The 30 best sights of Java – descriptions and photos

The 30 best sights of Java – descriptions and photos

Borobudur, located on the island of Java, about 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta, is a Buddhist temple complex consisting of nine tiers and decorated with 2,672 bas-reliefs and 504 Buddha statues.


A monument of medieval art, the amazingly beautiful and graceful temple complex on the exotic island of Java in Indonesia, Prambanan is not accidentally considered the best attraction of the country. It dates back to the 10th century, although the exact date of construction cannot be determined for many years.

Bromo Tengger-Semeru

The national park is located in the southern part of Java and is named after two mountains: Semeru (the highest on the island – 3676 m) and Bromo (the most popular among tourists), and at the same time in honor of the people Tengger, who originally lived in these territories.

Green Canyon in Java

Amazing, overgrown with all the colors of green canyon is about 30 km from the popular beach resort of Java with the complex name Pangandaran. Despite its seeming remoteness from civilization, this place is quite developed and locals and tourists.


This marine national park is located in the Karimunjawa Archipelago, 80 km north of central Java. The archipelago consists of 27 islands, which are not easy to reach and therefore hardly frequented by idle tourists. It is a favorite destination for surfers, divers and affluent Indonesians.

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Chinatown Jakarta

You can get to know the area around Jakarta Chinatown that has been home to the Chinese for centuries. It is considered the largest Chinatown in Indonesia and the oldest in the region. Known not only for the fact that it offers tourists a lot of all kinds of entertainment.

Istiklal Mosque in Jakarta

Istiklal Mosque in Jakarta is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. It has the status of the National Mosque of Indonesia and was built as a symbol of the independence of the country, as well as a nationwide gratitude to God for its achievement.

Jakarta Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics

The Jakarta Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics tells the history of traditional Indonesian crafts and related stories. The exhibitions tell visitors about important events that have taken place in Indonesia from the late 19th century to the present.

National Museum of Indonesia

National Museum of Indonesia is one of the most popular and visited places in Jakarta. It has several thousands of unique archaeological, numismatic, heraldic, ethnographic, geographical and other exhibits.

Mini Indonesia Park

The territory of Indonesia is huge, and the number of nationalities, ethnicities and cultures that inhabit this fertile land is amazing. Its size is enormous, and a whole day is not enough to visit all 15 museums.

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Ijen Plateau

Amazing Indonesia is ready to give its guests a thousand and one surprises. When it seems that there is nothing surprising, after the smoking volcanoes, endless beaches, impenetrable jungle and fantastic temple complexes, you can no longer see – it throws you a new nature mystery.

Taman Sari

The Water Palace (Taman Sari) in Jakarta is today, alas, in a ruined state. Of course, a small part of the marvelous complex, damaged by the Sultanate’s wars with the Dutch and constant earthquakes, has been reconstructed.

Ujung Kulon

Ujung Kulon National Park is located at the southwesternmost tip of Java, on the Sunda Shelf. It includes the peninsula of the same name and several coastal islands – including Krakatoa Nature Reserve. Ujung Kulon was the country’s first national park.

Jinghe Yuan Temple

The Jinge Yuan Temple is the main and oldest Buddhist temple in Jakarta and the Mecca of Chinese Buddhists. It is also known as Vihara Dharma Bhakti and is dedicated to two of the fundamental concepts in that religion. Believers and people interested in the history of Java seek to visit it.

Chandi Sukukh.

When you get to this amazing place, lost somewhere in the middle of the jungle of Java, at first you are filled with the color of shame, and then you just fall into a stupor. Well, what kind of wizard sleuth has managed to crossbreed a “bulldog with a rhinoceros”?

Even the name of the island of Java sounds somehow magical, only three letters, but how much is behind them. Just try to say the name of the main Indonesian piece of land quietly, in a singsong, savoring the name – Ya-a-a-va-a-a. Can you smell it? That’s it, if the excitement of hissing alone makes your blood boil, then at the sight of smoking volcanoes, gurgling lakes, endless beaches and mysterious temple complexes Stockholm syndrome is guaranteed. Java will take you, will make you fall in love, will snip at your will and mind, and you will only ruthlessly cry out “more, more”! But these are just words, and here are the hard facts.

Java is the main Indonesian island, home to every imaginable and unimaginable capital of Indonesia (past, present, surfing and religious capitals), as well as 120 volcanoes, a mass of cults and religions, a flock of colorful ethnic groups and the hell knows what else. Of course, begins his exciting “trip” to the land of a thousand islands tourist in the capital – Jakarta. Quite a modern city, which will be of interest to both adults and children. For the first – first-class shopping, decent museum collections, the antiquity at every step. The kids will love the amusement parks, water parks and similar attractions. Indonesians know how to relax.

After paying tribute to the capital of the country, a must-see program for all travelers to Java will include the grandiose ruins of Prambanan Temple, the majestic stupa of Borobudur, the magnificent Royal Palace in Jogyakarta and two or three national parks with volcanoes for starters. All these names need no introduction – UNESCO and the word of mouth have made sure that these Javanese landmarks are not left out.

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The obligatory program for all tourists in Java without exception includes the grandiose ruins of the temple Prambanan, the majestic stupa Borobudur, stunning Royal Palace in Jogyakarta and two or three national parks with volcanoes as an appetizer.

But Java also has a few hidden secrets. For example, the amazing Chandi Sukuh temple complex, which seems to have sailed here from South America and picked up a couple of indecent bas-reliefs from India on the way. The second place is Ijen Plateau, where you can enjoy the views of the lake bubbling like champagne bubbles in your glass. Finally, the Green Canyon is a stunningly beautiful place where hundreds of streams, waterfalls and jets of water trickle from steep cliffs into the turquoise-green water, on which charming warthogs love to scurry back and forth. This is only part of the treasures of Java, the most colorful island in the world.

Attractions of Java

Island of Java attractions

Java Island (Indonesia) is especially attractive for active travelers. There are a huge number of attractions, from ancient Buddhist temples and national parks to active volcanoes. The population density is the highest among the islands of the world, which makes it seem that Java is a solid populated area. Between the villages and towns are volcanoes and rice paddies. A third of the territory occupied by the jungle. The most interesting temple complexes are concentrated in the vicinity of the ancient city of Yogyakarta. Fans of beach rest can visit the little-known islands of Karimunjava archipelago.

For your information

Java is the largest island of Indonesia, stretching 1000 km from east to west. The capital city of Jakarta (Indonesia) is situated here. The island has a very rich history – it was the place of origin of several ancient states. Witnesses of the ancient events are unique temples which from time to time suffer from the destructive power of nearby volcanoes, after which they are restored. In Java, a lot of volcanoes – more than 100, and a quarter of them are active. The main attraction of the island and all of Indonesia – the temple complex Borobudur.

Temple complexes in the vicinity of Yogyakarta

The cultural capital of the island is the ancient Yogyakarta. In the city itself there are many historical treasures: the Sultan’s Palace, an underground mosque, a historical museum, etc. In addition, Yogyakarta is the starting point for excursions to such world-famous monuments as the Borobudur Temple Complex and Prambanan.

The Buddhist temple complex Borobudur located 40 km from Yogyakarta is considered a true wonder of the world. It impresses with its beauty, size, grandeur and scenic beauty. Built more than a thousand years ago the Borobudur temple survived the eruption of the Merali volcano. For hundreds of years it lay in the jungle, covered with ash, and literally reborn after it was discovered by the British in 1815. In the last century the Dutch were actively engaged in the restoration of Borobudur.

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Jokyakarta Borobudur attractions in Indonesia

Borobudur temple complex java

Borobudur temple in Indonesia1

Borobudur is a huge eight-tiered stupa on a square foundation. The lower five tiers are square, while the upper three are round. On the uppermost tier are 72 small stupas in the form of a bell. The Borobudur complex is now a pilgrimage site for the faithful and a popular tourist attraction.

Borobudur temple complex java

Borobudur temple complex Indonesia

Borobudur bas-relief Indonesia


18 kilometers to the east of Yogyakarta is another unique temple complex – Prambanan. It is believed that this Buddhist shrine was built in the X century. In the first half of the last century it was restored by Dutch scientists. Particularly popular with tourists is Prambanan Temple – a structure 47 m high, consisting of four levels, made in the form of concentric platforms of a square shape.

Prambanan temple java

Prambanan temple complex in Java

Prambanan temple island java

Jogyakarta sights Prambanan temple

There are smaller temples all around. The walls of the temples are decorated with bas-reliefs based on stories from the Ramayana. There is a $15 fee for foreigners to visit the Prambanan complex. The complex leads to a beautiful green alley. Although the main stage of reconstruction is complete, but everywhere lie piles of stones. Excavation and restoration continues.


Surabaya city in Indonesia

In the east of Java is Surabaya, one of the major ports of Indonesia and the second largest city.

For most tourists it is a “staging post” on the way to Sulawesi and Bali. However, Sarabaya has its own merits. Here you can experience a charming mix of antiquity and modernity. Noteworthy is the Masjid Al Akbar Surabaya, a majestic mosque in the Arab quarter, which is 65 meters high. Take the elevator to the top and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Surabaya.

Al Akbar Mosque Surabaya

The Suramadu suspension bridge connecting Java and Madura is a must-see. Java to Madura Island. Its length is 5,5 km, width – 32 m, height – 35 m.

Suramadu Bridge Surabaya


Human nature is such that the danger is frightening and at the same time fascinating. Volcanoes in Indonesia attract a huge number of tourists who want to see the natural beauty and power of active volcanoes. There are more than 35 active volcanoes on Java, and the island itself is also of volcanic origin. Each of them is famous for something: Merapi for its activity, Semeru for its height, Krakatoa for its destruction, Kawa Ijen for its sulfur lake, Tangkuban for its accessibility.

To the east of the island. Java is a beautiful volcano, Bromo, one of the most active in the world and the most visited in Indonesia. The formidable volcano, which is 2329 meters high, amidst a surreal alien landscape, occasionally lets out clouds of smoke. Tourists come here to meet the dawn to see the miracle of nature in the early morning.

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Bromo Volcano Indonesia

Next in the ranking of popularity is Kawah Ijen volcano (Kawah Ijen), the height of 2400 meters. It is famous for its unique emerald lake located inside the crater – the largest acid lake in the world, containing sulfuric acid instead of water. In the daytime there is a white haze above it, and at night there are tongues of blue flame.

Sulfur collectors work in the crater of the volcano, mining lumps of sulfur on the shores of the lake in very hazardous and dangerous conditions. The temperature at the surface of the lake is about 60 °C, and at the bottom of the lake is 200 °C. Despite its unusual and frightening beauty, the crater of Kawa Ijen volcano and the lake are used not so much to attract tourists as to extract sulfur. Manual, inhumanly hard labor is used in the process.

The active Tangkuban volcano is a popular tourist attraction. You can easily get to the top of Tangkuban by car on a specially built convenient road. The height of the volcano is 2000 meters, its basin looks like an inverted boat, as suggested by the name – Tangkuban-Prau.

Java volcano Tangkuban

The main crater constantly reminds about the activity, emitting volcanic gases. The relatively small lower crater is filled with hot springs and steam. Tourists can walk around the main crater of Tangkuban Volcano, seeing it from all sides. Ubiquitous vendors sell souvenirs and pieces of sulfur from stalls here.

Ujung Kulon National Park

Ujung Kulon is located in the southwest of Java Island. Java. It includes the Ujung-Kulon Peninsula and a group of volcanic islands called Krakatoa. A third of the park is occupied by the sea. The places here are very picturesque, especially on the part of the land where the unique lowland tropical forests grow.

Ujung Kulon Park Java Island

The flora and fauna of Ujung Kulon are well preserved because the surviving inhabitants left the area after Krakatoa erupted in 1883. Since then, the volcano has become much lower. A few years ago, a young volcano became active 6 km from this site, with smoke smoking over it from time to time. Ujung Kulon Park is home to rare animal species, particularly Javanese rhinoceroses.

Admission tickets to Ujung Kulon are sold at an office near Taman Jaya village. You can rent a boat here and hire a guide. You can sunbathe on the luxurious beaches or hike into the jungle to see the rich natural world of Ujung Kulon. A three-day trek through the park to explore the area is the best option. Customized tours are organized – recreation with fishing, snorkeling and snorkeling in the coastal waters of Ujung Kulon. Tourists receive at the disposal of a boat with a crew and Russian guides.

Karimunjawa Archipelago

North of central Java in the Java Sea is the Karimunjawa Archipelago, which is a marine national park in Indonesia. Its main attraction is the pristine nature with coral reefs and deserted white beaches. The unique archipelago consists of 27 islands, of which only 5 are inhabited. The islands of the Karimunjawa Archipelago are loved by the wealthy people of Indonesia.

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The archipelago is popular among fans of surfing and diving. The coral reefs are right off the coast of inhabited islands, so beginner drivers do not need to rent a boat. A mask and snorkel is enough for them to explore the coastal bottom right from the beach. More experienced divers go to the uninhabited islands of the Karimunjava archipelago as part of excursions, or by arranging with fishermen to rent a boat. The underwater world in the Java Sea is very diverse. There are 250 species of fish, about 90 varieties of coral.

The largest island has the same name as the archipelago – Karimunjava, but more often used abbreviated name Karimun. It has a main town, Karimun, which is the capital of the entire Karimunjawa archipelago. From this port town, a road runs northward, ending in a bridge. A long bridge connects the main island with the neighboring one, which is called Kemudzhan. There are campsites, hotels, dive centers, restaurants, and boat rentals on these two islands. Having rented a boat for $ 40, you can in one day to travel around several deserted neighboring islands.

Java Island Karimunjawa Archipelago

The landscape of the island. Karimun consists of green hills covered with tropical forests. There are over 30 species of mangroves alone. The islanders especially venerate a rare species, the devadara. They believe that an amulet made from this tree prolongs life, protects the house, and cures snake bites. Amulets and other items made of devadaru are the most popular souvenirs that tourists bring from Karimunjav.

The beaches of Is. Karimun is quiet and secluded. The free Nirvana Beach is located near the town of Karimun. It looks very beautiful – palm trees by the shore, snow-white sand, turquoise water, but it is problematic to swim here. Near the shore is very shallow and the water has corals. On the beach Tanjung Gelam, located 30 minutes by bike from the main town of the archipelago Karimunjava, much more comfortable to swim, and the nature is no less delightful. Entrance is paid – 1 thousand rupiah, there are varungi with Indonesian food. The most beautiful beach on the island is Pantai Anora.

The Karimunjawa archipelago has its own airport on Karimun Island, where small planes fly in several times a week from Semarang, a port city (north coast of Java). From here you can take a speedboat to the islands of Karimun and Kemujana. The best time to visit the archipelago is the dry season, which lasts from late April to October. There is no public transportation, so it is better to rent a scooter.

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