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10 Must See and Do in Java, Indonesia

Visiting Indonesia on your own is not crazy. Of course, you would need several lives to know it completely, since it has more than 17,500 islands!

Java Island is not small, from end to end there are just over a thousand kilometers, you will cross it in about 14 hours and to that you have to add another hour due to the poor condition of some of the roads. But later I will tell you how to move around the island.

Jakarta is the capital and the most populous city of Indonesia and it is absolutely insane. If you have already traveled to Southeast Asia on other occasions or if you have especially traveled to Vietnam, Jakarta will not be a problem for you. If, on the contrary, it is your first time in a city in Southeast Asia, you will find total chaos that you will end up loving :)

In this post I tell you what to see and do on the incredible island of Java for free, and about the 10 most impressive places on the Island of Java that you should not miss.

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

The island of Java is the most populous island in the world. It is of volcanic origin and, as you all know, Jakarta (Jakarta) is its capital. Although Jakarta is not the most popular place on the island, it will be your first stop for sure. Normally all international flights arrive here.


1. Visit Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia

If your flight arrives in Jakarta you can dedicate some time to get to know the city, you can dedicate the day of arrival and an additional day to visit the history museum, Merdeka square and the national monument.

If you want to know what you can see and do in Jakarta, what nearby beaches to visit and what you cannot miss, you can read the article: What to see and do in Jakarta.

Where to stay in Jakarta

In Jakarta it is very cheap to sleep, you can find hotel rooms with private bathrooms for 10 euros/night. double.

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

2. The city Yoguakarta, an essential thing to see in Java

The city of Yogyakarta, also called “Yogya”, is a city full of places to visit. It has magical places nearby such as the Borobudur temple, Prambanan or Dieng Plateau.

The city is incredible and its people are very friendly, it is worth spending a few days in this welcoming city.

I recommend that you stay in it and from here you do excursions to see the temples on the outskirts.

How to get to Yoguakarta

You can reach Yogya by plane or train from Jakarta. The price is similar (about 30 euros) and the journey time by plane is 1 hour, while by train it will take about 8 hours.

"The transport in Indonesia is not very good (unlike Vietnam and Malaysia which have transport of an impressive quality) Indonesia is not like that, so as long as you have the option of taking a plane and it doesn't cost you an exorbitant price! catch it!!"

Where to stay in Yoguakarta

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

What to see in the center of Yogyakarta

Malioboro Street is a very busy street with its sidewalks full of small stalls where locals sell all kinds of products. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (every day) and the food stalls from 5 p.m. at 12 at night.

Very close to the center you will find the Sultan's Palace or Kraton (palace still inhabited) and the Water Castle or Taman sari (rest castle with pools for the Sultan).

3. Borobudur, one of the most incredible temples to see in Java

It is a Buddhist shrine and pilgrimage site located 40 km from Yoguakarta. Surely you have seen it in many photos on social networks or YouTube, it has become very popular and viral and is the most visited place by travelers in Java.

This incredible place is located 40 kilometers from Yoguakarta and you can get there in two ways:

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

Go to Borobudur for free

By bus: You can get to the temple by taking two buses (with the public transport company Transjogja) from Yogya. First, take the 2B from Ngabean Shelter to Jombor Bus Station. There you must take the second bus Jogja-Borobudur Bus, this bus will leave you at a small bus station near Borobudur, walking 500 meters you will reach the temple.

By taxi: haggle prices to the maximum, they are very smart, they know what the tours cost and they try to charge you something similar but without including guides, etc...

Go to Borobudur with an excursion

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

Once a year, Indonesian Buddhists celebrate Vesak (the most important celebration of Buddhism) at this monument, which is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

4. Visit Prambanan and visit more than 200 Hindu temples

18 km from the city of Yoguakarta is Prambanan, which has more than 200 Hindu temples (which refer to three main gods of Hindu mythology).

It is a spectacular place and it is not surprising that Unesco declared it a World Heritage Site!

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

There are tours that include this place and the Borobudur temple, as he told you before. But if you have more days you can dedicate one day to each place. Since Prambanan is not exactly small and it will take you hours to see it.

How to get to Prambanan

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

5. Visit Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia, standing 2,329 km high. The main activity when you visit Bromo is not accessing its crater, but watching the sunrise from Gunung Penanjakan Mountain.

You will have to get up quite early and walk at night, but it is really worth it and it is something that you cannot miss if you are thinking of visiting Java. Its surroundings are incredible and the path you have to travel to reach the highest point makes it worth the effort.

Don't worry if you think you're out of shape, it's not hard to get to the top! And add people of all ages, from children to seniors :)

I recommend that if you want to visit Mount Bromo you stay at Probolinggo.

Where to stay on Mount Bromo

To get from Yogya to Probolinggo you can do it by train. The journey takes about 9 hours. Take it easy!!

In this city there are some interesting things to do, so if you add visiting this area to your route, give it 2 or 3 days to take advantage of the time.

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

6. Visit Probolinggo

In this city, apart from knowing Mount Bromo, there are also routes and trails through the Bromo-Tengger-semeru national park. If you want to go up Mount Monte and visit the national park, the best option is to ask the hotel for the best option. I could not previously find the option to book online and right there we contracted the climb up the mountain with a guide.

In this city there is a temple, perhaps one of the rarest I have seen, the Pura Luhur Poten temple. It is a Hindu temple in the middle of a huge sea of ​​lava and dust, on the slopes of the Bromo volcano. Everything there is desert and destroyed by the frequent eruptions of the volcano and it is totally contradictory to find a temple in the exact place where the eruption can be most aggressive.

The Pura Luhur Poten was built here precisely to invoke and ask the gods when they considered that these eruptions were going to take place. Normally no monk lives in it due to the risk involved, but offerings are made from time to time. You can only visit the outside.

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

7. Kawah Ijen

This volcano is a beautiful place and should not be missing on any route through Java. A lake of an extraordinary color has formed in the crater, with a very special blue tone, due to sulfur.

During the visit to the Ijen volcano, or Kawah Ijen, you will see its crater, which has a turquoise lake with a diameter of one kilometer. Within the caldera and along the caldera's rim, there are many other cones and craters. The active crater of Kawah Ijen has a diameter of 722m. Gunung Merapi is the highest peak in the complex and its name, which comes from Indonesian, means "mountain of fire".

During the ascent you will find miners who are dedicated to going up and down with wheelbarrows full of sulfur. That is his hard day to day work to earn a few pennies. They will offer you everything: sulfur figures, lend you their gas masks, be your guide or even ride their wheelbarrow to the top. Keep in mind that if you decide to approach and strike up a conversation or take a picture with them, they will ask you for a tip and they are usually not very nice if you refuse to give it to them.

Let's be respectful. The miners you will find in the crater are working hard to live, they are not a tourist attraction. Don't get in their way or pose with them if they don't ask you to, please. 🙏🏻

El camino hasta llegar al cráter es bastante complicado, pero merece totalmente la pena visitar este lugar. (Sobre todo ve con el calzado apropiado).

To climb the volcano, the ideal is to sleep in Sempol Village, it is located 30 minutes by car from the starting point, from where the trekking that takes you to the crater begins.

The path to the Ijen crater begins at the Guest House Campgrounds Paltuding and is not to be missed. It is about 3km (1 hour) to the viewpoint of the crater. From there it is possible to go down to the crater by a somewhat more complicated path. We would not recommend it to anyone, the hard unevenness of the path and the difficulty of breathing due to sulfur make it difficult to go down and up.

8. Baluran National Park

Our previous stop had been Mount Bromo, spending the night in the town of Probolinggo and to get to Sempol we only found options to get by bus to Banyuwangi and then by private transport to Sempol. The duration was about 10 hours approx and we really didn't feel like anything. So finally we took a private transport that took us from Probolinggo to the Baluran National Park, where we spent the night and enjoyed a spectacular natural environment (I'll tell you more about this national park below) and the next day we took another private transport to Sempol Village.

We stayed at the homestay Airy Syariah Turen Sudirman 46 Malang

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

I was not going to tell you about this national park, because we barely spent a morning walking through a small part, it was not on our route, but as I told you before, we changed our plans and decided to make the journey from Probolinggo to Sempol, paying for it and spending the night in the park. Baluran National. According to what they told me, it has a more arid area, but we only saw green and green everywhere. We did a little trekking that was a balm to relax a bit, be calm and enjoy this marvelous place.

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

9. The Tumpak Sewu Waterfalls

Tumpak Sewu are the most impressive waterfalls in Java and Indonesia.

It is about several waterfalls. In fact, it is known as "a thousand waterfalls", surrounded by a lush jungle and behind a large active volcano.

The journey to get there is somewhat complicated, with slightly deteriorated bamboo stairs, slippery rocks and you must have a minimum physical condition.

The entrance to the waterfall is 10,000 IDR.

que ver y hacer en Java, Indonesia

10. The Karimunjawa Islands

Our tour of Java ended at number 9 on the list, but I really regretted not adding a few more days to Java to visit other places.

One of these places is the Karimunjawa Islands. About 5-6 hours from Yogyakarta, is the city of Jepara, where the port is from where the ferries leave for the Karimunjawa islands.

The Karimunjawa islands are little known to Indonesian tourism, and even so, if you like paradisiacal and quiet beaches, here you will find the best beaches in Java.

The largest island is Palau Karimunjawa, you can hire a tour from Jepara and tour the island on a motorbike, snorkel or visit the small islands of the archipelago.


I hope you enjoy your trip to Java very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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