05:30 a.m. – Punthuk Sethumbu
Perhaps the only thing more beautiful than enjoying the sunrise from the magnificent Borobudur Temple is watching the first light with the glorious temple as the backdrop. As the sun rises, the awe-inspiring Borobudur Temple and its surrounding nature appear, as if floating in the morning mist. From the hill, tourists will also be granted an unrestricted view of Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu.
Located only 4 km away from Borobudur Temple, Punthuk Sethumbu is technically a part of Magelang, Central Java. Even so, the exotic hill and iconic temple are often considered part of the Yogyakarta tourism landscape and are much easier to access from the city. Be sure to arrive at the hilltop before 05.30 a.m. to explore all the best spots.
07 a.m. – Borobudur Temple
One of the most popular tourist attractions in the entire country, this temple has the whole package from natural charms, cultural significance, historical value, and architectural wonders. Borobudur Temple is the largest Buddhist sanctuary in the world, dating back as far as the 9th-century. The stone walls in parts of the structure are ornate with relief depicting ancient stories and legends. For tourists who seek cultural and historical insights, it’s best to hire a local guide to describe the temple’s deep symbolics and philosophical grounds.
Borobudur Temple, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia, +62 293 788266
12 p.m. – Malioboro
As the biggest and most popular shopping area in Yogyakarta, Malioboro Street is tourists’ best chance to purchase traditional products with a great deal, from batik clothes to handmade souvenirs and Javanese puppets. The area also has local food vendors and restaurants that present a great selection for a traditional lunch. If you still have time to spare, a few minutes of becak (traditional bicycle cart transportation) ride can take you to the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta, Vredeburg Museum, or Taman Sari Water Castle.
4 p.m. – Prambanan
Located less than an hour’s drive away from Malioboro, Prambanan Temple, the biggest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia, is a mighty cultural and religious site that also presents a glorious sunset view. Tourists can explore the massive temple compound and learn about the ancient nation’s history, admire the mysteriously sophisticated construction, and be awed by the overall grandness of the ancient complex. Hire a tour guide to learn local folklores that revolve around the temple as well as its rich symbols and cultural significance. Tourists can also stay for the Ramayana Ballet, a cultural performance based on one of Hinduism’s most prominent epics.
Evening – Angkringan in the City Center
Conclude the trip with a local experience by dining at a traditional food seller called angkringan. Tourists can find angkringan in almost every corner at the city center, near Tugu Station or Malioboro Road. In angkringan, tourists can handpick various traditional side dishes to accompany rice for an affordable price. These humble establishments are a big part of locals’ daily life and they offer a heartwarming cultural experience for tourists to relax after a day of fun in the city.