“Can I do Borobudur and Prambanan in one day?”
This is one of questions that I often get from my blog readers. For sure this is possible and if you’re interested I’ll be happy to help you by offering you an all inclusive tour with a pickup from your hotel.
Also Read: The Best Yogyakarta Tours
First, things first. Borobudur and Prambanan are not close to each other. Check out below map to give you the idea of where the Borobudur temple is located and where Prambanan temple is located.
As you can see they both are located, somewhat, in different directions from Yogyakarta. Borobudur is located to the north west of Yogyakarta and the Prambanan is closer on east part of Yogyakarta. From the distance point of view, Borobudur is approximately 45 km from the city center, while Prambanan is 16 km away from city center. The big distances involved make for a very long day.
If you want to take a one day tour to Borobudur and Prambanan there are two main options available. Let me share the itinerary.
Borobudur and Prambanan One Day Tour
The best time to do the Borobudur and Prambanan tour is first thing in the morning for sunrise. Book a shared tour for the cheapest price (find out how below). The one day Borobudur and Prambanan shared tour starts very early in the morning. If you join a Yogyakarta Borobudur Prambanan tour, most likely, you will get picked up from your hotel between 5 am. You will arrive in Borobudur at 6 am and get a chance to explore Borobudur temple for three hours.
After visiting Borobudur you will have a 1,5-2 hours journey from Borobudur to Prambanan temple. You will have 2 hours to explore Prambanan. At 1 or 2 pm you will go back to Yogyakarta. Sounds pretty easy isn’t? Well… It is, but believe me you will feel drained.
Borobudur and Prambanan One Day Tour with Sunrise
This option is for people who like to get up early and want to see a beautiful sunrise. The itinerary is almost identical to the Borobudur and Prambanan one day tour, but you have to be ready at 4am. Instead of heading directly to Borobudur you go to Setumbu Hill. From the top of the hill you get a beautiful view of Borobudur wrapped in mist. It’s an amazing experience and you can read about it here if you’re interested.
Things to Consider
Borobudur and Prambanan complex both are huge! Walking and exploring around the temples compound are fun, but also quite a lot of walk.
I personally think that Prambanan temple tour can be a little bit tricky. According to Wikipedia there were a total of 240 temples standing in Prambanan. It’s that big! I’ve been to Prambanan more than three times and I still haven’t seen Candi Sewu (Sewu temple). The temple is located inside Prambanan temple complex, but pretty far away from main temples of Prambanan.
Budgeting For Your Day Trip
For Discover Your Indonesia readers, a one day group tour of Borobudur and Prambanan will include breakfast. The cost also covers pick up and drop off at your hotel. The mini bus that takes you is modern and a driver who can speak basic English.
The entrance ticket to Prambanan and Borobudur costs are updated every year. Entrance for International visitors to Prambanan are higher than for Indonesian citizens and Kitas holders. Children below five can enter for free. The entrance fee to Setumbu Hill (for sunrise) is the same for domestic and international visitors.
Of course you don’t have to join a group tour. It is possible to hire a driver with a car who will take you to both temples (plus some more temples around Yogyakarta). Of course the added flexibility and comfort comes at an added cost. A one day tour to Borobudur and Prambanan with a personal driver can be arranged. You can click here to get more info and book the tour (there’s no deposit required).
There are additional optional costs to the tour. For example, if you really want to get more insights about Borobudur and Prambanan during your tour then you should consider to hire a guide. A tour guide costs Rp100,000 per hour.
A tour guide is of course not essential, but they are helpful. I used a tour guide while visiting Prambanan and I tell you that one hour isn’t enough to explain everything! Especially if you really interested in the subject. There are so many interesting things to learn about and discussions to have.
Although the cost for a day trip is very high, I do believe the experience is worth it. Both Borobudur and Prambanan are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and offer a unique insight into the history of Indonesia.
Borobudur and Prambanan Tours
There are downsides to doing a tour of Prambanan and Borobudur temples in one day. One big issue is just how tiring it is. My suggestion is: if you have the time, visit Borobudur and Prambanan on separate days. At the end, it is your decision. 🙂 The length of time you will be in Yogyakarta is a big part of whatever decision you make. If you only have two days in this lovely city then yes, do both temples in one day does make sense.
Prambanan might win my heart a tiny bit compared to Borobudur. It is not because Borobudur is not amazing, but because I love the shape and the details of Prambanan Temple. I also like the fact that there are several temples scattered around the complex. Picture was taken earlier this month at Prambanan temple by @lostpacker . It wasn’t rainy when the photo was taken, but the sky already gloomy so we carried the umbrella just in case. Turns out that a colorful umbrella can be a great photo prop, right? 😉 ☔ #Yogyakarta #Indonesia #Prambanan #Yogya #Temple #Travel
Borobudur Setumbu Hill / Barede Hill
Watch sunrise from the top of the valley overlooking Borobudur temple. On a good day you will see Borobudur temple emerging from the mist. This is a shared group tour and transport is included in the price. You will need to purchase your own tickets to Borobudur and Prambanan temples.
Have you ever been to Yogyakarta? Did you visit both temples in one day? What was your experience?