Top 10 iconic places to see in Indonesia

Cover Photo: Top 10 iconic places to see in Indonesia
Top 10 iconic places to see in Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the most diverse and beautiful nations in Southeast Asia. It is made up of thousands of volcanic islands and is home to hundreds of ethnic groups speaking many different languages. As a vast archipelago nation composed of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is one of the most fascinating countries in the world. The country’s motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, meaning “Unity in Diversity”, and there’s perhaps a no better way to summarize Indonesia. Indonesia is known for beaches, volcanoes, temples, Komodo dragons, orangutans, tigers and jungles sheltering elephants. In general, Indonesia has all the attractions to keep you entertained.

Here is the list of the Top 10 iconic places to see in Indonesia:

1. Borobudur

Photo: Borobudur Temple, Indonesia
(Image Courtesy: © Joel Santos)

Borobudur is a Mahayana Buddhist temple located in Magelang, Central Java, at the centre of the island of Java, Indonesia. The Borobudur Temple is the world's largest Buddhist temple and one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world. It was originally built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty. The main temple is a stupa built in three tiers around a hill which were a natural centre: a pyramidal base with five concentric square terraces, the trunk of a cone with three circular platforms on top of them, and then at the very top, a magnificent monumental stupa. The walls and balustrades are decorated with fine low reliefs, covering a total surface area of 2,520 m2. Around the circular platforms are 72 openwork stupas, each containing a statue of the Buddha.

Borobudur, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. Once a year, Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.

Days Open: Daily
Timings: 6:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: IDR 350,000 ($25) per head (Adults)
                   IDR 210,000 ($15) per head (Children/Student, Proof: Passport or Student ID)
Address: Jl. Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia

Combine (Combo) Ticket - Prambanan & Borobudur:
                 IDR 560,000 ($40) per head (Adults)
                 IDR 405,000 ($30) per head (Children/Student, Proof: Passport or Student ID)

2. Prambanan

Photo: Prambanan Temple, Indonesia
(Image Courtesy: © Atid Kiattisaksiri)

Prambanan is a Hindu temple located in Central Java, Indonesia. The Prambanan Temple is dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Preserver (Vishnu) and the Transformer (Shiva). It was originally built in the 850 CE during the reign of the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty.

Prambanan Temple is locally known as the Roro Jonggrang Temple or the Temple of the "Slender Virgin". Prambanan, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the largest and most beautiful Hindu temple compound in Indonesia. The temple complex of Prambanan lies among green fields and villages. Perhaps one of the biggest and most majestic temples in the Southeast Asia, Prambanan attracts many admirers and visitors each year from around the world.

Days Open: Daily
Timings: 6:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: IDR 350,000 ($25) per head (Adults)
                   IDR 210,000 ($15) per head (Children/Student, Proof: Passport or Student ID)
Address: Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia

3. Komodo National Park

Photo: Komodo National Park, Indonesia
(Image Source: Google)

Komodo National Park is a national park in Indonesia situated in the centre of the Indonesian archipelago. The park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller islands with a total area of 1,733 km2. The national park was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, the world's largest lizard existing no-where else in the world. Komodo dragon is the most remarkable inhabitant of Komodo National Park and the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2 to 3 meters. The Komodo Dragon was named as such due to both its appearance and aggressive behaviour. Later the park was dedicated to protecting other species, including marine species.

Photo: Komodo Dragon
(Image Source: Google)

The Komodo National Park, entitled as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Komodo islands is also a part of the Coral Triangle, which contains some of the richest marine biodiversity on Earth. The most popular activities within Komodo National Park are trekking, snorkelling, scuba diving, and observing the Komodo dragon. Scuba diving in Komodo is world class and popular because of the beautiful coral reefs, crystal-clear blue waters, and marine animals in humongous quantities.

Days Open: Daily
Timings: 6:00 am to 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: IDR 150,000 ($15) per person working days
                   IDR 225,000 ($25) per person Sundays and National Holidays
                   Tourism Tax IDR 50,000 ($5) per person
                   Snorkelling Fee: IDR 60,000 per person
                   Diving Fee: IDR 25,000 ($2.5) per person
                   Photo camera fee: IDR 50,000
                   Video camera fee: IDR 150,000
                   Ranger/guide fee: IDR 80,000 ($8) per group up to 5 people
                   Boat: IDR 100,000 ($10) per boat
                   Fishing: IDR 25,000 ($2.5) per person
                   Hiking: IDR 5,000 per person on each island
                   Wildlife observation: IDR 10,000 per person on each island
                   Canoeing fee: IDR 25,000 ($2.5) per person
Address: East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia

4. National Monument (Monumen Nasional)

Photo: National Monument (Monumen Nasional), Indonesia
(Image Source: Google)

The National Monument (also known as Monumen Nasional) is a 132 m (433 ft.) tower located in the centre of historic Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta, Indonesia. It is the national monument of the Republic of Indonesia, built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesian independence. The National Monument is obelisk shaped, topped with a flame coated with 35 kg of gold.

Affectionately called as the Monas by locals, the National Monument is the nation's most famous symbol of Indonesian independence symbolizing the fight for Indonesia. The base of monument houses a historical museum and a hall for meditations. The monument is open to the public and upon request, the lift can carry visitors to the top, which offers a grand view of Jakarta. The National Monument stands for the people's determination to achieve freedom and the crowning of their efforts in the Proclamation of Independence in August 1945. The National Monument is the most famous landmark in the heart of Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta.

Days Open: Daily
Timings: 7:00 am to 12:00 am
Entry Fee: Children/Student: Goblet: IDR 2,000. Top: IDR 2,000.
                   College: Goblet: IDR 3,000. Top: IDR 5,000.
                   Adult: Goblet: IDR 5,000. Top: IDR 10,000.
Address: Gambir, Central Jakarta City, Jakarta, Indonesia

5. Istiqlal Mosque

Photo: Istiqlal Mosque, Indonesia
(Image Source: Google)

Istiqlal Mosque is the largest mosque in Indonesia and Southeast Asia and the third largest Sunni mosque in term of capacity. Located in Jakarta, Indonesia, this national mosque was built to commemorate Indonesian independence and named "Istiqlal", an Arabic word for "independence". The Istiqlal Mosque stands out with its 45m diameter dome and tall minarets and is positioned next to Merdeka Square and the Jakarta Cathedral.

The mosque has seven entrance gates, and all seven gates are named after Al-Asmaul-Husna, the names of God in Islam. The number seven represents the Seven Heavens in Islamic cosmology. The Istiqlal Mosque is a sacred place of worship as well as a centre for conferences, lectures and seminars.

Days Open: Every Day (except Sunday)
Timings: 4:00 am to 12:00 pm
Entry Fee: Free
Address: Jl. Taman Wijaya Kusuma, Ps. Baru, Sawah Besar, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10710, Indonesia

6. Pura Besakih (Mother Temple)

Photo: Pura Besakih (Mother Temple), Indonesia
(Image Source: Google)

Pura Besakih is a temple complex in the village of Besakih perched 1000 metres high on the slopes of Mount Agung in Bali, Indonesia. Pura Besakih is known as the Mother Temple of Bali and it is over a 1000 years old. It is the most important, the largest and holiest temple of Hindu religion in Bali, and is surrounded by breath-taking and scenic rice paddies, hills, mountains, streams, and more.

Pura Besakih is artistic and unique as it basically consists of more than 80 individual temples. The main one is Pura Penataran Agung (the Great Temple of State). Pura Besakih is the only temple open to every devotee from any caste groups. This is because of its nature as the primal centre of all ceremonial activities. It is simply the prime spiritual centre for all Balinese.

Days Open: Daily
Timings: 24 hours
Entry Fee: IDR 60,000 per person
Address: Besakih, Rendang, Karangasem Regency, Bali 80863, Indonesia

7. Lawang Sewu (Thousand Doors)

Photo: Lawang Sewu (Thousand Doors), Indonesia
(Image Courtesy: © Roy Singh)

Lawang Sewu (also known as Thousand Doors) is the most famous landmark in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia. Built in 1904, Lawang Sewu is an ancient building which is famous for its exotic design as well as its mystical tales. Lawang Sewu is one of the legacies of Indonesian history. Lawang Sewu is actually two colossal colonial buildings that were once one of the headquarters of the Indonesian railways during the Dutch era.

The name Lawang Sewu is from Javanese; it means "Thousand Doors". And while the building does not really have a thousand doors, the name comes from its design, with numerous doors, large windows and arcs that resemble doors. Lawang Sewu is said to be haunted, with many tourists visiting to see the ghosts. Among the ghosts reported inhibiting the establishment are a "Dutchwoman" who committed suicide inside and "headless ghouls". Lawang Sewu is respected for its eye-catching architecture and rich history but also feared for the haunted ghost stories local people tell.

Days Open: Daily
Timings: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm
Entry Fee: IDR 10,000 per head (Adults)
                   IDR 5,000 per head (Students)
                   IDR 5,000 per head (Kids, 3-12 years of age)
Address: Jalan Pemuda, Sekayu, Semarang Tengah, Sekayu, Semarang Tengah, Kota Semarang, Jawa Tengah 50132, Indonesia

8. Taman Sari Water Castle

Photo: Taman Sari Water Castle, Indonesia
(Image Courtesy: © Keren Su | Getty Images)

Taman Sari is a historical landmark in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Taman Sari, also known as Taman Sari Water Castle, is the site of a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. Built in the mid-18th century, the Taman Sari had multiple functions, such as a resting area, a workshop, a meditation area, a defence area, and a hiding place.

Taman Sari consisted of four distinct areas: a large artificial lake with islands and pavilions located in the west, a bathing complex in the centre, a complex of pavilions and pools in the south, and a smaller lake in the east. In this present day, some of its buildings have now become homes for local residents and only the mosque, resting and bathing space, and underground tunnels are accessible by tourists.

Days Open: Daily
Timings: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Entry Fee: IDR 15,000 per person
                   IDR 1,000 for Camera fee
Address: Komplek Wisata Taman Sari, Taman, Kraton, Patehan, Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia

9. Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave)

Photo: Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), Indonesia
(Image Courtesy: © Cham Estrera | Walk with Cham)

Goa Gajah is an archaeological site of significant historical value that makes it a special place to visit. Goa Gajah is locally known as the Elephant Cave because of its close proximity to the Elephant River. It is located on the island of Bali near Ubud, in Indonesia. This 11th-century cave is carved into a rock face and entered through the cavernous mouth of a demon.

Goa Gajah is an elephant-shaped cave temple with a Shiv lingam and Ganesha idol at the end of dark tunnel passage. Stone carvings of various demons and characters depicting mythological stories make this place interesting. The complex contains the aforementioned cave, a couple of temples, ancient bathing pools and some collapsed Buddhist relics all within a stunning jungle setting. Goa Gajah or Elephant Cave is one of the top attractions on the island of Bali.

Days Open: Daily
Timings: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: IDR 30,000 per head (Adults)
                   IDR 15,000 per head (Children)
                   IDR 2,000 for a Motorcycle per day for parking
                   IDR 5,000 for a Car, per day for parking
Address: Bedulu Village, Jalan Raya Goa Gajah, Blahbatuh, Gianyar, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

10. Puri Saren Agung (Ubud Kingdom Palace)

Photo: Puri Saren Agung (Ubud Kingdom Palace), Indonesia
(Image Source: Google)

Puri Saren Agung popularly known as the Ubud Kingdom Palace is a historical building complex situated in the centre of Ubud, Gianyar Regency of Bali, Indonesia. The palace was the official residence of the royal family of Ubud. Puri Saren Agung is one of the major attractions in Ubud, Indonesia.

Ubud Kingdom Palace is an artistic cultural life centre. Visitors have chances to live there to experience the luxury lives of royalties. In addition, there are many famous local Balinese dances and performances at Ubud Palace, such as Legong Dance, Masquerade Dance and Greeting Dance. If you are interested in experiencing the most traditional art and history of Bali, this should not be missed.

Days Open: Daily
Timings: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Entry Fee: Free during the day
                   Evening dance recital: IDR 10,000 per person
Address: 8, Jalan Raya Ubud, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia

So these are the top 10 iconic places to see in Indonesia, listed by Travelxo.

Have you ever been to Indonesia and witnessed these top 10 iconic places? How do you feel while seeing these iconic places? Do share your experience with us in the comment section below. Let’s make this place the best travel destination online for travel lovers (travellers).

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