Travel tips: Indonesia

Heading out from home? We’ve gathered some tips to make sure your trip is the smoothest it can be.

About Indonesia

Indonesia (/ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/,  IN-də-NEE-zhə), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia [reˈpublik ɪndoˈnesia], is a transcontinental country in Southeast Asia and Oceania, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It is the world’s largest island country, with more than seventeen thousand islands, and at 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), the 14th largest by land area and 7th in the combined sea and land area. With over 267 million people, it is the world’s 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Muslim-majority country. Java, the world’s most populous island, is home to more than half of the country’s population. The country’s capital, Jakarta, is the second-most populous urban area in the world.

Using debit and credit card

Do I need cash in Indonesia, or can I use my card everywhere?

In major tourist areas your card will be accepted, and outside of that you should carry cash.

Take a sizeable amount of rupiah with you if you’re going anywhere rural, as ATM coverage gets less reliable the further out of cities you go.

What currency do they use here?

The currency here is Rupiah. The symbol is Rp or IDR

Which ATM’s can I use for free?

Free withdrawals at these ATMs.

  • CIMB
  • Bank BNI
  • Maybank
  • Bank BCA (These usually work best.)
  • Mandiri
  • Danamon
  • Mega

If I want cash, how much should I take out of an ATM?

2.000.000 IDR should be enough for a few days, but don’t worry, that’s only about €130 .

Should I choose local currency or Euros when paying?

If you’re asked to choose between local currency and Euros, always choose local currency.

Staying connected

Can I roam, or should I get a local SIM?

Most EU mobile plans will charge you for roaming in Indonesia.

Wifi is available in a lot of tourist focused restaurants and cafes.

If you want to get a local SIM card, you can learn about your options here.

Useful things to know

How does tipping work?

Most restaurants will add a 5-10% service charge, but if they don’t you can tip anywhere from 10,000 IDR to 10% of the meal.

How much does a 0.5L beer cost?

€ 2,00

How much does an average meal cost?

€ 1,60

What’s the emergency number?

There are different numbers for the different services here.

  • Police: 110
  • Ambulance: 118 or 119
  • Fire: 112 or 113

What type of plug do they use?

This one! It’s the standard European plug.

What side of the road do they drive on?

They drive on the left side of the road here.

How do I navigate my way around?

Google Maps works quite well in Indonesia.

Otherwise, we recommend Rome2Rio as the best way to find out how to get anywhere. It even tells you the cost of each option.

Any other good tips?

  • Make sure you try local Nasi Goreng while you’re travelling Indonesia.
  • Contactless payments aren’t always activated so don’t rely on Apple Pay or Google Pay.

If you’ve been to Indonesia share your experience! The following would be really useful for others to know:

  • Which ATMs are free to use? 
  • What card should I use and where?
  • Any other info you think may be useful.

Share your experience with us in the comments below! 

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