I had seen it covered in mist, with brilliant blue skies, dowsed in torrential rain and warming to the rising sun but I had not seen it with my own eyes. The pictures of the amazing Borobudur are all over Instagram and I loved it so it was sealed we were off on a Borobudur Tour to see it with our own eyes. After this
What is Borobudur Temple?
Borobudur (Candi Borobudur in Indonesian) is a 9th century Mahayana Buddist temple. This gorgeous temple is the largest Buddist temple in the world. Can you believe this huge temple was lost to the world for years buried beneath volcanic ash and jungle growth? After it was rediscovered it took from 1814 until 1835 to unearth the massive structure.
The temple is made up of 9 stacked platforms. Six are square and 3 are circular. It is then topped by a large central dome. The temple is decorated with 504 Buddha statues and the walls are decorated with over 2,600 panels. The central dome right at the top is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues that are all seated inside their own stupa. And it is magnificent.
Borobudur is now a UNESCO world heritage site. This massive temple was once a pilgrimage site for many Buddhists in central Java and is of huge cultural importance to both the Indonesian people and the world. Since becoming a UNESCO site there have been many works to reconstruct some areas and maintain others to keep this amazing building from again being lost to the world.
Where is Borobudur Temple?
Getting to Borobudur is easy. The Borobudur Temple is located in Magelang, Central Java. You can find this magnificent temple 40 kilometres from the city of Yogyakarta. Visiting Borobudur is an easy day trip from Yogyakarta.
You can also visit Bodobudur easily from the Central Java capital city of Semarang. Semarang is 90km from Borodudur or you can make your way to Magelang and stay there for a while. Magelang is only 17km’s from Borobudur.
How to get to Borobudur Temple?
The best and easiest way to see Borobudur Temple is to do a full
Borobudur tour from Yogyakarta. There are many companies that will pick you up from your accommodation in Yogyakarta and take you on a full day trip to visit
You can also catch a bus to Borobudur
You can catch the bus from Yogyakarta to Borobudur from the Jombor bus terminal. You need to find the Trans Jogja bus in Jombor terminal and get a ticket to Borobudur Temple. From here the journey takes around 1 hour. Once you arrive at the Borobudur terminal you can either make your way by foot or catch a rickshaw to the Borobudur Temple.
Borobudur ticket price
There are so many options to buy tickets to Borobudur and some are very confusing. We were originally going to purchase our tickets online but we were unsure if we needed our passports with us our not so we decided the best way to get our Borobudur
Adult Tickets to Borobudur Rp. 350,000
Childrens Ticket to Borobudur Rp. 210,000 (Age 3 to 10 years)
*We were told we needed our passports to purchase tickets so we had them in our back-pack with us but we were not asked to produce them when we bought the tickets. If you are planning on visiting Borobudur take them with you just in case you experience is different to ours
Borobudur sunrise tour
We had researched what would be the best tour to Borobudur for us and we really wanted to do the Borobudur sunrise tour. It looked and sounded amazing but trying to get some kids out of bed at 2.30am was going to be a challenge. We decided to leave it to the last minute and see what the weather was like the day before, before taking the plunge and purchasing the Borobudur sunrise tickets.
We are so glad we did. A huge storm came through the night before and the next morning there was no sunrise at Borobudur. Once at the top the mist that lingered but stopped an amazing sunrise made for some stunning pictures for us.
The Borobudur sunrise tour cost:
Just to enjoy the amazing sunrises that Borobudur is known for will cost you Rp.560,000 per person. This is around $60AUD This will include entry to the Borobudur Temple complex and a light breakfast.
Unfortunately, this will only allow you to see Borobudur. You are unable to purchase the combined tickets to Borobudur and Prambanan if you purchase Borobudur sunrise tickets. We will discuss this below.
Saving money on your Borobudur
Entry to any great monument like this is going to cost you a fair bit. We found a combined ticket to Borobudur and Prambanan was the best and cheapest way we could see both the temples. We purchased these at the Borobudur Temple entrance. YOU MUST KEEP your ticket for entrance to Prambanan, so please put it
This combined Borobudur and Prambanan ticket cost is
Rp. 560,000 per adult
Rp. 350,000 (age 3 to 10 years)
How did we get to Borobudur?
We decided to go on a Borobudur tour with Discover Your Indonesia. We were picked up at 5.00am and taken to Borobudur first. We had as much time as we wanted there before heading back out into the parking lot to find our driver. We were then taken to Prambanan where again our drive took us to the entrance gate and made sure we got through fine. He then waited for us again to finish our time at the temple.
Do you need a Borobudur tour package?
We suggest if you have limited mobility, are travelling with older family members or are on a limited time frame a Borobudur tour package may be the best option for you. The Borobudur Tempe complex is absolutely huge and there are places people with mobility issues are just not able to get to.
With a Borobudur tour package, you will be able to relax for the day and have full comfort or extra support if you need it during your Borobudur trip. It can get mighty hot out there!
Is there a hotel near Bodobudur?
The only hotel near Borobudur is the Manohara Hotel Borobudur. Unfortunately, it seems that the only hotel near Borobudur is closed for some of their services including staying there. Please check their website thoroughly if you have plans to stay near Borobudur as they do plan to reopen at some stage to guests again.
Where did we stay to visit Borobudur?
We stayed in Yogyakata which is about an hour from Borobudor travelling by car. We found Yogyakarta gave us at great base to do what we wanted to see in and around the area. We can recommend 2 places to stay in Yogyakarta.
Dusan Jogja Village Inn
Rating a 9.2 from 258 reviews and starting at $65US per night for a deluxe room. Jogja Village Inn has a location score of 8.6 and offers on-site dining at the Secang Restaurant, buffet breakfast, outdoor pool, room service, wi-fi, terrace, spa and wellness center
*We stayed at the Dusan Jogja Village Inn and absolutely loved it. It was clean, safe and the staff were brilliant with the kids. We would have no hesitation in recommending a stay for family here. You can review our stay here
The Zest Hotel Yogyakarta
Rating a 7.6 from 153 reviews and starting at $30US per night for a Zest twin room. Zest Yogyakarta has a location score of 7.6 and offers on-site dining, buffet breakfast, outdoor pool, room service, wi-fi and airport shuttle.
*We stayed at the Zest Yogyakarta as well and can highly recommend a stay there for family. It was easy to get to the attractions within the city center and back home again. You can read our review on Zest Yogyakarta here
Tips for visiting Borobudur
- Please make sure you have your legs covered for older ladies. I have no idea why Willow was not asked to cover up even though several times we were putting a sarong on her and we were told it was ok she didn’t need it.
- Take insect repellent or mosquito bands such as the Para’Kito ones.
- If you can, go with a guide. While we had an app on our phones for the information there is nothing like having a guide walk with you and give you all the extra facts only a local can
- If you do have a driver please make sure you look after them as well. It is common courtesy that if you are having a drink or some food offer them one too. This also allows you to get to know them better and maybe learn some more things about their way of life.
- There are plenty of young students there who are learning English and there is no better place than Borobudur to practice on the tourists! They are very polite and their English is fantastic. At no point did we feel like we were being conned by these kids or about to get ripped off as you would sometimes feel in European countries being surrounded by kids.
- If your hotel allows it, see if you can freeze some bottles of water and take them with you if you don’t have a fridge in your room. It gets crazy hot right up at the top of the Borobudur Temple.
- You are given a welcome drink at the Borobudur entrance. I seriously suggest you take the cold bottle of water as your option to save your frozen water for later.
- While we did not have to produce our passport to purchase our tickets we know people who have had to. Please have them with you just in case.
- You will have your bags scanned before you enter the Borobudur temple complex.
Honestly, a visit to Borobudur Temple in Indonesia is an absolute must of you are in Indonesia and have time for a visit to Yogyakarta. I had seen this magnificent structure on Instagram but I can tell you nothing absolutely nothing will even do it justice unless you are seeing them with your own eyes. It is a sight I hope never to forget in my entire life and I hope it is one you get to see as well. I can now say I have seen the largest Buddist temple in the world and I stood in awe at its magnificence.
How to get to Yogjakarta
Yogyakarta is served by Adisucipto International Airport which connects the city with other major cities in Indonesia. International visitors can arrive and depart for Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Find flights to Yogjakarta with AirAsia
Yogjakarta’s main long-distance train station is Tuga. Tuga Railway station is at the intersection of train travel in Java. Trains from J
Money in Indonesia
The official National Currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah (rp). They come in 1,000 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, and 100,000 Rupiah banknotes as well as 100, 200, 500 and 1000 coins. We always recommend exchanging money at a reputable bank and double check the amount you are given. If the exchange rate is too good to be true it normally is!
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More about the Author
Bec Wyld is a mother, wife and once reluctant traveller. Bec has been to over 30 countries across the globe. I have planned and stressed in all of these places. Becs writing can be found on Wyld Family Travel and as a guest poster and contributor on many other travel websites including Lonely Planet Kids