Where to Stop on The Way To Bali from Jakarta

Where to Stop on The Way To Bali from Jakarta

Landing in Jakarta, you’re at the starting point of an incredible journey to Bali, the enchanting “Island of the Gods.”

For tourists arriving from overseas, the adventure to Bali offers much more than the final destination; it’s an opportunity to discover the heart of Indonesia.

The road trip from Jakarta to Bali is a journey through time, culture, and breathtaking landscapes.

As you traverse Java, each city and town along the way invites you to pause, explore, and immerse yourself in unique experiences that stitch together the rich heritage of this vibrant country.

This guide is your roadmap to the must-visit stops en route to Bali, transforming your trip into an exploration of Indonesia’s soul.

This guide not only serves as your roadmap to the must-visit stops but also invites you to explore what other places are near Bali, enriching your Indonesian odyssey.


Jakarta (photo - Good News From Indonesia)
Jakarta (photo – Good News From Indonesia)

If you’re flying into Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, you’re in for a treat. This sprawling metropolis, while not the calmest start to your road trip, has its own charm. After all, what’s a Bali adventure without a taste of the city? Enjoy the fusion of modernity and tradition as you stroll through neighborhoods like Menteng and Kemang.

These districts boast vibrant street art, trendy cafes, and a plethora of food options, from local delights to international cuisine.

Don’t forget to visit the Old Town (Kota Tua) with its colonial-era architecture and fascinating museums.

For a bit of greenery amidst the concrete jungle, Taman Mini Indonesia Indah is a splendid cultural park showcasing the diversity of Indonesia’s provinces.

Now, if you’re a true adventure seeker, escape the city’s hustle and bustle and venture into the nearby rainforests. Head south to the Halimun Salak National Park, just a few hours from Jakarta.

This lush haven is home to an abundance of wildlife and pristine waterfalls.

Consider a jungle trek or simply unwind in the heart of nature. After all, Bali will be waiting for you, and you’ve got plenty of time to dive into its beaches and palm-fringed landscapes.


Braga street in Bandung
Braga street in Bandung (photo – Pemkot Bandung)

As you drive towards Bali, your next stop should be Bandung, also known as the “Paris of Java.”

This city, famous for its cool climate and stunning vistas, is the perfect place to break up your journey.

But, why is it called the “Paris of Java,” you ask? Well, it’s not because of its croissants and Eiffel Tower replicas. Bandung earned this nickname due to its reputation as a city of style and fashion.

When in Bandung, you absolutely must indulge in some retail therapy.

The city is a shopping paradise, with numerous factory outlets and boutiques selling fashionable clothing at incredible prices. Hunt for trendy outfits or simply enjoy the thrill of scoring some great bargains.

To immerse yourself in Bandung’s unique atmosphere, take a stroll along Braga Street.

This historic avenue is lined with charming art deco buildings housing quaint cafes, art galleries, and boutiques. It’s the perfect spot for sipping on a cup of local coffee and people-watching.

For an even more whimsical experience, explore the famous Trans Studio Bandung, one of the largest indoor theme parks in the world.

With thrilling rides and various entertainment options, it’s a great place for some family fun. You can’t miss the famous indoor Ferris wheel, offering breathtaking views of the city.


Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat in Yogyakarta
Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat in Yogyakarta

Your journey to Bali would be incomplete without visiting Yogyakarta, a city where tradition and heritage are woven into the very fabric of life. This is the cultural heart of Java, and you’ll be enchanted by its rich history, art, and hospitality.

Begin your exploration with a visit to the Kraton Yogyakarta, the royal palace. Here, you can witness the Javanese court’s culture and traditions, and if you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the sultan himself.

Nearby, don’t forget to explore Taman Sari, a water castle with a unique history. Its beautiful gardens and underground tunnels offer an intriguing glimpse into the past.

For the art enthusiast in you, Yogyakarta is a paradise. The city is renowned for its thriving arts scene, and the best place to experience it is the local art community of Prawirotaman. Galleries, art studios, and craft shops abound in this area, allowing you to appreciate the works of local artists.

But let’s not forget the iconic Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage site. This incredible monument, built in the 9th century, is an architectural marvel and an essential stop for anyone traveling through Java. Sunrise or sunset visits are particularly magical, as the temple’s stupas are bathed in a soft, golden light.

Mount Bromo

Bromo Mountain Jeep Tour
Bromo Mountain Jeep Tour (photo – Klook)

As you continue your road trip, your next stop is something out of this world – Mount Bromo. Located in East Java, Mount Bromo is an active volcano and part of the Tengger Massif. It’s one of the most famous and mesmerizing natural wonders in Indonesia.

The sunrise at Mount Bromo is a testament to Indonesia’s natural beauty, a beauty that changes with the seasons.

Just like Mount Bromo has its special moments, Bali does too. Knowing the best months to go to Bali helps you enjoy its green fields, fun festivals, and calm beaches even more. So, picking the right time for your trip is super important for the best experience.

As the sun’s first rays break over the horizon, they cast a spellbinding light on the mist-filled caldera below, revealing the silhouette of the majestic Mount Bromo. It’s like watching a cosmic show unfold before your eyes.

Hiking to the top of Mount Bromo is another adventure that’s worth it. Standing on the crater’s edge, you’ll be greeted by a breathtaking vista of the surrounding landscape, which includes Mount Semeru, the highest volcano on Java. If you’re lucky, you might even witness Bromo’s gentle eruptions, which only add to the surreal atmosphere.


Eat Rawon in Surabaya
Eat Rawon in Surabaya (photo – Tokopedia)

Your road trip is nearing its end, but there’s still one more exciting stop before you reach Bali. Surabaya, the capital of East Java, is a bustling city with its own unique character. It’s a fantastic place to immerse yourself in the local culture and savor some delicious Javanese cuisine.

For a taste of history, explore the historic Arab Quarter with its narrow lanes, mosques, and the Ampel Mosque, a significant religious site. You can also stroll along Tunjungan Street, where colonial architecture mingles with modern shops and restaurants.

Before you hop on the ferry to Bali, indulge in some local cuisine. Savor dishes like rawon (a black beef soup), rujak cingur (a unique salad), and lontong balap (a tofu dish). The culinary diversity of Surabaya is a delightful experience for your taste buds.

Finally, as you savor the culinary delights of Surabaya, you’re reminded of Bali’s own vibrant food scene, offering a taste of the island’s best things to do in Canggu, where culinary exploration is just one of many adventures.

After your incredible journey through Indonesia, you’ve finally arrived in Bali. The Island of the Gods welcomes you with open arms. As you disembark from the ferry in Gilimanuk or cross the bridge from Banyuwangi, the allure of Bali’s beaches, rice terraces, and lush jungles beckons.

It’s time to let your hair down, soak up the sun, and indulge in all the experiences Bali has to offer. As you explore the island, keep an eye out for local ceremonies and festivals. Bali is known for its vibrant Hindu culture, and you might stumble upon a colorful temple ceremony or a grand processional parade.

Your journey from Jakarta to Bali is more than just a means to an end – it’s an adventure filled with diverse experiences and hidden gems. From the bustling streets of Jakarta to the cosmic beauty of Mount Bromo, the cultural richness of Yogyakarta, and the culinary delights of Surabaya, this road trip has it all.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Bali, consider taking the road less traveled. You’ll not only create unforgettable memories but also gain a deeper understanding of Indonesia’s incredible diversity. After all, life is about the journey, not just the destination. Bali can wait. Enjoy the ride.

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