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Despite the fact that it's the gateway to the world-renowed UNESCO-listed Borobudur Temple, Magelang is a small city that's outshone by its big brother, Yogyakarta. Besides Borobudur, there are a few other things to do in Magelang and also unique Magelang places of interest.
Magelang has two borders; one is Progo River and the other, Eastern Boones Elo River.
Things to do in Magelang & Magelang places of interest
Magelang City is one of the smaller cities in Central Java Yogyakarta and located in fertile agricultural land.
Other than Borobudur Temple, you are able to vist the abandoned Chicken Church (Gereja Ayam), made famous by a scene in an Indonesian movie.
Setumbu Hill is also an under-rated place to catch your sunrise. From here, you can have a great vantage point of Yogyakarta to see the chicken church and Borobudur temple! Be early to grab that best spot as the crowd start to arrive by 0600 hours.
Borobudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple and the world's largest Buddhist temple. It's protected under the UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site program.
The temple consists of nine stacked platforms, six squares and three circular, topped by a central dome.
Visiting the Borobudur Temple is not only one of the top things to do in Yogykarta, but also in the whole of Indonesia. In fact it's the single most-visited tourist attraction in the whole of Indonesia, both by domestic and international tourists.
For more details, check out our article on How to go to Borobudur, best time to visit and Borobudur Facts.
All our tour packages include a visit to this renowned attraction: 3D2N Yogyakarta Borobudur & Prambanan Tour, 4D3N Yogyakarta Borobudur Sunrise Mt. Merapi & Parangtritis Beach Sunset Tour, 4D3N Yogyakarta Borobudur, Chicken Church, Ijo Temple, Breksi Cliff Tour, 4D3N Yogyakarta Borobudur, Setumbu Hill Sunrise, Pine Forest, Sand Dune Tour.
Chicken Temple (Gereja Ayam)
Gereja Ayam is actually a church. The structure was constructed to have the shape of a dove, but instead resembled more of a hen; hence, the locals have taken to calling it the chicken church.
The structure is incomplete & has been abandoned since 2000. Despite the church being infamously incomplete and abandoned due to lack of funds, it has surprisingly been one of the top Yogyakarta places of interest.
For a private tour that goes to this attraction, we have the 4D3N Yogyakarta Borobudur, Chicken Church, Ijo Temple, Breksi Cliff Tour
Setumbu Hill (Punthuk Setumbu)
Within a few hours' drive from teh centre of Magelang, you will arrive at the hilly and scenic part of the district.
On a clear day, you are able to catch one of the most beautiful sunrises / sunsets overlooking the forested area of Magelang and also a glimpse of the Borobudur Temple. Definitely of the top things to do in Magelang and also one of must-go Magelang places of interest.
If you're keen to explore this place rather than the usual 'touristy' attractions, consider this exotic 4D3N Yogyakarta Borobudur, Setumbu Hill Sunrise, Pine Forest, Sand Dune Tour
How to go to Magelang
Magelang is located 45km north of Yogyakarta. If you are driving, it may take you 1 hour 45 minutes, depending on the traffic (congestion normally occurs in the early morning, noon and evening).
From Yogyakarta city, the Damri bus line runs at least 10 trips daily to Magelang. It would cost around IDR 35,000 (SGD $4, MYR 12, USD 3) for a one-way trip. If you're coming from Surakarta (Solo city), you could take a regular bus in a 2-hour one-way journey.