Yogyakarta is the capital of the province of the same name and a major resort in southern Indonesia on the island of Java. The local population still carefully preserves the traditions of the Javanese way of life, so this place is very colorful. There are few cities in Indonesia that are pleasant for walking, and Yogyakarta is obviously one of them, and you can get around it in a day on foot or go around on a motorcycle (such a walk can be booked literally at every corner). The city is also famous for its batik, here it is a real art that is exhibited in museums and art galleries, and you can also buy it in shops and markets. See Citypopulationreview for weather information.
How to get to Yogyakarta
Eight kilometers east of the city is Adisucipto International Airport, which can be reached by AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines aircraft from Singapore or Kuala Lampur. You can also leave the airport by rail, the railway station is located next to the arrival terminal.
The bus station of the city is located 4 kilometers southeast of the city center. Buses arrive here from Jakarta (9 hours on the way), Bandung (6 hours) and Surabaya (8 hours). Another large bus station is located near the airport, from here there are buses to the north – to Borobudur and Semarang.
By train you can come to Yogyakarta from Jakarta (7 hours on the way, 250,000 IDR – 450,000 IDR). The fare from Bandung will cost 200,000-300,000 IDR.
Yogyakarta is a relatively small city, so it’s easy to get around on foot. A hiking map of the city can be obtained from the tourist office next to the Mutiara Hotel on Jln Malioboran, at the airport and at the railway station.
Taxi rides are not too burdensome for the wallet, usually you can get to any place in the city for 10,000 IDR – 30,000 IDR. If you like the service – ask the taxi driver for a phone number – in the future he can become your personal driver and guide.
Local cycle rickshaws are called bachak and can be found anywhere in the city. Before boarding, you should bargain thoroughly and discuss in advance: whether they are taking you in one direction, or they will wait and deliver you back.
The main form of public transport in Yogyakarta is buses. Two types of buses run in the city: patas, more comfortable (with air conditioning) and safer, operate from 6 am to 10 pm, the cost of one trip is 3600 IDR, and ordinary regular buses, which usually run until 5 pm.
If you prefer complete freedom of movement, then renting a motorcycle will cost you from 50,000 IDR per day, a bicycle – 30,000 IDR, and a car – 500,000 IDR.
Cuisine and restaurants
The local snacks bakpia and yangko are cloyingly sweet. In contrast, so many chili peppers are added to meat dishes that an unprepared body simply cannot cope with it. However, many local delicacies are liked by almost all tourists. Among them are curry chicken – Gudeg (which is served not only in restaurants, but also on street vendors), chicken with garlic and cilantro, Sego Langgi – rice with various seasonings, Es rujak – fruit salad made from mango, papaya, pineapple, cucumber with palm sugar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Local cuisine is characterized by the predominance of two tastes: sweet and spicy.
During Ramadan, which prescribes not to eat after sunset, a market for delicious snacks and local dishes is open in the Kauman district in an old Javanese architecture building, open from 15:00 to 18:00.
In Yogyakarta, you can have a delicious and very inexpensive lunch at a variety of stalls (less than a dollar) throughout the city. You will be offered rice, homemade noodles, chicken, beef, baked eggs, Javanese espresso coffee, desserts and soft drinks.
The city also has many upscale restaurants specializing in Indonesian, Thai, French, Indian and Italian cuisine with live music, exquisite interiors and excellent service – Gabah, Royal Garden, Androwino, Gajah Vong.
Shopping in Yogyakarta
From Yogyakarta, tourists bring home batik, traditional dolls, ceramics and silver as souvenirs. The most famous shopping street in the city is Malioboro. Hundreds of shops are located here for two kilometers. Here you will find the Beringharjo handicraft market, Mirota, a large batik shop, a shop specializing in carved Indonesian masks, Ciamis, and the huge Nadzar gift shop.
For more sophisticated souvenirs, head to Saptohoedojo Gallery, which sells Indonesian art ranging from totems adorned with the skulls of defeated enemies to batik with abstract themes. The walls of the gallery are decorated with portraits of eminent visitors, including John Paul II and the Dalai Lama.
Shopping malls in Yogyakarta are located at Malioboro Mall, Galleria Mall, Ambarrukmo plaza. Here you can find products of all world brands, as well as a lot of counterfeit goods.
Entertainment and attractions of Yogyakarta
The philosophy behind the architecture of the city is manifested in the fact that the key structures of Yogyakarta are located along a virtual line linking Parangtritis to the coast and Mount Merapi. Thus, the sultans of Yogyakarta ensured strong links with the guardian spirits of mountains and water. The main attraction of the city is the Kraton palace complex, where you can see the chambers of the Sultan and his household, the throne room, mosques, pavilions. The palace is surrounded by a two-kilometer wall. You can visit the palace from 8:30 to 13:00, paying an entrance fee of 15,000 IDR.
To the west of the Kraton is the Taman Sari park, in which an elegant mansion called the “Castle on the Water” is surrounded by the waters of a large pond, an intricacies of underwater and underground tunnels, grottoes and pools in which the Sultan’s wives and concubines took baths. The park is open from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, entry costs 15,000 IDR. The nearby Sumur Gumuling, an underground “mosque”, was used in former times by the sultans of Jogyarta for the sacrament of meeting with the goddess of the seas.
Of the traditional entertainments, unusual for the European eye, the most popular in Yogyarta is Wayang Kulit – the Shadow Theater.
Of the traditional entertainments, unusual for the European eye, the most popular in Yogyarta is Wayang Kulit – the Shadow Theater. The plays in the full version last for eight hours. Options adapted for tourists can be viewed at the Agastya Institute of Arts. It is also worth visiting the performances of classical Javanese dance or their rehearsals, which are held on Sundays in the Kraton Palace.
In the immediate vicinity of Jogyarta (42 kilometers to the northwest) is the world-famous Borobudur stupa, built in the eighth century AD. The unique building covered with carved reliefs rests on a foundation 118 meters long and rises in eight tiers to the sky. On the upper tier there are 72 small stupas around the central one, 504 Buddha statues and more than a thousand reliefs on religious themes are placed inside the stupas.
For many centuries, Borobudur was covered with a layer of volcanic ash and completely absorbed by the jungle.
Another temple complex – Prambanan is located 18 kilometers east of Yogyarta. Built in 856, the complex, dedicated to the victory of the Hindu king over the Buddhist predecessor, consists of eight buildings. The most famous of them is the 47-meter Lara Jongrang temple dedicated to Shiva.