Gathering hundreds of cultures and ethnic groups into one, the sprawling island nation of Indonesia is blessed with countless awe-inspiring attractions. With over 17000 islands estimated and 8844 islands have been named, there are so many things to do and see in Indonesia. From majestic mountains to glorious temples, picturesque rice terraces and gorgeous traditional dances. Discover the top 10 unique things to do and see in Indonesia tours.
Best Things to Do & See in Indonesia by Destinations
Best Things to Do in Bali
Visit Ulun Danu Temple
Located in the middle of Lake Bretan Bedugul, Ulun Danu Temple is one of the most famous places in Bali. Playing as the picturesque landmark and a significant religious site for local people. Likewise, visiting the site is one of the top things to do in Indonesia. Arrive at the site of the temple, you will see the clear water of the Lake Bretan Bedigul surrounding the area, making the temple as a floating island on the lake. Through the gates of the temple, you will come across the typical Balinese architectural features with the tiered shrines. Inside the complex is where you can gaze out at the main shrines which are dedicated to the worship of God Vishnu, the principal deities of Hinduism.
Wander Through Mesmerizing Rice Terraces in Ubud
Exploring the breathtaking Tegalalang rice terraces in Ubud is one of the must things to do in Bali, Indonesia. The valley of rice paddies located north of Ubud is a great place to wander around and indulge in the melody of nature. From above, the terraced rice fields look like countless slices of nature stacked, harmoniously creating wonderful scenery.
Not just famous attractions in Indonesia for tourists, the rice paddies have strong ties to the traditional culture of the region. As for Balinese, rice is a gift from God and a symbol of life.
Located just 20 minutes from Ubud center, it can easily be reached by car or bike. The best time of the day to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of terraced rice fields is in the morning when the mist and smog envelop the whole space, creating a mythical ambiance to take nice photos.
Surfing in Bali
With so many stunning beaches, Bali is no doubt a paradise for water activities. Surfing in Bali is one of the best things to do in Indonesia that tourists shouldn’t miss in any trips to Bali. The famous Kuta Beach in the south of Bali is an ideal place for surfing especially beginners who want to learn surfing.
Visit the Monkey Forest in Ubud
Visiting the Ubud monkey forest is one of the most interesting things to do in Indonesia. It is also considered as a must on all Bali itineraries. Located in the preserve forest, the sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary is a Balinese Hindu Temple Complex. Today, there are a totally of 605 monkeys live in the forest. Upon here you will have a chance to play with the mischievous monkeys and relax in the fresh air among green trees and race your heart with the symphony of Mother Nature.
Hop on the Secret Kelingking Nusa Penida
Rank #2 from the top 25 best beaches in Asia and #19 from the top 25 beaches in the world by TripAdvisor, it is not an exaggeration to say that Kelingking is a precious treasure of Indonesia.
The hidden beach located deeply in the village of Bunga Mekar, on the southwestern coast of Nusa Penida Island. It framed by towering, steep cliffs with deep turquoise water further and embrace by a powdery white sand beach. From above, the cliff looks like the head of a dinosaur, creating an amazing view like heaven on earth.
Best Things to Do in Yogyakarta
Marvel at the UNESCO Heritage Site of Borobudur Temple
Dating back to the 8th century, the ancient Borobudur Temple boards the largest Buddhist monument in the world. Being recognized as one of the 7 Wonders of the World by UNESCO World Heritage Site, visiting the temple is no doubt one of the best things to do in Indonesia as soon as you set foot on the country.
The construction of Borobudur Temple has been estimated to have taken 75 years. It consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circulars, topped by a central dome. With 2672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues decorated, the temple looks like a wonderful mosaic of religion. Every year, the Vesak celebration held on the temple grounds draws thousands of pilgrims and tourists come to visit the famous site of Indonesia.
Visit the Kraton Palace
The Kraton Palace (or Kasultanan Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat) is probably one of the most famous attractions in Yogyakarta. Thus, exploring the site is a cool thing to do in Indonesia. Nowadays it is the seat of Sri Sultan – King of Yogyakarta and his family. Visiting the site in your Indonesia tour, you will come to the center of Javanese culture. Next to the palace is the Kraton Museum where you will find many royal artifacts.
Best Things to Do in Lombok
Boat Hopping Snorkeling & Diving In Gili Islands
Consisting of three islands including Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, hopping on a boat and join in amazing snorkeling are the must-do in Indonesia. Surrounded by the pristine white sand beach and mesmerizing coconut trees, it is truly a heaven on earth.
Underneath the waves, there are amazing diving sites which shows you an incredibly diverse marine life, these three islands are popular snorkeling sites and places to go in Indonesia to escape from the crown. There are around 19 dive sites around the 3 Gilis, among them, the most popular are Shark Point, Manta Point, Meno Wall, and Bounty Wreck.
Together with observing the wonderful coral reefs, hitting up the beach bars to enjoy a cocktail and listen to the wind swaying in the air also a cool thing to do while you are in Gilis.
Explore the Sasak Culture
With 3.6 million people, the Sasak makes about 85% of the total population in Lombok. Discovering their fascinating culture is one of the most enchanting experiences in Indonesia. From traditional cuisine, handicraft, music, gorgeous dances, and wedding traditions, all these things are worth for you to discover.
If you want to gain more insights into the local life, don’t miss the traditional markets when you visit Lombok on your trip to Indonesia. The Ampenan market is among the most famous ones where you can see the lively trading of the region and taste the local flavor.
Best Things to do in Jakarta
Check out the National Monument
No Jakarta trips completed without visit the National Monument. The famous site is the pride of Jakarta, a well-known attraction in Indonesiastand proud in the city as a symbol of independence in Indonesia in 1945.
Together with witnessing the freedom symbol of Indonesia, travelers also have a chance to learn more about the history of the country in the nearby gallery.
Shopping in Authentic Local Market in Menteng
Shopping in Jakarta is one of the main things to do in Indonesia. There is a boutique of shopping hubs towards the city of Jakarta, but the must-go market is in Menteng. Upon here, you will find a huge range of goods including art and crafts, textiles and also food items. The well-known market in Menteng is Surabaya Flea Market which opened in the 1970s. Come here and feel like a local!
Taman Mini Indonesia Park
Located in East Jakarta city, visiting Taman Mini Indonesia Park is what to do next in Indonesia. It is a must-try for a family trip to Indonesia to discover the rich art and culture of the islanders. Unlike other parks you might ever visit, this is one of the most unique parks in the world that offers visitors a great place to stay away from the hectic world. The park boasts multiple pavilions, each representing the unique architecture, traditional costumes, and arts of different islands in Indonesia.
Together with the rich cultural heritage, taking a cable car ride to see the manmade lake that depicts Indonesian is also a cool thing to do in Indonesia. Even more, kids will love to see the park’s castle, reminiscent of Disneyland’s.
Recommended Things to Do & See in Indonesia
Watch the sunrise over Mt Bromo
Located in eastern Java, Mt Bromo is the most famous volcano on the island of Java, if not the whole of Indonesia. At 2329 meters high, it looks spectacularly cover with floating clouds. Surrounding several other volcanoes, it is one of the most magnificent landscapes you will ever set eyes on. Capturing the magnificent view of the whole mountain is a dream of many adventurers.
To reach Mt Bromo, tourists will walk about 45 minutes from the village of Cemoro Lawang. You can travel to the village from the town of Malang or Probollingo. Sunrise and sunset are two moments when you can behold the majestic beauty of the mountain blends with the sunlight and drifting clouds.
Meet the Largest Lizard in Komodo Island
Located within the Southeastern Island of Indonesia. The Komodo Dragon National Park is one of the most famous places in Indonesia. For nearly 40 years, the park has been protecting and preserving the Komodo dragon Species as well as many other marine animals. Being recognized as a World Heritage site because of its incredible biodiversity, travel to this national part for an unforgettable experience is one of the cool things to do in Indonesia.
Along with meeting the Komodo dragon, travelers can also join in interesting dives to explore the extraordinary marine life of the islands. Apart from the kinds of animals, you will see during your dive, you can see everything from turtles to reef sharks to palette surgeonfish. It makes you a great addition to your Bali tour. We are sure that you won’t ever regret exploring this beautiful part of the world!
Trek Through the Jungle & See the Orangutans in Tanjung Puting National Park
Bestowed with dense forests and diverse biological systems, trekking through the jungle is considered one of the cool things to do in Indonesia tours. Tanjung Puting is one of the natural wonders of the world. Take an adventure to the national park, you are captivated completely by the purity of air, the incredible night sky with the view of the Milky Way, and the magnificence of the gentle orangutans – the best-known animals in Tanjung Putting National Park. Even more, Tanjung Puting also hosts over 230 species of colorful birds, leopards, civets and many other species for travelers to see in Indonesia tours.