Welcome to Central Java

Though Central Java has a reputation for a short fuse when dealing with religious and political sentiments, it’s a relaxed, easy-going province for tourists. Yogyakarta, at the centre of its own quasi-independent ‘special region’ stretching from the south coast to Gunung Merapi, and Solo, just 65km to the northeast, are Java’s most interesting cities. But even Semarang, the province’s busy, maritime capital, has some charm. Most visitors, though, will find the stupendous Borobudur and Prambanan temples the highlight of any trip to Java's centre. And well they should. No matter the crowds, it's at these two spectacular sites where history and spirit are palpable, infusing any morning or afternoon, sunrise or sunset with magic and mystery.

Top experiences in Central Java

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Central Java activities

$92.50 Cultural & Theme Tours

Private Tour: Borobudur and Prambanan Temple from Yogyakarta

You are brought to the most spectacular and world’s biggest Buddhist monument complex, Borobudur, built around 800 A.D. Looming out of a patchwork of bottle-green paddies and swaying palm tops, this colossal Buddhist relic is one of the continent’s marvels. After the decline of Buddhism and the shift of power to East Java, the monument was abandoned soon after its completion. For centuries the complex lay forgotten, buried under layers of volcanic ash. Climb up to the top, level by level to appease all skill levels, and enjoy a wonderful view on the Menoreh Mountains. Enough time is given to stroll around the complex and to discover its beauty. Afterwards,we continue to visit the nearby located temples such as Pawon Temple and Mendut Temple. Drive to Prambanan village to visit the Prambanan Temple. The Hindu temple of the “slender virgin”, also known as a complex of Lorojongrang, was erected in the 9th century while Java was ruled by the Hindu Sanjayas of Old Mataram in the north. It consists of three major temples and shrines in the main area dedicated to respected Hindu’s God Trinity such as Candi Shiva Mahadeva, Candi Brahma & Candi Vishnu. Enough time is given to walk around and observe the beautiful carvings and the neighborhood shrines such as the Candi Palosan and the Candi Sewu. The Ramayana story is carved into the walls of the temples.

$73 Tours & Sightseeing

Sunrise and Temples Tour from Yogyakarta

Start the day with an early hotel pickup before departing for Borobudur temple at approximately 3:45am. The early start will be made worth it when you witness the spectacular and breath-taking sunrise from on top of the Majestic Buddhist Temple. Allow the spiritual atmosphere cleanse you. Begin your exploration of Java Island. You have the option of hiring a local tour guide who will reveal the story and history of the temple and the surrounding area.Afterwards, drive to the tiny temple of Pawon temple. Here, you will gain an insight to the coffee industry. You will also gain a peek into the life of Javanese people at a local house. Next, you will visit the Buddhist Temple which is home to the largest Buddha statue sitting in the chamber. Make a wish and pray in the temple.After this, we will drive to the slope of Merapi volcano, the most active volcano in Java, to have a lava tour by Jeep. The Jeep will take you to the villages ruined by the volcanic eruption in 2010. You will have the chance to stop for lunch before proceeding on to more temples, should time permit. After the conclusion of the tour you will be taken back to your hotel.

$77.50 Outdoor Activities

Private Borobudur Sunrise Tour from Yogyakarta

The Borobudur temple compounds, as they are officially known, were built in three tiers: a large base nearly 400 feet on each side that has five levels; on top of that are three circular platforms covered in 72 bell-shaped stupas, each with a statue of Buddha inside; at the top there is an enormous stupa that is more than 100 feet in the air. The monument is covered in carvings, with 2,600 relief panels and more than 500 statues of Buddha.The UNESCO protected Buddhist monument was abandoned in the 14th century after the bulk of the Javanese population got a taste of Islam. In the 1970’s, a restoration commenced, and now the once ignored Borobudur is Indonesia’s most visited tourist attraction.The sunrise over Borobudur is without doubt one of the travel world’s most spectacular and unique experiences. But, how do you get prime-time sunrise viewing, without being surrounded by swarms of other tourists? Borobudur is about 45 minutes from the much larger city of Yogyakarta, a city of half a million people that most visitors to Borobudur use as a base. If you want a jump on the hordes, there is an easy way you can get access to Borobudur, an hour and a half before everyone else. You can be at the top of the temple, taking those Borobudur sunrise money-shots when everyone else is still lining up at the gates, waiting to get in.A Borobudur sunrise is an absolute must-do travel experience. It is a very good reason why it is the number one attraction in Indonesia. You will never forget this experience.

$75 Day Trips & Excursions

Mt. Merapi Slopes Hiking Day Trip from Yogyakarta

Looking for a bit of adventure during your stay in Yogyakarta? This is the right tour for you!This full day tour will bring you to the feet of the world famous volcano called Mount Merapi. As you depart around 7 am, you will already feel the excitement and freshness of the air on your way to the location. As you approach the site, you will meet the guide who will explain you the details for this soft hike in the mountain. The landscape will amaze you from the second you cast your sights to the structure. The lunch that will be served is an excellent typical and local cuisine at local restaurant.After lunch, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Yogyakarta in your air-con van.

$101.40 Tours & Sightseeing

Sukuh and Cetho Temple Tour from Yogyakarta

Your day will begin at 6:30am when you get picked up in an air conditioned minivan from your Yogyakarta hotel and taken on your journey to Solo City.It will take 1.5 hours to reach Radya Pustaka Museum. This is a Museum which has ancient antique collections which reveals the story and history of Java Island.Following on from Radya Pustaka Museum, your driver will take you to Mangkunegaran Palace which is part of Java kingdom’s history. Mangkunegaran Palace has great art and antique collections. After the Mangkunegaran Palace visit, you will explore Triwindu antique market. You will then stop at a local restaurant for lunch.  Please note lunch is not included in the tour price. You will then be driven to Sukuh Temples. Sukuh temple has strange and unique statues including Yoni and Lingga which are dedicated to the goddess of fertility.  Lastly you will head to Cetho Temple which is believed to be home for the last Hindu King 'Brawijaya the fifth' who died because he was killed by Muslim soldiers. After exploring the temples, you will be driven back to Yogyakarta at 4.00 pm and will be back at your accommodation at 07.30 pm.

$32 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Yogyakarta Night Food Tour

It isn’t a myth that Yogyakarta represents one of the cities rich in culture in Indonesia. You will find how locals there are still very consistent in applying traditional culture to their everyday lives, from languages to beliefs and ancient rituals. This Yogyakarta food tour will not only present a variety of distinctive traditional Yogyakarta dishes, ranging from nasi campur to bakmie, and also signature drinks that will warm you up while enjoying the nighttime atmosphere of Yogyakarta. Good Indonesian Food Tour also offers many interesting fun facts about the monuments in the city, traveling with public transportation, and even traditional games that hold mystical values in them.

Central Java in detail

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