Things to Do, Places to visit in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Yogyakarta is situated in the seismically part of Java Island, about 560 kilometers away from Indonesia's capital - Jakarta with a population of more than 422 thousand inhabitants.  Currently, Yogyakarta Special Region is divided into four Regencies (Kuon Progo, Sleman, Bantul, Gunugkidul) and the capital city of Yogyakarta and the only city in Indonesia still ruled by the Sultan.

Yogyakarta is one of the greatest cities in Indonesia with traces of long and rich history dating back in the 8th century, in fact, this city is recognized as one of the ancient civilizations of Indonesia. Founded in 1755 by the Sultan of Mataram, During the Majapahit Era, Yogyakarta is identified as the "Mataram", one of the twelve Java provinces covered by the Majapahit Kingdom. In late 1745, the Sultanate broke into two kingdoms whos became the ruler of Kartasure and the ruler of Yogyakarta.  

Yogyakarta also plays as an important city during the Indonesian Revolution in countering the aggregation of the Dutch occupation. Then, it became Indonesia's capital from 1946 to 1948.

Over the years, spatial development to the Special Region of Yogyakarta can be traced from its ancients routes and to the modern infrastructure which now attracts more than a half-million tourists each year. Yogyakarta City has known the line of education in which the biggest University cand be found in this City. This city also has a big influence on the preservation Javanese fine arts & culture, and Wayang puppetry. Here are the must-visit places in Yogyakarta Special Region. 

Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat
Famously known as the Kraton - a palace complex where the reigning sultan and his family are living and a home of different museum and center of Javanese culture. This complex was built in 1576 under the Dutch India company through the Treaty of Giyanti recognizing the creation of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta.   

The Sultan's Palace gate entrance at the Kraton
There is two entrances in the palace, one is in Tepas Keprajuritan with an entrance of Rp7,000 (less than US$1) but you can only found here is the Museum of different cultural artifacts and fancy old cars. If you wish to visit the Palace where the Sultan lived, have a short walk going is at the very back from the entrance of tepas Keprajuritan for about 100 meters or hire a "becak" to reach the real Kraton.

The admission fee is Rp15,000 (US$1) plus Rp3,000 (.20c) if you bring a camera. The Kraton is open only from 8:00 - 12:00 noon. A series of Javanese cultural dance and acts are enjoyable shows while inside. 

The Sultan's Palace located at the Kraton Complex
Visiting the Kraton's Museum
After visiting the Kraton, I decide to around the complex looking for something to eat but ended up at   Museum Kereta Kraton. This museum preserves collections of transportation service of the sultan with most of those means is powered by horse-drawn carriages; most of those are still used by the Sultan during events and ceremonies. Entrance fee is Rp 5,000 (.40c). 

One of horse-drawn carriage displayed at the Museum Kereta Kraton
 Another interesting museum inside the complex is the Denah Museum Sonobudoyo. This museum holds various collections of Javanese culture, history, and artifacts from the 8th century like bronze statues, ancient weapons, ceramics from the neolithic era and the famous wayang puppets. The entrance fee is Rp 3,000.    

Prambanan Temple is located in Bokoharjo, Prambanan in Sleman Regency, about 17-kilometers from the northeast side of Yogyakarta City. The 8th-century massive temple compound, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the biggest Hindu-temple site in Indonesia and the largest in Southeast Asia, next to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Like a typical Hindu Temple, it has a pointed architecture towering 47 meters high, This Temple was built to honor Lord Shiva. The Entrance fee is Rp75,000  for local tourists; Rp250,000 (US$7.80) for foreign tourists

Borobudur Temple
Not far from Yogyakarta is the Magelang Regency in Central Java, where it can be found the world's biggest Buddhist temple constructed in the 9th Century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty. This temple has a marvelous design whereas to 2, 672 layer panels and 504 buddha statues with tree tier stupa around the hill are built without any adhesive or cement. 

The Borobudur temple compound is located in the Kedu Valley, not far from the town of Muntilan or less than a two-hour drive from Yogyakarta. Entrance fee is  Rp 75,000 for local tourist and Rp250,000 for foreign tourists      

Malioboro Street
Jalan Malioboro is one of the busiest streets situated in the tourism district of Yogyakarta, surrounded by various hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers. Sidewalks on both sides of the street are occupied by small vendors selling goods or either food.

At night, Malioboro street is even more hectic, just like, can't just get half of your shoes in case you get stripped while walking. This is also the street where the musicians, painters and other local artists show off heir talent. 

Jalan Malioboro in daytime shot at the kilometer 0
Jalan Malioboro in Nighttime shot near the shopping center
The Beaches in Yogyakarta Regency
Aside from the wondrous history, Yogyakarta is also known for its white-sand coastline that may challenge the best beach in the country and reachable only for a less more or less 2-hours drive from Yogyakarta city. Yogyakarta's long stretch of coastline is located in Gunung Kidul Regency comprising more than tens of stunning beaches that bring you different levels of a vacation experience. These are my recommended must-visit beaches in this area;  

  • Siung Beach
  • Baron Beach
  • Indrayanti Beach
  • Pok Tunggal Beach
  • Drini Beach
  • WediOmbo Beach
  • Gesing Beach
Pantai Siung: one of the beautiful beaches can be explored in the Special Region of Yogyakarta


Yogyakarta is one of the most visited cities in Indonesia that attracts thousands of tourists each month. Means of transportation is not a problem when you wish to get here; this city is accessible by land or by Air travel. 

By Airplane
Yogyakarta (Adisucipto International Airport) has a regular International flight schedule  Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The domestic flight schedule is available from Jakarta, Denpasar, Balikpapan, Lombok, Bandung and other big cities in Indonesia

By Land travel
You can be reached  Yogyakarta by Bus or by Train (Kereta Api Indonesia).Yogyakarta served by two railway stations, the Tugu station, and the Lempuyangan with a regular schedule of departure from-to-Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Malang, and Solo.

If you're comfortable traveling by Bus, then, Yogyakarta is connected in most neighboring cities inside the Java Island, Bali, Sumatra and Bantul Region.


  1. These temples look amazing! I've traveled to Jakarta and spent less than a week there, but never had a chance to look outside of the city. Such a long history too! Cheers, Michael

  2. I have recently seen this place on many Instagram accounts. Looks is becoming a trendy destination. It looks pretty cool!