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Central Java is home to the soul of Javanese culture and heritage. A visit to Yogyakarta will bring you to the ancient sites of 8th century Borobudur – the world’s largest Buddhist monument, and to Prambanan – the largest Hindu complex of Indonesia which dates back to 9th century.

Today, Islam blends into the layers of Kejawen culture where shadow puppet plays and the Ramayana perform at royal court rituals. The walled city of the sultan’s palace known as the Keraton is a fascinating place to explore. The city is also filled with batik and craft artisans and has a great local street food culture.


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Located approx 1.5 hour drive north of Yogyakarta city. It is very worthwhile to overnight near Borobudur to allow easy morning access.  Finally post Covid- proper quota systems have been initiated granting visitors access to see the reliefs on the various levels of the stupa.
See more on:

Borobudur Ship Museum – also located within the Borobudur grounds is very interesting to visit. Here you can see the Samudra Raksa, a replica of one of the ships found on the reliefs of Borobudur was created to retrace the ancient spice voyages from Indonesia to Madagascar.

Explore around Borobudur
There is also much to explore in the area so a few nights in Javanese countryside can also be very relaxing as well as learning about local life and visit to local artists. Explore around the villages by horsecart or bicycle.
Close by Borobudur, be sure to include a visit to the smaller temples of Mendut and Pawon which were on the ancient pilgrimage routes.
At Mendut, you can also visit the peaceful Brahma Vihara Buddhist Monastery with tranquil gardens.

For an Introduction to Borobudur,

Accommodations close by Borobudur:

Wanurejo Village:
a short drive from Borobudur is a peaceful village along the Progo River where you will find small hotels, homestays and artist homes.

Rumah Boedi  –  the feel of a private residence in nature with splendid view of Mt Merapi.

Plataran Heritage –
a gorgeous property short drive from Borobudu:   Click Here

Prambanan Hindu Temple Complex:


Prambanan is located 18km east of Yogyakarta city. 

It is also very worthwhile to explore nearby Ratu Boko and other smaller temples such as Candi Plaosan.

For an Introduction to Prambanan, CLICK HERE.

Certain times of the year visitors can enjoy stunning performances of the Ramayana Ballet at the Prambanan open-air stage.

The link below includes more information on Borobudur as well as Prambanan:

Nearby Prambanan, also worthwhile to visit Kali Opak RestoPak Suryadi’s place who offers an introduction to shadow puppets and where you can see his private keris collection. Pak Suryadi offers local youth training in the art of shadow puppetry and gamelan. Very nice for either lunch or tea. All the drivers will know this place.

NEW Yogyakarta International Airport-  YIA
has replaced the Adi Sucipto Airport ( JOG) in early 2020.
Approx 1.5 hours drive southwest of Yogyakarta City in Kulon Progo.
Traffic can be quite congested within Yogya city. A train service is now available to the new airport.
Only 40 minutes from Tugu Station to YIA, however departures may only be hourly.

YIA Airport to Borobudur-  Visitors to Borobudur will find the road conditions from YIA much calmer-
Approx 1.5 hour drive on Java countryside road to Borobudur – then make way to Yogyakarta city from there.

Yogyakarta City Accomodations:

Within the City:

The Phoenix
A Landmark Yogya Heritage hotel:  Click Here

Oasis in Javanese Village south of the City:
D”Omah Hotel  – set in traditional Javanese houses in a center of craftspeople.

Budget accomodations in town:

Jalan Prawirotaman area is a travelers hub filled with small guesthouses and cafes. This area was originally the center of Batik making families.  Today there are still loads of batik galleries and shops around Jalan Tirtodipuran with workshops available at Winotosastro Batik

Duta Garden Hotel and new Boutique Villa:
Tucked down a quiet lane in a garden off Jalan Prawirotaman.
The original budget Duta Guesthouse is right on Jalan Prawirotaman:

Adhistana  Hotel-  a small homey, inn, comfy rooms-  1 block behind Jalan Prawirotaman

Via Via Cafe
–  on Jalan Prawirotaman
Travelers Cafe with information on Events and a Fair Trade shop:

approx 2 hours drive east of Yogyakarta. Also a comfortable local train ride.

Royal Surakarta Heritage Hotel:

In Solo, be sure to visit Museum Batik Danar Hadi to see an amazing private collection!

Journey Overland?

Trains across Java are very comfortable, clean and efficient.   The portion between Bandung and Yogyakarta ( approx 7 hours ) is known for the stunning scenery.  But heading East of Yogya- trains bring you to Solo, and onward to Jombang and Trowulan close by ancient sites of the Majapahit era temple.   Continue on by Train to Surabaya.   

East Java, Mt Bromo and Ijen

Malang, south of Surabaya is a smaller relaxing town

TUGU Malang Hotel filled aith art is a destination in itself:

Continue by train to Probolinggo-  from this station a one hour drive takes you up to Mt Bromo
Lots of lodgings close by Mt Bromo as you will want to experience sunrise.
Lava View Lodge
enjoys a view directly to the volcano if just wish to see the view from there.

Train Probolinggo as far as Banyuwangi… the Far East of Java  and from where you can get the ferry across to West Bali.  It worthwhile to explore this part of East Java and Mt. Ijen:

Ijen Resort and Villas   at the foot of stunning rice terraces:

Cross over to Northwest Bali and head to Pemuteran 
Taman Sari for diving and snorkeling.

See more on Train Travel- East Java Volcanoes-  Ijen to Bromo–  Click HERE

KAI-  Kereta Api Indonesia ( national railways ) has an App to download, but can be difficult to navigate.
Train tickets throughout Indonesia may be booked very easily on   or download their App.

The Man in Seat 61  is always a wonderful resource for Train Journeys around the world:

Enjoy your Journeys- Selamat Jalan!

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