Are you interested in historically rich places? Have you always wanted to see an active volcano? If yes, then you should definitely visit Yogyakarta and Bromo when planning a trip to Indonesia. This guide will help you plan your way through Yogyakarta and Bromo and will help you with all the transportation, food, stay, etc. related queries.
The first question in your mind would be that why should you visit Yogyakarta or Bromo? What is so special about it?
One of the most historically and culturally rich cities of Indonesia, Yogyakarta is famous for its history and beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples. Also known as ‘Jogjakarta’, this city is known for its cultural heritage and lies on the Java island. A small city in Java, this is the place which is in close proximity to the famous Borobudur and Prambanan temples. While it is not a popular place like Bali, it is equally amazing and has a lot to offer the cultural aspect. One can easily spend here a day or two, getting to know the Indonesian people and learning more about the history of this place. You can also head out to Borobudur, which is a huge complex in itself and can easily take up a day of your time.
Another thing which makes Yogyakarta a must place to visit is the surrounding Volcanic mountains. This place is situated near 2-3 major volcanoes, which are still active and tend to erupt in every few years. You can trek to the top of these volcanoes and witness the beauty of it or you can just observe it from afar and marvel at its magnificence. Trust me, this is one place you don’t want to miss out on and make sure that you spend at least 4-5 days here to truly discover this place.
While Mt. Bromo is not a city but basically an active volcano which resides in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, this is one of the most amazing places that we have ever been to in our life till now. Cemoro Lawang is the mountain area where you can stay when planning to visit Bromo and from here, you will be able to see a lot of amazing mountain valleys and volcanoes. This place is quite cold and offers one of the most magical views ever! Once you reach this place, you won’t even realize that you are in Indonesia anymore.
Another amazing reason to visit this place is the active volcano Mt. Bromo and the Bromo National Park which offers an amazing view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. We are not exaggerating but you can witness the best sunset views from this place. It is surreal and you will be instantly transported to paradise. Still thinking to skip this amazing location? Do it at your own peril because we can easily tell you that you would be missing out on the most amazing experience of your life by skipping out on this place.
Now that we have slightly convinced you to visit this beautiful places, let’s talk about how you can reach these amazing sites. There are a few ways to reach these places and we are going to tell you all about it.
You can also check out our 10-day Indonesia Itinerary to plan your own Indonesia trip!
How to Reach
Check out tickets at Tiket.com
There are numerous ways to reach Yogyakarta, depending on where you are coming from and what is your next location. In our opinion, you should visit Yogyakarta and Bromo together because they are closer in distance and you would be able to find cheap and quick transport options between these two places. So, how can you reach Yogyakarta? Here are a few ways to reach Yogyakarta
India to Jakarta round trip: 18500 INR
If you are flying from your respective country to Java first and not really looking forward to spending some time in Jakarta, then you can skip that airport and take a direct flight to Yogyakarta. If you don’t see any direct flight to Yogyakarta, then take a flight to Kuala Lumpur and then book a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Yogyakarta. It would cost you similar to what a direct flight would have cost you and you save a lot of time and money by directly reaching Yogyakarta.
If you are getting a cheap flight to Jakarta which you don’t want to give up on, then no worries. You can book a flight to Jakarta and from here, you can again book a flight to Yogyakarta. If booked in advance, a flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta would cost you around 450,000 – 500,000 Rupiah (1500-2000 INR) for one-side flight ticket and would take around 1.25 hour to reach.
Another common transport option for reach Yogyakarta from Jakarta or any other location is by taking a train. There are around 10-15 trains every day for Yogyakarta from most main cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, etc. A train ticket would cost you around 350,000 – 500,000 Rupiah (1700 – 2500 INR) and will take around 8 to reach from Jakarta. For more details on train timings and costs, you can check out tiket.com.
You will also find a lot of private and public buses which take you to Yogyakarta from most locations like Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali, and so on. The executive buses are quite comfortable and often have a toilet attached to them and include dinner and snacks. These buses cost around 300,000 – 450,000 Rupiah (1500 – 2200 INR) and take around 10 hours to reach from Jakarta. If you go for public buses, it would cost you a little less but not much. In our opinion, you should consider bus only if you have a lot of time to spare. If you don’t then make sure you avoid taking buses.
You can reach Bromo from any place in Indonesia. First, you will need to reach Probolinggo, here are a few travel options for the same:
In case, you want to reach Bromo quickly and would like to save time, then you can take a flight to Surabaya, which is the nearest airport to Bromo, and then take a bus or train from Surabaya to Probolinggo. It would take you around 2-4 hour to reach Probolinggo from Surabaya and a bus would cost you around 20,000 – 50,000 Rupiah (100 – 250 INR) and will take 2-3 hour to reach, while a train would cost you 30,000 – 200,000 Rupiah (150 – 950 INR) and will take around 1.5 hours to reach.
Another quick and cheaper way to reach Probolinggo is by taking a bus to Probolinggo directly. There are many bus services from Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bali, etc. which stop at Probolinggo and cost something around 320,000 Rupiah (1600 INR) from Bali and 20,000 – 50,000 (100 – 250 INR) from Surabaya. An executive bus is quick and will take around 12 hours from Bali and 2-3 hours from Surabaya.
You can also take a cab/taxi service from any place in East Java. It would cost you more but you can use it to reach Bromo and tour around Bromo National Park too.
You can reach Probolinggo by taking a train from Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Bali, Jakarta, and so on. The ticket price depends on your starting location. A train ticket from Denpasar would cost you around 200,000 – 300,000 Rupiah (1000 – 1500 INR) and a train ticket from Yogyakarta would cost you around 90,000 – 150,000 Rupiah (450 – 750 INR).
Once you have reached Probolinggo, you need to take transportation to Cemoro Lawang, which is the nearest village to Bromo. From Probolinggo’s bus station Terminal Banyuangga(More like from the outside of this bus station), you can take a small bus (blue colored) to Cemoro Lawang which takes around 1.5 hours and will cost you 30,000 Rupiah (150 INR) per person. There are no fixed times for this bus, it starts as soon as all the seats are filled. If you do not wish to wait, then you can take the whole bus and pay around 300,000 – 350,000 Rupiah (1500 – 1700 INR) for it. Make sure that you bargain before fixing on a price. Usually, a lot of people head over to Bromo in the afternoon so if you can wait, you can easily save some 250,000 Rupiah (1250 INR).
Once you have reached your destination, you will need to figure out how to travel around cheaply and quickly. Here are some local travel options for you:
This is a not a travel-friendly city really and is more of a residential city which will make it hard for you to find many transport options here. Cabs are the major transport option here or you could go for buses but buses don’t have a good connectivity inside Yogyakarta and unless you have an adequate amount of time, it would be difficult to figure out the bus stop and the next bus to your desired location.
The best transport option in Yogyakarta would be to book a Go-Jek cab or an Uber cab. Usually, these cabs are cost-friendly but if you hire a cab without these apps, chances are you would end up paying more. So, always make sure you book a car through one of these apps for a safe and cheaper ride. We were lucky enough to find a Go-Jek cab whose driver agreed to take us for a tour around Yogyakarta for 470,000 Rupiah (2300 INR) and then dropped us at the airport too!
For touring around Bromo, you will find that there are a lot of shared jeeps available for hire or you can take motorbike rides from the villagers. A motorbike ride for two people will cost around 50,000 Rupiah (250 INR) to the foothill of Mt. Bromo. If you wish to see Mt. Bromo from the Mt. Penanjakan, then you can hire either a jeep or a motorbike ride. A jeep would cost you around 350,000 Rupiah (1700 INR) while a motorbike ride for two people will cost you around 200,000 Rupiah (1000 INR).
Note: It gets really cold up in these mountains so if you take a motorbike up there, make sure you have a warm and cozy jacket to protect yourself from the cold.
Cost: 100,000 Rupiah (750 INR) approx. for two people per day
You will find a lot of hotels and homestays in Yogyakarta for staying which would cost you around 50,000 – 100,000 Rupiah (250 – 500 INR) per night for one person. You can either look for a place to stay by directly reaching Yogyakarta or you can book in advance through Booking.com or Goibibo.com.
There are a lot of homestays in Bromo which charge around 50,000 – 100,000 Rupiah (250 – 500 INR) per room for a day and offer an amazing view of the mountains. Most of these homestays provide you with basic facilities and often don’t have a water geyser too. You can easily find a place to stay here without booking in advance, so there is no need to pre-book it.
Cost: 150,000 Rupiah (750 INR) approx. for two people per day
In both Bromo and Yogyakarta, there aren’t a lot of places for Vegetarians and you would find a lot of street stalls which sell breakfast which includes soup and dumplings for just 6,000 Rupiah (30 INR). You will find a lot of stores and marts here from where you can stock up on the snacks and drinks. In Yogyakarta, you might still find a decent Fast food joint with the help of Go-Jek app but in Bromo, you are less likely to find a lot of options.
On an average, you might spend around 100,000 – 150,000 Rupiah (500 – 750 INR) on food and snacks in these both places.
Things to Do
Now, let’s come to the activities that you can do in these places and what all places can you see here. So, we have made a list of things that we did here and that we missed out on so that you have an idea of all the things possible in both these places.
Visit the Borobudur complex
One of the most amazing and peaceful places to visit near Yogyakarta is the Borobudur temple, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a Mahayana Buddhist temple that is located in Magelang. It is known as the world’s largest Buddhist temple and is surrounded by magnificent volcanoes and mountains which provide a great backdrop to this spectacular structure. It is said that one can witness one of the most beautiful sunrises from this place when it isn’t cloudy but even if you aren’t able to visit this place during the sunrise, it would still dazzle you with its architecture and charm throughout the day.
The entrance fee of this temple is around 325,000 Rupiah (1500 INR). You can buy the ticket for both Borobudur and Prambanan from one of the temple complexes.
Witness the sunset at the Prambanan temple complex
Another magnificent place to visit in Yogyakarta is the Prambanan Temple Complex, which is another UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the 10th century. It is said to be the biggest Hindu Temple in entire Southeast Asia and was built for the famous three gods of Hindu mythology i.e., Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu. There are many fascinating stories associated with this temple and how it came to be and it offers one of the most beautiful sunset location for you to watch. Initially, there were 240 temples that were built in this complex but due to corrosion and frequent volcanic eruptions, most of its temples are in ruins now. Trust me, this is one place that you shouldn’t miss out on when visiting Yogyakarta.
The entrance fee of this temple complex is 325,000 Rupiah (1500 INR). If you buy both Prambanan and Borobudur Temple’s entrance tickets together, then you have to pay just 520,000 Rupiah (2500 INR).
Go on the Merapi tour
Another exciting thing that one can do in Yogyakarta is to take the Merapi volcano tour. You have an option of taking a jeep tour or a hiking tour and witness the beautiful sunrise from the peak of this active volcano. It is an active stratovolcano which lies in between the Central Java and Yogyakarta and is said to have actively erupted since 1548. In the Merapi tours, you get a chance to summit the top of the volcano and enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and landscape. This tour usually cost something around 300,000 – 600,000 Rupiah (1400 – 2900 INR) depending on your tour type and route.
Trek on the Merbabu Volcano
Another popular thing to do in Yogyakarta is to hike to the top of the Merbabu volcano. This is another active volcano which is said to be a little more dangerous than the Merapi volcano and is said to erupt in every few years. The trek to the Merbabu volcano is a little steep and tough so if you are looking for some adventurous activity, you should definitely try this.
Hiking to Mt. Bromo’s top
This is probably the most obvious thing to do when you are visiting Bromo Tengger Semeru National park and you will see that a lot of tourists and locals tend to hike to the Mt. Bromo’s top every day and spend some time looking at the desert-like landscape around you. The hike to the Mt. Bromo isn’t tough and takes around 30 minutes for ascent and descent. You can also take a horse ride to the top or you can walk, the choice is yours. The fee for entering Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park is around 300,000 Rupiah (1400 INR) but if you wish to save the entrance fee, then you would need to take a shortcut to enter this park and avoid traveling through the main gate. You can ask some local to help you out with this and they will show you the shortcut to avoid the entrance fee.
View Bromo from Mt. Penanjakan
Another popular activity that a lot of people tend to do in Bromo is to watch the sunrise near Mt. Bromo while sitting on the top of Mt. Penanjakan. Once you reach the top of Mt. Penanjakan, you will see the Bromo and its nearby volcanoes covered by a layer of clouds and as the sun starts rising, you will witness one of the most beautiful sights ever. However, since this is a popular activity in Bromo, you will find that the Mt. Penanjakan is often crowded in the morning if you are looking for some quiet place to watch the sunrise, then you would need to explore a little to find a secluded place.
Witnessing the Sunset from Mt. Penanjakan
Another amazing thing to do in Bromo is to watch the sunset from Mt.Penanjakan. Trust us, this is one of the most beautiful sunsets and you feel as if you have been transported straight to heaven. You will see a lone volcano in the middle and the clouds surrounding it, resembling a white carpet while the sun sets behind this volcano top and colors the sky in a shade of orange, yellow, and blue.
This mountain is also located in the Bromo Tengger National Park and you would need a motorbike or jeep to reach the top. It turns quite cold here in the evening so make sure that you wear warm clothes when planning to visit this mountain.
Horse ride in the Sea of Sand
Yes, the Sea of Sand is truly magnificent and one can enjoy is the most while riding on a horse. Due to the volcanic eruptions, the land around the Mt. Bromo is covered with sand and the wind tends to often blow it around, giving you an illusion of traveling in a desert. There are many horse riders here who take you around for a ride to show you around.