Most people on holidays to Indonesia never look past Bali. For Australian travellers, it is a hot destination and people flock to Bali all year round for a relaxing holiday that is close to home. Most travellers to Indonesia, on the other hand, like to visit more than one Indonesian destination during their trip if they can. A trip to Java to explore a Yogyakarta itinerary is a must for any Indonesia trip.
Yogyakarta is the capital of the Yogyakarta Special Region and served as the Indonesian capital from 1946 to 1948. Yogyakarta (or Jogja as the locals will call it) is a popular destination for travellers looking past Bali, due to it being a little more out of the way and not so much like home!
Know before you go! Our top Yogyakarta travel tips
There are so many people who only travel to Yogyakarta for two temples but we can assure you there are so many more things to do in Yogyakarta. These top travel tips for Yogyakarta will have you in the know long before you travel to Indonesia.
Where to stay in Yogyakarta
You will find Yogyakarta accommodation to suit all budgets and types. Singles, couples and families will easily find somewhere to stay if they travel to Yogyakarta. We have some amazing recommendations for your Yogyakarta trip below that we have personally stayed in, Alternatively, Airbnb has some amazing listings
- Boutique Hotel: The Dusan Jogja Village Inn is a boutique hotel on the outskirts of Yogyakarta. The boutique hotel’s 24 rooms and suite are designed in such a naturally tranquil compound, adopting the concept of Javanese ‘Dusun’ or village. Featuring a saltwater pool, spa and massages, movie room, bar and restaurant. There are 3 types of rooms to choose from such as Deluxe room, Superior room and junior suite to choose from. Read our full review of the Jogja Village Inn here.
Book now. To find out more about your stay in this tranquil Yogyakarta paradise click here for more information and booking options.
- Budget Accommodation: Zest Yogyakarta is a modern 2-star budget hotel. Located close to the city featuring double and queen rooms for couples and families. Rooms feature air conditioning and cable Tv channels. There is a pool on-site to cool down from the hot and humid Indonesian days. Each booking comes with a complimentary breakfast and airport transfers are available. Read our full reviews of Zest Yogyakarta today
Find out more about one of the best budget hotels in Yogyakarta. For current prices and more information about Zest Yogyakarta search here
Air BnB alternative in Yogyakarta
Many people prefer the home away from home option now that Air BnB provides. If this is something you enjoy when you travel then an Air BnB experience may be for you.
What to wear in Yogyakarta
Indonesia is a Muslim country, as in most Muslim countries one needs to be aware of what to wear when out in public. Here are some tips for appropriate dress in Jogjakarta.
- Try not to wear clothes that are too tight
- Shorts are acceptable but should be knee-length
- Shoulders need to be covered when visiting temples.
- Avoid tanktop and singlets
- Bathing suits. Bikinis are ok at touristy beaches
- Be aware of what other people are wearing in Yogyakarta and dress from that. Tourists are best just to dress as they are but avoid overly revealing clothes
Do you need a sim card for your trip to Yogyakarta?
Relying on Wi-fi when you are travelling can be hard. Making calls and staying in contact with who you need is a top priority. Plan your trip out and order your sim before you leave home to stop any stress about travelling, data and calls.
Let’s explore an itinerary for Yogyakarta
There are 2 famous Indonesia landmarks just near Yogyakarta that are the biggest drawcards to the area. Let us explore an Itinerary in Yogjakarta for solo, couples and family travellers that will make you want to visit on your next Indonesian holiday.
Any Yogyakarta holiday must include the 2 famous Indonesia landmarks Prambanan and Borobudur.
Things to do in Yogyakarta Day 1 – Borobudur
Borobudur or Barabudur is a 9th-century Buddhist temple complex, not far from Yogyakarta. Borobudur is the largest Buddist temple complex in the world. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site open to visitors.
The world’s largest Buddhist temple is made up of five large square terraces, with three circular platforms on top of them, and then a magnificent stupa at the very top. The temples were lost to us for over 500 years and were overgrown by the surrounding forests.
From a distance it is stunning but the closer you get the more outstanding it becomes. The intricate carvings on the walls come into focus. The carvings tell the story of the teachings and life of the Buddha, and of the environment and culture of Java at the time the temple was constructed.
Watching the sunrise over Borobudur is an extremely popular activity. Borobudur should be one of the first places to visit in Jogjakarta on any trip to Yogyakarta.
How much does it cost to get into Borobudur?
Tickets to the Borobudur temple complex are what I would consider very expensive $25 USD for people aged over 11 years and $10USD for kids aged 3-10 years.
How to get to Borobudur Temple
Borobudur is in Magelang, 40 km northwest of Yogyakarta. The journey takes about one and a half hours by car, slightly longer by public bus. Borobudur terminal is a 10-minute walk from the Borobudur temple complex. The last bus back from Borobudur is at 4 pm.
Built in the 9th century the Prambanan temple compound is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. Originally there were 240 temples at Prambanan. The 224 small temples are now mainly just piles or rocks waiting to be rebuilt at some stage.
The three biggest temples, called Trimurti, are dedicated to the three Hindu Gods Siva, Vishnu and Bramha. There are 3 adjacent sites also featuring temples to be explored if you have time. This Java Tourist attraction should be the 2nd destination on your Yogjakarta adventure.
How to get to Prambanan?
Prambanan is 16 kilometres from the centre of Yogyakarta. The easiest way to access the site is by organized tour or get yourself a driver. This can be done through numerous companies or get a Grab (the Asian Uber). If you want to take public transport Transjogja buses on line 1A that serve the Prambanan route. You can take this bus from the Mangkubumi bus stop near the Tugu Yogyakarta and Malioboro train stations. You can book a car with a driver for the day through Klook
How much does it cost to get into Prambanan?
Tickets to the Prambanan temple complex are what I would consider very expensive $25 USD for people aged over 11 years and $10USD for kids aged 3-10 years. You can buy a multi-entry ticket that gets you into Prambanan and Borobudur. We recommend you buy your entry tickets online with Klook before arriving
Do I need travel insurance in Indonesia?
We always say if you can’t afford travel insurance you can’t afford to travel. Get your travel insurance now to protect your epic holiday in Indonesia from any small hiccup.
For Australian travellers, we recommend Fast Cover Travel Insurance
For worldwide travellers, we recommend AXA Travel Insurance
Where can I see Ramayana Ballet Performance?
The Ramayana Ballet is performed at the Prambanan Temple complex.
The story begins when Prabu Janaka held a contest to determine the would-be husband for Shinta, his daughter. Rama was chosen as a suitor. Shintra was kidnapped by Rawana who believed Shinta was a reincarnation of goddess Widowati. Shinta was rescued by a powerful monkey.
When she was returned to Rama he considered Shinta disgraced. In order to prove her virginity and holiness, Shinta was asked to burn herself, when the flame would not burn her Rama accepted her and they lived happily ever after.
There is an open-air venue that holds 1200-1500 people per performance. The performance involves 200 local artisans, dancers and musicians. You can book dinner and show combination. Inside the main temples, people can see the Hindu story of Krishnayana and Ramayana.
When is the Ramayana Ballet on?
The ballet is on during the dry season May to October 4 nights a week.
Book your tickets for the Ramayana Ballet >>Right here<<
Multi-day tours featuring Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta tourist attractions day 2 – The Keraton
The Kraton (also spelled Keraton or Karaton) or the Palace of Yogyakarta, is a grand complex. Sultan Hamengku Buwono laid the foundation for the Keratons construction in 1755-1756. This Palace was designed to be more than just a royal residence. It was built to be a focal point of the Sultan’s entire kingdom.
The complex is home to many traditional buildings and museums. You will find The Hamengku Buwono IX museum displaying personal items that belong to the Sultans family. The Painting museum, Regalia museum, and Royal Carriage museum all help show what the life of the Sultan was like.
Where is the Keraton?
Jl. Rotowijayan Blok No. 1, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
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Royal Water Palace (Taman Sari)
The Royal Water Palace was built as a type of holiday house for the Sultan. This Palace was built in the late 17th century. The original complex consisted of 59 different building but as of today only the bathing Palace remains restored for public viewing. The Bathing Palace is surrounded by high walls. It was here the Sultan would peer out of the tower out of site and pick his next wife who would be bathing and lounging
Markets in Yogyakarta
There are a couple of markets in Yogyakarta for you to wander through and get some items for you to take home from a trip to Jogja. There are several markets within easy access to those staying in the tourist area of Yogyakarta. Exploring the markets should be any best itinerary for Yogyakarta.
The Beringharjo Market
Traditional Javanese market in the Keraton area of Yogyakarta. This Yogyakarta market is the oldest in the city and has been running since the 1700s. If you are looking for a Batik this is the place to come. You will find traditional food, crafts and antiques being sold in The Beringharjo Market Yogjakarta.
Location of the Beringharjo Market is Jl. Margo Mulyo No.16, Ngupasan, Gondomanan, Kota Yogyakarta
Klithikan Pakuncen Market
Second-hand goods, Great place for hunting clothes, bags and accessories with cheap price. Lots of foreigners walking around checking out the bargains.
Location of Klithikan Pakuncen Market – Kuncen, Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto No.34, Yogyakarta
Caturtunggal Traditional Market
Traditional market located close to the city centre. Selling meats, vegetables, fruits and snacks. Locals say it’s overpriced because of its location.
Location of Caturtunggal Traditional Market – Jl. Nologaten No.326, RW.02, Yogyakarta
Things for kids to do in Yogyakarta
There are so many things to do in Yogyakarta with kids that you will easily find your days filled with exciting things to see. Here are some of our top sposts to see in Yogyakarta.
Sindu Kusuma Edupark
Small Theme Park located on 7 hectares of land. It’s certainly no Disneyland or Europe Park but there is enough there to keep the kids occupied for a few hours of fun. You pay a small entrance fee then pay per ride. The park features a big Ferris Wheel, dodgem cars, Segways, a ropes course and 8D cinema and more.
You can find more information on the Sindu Kusuma Edupark website
Sindu Kusuma Edupark Address is Jl. Jambon, Kragilan, Sinduadi, Mlati, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55284, Indonesia
Jogja Bay Pirates Adventure Waterpark
Jogja Bay Waterpark is set on 11 hectares and 19 water rides, slides and attractions. The water park is divided into 2 sections, 1 for adrenaline junkies and 1 for all ages. The wave pool has 9 different kinds of waves and has an educational component on “how to survive in tsunami and earthquake”. Jogja Bay has a tonne of facilities such as restaurants, souvenirs store, gazebo, pool bar, locker room rental, towel rental, photo services, pirates ship, lighthouse, prayer room, toilets and car parking space.
You can find more information at Jogja Bay Pirates Adventure Waterpark website.
Jogja Bay Pirates Adventure Waterpark address: North Stadium Street, Maguwoharjo, Depok, Jenengan, Maguwoharjo, Kec. Depok, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55281, Indonesia
For more information and booking options click >HERE<
Mosquito’s can sometimes be an issue in Indonesia with its warm and wet weather. We used PARA’KITO mosquito bands while we were in Indonesia. The bands are filled with essential oils that kept the mozzies at bay.
Best time to visit Indonesia and Yogyakarta
Weather in Indonesia can be split into two seasons, The wet and dry season. The subtropical warm temperatures average 28°C during the day all throughout the year. In most regions, the dry season spans from May to September, with the rains falling between October and April. The dry season is the best time of year to visit Indonesia between May and September when the days are dry and sunny.
In the wet season, temperatures remain high and rainfall comes in the short intense downpours that last for a few minutes to a few hours. The rain will only affect your trip if you are getting off-road using dirt tracks etc. The rain may actually be a relief from the constant heat. So is there a best time to visit Indonesia, not really as the temperature stays constant all year round.
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Shopping Malls in Yogyakarta
For those who love a dose of retail therapy, Yogyakarta will not disappoint with its markets, shops and shopping malls. Shopping in Jogjakarta is for everyone.
Plaza Ambarrukmo – 7 floors with more than 230 exclusive international and local brands. A wide range of dining and entertainment options are available.
Malioboro Mall – 6 floors and over 80 specialty stores.
Jogja City Mall – is a unique design fronted with Roman pillars. Spread across multiple floors featuring Indonesian and International brands.
What to eat in Yogyakarta
Indonesia and Jogyakarta have an amazing variety of traditional food available for you to try in Yogjakarta. Some to the traditional food to eat in Yogyakarta will include:
- Jadah Tempe – rice or white Ketan in a rolled bite-sized portion with a savoury flavour
- Oseng-Oseng Mercon – Spicy cows feet, Mercon means fireworks and this dish has been to make people cry.
- Gudeg – is made from young unripe jack fruit stewed for several hours with palm sugar, and coconut milk.
Krechek– is a traditional Javanese cattle skin spicy stew dish
- Nasi goreng – Indonesian fried rice
Amazing day trips from Yogyakarta
There a few popular activities to do outside of Jogjykarta. The beaches of Java and cave tubing are fun things to do in the region.
Pindul Cave is highly popular and can become crowded. Strap on your life jacket, get your tyre tube and get ready to let the flow of the river take you on a journey int the darkness of the cave. Experience the bats and the beauty of stalactite and stalagmite formations created over thousands of years.
There are some popular beaches that people love to visit when getting out of the city. Some of the best beaches are
Indrayanti Beach – It is a nice white sand beach with cafes, restaurants and accommodations available.
Siung Beach – is surrounded by a cliff that is popular with rock climbers. Coral Reefs for diving and snorkelling are alive with fish.
Krakal Beach – popular for surfing with a good reef break and safe enough for swimming. Cafe’s and accommodation are close by.
Beaches in Yogyakarta area are a great attraction for beach lovers. Bali is not the only spot in Indonesia with great beaches.
We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Yogyakarta. There are so many things to do in Yogyakarta that will have you entertained for your stay. For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in Indonesia click through to our Indonesia Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.
Some more travel inspiration for your trip to Indonesia
How to get to Yogyakarta
Most people making a trip to Yogyakarta will be coming from one of the 3 other big destinations in Indonesia. We have information of traveling to Yogyakarta from Jakarta, Bandung and Bali to make planning your trip easier
BY PLANE: There are frequent daily flights from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, most notably with Air Asia and Lion Air. The flight takes a little over an hour. Transfers from the airport can be booked with Viator or you can book a car with the Grab app.
BY TRAIN: The train ride from Jakarta to Yogyakarta takes about 8 hours. You have the option of leaving early in the day or catching an overnight sleeper train. You can book tickets on 12go Asia which is what we used to book train rides from Jakarta to Bandung, then Bandung to Yogyakarta.
BY BUS: A third option is a bus which takes a little over 9 hours. You can book bus tickets via Bookaway.
BY PLANE: There are a few airlines flying this route direct. Lion Air, City Link, TransNusa and Wings Air. Flying time is a little over 1 hour and 10 minutes. You can check flights with Skyscanner.
BY TRAIN: Listed travel time is 8 hours but it has been known to take up to 10 hours for the Bandung to Yogyakarta train. You can book your tickets on 12go Asia.
BY BUS: It looks like you can travel from Bandung to Yogyakarta by minibus as well. It takes just under 7 hours.
BY FLIGHT: There are multiple flights daily from Bali to Yogyakarta. Airlines including AirAsia, Lion Air and Citylink fly Bali to Yogyakarta. The flight takes about an hour and a half. Private transfers can be booked with Discover Bali Holidays
BY BUS: The bus from Bali to Yogyakarta includes a ferry crossing from North East Bali to Java before continuing onto Yogyakarta The entire trip takes about 11 hrs 30 mins and can be booked through 12Go Asia.
Arriving at Yogyakarta Airport
Yogyakarta Airport is located just 6 kilometres from the city centre near the Prambanan temples complex. Yogyakarta Airport is mainly served by low-cost budget Asian Airlines like AirAsia, Lion Air, Silk Air and Indonesia’s main airline Garuda.
As the airport is located so close to the city a taxi is a great option for getting to your hotel. Alternatively, Trans Jogja is a rapid transit bus system that ferries passengers from the airport to a number of downtown Yogyakarta locations. For more information on the trans rapid system click here
Arriving at Yogyakarta train station
Yogyakarta railway station is more popularly known as Tugu Station. The station lies in the centre of Yogyakarta near the popular Jalan Malioboro street. As the main station in the Region of Yogyakarta, Tugu connects Yogyakarta to other main cities in Java. The station itself is a bit of a tourist attraction having been built in 1887.
Arriving at Yogyakarta Bus Station
Yogya’s main bus terminal is Giwangan,. Giwangan is located 5km southeast of the city centre. To connect to the train station or Yogyakarta city centre take the bus 3B . Buses run from Giwangan to points all over Java, and also to Bali. You guy buy your tickets in the bus terminal.
Do I need a visa for Indonesia?
In order to visit Yogyakarta you will need a visa. Foreigners can apply for this visa upon arrival in Indonesia if their nationality is included on visa-on-arrival 68 countries list. A holder of a Visa on Arrival is given a 30-day stay and can be extended at the Immigration Office for 1 time, in order to have another 30 days stay. If you know you will be staying longer than 30 days in Indonesia you can organize your visa with the Indonesian Embassy in your home country.
Let us help you plan your Indonesian trip
The following articles on our site will help planning your epic trip to Indonesia.
Money in Indonesia
The official National Currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah (Rp). The symbol for the Rupiah is Rp. They come in Rp1,000, Rp2,000, Rp5,000, Rp10,000, Rp20,000, Rp50,000, Rp100,000 banknotes as well as Rp100, Rp200, Rp500, Rp1,000 coins. We always recommend exchanging money at a reputable bank and double-check the amount you are given.
We recommend you join Transferwise multi-currency card for all your travelling money needs. Transferwise is up to 8 times cheaper than banks when it comes to transferring money from one currency to another. Transferwise supports up to 59 different currencies worldwide. You can track your spending on the Transferwise app and withdrawal funds around the world with your Transferwise ATM card. Sign up for Transferwise today
We always say if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. Here at Wyld Family Travel, we recommend Fast Cover Travel Insurance for our fellow Australians and AXA Travel Insurance for the rest of the world
If independent travel is not your thing, a tour might be just what you’re looking for. Transport, accommodation and more are all organised for you on your holiday in Indonesia. We only recommend the best tours by Get Your Guide, Tourradar and Viator.
We hope this helps and inspires a visit to Indonesia for you. You can search for more articles on our Indonesia page. Email us at mark.wyld@wyldfamilytravel if you have any questions or would like help booking a trip to Indonesia.
About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, husband, traveler, and chief destination marketing manager at Wyld Family Travel. Having been to over 35 countries worldwide he knows a thing or 2 about traveling with kids and now traveling with teenagers. He has been writing first-hand, expert travel guides on this website for over 6 years and has featured on numerous other popular well-known websites. When he is not talking, dreaming, or planning travel he can be found working in disability support.