmedabad

Java

Located between Bali and Sumatra, the volcano-decorated island of Java has been blessed with several wonderful archaeological sites, stunning scenic beauty, several megacities, deep traditions in art and craft, and performing arts.

The unspoiled beaches, smoky volcanoes, savannah grasslands, and dense forests are all charmers making it one of the top places to visit in Indonesia.

The island is a labyrinth of magical cities like Jakarta with its enslaving chaos, Solo with its batik lanes, Prambanan with huge Hindu temples, and Yogyakarta with its serene soul.

The island is blessed with natural wonders. Probably the most populated island on earth, Java offers a sneak-peek into the complex culture of Indonesia.

This place has various attractions including the old town of Kota Tua with Dutch colonial structures and an extensive National Museum along with high-end nightclubs, malls, and hotels. The region’s exotic wildlife has been preserved at Gunung Halimun National Park, Gede-Pangrango National Park, and Pulau Dua Nature Reserve.

Best time to visit: April – October

How to reach Java: Board a flight to Soekarno–Hatta International Airport (CJK), also known as Jakarta Airport, on the island of Java.

Travel Tips: Indulge in island-hopping, snorkeling, and beach relaxation

Sumatra

The huge island of Sumatra is known for its exotic wildlife, craggy tropical terrain, and blazing volcanoes. The adventurous streak of Sumatra works for it and calls several tourists from all around.

The sweltering volcanoes stand like sentinels above the lakes, laid on the craters’ borders. The dense jungle is filled with orangutans, rhinos, elephants, and tigers.

One of Indonesia’s largest islands, Sumatra has peaceful desolated beaches that are slowly becoming popular surfing spots. White water rafting, jungle trekking, volcano climbing, scuba diving at Pulau Weh, surfing at the wild Mentawai islands, and kite surfing are some of the popular adventure activities in Sumatra. This is a land of mixed cultures with being home to Hindus, Muslims, and Christians.

Bukit Lawang’s Orangutan sanctuary, relaxed shores of Lake Toba, Tangkahan, dolphins of Kiluan, Pulah Weh, Bukittinggi, Lake Maninjau, Berastagi, Medan, Padang, Batam, Pekanbaru and Banda Aceh are some of the popular attractions of Sumatra that must be explored. Do not miss relishing the spicy delicacies of the Padang cuisines.

Best time to visit: May – June, September – October

How to reach Sumatra: Kuala Namu International Airport (KNO) is the main airport, however, you have to fly to Jakarta first to reach Sumatra. There is also a ferry that runs from Java to Sumatra. Buses are available too.

Travel Tips: The climate of this gets colder, especially around Lake Toba. Make sure to carry woolen clothing.

Kalimantan

Pierced by the equator, the sunbaked tropical and considered one of the best places to visit in Indonesia; Kalimantan forests that are home to some of the most popular spices, are a delight for nature lovers and animals enthusiasts.

While gibbons and orangutans map the canopies, the prehistoric hornbill scales the sky above. The natives are known as Dayak. They live near several waterways and are known to be extremely friendly people.

Indonesia’s addition to the island of Borneo, Kalimantan is still an untouched territory and so it still oozes out a raw appeal. One of the most biodiverse places on the earth, it is segregated into East Kalimantan, West Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan. This island has the largest tropical rainforests in the world that are called home to rare species of flora and fauna.

Sampit, Palangkaraya, Gunning Palung National Park and Nature Reserve, Pontianak, Derawan Island and Bontang are the main attractions of Kalimantan. Along with the rich exotic wildlife, the rare culture is also a delight for the visitors.

Best time to visit: June – September

How to reach Kalimantan: Flights connect Delhi to East Kalimantan.

Travel Tips: Don’t forget to see resident orangutans.

Also Read: Beautiful Beaches in Indonesia

Seminyak

An upscale beach town in Southern Bali, Seminyak is all about stylish bars and restaurants and luxurious accommodation with a more carefree attitude than Kuta, another popular Indonesian destination.

While there are serene quieter beaches on one side, there are cosmopolitan shopping boutiques, galleries, and spas on the other. If you wish to splurge on luxury in Indonesia, Seminyak is the place to be.

Though it is located just northwards of Kuta and Legian, in a number of ways Seminyak looks quite different from all the other islands. The beaches of Seminyak are known for offering memorable sunset views and wonderful surfing opportunities. This place effortlessly merges with Kerobokan, creating a world of modernity and luxury.

Excursion to the nearby villages of Petitenget, Umalas, and Kerobokan is ideal. Treat your eyes to some lovely lush surroundings. The food served at the high-end eateries and restaurants is sumptuous and the booze is endless. Ubud is another place nearby that is worth visiting.

Best time to visit: April – September

How to reach Seminyak: You can fly to Bali’s airport, Seminyak is located between Kuta and Legian about 30 min from the airport. Take a taxi from the airport stand on arrival.

Travel Tips: Add popular beaches in Seminyak like Double Six Beach and Batu Belig Beach to your Indonesia tour.

Now that you have the list of top places to visit in Indonesia, make sure to add them to your tour as per your interests. For hassle-free travel, book Indonesia tour packages by Indian Holiday and enjoy excellent services of delicious meals, swift transfers, comfortable accommodations, and guided sightseeing tours. We can also tailor-made your tour as per your requirements so that you can indulge in activities as your heart desires.

Geetika Handa

Geetika Handa is a travel writer who has an interest in sharing her experiences with all. She provides a detailed account of any travel topic she chooses to write on. You can get detailed information and tips about choosing the right kind of holiday packages in the country from her write-ups.