Best 2 Week Indonesia Itinerary for First Timers

The Best 2 Week Indonesia Itinerary

One of the most brilliant Asian destinations, Indonesia is a HUGE country and offers more sights, sounds, smells and tastes than you could ever possibly hope to explore, even with a lifetime to see it.

As such, deciding what to see in just 2 weeks here can be tough.

I think the key is not to do too much – instead select a few islands and explore a couple of destinations on each.

This will give you the ability to sample some of the great diversity Indonesia has to offer, without overstretching yourself and spending a lot of time just travelling.

This 2 week Indonesia itinerary covers 3 of the country’s main islands and 6 locations within them – check out Bookaway if you want to find out how to travel between these spots.

Bringing in a mix of cultural, natural, outdoor and culinary attractions, this itinerary will also give you a great taste of this amazing southeast Asian nation, no doubt leaving you only keen to come back and see more!


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Day 1&2: Jakarta

Indonesia, Jakarta, Monas Monument

Start your Indonesia itinerary in the capital, Jakarta.

This buzzing, bustling city can be a crazy introduction, but it’s where many people fly into and makes a good base to adjust to the time zone and the delicious Indonesian food!

Loads of people bag out Jakarta, but actually, there’s a lot to do here and plenty to amuse yourself for a couple of days.

Don’t miss the National Museum – known as the elephant building due to the massive statue outside – and its highlight, the treasure room on level 4.

Other Jakarta must-sees include the National Monument and the old historic centre of Kota Tua with its iconic square and the flagship Café Batavia.

The Istiqlal Mosque and Jakarta Cathedral which sat next to each other in the capital are also worth a visit.

READ MORE: 5 Reasons I Can’t Wait to Visit Jakarta


Day 3&4: Lake Toba

Indonesia, Lake Toba, Boat

After Jakarta, hop on a short domestic flight to the north of Indonesia’s other main island – Sumatra.

Right in the north of this island is the amazing Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world.

With some interesting cultures and communities (including an ex-cannibalistic village!) that will begin to show you just how diverse this huge archipelago country really is, Lake Toba offers a huge amount for those who want to explore something a little different during their Indonesia itinerary

Enjoying a cruise on the lake, visiting a local village, learning traditional weaving methods, exploring waterfalls and staying on the island lake of Samosir are also must-do activities while you’re here.


Day 5-6: Bukittinggi

Indonesia, Bukittinggi, Building

My third recommended location on this Indonesia itinerary is also on the island of Sumatra, but situated in the west rather than the north.

You can get a long bus ride down here, or hop on a short domestic flight from the Lake Toba area – just remember to factor this travel time into your itinerary.

I loved Bukittinggi because it feels very off the beaten track and during my time there I encountered hardly any other international tourists.

As such, this is a great destination for experiencing a very local way of life in Indonesia and for sampling some incredible food, which this part of the country is very famous for.

Bukittinggi also offers some great hiking opportunities in the surrounding area, some stunning views and some interesting historical sites, such as the Japanese War Tunnels too.

A great all-round destination, if you’re looking to do something a little different for a few days on your Indonesia itinerary, this could be the answer.

READ MORE: Bukittinggi : The Epic Indonesia Destination No One Talks About


Day 7-10: Yogyakarta

Indonesia, Yogyakarta, 2 Becak

And now it’s time to hop back to the island of Java and make a stop at one of the most popular traveller destinations here.

Yogyakarta is great and you should allow at least 3 nights here in my opinion.

From seeing the sun rise over the nearby Borobudur Temple – which is the largest Buddhist Temple in the world – to exploring the Royal Palaces and great restaurants of this student-orientated city, Yogyakarta offers travellers a lot of fun as well as adventure.

This city is also famous for its Batik making and traditional dance, so there’s plenty to do here if you’re looking for a cultural fix too.

READ MORE: 9 Reasons You Must Visit Yogyakarta in Indonesia


Day 11-14: Bali

Indonesia, Bali, Temple

And last but not least, it’s the destination that almost everyone thinks of when they think of Indonesia!

Yup, Bali is where many people’s Indonesia itinerary begins and ends, but while there is way more to see of this country, it is hard to resist finishing your time on this paradise island.

From the mountain village of Ubud, with its yoga retreats and jungle hideaways, through to the party beaches of Seminyak, there’s so much to do here that even 5 nights won’t have you enjoying even half of what is on offer.

I’d recommend checking out 2 destinations during your 5 nights in Bali and as this will give you enough time to get a sense of the island’s diversity without rushing too much.

Why not choose an inland location and balance that with a beachside spot to get the best of both worlds?

Also worth noting is that the south of the island is the most populated and touristy; it’s also nearer the airport in Denpasar, so it may be worth basing yourself this side of things if you’re short on time and want to keep journey lengths to a minimum.

Or, if you do have longer to spend on the island, you could explore the more remote north or join the digital nomads in the new hotspot of Canggu!

This is where loads of working bloggers, students writing their theses or dissertations and online traders are heading to enjoy amazing weather, great internet connection, sensational food and cheap living.

With the number of services available online these days – from web development to graphic design, essay writing, proofreading and digital marketing – you don’t necessarily need to stay in your home country to work, study or earn money and Bali is becoming the new mecca for those who have realised this!

Check out this top 2 week Bali itinerary to learn more about how to spend your time on the island whether holidaying or working abroad.


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Mini Travel Guide to Indonesia

How to Get to Indonesia?

Most people begin their Indonesia itinerary by flying into the city of Jakarta – ideal for this itinerary, which begins there!

Bali’s international airport, in the island’s capital of Denpasar, is also a popular arrival and departure point. If you’re following this itinerary, I suggest leaving Indonesia from there.

As always, I use Skyscanner to find the best flight deals.


When to Visit Indonesia?

Unlike a lot of Southeast Asia, Indonesia’s rainy season actually falls between the months of November and April.

This means the best time to visit the country is actually May to September, especially July and August, which are the 2 driest months of the year.

In this way, Indonesia’s climate follows a pattern more similar to Northern Australia than say, Thailand, or other popular Southeast Asian countries.


How to Get to Indonesia?

Domestic flights are common between long-distance destinations in Indonesia, especially to more remote places such as Raja Ampat, or even Bali.

Otherwise, for journeys such as Jakarta to Yogyakarta, or Canggu to Ubud in Bali, check out Bookaway for journey planning and booking.


Best Camera for Indonesia

I love my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera, which I’ve used throughout my travels in Indonesia and beyond.

Light, compact and sturdy, it’s the perfect companion to adventuring around the world and snapping memories to last you a lifetime.


Travel Insurance for Indonesia

World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world.

Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.


Travel Money in Indonesia

When it comes to paying for things in Indonesia, you want to ensure you’re not being charged overseas transaction fees or getting poor exchange rates when using your card abroad, which is why I always take my Wise card away with me wherever I travel.

The easy way to spend abroad with real exchange rates, no markups and no sneaky transaction fees, you can use your Wise card just like a debit card here… and it links easily with Google and Apple pay – sold! Get yours here.




So there you have it, my 2 week Indonesia itinerary.

Perfect if this is your first visit to the country and you want to see a lot in a short amount of time, this plan will have you visiting 3 of the major islands and getting a broad insight into the different cultures and communities that make up this huge archipelago.



2 thoughts on “Best 2 Week Indonesia Itinerary for First Timers

  1. FloresTour Package says:

    This is a great two week itinerary! I used to live in Bali and work but now I’m back in my local village in Flores Indonesia. Now can you please do a blog on Flores so it can help my local people. Covid is no business, so we need tourism now. Thank you for your help. I want to help my local people by posting online. thank you very much

    • Steph says:

      So glad you like the itinerary and I’m very sorry about to hear the situation in Flores, I know it’s tough everywhere in the world for places that rely heavily on tourism at the moment. Sadly I haven’t been to Flores so can’t write a blog about it, but sending all my best wishes and hope people will be able to travel again safely soon. Steph

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