Top 10 Things To Do in Java, Indonesia

1. Admire Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple is one of the most famous attractions in Indonesia and consists of a large Buddhist temple complex in Central Java.

It is easy to visit Borobudur from the neighboring city of Yogyakarta on a day trip, and the temple is an impressive relic of a different time, having been built in the 9th century.

It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has an amazing 72 sculpted figures of Buddha.

Borobudur is also the largest Buddhist temple in the world, and you can climb all over the structure, including up to the central platform which affords you amazing views over the rest of the complex.

It is particularly beautiful at sunrise and sunset so try to time your visit to make the most of the natural light show here.

2. Climb Mount Bromo

Private Tour Bromo Ijen Crater 2D1N
Mount Bromo

One of the highlights of a trip to Java is the chance to visit Mount Bromo.

Mount Bromo, one of the numerous volcanic mountains in Indonesia and Java but undoubtedly one of the most famous for the breathtaking view it offers. It beckons majestically despite having the entire top blown off and with a crater inside that keeps spewing off white sulphurous smoke. Many travelers come here to trek up to the nearby mountain to catch the sunrise over Mount Bromo and the caldera which is coined ‘sea of sand’. In the morning, there is a bunch of clouds huddle around it making as if you feel you on top of the sky looking down. This experience itself is surely a notable attraction in Java and something you must do when you are here.

3. Visit Ijen Crater

Ijen Crater Tour
Blue Fire at Ijen Crater

Indonesia is known for its majestic mountains, but one of the most impressive is the graceful Mount Ijen which is not as famous as others but well worth a visit.

The big draw here is that the largest acidic crater lake in the world sits at the top of the mountain and if you come here under the cover of darkness you will be able to observe blue flames erupting out of the lake.

The reason for this is that the sulfuric acid rises to the surface and ignites, and this is turn glows blue thanks to the light of the moon, resulting in one of the prettiest natural phenomena in Indonesia.

4. Visit Bromo Semeru Tengger National Park ( With Semeru Mount and Ranu Kumbolo Lake)

Mount Semeru
Semeru Mount

Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park : Set within volcanic scenery, the changing topography of this national park features an ancient volcano, Java's only sand sea, lakes, waterfalls, and large forests.

Otherwise known as Mahameru, or 'The Great Mountain', this stratovolcano is the tallest peak on the island of Java.

The iconic cone is hard to miss, and a freshly released cloud of black volcanic ash is often to be seen. The summit offers up one of the world's best sunrise views, looking across the park towards the steaming cone of Bromo.

Two days are perfect to get a taste of Java’s highest mountain. Enjoy one night at a local homestay and another night camping under the stars on the shores of Ranu Kumbolo lake, where you’ll be awakened by a beautiful sunrise. This is a hike suited to those who shun crazed midnight scrambles to a summit but prefer instead to keep their nights for sleeping and trek through the day. There are still some challenging climbs along the way, but this is a trek you can do without being a super-fit.

Kumbolo Lake
Ranu Kumbolo Lake in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park area

5. Visit Jakarta

Jakarta City

Indonesia's capital city is a crazy place, and one that a lot of people avoid other than to fly to or from the airport. Jakarta is big. Like, really big; it is not only South East Asia's largest city but also has the world's second largest metropolitan area.

Towering shopping malls, street food, pet markets, monuments and so much else make Jakarta a bit of an assault on the senses.

Visit the golden flame of the National Monument, the National Cathedral, Sunda Kelapa Harbor, Istiqlal Mosque, and Jakarta Old Town. Jakarta is an interesting place to pass a couple of days.

However, if you decide you need a break from the traffic jams, flooded roads and pollution, a trip to the botanic gardens in the nearby town of Bogor is only an hour away on the train.

6. Be awed by the majestic Prambanan

Prambanan Temple
Prambanan Temple

Candi Prambanan is often thought of as similar to neighboring Borobudur although there are marked differences between these two temple complexes.

Yet another temple but not one temple to be taken likely, Candi Prambanan is a well known ancient Hindu Temple that stood majestically nearby Yogyakarta. You will sure to find yourself mesmerized and in awe as you were greeted by the looming Prambanan temple that look somewhat foreboding yet drawing you in anyhow. It is one of the Indonesia UNESCO World Heritage Site, being one of the largest Hindu temple architecture in Southeast Asia.

7. Discovering Yogyakarta history and culture

Sultan Palace

One of the things to do in Indonesia is uncovering its interesting history. Yogyakarta is one of the places to visit in Indonesia just for this purpose. Doing a tour of Yogyakarta is one of the nicest things to do in Indonesia. Paying a visit to the Royal Palace and the Water Palace are both things to do in Yogyakarta. These historic complexes are an oasis of peace from the chaos of the city, with their tiny alleys to wander around, artists parlours, mosques, schools and markets. Life is slower there.

To me Yogyakarta is truly the heart of Java and Indonesia as it offers everything from culinary delights to interesting attractions to arts and culture to shopping. Remember to eat the famous Gudeg, meat stew that is really delicious. Also, you can shop at Jalan Malioboro or Pasar Beringjaho. For the adventurous you can hike up ruins of Mount Merapi.

Besides that, in Yogyakarta you can buy batik all over the city, or you can also go on a factory tour to learn how this textile technique was pioneered in Indonesia.

If you want to get hands-on then you can even take a batik making class and fashion your own piece of fabric which you can keep as a souvenir of your trip to Yogyakarta.

8. Trekking to White Crater Lake, Bandung, West Java

White crater (Kawah Putih) is a crater lake of Gunung Patuha, not far from Situ Patenggang (5km), and is located approximately 46 kilometers south of Bandung 35 kilometers from Soreang and takes about 2.5 hours drive from Bandung.

9. Go shopping in Bandung

Bandung " Paris Van Java"

Go shopping in Bandung "Paris van Java" for one of the best bargains in the world.When mentioned shopping in Indonesia, Bandung will definitely come into mind. Moreover it is just short trip from Jakarta therefore making it a popular weekend destination. To top it off the food is cheap and delicious so fuel up in between all the shopping frenzy. Shopping here means ranging from factory outlets to local shops and stores, you may be sure to find something you fancy. Bandung is mostly famous for clothing, factory outlets for many designers products, denim jeans and also electronics.

10. Mount Merapi Trekking

Mount Merapi

Mount Merapi (Gunung Merapi, 2911m) is a volcano in Central Java, looming over the cities of Yogyakarta and Solo (Surakarta). It has erupted many times in a powerful way, making the Merapi become a legendary piece of the surroundings. You will also enjoy the local legends about Merapi's spirit and past eruptions, which happened to be very serious at some point so that its activity is well observed and follow by many volcanologists.