During your journey in Indonesia, you will familiarise yourself with the local currency: the Indonesian rupiah. We’ve written a short article on this topic. It contains basic information you should know before you start travelling such as; distinctive features, exchange rates and where to obtain rupiah.
A bit of history:
The Indonesian rupiah is the national currency of Indonesia. It was first issued in 1946. Its currency code is IDR and its symbol is Rp.
Distinctive features of Indonesian rupiah
There are 7 denominations of banknotes and 5 coins in circulation today.
The seven denominations of banknotes are: Rp 1,000, Rp 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000. Each one is of a different color and contains an emblematic figure.
The 10,000 and 100,000 banknotes are quite similar and can easily be mixed up. Be careful when paying street vendors in the evening or in low-light spots.
Coins in circulation include the Rp 1,000, Rp 500, 200, 100 and 50.
The exchange rate
The Indonesian rupiah is one of very few currencies with an exchange rate exceeding 5,000 compared to euro. For example, in May 2018, 1€ is worth Rp 16,700. Remember to check the newest exchange rate before your departure.
How to get rupiah in Indonesia?
When visiting a foreign country, many people will tend to exchange money at the airport for safety reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not always a good idea since the exchange rates can be ridiculously low. In Bali, we recommend BMC money changers. They offer the best rates and professional service. Note that exchange rates can vary considerably from one city or an island to another.
It is also possible to withdraw rupiah with your bank card at an ATM machine. By precaution, you should inform your bank representative prior to your departure to avoid your card from being blocked. It is important to know that the maximum amount you’ll be allowed to withdraw depends on the bank, but is between RP1,500,000 to 3,000,000 per day, which means approximately 100 to 200 euros.
If you choose this option, ask your bank, what would be the applicable fee per transaction made abroad.