Ultimate Travel Guide to Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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Yogyakarta (often called “Jogja”) is a city on the Indonesian island of Java known for its traditional arts and cultural heritage. Its ornate 18th-century royal complex, or Kraton, encompasses the still-inhabited Sultan’s Palace. Also within the Kraton are numerous open-air pavilions that host classical Javanese dance shows and concerts of gamelan music, characterized by gongs, chimes, and plucked string instruments.
In this Yogyakarta Travel Guide Blog, we listed some tips on how you can do your own DIY trip to Yogyakarta. We also included Yogyakarta Itinerary, Things to do and see, how to get there and more.
Best Time to Visit Yogyakarta
The weather in Yogyakarta rarely varies with temperature going as high 34.7 degrees Celsius. If you’re from cold climates, try not to visit in the months of October, September, and May because these are the hottest months. Instead, opt for the months of November, December, January, February, and March. These are the most crowded months, but they’re also the months with a cooler temperature. July is a low-season month so if you want to save on costs, this is the best time to visit.
The need for a Visa depends on your country of origin. Currently, there are several countries with Visa-Free entry including the Philippines, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Every tourist should also have a passport valid for at least 6 months counted from the time you enter Indonesia. The free visa is under a 30-day non-extendible requirement. Other requirements include proof of return or onward flight and your passport must have one completely blank page.
How to Get There
The Adisucipto International Airport is the one that services the city of Yogyakarta. The main jump-off point to this airport would be Jakarta Jakarta International Airport. Countries like Malaysia or Singapore also have direct flights to Yogyakarta.
By 2020 however, a new international airport should be operational in the city, to be opened in Kulon Pogo, located west of Yogyakarta.
If you are coming from Manila, you can book flights to Jakarta via Cebu Pacific Air.
If you have the time, there’s also land travel from Jakarta, the trip taking around 6 to 8 hours. Taking the bus would extend the travel time to 13 hours.
The train to Yogyakarta starts at Gambir Station in Central Jakarta. If you want a faster and convenient 8-hour train ride, take the Kereta Wisata Luxury Train. It’s an airconditioned Business Class train that is being used by the Indonesian President and VVIP state guests. The train is complete with a kitchen, dining area, a karaoke lounge, a movie room, a luggage area, and a clean toilet. The train also offers buffet lunch, traditional snacks, coffee, and tea.
Getting Around Yogyakarta
You have several options when getting around this city. There’s the train station which is primarily used to get from the airport to the main city. For exploring the city itself, there’s the bus or you can hire a taxi. Some buses have terminals in the airport itself, allowing you an alternative option if you feel like enjoying the view. The Giawangan Bus Terminal will connect all the intercity buses so you wouldn’t have any problems. Self-drive vehicles are also available if you prefer it over metered taxis.
Try a Becak
Embrace the local mode of transport and try a becak, traditional three-wheeled pedal-powered cart. Remember to negotiate the price before you start on your journey.
Traditional horse-drawn carts known as Andong can be found in the tourist areas of Yogyakarta. These are a relaxed and romantic way to take in the sights.
Rent a Car
You may wish to organize a car and driver for the duration of your stay in Yogyakarta.
Grab a Bike
If you know how to ride a motorbike you can hire one in the city. Taxis are available and can be arranged through your hotel. Buses are the major form of public transportation here, however, their hours of operation and capacity can be limited. Try to enjoy some part in the rural side with a bicycle ride, and discover beautiful corners that can inspire you to fall more in love with the special charm of Yogyakarta!
Where to Stay
Asana Grove Hotel Yogyakarta
Address: Jl. Rukun Pertiwi No.53, Muja Muju, Umbulharjo, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55165, Indonesia
Located close to offices and universities, this hotel is just a few minutes away from the airport and the train station. It boasts of room service, an in-house restaurant, free parking, and high-speed internet access. Visitors will love the nondescript rooms with all-day air conditioning and wake up to a great breakfast.
Adhisthana Hotel Yogyakarta
Address: Jl. Prawirotaman 2 No.613, Brontokusuman, Mergangsan, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55153, Indonesia
This budget hotel doesn’t look budget at all as it boasts of a local design that makes you feel like you’re completely immersed in Indonesian culture. It’s a tranquil address within the city, featuring a pool, free parking, an in-house restaurant, lounge, and high-speed internet.
Yogyakarta Marriott Hotel
Address: Jl. Ringroad Utara, Kaliwaru, Condongcatur, Kec. Depok, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55283, Indonesia
If you’re happy to splash a little bit of cash, the city’s Marriott Hotel is an excellent place to stay. It’s a 5-star accommodation featuring a resplendent pool, room service, a generous restaurant, and an amazing bar. There’s also spa services, internet, and a workout room.
Royal Ambarrukmo Yogyakarta
Address: Jl. Laksda Adisucipto No.81, Ambarukmo, Caturtunggal, Kec. Depok, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
This grand hotel is a fairly old school with upgrades that brought it to the 21st century for your comfort. The hotel is conveniently located right next to a shopping mall. The place boasts of a pool, a gym, spa, bar/lounge, and a restaurant offering all sorts of delicacies – both traditional and international. All rooms come with minibars and air conditioning with high-speed internet.
Where to Eat
A popular spot for tourists, the bar offers a resplendent choice of vegetarian food and some western food choices. The restaurant is set in an open spot so you can really enjoy the view. They serve a wide range of beverages and offer acoustic entertainment.
Water Castle Cafe
Address: Jl. Polowijan, Patehan, Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia
With outdoor seating, this beautiful restaurant is famous for its vegetarian cuisine. They serve all three meals and even offer cool coffee options for those who just want to sit back and relax.
Bakmi Jowo Mbah Gito
Address: Jl. Nyi Agengnis No.9, Rejowinangun, Kotagede, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55171, Indonesia
This restaurant serves purely Asian dishes and accepts reservations. The native atmosphere makes you feel out of this world with dishes that are just pure heaven. They’re open all day and are even Halal compliant.
What to Do and See
Also known as Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, this palace is the current seat of the reigning Sultan in Yogyakarta and contains royal artifacts. So yes – you can enter this Royal Palace and marvel at the different items that boast of the Javanese culture.
No trip is complete without visiting this piece of history. Prambanan Temple was constructed during the 9th century and remains beautifully strong and standing. It was built as a dedication to Trimurti, an expression of God.
Finally, if you’re into some adventure – you might want to check out the Merapi Lava Tour. It’s a jeep ride that takes you through the ride of your life through the rough terrain of ups and downs. Make sure to bring clothes for this as you can get wet.
Borobudur Sunrise Trip
This 6-hour Borobudur day trip from Yogyakarta takes you to one of Java’s most beautiful temples – Borobudur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a stunning architectural masterpiece. You will need to wake up early as your hotel pick up is scheduled at 3:00am – but don’t let this discourage you as the view you will get to behold will be worth the trouble tenfold.
If you want to take home a souvenir, why not one that you made yourself? You can schedule a Batik Making tour where you’ll be given a chance to make one of these cool things yourself. There are multiple places where this can be enjoyed.
For more unique activities in Yogyakarta, check out our list of Best Things to do in Yogyakarta.
WiFi and Internet Access
Indonesia boasts of good internet speed, allowing tourists to easily connect through their phones and maintain contact with their friends. Most hotels also come with high-speed wireless internet.
Yogyakarta Travel Tips
- Make sure to have your money exchanged for local currency as they don’t accept USD or other forms of currency.
- Bring an extra set of clothes wherever you go.
- Keep bottled water with you to help with the heat. The weather in the city can be quite unpredictable
Sample Itinerary and Budget
Here’s a cool itinerary for a 4-Day, 3-Night stay in Yogyakarta:
Arrive and check in your hotel. Settle in and relax a little before visiting the Yogyakarta Royal Palace for your first stop. The Water Castle is an important spot to check as well before doing a city tour.
On Day 2, you can visit the Prambanan Temple Compound, the Sendratari Ramayana, and the Ratu Boko Palace for sunset viewing.
For Day 3, check out the Borobudur Sunrise, the Malioboro Street, and take the Merapi Lava Tour.
The overall budget for Yogyakarta travel depends primarily on your itinerary. Excluding hotel costs, you should budget around $150 for a 3-day stay.
Yogyakarta Travel and Tour Packages
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