How to visit Borobudur and Prambanan in 1 day by public transport

It is possible and easy to visit both UNESCO temples around Yogyakarta – Borobudur and Prambanan in 1 day using only public transport.

Here I will tell you how with precise, up-to-date information about public transport.

I recommend you spend an extra day for some authentic things to do in Yogyakarta and thus visit the temples on two separate days. But if you’re in a hurry, then this guide is for you.

Borobudur and Prambanan are part of my full 2-week Java Backpacking Itinerary.

Borobudur and Prambanan in 1 day at a glance

This is an example of a 1-day itinerary from Yogyakarta to Borobudur and Prambanan:

  • TransJogja bus #2B, #8, or #9 (after 06:00) to Terminal Jombor;
  • Direct bus to Borobudur. Arrive around 8:00; Check this out if you want to watch the sunrise over Borobudur;
  • Explore Borobudur until 10:00;
  • Bus back to Jombor. Arrive at 11:00;
  • Bus K2J to Malioboro. Arrive around 11:30;
  • Have lunch, and explore some of Yogyakarta’s attractions.
  • Train from Yogyakarta Tugu Station or Bus 1A/K3J from Malioboro to Prambanan. Arrive around 16:00;
  • Explore Prambanan and watch the sunset around 17:30-18:00;
  • Optionally, watch the Ramayana Ballet.
  • Go back to Malioboro. Arrive around 19:00 (22:30, if you watch the Ballet).

Borobudur in the morning

There’s no way you haven’t heard about sunrise at Borobudur. If you want to learn where to watch the sunrise over Borobudur, I have this specific Borobudur Guide with up-to-date information about climbing up the temple and the best hills to go to.

I’ll tell you outright that sunrise at Borobudur is incredibly overrated. The hills where the sunrise is possible to watch are so far from the temple it appears as a tiny dot in the distance.

Borobudur Temple

Instead, go to Borobudur at a more convenient time using public transportation from Yogyakarta.

  • Take bus #2B, #8, or #9 from Malioboro or Prawirotaman (check routes on Google Maps) to Terminal Jombor (ticket 3600 IDR (0.25$) purchasable on the bus);
  • Take a direct bus from Terminal Jombor to Borobudur. It leaves about once every hour and costs 30.000 IDR (2$).

Buy the combo ticket for Borobudur and Prambanan temples online at the official website. It costs 675.000 IDR (45$). It’s pricey, I know. If you want to climb up the temple, it’s going to cost you even more. Read all about current regulations for climbing Borobudur and prices.

Borobudur Temple opens at 7:00 and closes at 17:00.

Go back to Terminal Jombor around lunch

Borobudur is a massive temple, but it’s only one. Visit it, marvel at it, walk around it, visit the nearby museum where the rest of the artifacts are stored and you might spend 90 minutes there.

Before you go back to Yogyakarta, consider popping over to what I can only describe as the most bizarre temple in the world – the Chicken Church (Gereja Ayam). It’s only a short Grab taxi ride away, which will cost you ~15.000 IDR (1$) for a motorcycle and ~30.000 IDR (2$) for a car.

Chicken Church, Gereja Ayam
Cluck Cluck, Chicken Church!

Around lunch go back to Yogyakarta with the same bus you came by. It will drop you off at Terminal Jombor again. Since I mentioned lunch, why don’t you check out these Indonesian street food snacks?

There is no direct bus from Borobudur to Prambanan.

Yogyakarta to Prambanan in the afternoon

So you just returned from Borobudur and want to go to Prambanan on the same day. Nothing bad with that, although if you have time, leave it until tomorrow. Why not go grab a bite at one of the authentic places to eat in Yogyakarta?

There are two ways to get from Yogyakarta to Prambanan using public transport: by bus or by train.

Bus from Yogyakarta to Prambanan

Important: 1A and K3J are the exact same bus line going from Malioboro to Terminal Prambanan and back!

From Terminal Jombor, take bus #K2J to Malioboro Street. From the same Halte (bus stop) take bus #K3J or #1A to take you to Prambanan.

There are three bus stops on Jalan Malioboro: 1, 2, and 3. All of them are okay.

Note that you will have to change buses at the Adisutjipto Airport bus stop (Bandara Adisutjipto). You’ll take another bus #K3J or #1A that leaves immediately. Follow the assistant’s instructions there.

There’s a minor problem with the buses going to Prambanan: K3J / 1A is a Teman Bus, NOT a TransJogja bus, and it DOES NOT accept cash as payment.

There are a variety of options to pay with, most of which are suitable only for locals with local bank cards. The easiest is to add credit to your GoJek Pay account at an Indomaret / Alfamart store and then pay with the GoJek app inside the bus.

Accepted digitabl payment methods for Teman bus 1A going to Prambanan
Cash is NOT accepted on the 1A bus to Prambanan! These are the accepted digital payment methods.

Train from Yogyakarta to Prambanan

The Commuter train line between Yogyakarta and Surakarta is another convenient way to reach Prambanan.

Frequent trains depart from Yogyakarta Tugu Station and make a stop at Prambanan Train Station.

You can check the schedule at the official KAI Commuter website. There is on average 1 train per hour with the first one as early as 06:50.

The ticket costs 8.000 IDR (0.55$), but you must use a special card that you can buy at the counters of Yogyakarta Station. No need to book in advance.

Prambanan is a large complex of 240 temples which takes a bit more to explore than Borobudur. I recommend around 2 hours to walk around the temple grounds, take pictures, explore the museum, and enjoy the ancient architecture.

A temple at Prambanan
One of the smaller temples at Prambanan

Operating Hours and Frequency of Yogyakarta Public Transport

The TransJogja public buses operate between 6:00 and 21:00.

The earliest you can arrive at Terminal Jombor is around 6:30. The earliest you can arrive at Borobudur is around 8:00.

The latest you can get a bus from Borobudur back to Jombor is around 19:00.

Yogyakarta public transport is good enough to visit both Borobudur and Prambanan in 1 day
1A goes to Prambanan with a stop at Bandara Adisudjiptu

The K3J / 1A bus starts operating at 6:00 from Malioboro 1. The earliest you can arrive at Prambanan is around 7:00. The first train departs Yogyakarta Station at 06:50 and reaches Prambanan at 07:10.

The latest you can get a bus from Prambanan back to Malioboro is around 20:00.

The frequency of most TransJogja buses is every 10 to 20 minutes. The K3J/ 1A bus runs every 10 minutes.

The trains from Jogja to Prambanan are on average once per hour.

How to avoid the crowds at Borobudur and Prambanan?

To avoid the crowds at the two most popular temples in all of Indonesia, all you have to do is reverse the order in which you visit them.

Go to Prambanan in the morning before lunch. Most people and tour groups go for sunset.

Go to Borobudur in the afternoon. Most people and tour groups go for sunrise.

A relief at Prambanan
Smile! You’re at Prambanan!

All the logistical information in this article is applicable no matter which temple you choose to visit first.

If you’re traveling to Yogyakarta during the Indonesian rainy season, take a raincoat for Prambanan, as it usually rains in the afternoons!

What about an organized tour?

If this whole thing with taking public buses, changing in Terminal Jombor, going back and forth isn’t really for you – I understand.

I realize the convenience that organized tours present and that you don’t really need to worry about which bus to take, from where, how to pay, where to get off, when the last bus to go back is, et cetera.

If this is you, why don’t you check out this tour that will take you to both temples with private transport and everything planned out?

It’s well-priced considering you get a private driver for the whole day, but keep in mind the entrance tickets to Borobudur and Prambanan are not included.

Are Borobudur and Prambanan the only temples in Yogyakarta?


Yogyakarta has the highest concentration of ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples in all of Indonesia!

Other temples in Yogyakarta include Sewu, Plaosan, Ijo, Mendut, etc., as well as the famous palace Ratu Boko.


  1. Well done. Thank you Simon. A nice and practical writing for backpackers. It is so valuable and imformative.

  2. Tham Vietnam says:

    Thank you Simon, this post helps me a lot. Could you instruct me the cheapest option to go from Yogyakatar Airport to Borobudur for 1 traveller? Thank you and wish you all the best.

    1. Hi there,

      The easiest option is to go directly from the airport to Borobudur. There are transfer options. I don’t know the exact prices.
      The cheapest option however, is to take the airport train to Yogyakarta Central Station (Tugu Station), then hop on a public bus to Terminal Jombor (see the route and which bus stop on Google Maps), then get a direct bus to Borobudur.
      This option will cost you around 50.000 IDR.

  3. Zarut Suriyaarunroj says:

    Hi, I would like to know more about timetable for the bus as I tried to reach out to them directly, but no one answered. I hope you don’t mind helping me out. I would like to know if you can help finding out for me if once I get to Bodobudor from Malioboro. Can I go from Bodobudor to Prambana directly? If so, what are the times? When about the timetable from Prambanan back to Malioboro? Honestly, I don’t mind if I have to travel to Prambanan first in the morning and Borobudor in the afternoon as long as I get to see both in the same day.

    1. There isn’t a direct bus from Borobudur to Prambanan. Not unless you get a private driver which will be relatively pricy.
      I cannot tell you the exact times. There might not even be exact times. The public bus from Terminal Jombor to Borobudur goes once every hour or so.
      The bus from Malioboro to Prambanan is a public one and the route/timetable are uploaded on Google Maps. Every 20-30 minutes or so.
      Going back, the last bus is not too late, so don’t dwell around. But if push comes to shove, Prambanan is quite close to Jogja, so a Grab won’t be that expensive.


  4. Hello Simon, is it a good idea to stay in one of the resorts at Borobudur rather than Jogjarkarta?

    1. I mean, this one’s up to you, isn’t it. The resorts there seem to be a bit more fancy, a bit on the expensive side. If you want to be close to the temple, by all means, go for it.
      But Jogja is not that far, 2 hours or so. There are transport options around the clock and even a DAMRI bus at 4:30 that arrives quite early.
      Also, there are plenty of tour agencies and independent organizers willing to drive you to Borobudur whenever you ask.

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