Central Java

Central Java showing boating, tropical scenes and a sandy beach

Java’s ancient heartland, this central region features Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic monuments set against a backdrop of simmering volcanic mountains.

Come to Java and you will almost certainly spend the majority of your time in its stunning central region. Visit the cities where ancient artistic traditions still thrive or trek to the peak of some of the world’s most active volcanoes. Don’t miss the amazing ancient temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Base yourself in one of the region’s two main cities. Yogyakarta, home to the sublime Kraton Palace, is the most popular choice and has plenty of galleries and live performance venues. Nearby Solo features ancient architecture and a proud heritage.

Trekkers will relish the opportunity to climb Mount Merapi, the island’s most active volcano. You will also find excellent hiking and beautiful scenery on the Dieng Plateau. This area features smoldering craters, calm lakes and the oldest temples in Indonesia.

Wherever you go, be sure to sample Central Java’s local delicacies. Sweet dishes are a particular favorite in this region, with jackfruit curry a staple on most menus.

Explore the area’s two UNESCO sites; devote at least a day for each. Ancient Borobudur is the largest Buddhist building in the world. It is also Indonesia’s most visited attraction, so getting here early is advised. Prambanan is a colossal Hindu temple with several high towers covered with statues of deities.

Central Java has excellent transport links between all of its major sights and cities. Buses are the most common way to get around.

Be prepared for the afternoon rains if you visit from November to February. Java has a hot, humid climate year-round, so be prepared for rain and sunshine as you explore the region’s wealth of ancient sights and stunning scenery.

Popular cities in Central Java

Borobudur Temple
Known for Temples, Sunrises and Sunsets
The world’s largest Buddhist temple dominates the surrounding landscape. This ancient architectural spectacle is a must-see attraction on any Java itinerary.

Reasons to visit

  • Borobudur Temple
  • Candi Pawon
Known for Cultural activities, Hills and Recreation
Semarang is calling! Discover its culture, horse riding, basketball and more.
Known for Cultural activities, Castle and Zoo
Get away to relaxing Surakarta! Enjoy the culture, castle and aquarium.
Karimunjawa Islands
Karimunjawa Islands
Known for Diving, Coral reefs and Seafood
Karimunjawa Islands awaits: its diving, coral reefs, beaches and more!
Dieng Kulon
Dieng Kulon
Known for Sunrises, Hiking and Temples
Explore Dieng Kulon: its sunrises, hiking, sightseeing and more!
Known for Adventure, Forests and Football
Escape to Purwokerto! Enjoy its adventures, forests and entertainment.