Just an hour drive from the city of Yogyakarta is the very historic Borobudur. Dating back about 9th century, Borobudur is a Mahayana Buddhist Temple that is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the world’s largest Buddhist temple, and one of the most popular tourist attraction in Indonesia.

Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Hello Raya Blog

I lived in Yogyakarta back in the mid-90’s and remember visiting Borobudur a number of times as a child. And even after 20 years, visiting Borobudur once again, I was just as fascinated and enchanted by the site.

A little bit of history…

It is estimated that Borobudur dates back to somewhere between the 8th & 9th centuries. By the 14th century, it was abandoned for centuries, hiding under layers of volcanic ash and jungle growth.

Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Hello Raya Blog

In 1814, Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles came to know about “a big monument deep in the jungle.” He then instructed his Dutch engineer, H.C. Cornelius to visit the site of Borobudur to further investigate. For two months and with over 200 men, trees were cut down, vegetation was clear and soil was dug away in order to reveal what we know today as Borobudur.

In 1835 efforts continued to unearth the Borobudur temple, and between 1907 and 1911, restoration of the Borobudur Temple began. By 1975, a complete renovation took place, which was funded by UNESCO and took about 7 years to complete. The project costed a total of over U$6 million and involved over 600 people to restore Borobudur. A number of years after the renovation, Borobudur was then listed as a World Heritage Site in 1991.

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Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Hello Raya Blog

Visiting Borobudur

Borobudur is about an hour drive away from Yogyakarta and there are plenty of tour companies on offer ready to take you there.

The best time to visit Borobudur is definitely first thing in the morning, or the later part of the day. By mid-morning and till about mid-afternoon, Borobudur is busy with many visitors and pilgrims making the journey to see this historic site. It’s also best to avoid weekends and public holidays, because it is most likely jam packed.

Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Hello Raya Blog Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Hello Raya Blog

Another tour that is worthwhile experiencing is Borobudur during the sunrise. It does come at an additional cost and does need to be pre-booked, but what an experience it would be.

Borobudur is a big site, so be ready to do a lot of walking and climbing of stairs. Comfortable (yet modest) clothing and shoes is best, and make sure to bring with you a bit bottle of water.

Cost

Upon entering the gates into Borobudur, there are two ticketing areas. One for locals and one for tourists. The tourist price is approximately A$31 / U$23 per person and includes a bottle of water.

If you are looking to do the sunrise tour of Borobudur, it is approximately A$40 / U$30 per person, and it grants you access to the site at 4:30am and you will need to pre-book this.

Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Hello Raya Blog

Where to Stay

Most will stay in Yogyakarta and make the hour journey out to Borobudur on a day trip. This is probably the best option for most, and there are plenty of accommodation options in Yogyakarta. And Yogyakarta has a lot of great food options to also check out.

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If you want to stay somewhere with spectacular views and just a few minutes drive from Borobudur, do check out the Amanjiwo Resort. It is a beautiful 5-star sanctuary made up of 36 suites and complete luxury.

Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Hello Raya Blog Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Hello Raya Blog

Quick Tips

  • Be prepared to do a lot of walking and climbing of stairs
  • Do wear comfortable clothing and shoes
  • Take water with you – once you climb the site, you can’t buy water up there and it is important to stay hydrated because it can get quite hot
  • Do wear sunscreen – Borobudur is an open air structure and so protect yourself from the sun
  • Give yourself time and don’t rush – Borobudur is a big site with lots to see
  • Bring small change if you plan to buy a few souvenirs

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Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Hello Raya Blog

9 Comments on Your Guide to Visiting Borobudur

  1. I’d love to visit here one day, I’ve heard so many good things about it! I’ll take your advice and definitely visit earlier rather than later. I can imagine it’s a little cooler too, and more comfortable to take photos!

  2. Being a UNESCO site itself is enough to kindle my interest in the place. When I head to Indonesia, I’ll make sure not to miss Borbudur. The sunrise tour would be the best I guess.

  3. The recent attention that UNESCO heritage sites have been getting is phenomenal and as a result so many people are traveling to the lesser known ones and writing about them. I love to visit places with tradition and culture and Borobudur looks like one seeped in history. Thanks for all the details.

  4. Borobudur being an UNESCO site and is an ancient Buddhist temple is on my list. I love such temples in natural environments with many sculptures and carvings. Sunset tour would be fine for me as I love watching sunrise from unique places. Great tips about taking lots of water and sunscreens.

  5. I visited Borobudur a few years back and found it to be as impressive as Siem Riep in Cambodia. You got some good shots of it doing Instagram poses. I had forgotten they gave you a free bottle of water upon entry, this is a very good idea as it can get hot. You chose a good time to visit as I can’t see many other tourists!

  6. There’s always something special about visiting UNESCO sights. Your pictures are beautiful, what an interesting place to visit – I bet it looks pretty at sunset. I hope we make it to Indonesia soon! Your tips will come in handy – thanks!

  7. Wow, I love your images and your tips were great. I have always wanted to visit Buddhist Temple that looks epic like that as it really reminds me of the Jungle book or some kind of ancient warrior movie I love it and the history behind it as well.

  8. I have been planning to go Borobudur for a longer period. The place is really fascinating. I would love to go in the morning to catch the sunrise. Such a great historic place it is. Lovely photographs 🙂

  9. I had never heard of Borobudur before. This looks like a grand temple in a natural setting. 600 people to just restore the building. Must have been a task. I am glad it was taken up by UNESCO. Thanks for the tips. I would prefer sunrise tour.

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