Borobudur Sunrise: 6 Factors to consider before buying your Borobudur temple ticket – Complete Guide

I think it goes without saying that watching a sunrise is a magical sight, now couple a sunrise over an ancient temple which is the largest Buddhist monument in the world and you really are in for a cultural bucket list-worthy moment.

The dawn glow of the amber and golden light creeping in perfectly illuminates the blanket of warm foggy clouds that makes the Borobudur sunrise experience all the more special in the silence of daybreak.

Borobudur temple is deemed one of the most visited sites in Indonesia by locals and foreigners alike, but there has been much debate into whether visiting for the Borobudur sunrise is actually worth it.

Characterized by the unique Borobudur stupas, Borobudur temple in Yogyakarta has become a staple on Instagram and many travellers’ social media feeds!

Now if you can’t imagine the experience described above, then you might be as cynical as I am and knew that there were a few more factors to consider before buying your tickets to see Borobudur temples at sunrise.

Sunrise rays of light shining through the Borobudur Temple Stupas in Yogyakarta
Beams of glorious sunlight shining through the Borobudur Temple Stupas in Yogyakarta

6 Factors to Consider Before Buying your Borobudur Sunrise Ticket

1. How willing are you to wake up at 4 am in the morning while on holiday?

Are you an early bird? Now a 4 am start on a holiday is not always on the cards for most people. It’s not necessarily that you need to be at the temple at 4 am but depending on where you are staying, the travel time to get to Borobudur may require a 20 to 30-minute journey, queue for the tickets and then getting to the top of Borobudur temple to witness the sunrise from the top tier. 

Striking orange Borobudur sunrise with silhouette of temple stupas
Striking glowing orange Borobudur sunrise with silhouetted stupas

2. How important is capturing Borobudur in the golden hour lighting?

So this is a big one. For many professional photographers, LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING. It’s no doubt that is if you want to capture the temple in the perfect conditions, the sunrise at Borobudur temple would be the best time to do so. Borobudur photography is some of the best I’ve seen of temples in Indonesia. It’s highly recommended by the professionals to also visit at sunrise.

3. What time of year are you visiting?

Like most places, the time of your visit to Borobudur in Indonesia will be dependent on the time of year. Indonesia has two seasons, wet season and dry season. The wet season runs from November to mid-April and the dry season is from mid-April to the end of October.  

Borobudur temple relief panels and intricate carvings in ancient stone

Surprisingly enough, the rainy season is a better bet for your visit, as there is a great amount of pollution in Java, and with the daily rains, the smog is often cleared, making for incredible cloud formations. 

4. What time is sunrise during your visit?

Probably the most important factor on this list! Sunrise times change throughout the year and can range from 5:10 to 5:50. In the month of June to September, the sunrise is later and closer to 6:00 (normal entry ticket starts at 6:00), so be sure to check your sunrise times during the time of your visit to determine which ticket will get you an adequate sunrise experience.

Not sure what time sunrise in Borobudur will be when you visit? Check your sunrise times here

Landscape photo of full Borobudur Temple with tiers at a side view
The mammoth Borobudur Temple complex in all its glory

5. Does it fit into your budget?

Another major factor to consider when visiting Borobudur temple compounds is the hefty price tag for the ticket. The Borobudur temple sunrise comes with a price and there is a significant difference between the ticket price during regular hours versus sunrise.

Sunrise at Borobudur temple will cost you 50 USD or IDR 500 000 per person (IDR – Indonesian Rupiah). For those who are on a budget, this is quite a chunk for the experience, versus the 25 USD for the regular ticket.

6. What type of experience are you looking for?

Private vs public: If you are looking for the enchanting feeling of being cloaked in the darkness waiting for the gentle glowing orb to break through the mist-shrouded over this ancient monument and feeling the peace of this Buddhist masterpiece was created for – then the sunrise Borobudur ticket is the one for you

Man looking at the relief panels of Borobudur Temple wallls at Borobudur temple at sunrise
Checking out the intricate relief panels of the Borobudur Temple walls
Woman standing next to Borobudur Temple Relief panels embracing the stillness at sunrise in Yogyakarta
Gorgeous Borobudur Temple Relief panels and embracing the stillness at sunrise

What’s the alternative? Scorching heat, harsh daylight and crowds – seriously there will be A LOT OF PEOPLE!

So have you made your decision yet? If not, here a bit more of the logistical and nitty-gritty details about Borobudur Indonesia!

Where is Borobudur Temple

Borobudur temple is situated in Java Indonesia, Northeast of the city of Yogyakarta in the Magelang region. Borobudur in Java is an EXTREMELY POPULAR tourist destination for locals of Indonesia too. This is because the city of Yogyakarta (known as Jogjakarta or Jogja to locals) is a shopping haven for locals for many sources of Javanese culture, food, fabric and curios.

Check Borobudur location on Google Maps

How to Get to Borobudur Java Indonesia

There are 3 main ways to get to Borobudur once you are in Yogyakarta. 1 – Motorcycle, 2 – Taxi and 3 – Tour

Tour

The most convenient option is to use a tour. Borobudur sunrise tours are extremely popular and easy to find. The Borobudur sunrise tour from Yogyakarta is possibly the most popular, there are also options to combine this with visiting the Prambanan temple.

Motorcycle

Getting to Borobudur via motorcycle is also an option. In saying this if you have never ridden a motorcycle and are not confident driving a motorcycle in Indonesia then THIS IS NOT THE OPTION FOR YOU. You need to be confident in your driving abilities on a motorcycle because of the traffic and the roads in Indonesia.

You’ll also be needed to use an app for Maps on your phone so this adds another difficulty element to the experience if you’ve never done this before.

CAUTION: Many travellers, don’t take the motorcycle warning to heart because they believe they know better. Java is an extremely overcrowded and busy island. The roads aren’t great, the traffic is terrible and other drivers don’t necessarily obey the rules of the road. If you have no experience riding a motorcycle in a busy Southeast Asian country or the relevant driving license and travel insurance – DO NOT RISK IT!

Want to tick climbing a volcano off your bucket list? Read the articles: Visit Mount Bromo and Kawah Ijen Volcanoes in East Java

woman sitting on the floor against the walls of Borobudur relief panels at Borobudur temple at sunrise in Yogyakarta
Borobudur carved figure in the relief panels of the Borobudur Temple walls at sunrise in Yogyakarta
View from high tier at Borobudur Temple overlooking Borobudur Stupa and green valley

Taxi

Getting a taxi in Indonesia is literally effortless. Apps like Grab or GoJek or Bluebird are easily available and accessible on your mobile. You could ask your accommodation to call/ arrange a taxi for you to drop and collect you after your Borobudur Jogja experience

How to get to Borobudur Yogyakarta

Borobudur from Jakarta

The Borobudur Jakarta trip is an easy one. There are two options, Option 1: You can fly from Jakarta International (Soekarno-Hatta) to Yogyakarta airport (Adisutjito Airport). Option 2: Significantly cheaper, is to take the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. The Borobudur Jogjakarta to Jakarta journey is approximately 7 hours, but there are overnight trips and various class options to choose from to make the trip a bit more comfortable.

Borobudur from Bali

Again there are two options for the Bali Borobudur tip but one is a lot more time consuming and tiring than the other. Option 1: Fly from Bali International airport (Denpasar) to Yogyakarta airport (Adisutjito Airport). Option 2: Doing the Borobudur Bali trip via public transport involves 3 modes of transport and multiple transfers. Start by getting from Denpasar Bali to Bus Terminal Mengwi, take Bus to Gilimanuk port, take the ferry for 50 minutes to Ketapang port. Close by you’ll find the Ketapang train station, take the train for 13 hours to Yogyakarta Lempuyagan station. This Bali to Borobudur temple Java journey is approximately 18 hours.    

How to catch a Borobudur Temple Sunrise

Panoramic view from top tier at Borobudur Temple with view of Borobudur Temple stupas and valley and mountain landscape in the background at sunrise
Breathtaking Borobudur sunrise landscape from top tier at Borobudur temple

There are 3 ways to watch the sunrise of temple Borobudur.

Option 1: Borobudur Sunrise Ticket

This is the official and only ticket that you can buy to visit Borobudur candi during the hours from 4:30 am. It’s called the Manohara sunrise ticket and can be purchased from The Manohara hotel and resort. The Manohara Borobudur sunrise ticket also includes a refreshment and snack before your entry and complimentary use of a sarong (to cover your legs) upon entry into the temple.

The Manohara hotel sunrise tour is not limited to a number of tourists and can be purchased on the day or ahead of time. There is a complimentary rate for those staying at the Manohara resort.

Learn more about Hotel Manohara Borobudur Sunrise ticket

Option 2: On a Budget

If you’re really strapped for cash but still want to witness a sunrise over Borobudur Magelang, then you can try the Punthuk Setumbu sunrise. What this is another viewpoint, located a distance away from the actual Borobudur Buddhist temple, but from where you can see the outline and upper levels of the temple.

Borobudur Temple sunrise view from Setumbu Hill in Yogyakarta
Borobudur Temple sunrise view from Setumbu Hill in Yogyakarta

The Setumbu hill viewpoint will only cost you IDR 30 000 (only 2 USD compared to the 50 USD for the Borobudur sunrise ticket). Although the Punthuk Setumbu hill ticket is a cheap one, you are not actually setting foot in the temple or seeing the iconic stupa Borobudur is famous for as well are the intricate Borobudur relief panels on the tiers of the platforms.  

Find Setumbu Hill on the Map

Option 3: Wait till 6:00

Normal ticket entries start from 6:00 in the morning and close at 17:00. There is no time limit as to how long you can stay at the temple. As mentioned before, depending on the time you visit during the year, if sunrise is closer to 6:00, if you are willing, you can be one of the first people to enter on a regular ticket and race to the top to catch the sunrise candi Borobudur temple experience.

Borobudur sunrise with stupas and buddha figure

Love Temples? READ: Must See Temples in Bali for 2021

Borobudur Ticket Price

If the Borobudur sunrise is not a priority there thankfully a number of other Borobudur temple ticket options that you can choose. These are the Borobudur Entrance fees as of 2021:

Borobudur Sunrise Ticket* 

  • Foreign Visitor: 40 USD or IDR 500 000
  • Domestic Visitor/KITAS Holder: IDR 370 000
  • Foreign Valid Student Card: 30 USD or IDR 400 000
  • Domestic Valid Student Card: IDR 280 000
  • Where to buy Borobudur sunrise ticket: Manohara Hotel

Borobudur Sunset Ticket** 

  • Foreign Visitor: 40 USD or IDR 500 000
  • Domestic Visitor/KITAS Holder: IDR 370 000
  • Foreign Valid Student Card: 30 USD or IDR 400 000
  • Domestic Valid Student Card: IDR 280 000
  • Where to buy Sunset Borobudur ticket: Manohara Hotel

Looking for a Borobudur sunset tour?

Front view of Borobudur temple

Borobudur Regular Ticket

  • Foreign Visitor: 25 USD or IDR 375 000
  • Domestic Visitor/KITAS Holder: IDR 50 000
  • Valid for single entry between: 6:00 to 17:00
  • Where to buy Borobudur regular ticket: At the temple

Borobudur Prambanan Combined Ticket***

Foreign Visitor: 45 USD or IDR 630 000

*Notes about Borobudur Sunrise Ticket:

  • Valid for single entry
  • The ticket office opens at 4: 00
  • Entry to Borobudur from 4:30 am at Manohara Hotel entrance
  • Includes breakfast refreshments
  • Includes a small souvenir
  • Includes use of a sarong
  • Complimentary storage of backpack and drones
  • The ticket is non-refundable or transferable in poor weather conditions
  • Cannot be used with Prambanan – Borobudur combo ticket
Borobudur Temple relief panels with intricate carvings in ancient stone

**Notes about Borobudur Sunset Ticket:

  • Valid for single entry
  • Entry to Borobudur from 17:00 (after public hours) till 18:30.
  • Includes light dinner refreshments
  • Includes a small souvenir
  • Includes use of a sarong
  • Complimentary storage of backpack and drones
  • The ticket is non-refundable or transferable in poor weather conditions
  • Cannot be used with Prambanan and Borobudur combination ticket
Woman sitting on the edge of a ledge gazing at the Borobudur temple sunrise

***Notes about Borobudur Prambanan Combination Ticket

  • Must be used on consecutive days
  • Valid for entry between 6:00 and 17:00
  • Cannot be used as a Borobudur sunrise ticket
  • Complimentary use of a sarong
  • Includes a welcome refreshment
  • Complimentary storage of backpack or drone

SIDE NOTE: Borobudur temple entrance fees prices displayed above are for 2021, IDR pricing will depend on the exchange rate of USD at the time of your visit.

Other Fees

Depending on how you travelled to Borobudur, there will be a parking fee involved. The fee is usually between IDR 5 000 to 10 000.

What to Wear to Borobudur Temple

Even though there is no Borobudur dress code, it’s important to remember here is that you are visiting a religious place, it is a place of worship and should be respected accordingly. It is customary to have your knees covered as well as your stomach.

what to wear to Borobudur Temple: man wearing tshirt and sarong with back to camera between Borobudur Temple stupas
Men must wear sarongs too if not in long pants
what to wear to Borobudur temple: woman wearing white playsuit and sarong standing above tier with stupas in background

TRAVELIST TIP: Wear lightweight airy clothing if you are visiting during the daytime as it gets extremely humid. There are not that many areas of shade so don’t forget to wear sunscreenthe Jogja Borobudur weather is harsh.

Borobudur Temple Opening Hours

Borobudur opening times are daily 6:00 to 17:00 for regular ticket holders

Borobudur sunrise ticket holders, opening times are from 4:30.

Borobudur sunset ticket holders, opening times are from 17:00 till 18:30.

Looking for some more adventure in Java? Head East! READ: Ultimate 7 Day East Java Itinerary

Borobudur temple at sunrise with woman standing between stupas and sunrise pink lighting

Bobudur Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Borobudur would between the months of April and June and preferably for sunrise to avoid the heat and humidity as well as the crowds.

Recommended Borobudur Tours

These are a couple of great tours to visit Borobudur temple (and some other great attractions) in Yogyakarta

Borobudur Sunrise or Sunset Half Day Private Tour

Borobudur Sunrise, Merapi Volcano & Prambanan Full Day Tour

Borobudur Temple: 1.5-Hour Guided Tour With Admission Ticket

Borobudur Temple Half Day Private Tour

Borobudur Sunrise & Prambanan Full Day Private Tour

From Yogyakarta: Borobudur Sunrise on Setumbu Hill

Borobudur sunrise photography at temple in Yogyakarta

Looking for more Borobudur temple tours?

Check Get Your Guide

Check Klook

TRAVELIST TIP: As with any tour, always remember to check your inclusions and exclusions with your Borobudur tour package. What might seem obvious to you, may not be obvious to them. Ask them to confirm exactly what is included or excluded if it’s not stipulated.

Where to stay when visiting Borobudur

The Borobudur temple unlike the Prambanan temple is not located in central Yogyakarta. So you have the option to stay close to the temple to minimize the commute at sunrise or opt to stay in the heart of the city and experience the incredible heartbeat come to life at night.

NEAR BOROBUDUR TEMPLE

Plataran Borobudur Resort and Spa – Plataran Borobudur Hotel is a gorgeous luxury resort and I’m in love with the private pool and garden villa, Borobudur’s early wake up is best visited after a night in this incredible resort.

Amata Borobudur Resort – This stunning resort with the Joglo-style roofs are picture-perfect. Here you will receive incredible service, amenities and true value for money.

Manohara Resort – Well if you want to get up close and personal with candi Borobudur Indonesia, then this is the place to stay. Literally, a 7-minute walk from the hotel to the entrance to Borobudur means you can literally roll out of bed and into Borobudur effortlessly and with no need for transport or taxis etc.

Borobudur sunrise with stupas and buddha figure

HOTELS IN THE CITY CENTRE, you’re spoiled for choice, Here are some of my top picks

Greenhost Boutique Hotel Prawirotaman – Exudes an air of peace and tranquillity and located on Jalan Prawirotaman means you’re on the street of cafes, restos and bars if you want to try out the nightlife too

Grand Aston Hotel Yogyakarta – Conveniently located, with great service and delightful breakfast spread makes this one a winner

Hotel Tentrem – Deemed one of the best hotels in Yogyakarta and I can see why, not only are dipped into luxury from the moment you step in, the amenities for being pampered almost make you feel like you never want to leave

The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta – A stunning luxury hotel with rich cultural heritage equipped with all the modernization of today’s needed amenities.

eL Royale Yogyakarta – is a newly built hotel and its incredible location just off Malioboro means that it’s a complete bargain for its incredible new furnishings, contemporary style, delicious breakfast spread and wonderful service

Looking for a Yogyakarta city hotel? Borobudur is only a 20 minute drive from the city centre.

Check Agoda.com

close up view of Borobudur Temple stupa at Borobudur Temple in Yogyakarta

Want to explore some incredible waterfalls in East Java? READ: Madakaripura and Tumpak Sewu Waterfall guides

About Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple at sunrise Borobudur sunrise photography with couple and view of stupas and valley

What is the Borobudur Temple? The Borobudur temple compounds Indonesia are a complex structure of Buddhist temples arranged in the intricate mandala lotus structure.

The Buddhist monument was built between the 8th and 9th century.

The complex sits in Borobudur park and is a large structure consisting of 9 levels, decorated with 2672 relief panels, 504 buddha statues of which 72 are located inside a stupa located around the central dome of the temple.

The stupas are perforated, and if you look closely, in the right light you will see the buddha Borobudur statues inside the stupa. These stupas are characteristic of the Borobudur temple.

The temple was abandoned when the country converted to Islam, but in 1814, Sir Thomas Raffles rediscovered this iconic structure.

Since then multiple restorations have taken place with the most significant being handled by the Indonesian Government along with UNESCO from 1975 to 1982.

couple standing in front of base at Borobudur Temple at sunrise in Yogyakarta

Borobudur Map

The map of Borobudur is located at the entrance to the temple compounds as well as the exits. It’s most certainly not easy to get lost regardless of the mammoth size of the structure as there is only one entrance and one exit and they are in different locations. You will see signage throughout directing you to the exit.

Borobudur Temple map

What makes Borobudur Temple unique

  • Borobudur architecture
  • Borobudur Buddha statues
  • Borobudur Mandala lotus structure
  • Borobudur history
  • UNESCO heritage site
  • Largest Buddhist monument in the world

Visit the Borobudur UNESCO page for more Borobudur temple facts

Visit Borobudur Official Website for Borobudur temple history

Borobudur FAQ

Travel Insurance

If anything, this should be a given for any trip you take! But be sure to keep a copy of your insurance details. If Indonesia is not your home country you need to be prepared for anything. All of these experiences have risks.

Check out World Nomads for amazing travel insurance options

I hope that this Borobudur travel blog article has helped you decide whether to choose the Borobudur sunrise option or the regular ticket is the option you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below and I’ll try my best to answer them!

HAVE I CONVINCED YOU TO VISIT BOROBUDUR TEMPLE? HAVE YOU VISITED ALREADY? I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in the article have affiliate links, what this means is, if you click a link and make a purchase I may earn some money to buy a coffee (whoohoo!). Thanks for the support, I’d love to keep making this content freely available to all. As always opinions and thoughts remain my own.

READ ABOUT MORE CULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN INDONESIA

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