The city of Yogyakarta is the perfect place to explore Java’s rich culture and traditions. Known for its protection of local heritage and customs, Yogyakarta is a hub for fine Javanese art, craft, music, poetry, ballet and puppetry. Explore the magnificent temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, and gain an insight into Buddhist, Hindu and Javanese culture.
Yogyakarta is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia. A short stroll around the historic district will bring you past the Sultan’s Palace (Kraton Ngayogyakarta) and its stately main court, mosque and museum. Admire the Central Post Office (Kantor Pos Besar) and the Tugu Monument. Grab a snack from a street vendor and watch the locals playing street chess near the Kraton complex.
To learn about Javanese culture and history, head to the Museum Sonobudoyo, the Museum Batik or Fort Vrederburg. Browse historical artefacts and traditional handicrafts such as batik, wayang puppets, masks and gamelan instruments. Discover Yogyakarta’s thriving art scene at the Affandi Museum and Cemeti Art House.
Don’t miss Yogyakarta’s breathtaking ancient temples, known locally as candi. Wander through numerous shrines and monuments at Prambanan, a collection of towering Hindu temples with intricately carved domes. The stunning Borobudur Buddhist temple dates back to the 9th century and is located in Magelang, 1 hour’s drive from Yogyakarta.
Relax with a massage treatment or sunrise yoga and meditation classes. Play a round of golf overlooking Mount Merapi. During your visit, try local cuisine, such as sweet curry with jackfruit, palm sugar, coconut milk and chicken. In January, the city celebrates Java’s Muslim culture with the traditional Sekaten festival.
Reach Yogyakarta by flying into Adisucipto International Airport, or catch the regional bus or train. In the city, get around by taxi, bus or tricycle rickshaw. Make sure you haggle and agree on a price before getting into the rickshaw. To make the most of Yogyakarta’s outdoor activities, visit during the dry season, from July to September.