Entertainment in Indonesia

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Bukit Peninsula

    Kecak Dance

    Although the performance obviously caters for tourists, the gorgeous setting at Pura Luhur Ulu Watu in a small amphitheatre in a leafy part of the grounds makes it one of the more evocative on the island. The views out to sea are as inspiring as the dance. It's very popular in high season; expect crowds.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Central Java

    Ramayana Ballet

    Held at the outdoor theatre just west of the main Prambanan temple complex, the famous Ramayana Ballet is Java’s most spectacular dance-drama troupe. The story of Rama and Sita takes place three nights a week; from May to October it is performed on the open-air stage (weather permitting), while other times it's held indoors. With the magnificent floodlit Candi Shiva Mahadeva as a backdrop, nearly 200 dancers and gamelan (traditional Javanese and Balinese orchestra) musicians take part in a spectacle of monkey armies, giants on stilts, clashing battles and acrobatics. Tickets are sold in Yogyakarta through the tourist information office and agencies dotted around tourist districts. It is also possible to buy them at the same price from the theatre box office. A taxi from Yogya costs 450,000Rp for the return journey and waiting time.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Solo

    Sriwedari Theatre

    The theatre in this vacant plot (formerly an amusement park now undergoing redevelopment) is the unlikely venue of one of the best shows in Java! Traditional dance performances by Solo's esteemed and long-running wayang orang (masked dance-drama) troupe involve hundreds of magnificently costumed participants and a full gamelan orchestra. Performances are given several times per week to sadly dwindling audiences. It’s well worth dropping by to experience this form of ritualised drama; it's acceptable to leave early.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Ubud

    Paradiso

    Sharing a building with the vegan Earth Cafe & Market, this surprisingly plush 150-seat cinema screens two films daily. The price of admission is redeemable against items from the cafe menu – so a great deal. Mondays are half-price; on Tuesday and Thursday a community choir sings here. Check the website for a schedule.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Ubud

    Pura Taman Saraswati

    The beauty of the setting may distract you from the dancers, although at night you can’t see the lily pads and lotus flowers that are such an attraction by day. Janger dance is performed on Sunday and Monday, the Ramayana ballet on Wednesday and Legong on Saturday. On Tuesday and Thursday, women play the gamelan and children dance.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Ubud

    Pura Dalem Ubud

    This open-air venue in a temple compound has a flame-lit, carved-stone backdrop and is an evocative place to see a dance performance. Different companies perform Legong (7.30pm Tuesday and Saturday), Jegog (7.30pm Wednesday), Barong (7pm Thursday) and the Kecak fire dance (7.30pm Monday and Friday).

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Bandung

    ASTI Bandung

    In the southern part of the city about 3km from the centre, this is a school for traditional Sundanese arts – music, dancing and pencak silat (martial arts). There are frequent good performances, some of which are held in a breezy outdoor setting. Events are not widely advertised online, so you might be better popping past and enquiring as to what's on and when.

  • Entertainment in South Jakarta

    Nautilus

    Nautilus is a bold, classic European-versus-Asian-bling drinking lounge at the Four Seasons hotel. Upon entering, you're drawn to the striking mural of the historic Sunda Kelapa port behind the bar. There's live music (ranging from singers to jazz musicians, soul musicians and pianists) between 6pm and 9pm Tuesday to Saturday. The bartenders are experts at crafting bespoke cocktails to quench your thirst. Try the signature 'gombal' cocktail – with clove-infused vodka, rambutan cordial, orange curaçao liqueur and topped off with fresh lemon.

  • Entertainment in South Jakarta

    Kinosaurus Jakarta

    Walk through the Aksara bookshop, then rub shoulders with Jakarta's artistic community at this hidden cinema, which hosts independent short and fringe films from around Indonesia and the world. Most are either in English or have English subtitles, but there are exceptions. Check the website for details of upcoming movies.

  • Entertainment in Jakarta

    CGV Grand Indonesia

    If you've never had a VIP cinema experience, this is the place to do it. Gold class has a premium lounge, reclining chairs and waiter service (you can buy drinks and snacks from your chair), while velvet class has actual beds, which fit two people. The complex also has virtual-reality headset booths and regular screens.

  • Entertainment in Jakarta

    Taman Ismail Marzuki

    Jakarta's premier cultural centre has a great selection of cinemas, theatres and exhibition spaces. Performances (such as Sundanese dance and gamelan music events) are always high quality and the complex has a cafeteria too. Check the website for upcoming events.

  • Entertainment in Malang

    Taman Rekreasi Senaputra

    Malang’s cultural and recreational park has a hectically busy swimming pool and children’s playground and some quirky events. Kuda lumping (horse trance) dances (7000Rp) are performed every Sunday morning at 10am. The dancers ride rattan 'horses' then fall into a trance, writhing around on the ground with their eyes bulging. Still in a trance-like state, they perform assorted masochistic acts without any apparent harm, such as eating glass. The spectacle will not be to everyone's taste. On a more sober note, wayang kulit (shadow puppet) shows are regularly held here (usually on the fourth Sunday of the month); the tourist office has the latest schedule.

  • Entertainment in East Sumbawa

    Pacuan Kuda

    Horse racing is held at least four times a year, in April or May, July, August and December, at the Desa Panda horse stadium, 12km west of town on the Trans-Sumbawa Hwy. There’s a large grandstand, a gaggle of warungs and plenty of cheering as horses, ridden by children between the ages of nine and 15, thunder around a dusty track. Action peaks on 17 August as independence fever kicks in.

  • Entertainment in Jakarta

    T-Rex Family Karaoke

    Despite the name, this is not a particularly family friendly place. Although kids are welcome, it can get pretty boozy. The dozens of private karaoke rooms range in size (accommodating four to 50 people). You can order a selection of alcoholic drinks and food via waiter service. Songs range from western R&B and hip hop to Chinese and K-pop hits.

  • Entertainment in Jakarta

    Rossi Musik

    Those wanting to tap into Jakarta's underground music scene can head to this grungy venue which hosts local punk, metal, indie and hip hop gigs most weekends. There's also a cool record store and rooftop bar here.

  • Entertainment in South Jakarta

    Gelora Bung Karno Stadium

    Indonesia's largest stadium was completed in 1962. Since then it's had a few rebuildings and is presently used for football matches – especially by visiting European teams – and performances by popular groups before huge crowds. Its capacity was used for the 2018 Asian Games.

  • Entertainment in Yogyakarta

    Asmara Art & Coffee Shop

    It calls itself an art and coffee shop, but this split-level grungy venue is more like a restaurant and bar. Frequent live bands play here from 9pm. Regulars include a really good reggae band on Thursday, and there's a fun, mixed crowd every night. Locals call it 'Ascos'.

  • Entertainment in Yogyakarta

    K Meals

    A fairly standard pub, but worth dropping in for the live music. Bands play from 8pm and feature acoustic music on Mondays, the Top 40 on Tuesdays, classic rock on Wednesdays, the blues on Thursdays, and reggae on Fridays and Saturdays.

  • Entertainment in Ubud

    Padang Tegal Kaja

    A simple, open terrace in a convenient location. In many ways this location hints at what dance performances have looked like in Ubud for generations. Enjoy the Kecak fire dance on Saturday and Sunday or Barong and Keris on Tuesday.

  • Entertainment in Yogyakarta

    Ramayana Ballet Purawisata

    Nightly traditional dance performances of the Ramayana at 8pm, which go on for around 1½ hours. You can dine here and watch the show (600,000Rp). To watch the show without dinner, if booked a month in advance, costs 220,000Rp.