Here 12 adorable places in Yogyakarta that everyone should know. Useful guide for you at Yogyakarta.

 

Yogyakarta

Being the home of many batik creations, Yogyakarta is the heart of Java’s genuine culture.

Those who want to learn anything about Javanese culture and its development should come to Yogya (shorten of Yogyakarta) as it is the center of the arts and intellectual heritage of Java.

Here, traditional language and cultures are performed at their purest and most visible forms. 

 

Yogyakarta is filled with its cultural and artistic features, making them it town’s charms. The preservation of its traditional life is vividly portrayed from its governance, urban setting, and street life that comprised the street art, galleries, coffee shops, and cultural allures.

Its two most important archeological sites, Prambanan and Borobudur are its prominent historical and cultural attractions. 

For you who deeply admire and take pleasure in art and culture, especially of Java, going to its center, Yogyakarta, is the right decision. 

 

Location

Yogyakarta is the capital of the Special Region of Yogyakarta (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta/DIY) located in the south part of Java island and lies next to Central Java. DIY is governed by Yogyakarta Sultanate with a monarch system that resides in Kraton (a walled city palace).

The city is also home to plenty of universities, including Gajah Mada University (UGM), one of the most prestigious universities in Indonesia and the world. 

 

The population is highly dense with over 4 million inhabitants. Its largest population is Javanese with several ethnicities who come to study especially from eastern Indonesia. Tourists and foreign students also make up the foreign communities there. 

The majority of people are Muslim, with a small group of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism. 

 

History 

In the colonization period, Yogyakarta played an important role in supporting the struggle of the independence of Indonesia.

It became the capital city of Indonesia a year after Indonesia gained independence, from 1946-1948. And for its support, the autonomy through the Special district is given to Yogyakarta.

Today, Hamengkubuwono X rules the sultanate of Yogyakarta. Javanese believes that only the descendant of Hamengkubuwono should be the legitimate successor of the sultanate. 

 

How to Explore Yogyakarta

As the second most visited town after Bali, there is no way that you won’t be entertained yet inspired in Yogya.

Dozens of cultural wonders such as batik, a puppet show of wayang, Javanese architectural building and literature, and tasty culinary with shopping centers can be found here. 

Now here are some recommendations of Yogya captivating wonders that you must visit to get the most fascinating experience during your trip there. 

 

#1 Batik Tulis 

Yogya is renowned for Batik Tulis, the most expensive and a completely hand-made motif batik. Batik is from the Javanese word ‘amba’ and ‘titik’ that means to write the dots.

The production of this fine batik can take many months and depend on the fabric. The higher its fabric quality and design, the more expensive and more time it takes to complete. 

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Each motif has its philosophical meaning such as The Parang Kusumo, Kawung, and Truntum.

This can be a delicate gift for your loved one’s birthday, or you can turn it into a well-made dress for your spouse or family member. 

 

#2 Wayang

Wayang is a traditional puppet show from Java tradition. It is a story-telling, using a puppet’s shadow. The shadow puppets are played by a Dalang (puppet master) and accompanied by Java Gamelan orchestra.

The stories of Wayang covers mythologies such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, Java cultural legends, and Javanese-Islamic literature. Wayang Kulit (leather puppet) theatrical begins at midnight till dawn, using a screen lit by the light. 

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The places where the occasions are held are in Kraton, every Saturday night, and every night at Sonobudoyo Museum. 

A way to make your Saturday meaningful is by spending the night by reflecting on the philosophy behind Wayang’s performance. To do this you’ll need a tour guide to translate you the whole story since it is spoken in the Javanese language. 

 

#3 Kraton, Yogyakarta Palace

Going to Yogya is not complete without visiting its benchmark, Kraton, a walled palace where Yogya Sultan and his family live.

This rather massive building consists of a series of luxurious halls, spacious courtyards, and pavilions with European ornaments, such as Dutch-influenced stained glass. Bangsal Kencana (Golden Pavilion) lies at the center of Kraton and functions as the reception hall.

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When you are outside Kraton, you’ll see two sacred waringin (banyan trees). Even though Kraton is open to the public, you are not allowed to enter the innermost complex because it is where the sultan lives. 

You can arrange a schedule to appreciate the arts and culture in this building because it provides several occasions every day. Among the events are gamelan, wayang golek, classical dance, Javanese poetry readings, wayang kulit (leather puppetry) and Javanese dance.

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#4 Gamelan Show

For those who love listening to traditional music, there is a gamelan show that you can revel in. Besides Javanese, there are Balinese and Sundanese gamelan as well. The difference is Javanese gamelan tones are softer and slower.

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Gamelan is music generated from gong, kenong, and other Javanese music instruments. The music symbolizes the meaning of the harmony of physical and spiritual lives, harmony in words and deeds with a purpose to avoid explosive expression and represents tolerance for people. 

You can watch the orchestra in Kraton, where gamelan is played along with performances such as classical Javanese dance, karawitan, and wayang golek menak. 

 

#5 Malioboro, Yogya Downtown 

Malioboro, the famous downtown of Yogya, is the home for hotels, inns, and lodgings that spread around it and near to Kraton. Typical souvenirs, crafts, and clothes are sold along the sidewalk.

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While taking delight by walking down the sidewalk, there are delicious legendary cuisines you can try as well such as Gudeg, Sate Gere, Leker, Es Dawet, Geplak cookies, and Lupis Mbah Satinem that mostly located in Pasar Beringharjo and the sidewalk. 

Having breakfast in the morning outside your hotels while doing lightwork or doing exercise can be refreshing as well for your mind and body. 

 

#6 Taman Pintar Science Park

Science park, Taman Pintar, is another draw, particularly for kids. It is set right at the center of Yogyakarta, on Jalan Panembahan Senopati. If you are going with your children, it is a great opportunity to have them learning interesting facts about science and questioning them in fun ways. 

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The motto is Niteni: to understand, Niroake: to follow, and Nambahi: to improve. This can be an unforgettable experience for kids since the zones invite them to play and learn such as Talking Pipe, Whispering Parabola, and Tree House. 

There are also buildings for pre-school grades, zones about the environment, history, and technology.

The food court and souvenir counter are on the first floor. On the second and third floors you can find a library, and a science laboratory as well. It opens every day except Monday, from 9 AM to 4 PM. 

 

#7 Tebing Breksi 

This site was once a limestone mine, now it has turned into an artistically appealing place, where people can unwind and stroll down the area while appreciating the carved fine arts.

This cliff with a height of 30 m, was delicately shaped into reliefs and statues such as Arjuna, Buto Cakil, and a carving depicting a dragon and its crown; and the statue of Semar. 

 

#8 Sangkring Art Space

Sangkring Art Space was established on May 31 2007, and is located 3km southwest of Kraton. The studio covers works such as paintings, sculptures, and art installation.

Experimental art projects from artists who have a different background in art and knowledge can be found here and is the main priority of its exhibition. 

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Not only function as art space, but the studio also has a public space accessible to anyone, a room for people to interact and talk about possible alternatives in everything. The space was built by Putu Sutawijaya, an artist from Bali and adopted the local spirit of Bali. 

Visiting this elegant art space to reflect and appreciate the fine art will indeed be fascinating, as it committed to creative arts especially from contemporary style. If you enjoy the contemporary exhibition, and love to interact with new people this place is just for you. There is also an attractive cafe where you can meet and talk as well to the local artists. 

 

#9 Indrayanti Beach

Indrayanti beach is set on the east coast of Sundak beach, where the rocky cliff sits right behind the shoreline. It is covered with white sand, rocky hill, and clear blue water. 

To revel the panoramic view of this beach, there are itineraries and inns nearby where you can stay and enjoy sunrise or sunset from there. Take a hike up to the tip of the hill and witness the amazing Indian ocean.

At the night, you can relax at the gazebo with the flickering lights and gazing upon the night sky above the sea. 

 

#10 Jazz Mben Senen

Recharging your energy or boosting your mood by listening to Jazz Mben Senen in the night. This also would be a romantic experience you could have with your loved ones. This live jazz performance is presented with the typical hospitality of the city which creates a calming atmosphere once you get there. 

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The show is live every Monday night by Jazz Jogja community. It is located in the front yard of Bentara Budaya and welcomes all people from all class levels to join the melody. And it is also free of charge, with a donation box. The music performance starts from 8 p.m until midnight.

 

#11 Taman Pelangi/Lampion 

Taman Pelangi or Rainbows Garden is a park designed with enchanting lampions in various shapes and colors. It is called rainbows because the lampions are formed in and colored similar to rainbows. So you don’t have to wait after the rain to see it appears. 

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The park resides inside the yard of Monumen Jogja Kembali. It has two entrance gates, the west and the east. Delight in a huge lampion in the shape of a rainbow, as you come in through the east gate.

Food court and other various amusements serve you with a romantic and relaxing atmosphere in the night. It opens from Monday to Thursday from 5PM to 10PM and Friday to Sunday from 5PM to 11PM. 

 

#12 Yogyakarta De Arca Statue Museum 

Another Instagramable place you should visit is De Arca Statue Museum. It is a place where prominent figures national and international, and well-known heroes are exhibited here.

The museum is placed in XT-Square Traditional Market, Yogyakarta. It was officially launched in 2014 and was located next to De Mata Trick Eye Museum. 

The scale of the statues is 1:1 and similar to Madam Tussaud Wax Statue Museum. The creator is a famous artist from Yogya, Dunadi. The statues are made out of resin (the sap produced by certain plants). 

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Three zones represent national figures, world presidents, and world figures. Take pictures with national heroes such as Cut Nyak Dhien, R. A. Kartini, or General Soedirman. There is a unique Spiderman statue with Javanese style wearing a red T-shirt and sarong, holding his smoking pipe while sitting. 

Other heroes statues such as Hulk, Captain America, Thor, and other Avenger movie heroes are exhibited here. So, are you ready to take pictures with these renowned figures? 

 

How to Get to Yogyakarta

Now, here are several likely routes to get to Yogyakarta. Since it is a popular tourist destination among local and international visitors, transportation to get there is easy.  

 

#Route 1

From Bali, Sumatra, and Java islands, you can take a bus. The station bus near Bantul where you can arrive is Giwangan. 

 

#Route 2

You can go by airplane and arrive at Adisucipto International Airport in Yogyakarta that has international direct flights from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

It also serves domestic flights from Jakarta, Denpasar, Makassar, Balikpapan and many other big cities in southern Indonesia to Yogyakarta. There is a tourist information desk, ATM and taxi stand in the arrivals hall.  

Another option is to catch a train from Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Malang or Solo, and you can arrive at Lempuyangan and Tugu stations in Yogyakarta, 

 

Where to Stay 

Now here are some options of affordable yet delightful places to stay during your visit. 

 

#Jogja Village

Designed in a typical Javanese village model, Jogja Village, strategically located inside the area of Prawirotaman. The location allows you to access Kraton, Tamansari, and Malioboro, and Adisucipto Airport easily.

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The hotel provides 24 rooms with serene settings and facilities. Other amenities you can enjoy are saltwater pool, restaurant, spa & massage, meeting room, and movie room which aim to make your stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible.  

 

#Rumah Mertua Boutique Hotel & Garden

This small boutique hotel with a tranquil environment is designed in a traditional Java style. Rumah Mertua or the House of the Parent´s in Law offers you 11 comfortable bedrooms and restaurant with a refreshing garden setting. It is located in the cultural center of Jogjakarta. There are 

exclusive tour arrangements and car renting with affordable cost (fee includes gasoline and driver).

 

#Greenhost Boutique Hotel

This environmental-friendly concept hotel is located in Prawirotaman, Yogyakarta. The building resembles modern amenities that mixed with local culture, value, and hospitality.

It is known for its design that combines both agriculture and craftsmanship under one roof.

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If you look for friends and a picturesque view of semi-outdoor green space for your stay, this hotel provides you just that. Not only that, but you also can enjoy its arts & crafts, nature, culture, as well as innovative design and experimental projects during your stay. 

The facilities it offers include art space, swimming pool, creative sharing space, creative farming, and tea spa as well as airport transfer.

 

#Hotel Neo Malioboro

NEO Malioboro is a healthy and contemporary designed hotel. What is unique is that it’s a 100 % smoke-free hotel. It offers cozy and comfortable 154 rooms with a tranquil setting.

Besides, it provides amenities such as 6 stylish meeting rooms, a signature coffee shop, a swimming pool, room massage, and sky lounge where you can relax while having a meal there. 

 

Conclusion

As the genuine origin of Java culture, Yogyakarta offers its visitors a lot of appealing attractions from arts, culture to its natural beauty. You’d have a fascinating experience and satisfaction when spending time in this city.

If you have never been to Yogyakarta before, then going there in this holiday season is a great opportunity. 

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If you find this article helpful, share it with those who want to make a trip to Yogyakarta.

 

References:

  • Admin. Yogyakarta. Indonesia.travel – https://bit.ly/3b7qOHs 
  • Admin. Welcome To Yogyakarta. Lonelyplanet.com – https://bit.ly/2xMi9Mh
  • Admin. March 28, 2020. Yogyakarta. Wikipedia.com – https://bit.ly/2QrI5TR
  • Admin. 2018. Visit Yogyakarta, Best Jogja/Jogjakarta Tourism Info. Yogyes.com – https://bit.ly/2WqDy82 
  • Admin. 2018. Taman Pintar. Wikipedia.com – https://bit.ly/2IVJvBV

 

Images Source:

  • Batik Tulis – https://bit.ly/2QGprrN
  • Wayang – https://bit.ly/2IXyAaU
  • Kraton – https://bit.ly/39287nf
  • Gamelan Show – https://bit.ly/3d92l6p
  • Malioboro – https://bit.ly/3d9uD0O
  • Taman Pintar – https://bit.ly/33tJezR
  • Sangkring – https://bit.ly/2wlmIgj
  • Jazz Mben – https://bit.ly/2UjTkPh
  • Taman Pelangi – https://bit.ly/2vB58og
  • Yogyakarta De Arca Statue Museum – https://bit.ly/2WuYv1T
  • Jogja village – https://bit.ly/3a5jv32
  • Greenhost Boutique – https://bit.ly/2UeUo7m