Welcome to Yogyakarta!
Yogyakarta, this special place that once served as the center of revolution. Jogja, Yogya, Djogja, Yoja or Ngayogyakarta. A city with many names and many visitors. If you ask the locals about the places to visit in Java island, they will definitely mention this one. So check out our TOP 5 Must-See in Yogyakarta to get around this wonderful city!
1. Maliboro Area and Traditional Market
Maliboro is the main area in Yogyakarta. Here you can find everything! Shopping centers, traditional market, street food stalls, interesting monuments, and musicians.
And you won`t miss the Beringharjo Traditional Market, mainly visited for batik and fabric. On the streets, you will find souvenirs to take home with you. This is the very central area, where you can also book some tours, visit tourism information center for any questions and take a bus or train to your next destination.
2. The Palace of Yogyakarta, Alun Alun Park, and Batik School
If you continue your way to the South from Maliboro area you will reach Alun Alun Park with two huge, green trees in the middle of it. Usually, children are playing there and locals sell some snacks. Right across the park, you will see the Palace of Yogyakarta or Kraton Palace that serves as a cultural center with a museum for the Sultan’s artifacts. The entrance fee is 7.000 IDR plus 2.000 IDR photo permit. Local guides offer their services right after you enter the palace, and it might be worthwhile as without the guide the place is not much of interest.
The great thing is that with the same entry ticket you can visit Batik School that is located on the left side of the palace across the street in a small area. Ask the directions at the ticket counter or to any local around. The school is not far, but it’s not that easy to find it. And this is an amazing place to visit as cloth with intricate batik dye is traditional to Indonesia. Here you will be asked to show the ticket and then introduced to the process of the cloth creation and will be able to see many artworks, which can be bought. The smallest piece costs 250.000 IDR till the very biggest artwork for 5.800.000 IDR
3. Taman Sari Water Palace and its complex
Taman Sari or Water Palace as locals call it is a beautiful building complex, consisting of many pools and a small area with street paintings or graffiti and an underground mosque. This palace was built by the Portuguese and is a beautiful place to explore the architecture and take some great photos. The entrance fee is 15.000 IDR and 3.000 photo permit. With the same ticket, you will be able to enter the underground mosque and batik artist area. Ask the locals for the directions, it’s all located in one complex, but there are no direction signs.
4. Gembira Loka Zoo and Pasty Pasar Animal Market
Gembira Loka Zoo is located in Yogyakarta city and is really worth visiting. The entrance fee is 30.000 IDR in weekdays and 35.000 IDR during the weekends. Even if at first the Zoo seems small, further on many trails can be found and so many animals can be seen! Yeah, of course, when talking about developing countries you should remember that there will be some animals that could be taken care of better, e.g. sheep in this case. They are not sheared therefore running around in their dirty coats in this unbearable heat. But other than that there are an orangutan, turtles, elephants, tiger, different reptiles and many more exotic animals to get to know. And the best is definitely the bird house where so many various sorts of birds are flying and walking around without any cage. You will find food stalls, fish SPA, Zoo train, and activities for kids here as well. Some for an additional cost.
Even if not related to animals, there is a place not that far from the Zoo that you might be interested to visit if you are already here. And the name of it is XT Square where a couple of interesting museums and good places for food are located. E.g., there is a “Selfie Gallery” – after paying 15.000 IDR you will be able to explore the area with special monuments and paintings meant for interesting pictures!
But let’s get back to the animals. Another place you should visit is Pasar Pasty local animal market. There is no entrance fee as it is a market where locals are selling mainly birds, but also fish and some reptiles can be seen. And again, keep in mind that locals often don’t know how to treat animals – chickens are painted in different colors, rabbits are in their cages without any water. This is that sad part you have to consider when visiting places with animals in Yogyakarta.
5. Bukit Bintang Hill
This hill is located 16 km from the city and we mention it as a great place to see as there is finally something without entrance fee! Moreover, from this hill, you will be able to see lush green fields from the top and Yogyakarta city from far. There are plenty of small cafés with terraces, so just sit, relax and enjoy the view! Bukit Bintang is reachable by public bus – you just need to get to the Wonosari road and there you can catch a bus that takes the direction to the top. The bus ticket costs 10.000 IDR.
EXTRA. Around Yogyakarta.
*Borobudur Temple – the biggest Buddhist temple in the World, built between the 8th and 9th centuries by the ruling Buddhist Cailendra Dynasty. From Yogyakarta reachable by city bus. Entrance fee: 375 IDR
*Prambanan Temple – a UNESCO World heritage site, actually consisting of 240 temples. From Yogyakarta reachable by city bus. Entrance fee: 375 IDR
*Mount Merapi – a volcano that last erupted in 2010 and remains active today. Hiking trails are still closed for visitors, but it is possible to go on a tour with jeeps. Prices may differ by the tour company.
Locals say that if Jakarta is a heart of Java, then Yogyakarta is its soul, and no wonder – there is so much to do in Yogyakarta! Besides all these, do not miss the puppet shows, lively night market, colorful graffiti walls, and yummy street food. Enjoy!