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Where to go in Yogyakarta

Places to visit in Yogyakarta

For the first-timer visiting Jogja or Yogya, it is always a question on what to do and where to go in Yogyakarta, and this article shares some basic information about the many places of interest found around here.

Yogya, as the locals call this place in short, is located in central Java Island and is well known for several attractions.

Where to go in Yogyakarta?

For most travelers, the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world called Borobudur, which still stands magnificently since the 9th century. 

Next would be the amazing Prambanan Temple, which also hails from the 9th century and is of Hindu origins, and both the temple complexes are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites and for the city lover, there is the famous Malioboro Street for your shopping in Yogyakarta.

I will not be highlighting the two main temples of Borobudur and Prambanan as there is much information on these places, but there are some other interesting places to go to Yogya which I will highlight below. 

Jalan Malioboro
An Andong or Horse Carriage along Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta
1. Malioboro Street Shopping

This place is probably Indonesia's answer to Bangkok's street shopping scene where you can find traders of all sorts in every possible corner of the main Malioboro Street.

However, the items sold here are mostly apparel, jewelry and tons of souvenirs and great for those wanting to get some. 

The thrill is to walk the entire length of the street and then take an Andong (Horse Drawn Carriage) and Becak (Trishaw with a rider at the back) which are the main traditional transportation around here.

On weekends, the place gets jam-packed with thousands of locals and tourists who are seen all over the shopping streets here.

There are hotels, traditional massages and tour agents located in the side streets while there are a few shopping malls where you can get fast food and many other items along Jalan Malioboro Street Shopping. 

Malioboro Street
Address: Jl. Malioboro, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Opening Hours for Shops/Malls: 010:00 – 22:00
Opening Hours for Street Vendors: 08:00 – 00:00  

Istana Kraton
An intricate European styled gazebo at the Kraton Palace grounds
2. Kraton of Yogyakarta

For those who are into history and culture, you should not miss the Kraton Palace as it holds a rich cultural history of the Sultan of Yogyakarta.

This massive palace complex is located in the city of Yogyakarta, and it is also the main seat Sultan of Yogyakarta and his family.

The Palace also serves as a cultural center for the Javanese people and contains a museum that displays the sultanate's artifacts.

The architecture of the palace is quite interesting, where you can find elements of European and Dutch influence infused into the designs around the Palace grounds which was built in 1756. 

Keraton Palace
Address: Jl. Taman, Kraton, Yogyakarta 55133
Opening hours: 08:00 – 14:00
Entrance Fee: 3000 IDR (US$ 0.25)

Water Castle Jogjakarta
The pools were on maintenance when I visited the Taman Sari Water Castle
3. Taman Sari Water Castle

The Sultan's luxury playground and royal gardens, a magnificent aristocrat area with beautiful water pools and lush landscaping and you though that you would have to see this is Europe?

In Yogyakarta, you can see it just two kilometers from Kratron, where the Taman Sari Water Castle is located at.

The exquisite gardens are also said to be built by a Portuguese architect between 1758 and 1765. There are four main areas here so expect to spend at least an hour or two here. 

Inside, you will see the main central bathing complex with two main swimming pools which were once used by the Sultan and his family as a royal bathing area. Nowadays, this place serves as an important element of the Yogyakarta Sultanate history.

Keep a lookout for two concrete gates that lead to the bathing complex. One is located on the western side called Gedhong Gapura Hageng and one at the eastern side called Gedhong Gapura Panggung.

Here, you will see the gates decorated with beautiful ornaments of stylized birds and flora. A great place to get your photo taken. 

Taman Sari Water Castle
Address: Jl Komp. Taman Sari. Yogyakarta 55133
Opening hours: 08900 – 15:00
Entrance Fee: 7000 IDR (US$ 0.50)

Jogjakarta Underground Mosque
Underground Mosque in Yogyakarta
4. Underground Mosque in Yogya (Sumur Gumuling)

Probably the only unique mosque in the world where it is located underground and inside a local village near the Kampoeng Cyber area.

In short, you can walk here from the Taming Sari Water Castle but moving around here is quite a maze, so best to get a map or ask someone if you are going alone.

The beauty of the Underground Mosque or Sumur Gumuling is that it was built around the 18th century by the Sultan of Yogyakarta where it is said to be his private prayer place.

Jogja Underground Mosque
Look out for the entrance to the Underground Mosque
Getting here is an adventure as you enter through what looks like a tomb entrance and then you walk down along a tunnel which resembles a very European catacomb and then you arrive in a circular room which is the main prayer area.

The technology from the 18th century is pretty amazing as the acoustics of this place are well planned. This is also a great place to visit and also for photography as it is truly one of a kind here.

Again, the directions to get here are not easy, but you can always ask the locals there and remember to dress decently for the Underground Mosque in Yogya. 

Underground Mosque in Yogyakarta
Address: Jl. Komp. Taman Sari, Yogyakarta 55133
Opening hours: 08:00 – 14:00 (to 12.00 on Fridays)
Entrance Fee: Free

Kampoeng Cyber Map
Map of Kampoeng Cyber in Yogyakarta
5. Kampoeng Cyber

Known as Kampoeng Cyber RT 36, this traditional Indonesian village is one of the show models for a modern and developed village has a strong community working together.

The Cyber Village with around 45 families is Indonesia’s first Internet-saturated communities and also located in the main Taman Sari area.

It is also one of the popular tourist destinations in Yogyakarta and you will need to go through this village to get to some of the attractions here.

Cyber Village Indonesia
Artist at work in Kampoeng Cyber
The name Kampoeng Cyber was coined after almost all of its residents got connected to the Internet, mainly to sell their local handmade Batik and many other items using online and social media methods.

As you walk around the village, you will also see a lot of wall murals and street art in the homes of these locals. Some of them are very nicely done.

While exploring this area, you will also have the opportunity to see into the homes of some of these locals where they are painting art or hand making Batik.

Asking some of them, they are very friendly and allow you to go into their homes to take photos of them and their work.

Something unique that caught my eye was a notice stating that Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg had visited Kampoeng Cyber in October 2012. Very impressive.

When I walked through Kampoeng Cyber, I was very impressed with the initiatives taken to beautify and have an identity for themselves.

It was also the way to the Underground Mosque here and a visit here is highly recommended.

Kampoeng Cyber
Address: Jl. Taman, Kraton, Yogyakarta 55133
Opening hours: All Day
Entrance Fee: FREE

Candi Ratu Boko
Ratu Boko Temple in Yogyakarta
6. Ratu Boko Temple

One of the lesser-known temple complexes due to not having any prominent megastructures is Ratu Boko Temple Complex, which is near to Prambanan Temple.

This is now considered one of the very important archaeological sites where there is on-going work being done as visitors explore this place. 

If you love history and culture, this is also one of the must-visit places in Yogyakarta where Ratu Boko in Javanese means "Stork King" and the entire temple complex lies 196 meters above sea level on a hill where you can see Prambanan Temple in the distance.

If you trek all the way to the top part, you can get an areal view of the entire area. Many people come here for the sunset photos as it is not as crowded as the other temples.

There are English speaking private drivers (supir) that you can rent with a car for around Rp600,000 for 12 hours where they will take you to these places.

The entrance fees are not included and this is one of the easiest options to move around from temple to temple here. 

Ratu Boko Temple Complex
Address: Jl. Taman, Kraton, Yogyakarta 55133
Opening hours: 09:00 – 21:00
Entrance Fee: 110,000 IDR (US$ 8.50)

Prambanan Ballet Show
The Ramayana Ballet Show in Prambanan, Yogyakarta
7. Ramayana Ballet

One of the must-see theater shows in the world is the Ramayana Ballet which is held in the Prambanan Temple Complex in Yogyakarta.

This stunning show is hands down a world-class performance that brings visitors through the world of a Hindu Poem but in the Javanese version.

The Ramayana Ballet showcases over 200 dancers that take you through a magical performance in the open-aired stage area with the natural background of Prambanan Temple.

There are also indoor shows on selected dates as well and the two-hour show starts at 7.30 PM on selected days, therefore, you are advised to book ahead or ask your tour company about the preferable dates.

This means, you should be visiting Prambanan Temple Complex around 3 to 4 in the afternoon and just after sunset, take a walk over to the show theater area which is about 10 minutes walk from the main temple and your tour bus or guide will pick you up from the theater area. 

Ramayana Ballet
Address: Jl Jogja-Solo Km 16 Yogyakarta
Phone : +62 274 496 408 / +62 274 497 771
Show Time: 19:30 – 21:30
Ticket Prices: 125,000 to 325,000 IDR (US$ 9.50 to $25.00)
More: Ramayana Ballet

Street Parade in Jogja
At the Yogya Street Parade 2015
8. Yogyakarta Street Parade

If you are visiting Yogyakarta in October, don't forget to ask about the Yogyakarta Street Parade which takes place on a weekend.

In 2015, the Yogya Street Parade was held on 19 October, therefore, it will be better to ask about this year's parade.

During this procession, the main roads are closed for a cultural parade that showcases the many different cultures and people of Indonesia in one massive street parade here.

An event not to be missed, it takes place from around 6.00 pm till about 11.00 pm and provides a perfect photography moment for those into photography.

If you are staying at the Phoenix Hotel in Yogyakarta, it takes place just outside the main road of the hotel which is really convenient.

Yogyakarta Street Parade
Address: Jl. Jend Sudirman, Yogyakarta
Show Times: Month of October, 18:00 – 23:00
Entrance Fee: Free

9. Batik Museum in Yogyakarta

Museum Batik Jogjakarta
Yogyakarta Batik Museum and Workshop
Not to be confused, but there are some Batik Museums in Yogyakarta and most of them are shops that have some type of workshop showing tourists how Indonesian Batik is made.

But having this trip organized by the Ministry of Tourism, we were taken to the right place where visitors can engage in a Batik drawing and coloring experience. The museum is also located about 1.5 kilometers from Jalan Malioboro.

The Batik Museum in Yogyakarta is also one of the oldest around as it was established in 1979 by the Hadi Nugroho family.

It is also said to be the most complete Batik museum in Yogya therefore if you love all things Batik, this is the place to visit and have a go at Batik painting.

Batik Museum in Yogyakarta
Address: Jl. Dr. Sutomo No. 13 A, Yogyakarta
Open: Mon-Sat, 09:00 – 15:00
Tel: +62 274 562 338
Entrance Fee: Free

Temple of Borobudur
Borobudur Temple at around 5.00 am for the sunrise tour

The places above were personally visited by me on one of my trips around Indonesia, under the Ministry of Tourism on the campaign Wonderful Indonesia and #INATopBucketList team.

We explored different regions around Indonesia where we visited Bandung, Yogyakarta, Bali and the world-famous Komodo Island.

For more information on Yogyakarta or other beautiful places, you can also check the official Indonesia Tourism Website

There are many other places of interest around Yogyakarta but I am yet to visit them, and perhaps the next time around I would have the opportunity to visit some of these other places.

As a travel writer and Travel Social Media Influencer, I do my best to share my experiences in a more informative method versus trying to rank for keywords.

If you have any comments or feedback, please do share them with me in the comment form below. With this, I trust the next time someone asks you about where to go in Yogyakarta, you can share this with them. 


danontheroad said...

Great post! I'm always on the lookout for "other things to do at places with one massive attraction that everyone goes to." Yogyakarta's past is a must but places like Kampoeng Cyber is interesting to learn about the city's contemporary culture.

Zainul said...

I'll be leaving to jogja next Feb. Thnx for sharing this

IrinaKler said...

Only in this post, I can read so much new information for my nearest destination. For this reason, I want to write you a little bit. I really appreciate what you do and write here.