The Republic of Indonesia is the world’s largest island country—it has more than 17,000 islands and 34 provinces. Its capital is Jakarta, which is the second most populous urban area in the world. Java, the world's most populous island, contains more than half of the country’s population. Due to its strategic location, the Indonesian archipelago has been an important region for trade for hundreds of years.

Aside from Jakarta, there are several other cities in Indonesia that receive a great number of visitors daily. Read on to find out more.


This, the largest metropolitan city in Indonesia, is the capital of the Republic of Indonesia. Jakarta is the only city in Indonesia that has a provincial-level status. The city also houses many government institutions, including the ASEAN Secretariat office and foreign embassies. Jakarta has two airports, namely Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Halim Perdanakusuma Airport, and has one seaport in Tanjung Priok.

Jakarta is one of the cities that is seeing a rapid rate of economic growth, as it is also the centre of trade, services, property, finance, and the creative industries, and is supported by well-built facilities and infrastructure. If you happen to spend a long weekend in Jakarta, don’t be afraid of running out of activities. Jakarta has a lot of events to offer, ranging from art exhibitions to film screenings, fashion shows, food fairs, concerts, and music festivals. This month, Jakarta also has the honour of hosting the prestigious 18th Asian Games—the perfect opportunity to watch your favourite sports matches live. The only downside is you have to deal with the non-negotiable traffic jams.


Surabaya is the second largest metropolitan city in Indonesia after Jakarta. Aside from its status as the capital of East Java, Surabaya is known as the “City of Heroes” due to the historical event on November 10, 1945, during which its people defended Indonesia’s independence. The city of Surabaya is also a centre of commerce, industry, business, and education in East Java. Surabaya has Juanda International Airport and has two seaports: Tanjung Perak Port and Ujung Port.

The strategic location of Surabaya, precisely in the middle of the territory of Indonesia, makes it one of Southeast Asia’s most important trade routes. It is the fastest-growing region in terms of economic development and one of the most advanced cities in Indonesia. The developing industries in Surabaya include shipbuilding, heavy equipment, food processing, electronics, handling, and home furnishings.

Similar to Jakarta, Surabaya also has lots of shopping malls and events, so don’t fear missing out—but again, you have to deal with traffic jams during certain hours.


The city of Denpasar is the capital of the province of Bali, which, undoubtedly, is the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia. Bali’s charms successfully attract plenty of overseas visitors. Not only rich in culture, the island is also blessed with beautiful landscapes and a laid-back lifestyle, which makes it the perfect place to relax and unwind.

Tourism in Bali encourages the city to be the centre of business activity and it has the highest per capita income in Bali. The economy is strongly influenced by the tourism and the creative industry or local-made handicrafts. There are lots of attractions in Bali, from stunning beaches and clubs to shopping, surfing, and much more. Top destinations in Kuta, the southern part of Bali, include Seminyak, Uluwatu Temple, Sanur Beach, and Mount Batur.


The special region of Yogyakarta is a city equivalent to the second provincial level after Jakarta. The city also has special advantages in terms of tourism and education. Yogyakarta is the second most popular tourist destination after Bali. There’s something for everyone in Yogyakarta: temples, beaches, caves through to ecotourism. If you want to learn more about Indonesia’s royal life, you should pay a visit to the keraton. This city is known for its slow-paced life, rich culture, and delicious traditional Javanese food. It also houses the temples of Prambanan and Borobodur, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Aside from beautiful historical sites, Yogyakarta also has several famous public and private universities. It’s no wonder that Yogyakarta has another nickname: the city of students and culture. The economy in Yogyakarta is heavily influenced by the sectors of industry, trade, and tourism. It has one airport: Adisutjipto International Airport.


Semarang is the fifth largest metropolitan city in Indonesia. The “Lumpia City” is the capital of Central Java province and one of the most developed cities on the island of Java. The local economy is dominated by the trade and industry sectors. It has one airport and one seaport: Ahmad Yani Airport and Tanjung Mas Port, respectively.

If you have a day to spare, venture to the Old Town and Lawang Sewu, a historical building that is rumoured to be the most haunted spot in the city. If you’re there for the cuisine, make sure you try the famous Lumpia Gang Lombok, Lekker Paimo, and Soto Selan.

See also: 5 Floating Breakfasts That You Should Have While In Bali

Tags: Travel, Bali, Indonesia, Java, Semarang, Surabaya, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, City, Borobudur, Denpasar