Essential Tips For Getting Around In Indonesia

Indonesia is a beautiful country with diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and vibrant cities. Getting around in Indonesia can be an adventure in itself, but with a few essential tips, you can navigate the country with ease. Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Jakarta, relaxing on the beaches of Bali, or trekking through the jungles of Borneo, these tips will help you make the most of your journey.

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Indonesia is extensive and affordable. Buses, trains, and minibusses, known as angkot or bemo, are common modes of transport in cities and towns. Buses are a popular choice for long-distance travel, while trains are a convenient option for shorter distances. Be prepared for crowded buses and trains, especially during peak hours.

Ride-Hailing Apps

Ride-hailing apps like Gojek and Grab are widely used in Indonesia, especially in major cities. These apps allow you to book a car or motorcycle taxi with ease. They are convenient, reliable, and often cheaper than traditional taxis. Just make sure to have the app installed and set up on your smartphone before your trip.


Taxis are readily available in Indonesia, particularly in urban areas. Blue Bird Group and Express Group are two of the most reputable taxi companies in the country. Make sure to use a metered taxi or negotiate the fare before getting in to avoid being overcharged.

Motorbike Rental

If you’re comfortable riding a motorbike, renting one can be a great way to explore Indonesia. It gives you the freedom to go off the beaten path and discover hidden gems. However, exercise caution and always wear a helmet, as traffic can be chaotic.

Chartered Cars

If you prefer a more comfortable and private mode of transportation, you can hire a chartered car with a driver. This option allows you to customize your itinerary and travel at your own pace. It’s especially useful if you’re traveling with a group or have a lot of luggage.

Walking and Cycling

In smaller towns and tourist areas, walking and cycling can be enjoyable and convenient ways to get around. Many cities have dedicated bike lanes, and renting a bicycle is often an affordable option.

1. Traditional Indonesian trishaw (becak) in Yogyakarta

Take a ride in a becak, a three-wheeled bicycle taxi commonly found in Yogyakarta. It’s a unique and eco-friendly way to explore the city.

2. Colorful angkot in Bandung

Experience local transportation by hopping on an angkot, a brightly colored minibus that serves as a popular mode of transport in Bandung.

3. Traditional wooden boat in Komodo National Park

Embark on a boat tour in Komodo National Park and admire the stunning scenery while traveling between the islands.

4. Motorcycle taxi (ojek) in Jakarta

Try using an ojek, a motorcycle taxi, to navigate the congested streets of Jakarta. It’s a quick and convenient way to beat the traffic.

5. Traditional wooden phinisi boat in Labuan Bajo

Take a sailing trip on a phinisi boat, a traditional Indonesian wooden ship, in Labuan Bajo. Explore the beautiful islands and dive sites in comfort.

6. Horse-drawn carriage (delman) in Malang

Take a romantic ride in a delman, a horse-drawn carriage, in the charming city of Malang. It’s a nostalgic way to explore the city’s colonial architecture.


1. Is it safe to use public transportation in Indonesia?

Yes, public transportation is generally safe in Indonesia. However, it’s always a good idea to be cautious of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings.

2. How do I use ride-hailing apps in Indonesia?

Download the app of your choice, create an account, and input your destination. The app will show available drivers and estimated fares. Once you confirm the booking, the driver will pick you up at your location.

3. Are taxis expensive in Indonesia?

Taxis in Indonesia are generally affordable. However, it’s important to use reputable taxi companies and ensure the meter is used or negotiate the fare upfront.

4. Can I rent a motorbike without a license?

Technically, you need an international driving license to rent a motorbike in Indonesia. However, some rental shops may not strictly enforce this requirement. It’s best to check with the rental company beforehand.

5. Are there any special rules for cycling in Indonesia?

While cycling is a popular activity in Indonesia, there are no specific rules or regulations for cyclists. It’s important to stay alert, follow traffic laws, and wear a helmet for safety.

6. How much does it cost to hire a chartered car with a driver?

The cost of hiring a chartered car with a driver varies depending on the duration of the rental, the type of vehicle, and the distance traveled. It’s best to negotiate the price in advance.

7. Are there any safety precautions I should take when using public transportation?

Avoid displaying valuable items and keep your belongings secure. Be cautious of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. If possible, travel with a buddy or in a group.

8. Can I use a foreign driving license in Indonesia?

Yes, you can use a foreign driving license in Indonesia for a limited period. However, it’s recommended to obtain an international driving license before your trip for convenience.

Pros of Getting Around in Indonesia

1. Affordable transportation options for all budgets.

2. Diverse modes of transport, allowing you to experience local culture and scenery.

3. Convenient ride-hailing apps for easy booking and navigation.

4. Opportunities for adventurous exploration, such as motorbike rentals and boat tours.

5. Freedom to customize your itinerary and travel at your own pace with chartered cars.

Tips for Getting Around in Indonesia

1. Plan your routes in advance, especially for long-distance travel.

2. Keep small change and small bills for public transportation fares.

3. Learn basic Indonesian phrases or carry a translation app to communicate with drivers and locals.

4. Be prepared for traffic jams, especially in major cities.

5. Check the weather conditions before embarking on boat tours or outdoor activities.

6. Stay hydrated and carry snacks, especially during long journeys.


Getting around in Indonesia can be an exciting and rewarding experience. With a variety of transportation options, from public transportation to ride-hailing apps and chartered cars, you can explore the country at your own pace. Be prepared for crowded buses and trains, negotiate taxi fares, and exercise caution when renting a motorbike. Take advantage of the diverse image ideas, follow the provided tips, and you’ll have an unforgettable adventure in Indonesia.