The cradle of ancient history in Indonesia, Central Java displays remarkable expressions of art and tradition. Feed your inquisitive side and immerse yourself here in the history, archaeology, art, textiles and music of the region.
From Yogyakarta, a must-stop visit is undoubtedly the Prabanan Temple Complex. With its Buddhist influences found in rich decorations and intricate patterns, it is one of the most charming and inspiring Hindu sites in Java. You’ll find the site is permeated with an intense feeling of love for all that is art and culture. Try not to miss the impressive open-air dance show on a moonlit night taking place next to the temple premises, when about 200 dancers take the stage, transforming the space into a symphony of sound and movement.
Solo (Surakarta) is an interesting city rich in traditions and ancient sites and is best explored by bicycle. Besides the famous palaces, music and dance lovers will appreciate the abundance of professional academies and traditional Javanese performances. Get lost in Pasar Klewer for a textile binge; hard bargaining is worth it for high-quality batik pieces! Nature-lovers will be attracted by the surroundings of the city, such as the hidden gem that is Gunung Lawu (3,265 mt), while history-drawn visitors can continue their quest at Candi Sukuh, Solo’s mysterious temple. The mystery continues in Dieng Plateau, the site where the oldest Hindu temples were found and is highly recommended for archaeological enthusiasts. Here you’ll find the remains of ancient tunnels and clusters of temples are spread amongst a beautifully green, mountainous landscape. Learn more at the Dieng Kulon Museum, or simply explore the spectacular views of its hilly surroundings, where on a clear day you can spot Mt. Merapi and appreciate the landscape reflecting in the beautiful Cebongan lake.