Top things to do

Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Prambanan

Prambanan Temple

Prambanan Temple

Comprising the remains of some 244 temples, World Heritage–listed Prambanan is Indonesia's largest Hindu site and one of Southeast Asia's major attractions. The highlight is the central compound, where eight main...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Borobudur

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Dating from the 8th and 9th centuries, and built from two million blocks of stone, Borobudur is the world's largest Buddhist temple and one of Indonesia's most important cultural sites. The temple takes the form...

Top ChoiceChinese in Semarang

Holliday Restaurant

It's easy to see why this two-storey restaurant is permanently packed: the food is exceptionally good! Earning the unreserved recommendation of the local Chinese population, the restaurant attracts large parties...

Top ChoiceLake in Ijen Plateau

Kawah Ijen

The Ijen plateau's most extraordinary sight is the magnificent turquoise sulphur lake of Kawah Ijen. A night hike to the crater in which the lake boils will introduce you to blue fire, spectacular scenery and a...

Top ChoiceInternational in Borobudur

Patio

For a magical hilltop setting enhanced by traditional music, this vintage restaurant, 4km west of Borobudur, is hard to match. Eat in the formal dining room or out on the terrace with views of the monument. Local...

Top ChoicePalace in Yogyakarta

Kraton

Beside the southern alun-alun (main square), Yogya's enormous kraton (palace) is the cultural and political heart of this fascinating city. Effectively a walled city, this complex of pavilions and residences is...

Top ChoiceHindu Temple in Gunung Lawu

Candi Sukuh

Candi Sukuh

In a magnificent position 900m above the Solo plain with fine views of Gunung Lawu, Candi Sukuh is one of Java’s most enigmatic and striking temples. It’s not a large site, but it's beautifully proportioned with...

Top ChoicePark in West Java

Ujung Kulon National Park

On the remote southwestern tip of Java, this Unesco World Heritage–listed national park has remained an outpost of prime rainforest and untouched wilderness, virgin beaches and healthy coral reefs. Relatively...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Merdeka Square & Central Jakarta

Museum Nasional

Museum Nasional

The National Museum is the best of its kind in Indonesia and an essential visit. The enormous collection begins around an open courtyard of the 1862 building, which is stacked with magnificent millennia-old...

Top ChoiceSquare in Merdeka Square & Central Jakarta

Merdeka Square

Merdeka Square

It is here that Jakartans come to take a breather from the traffic. The figurative centre of Jakarta, Merdeka Square (merdeka means independence) is actually a trapezoid measuring almost 1 sq km. In the 19th...

Top ChoiceArea in Semarang

Old City

Semarang’s atmospheric old quarter, often referred to by its Dutch name, the Outstadt, is well worth investigating. Until recently, most of the area’s colonial buildings were abandoned as city authorities focused...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Solo

Sangiran Museum of Ancient Man

With the largest collection of Homo erectus fossils in the world (the bones of 70 individuals), Sangiran is an important archaeological excavation site. This was where ‘Java Man’ (Pithecanthropus erectus) was...

Top ChoicePalace in Yogyakarta

Taman Sari

This once-splendid pleasure park of palaces, pools and waterways, built between 1758 and 1765, functioned as the playground of the sultan and his entourage. It's said that the sultan had the Portuguese architect...

Top ChoiceBuddhist Temple in Borobudur

Mendut Temple & Monastery

This exquisite temple, around 3.5km east of Borobudur, may look insignificant compared with its mighty neighbour, but it houses the most outstanding statue in its original setting of any temple in Java. The...

Top ChoiceLake in Dieng Plateau

Telaga Warna

Ringed by highland forest and steep-sided vegetable terraces, this lake is renowned for its exquisite colour. Ranging from a delicate turquoise to a rich cobalt blue, the hue of the water is determined by the...

Top ChoiceSquare in Kota & Glodok

Taman Fatahillah

Kota’s central cobblestone square, surrounded by imposing Dutch colonial buildings, is Jakarta's most attractive location and a popular gathering spot for tourists and locals. The stately bell-towered former town...

Top ChoiceHealth Food in South Jakarta

Blue Terrace

Counteract some of Jakarta's toxins at Blue Terrace, which crafts beautifully presented dishes for the health conscious. The menu is chock full of colourful salads and mains, all delicately arranged and many...

Top ChoiceDance in Prambanan

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;...

Top ChoiceEuropean in Surabaya

De Soematra 1910

Put on your posh frock to come to this highly regarded restaurant. It's set inside a renovated colonial mansion with 6m-high ceilings, chandeliers and carved wooden drinks counters (with sherry decanters, of...

Top ChoiceIndonesian in Cikini & Menteng

Kunstkring Paleis

High tea or cocktails? You can have both, plus a divine Indonesian dinner in between at this alluring re-imagined Dutch colonial mansion, once Batavia's fine arts centre (it showed works by Van Gogh, Picasso,...