Borobodur temple- Stupas with a view

Borobodur Temple

Borobodur is the largest Buddhist temple complex in the world and is located just under 25 km east of Yogyakarta. Since 1991, the Borobodur temple with its world-famous stupas has been a Unesco World Heritage Site. The temple is estimated to have been built between 750 and 850 and is believed to have been covered by ash following an eruption of the Merapi volcano, after which it fell into oblivion. It took until the 19th century for the site to be rediscovered and gradually uncovered and restored. The ground plan of Borobodur is square with a pyramidal structure divided into 9 floors.

Stupas beim Borobodur Tempel

Is it worth visiting Borobodur Temple?

Even though the temple complex of Borobodur is undoubtedly one of the most visited sights in Indonesia, I would not miss visiting it. There will be thousands of people visiting the temple with you and even worse…. Herds of people will want to take photos with you “Bule”. But still, the temple is just too exciting and multi-faceted to skip this one. Below you will also learn some useful tips for your visit to the temple complex.

When is the best time to visit Borobodur Temple?

I can take away one illusion – the temple is well visited on every occasion. I have visited the temple 2x during the “normal” opening hours, but rather around noon. Most visitors stay until noon and then make their way back 1 hour before closing. This is in my opinion the best time, because you have the temple virtually to yourself before the visitor proportions to the sunset streaming in.

  • Travel by a rented scooter.
  • Book a combined (Borobodur & Prambanan) ticket to save money.
  • If available, take your student ID with you to save money.
  • Go at noon to have the temple almost to yourself just before closing.
  • Take your time and don’t check off both temples (Borobodur & Prambanan) in one day.
  • Hiring a guide is worth it, as he can explain you everything about the construction, symbols and orientation of the temple.

Borobodur on your own or with a tour?

Clear answer – on your own! Rent a scooter in Yogyakarta and book an accommodation in or around Borobodur for one night. The ride with the scooter is very impressive in itself and you are simply much freer. If you don’t want to go by scooter you can also find public transportation for about 2000-5000 Rupiahs to Borobodur. In my opinion, the journey is simply too short, as it would be worthwhile to arrive with a group of tourists.

Is a guide to Borobodur Temple worth it?

This depends largely on how far you want to dive in and are interested in the history and symbolism of the individual statues and stupas. I can only recommend to take a guide, because otherwise you can marvel at the temple but not understand the context. I personally think that the 100,000 Rupiah (about 6 €) are well invested, especially since you can share the guide. The guides speak good English, there are even some who do speak German.

Buddha-Statue Nahaufnahme

How much is the entrance fee to Borobodur Temple?

Unfortunately, the entrance fees to the temples in Yogyakarta do not correspond at all to the budget of a backpacker. Unfortunately, you have no choice here and have to bite the bullet if you want to see the charismatic temple complexes in Java.

Borobodur Entrance fee350.000 Rupiah (~22 €)
Borobodur Entrance fee Sunset 500.000 Rupiah (~32 €)
Guide for Borobodur100.000 Rupiah (~ 6 €)
Prambanan Entrance fee 350.000 Rupia (~22 €)
Combined ticket Borobodur & Prambanan 630.000 Rupiah (~ 39 €)

How to get to Borobodur

As already mentioned above, there are several ways to get to Borobodur. I will show you the different possibilities here. In general, you should combine the Borobodur temple with a stay in Yogyakarta, since it is only about 25 km away.

Getting there by scooter

My recommendation to explore the surrounding area of Yogyakarta is clearly the scooter. For 50,000 Rupiah (approx. 3 €) to 100,000 Rupiah (approx. 6 €), depending on the rental period and negotiating skills or location, you simply have all the freedom and are not dependent on anyone. Provided that one trusts oneself to drive the scooter. The ride from Yogyakarta takes about 1 hour and leads past rice fields and small Indonesian villages and is in itself a beautiful experience. In addition, there are also exciting things to experience around Borobodur.

Getting there by bus

The super budget way to get to Borobodur is by bus. However, the journey by bus is connected with some changes. Here I will show you how you can still manage it relatively simple. In any case, plan some time for the trip! I recommend you to always have the money handy, because some bus drivers do not have / want to give change.

  1. First, you take one of the small trans-Jogja buses of line 2A or 2B to get to Jombor Terminal. Once you are on the right bus, you can’t miss getting off as it is the terminal stop. Here is a list of stops in Yogyakarta for the trans-Jogja buses to guide you where to get on. The fare is 4,000 rupiah (about €0.25).
  2. Once you arrive at Jombor Terminal, look for the buses to Candi Borobodur. The trip takes about 1 hour and you arrive directly in Borobodur. The ride costs 25.000 Rupiah (approx. 1,50 €).

Getting there by taxi

Certainly the most comfortable and safest way to visit the temple. A trip by cab costs about 300,000 (about 19 €) Rupiah for a round trip. If you share a cab with several people, it can be a cost-effective alternative.

Borobodur und Prambanan in one day

Time-wise, both are definitely doable in one day, especially if you book the sunrise or sunset tour at Borobodur. However, I am firmly convinced that one large temple per day is enough. Otherwise, the “wow” effect is missing and you just check off your sightseeing list. But do you really enjoy it? Everyone has to know that for himself, I for one could not. Especially since there are other exciting things to see, especially around Borobodur.

What to do near Borobodur?

Setumbu Hill View Point

If you don’t feel like paying the extra charge for the morning visit to Borobodur, you can drive to the Setumbu Hill viewpoint and enjoy the sunrise there. Here you pay “only” 30,000 rupiah – but you also share this place with some other visitors. Even if you see the temple complex only very small on the horizon, it shows a great panorama with forests surrounded by fog, the rising sun and the volcano Merapi in the background. Unfortunately, this place is often disturbed by drones, which can cloud the morning idyll a bit.

Aussicht vom Setumbu Hill auf Borobodur

Chicken Church

No, this is not just a name, but actually a church modeled after a chicken. It was built by Daniel Alamsjah. It is only about 20 minutes away from Borobodur by scooter and one of the most bizarre buildings I have ever seen. A church modeled after a chicken in the middle of the jungle. At first it sounded like an idea people get after a colorful drug cocktail. You can even go to the top of the crown to enjoy the view. Inside the chicken is a museum and lovingly artistically decorated rooms with pictures of the mountains around, mosaics and paintings from Indonesian mythology. The entrance fee is 30,000 rupiah.

Chicken Church nahe Borobodur

Camera house

Created by a painter, a house modelled on a camera is located not far from the Borobodur temple. The house makes Instagrammer’s hearts beat faster, because there are numerous selfie locations and friendly staff to help you take photos. In one room, the owner’s paintings are on display, and in another room you can have fun with 3D mirrors.

Blick auf das Kamerahaus in Borobodur

Häufige Fragen zu deinem Besuch der Tempelanlage Borobodur

Borobodur Entrance fee350. 000 Rupia (~22 €)
Borobodur E tranfe fee sunset500.000 Rupiah (~32 €)
Guide for Borobodur100.000 Rupiah (~ 6 €)
Prambanan Entrance Fee 350.000 Rupia (~22 €)
Combined ticket Borobodur & Prambanan 630.000 Rupiah (~ 39 €)
If you are interested in the history and background of the temple – definitely!
The clear answer is – on your own! Rent a scooter in Yogyakarta and book accommodation in or around Borobodur for one night.
Time-wise, both are definitely doable, especially if you book the sunrise or sunset tour at Borobodur. However, I am firmly convinced that one large temple per day is enough. Otherwise, the “wow” effect is missing and you just tick off your sightseeing list.
Most visitors stay until noon and then head back 1 hour before closing time. In my opinion, this is the best time to be there, as you have the temple virtually to yourself before the crowds pour in for sunset.

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