2 Days Yogyakarta Itinerary: Day 1| Borobudur and Prambanan Temple
Having seen many beautiful Instagram photos of Yogyakarta (Pronounced as Jogjakarta), I knew for sure that Jogja was a place I had to visit. The ancient temple Borobudur is a more than enough reason for anyone to visit this beautiful and quaint city in West Java, Indonesia.
I was lucky enough to visit the culturally rich city prior to my visit to Mount Bromo and Ijen, and my mistake was allocating only 2 days for Yogyakarta. I would recommend spending at least 4 days to explore Yogyakarta as it has so much to offer – ancient temples, beaches, museums, mountains and caves! For photography lovers, Yogyakarta does not disappoint as every corner is just Insta-worthy!
Here are my other itineraries if you missed them:
Some might argue that public transport is one of the best methods for getting around the area but with Uber/Grab going as cheap as S$2 for a 20 minutes ride, why not? Public transport can sometimes get too crowded and might be confusing for first time travelers in Yogyakarta.
If you are travelling within Yogyakarta center, Uber/Grab is fine. But when considering visiting further attractions such as Borobudur and Prambanan Temple, perhaps consider getting a 1-day car hire. Car hire for a day which includes a driver should cost around IDR 400,000 – IDR 500,000(S$40 – S$50). Alternatively, you can book the Yogyakarta Private Car Charter from Klook which is inclusive of the car, driver and fuel costs. This is real convenient as you can plan your own itinerary and let the driver find the shortest routes.
Consider staying at Molioboro road, which is one of the liveliest streets in Yogyakarta. Another advantage of staying at Molioboro road is that it is near to Yogyakarta main station! Hostels in Yogyakarta start from as cheap as S$3 and hotels are around S$25 per night per pax.
Here are some of our recommendations:
Sunrise at Bukit Barede
The day started off early at 4am. The driver we hired for the day picked us up at our accommodation to catch the sunrise at Bukit Barede. The drive was around an hour from the center of Yogyakarta, and the road was rather manageable and not too bumpy, as quoted by my car-sick prone companion.
There is a booth at the entrance selling tickets to enter the hill. An entry ticket costs IDR 30,000(S$3). After a short 15minutes climb to the top of Bukit Barede, there is a mini tree house platform which one can pay a further IDR 50,000(S$5) to climb, but being budget travelers, we gave it a miss.
We stayed around waiting for sunrise, but it was too foggy to capture a nice sunrise photo during my visit. On a clearer day, the nearby Borobudur Temple can be seen from Bukit Barede. Besides Bukit Barede, some travellers are willing to pay more to view sunrise from Borobudur itself (Sunrise Tour booked through Manohara Hotel at IDR 450,000 or from Klook), or hike up Punthuk Setumbu, another hill which can be quite crowded as compared to Bukit Barede.
Bukit Barede Details
Address: Sendaren 2, Karangrejo, Borobudur, Karangrejo, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56553, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Daily 4am – 5pm
Entrance Fee: IDR 30,000 (USD2.30 or S$3)
Borobudur temple is only a short 15-minute drive from Bukit Barede. Entrance tickets cost IDR 337,500(S$33.75) for adults or IDR 202,500(S$20.25) for international students and can be bought at the counter. Do remember to bring along your ISIC card or student card as proof to purchase the student entrance ticket. I would recommend purchasing the combined ticket for Borobudur and Prambanan Temple if you are visiting both as it would save you some money.
Many say that a visit to Yogyakarta is incomplete without witnessing the majestic Borobudur Temple and I couldn’t agree more. The beautiful temple is in fantastic condition, with an intricate facade thanks to its restoration in the late 20th century. It is perhaps one of the finest temples I have seen in Asia!
Borobudur is a UNESCO World heritage site that dates back to the 8th century. The ancient temple is also the single largest Buddhist structure on Earth, and with a beautiful backdrop of Indonesian mountains, it is any landscape photographers’ dream. It is not hard to understand why locals and tourists flock to this site, and with that said, don’t be surprised if Borobudur is filled with people. We spent approximately 2 hours exploring the grounds of Borobudur and taking photos of not just the temple, but also the beautiful scenery all around.
Borobudur Temple Details
Address: Jl. Badrawati, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
Opening Hours: 6am – 5pm (4.30am for Sunrise tour booked exclusively through Manohara Hotel or Klook)
Entrance Fee: IDR 337,500(USD25 or S$33.75) for adults or IDR 202,500(USD15 or S$20.25) for international students
Explore Mendut Temple
Next, we visited Mendut Temple, which is rather underwhelming compared to Borobudur in terms of size. It is a small standalone temple with a small field and a large banyan tree that doesn’t take up much time to explore it. A short history of Mendut temple is that it is built in the same time frame as the Borobudur and Pawon temple and are located in a straight line. During Vesak Day every year, Buddhists would walk from Mendut temple to Borobudur temple to mark Buddha’s birthday. With entrance fee of merely IDR 3,500 you can consider taking a detour from Borobudur Temple to visit this temple before heading to Prambanan Temple as it is only a short 15-minute drive away.
Mendut Temple Details
Address: Jalan Magelang, Sumberrejo, Mendut, Mungkid, Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56501, Indonesia
Opening Hours: 8am – 4pm
Entrance Fee: IDR 3,500
Lunch before Visiting Prambanan Temple
Prior to exploring Prambanan Temple, we had our Lunch at a restaurant that our driver brought us to. The lunch was a tad underwhelming and not worth a mention. Be sure to do your homework on where to eat during the drive from Borobudur Temple to Prambanan Temple and not make the same mistake as I did!
We arrived at Prambanan Temple around 1pm after having lunch. Like Borobudur Temple, the entrance fee is not cheap – IDR 337,500(S$33.75) for adults and IDR 202,500(S$20.25) for students. As mentioned beforehand, if you are visiting both Borobudur and Prambanan, consider getting the combined ticket for both temple instead.
Similar to Borobudur Temple, Prambanan is also a UNESCO world heritage site. The 9th century Hindu temple is dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as Brahma (The Creator), Vishnu (The Preserver) and Shiva (The Destroyer). The ancient temple was in ruins due to earthquakes until the 1930s, when reconstruction started. During our visit, it is evident that the reconstruction was still on-going as there were piles of temple ruins lying around. The ruins are the remains of more than 200 temples in the compound of Prambanan.
The tallest and largest temple, Shiva Mahadeva Temple, is dedicated to Shiva. It stands at a towering height of 47m and its exterior facade is nothing short of amazing. Candi Vishnu Temple and Brahma Temple stands to the left and right of the Shiva Mahadeva Temple. Although not as tall as Shiva Temple, they too have their own charms. Climbing the stairs and into the inner chamber of the different temples, would allow you to come face to face with the statue of the god that each temple is dedicated to.
The temple grounds can be easily toured within an hour, unless you want to take the perfect photo without any tourists in the background. Though not as famous as Borobudur Temple, Prambanan proved to be quite popular amongst both locals and tourists as it was really crowded during my visit. I would recommend getting a guide at the entrance, which costs around S$8-S$10 if you are into learning the history of the magnificent temple. If not, read it up online or have a Prambanan Temple guide book on the go while visiting this beautiful place!
Prambanan Temple Details
Address: Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Opening Hours: 6am – 5pm
Entrance Fee: IDR 337,500(USD 25 or S$33.75) for adults and IDR 202,500(USD15 or S$20.25) for students
Dinner at Nanamia Pizzeria in Yogyakarta
After a full day of temple visiting, we headed back to the center of Yogyakarta for dinner! We had our fill at Nanamia Pizzeria, which serves Italian cuisine at an affordable price. We chose this restaurant as we were craving some western food, and Nanamia Pizzeria was one of the recommended restaurants located nearby. The pizzeria seems to be a local favourite as it was filled with both locals and tourists. The staff were also fluent in English, and were friendly and welcoming. The charming and cozy atmosphere of the restaurant was also worth a mention – with a lovely garden setting right beside the dining location.
Overall, the food served was really affordable, with pizzas going around IDR 70,000 (S$7) and pastas around IDR 35,000 (S$3.50).
Nanamia Pizzeria Yogyakarta Details
Address: Jalan Tirtodipuran No.1, Mantrijeron, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55143, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Daily 11am – 11pm, Friday 1pm – 11pm
Our day ended after dinner as we woke up early in the morning at 4am for the sunrise at Bukit Barede. The easiest way to get around Yogyakarta is definitely hiring a car and a driver as the Must-See attractions are located 1 – 2 hours away from the center of the city. You can consider Klook’s Private Car Hire, or possibly book through your hotel/hostels which would costs around IDR 400,000 – IDR 500,000. Borobudur and Prambanan Temple are places that definitely belong in bucket lists and should be in yours too!
Read day 2 of Yogyakarta Itinerary, where I visited the beautiful black sand beach, Parangtritis and Taman Sari, the Water Castle. Happy travelling!