Indonesia Travel Guide

Indonesia is a country located in Asia with name that begins with letter I. No one can say exactly how many islands Indonesia actually consists of. But it will probably be around 18,000. Overall, the national territory with over 1.9 million km 2 is at least about four times the size of Germany, Austria and Switzerland combined. With a population of around 250 million, the island state located south of Malaysia and Singapore ranks fourth among the most populous countries in the world. It is also the country with the largest Muslim population. Almost 80% of the people live on the two main islands of Sumatra and Java. The capital and economic center is Jakarta with around 10 million residents.

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A passport that is valid for at least six months is required to enter Indonesia. For stays of less than 30 days, no visa is required when entering via one of the international airports.


In Indonesia there is a predominantly humid tropical and monsoon climate with the main precipitation period from November to March. Temperatures in large parts of the country remain almost constant at around 30 degrees all year round. In the mountain regions, however, it can cool down significantly, especially at night, and in Papua there are even snow-capped peaks.

Food and drink

Influences from India, China and the Arab world mix with the cooking traditions of the former European colonial powers in Indonesian cuisine. The rice dish Nasi Goreng is considered the national dish. Sate, grilled skewers with fish or meat, with chili or peanut sauce, are also widespread. Usually fresh fruit juices or tea are drunk with it. Alcohol such as palm or rice wine is reserved for special occasions.

Cultural characteristics

Saying “no” and not helping others is considered extremely unfriendly. The more than 300 ethnic groups of Indonesia agree on this, despite their own cultural traditions. One should keep this in mind when asking someone for directions: Indonesians find it more polite to provide false information than to admit that they cannot help.


In addition to the standard vaccination protection, vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, rabies, cholera and typhoid are recommended. If you stay in rural areas for a long time, you should also consider malaria prophylaxis and vaccination against Japanese encephalitis.

Mosquito repellent, a well-stocked first-aid kit and international health insurance complete the preventive package.


Petty crime is unfortunately widespread, so you should not display expensive jewelry in public and only carry small amounts of cash with you. You should avoid crowds. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are relatively common. Therefore, please inform yourself about suitable precautions and the current situation on the homepages of the Austrian Foreign Ministry or the German Foreign Office before you start your journey.

Climate and travel time

In Indonesia there are no seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter that we are used to. Instead, there is the rainy season from November to March and the dry season from April to October. But even at the beginning of the rainy season, the weather is tropical and warm. The water temperature in Bali is 25-30 degrees all year round. The humidity can be up to 95%. In the mountains, however, it is significantly cooler with around 15-20 degrees. Best Time to Go: While rainy season travel is possible in most regions of Indonesia, some activities or travel to remote areas can be difficult. In general, the best time to visit in the dry season is between April and October.

All about money

Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), 1 Euro = approx.17,000 IDR (as of Sep 18)

In Indonesia, the most common way of paying is cash. Many smaller restaurants do not accept credit cards, larger or tourist ones do. You can get cash at ATMs with Visa or Maestro symbols, American Express or Diners Club are also often accepted. Withdraw enough money in cities, as cash is the number 1 means of payment in remote areas and you will rarely find an ATM there. In
some cases it is possible to pay and withdraw money with an EC card, but more commonly with a credit card. A piece of advice: take a little more money with you than you actually intend to spend. Few insurance companies will give you cash immediately in an emergency and it is better not to count on being able to borrow money from your fellow travelers.

In restaurants and bars in tourist regions, around 10% of the total invoice amount is expected as a tip. In rural areas, tips are not expected, but certainly appreciated.

It is common, but not mandatory, to tip the guide and driver at the end of a tour for good service. Appropriate payment for our local guides and partner agencies is part of our sustainability guidelines. So please be aware that tips do not replace wages. Only give when you are satisfied with the service.

Other essential information

Time difference In Indonesia there are 3 time zones: West Indonesia Time on Sumatra and Java (CET +6 h, CEST +5 h), East Indonesia Time on the Moluccas and West Papua (CET +8 h, CEST +7 h), Central Indonesia Time in Bali, Lombok, Sulawesi (CET +7 h, CEST +6 h)

Electric power
In larger cities 220 volts are common, in the country it is often only around 110 volts. Most of the time you don’t need a travel plug adapter, but three-prong plugs are sometimes used, as in the UK.