Indonesia travel guide
Spread across the equator, Indonesia is a series of emerald jewels scattered across a broad expanse of tropical sea. This is one of the world's great adventures in waiting - hidden away in dense jungles on secret islands are tribes still living in isolation from the modern world and animals hardly known to science.
Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation on Earth with an incredible legacy of people, culture and geography just waiting to be explored. This archipelago boasts more than 18,000 islands, from tiny islets not much bigger than a palm tree to rugged expanses of land like Borneo, shared with the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.
Many visitors come specifically to seek out their own island paradise, complete with white-sand beaches, swaying palms and emerald waters. Below the waters, there are some of the world's best dive sites, swarming with huge sunfish, giant rays, sharks, porpoises, turtles and a blindingly colourful array of tropical fish.
For others, the attraction is cultural. A fascinating range of civilisations has developed across these tropical islands, from animist tribes in remote jungle villages to the elaborate Hindu kingdoms of Bali and Java. In Indonesia, timeless temples jostle for space with golden-domed mosques and beach resorts crowded with sun-seekers and surfers. The surf resort of Kuta in Bali has become one of the world's favourite tropical escapes, and the beach parties rave through till dawn every day of the week.
Those in search of a real escape can venture to the volcanic islands that drift eastwards towards Australia. There are towering volcanoes to be climbed, national parks to be explored and tropical rainforests to be trekked. You might even get lucky and meet a babirusa endemic to Sulawesi or the world's largest living reptile on the island of Komodo, home to the eponymous Komodo dragon.
Best of all, flights and ferries link all of the major islands, so you can island-hop right across the archipelago, stopping only when you find your own perfect piece of Southeast Asia.
1,904,569 sq km (735,358 square miles).
140.08 per sq km.
President Joko Widodo since 2014.
President Joko Widodo since 2014.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Indonesia on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Death from Covid-19 in Indonesia
If COVID-19 is given as cause of death and you would like to arrange a local cremation and repatriation of ashes, you will need to make contact with a local undertaker within 4 hours of the death registration to give your instructions. If you do not do this, it is likely that a local burial will take place.
You will also require a letter of no objection from the Embassy. This will be issued on the next working day.
Commercial flights are operating to and from Indonesia. Check with your travel company for the latest information and PCR test validity periods.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Indonesia.
Returning to the UK
When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.
You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19 before or after you travel. You will be expected to self-isolate at home for 10 days along with all family members. If you do not have a home in Indonesia, you may be required to isolate in a Government-approved hotel or other quarantine facility where you will need to undergo further testing. You will be expected to bear all costs. These rules are likely to apply equally to minors travelling without parents.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Travel in Indonesia
Emergency public activity restrictions (PPKM) are in place until 25 July in Jakarta, Bali and many other regions of Indonesia. Essential services are available, but many public facilities are closed. It is mandatory to wear a face mask when outside. Criminal sanctions, including deportation or large fines may apply for violations of the restrictions. Non-essential businesses are closed and the public are advised to work from home until at least 25 July.
Public health measures by the Indonesian authorities include restrictions on in-country air travel. From 19 to 25 July in-country air travel is restricted to persons who work in essential and critical sectors and persons with urgent needs e.g. medical
Passengers travelling on domestic flights will need:
- a PCR certificate issued within 48 hours to confirm that they are free of COVID-19. The certificate should have a readable barcode or QR code and must be issued by a Ministry of Health approved health facility. If the certificate does not have a QR code an additional PCR test may be required on arrival
- a completed airline travel declaration form where required
- a completed Indonesian e-HAC form (online)
- proof of vaccination, in the form of a vaccination certificate showing at least 1 COVID-19 vaccination having been administered
For international air passengers
Passengers who are leaving Indonesia via Jakarta are exempt from showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination if they have no previous travel connection and are leaving directly from Jakarta. Any other passenger must show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination if they have received the vaccine.
Any passengers who have not received the vaccine, intend to leave Indonesia and need to travel domestically to do so, are exempt from showing vaccine certification subject to the following conditions:
- they do not leave the airport area during transit
- they obtain clearance from the Port Health Office at the point of first departure
- they show a full and valid flight itinerary showing all departure and arrival points
Travel requirements change frequently, sometimes at short notice. Please consult the Garuda Indonesia website for up to date information on testing requirements.
If you arrive in Bali by sea, a PCR test or negative rapid test with 48 hr validity is required.
Some hotels and private rental options continue to be open for business but will be more limited than usual and social distancing measures will be in force.
Public places and services
Emergency mobility restrictions have been introduced on travel and non-essential services until at least 31 July. Essential services remain accessible
Healthcare in Indonesia
For contact details for English speaking doctors, visit our list of healthcare providers.
A British national died of COVID-19 on 11 March 2020 in Bali. The standard of local medical care in Indonesia can be poor and some medical tests cannot be done reliably. As the government of Indonesia announces rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, there is an increasing risk that the healthcare system will come under significant further strain. Access to routine and emergency healthcare may be limited.
View Health for further details on healthcare in Indonesia.
If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should contact your nearest doctor or hospital. Detailed information about how patients with COVID-19 symptoms are handled can be found in our ‘living in Indonesia’ guide.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Indonesia
We will update this page when the Government of Indonesia announces new information on the national vaccination programme. You can sign up to get email notifications when this page is updated.
The Indonesian national vaccination programme started in January 2021 and is using the Sinovac, Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines. The programme is currently focused on priority groups and areas. The Government of Indonesia has stated that British nationals falling within priority groups and areas, who are resident in Indonesia are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme.
Regional prioritisation means that access to vaccines varies across the country. Foreign Nationals are currently eligible for vaccination if they are above 60 years old and live in ‘high risk areas’. Currently this only applies to Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali.
In addition some areas, where the tourist sector is looking to reopen, are running local vaccination programmes open to other age-groups. You are advised to contact your local Government Office to check whether this is planned in your area. Residents in possession of the correct documentation (KITAP/KTP permanent stay permit/Indonesia Identity card) may be eligible for vaccination.
If you are in a priority group or area, in order to obtain a vaccination you will need: your Passport; KITAS/KITAP (permanent stay permit/residence permit card); proof of address; and the SKTT (Surat Keterangan Tempat Tinggal – certificate of residence) from the Kelurahan. You should contact the local RT/RW (local Government Office) to get the information on your nearest location for vaccination, or go to the nearest primary health care (called PUSKESMAS in Bahasa) to get the vaccine. You are also advised to check with your local health provider as to the status of your local rollout and eligibility.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.
If you’re a British national living in Indonesia, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance
Be aware of the risk of street crime and pick-pocketing, particularly in busy tourist areas in Bali, where there have been reports of bag-snatching. Take sensible measures to protect yourself and your belongings. Avoid having bags obviously on show and carry only essential items. Take particular care of your passport and bank cards and avoid travelling around alone.
Credit card fraud is common. Do not lose sight of your card during transactions. Criminals sometimes place a fake telephone number on ATMs advising customers to report problems. Customers dialling the number are asked for their PIN and their card is then retained within the machine.
Beware of thieves on public transport. If you’re travelling by car keep doors locked at all times. Only book taxis with a reputable firm. You can ask your hotel to book one for you, or use taxis from Bluebird, Silverbird or Express groups. These are widely available at hotels and shopping malls in central Jakarta and at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Take care to distinguish Bluebird and Silverbird vehicles from ‘lookalike’ competitors. Do not use unlicensed taxi drivers at the airport or anywhere else. Their vehicles are usually in poor condition, unmetered and do not have a dashboard identity licence. They have been known to charge extortionate fares and to rob passengers.
Alcohol and drugs
Drinks served in bars can be stronger than those in the UK. In some cases, over drinking and taking drugs has resulted in accidents, injuries, robbery, assaults and lost travel documents and some British nationals have suffered psychiatric problems caused by alcohol, drugs and a lack of sleep. You should drink responsibly and be aware of your limits.
There have been reports of sexual assaults and drink spiking in Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands. Make sure drinks are prepared in your sight and be careful about accepting drinks from strangers at clubs and parties, or leaving drinks unattended. Tourists have also been robbed after taking visitors to their hotel rooms, and in some cases have found that their drinks were drugged.
There have been a number of deaths and cases of serious illness of locals and foreigners in Indonesia caused by drinking alcoholic drinks contaminated with methanol. These cases have occurred in bars, shops and hotels in popular tourist areas like Bali, Lombok, the Gili Islands and Sumatra. Criminal gangs have been reported to manufacture counterfeit replicas of well-known brands of alcohol containing high amounts of methanol. Take extreme care when buying spirit-based drinks, as bottles may appear to be genuine when they’re not.
There have also been cases of methanol poisoning from drinking adulterated arak/arrack, a local rice or palm liquor.
If you or someone you’re travelling with show signs of alcohol induced methanol poisoning or drink-spiking, seek immediate medical attention.
Use a reliable and reputable guide for any adventure trips, otherwise you may have difficulties with local authorities if you need their help. For longer journeys, notify friends of your travel plans, contact them on arrival and where possible travel in convoy/with others. Always carry a reliable means of communication with you.
Papua and West Papua
Political tensions in Papua province have given rise to occasional violence and armed attacks between Free Papua Movement (OPM) and associated groups, and the Indonesian authorities, particularly in the Central Highlands area around Puncak Jaya (including Wamena), but also including in Jayapura, Abepura, and Sentani on the north coast, and Timika town on the south coast.
On 30 March 2020, a New Zealand national was shot dead and a number of Indonesian nationals were wounded at the Freeport mining facility in Papua province. Clashes in previous years have at times resulted in civilian deaths. If you’re travelling in the region, you should exercise extreme caution. Papuan separatists have kidnapped foreigners in the past. There is a heavy security presence in some areas, especially along the border with Papua New Guinea.
Political tensions have also given rise to occasional mass demonstrations in cities in Papua and protests have most recently taken place in several locations including Manokwari, West Papua Province, and in Jayapura and Wamena Papua Province, Timika and Fakfak regency. (August and September 2019). There are reports of difficulties with internet connections and communications may be limited. You should monitor local media, avoid all protests, demonstrations and political rallies in these and other areas as they could become violent with little notice.
Should you need medical attention, there are limited hospital facilities in Papua and West Papua provinces and the likely destination for a medical emergency is Darwin, Australia.Monitor the situation and be alert to changing circumstances.
Central Sulawesi Province
The political situation in Central Sulawesi Province is unsettled. Take particular care in Palu, Poso and Tentena and be alert to the potential for politically-motivated violence.
There is ongoing conflict between the Indonesian security forces and terrorists, including attacks upon police and civilians in May 2021. This conflict is predominantly concentrated in the Sigi, Parigi Moutong and Poso regions.
Maluku Province has experienced unrest and violence between different religious and tribal groups. Take particular care in Ambon, including Haruku Island (Pulau Haruku).
Aceh has emerged from a long period of internal conflict. Although violence against foreigners is rare, a British national was abducted in June 2013 and there were three separate incidents in November 2009 targeting foreigners. There have been reports of Shari’a (religious) police harassing foreigners.
Be alert to the risk of politically-motivated violence and take particular care in remote areas. Keep up to date with local developments and avoid large crowds, especially political rallies.
Sharia law is in force in Aceh. See Local laws and customs
The overall political situation is stable, but internal developments, such as elections, presidential inaugurations and external developments, including in the Middle East, can trigger public protests or unrest. You should avoid all protests, demonstrations and political rallies as they could turn violent with little notice.
Nationwide student protests took place in 2019, again in 2020, and have the potential to reoccur at any time. You should avoid large gatherings in public areas, including demonstrations, student and political rallies.
You can not drive in Indonesia using a UK driving licence. You can drive using an International Driving Permit issued in Indonesia. International Driving Permits issued in the UK may need to be endorsed by the Indonesian licensing office in Jakarta. Before driving, riding or hiring any type of vehicle, ensure that you have the appropriate licence to do so, and check with your travel insurance company to confirm that you’re covered.
Traffic discipline is very poor. Foreigners involved in even minor traffic violations or accidents may be vulnerable to exploitation. Consider employing a private driver or hiring a car with a driver. Some multinational companies do not allow their expatriate staff to drive in Indonesia. Make sure you wear a helmet if you’re riding a motorbike or moped.
If you’re involved in an accident or breakdown, make sure someone remains with your vehicle. If you have any concerns for your security, move to another location safely. You should make yourself available for questioning by the police if requested to do so.
The FCDO can not offer advice on the safety of individual airlines, but the International Air Transport Association publishes a list of registered airlines that have been audited and found to meet a number of operational safety standards and recommended practices. This list is not exhaustive and the absence of an airline from this list doesn’t necessarily mean that it is unsafe.
On 29 October 2018, a Lion Air domestic flight from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang crashed into the Kawarang Sea shortly after take-off. There were no survivors and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash.
A list of recent incidents and accidents can be found on the website of the Aviation Safety network.
Travelling by boat or ferry can be dangerous as the sea conditions can change rapidly, vessels can be crowded, overloaded, poorly maintained and safety standards vary between providers. In 2017, the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency recorded 1,687 boat accidents (of which 76 were in Bali and Lombok), resulting in many injuries and 680 deaths. Make sure you’re satisfied with safety standards before travelling, including availability of safety equipment and life-jackets. Life-jackets suitable for children aren’t always available and you should consider bringing your own. Avoid travelling after dark unless you’re satisfied the vessel is suitably equipped.
There have been attacks against ships in and around the waters of Indonesia. Mariners should be vigilant, reduce opportunities for theft, establish secure areas on board and report all incidents to the coastal and flag state authorities.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Indonesia.
Terrorist groups have the capacity and intent to carry out attacks at anytime and anywhere in the country. Types of attacks have included suicide bombings and small-arms fire, targeting public and crowded places.
The threat from Islamist extremism remains high, though the Indonesian authorities continue to disrupt attack planning, including arresting alleged terrorists reportedly in the advanced stages of preparation.
In Central Sulawesi, there is on-going conflict between the Indonesian security forces and terrorists, including attacks upon police and civilians most recently in May 2021. This conflict is predominantly concentrated in the Poso region.
Indonesian government and law enforcement interests and places of worship are regularly targeted by extremists. Western interests are also at risk. Small-scale attacks occur on a regular basis and further incidents are likely. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by foreigners. Beach resorts, bars and restaurants, hotels, markets, shopping malls hosting major international brand outlets, tourist attractions, places of worship, foreign embassies, polling stations, ferry terminals and airports are all potential targets.
There’s a heightened risk during holiday periods. Exercise extra caution around:
- Christmas, New Year and Easter period
- Chinese New Year
- Nyepi (Balinese New Year)
- Islamic celebrations and holidays such as Ramadan
- local elections
- presidential inaugurations
- annual Independence Day celebrations (17 August)
You should follow the advice of the local authorities, remaining particularly vigilant and maintaining a high level of security awareness in crowded places and at large gatherings.
Notable recent attacks include:
- on 28 March 2021, a suicide attack took place outside the Cathedral Church at JaIan Kajaolalido, Makassar (a Catholic church in the city of Makassar).
- on 1 June 2020, a police officer was killed and another injured during an attack on a police station in Kalimantan. Daesh is reported to have claimed responsibility
- on 13 November 2019, a suicide bomber attacked the police headquarters in Medan, Sumatra, injuring 4 police officers and 2 civilians
- on 14 May 2018, there was an explosion at a security post of police headquarters in Surabaya, East Java, causing a number of deaths and casualties
- on 13 May 2018, there were explosions at three churches in Surabaya, causing a number of deaths and casualties
- on 24 May 2017, there were bomb explosions at the Kampung Melayu bus station in east Jakarta. Three police officers were killed
- on 14 January 2016, there was an attack near the Sari Pan Pacific Hotel and Sarinah Plaza on Jalan M.H. Thamrin in central Jakarta. The attack included a number of explosions and gun battles. Eight people died and a number were injured, including foreigners
There is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.
There is a risk of kidnapping at sea in and around the waters of Indonesia. This risk is higher in the Sulu and Celebes seas.
The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking.
You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. Ensure that you wear appropriate clothing while visiting religious areas or sites.
In 2021, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on 12 April and finish on 11 May. See Travelling during Ramadan.
Do not get involved with illegal drugs. Possession, trafficking and manufacture of any illegal drugs are serious offences in Indonesia. The Indonesian authorities have a zero-tolerance policy and those caught face lengthy prison sentences or the death penalty, usually after a protracted and expensive legal process. British nationals have been caught and jailed for drug offences in Indonesia.
Police often raid venues (particularly in Bali) known to be frequented by foreigners. You may have to take a urine or blood test if there is a reasonable suspicion that drugs have been used. Criminal gangs in the UK and elsewhere are known to coerce people into carrying drugs across borders. Do not allow yourself to be persuaded.
It’s illegal to buy, sell, kill or capture any protected wild animal or trade its parts without a license. Indonesia is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which includes bans on trade in ivory and tiger parts. If you’re caught purchasing or trafficking illegal goods you’ll be prosecuted and could receive a prison sentence and fine.
During Balinese New Year, known as Nyepi, local custom requires that all people in Bali observe a day of silence by staying indoors, turning off lights, and making no noise. Ngurah Rai International Airport is closed for the entire day. However, emergency services and hospitals are allowed to operate.
Gambling is illegal in Indonesia. There have been cases where tourists have lost large amounts of money to organised gambling gangs.
You must be able to show your valid travel document (passport) or stay permit (such as KITAS or KITAP) at any time when needed to do so by an active immigration officer.
The province of Aceh enforces Sharia Law. It is the only province in Indonesia to do so and applies to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Extra-marital sex, gambling, and the consumption, production and distribution of alcohol are all illegal under Sharia law.
Homosexual activity is illegal under Sharia Law.
See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus
Entry to Indonesia
Indonesia is implementing a series of changes to admission for foreign nationals in response to the discovery of the new Delta variant Covid strain. While these are being rolled out, in addition to meeting the categories below, you should reconfirm your eligibility to enter Indonesia with your travel agent/airline and the Indonesian Embassy. This can be done by contacting the Consular Section of the Indonesian Embassy on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently, all non-Indonesian travellers are prohibited from entering Indonesia, although there are exceptions to this ban - including for those with KITAS/KITAP. This system remains in place until further notice, though is under regular review.
If you are a British national, starting your journey from the UK or from another country, you may be able to enter Indonesia if you meet one of the following exceptions to the ban:
Holders of diplomatic and official/service visa for the purpose of a ministerial official visit.
Holders of diplomatic and official/service stay permit.
Holders of Indonesia Temporary Residence Card (KITAS) and Indonesia Permanent Residence Card (KITAP).
Foreign nationals due special discretion and provided with written permission from relevant ministries/government institutions.
Visitor Visa (for emergency and essential work, medical, food, humanitarian aid or a crew member joining a vessel)
Entry requirements if you meet the above criteria are:
You must be in possession of a health certificate confirming a negative COVID-19 PCR test (swab test) result, which can be checked by a QR code or barcode. From 1 January, your certificate must be issued a maximum of 72 hours prior to your departure for Indonesia. The certificate must be in English
- Evidence of having received two full doses of COVID-19 vaccine. (See ‘Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status’ The following three categories are exempt from this requirement:
Children under the age of 12 travelling with their parents
Foreign nationals who cannot be vaccinated due to their medical condition. They must show confirmation via a health certificate issued by a medical professional.
Active flight or ship crew
Submitting a letter in English stating that you are willing to enter quarantine for at least 8 days in quarantine facilities or health service facilities according to Indonesian health protocols.
With the exception of transportation crews and aid and humanitarian workers, visitor visa applicants are required to provide evidence of the availability of at least US$10,000 (ten thousand US Dollars) or the equivalent from their sponsor.
On arrival, you will need to undergo further COVID-19 swab tests on days 1 and 7 and quarantine at your own expense in a designated hotel for a period of 8 days. If your final test is negative, you will be allowed to proceed with your journey. If the test is positive, you will be referred to hospital.
- You are required to complete the Indonesian eHAC registration and be able to produce the QR code generated on arrival in Indonesia for inspection
- With effect from 23 April, you will not be granted a visa if you have been in India in the 14 days prior to arriving in Indonesia.
You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status
Indonesia has not yet confirmed that it will accept the UK solutions for demonstrating your COVID vaccination status. You should follow guidance for alternative entry requirements. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination.
All visitors will also need to present your health certificate showing a negative COVID-19 PCR test result as stipulated above at check-in ahead of any scheduled travel. Failure to present a health certificate may result in your being prevented from boarding the plane, or denied entry or transit in Indonesia. You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities.
More information is available regarding coronavirus in Indonesia via the Ministry of Health.
Full details of the travel restrictions for foreign visitors are available in English on Twitter via DitJen Imigrasi (@ditjen_imigrasi). For more information, see the announcement on the Indonesian Embassy website.
Regular entry requirements
In normal circumstances, if you’re travelling on a British Citizen passport you do not need a visa to enter Indonesia for visits of up to 30 days, calculated to include your date of arrival and date of departure. Visa-free visits can not be extended or transferred to another type of visa. For a list of airports, seaports and land border crossings for entering/exiting Indonesia under this visa waiver scheme, and more information about entry requirements, visit the Indonesian Embassy in London website or your nearest Indonesian embassy.
If you’re travelling to Indonesia and intend to stay for more than 30 days (up to a maximum of 60 days), you should apply for a visa before you travel, or apply for a visa on arrival at a cost of US$35, or the equivalent in Indonesian rupiah, at the visa on arrival desk within the airport. These types of visa are valid for 30 days, and can be extended once (for a maximum of 30 days) by making an application for an extension to an immigration office within Indonesia. Ensure that you extend your visa within the initial 30 days to avoid an overstay fine.
The Indonesian embassy has introduced a new e-visa system. You should submit your visa application online. The embassy will no longer accept a handwritten visa application form unless you’re a British Overseas Territories citizen, British National (Overseas), or if you’re applying for a diplomatic visa. If you fall into this category you should send a written request to obtain the visa form at: email@example.com.
The visa waiver scheme and visas on arrival aren’t available if you’re travelling on a British Overseas Citizen, British Subject, British National (Overseas) or British Overseas Territory citizen passport. Instead, you must apply for a visa before you travel.
These options are also not available if you’re travelling to Indonesia for journalistic purposes. Instead, you must apply for a visa before you travel, and should make sure that you have the correct permits for local travel within Indonesia as some areas may need special permits in addition to your visa. You should seek advice from your nearest Indonesian Embassy.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of your departure from Indonesia.
Indonesian law doesn’t allow dual nationality for adults over 18 years of age. If you’re a British national who has retained Indonesian nationality, you may experience immigration difficulties in Indonesia.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for airside transit and exit from Indonesia. ETDs may also be accepted for entry into Indonesia. If you’re entering Indonesia using an ETD you must apply for a visit visa before travelling. You won’t be able to get a visa on arrival. The processing time for an Indonesian visa can vary depending on where you apply. Some Indonesian embassies do not issue Indonesian visas in ETDs. Contact your nearest Indonesian Embassy to check before you apply.
Entry requirements may differ if you live in Indonesia. Contact your nearest Indonesian Embassy to confirm whether you need to apply for a visit visa before you travel to Indonesia using an ETD.
If you apply for an ETD whilst in Indonesia, you may need to get an exit permit from Immigration to leave the country. We will advise you to contact the nearest Immigration office to check before travelling.
Proof of onward travel
Immigration officials in Indonesia may ask you for proof of onward travel (such as a return or onward air ticket). You should make all reservations before leaving for Indonesia. Some airlines have refused to board passengers without evidence of onward travel.
Departure and airport tax
Airport tax is included in the cost your ticket for all domestic flights within Indonesia. For some international flights departing Indonesia, airport tax may not be included in the price of the ticket. You should check with your airline or travel agent before you travel.
Overstaying your visa
Overstaying without the proper authority is a serious matter and visitors can be held in detention or refused permission to leave the country until a fine of Rp 1 million per day is paid. After overstaying for 60 days, you will be detained and possibly imprisoned.
If you stay in private accommodation in Indonesia (not a hotel) you must register your presence with the local police or you could face a fine of Rp 5 million. If you stay in a hotel you will be registered automatically.
Travelling with medication
If you bring any prescription medication into Indonesia, make sure you have a copy of the prescription with you. The prescription must cover the quantity of medication you bring. Be aware that some prescription or other medication available in the UK, including some psychotropic medicines, may be illegal in Indonesia. If you’re unsure, speak to your doctor and the Indonesian Embassy for advice before you travel.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
Indonesia sits along a volatile seismic strip called the ‘Ring of Fire’ in the Pacific. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur regularly, which can present a potential threat of tsunamis. The capacity of the Indonesian emergency and rescue services to deal with large natural disasters is limited.
Earthquakes and tsunamis
The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.
If a major earthquake or landslide occurs close to shore, you should follow the instructions of local authorities, bearing in mind that a tsunami could arrive within minutes. The Indonesia Tsunami Early Warning Centre issues tsunami warnings when a potential tsunami with significant impact is imminent or expected.
There are many active volcanoes in Indonesia, any of which can erupt without warning resulting in the evacuation of villages within a 3 to 7 kilometre radius. In the past, repeated eruptions have caused destruction and fatalities. Check media reports before travelling to areas that are prone to volcanic activity. Take extra care and follow the advice of the local authorities, including respecting any exclusion zones.
During previous eruptions, areas beyond local exclusion zones have been affected by mud/debris flows (particularly in valleys) and volcanic ash falls. While near any volcano, you should therefore monitor local media, exercise caution and follow the advice of the local authorities, including any evacuation orders.
Ash clouds can affect flight schedules and the operation of regional airports. Check with your airline or travel company for the latest information.
If you’re travelling to areas of Indonesia where volcanic activity is ongoing, you should be aware that ash plumes can affect air quality and have an impact on health. Public Health England (PHE) advise that a properly fitted face mask may provide some protection. While masks should be available in Indonesia, you may choose to buy your own before you travel. PHE recommend masks that comply with EU standards P2 or P3 or the US standards N95 or N98. You should make sure that your mask fits your face and you know how to wear it properly.
If you have any pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma, be aware that you might be at increased risk of triggering or worsening your symptoms. Make sure you travel with sufficient supplies of any regular medicines to cater for this.
In the event of a major eruption, areas outside of exclusion zones may be subject to increased levels of particulate and gaseous pollutants in the air. Face masks only offer protection against small particulate matter; they do not protect against hazardous gases emitted by a volcano. Unless you’re advised to evacuate the area you’re in, the best way to reduce your exposure is to remain inside and close all doors and windows. Following eruptions in 2017 and 2018, some volcanoes continue to show signs of increased volcanic activity.
Mount Agung, Bali
The FCDO advises against all travel to within 4 km of the crater. This is an exclusion zone put into place by the local authorities.
On 28 June 2018 Mount Agung in east Bali erupted, emitting gas and ash which resulted in the closure of Bali’s I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport and a number of nearby regional airports for a period of time on 29 June 2018. Indonesia uses four volcano alert levels to activate community mitigation planning. These are 1. Normal, 2. Advisory (Waspada), 3. Watch (Siaga) and 4. Warning (Awas) The alert level for Mount Agung is now at level 2.
The authorities have indicated that Mount Agung continues to show signs of volcanic activity and the possibility of a volcanic eruption remains. The alert level for Mount Agung may change at short notice.
Travellers to Bali may find information on travel during the volcanic activity useful.
Eruptions in late 2017 and June 2018 led to periodic closures at Bali and Lombok airports and disruption to flights in the region. Further disruption can not be ruled out. The local authorities have indicated that Mount Agung continues to show signs of volcanic activity and the possibility of volcanic eruptions remains.
Mount Sinabung, North Sumatra
The FCDO advise against all travel to within 7km of the crater of Mount Sinabung in Kalo Regency, North Sumatra. This is an exclusion zone put into place by the local authorities.
Mount Sinabung produced a large ash cloud on 19 February 2018. The Indonesian authorities have set an alert status of Level 4 (highest) and are maintaining a 7km exclusion zone around the volcano. The authorities have indicated that Mount Sinabung continues to show signs of volcanic activity and the possibility of a volcanic eruption remains, though more recent eruptions of Mount Sinabung have not significantly disrupted local travel in Sumatra. The alert level for Mount Sinabung may change at short notice.
The Indonesian rainy season runs from September – January, but can run into February. You should monitor international / local weather reporting if travelling during rainy season.
Large areas of the country, including parts of West Sumatra, Central, East and West Java and Jakarta have been severely affected by heavy rains and subsequent landslides and flooding in recent years. Throughout Indonesia flash floods and more widespread flooding can occur. Cities - especially Jakarta - can suffer severe localised flooding which can result in major traffic congestion and power outages. The main toll road to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and other major roads in Jakarta can be affected by flooding. Slips and landslides occur in mountainous and remote areas, but also in urban areas.
Take care when driving and walking. Keep a stock of bottled water and make sure your phone is charged.
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Indonesia on the TravelHealthPro website
See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in [country].
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitforTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).
The standard of local medical care can be poor and some medical tests can not be done reliably. Psychological and psychiatric services are also limited throughout Indonesia.
Good medical care can be very expensive and in remote areas attention for serious injuries or illness is likely to be unavailable. You may need expensive medical evacuation costing up to tens of thousands of pounds. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Air quality in Indonesia’s major cities can reach levels considered ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ or ‘unhealthy’. Current air quality data for Jakarta can be found on the Air Quality Index website.
Ash plumes from volcanoes can affect air quality and have an impact on health, particularly for anyone with pre-existing respiratory conditions. If you’re in the vicinity of a volcanic eruption and affected by subsequent ash fall, you can find further information in digital pamphlets issued by the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN), which cover the potential health hazards of volcanic ash and offer advice on how to prepare and cope with ash fall.
During the dry season (May-November), widespread forest fires can cause smoke haze resulting in poor air quality across parts of Indonesia, particularly Riau Islands, central Sumatra and Kalimantan. The haze can cause disruption to local and regional air travel, and the air pollution may have an impact on public health. Keep up to date with local information and seek medical advice on appropriate precautions. A regional haze map is available from the Singapore Meteorological Service.
Tap water is not potable throughout Indonesia.
In February 2019 the Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported two cases of genetically linked circulating vaccine derived polio virus (cVDPV) type 1 in Papua Province, Indonesia. This factsheet on the TravelHealthPro website contains information about the Polio outbreak and vaccination recommendations.
There’s a risk of dengue fever in Bali, Jakarta and elsewhere in Indonesia. While this is particularly heightened during the rainy season (usually from around October to April), local outbreaks can occur at any time during the year.
UK health authorities have classified Indonesia as having a risk of Zika virus transmission. For more information and advice visit the National Travel Health Network and Centre website for travel to Indonesia - including Bali, for travel to Indonesia - Borneo.
Rabies exists in domestic and wild animals. There are many street dogs in Bali and elsewhere. You should avoid direct contact with all dogs and cats (including pets), monkeys and other animals and seek immediate help if you’re bitten or scratched.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 118 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
Avian Influenza (bird flu)
Avian flu has led to over 150 confirmed human fatalities in Indonesia since 2003, although the annual rate appears to be declining. All cases so far have been linked to close contact with poultry.
Although the risk to humans from Avian Influenza is low, you should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds, and make sure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can not provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can not offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can not find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.