Java is the heart of Indonesia, with its capital Jakarta and the many cultural and historical sites spread across the island. Java is a bustling and vibrant place, but it also has its serene spots that are worth exploring. If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable travel experience, exploring Java as a nomad is the way to go. Here’s a nomad’s guide to exploring Java.

Plan Your Trip

The first step in exploring Java is planning your trip. Java is a large island with a variety of different regions to explore, so it’s important to plan your itinerary carefully. Research the different areas you want to visit and make a list of the places you want to see. Make sure to also factor in transportation, accommodation, and any activities you want to do.

Explore Jakarta

Jakarta is the capital of Indonesia and a must-visit for any traveler exploring Java. While it may not be the most beautiful city in Indonesia, it is certainly the most vibrant and diverse. With a population of over 10 million people, Jakarta is a city that never sleeps. There are plenty of things to see and do in Jakarta, from exploring its many shopping malls and markets to trying the local cuisine.

One of the top attractions in Jakarta is the National Monument (Monas), a towering monument that commemorates Indonesia’s struggle for independence. Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the monument for a stunning view of the city.

Visit Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is one of the most popular destinations in Java, known for its rich cultural heritage and stunning landscapes. It is home to two of the most important cultural sites in Indonesia, Borobudur and Prambanan temples, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and a marvel of ancient architecture. It was built in the 9th century and has since become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Indonesia. Prambanan is a Hindu temple complex that dates back to the 9th century and is also worth a visit.

Hike Mount Bromo

If you’re up for a challenge, hiking Mount Bromo is a must-do activity in Java. Mount Bromo is an active volcano that sits at 2,329 meters above sea level. The hike to the summit is challenging, but the views from the top are breathtaking. You can also take a jeep tour to the viewpoint to watch the sunrise over the mountain.

Explore Surabaya

Surabaya is the second-largest city in Indonesia and a great place to explore. It is a modern and cosmopolitan city with plenty of things to see and do. One of the top attractions in Surabaya is the House of Sampoerna, a museum that tells the story of Indonesia’s tobacco industry.

Relax in Bali

While Bali is not technically part of Java, it is a popular destination for travelers exploring Java. Bali is just a short flight from Java and offers a completely different experience. It is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning temples, and vibrant nightlife.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, head to Ubud in Bali. Ubud is a town nestled in the jungle that is known for its yoga retreats, artisan shops, and beautiful rice terraces.

Experience Local Cuisine

No trip to Java would be complete without trying the local cuisine. Java is known for its rich and diverse cuisine, which includes a mix of Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian flavors. Some of the must-try dishes in Java include nasi goreng (fried rice), gado-gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce), and sate (grilled meat skewers).

Learn the Language

While many people in Java speak English, it’s always helpful to learn a few words and phrases in the local language. This can help you connect with locals and make your travel experience more authentic. The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, but there are many different dialects spoken in Java.

Pack Smart

Finally, make sure to pack smart for your trip to Java. The climate in Java is tropical, so you’ll want to bring lightweight and breathable clothing. It’s also important to pack comfortable shoes for hiking and exploring. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated.


Exploring Java as a nomad is a unique and unforgettable experience. From the bustling streets of Jakarta to the serene landscapes of Borobudur and Mount Bromo, Java has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to hike, relax on the beach, or try new foods, Java has it all. With this nomad’s guide to exploring Java, you’re ready to start planning your next adventure.