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8 epic things to do in Central & East Java

Java is Indonesia’s center of economic and cultural activity and has a population of 130 million people. It is where the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta, is located. But it’s also home to over 100 active volcanoes, ancient monuments, and lots of unspoiled locations. Oh, and it’s the island right next to Bali! So you can easily add it to your Bali itinerary.

I had the opportunity to visit central and east Java during my trip with Under 30 Experiences. And what an amazing experience it was! Java is huge and has so much to offer at a super budget-friendly 

Below, I name a few of my favorite epic budget-friendly things to do in Central & East Java.

Yogyakarta – Central Java

Visit Prambanan Temple

Prambanan Temple

Prambanan Temple is located about 30 minutes from the Yogyakarta center. It’s the largest Hindu temple of ancient Java, and a UNESCO World Heritage site with 240 temple structures. This Hindu temple was originally built in the 9th century and is full of beautiful stone spires and sculptures. 

Learn about Javanese culture at the Palace of Yogyakarta

Palace of Yogyakarta

The Palace of Yogyakarta, also known as The Kraton, was established in the 1750s and is still used to this day. It acts as the seat of the current Sultan, but it’s also a museum you can visit and learn more about Javanese culture.

Check out Taman Sari Water Castle

Taman Sari Water Castle

Taman Sari was a royal garden built for the Sultan of Yogyakarta. It’s located near the Yogyakarta Palace and features mesmerizing water gardens and ancient ruins. It’s a little small but definitely worth the visit.

Take a ride to Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple is about an hour away from Yogyakarta center. It is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and was built in the 9th century as well! It’s the kind of place you have to see with your own eyes.

Malang – East Java

Wet your feet at Coban Rondo Waterfall

Coban Rondo Waterfall

Coban Rondo Waterfall is around 1 hour away from Malang center and features a 200-foot-tall waterfall. It is very easy to reach the waterfall from the parking area, and if you’re lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) hang out with some hungry monkeys. But please be careful with the monkeys, and avoid feeding them.

Walk around a few colorful villages

Jodipan and Kampung Tridi

Jodipan village and Kampung Tridi village are 2 colorful villages connected by a yellow bridge. The villages are open to the public, and you can walk around all the colorful streets, houses, and bridges, enjoying the local Indonesian life.

Bromo National Park – East Java

Watch the sunrise atop Penanjakan Bromo

Penanjakan Bromo

Wake up at 2 am to watch the sunrise atop Penanjakan Bromo. It is arguably one of the best sunrises I’ve ever seen!! Not that I’ve seen many LOL. It does get pretty cold at that height, so bring a coat or thick sweater. On the way up you’ll also find lots of people and shops either renting coats/thick blankets or selling hats, gloves, scarfs, etc for the cold. You’ll also find shops selling hot coffee and snacks.

Climb Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo

After watching the sunrise, go to Mount Bromo, a 7,600 feet tall active volcano, and climb all the way to the crater edge! I promise it’s not as treacherous as it sounds. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the top from the parking area (less if you ride a horse up to a certain point). The smell is gonna be foul as hell but the experience is MAGNIFICENT!

I hope this list of epic and budget-friendly things you can do in Central and East Java makes you want even more! There are so many more fun things to do in Java, but these are a few I got a chance to do and recommend to you.

Heads up: As a way to earn passive income, this post may contain affiliate links. This means that if you buy something through one of those links, I might get a commission at NO extra cost to you. I appreciate your support! 💕

Sunset at Mount Bromo

March 9, 2023

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