11 Best Things To Do in Yogyakarta 11 Best Things To Do in Yogyakarta

11 Best Things To Do in Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta (or Jogjakarta) is the creative capital of Java, Indonesia. The city is popular amongst Indonesian and international students, is filled with ancient Javanese art, has incredible sights like Prambanan and Borobudur, and has a population of just 400.000 inhabitants. Yogya has an international airport and is a great city to visit from Bali or Singapore. Plan to spend about 3 days with these things to do in Yogyakarta.

Day 1 – Yogyakarta city

During your first full day in Yogyakarta, explore the highlights of the city. You will find a lot of influences from the Dutch colonial time in Indonesia. What surprised us the most about Yogya was how few foreign tourists we saw.

1. Underground Mosque (Sumur Gumuling)

One of the most interesting places in Yogyakarta is Sumur Gumuling, better known as the Underground Mosque. Once you enter the mosque, the walkway leads you to the center of it.

The center of the mosque includes four stairs that form a pyramid shape and a huge open circular ceiling revealing beautiful daylight. The underground mosque is part of the larger complex Taman Sari which is our next thing to do in Yogyakarta.

Tip: The complex opens at 9 AM. Get here as early as possible to avoid the crowds.

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11 Best Things To Do in Yogyakarta

2. Water Castle (Taman Sari)

Taman Sari was a former bathing complex and has a beautiful blend of Dutch and Javanese architecture. Around the area, you can find a lot of beautiful murals, souvenir shops, cafes, and art workers. Plan to spend about 60 – 90 minutes for both Taman Sari and Sumur Gumuling.

things to do yogyakarta water castle Taman Sari

3. Malioboro street

Malioboro street is the go-to place to do shopping. It is a huge street in the heart of Yogyakarta with everything from small street food vendors, art shops, clothing to souvenirs.

Once a week there is a China town with all local foods. Try to avoid art shops in this area, this is usually a scam.

things to do yogyakarta malioboro market

4. The hunt for Street Art

As mention before, Yogyakarta is a hub for creatives. The popular area Mantrijeron owns a lot of murals. It’s great to have a walk around the area and see some of the greatest murals in Yogyakarta.

Day 2 – Prambanan and Borobudur

Rise at 4 AM to experience sunrise at the Borobudur temple. From Yogyakarta city, it is a 90-minute drive to the Borobudur temple. Plan to spend about 1.5-hours at both sights. PS: Don’t try to fly your drone at these temples.

5. Borobudur temple

The Borobudur temple contains four levels and has a total height of 34 meters. On the top level are loads of small stupas and one large stupa in the middle. Look closely inside these stupas to see the Buddhas inside. You can join a small group tour to Borobudur, Prambanan, and Merapi Volcano that includes hotel pickup, guide, and entry to all sites.

Tip: Are you a student? Bring your student pass or a copy and get a discount.

6. Prambanan, the best thing to do in Yogyakarta!

The biggest temple complex in Indonesia is Prambanan. Unlike the Borobudur, this is not a Buddhist but a Hindu temple. There are 3 main temples: Shiva Mahadeva, Candi Vishnu, and Candi Sewu. The whole complex has about 240 small and big temples. Shiva Mahadeva is 47 meters high! From Borobudur to Prambanan is a 1.5-hour drive.

things to do yogyakarta prambanan temple

Booking a Borobudur + Prambanan temple tour
The easiest way is to book the tour in advance online. However, it’s all possible to do so with your hostel/hotel in Yogyakarta. This should cost you around 130 – 150K for a shared van. Another option is to take a Grab Taxi. At both sights, there are official Grab stands.

things to do yogyakarta prambanan

7. Explore the best cafes & restaurants

Have a little rest for the rest of the day and again had out to the Mantrijeron area of Yogyakarta. Here are loads of great little cafes and restaurants. Some are more hidden than others. Most of them are on Jalan Prawirotaman Street. These are our favorites:

  • SateBar
  • ViaVia
  • Sade tropical kitchen
  • Nanamia Pizzaria
  • Move on

Day 3 – Mountains and Beaches

On the last day in Yogyakarta, rent a driver for the whole day. This should be anywhere between 450K – 650K for 12 hours. Visit the cooler mountains and the beautiful beachside of Yogyakarta.

8. Viewpoints

Drive all the way up into the mountain of Yogyakarta. There are many viewpoints made to see and an amazing sunrise or view. It’s up to you if you’d like to experience this. Just remember that you have to get out early.

Our favorite viewpoints are Becici Peak & Bukit Panguk Kediwung. For both viewpoints, there is an entrance fee of 10.000 IDR.

things to do yogyakarta viewpoint

9. Love Yogyakarta (Taman Gumuk Pasir)

One of the creative minds in Yogyakarta made this beautiful heart near the beach. This piece is at its best from above. The artist must have expected that drones would come here to take a photo or video. Edit: Unfortunately, this spot has been closed.

things to do yogyakarta Taman Gumuk Pasir

10. Sukorama Rice Fields

A 300-meter long bamboo bridge through the rice fields. Before you plan a trip here, ask the locals if the rice fields are green. During summer, June to August, it’s usually dry and not green. Update 2021: This location seems permanently closed.

11. Serebu Batu

Serebu Batu is almost like a small theme park. All kinds of things are made from wood, like houses, statues, and a hobbit house. All spots up in the hills have a much more comfortable climate.

things to do yogyakarta Serebu Batu

How to get to Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is connected in almost any way. It has a good train station, an airport, and a highway.

Flight to Yogyakarta

The best way to get to Yogyakarta is by airplane. Yogyakarta has an international airport and has direct flights from, for example, Singapore or Bali.

Find flights to Yogyakarta ✈️

Train to Yogyakarta

You can take the train to Yogyakarta from anywhere in Java. From the capital city, Jakarta or Malang are both an 8-hour train ride. The Malioboro Express train from Malang to Yogyakarta is highly recommended! The train takes up the same amount of time as driving by car.

Hotels Yogyakarta

The guesthouses and hotels in Yogyakarta are available in all kinds of price ranges. Hostels go anywhere from 5 USD – 30 USD per night. Whereas guesthouses and hotels in Yogyakarta will start from 12 USD a night, including breakfast.

08/05/2024 https://www.saltinourhair.com/indonesia/things-to-do-yogyakarta/
Blog comments (15)

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  • Alexandra

    Hi, i am glad you visited Indonesia. Yogyakarta is for sure one of my favorite city in Indonesia. I really love ur shots of Jogja and i am wondering if i can use one of your photo as a reference for my small business project. Thank you so much xx

    • Salt in our Hair

      Hi Alexandra, thank you! Unfortunately, we do not allow our images to be used for any kind of business. Thanks for understanding!

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