Indonesia is undoubtedly one of the hidden pearls of earth!
Here’s just some of the things Indonesia is famous for: Volcanoes (Krakatau being the most famous), White sandy Beaches, Islands, Komodo Dragon, Orangutans, Rafflesia arnoldii (Worlds largest flower), Coffee, white sandy beaches and amazing islands, and many more!
For those who haven’t been yet, there’s a lot to explore and do. There is a lot Indonesia has to offer in terms of sightseeing, history, culture, people, food, tradition, resorts and nature!
Indonesia is a large country and it sits on the tropics in the equator meaning there is no winter, (that’s right, no winter!) Indonesia is hot all year round!
To have a truly amazing and unforgettable family memories in Indonesia , we’ve compiled a list of places that would bring home plenty of smiles!
1. LAWANG SEWU
Based in the central Javanese capital town of Semarang, Lawang Sewu is a historical site. It used to be the headquarters of the Dutch East Indies Railway Company and was built in 1907. Now it is a museum and attracts thousands of visitors every year. Being in the centre of the City of Semarang Lawang Sewu is also easily accessible and is close to malls, hotels and transport links.
Other attractions in Semarang include: one of the oldest Chinese temples in Indonesia dating back to 1400 – Sam Po Kong Temple ,a Rainbow Village, Dusun Semilir (rural tourism concept with amazing fields, views and providing an unforgettable experience with lots to do and see for families and children in a relaxed rural setting).
Local cuisine is rated highly in Semarang. Semarang can offer an amazing plethora of delicious canteen food and every evening food stools are setup opposite Lawang Sewu, which also houses Semarang’s oldest cathedral which dates back 150 years,which is suprisingly new compared to other historical cathedrals.
2. BOROBUDUR TEMPLE
Located an hour away from Jogjakarta (a special self governed regency in the main Island of Central Java), Borobudur is the worlds largest Buddhist temple. It an amazing historical sight with unbeatable views including that of an active volcano: “Mount Semeru“.
Borobudur has a step pyramid design and takes approximately one hour to climb. It is a world heritage site designated by UNESCO. Due to the high footfall rate and large number of tourists visiting the site the government of Indonesia has introduced a higher admission fee to preserve this truly amazing historical beauty.
3. ANCOL PARK JAKARTA
We included this on the list for those staying in the capital City (Jakarta) as it is the second largest port of entry into Indonesia after Bali.
If you find yourself in the capital with family be sure to check out Ancol which is along the north coast of the city. It has a SeaWorld, Theme park, Cable Car,,and a large number of promenade restaurants with amazing sunset views!
Other famous places in Jakarta include: Indonesia largest purpose built mosque – Istiqlal Mosque, old town – Kota Tua, one of the first points of arrival for Chinese settlers entering Java, also supposedly where Stamford raffles first set foot in rural Batavia (previous name of Jakarta) he called the place city of lions as he saw a Tiger on the beaches of Jakarta and thought it was a lion. Summarecon Mall, there are so many malls in Jakarta it would be titles “Mall City” however this one was chosen for its proximity to the airport and its open plan layout making it convenient for a nice walk. It also has fish ponds and dozens of restaurants, and is family friendly. Ragunan Zoo ,Ice Skating in Taman Angrekk Mall and Car free day in Central Jakarta – Jl. Sudirman (every Sunday from 6 am to 11 am).
4. WATERBOM BALI
This is a massive waterpark with dozens of water slides and kid friendly water activities. Its great if your planning a non-beach day and is the best way to relax and have fun with the whole family whilst the kids have fun!
5. TRANS STUDIO BANDUNG
This is an amusement & theme park based in the popular peak city of Bandung. Bandung itself is based near mountains and so the climate is cooler than Jakarta. It is a very popular destination for family getaways as it houses one of the worlds largest indoor theme parks hence it can get very crowded particularly on weekends.
6. WEH ISLAND
This true hidden beauty is far from the crowded tourist hotspots like Bali. We chose this place because of its untouched natural beauty. It’s s small hop from the Aceh province of northern Sumatra. There plenty to keep the family entertained with a good selection of guest houses, cafes and diverse activities such as snorkelling and surfing.
7. ULUWATU TEMPLE
Based in Bali this Temple gets it name from being at a cliffs end and the name “ULU” means land end. Uluwatu Temple is another historical Temple. It lies on a 70 Metre High Cliff. There are alot of monkeys around the temple. The sunset views are second to none and coincidentally its peak visiting times are during sunset. The Temple also hosts regular traditional local dances for the community and tourists to enjoy.
8. MENTAWAI ISLANDS
There are far too many islands to recommend in Indonesia, with over 270,000 islands there’s just way too many, however for its family friendly environment, and the fact that it is based near Padang (a true culture and culinary heaven) makes this place a true family centred destination.
(Check out the Diamond Hunt Activity for kids to do at sandy beaches)
9. KRAKATAU VOLCANO
Also known as the “Day the world exploded” in 1883 , this is the second largest volcano in the world Its explosion in 1883 was so large that it caused ash clouds to circulate the whole earth and it has been well documented by many countries. Tours to this volcanoes are offered via boat and though its not possible to walk on the volcano due to intense activity.
10. BOGOR BOTANICAL GARDENS
This forest was neglected after the Sundanese kingdom collapsed during the 16th century. In 1744 the Dutch Colonies of Java used the place to build a garden and the palce was known as Buitenzorg (now called Bogor).
As always check out the Twinkl Indonesia activity site for more educational resources for kids: Twinkl Indonesia
In 1811 the British conquered Java and appointed Stamford Raffles as the Governor. He chose Bogor Botanical Gardens as his home and converted it into a British Style Garden and dedicated it to his wife Mariam Raffles.
The park is a butterfly hotspot so be sure to take along the Butterfly ID Guide with you here: Butterfly ID Guide for Kids.
We hope you enjoyed the recommendations. Do remember if you go to Indonesia some places may be on various islands usually you will have to travel by plane which means booking accommodation and travel in advance.
Have you been to Indonesia? Do you have a location that you feel deserves a top 10 spot?