Your ultimate Java Travel Guide to Indonesia’s main island and fifth largest island. Java makes up 65% of Indonesia’s population, making it the most populated island. Java boasts many natural and historical tourist attractions. Here you can find ancient temples like Borobudur and Prambanan. There are also volcanoes, mountains, and national parks to trek and explore.

Moreover, the train transport in Java is well connected from west to east, being the only reliable train network among the archipelagos of Indonesia. Javanese are well known for their friendliness and hospitality, while their food along Sundanese has a lot of delicious variety.

Java travel guide
Java Travel Guide. Photo by Afif Ramdhasuma on Unsplash

Where is Java, Indonesia

Java is an island located in Southeast Asia, specifically in Indonesia. It is between the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. Java is the world’s most populous island, home to over 140 million people. The island is part of the Greater Sunda Islands and is divided into several provinces, including West Java, Central Java, East Java, and Banten.

The capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, is located here in West Java, while the second largest city of Indonesia, Surabaya, is in the east. Java is the largest economy and cultural center of Indonesia. The population in Jakarta city is 8 million, while its suburbs are home to 12 million others. The main ethnic group here is Javanese, except in West Java, where people are primarily Sundanese. About 20% of the population in East Java is Madurese, where half of them live in Madura.

Java Travel Map

Java travel map

Java Travel Map
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Java Travel Popular Route

Jakarta -> Purwokerto -> Wonosobo -> Dieng Plateau -> Borobudur Temple -> Yogyakarta -> Prambanan Temple -> Malang -> Hiking Mount Bromo -> Ijen Crater -> Surabaya -> Bali

Why Visit Java, Indonesia

There are several compelling reasons to visit Java. Here are a few:

  • Rich Cultural Heritage: Java is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, evident in its ancient temples, traditional arts, and vibrant customs. You can explore iconic UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Borobudur and Prambanan, which showcase remarkable architectural and artistic achievements.
  • Stunning Natural Landscapes: Java offers diverse natural landscapes, from majestic volcanoes to picturesque rice terraces and beautiful beaches. Mount Bromo and Ijen Crater provide breathtaking vistas, while the lush highlands of Dieng Plateau offer serene beauty.
  • Vibrant Cities: Java has bustling cities like Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya, each with a unique charm. These cities blend modernity and traditional influences, vibrant markets, delicious cuisine, and lively street scenes.
Jakarta skyline at night, indonesia

Jakarta Skyline at Night. Photo by yohanes budiyant

  • Warm Hospitality: Javanese people are known for their warm hospitality, making visitors feel welcomed and appreciated. Interacting with the locals can offer insights into their culture, traditions, and way of life.
  • Culinary Delights: Java’s cuisine is diverse and delicious, with various flavors. Don’t miss trying signature dishes like nasi goreng (fried rice), gado-gado (vegetable salad with peanut sauce), and sate (grilled skewered meat).
  • Arts and Performances: Java is a hub of traditional arts and performances. From the graceful movements of Javanese dance to the enchanting sounds of gamelan music, you can immerse yourself in the island’s cultural richness.
  • Easy Accessibility: Java is well-connected with international and domestic flights, making it easily accessible for travelers. Efficient transportation networks and infrastructure within the island make it convenient to explore different regions.
  • Bali Extension: Adding Java to your itinerary is a great option for planning a trip to Bali. You can experience the contrast between Java’s cultural heritage and urban vibrancy before relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Bali.

In short, Java offers a compelling travel experience with its rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cities, warm hospitality, diverse cuisine, captivating arts, easy accessibility, and the option to combine it with a visit to Bali.

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Java Travel Itineraries

Places to Visit in Java

West Java

West Java is a populous province in Indonesia, located in the western part of Java Island. Its capital is Bandung, known for its cool climate and artistic atmosphere. The province is culturally diverse, with a strong Sundanese influence. It offers beautiful natural landscapes, including mountains, waterfalls, and national parks.

West Java is an economic hub with thriving industries and a well-developed transportation network. Its cuisine, particularly Sundanese dishes, is widely celebrated. Overall, it combines cultural richness, natural beauty, and modern development.


Jakarta is Indonesia’s largest and main city, known for its crazy traffic but still loved for its exciting tourist attractions, shopping haven, and vibrant nightlife.


Bandung is a popular weekend destination or a trip of its own, with delicious food and a variety of affordable shopping. It also has exciting tourist attractions like lakes and volcanoes.

More West Java Travel Destinations

Central Java

Central Java is a culturally rich province in Indonesia known for its ancient temples, traditional arts, and diverse cuisine.

We have Purwokerto in the heart of Java; this little city holds many hidden treasures, with beautiful waterfalls and highlands nearby. Then there is Dieng Plateau, a secret spot up in the highlands, great for sunrise views, trekking through rolling hills of plantations, and appreciating history with its ancient temples.

Yogyakarta, my favorite city in Java, has delicious food, arts, and cultures to discover in the hidden alleys and Indonesia’s two most famous ancient temples. At the same time, savvy travelers know how to go to Karimunjawa Islands for a slice of hidden paradise in Java, with tranquil and secluded white beaches.


Yogyakarta, or Jogja, is a cultural province in Indonesia famous for its historical sites, including Borobudur and Prambanan temples. It is a hub of Javanese traditions, vibrant arts, and tasty cuisine.

More Central Java Travel Destinations

East Java

East Java is a province in Indonesia known for its diverse landscapes, including volcanoes, waterfalls, caves and beaches. It has a rich cultural heritage, historical sites, and flavorful cuisine.

Surabaya, a springboard to the famous Mount Bromo, is worth a short stop to get a feel of Indonesia’s city and is the second biggest. Mount Bromo is arguably the most iconic and most hiked volcanic mountain in Indonesia, not to be missed.

Malang is popular with the locals, and international tourists are slowly discovering it. A new view of the way of life here in this university city. Ijen Crater intrigued many with its sulfur collectors in harsh working conditions. The place is magical, especially with its magnificent turquoise sulfur lake and blue fire at night.

Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo is an iconic active volcano located in East Java, Indonesia. It is known for its breathtaking beauty and surreal landscapes, attracting tourists and nature enthusiasts worldwide.


Surabaya is the capital city of East Java province in Indonesia. It is the second-largest city in the country and serves as a bustling economic and cultural hub. Surabaya is known for its vibrant atmosphere, modern infrastructure, and rich historical heritage. It offers a blend of traditional Indonesian charm and urban development, making it a dynamic destination for visitors.


Malang is a picturesque city in East Java, Indonesia, known for its pleasant climate, stunning landscapes, and cultural heritage.

More East Java Travel Destinations

Tourist Attractions in Java

Activities in Java

Festivals in Java