Guide to visiting the temples of Prambanan


February 3, 2022

It is a group of more than 200 Hindu temples, of which only 8 are still standing. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. The complex is quite large and there are 3 more temples to visit: Candi Lumbung, Candi Bubrah and Candi Sewu. The most curious thing is that they are Buddhist temples and not Hindu.

How to get to Prambanan from Yogyakarta?

The temple is located 20 km from the city of Yogyakarta. Keep in mind that if you are going to do both the temple Borobudur and Prambanan in the same day, the distance between the two is long, so we recommend a tour or a private driver to take you to both places.

Public transportThis is the cheapest way and takes about 40 minutes depending on traffic. You have to take the Trans-Jogja 1A or 1B Malioboro Street and get off at the last stop.

Price: $USD 0.20.

Private taxiThis is the way we used. As we didn't have much time, we did the sunrise in Borobudur in the same day and then the driver took us to Prambanan. What we didn't like about this option is that we didn't depend on a tour so we could do everything at our own pace. Between the two temples there is a distance of 1 hour and a half. He charged us $USD 35 ($500.000 rupees) for the whole trip.

Price: Between $USD 28 and $USD 35 ($400.000 and 500.000 rupees). Keep in mind that it is a whole van, up to 6 people can go approx.

Tour: We recommend you to take this option once you are in Yogyakarta, as everywhere you go they will try to sell it to you. Most of the tours we find on the internet are much more expensive.

Price: Between $USD 10 and $USD 12 per person (140,000 and 160,000 rupees).

Entrance to the temples of Prambanan

  • General admission: $USD 24
  • Entrance with student card: $USD 15
  • Children's ticket (up to 10 years old): $USD 15
  • Combined ticket (Prambanan and Borobudur) : $USD 39. This option is not valid for sunrise at Borobudur.

The majestic complex of Prambanan

Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. It definitely has to be on your list if you visit Java Island.

The temple is dedicated to Trimitu, the 3 forms of the Hindu god. Brahma, the creator of the world; Shiva, the transformer; and Vishnu, the god who preserves the universe. The 3 main temples are dedicated to them and in front of them there are other even smaller temples representing the vehicles of the gods, since according to Hinduism each god is transported by a different animal.

The temple complex is a model of the universe according to Hindu cosmology based on the 3 realms: the lower realm (inhabited by mortals), the middle realm (of the saints and lesser gods), and the upper realm (the most sacred, the realm of the gods). The temple is traversed clockwise until finally the statue of Ganesha, son of Shiva, is reached.

Little is known about the history of this temple but it is believed to have been built in 850 to mark the return of a Hindu dynasty to Java after decades of Buddhism. The complex has suffered volcanic eruptions, changes of political power, earthquakes and looting, and the ruins of several of them can be seen around those that remain standing.

Prampanan Temple

Our experience in the temple

We loved it and think it is a must-see along with Borobudur. We were already approaching it with the car and we could see this giant looming before our eyes. Walking among so much history, seeing the rubble around the main temples, climbing the ones that are still standing is really a place we recommend 100%.

Traveller's tip:

  • If you continue walking around the complex you will be able to see three more temples worth visiting: Sewu, Bubrah and Lumbung, all of which are included in the entrance fee. The best thing is that, as they are further away, there are hardly any tourists.
  • As it is a place of worship, we advise you to cover your legs, otherwise you will probably be lent a scarf to wear at the entrance.