YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA TRAVEL GUIDE | ITINERARY, TOURIST ATTRACTIONS, BUDGET HOTELS
Here’s your updated Yogyakarta, Indonesia Travel Guide.
Yogyakarta, Indonesia: the Small Kingdom Within a Republic and the Reasons to Visit It
Yogyakarta, the special region on the island of Java, Indonesia is a fascinating subject of history and is a result of the culmination of past circumstances that see it taking one form to another.
From an empire that sees the blend in the syncretism of a few religious beliefs, Hinduism and Buddhism, which it insisted as heterogeneous rather than different from one another, until its later collapse, the Javanese culture is an amalgamation of all past events which occurred in its overall history.
Although most of the original Javanese people who practice either Hinduism or Buddhism have gone to migrate to other places in Indonesia for their refusal to embrace a new religion in Islam, Yogyakarta in Java is a home to some of the relics that remind the people of its former glory and the culture that its natives still practice to this day.
Things to do in Yogyakarta, Indonesia | Tourist Spots
Based on a culture which sees the practice of two religions as complementary, the special region of Yogyakarta is sandwiched between two of Indonesia’s most outstanding feat of religious architecture—the prominent Buddhist temple, Borobudur, and the stunning Hindu temple, Prambanan.
the author at the foot of the majestic Borobudur Temple
Borobodur is not only a piece of human architecture to behold due to its exotic designs reminiscent of the Buddhist faith and flair of Javanese culture, but it also happens to be the religion’s largest temple. For the still remaining Buddhism practitioners in Indonesia and possibly elsewhere, this monumental building is significant in their reverence to their deity as well as a place of pilgrimage.
Going eastward from the aforementioned Buddhist landmark is the largest Hindu temple in all of Indonesia, Prambanan, which visualizes the typical Hindu architecture as highlighted by its towering buildings.
But while these temples can easily be every tourist’s premiere destination nearby Yogyakarta, the city, as well as something to marvel at as far as seeing Javanese culture at its most ocular, is concerned. From the pure usage of the Javanese language to the many depictions of its art, Yogyakarta has it all in a single concentration.
If you are wanting to see Javanese belief and architecture in one place, no other place sums it better than the Kraton with its sophisticated designs and symbolic meanings which is a reflection of the Java people’s vision of the cosmos.
The Sultan’s Palace, also known as ‘Keraton’ is the official residence of the Sultan of Yogyakarta. The palace which is also open for the public was constructed between 1756 –1790. The structure is a fine example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture.
The Taman Sari is a garden with waterways and hundreds of flowers. In the past, Sultan and their harems enjoyed their leisure time in the tower and watching females bath in the pool below. This addition to the royal complex was built over 200 years ago.
Malioboro Street is a major shopping street in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The street’s name is also used more generally for the neighborhood around the street. It is located north-south axis in the line between Yogyakarta Kraton and Mount Merapi.
Malioboro Street is the center of Yogyakarta’s largest tourist district surrounded by many shops, hotels and, restaurants. Sidewalks on both sides of the street are crowded with small stalls selling a variety of goods. You can enjoy street food at night at this place as various open-air street-side restaurants, called “lesehan” the moment the sunsets. This place is also called the street of the artists such as Street musicians, painters, and other artists who showcase their creations on this road.
SOUVENIR HUNTING, BATIK SHOPPING
Although you may enjoy traveling from one place to another within Yogyakarta, no tourist visit is ever complete without a bit of shopping for souvenirs to bring back home as gifts. At Yogyakarta, with its abundance of silversmiths, buying jewelry is common.
Yet, when all the sightseeing is done and all you wanted to do is relax and charge up for another day, there are plenty of ways you could pamper yourself in Yogyakarta which includes dining on Javanese cuisine or relaxing at a nearby spa.
the author at the street of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
How to get to Yogyakarta, Indonesia
The city has its own airport, the Yogyakarta International Airport. There are frequent flights on Garuda, the national airline, to Jakarta ( approximately 50 minutes) and 2-3 times a day (60min) to Denpasar, while other domestic airlines service both Jakarta and Denpasar, as well as major cities in Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. For international services, AirAsia flies Yogyakarta to and from both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Silkair and Tigerair also fly from Singapore to Yogyakarta.
There is a tourist information desk, ATM and taxi stand in the arrival hall. But I guess it would be best to download the Go-Jek App the moment you arrive in Indonesia. This application will get you so much flexibility when requesting a taxi to any of your destinations. The fare is also very reasonable (I should say very cheap).
Inside the airport, you will also find a bus station which is part of the Trans Jogja Busway System. From there you can get to any one of the many bus stations in their system. It costs .22 USD for a ticket.
You can also get to Yogyakarta by Train from Jakarta. Travel time is between 7-12 hours.
Whenever possible, it would be best to explore Yogyakarta on foot. But the modern and most convenient way to explore the place is to use the Go-Jek application. With this app, you can request for a Go-car, or Ojek (motorcycle (for solo travelers). We’ve been using this application to the maximum during our recent visit. You can even order food or a massage therapist with this app. Fares are cheap as well. Uber is also operating in Yogyakarta.
For trips to Borobudur or Prambanan, it would be best to rent a car. Your hotel can help you get a car.
Traditional three-wheeled and pedal-powered cart, known as becak (pronounced beh-chak), which can be found in most part of Yogyakarta. However, when we attempted to get this one during our recent trip, we realized that they even charge higher than Uber or Go-Car. So, should you decided to try this, better to negotiate first before getting in to avoid the trouble.
By horse cart
There are traditional horse-pulled carts, known as Andong, or Dokar, wait for tourists outside hotspots like the train station, the Kraton, and Malioboro. It would be best to negotiate first with the price before getting in.
Suggested Yogyakarta, Indonesia Itinerary
During my last visit to Yogyakarta, we didn’t follow a specific itinerary. The trip was part of our 12-day Singapore and Indonesia Tour and we just allowed ourselves to have a free-flow itinerary as we wanted it to be more relaxed. The long vacation was a bit exhausting and while we stayed for 3 full days in Yogyakarta, we decided to make our last day as our rest day.
I made this suggested 2-day Yogyakarta itinerary for those who don’t have enough time to stay in the city.
Day 0 – Arrival in Yogyakarta ( if you still have time before the day ends on the date of your arrival, I suggest that you spend it exploring the city.)
Day 1 – Borobudur and Prambanan Tour (I suggest that you rent a van to explore these 2 temples as they are quite far from each other. Having a rented van will enable you to save your energy and time.)
6.00 AM – Early Breakfast from your Hotel
7:00 AM – Travel to Borobudur ( You can spend your whole morning at the temple. Borobudor is quite huge.)
12:00-1:00 PM – Lunch at a local restaurant. If you don’t want to go far, there are so many restaurants right at the gate of Borobudur as well as souvenir shops.)
1:00 PM – 3:30 PM – Visit Prambanan Temple
4:00 PM – Onwards – At this moment you will have an option to proceed to a nearby Temple, The Ratu Boko and watch the sunset or stay at Prambanan temple for the Ramanaya Ballet performance.
Back to Hotel, Dinner, and Rest
Day 2 – Yogyakarta City Tour ( It would be best to have a Go-Jek application to use when doing the Yogyakarta City Tour)
7:00AM-8:00AM – Breakfast
8:00 – 9:00- Visit Sultan Palace, this is the residence of the King or Sultan of Yogyakarta.
9.00 AM-10:00 AM -Visit Tamansari water castle10:00AM-12:00 AM – Visit silver home industry at Kotagede. With this tour, you will see the silver workshops including hand-beaten bowls, boxes, fine filigree, and modern jewelry.
12:00-1:00 PM Lunch at a local restaurant
1:00 PM-3:00 PM – Visit Beringharjo Traditional Market, Yogyakarta’s biggest and noisiest market that dates back to the 18th century. This is the place to buy cheap batiks, sarongs, keris, antiques, and other souvenirs.
3:00 PM -5:00 PM – Explore the rest of Jalan Malioboro
There are many restaurants along Malioboro Street, so you might want as well to find a place to dine in here before going back to your hotel
Backpackers Inns and Homestays in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Click on any of the links below and it will bring you to the booking site. Take advantage of the discounts offered by any of these establishments.
Pesona Jogja Homestay
Jalan Pandu UH 3 / 484, Celeban, Kota Gede
BOOK YOUR YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA HOTEL ROOM HERE
Jalan Gandekan Lor no.44, City Center
The Packer Lodge Yogyakarta
Jl. Dagen No. 3, Sosromenduran, Gedong Tengen
Budget-Friendly Hotels in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
D’Senopati Malioboro Grand Hotel
Panembahan Senopati St. no. 40
Grage Ramayana Hotel
Jalan Sosrowijayan No. 33
BOOK YOUR YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA HOTEL ROOM HERE
Whiz Hotel Malioboro Yogyakarta
Jalan Dagen 8 Malioboro
Jalan I Dewa Nyoman Oka, Kotabaru
Hotel Neo Plus Awana Yogyakarta
Jalan Mayjen Sutoyo No. 52
Amaris Hotel Diponegoro Yogyakarta
Jalan Diponegoro 87 Tugu, City Center
BOOK YOUR YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA HOTEL ROOM HERE
Jambuluwuk Malioboro Hotel
Jalan Gajah Mada No. 67
Ayaartta Hotel Malioboro
Jalan KH. Ahmad Dahlan, City Center
Prima In Hotel Malioboro
Jalan Gandekan Lor No 47 Malioboro
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