All you need to know before visiting Indonesia

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Indonesia is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia, and it’s also the world’s largest archipelago, with an area almost three times the size of Texas. On a trip to Indonesia, you can wander on its globally famous temples, hike to the top of its active volcanoes, and relax on its pristine beaches. If you want to visit this incredible destination soon, this article includes helpful information for planning a trip to Indonesia.

Visa and Entry Requirements

Citizens from many countries, including the US, Canada, and the European Union, are eligible for applying for a Visa on Arrival (VOA) when entering Indonesia.

VOA price is IDR 500.000 per person, including children, and payable upon arrival in Bali or Jakarta (or another city) by credit card or Indonesian Rupiah.  If wanting to use another currency, there may be an extra charge for the exchange rate.

The VOA is valid for up to 30 days and is extendable for another 30 days. The extension must be applied to the closest immigration office in Indonesia.

Additionally, apart from the Visa on Arrival, there are currently other requirements for entering Indonesia:

  • An original passport that is valid for more than 6 (six) months from the date of arrival in Indonesia.
  • Roundtrip airline ticket.
  • Visa fee of IDR 500.000. You might pay with a credit card/debit card/cash.
  • Proof of travel insurance with minimum coverage of USD 20,000.
  • Proof of two-doses COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Proof of negative result of RT-PCR COVID-19 test taken maximum 2 x 24 hours before departure.
  • PeduliLindungi Apps installed on mobile phones (can be downloaded at Google Play/Apple Store).

Check out the latest requirement for entering Indonesia here, and contact the Indonesian Embassy in your country before planning your trip.


Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia, a language derived from Malay, which is spoken by the entire population. In the country, locals usually speak at least two languages – Indonesian and one of the other 700 languages and dialects of the various ethnic groups.

It is possible to get by with English, but some useful phrases in Indonesian are:

Selamat Pagi / Selamat Siang / Selamat Sore / Selamat Malam – Good morning (until 10h) / good afternoon (from 11h to 15h) / good afternoon (from 15h to 18h) / good evening/night (after 18h)

Terima kasih – Thank you

Sama sama – You’re welcome

Permisi – Excuse me

Maaf – Sorry

Apa kabar? – How are you?

Di mana…? – Where is…?

Tolong, saya mau pergi ke… – Please, I would like to go to…

Berapa harga ini? – How much is this?

Saya mau beli ini – I would like to buy this

Belok kanan / kiri – Turn right / left

Tolong, satu lagi bir – One more beer, please

Groups of islands

Indonesia’s approximately 17,000 islands are placed in 8 large groups, which you will likely hear often: Bali, Java, Sumatra, Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan (the Borneo section that belongs to the country), Maluku, Sulawesi, and Papua.


The power source is 220 volts in all regions, so be careful when bringing 110-volt electric equipment.

Also, sockets have two rounded-tip plugs (technically known as Type C and F) and you may need to use adapters.


The entire country has 3 different time zones and does not practice daylight saving time.

GMT +7 | covers Sumatra, Java, and the west and central regions of Kalimantan;

GMT +8 | comprises the eastern and southern regions of Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara; and

GMT +9 | includes Maluku and Papua.


The Indonesian Rupiah, also known as IDR and represented as Rp, is the currency of the country.

Currency exchange houses accept the major world currencies (Dollar, Euro, Pound, Singapore Dollar, etc.) and can be found, for example, within major shopping malls in Jakarta, in Seminyak and Kuta centers in Bali, and in banks and hotels in Yogyakarta.

As a rule of thumb, when traveling to areas with less developed tourism, always carry the local currency with you – if you do not have it when you arrive in the country, make a small exchange at the airport to cover the first expenses until you find a currency exchange office with a better quote. (

In addition, when in Bali, pay attention to scams in conversion shops. Sometimes, when the worker delivers the bills and counts the notes in front of you, he gives the impression that the value is right but, without you noticing, he drops some notes in an open drawer behind the counter – and you get less money than you should. So, always count more than once inside the facility.

Best time to visit Indonesia

The archipelago is located on the Equator, which makes the climate be especially hot and humid. The temperature varies little throughout the year and, forgetting about the four seasons, in Indonesia, there are basically two seasons: dry, which runs from April to October; and rainy, from November to March (being April and October the intermediate months, and January and February the rainiest).


Indonesia is a safe country, compared to others with the same number of people. The main crimes in the country are petty thefts. As always, be aware of your surroundings.


Make sure to check other posts when planning your visit to Indonesia:

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I am Elen, and I help 9-5ers plan their next getaway. I curate travel experiences, from places to sip a coffee to stays in boutique hotels, so you can save time when planning your next vacation. Here you will find travel guides, tips, and the best itineraries for your next trip.

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