10 Things To Know Before You Go To Indonesia

Find out all you need to know from weather, local culture, visa requirements and more about a most sought-after destination, Indonesia, before you embark on your journey
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Bali, Indonesia
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Bali, IndonesiaShutterstock

Indonesia is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, rich cultural heritage, and lively cities. However, it's important to be well-prepared and informed to make the most of your trip. We have curated a list of ten essential things to keep in mind before embarking on your Indonesian adventure. Check out our list of information that ranges from visa requirements to weather conditions as you tighten your shoelaces to head out on a memorable adventure.

Visa Requirements

A shot of the Indonesian visa
A shot of the Indonesian visaShutterstock

Indian nationals travelling to Indonesia can obtain a Visa on Arrival (VoA) for 14 to 30 days, which can be extended once for an additional 30 days. The VoA can be obtained at various airports across Indonesia. Visitors must also hold return or onward tickets. Merchant seamen require a visa and must have a Letter of Employment or Guarantee. Passports must be valid for at least six months from arrival and have one unused visa page. Different types of visas are available for Indians, such as tourist, business, and study visas, each with specific requirements and validity periods. Tourist visas are usually valid for 30 or 60 days, while business visas allow a stay of up to 60 days. Processing times for visa applications range from 3 to 5 business days, with potential delays for application errors.

Pick A Season

Indonesia is a great destination for those who love island-hopping, snorkelling, and beach relaxation. The best time to visit the country is from April to October when the weather is perfect. As Indonesia is located on the Equator, it's hot throughout the year, except for November to March, when the south experiences widespread rainfall.

Learn A Few Phrases

Ancient Buddha statue at Borobudur temple in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia
Ancient Buddha statue at Borobudur temple in Yogyakarta, Java, IndonesiaShutterstock

Bahasa Indonesia is the official language in Indonesia, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas. If you learn a few Indonesian phrases, it can enhance your experience and interactions with locals. Try to say some basic words like “Terima kasih”, which means "thank you". You can also learn more words for basic conversation here. It's important to avoid talking loudly or publicly insulting anyone, especially about their beliefs or religion. Bullying, racism, insults, and degrading actions are universally unacceptable anywhere you go, so please be mindful and kind.

Things to Carry

Pack lightweight clothes, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and a reusable water bottle for a tropical trip. Don't forget a 220V, 50Hz power adapter for Indonesian electrical outlets. Bring warmer layers for chilly highlands and transport. It's impolite to go shirtless in beach areas. Male Indonesians go shirtless at home but not on someone else's property.

City Commute

Aerial view of a beautiful Semanggi interchange overpass in the nighttime in Jakarta, Indonesia
Aerial view of a beautiful Semanggi interchange overpass in the nighttime in Jakarta, IndonesiaShutterstock

Indonesia has a wide range of transportation options for commuters, including both public and private modes. Public transportation comprises buses, angkot (shared minibuses), commuter and intercity trains, and modern systems like the Metro bus, MRT, and LRT. In Jakarta, the Commuter Line (KRL) operates daily from 4 AM to 12 AM, with trips lasting 10-15 minutes. Private transportation options include taxis, autorickshaws, cars, and motorcycles, which are widely used in Bali, along with taxis, scooters, private drivers, and ride-sharing apps. Additionally, unique modes of transportation like cycle rickshaws, horse-drawn carts, and local boats contribute to the diverse transportation landscape, providing travellers with varied and accessible ways to explore Indonesia.

Cost Estimation

A 7-day trip to Indonesia from India can cost between Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 80,000 per person, depending on the time of year and type of accommodation. If you are a budget traveller, you can expect to spend around INR 2000 per day, which includes hostels, budget hotels, local transportation, affordable meals, and activities. For mid-range travellers, the cost may increase to around INR 5000 per day, which includes typical hotels, normal restaurants, and popular attractions. If you are a luxury traveller, you should expect to spend around INR 15,500 per day, which includes higher-end hotels, nicer restaurants, and more private tour options.


Popular Balinese meal of rice with variety side dishes, which are served together with the rice and more as optional extras
Popular Balinese meal of rice with variety side dishes, which are served together with the rice and more as optional extrasShutterstock

Indonesian cuisine is known for its diversity and unique flavours. Some of the most iconic dishes to try include nasi goreng (fried rice), rendang (spicy meat stew), and satay (grilled skewers). When eating street food, it's important to be mindful of hygiene standards. Indonesians traditionally eat with their right hand, so using your left hand is considered impolite. On average, food in Indonesia costs around INR 1,335 per day, or INR 525 per person for a meal. However, prices can vary widely, and budget travellers can expect to spend as little as INR 2,500 to INR 4,000 per day on food, accommodation, transportation, and activities.

Technological Connectedness

When you arrive at the airport, it is recommended that you purchase a local SIM card that will give you access to calling and internet services throughout your trip. The process is quick and affordable, and staff at the airport will assist you with the setup. Indonesia has several telecom operators, including Telkomsel, XL Axiata, and Indosat (IM3), which are popular with tourists. Among these, Telkomsel is considered the best choice for most travellers because it provides the best coverage and speeds. Additionally, it is important to keep the contact information of your national consulate or embassy handy in case of any emergencies. Before your trip, it is advisable to download transportation apps like Grab or Gojek for added security and convenience, especially for solo travellers. You must also keep Google Navigation, Translator, Currency Convertor and other such apps on the go.

Local Customs and Etiquette

Handicrafts of Bali at the famous Ubud Market
Handicrafts of Bali at the famous Ubud MarketShutterstock

Indonesia, a country with a population of 275 million, is recognised as the world's most populous Muslim country, with 87% of its people identifying as Muslim. Visitors to Indonesia must remember that they should remove their shoes before entering someone's home or a place of worship, dress modestly, particularly when visiting temples or rural areas, and use their right hand to give or receive items. It's worth noting that regions like the Maluku Islands have significant Christian populations, while Bali is predominantly Hindu. Animistic beliefs are also intertwined with these religions, which enriches the cultural landscape. Indonesian people are known for their hospitality, and making efforts to understand and appreciate their diverse beliefs will enhance your travel experience.


Indonesia has a tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity all year round. The country is located along the equator, so the temperature is relatively consistent and averages around 28-32°C. Indonesia has two main seasons: the wet season, which runs from October to April, and the dry season, which runs from May to September. During the wet season, frequent and heavy rainfall occurs, particularly in coastal areas and on islands. The dry season is generally hotter and less humid, making it a popular time for tourists. However, it's important to note that weather patterns can vary significantly across the diverse archipelago, so it's advisable to check specific regional forecasts before travelling.

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