Prambanan Ramayana Ballet 2024: All You Need to Know!

The Ramayana ballet at Prambanan Temple is a popular cultural performance in Indonesia that retells the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana, through traditional Javanese dance and music.

Prambanan Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located near Yogyakarta on the island of Java.

The temple complex is dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, making it a fitting setting for the Ramayana story, which is deeply rooted in Hindu mythology.

The Prambanan Ramayana Ballet has been regularly performed since 1961 and is the biggest traditional dance performance in all of Indonesia (bigger than the ones in Bali)! Definitely worth a visit!

The Short Take

Do you just want to book your ticket and go? Here you go:

Schedule of the Prambanan Ramayana Ballet

You can watch the Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday starting at 19:30.

During the dry season from May to October, the performance is held outdoors at the open stage just west of the Prambanan Complex and takes 2 hours – from 19:30 to 21:30.

During the rainy season from November to April, the performance is held indoors inside the Trimurti Building and takes 1:30 hours – from 19:30 to 21:00.

You can see the detailed schedule here.

How to book a ticket for the Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan?

Booking tickets through the official channel is a bit of a pain in the… The managing entity of Prambanan Temple, Borobudur Temple, AND the Ballet performance is the same and www.borobudursunrise.net is the official website.

Official Seller of Tickets

Booking a ticket for the Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan involves messaging them on WhatsApp or Telegram or via email:

Email: borobudursunrise.net@gmail.com
WhatsApp: +628112640967
Telegram: +628112640967

Then follow their procedure. If paying with a foreign credit card you will be charged 3% more.

Book Online

The easiest way to get hold of tickets for the Prambanan Ramayana Ballet is to book them online. There is no mark-up on the “Just a ticket” option making it a no-brainer for booking tickets.

I am recommending two more options depending on your needs:


There’s a ticket booth outside of the open stage where you can buy tickets. However, that’s not the best option because:

  1. You have to go to the ticket desk a few days in advance
  2. There might still be no tickets left

What Classes of Tickets Are There?

Simply put, the ticket classes available are:

  • VIP: only for Outdoor Stage, right in front of the action, 450.000 IDR (30$), incl. soft drink
  • Special: Front-facing, behind VIP, inside and outside, 300.000 IDR (20$), incl. soft drink
  • 1st Class: 30′ angle from the stage, 200.000 IDR (13$)
  • 2nd Class: 60-90′ angle from the stage, 150.000 IDR (10$)
A chart of the seats by class outside on the open stage for the Prambanan Ramayana Ballet
Seating Arrangement Outside on the Open Stage. Source.
A chart of the seats by class inside the Trimurti Theater for the Prambanan Ramayana Ballet
Seating Arrangement inside the Trimurti Theater. Source.

If you’re a photographer or want to take awesome close-up pictures, then you really should go for the VIP ticket outside.

For a good experience, the 1st Class tickets are adequate.

All About the Ramayana Ballet

That’s all the practical information about the Prambanan performance.

There are Subtitles in English!

I’ve been to a few ballets and theaters in Java and Bali and as much as they are awesome to watch, I never fully understood what’s happening.

The Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan has two big screens on both sides of the stage that have explanations and descriptions of each scene in English.

Actors from the Ramayana Theater

These are not subtitles per se, as the scenes have little talking. They are more of an overview of what’s happening in the scene.

Pick up one of the free pamphlets explaining the whole story as you enter the theater/open stage. Read that before the performance to have a better idea of what’s happening.

Transport to and from the Theater

It’s easy to reach Prambanan and the Ramayana Ballet using public transport. The K3J bus (or 1A bus, they are the same) goes from Malioboro in Yogyakarta all the way to Terminal Prambanan, walking distance from the temple.

Getting back is not possible using the same bus, as it stops at 21:00. Thus, the only way back is to use a Grab or GoJek taxi. A car should cost around 100.000 IDR (6.5$).

What happens if it starts raining during the show?

If it starts raining, the performance will pause for up to 30 minutes. If it continues raining after that, the performance will move indoors and continue from where it stopped.

The chance of rain during the dry season when the performance is held on the outdoor stage is quite low so I wouldn’t worry too much about rain.

Are the seats comfortable?

Not really.

Seating is hard stone benches and chairs all around, regardless of class. Even VIP tickets aren’t cushioned seats.

However, you are given a soft cushion to sit on, making the seating experience bearable.

What about the food?

Please, for the love of all Hindu gods, do not eat during the performance – it’s rude.

If you’re going to the open stage directly after visiting Prambanan for sunset, there are a few warungs and angrinkans on the other side of the main street (Jalan Raya Solo-Yogyakarta). You can always find some Indonesian street food snacks in the smaller streets too.

As for the theater grounds, there is a restaurant on-site with buffet-style eating, but it’s quite expensive by Indonesian standards. It costs 150.000 IDR (10$) and with this money, you can buy 7 meals in Jogja. Try any of these places to eat in Yogyakarta instead.

The Ramayana Theater is NOT inside Prambanan

The Ramayana Theater takes place just outside the grounds of the Prambanan temple (which includes other temples in Yogyakarta like Candi Sewu, Candi Bubrah, and Candi Lumbung.

However, Prambanan is right behind the open stage. As such, the views are simply incredible! Prambanan is illuminated after dark and looks fabulous!

Prambanan Illuminated at night

Is there a break?

During the dry season, when the ballet takes place outside, the performance is 2 hours long with 1 break of about 5 minutes at the 90-minute mark. That’s your opportunity to relieve your body from the iced tea, so run!

During the rainy season, the ballet is indoors and only takes 1.5 hours. There’s no break. The show is a bit shorter because the story starts when Rama takes part in the competition until Rama’s reunion with Sita.

Can you take a video of the Ramayana Ballet?

With your personal phone? Yes, nobody will bat an eye.

With professional equipment and for commercial purposes? Strictly forbidden.

Instead, you can watch this recording of the show on YouTube.

Difference between the Javanese and Balinese Ramayana Ballets

There are a few differences between the Ramayana Ballet performed at the Prambanan temples and the one performed in various places in Bali, most famously at the Uluwatu Temple.

The story is practically the same. However, there are differences in clothing, dancing styles, make-up, and music. To make matters even more complicated, there are also significant differences between the Yogyakarta and Surakarta styles.

A scene from the Ramayana Ballet

I’m not a pro at all of these differences and instead of pretending to be, I’d like to refer you to this Wikipedia article about Dance in Indonesia.

The Legend of Rorojonggrang Show

The Legend of Rorojonggrang is an entirely different show that takes place on the same indoor stage as the main Ramayana show.

It takes place every Friday starting at 19:30 and is held only inside.

Is it worth it? If you can’t catch the main show on Saturday, then it’s a good substitution. But if you only have time for one show, stick to the original Ramayana story.

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