33 top things to do in Java

Beautiful Foggy Mount Bromo by Ronald Tagra



Top things to do in JavaWith the countless attractions, this Indonesia heartland, Java, definitely should be a must visit place in Indonesia for the adventurous world travellers.

Java offers the world’s famous ancient sites, over 120 volcanoes, beautiful national parks, rainforests, tea and rice plantations, big cities, great waves, not to mention the beautiful savanna and list goes on.

If you want to learn more about Java we have it is posted here.

Here’s the list of 33 top things to do in Java (…and a lot more)

Let’s assume you start in Jakarta, yes it is known as one of the most populated city in the world but this city has more than that to offer.

1. Kick your Indonesia travel off by visiting Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

[“English Beautiful Indonesia Miniature Park] where virtually you can learn about the whole Indonesia on one visit, it is a culture-based recreational area situated in East Jakarta.

2. Feel the atmosphere of high class shopping malls in Jakarta

Do window shopping at a number of huge malls, pick Grand Indonesia as it is one of most popular malls and has the easy access as it is in the center, to feel the atmosphere of modern city Jakarta.

3. Shopping till drop at super cheap Mall Ambassador (or pasar tanah abang)

And of course you can always shop at cheaper shopping like Mall Ambassador or one of the biggest wholesale center in South East Asia Pasar tanah abang.

But don’t lose yourself, you don’t want to carry too many bags with full of new cloths to the rest of Indonesia, because those malls and Pasar Tanah Abang indeed sell the tempting stuff.

4. Visit the beautiful and largest mosque in Southeast Asia Istiqlal Mosque

Witness the true diversity in Indonesia by visiting huge and beautiful Istiqlal Mosque, it is also the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. This mosque is built exactly across the big Jakarta Cathedral and Immanuel Church.

This is actually the real Indonesia relevant to Indonesia’s National Motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika translated as ‘Unity in diversity’.

5. Don’t miss the beautiful Jakarta Cathedral and Immanuel Church

As mentioned above that the cathedral and Immanuel Church is pretty close to the istiqlal mosques, therefore don’t miss this beautiful and oldest church in Indonesia.

6. …and head to Indonesia National Monument, Monas

And Monas (Monumen Nasional) is definitely the very important Indonesia landmark that you can’t miss, it is where the first Red-and-White flag was flown during the Proclamation of Independence on 17 August 1945.

7. Visit Meuseum Bank Indonesia (Translated Indonesia Bank Museum)

This is another important and great museum that you can’t miss, it is a financial museum in the historic building that used to house the old colonial bank or Javasche Bank. Here you can learn about the financial history of this world’s largest archipelago.

8. Visit the world popular Indonesia National Museum

It was built in 1778, the right place where you can learn about Indonesia history, it is well managed, displayed, and presented.

9. Enjoy a fine Sunday brunch at one of many Jakarta fashionable cafes

Either you are in Jakarta for one day or more, having a fine brunch or coffee or meals in one of the world class cafes in Jakarta is totally worth trying.

10. Say hi the president at President Palace (Merdeka Palace)

I was joking about the saying hi part :). Istana Merdeka [English: Merdeka Palace] was previously known as Istana Gambir and as Paleis te Koningsplein during during colonial times.

The palace is now used as the official residence of the Republic of Indonesia President. And it is also one of the six presidential palaces in Indonesia.

11. Visit the Jakarta Old Town to feel the ambience of the old Batavia

Jakarta old town is the Batavia city for those who love the colonial buildings and history.

12. Visit Kebun Raya (botanical gardens) in Bogor.

Bogor Botanical Gardens is a very well managed scenic garden where you can enjoy the beautiful serene, long-standing garden featuring expansive, scenic botanical garden featuring a wide range of tropical flowers & plants.

Bogor Botanical Garden by Nurul Firti Lubis
Bogor Botanical Garden by Nurul Firti Lubis

13. Do the beach hopping at thousand island

Rent a fisherman’s boat and sail around the thousand island (Indonesian : Kepulauan Seribu National Park) and it has great swimming and snorkelling spots too.

14. Surfing at Cimaja – Pelabuhan Ratu

Cimaja beach, Pelabuhan Ratu is one of the world destination surfing spots located in Sukabumi, southern part of West Java

Pelabuhan ratu surfing beach - Photo credit to Ricka Mayangsari on flickr
Pelabuhan ratu surfing beach – Photo credit to Ricka Mayangsari on flickr

15. Kawah Putih




Kawah Putih is a striking crater lake situated 50 km to the south of Bandung, Java in Indonesia.

Here you are totally going to feel like being in the different world, featuring the beautiful greenish color volcanic crater.

16. Tangkuban Perahu

Tangkuban Perahu is a stratovolcano 30 km north of the city of Bandung, the provincial capital of West Java, Indonesia which the last time was erupted in 1957.

17. Take a hike to beautiful Mount Papandayan

Seriously, with a very easy hike you will get more than you could imagine, it offers completely beautiful sceneries for such a relatively easy hike.

Mount Papandayan is a complex stratovolcano, located in Garut Regency, southeast of Bandung West Java, Indonesia.

Don’t blame me if mount Papandayan is going to be one of your best mountaineering experiences.

Mount Papandayan - Credit to TR
Mount Papandayan – Credit to TR

18. Shop till drop in Bandung

Bandung is known as the shopping city in Indonesia and probably one in the world too. It is also called as Paris of Java by the Dutch and is for sure the shopping paradise.

19. Climb the mind blowing beautiful Mount Gede

Mount gede is one of the most favorite mountain in Indonesia, great trails, excellent meadow walk along a clear path, wonderful Edelweiss field of Suryakencana with magnificently beautiful mountain range surrounding, amazing crater and mind blowing sunrise view from the top.

Indonesia Travel Guide
Me (TR) Posing on the top of Mount Gede – Taken by My hiking mate

Trek in Ujung Kulon National Park and Mount Halimun Salak National Park, see excellent examples of rainforest and wild animals.

20. Travel by train from either Jakarta or Bandung, and get ready to be amazed by the beautiful landscapes

Enjoy the comfortable road trip and have a relaxing time featuring the beautiful landscapes on the way by taking train from either Jakarta or Bandung to Yogyakarta.

21. Visiting the Indonesia heritage’s treasure Borobudur Temple

It is known as the largest Buddhist temple in the world from the 9th century, and is also recorded as the site is renowned as the largest Buddhist temple in the world located in central Java. It is definitely a must things to do on your Indonesia holiday.

And the sunrise watching from this beautiful temple is total worth getting up early for.

22. Explore Prambanan Temple after Borobudur

Another iconic and historic temple that Indonesia proud of is Prambanan, it is an ancient Hindu temple from 9th century Hindu.

While Borobudur is great for sunrise, Prambanan is perfect for sunset, you can buy joint ticket at Borobudur where you can use on either the same day or the next day

23. Climb the magical Mount Merapi Central Java

Mount merapi (mountain of fire) is one of the top volcano climbed by the mountaineers not only from in Indonesia but also from all over the world.

It is classified as one of the world’s 16 Decade Volcanoes and therefore it is also under close monitoring because it can be dangerous too.

24. Shop for Batik in Yogyakarta

You should not leave Yogyakarta without buying some batiks, it is one of the world known places in Indonesia where you can shop whatever kind of Batik from really cheap to really expensive one.

25. Enjoy the beach at Batu Karas

Batu Karas beach is popular among the tourist especially for the beginner surfing. Batu Karas beach is also noted as the best beach for learning surfing.

26. Visit Timang Beach

After temples and malioboro shopping you might want to enjoy the breezy beach air, Timang beach is beautiful beach situated in the south of Jogjakarta Gunung Kidul

27. Get refreshed by visiting Baturaden waterfalls

Because of its natural beauty and magnificent view no doubt that Baturaden stands as one of the most prominent tourist destinations in Java.

28. Mt. Ijen Blue Fire Trekking

Mount Ijen where you can witness the magical blue fire, the beautiful gaze upon the vivid and turquoise crater lake that can be one of the amazing experiences in your life

29. Mount Bromo Hiking

Hiking the sacred mount Bromo is for sure one of the top things to do in Java that you can not miss.

If you are travelling to mount Bromo from Yogyakarta, we have an article on how to get to Mount Bromo from Yogyakarta here.

30. Visit Pangandaran beach

Pangandaran beach is located in between Jakarta and Yogyakarta and is also well known within the world traveler who are into surfing. And don’t leave this beach before enjoying the delicious seafood.

31. Visit Dieng Plateau

Enjoy the beautiful surrounding views and hike up through the rolling hills of plantations and mountains flanking from all sides, and the view from the top is breathtaking!

It takes about 40 minutes to ascend to the top, it is situated about 2,000 meter above the sea level in Wonosobo Central Java.

32. Visit Karimunjawa national marine park

KarimunJawa Beach by Batara
Karimunjawa Beach, One of the must visit places in Java by Batara



Karimun jawa is a group of small islands and the main ones are Karimunjawa island, Kemujan island, Menjangan Besar island, and Menjangan Kecil island.

It is one of world known diving spots featuring various kinds of sea animals, like turtles, sharks. It also offers the beautiful sandy beaches and is located in Jepara Central Java.

33. Climb the highest volcano in Java, mount Semeru (3,676 m)

Last but not least, climbing the beautiful roof of Java, mount Semeru is definitely one of the finest hikes and top things to do in Java located in East Java.

Witness the black cloud of volcanic ash and sand that frequently released from the summit, however it is safe to hike as long as you follow the mountaineering safety rules and respect the nature.

This mountain if popular within both local and international mountaineers.

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