Best of Yogyakarta-4 Ways !
If you’re planning to visit Yogyakarta, you’ll know immediately that it is a city of everything! There’s just so many things to do, and you’ll get to experience many different dimensions of the city – depending on what you like. Culinary destinations, art and culture, even dynamic outdoors life.
Making the most of a city can be tough without the right planning. Even with the best planning you can still miss some of the highlights. To help you make the most of Yogyakarta, our intern, Dea – a purebred Yogyakartan – created this highlight of Yogyakarta in four different ways that you can enjoy the city. From the must-do city tour that covers all, up to the adventurous side of Yogyakarta for you adrenaline-seekers out there!
Let's check them out:
The Must-Do City Tour
The best tourist attractions in and around Yogyakarta start early and end late, so our recommendation is to take it easy for your first day in the city. There are plenty of things that you can do to fill your day. For a starter, head to the Keraton or the Royal Palace. Although it is a province, Yogyakarta is actually ruled by a king, called Sri Sultan and the Keraton is his palace. Unique for Yogyakarta, Sri Sultan is both the sultan and the governor of the province. You can take a guided tour of the palace. It’s not very big and the tour doesn’t last more than 30 minutes, but it gives a concise insight into the culture of Yogyakarta.
After the tour around keraton, you can walk for about 20 minutes to the nearby Taman Sari or the Royal Spring Water Palace. This spring water palace is a series of pavilions and pools built around several natural springs. In the old days, it is where the royals go to take luxurious shower. It’s beautiful, which is probably why it’s listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Visiting the Keraton and Taman Sari will take at least half a day.
If you’re interested to learn more of the culture, you can spend some time walking and exploring the backstreets and alleyways of the old city. All the small alleyways near the keraton and Taman Sari have their own charms. You can also find several batik makers and painters.
Should time permits, don’t forget to visit and stroll around the famous Malioboro Street, where all the shopping begins.
Art History and Architecture
Nope, we’re not talking about Borobubur Temple or Prambanan Temple here, because we’re quite sure that many of you know about them. So, to get a dose of art history and architecture, we recommend two different places you should not missed.
Fort Vredeburg was established in 1760, during the colonial period. Back then, the Dutch governor of North Java coast Nicolaas Harting asked for a fort to be built in Yogyakarta. The barracks was built on a plot provided by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, and the first fort was a simple wooden fort with four bastions. Until today, Fort Vredeburg is very well-maintained, and contained a large piece of Yogyakarta’s and Indonesia’s history. Take the time to observe its architectural structure, as well as the story behind.
If you have time to visit Kaliurang – approximately 30km to the north of the city, do visit Stonehenge Kaliurang or Stonehenge Merapi. Yes, it is modeled on the real Stonehenge in the UK, but it has an entirely different history. The stones in this Stonehenge was from the eruption of mount Merapi, at Petung village. Since there were many visitors who came to the destructed village, the locals decided to try and build a tourist attraction there. They arranged the stones vertically, and they made it similarly to the original Stonehenge. This place located in Kepuharjo, Kaliurang, Near from Merapi Mountain.
Sports and high-energy activities
It's no secret that Indonesia is a wealth of natural reserves - Kalibiru is one of them. Located approximately 30km to the east of the city, it is beautiful and spectacular for a tracking trip. Also, be sure to check out lake Sermo which is shaped like a dinosaur. There are 3 tree stage spots for photo opportunities along the way too, At each spot there is a fee of IDR 10.000 to get up to the tree stage spot for photos. Of course you can take pictures elsewhere and skip these fees, but those tree stage spots are definitely something to remember.
After Kalibiru, you could head to nearest Kalibiru, a new tourist destination in the Purwosari Village, Girimulyono District, Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta. This tourist destination is called "Ayunan Langit Watu Jaran" or Watu Jaran Sky Swing. However, this is not a regular swing that you can find in the city park. This swing can make your heart pounds really fast, because this swing is located at an altitude of 800 meters above sea level. So on the edge of the cliff as high as 800 meters, there is a 10 meter pile stake that connects with a swing. The position of the swing is above the cliff.
Though swinging above a cliff, the security of swing is assured. The management of Watu Jaran Sky Swing has received guidance from SAR Yogyakarta. For safety, there is technical guidance from SAR Yogyakarta. So rest assured, you are in good hands.
If you have more time, you can try hiking to a reachable mountain top of 700m in Yogyakarta, not too far from the city, called mount Purba.It takes just 30 minutes to go the top of mountain, and the view that awaits is worth the climb
Shopping and Souvenir Market
And last but not least, of course shopping time will always be a not-to-miss activity while traveling. Around Yogyakarta, you can find a one-stop-souvenir-shopping centers, so you can save time. The first one you can go to is “Hamzah Batik”, that is located in the city center, at Malioboro Street. Here you can find many unique and awesome souvenir from both Yogyakarta and other regions in Indonesia.
After that, you can head directly to a local batik market, called Bringharjo Market. The market is located near Malioboro street, and you can find any Indonesian local fashion and batik there.. And if you want something different, you can head over to Kotagede to check out the silver jewelery center. There you can also see the workshop and witness how the fine jewelleries take shape.