Currency: Rupiah (IDR)
Exchange rate: 16,838 rupiah = 1 € (November 2020)
Time zone (s): UTC +7 to UTC +9
Country code (phone): + (62)
Climate (for capital): tropical-monsoonal
Transport and traffic
Driving in Indonesia is on the left. The choice of means of transport in Indonesia depends heavily on the different regional options. Most overland traffic takes place by bus. More comfortable overland trips with transport from house to house are possible with so-called “Travel” (a type of shared taxis). In local public transport, you can use Mikrolet or Bemos. Becak, Ojek and Bajaj offer alternatives to taxi. The number of classic taxis has been declining in recent times thanks to platforms such as Gojek and Gokar. There, trips with motorcycle or car taxis can be requested by private individuals. Whoever makes the cheapest offer then gets the ride.
Especially at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, public transport on the main routes is often overcrowded.
In Indonesia, the transport infrastructure is often very poor. This applies to both road, ship and (almost exclusively in Java) rail traffic. The total length of the railway lines is 8159 km, of which only 4,816 km are in operation. A large part of the railway lines in operation are in a dilapidated condition. However, the Indonesian railway is – with the help of large state aid – endeavor to change this. Among other things, some railway lines that have been shut down for years are currently being reactivated. Tickets can now be booked online.
Road traffic in particular is characterized by a low level of risk awareness among road users. The safety requirements and precautions in the transport sector are well below the European level. Road traffic is prone to accidents. This applies in particular to the main connecting routes between larger urban centers.
In large cities such as Jakarta, road users are usually stuck in traffic jams much longer than they can drive. This applies to almost all modes of transport.
Serious aircraft and shipping accidents have also increased in recent years. According to mathgeneral, the state-owned shipping company Pelni maintains a total of 24 relatively safe ships (built in Germany) that travel through the entire archipelago according to a fixed timetable. However, a boat trip from Jakarta to West Papua takes up to 7 days. Information on current timetables is best obtained from the local Pelni offices.
For several years, Indonesian airlines have been banned from flying to EU airports due to a number of serious aircraft accidents caused, among other things, by a lack of security checks. The ban was lifted in 2009. In Indonesia, if you don’t have a lot of time, there are seldom alternatives to air transport due to the huge distances. All major airlines (e.g. Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Silkair, AirAsia, Wings Air) can be booked online and fly to the larger centers at regular intervals. State-owned airline Merpati which flew to many smaller airports ceased its services on February 1, 2014 due to high debts.
For the period between 24.4. and on May 31, 2020, commercial air traffic was suspended due to the Covid-19 virus.
Since April 2, 2020, foreign nationals have been banned from entering Indonesia.
Currently (as of April 28, 2020) travelers to Indonesia must expect to be obliged to quarantine in Indonesian hospitals or quarantine centers in individual cases during their stay in Indonesia, even without signs of a possible infection with the coronavirus. The decision criteria for the sometimes drastic quarantine measures are often unclear. The accommodation does not meet European hygiene standards. Therefore, please note the current safety instructions from the Federal Foreign Office.
German tourists have been able to enter Germany without a visa for a maximum of 30 days since 2015. An extension of the visa-free stay is not possible after entry. Currently (as of March 30, 2020) visa-free entry is not possible due to the Covid-19 virus.
For all other purposes (e.g. research, study visit, participation in seminars as a speaker), information should be obtained from the responsible Indonesian diplomatic mission abroad as to whether a social, official, business or journalist visa is required. The relevant provisions may change from time to time.
At the end of 2015, among other things, a provision was passed that requires work visas, for example, for participation in meetings, quality controls and company visits.
You can find information in the travel advice of the Foreign Office and the homepage of the Indonesian Embassy in Berlin.
According to the Federal Foreign Office, visas or entry stamps from the State of Israel can lead to problems when entering the country. However, the Indonesian Embassy in Germany told the author of this page that there are no official regulations in this regard.
With children in Indonesia
There are international kindergartens and international schools in all major metropolises. However, there is only a German school in the Jakarta region. The school is in Tangerang near the German Center. Schoolchildren who live in the center of Jakarta therefore often have to travel long distances due to the traffic situation.
Jakarta, in particular, offers numerous leisure opportunities for children. Among other things, there are several amusement parks such as Dunia Fantasi or Taman Mini, which are also very interesting for adults because you can marvel at all of Indonesia in miniature there.