Yogyakarta, one of Indonesia’s oldest cities, lies on the island of Java, where Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, also resides. It offers plentiful historical buildings, monuments and temples worthy of exploration. In this article you will be presented with the top destinations in Yogyakarta.
You will find a blend of modern culture and historic charm in Yogyakarta that has long been a tourist destination from around the world.
One of the best parts of the trip to Yogyakarta is its proximity to two of Indonesia’s most historic and stunning architectural gems: Prambanan Temple and Borobudur Temple.
In addition to those two tourist sites, there are other popular tourist destinations in Yogyakarta and surrounding areas such as Yogyakarta Palace or Kraton Yogyakarta, Malioboro, Beringharjo Market, Kota Gede, Prambanan, Borobudur, Mount Merapi, etc.
Here’s a list of the most popular tourist destinations in Yogyakarta:
Kraton Yogyakarta (formally known as: Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat) is a royal palace complex located in the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This palace is the main place of the Sultan of Yogyakarta and his family. It serves as a cultural center of the Javanese people and contains museums featuring artifacts of the sultanate.
The Yogyakarta Palace was built by Prince Mangkubumi in 1755-1756, several months after the signing of the Giyanti Agreement between Prince Mangkubumi, the Dutch East India Company, and Sunan Pakubuwono III along with his allies. Banyan forests are chosen as the location of the palace because it is located between two rivers that are considered to have good protection from the possibility of flooding.
Jalan Malioboro or Malioboro Street is a major shopping street in Yogyakarta. The name is also used more generally for the neighborhood around the street. The street is the centre of Yogyakarta’s largest tourist district surrounded with many hotels, restaurants, and shops nearby.
The sidewalks on both sides of the street are crowded with small stalls selling goods. In the evenings some of the open-air street side restaurants, called lesehan, operate along the street. Street musicians, painters, and other artists show off their creations on this street.
Pasar Beringharjo or Beringharjo Market is Yogya’s main market, located 800m North of the Keraton. This market has been the center of economic activity for hundreds of years. Beringharjo market area was originally a banyan forest. Shortly after the founding of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace in 1758, this market area was used as a place of economic transaction by the people of Yogyakarta and its surroundings.
The name ‘Beringharjo’ itself is given by Hamengku Buwono IX, meaning that the original area of the banyan tree (bering) is expected to provide prosperity (harjo). Now, tourists find this market as a fun shopping place.
There are many types of goods that can be bought at Beringharjo Market, ranging from batik, traditional Javanese snack, ancient money, children’s and adult clothes, fast food, basic ingredients of traditional herbal medicine, groceries and antiques.
Taman Sari Water Castle is the site of a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. It is located about 2 km south of Kraton, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Built in the mid-18th century, three years after the Giyanti Agreement as a resting place for Sultan Hamengkubuwono I.
The complex consists of about 59 buildings including a mosque, meditation chambers, swimming pools, and a series of 18 water gardens and pavilions surrounded by artificial lakes. The complex was effectively used between 1765–1812.
Today, the area around the Taman Sari castle complex is occupied by a settlement called Kampung Taman with 2,700 residents. The community is known for their batik and traditional painting craft traditions. Also located in this area is the Ngasem Traditional Market (Pasar Ngasem).
Though not quite as large as nearby Borobudur, the ancient Hindu temples that make up the impressive Prambanan are spectacular in their own right. Built by the Mataram Kingdom in Central Java around 860 CE, the first temples here were meant to honor Lord Shiva.
Candi Prambanan or Prambanan Temple complex is divided into three main zones, which include an outer open space, a middle zone housing rows of 224 identical shrines, and an inner zone where eight temples and small shrines dedicated to gods are located.
The distinctive Hindu architecture is enchanting and the structures are in marvellous condition. Since the site is only 30 minutes outside the city, it is an easy day trip.
An 8th-century temple that’s recognized not only as a UNESCO World Heritage site, but also the largest Buddhist structure on earth. Towering stone stupas stretch into the skies and a breathtaking natural backdrop of volcanoes.
Candi Borobudur or Borobudur Temple consists of six square platforms decorated with more than 2,500 relief panels and some 500 Buddha statues, making it one of the most decorated temples on earth. Visitors can hire a guide to explain the life-like graphics that cover the walls of Borobudur, which locals say tell the stories of achieving Nirvana, karma laws, the birth of Buddah and other essential Buddhist teachings.
Actually Borobudur is located in Magelang, Central Java, but many tourists make Yogyakarta as a starting point to get to this temple.
Borobudur Temple is an hour drive in the opposite direction of Prambanan Temple from Yogyakarta. If you get there early in the morning, you’ll experience a misty sunrise like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Gunung Merapi or Mount Merapi (means ‘mountain of fire’) is Indonesia’s most active volcano. Its treacherous peaks, unlikely scenery and steeply graded trails have made it a destination for travellers looking to explore the outdoors and taste some high-altitude adventure.
The most popular time to start climbing is 1 a.m., since the 5:30 a.m. view of sunrise from the mountain’s peak is said to be spectacular. There are also Jeep Tours available from hotels in Yogyakarta to Mount Merapi.
A historic suburb within the city of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Kota Gede was once the capital of Mataram and is home to an ancient mosque that holds the remains of the first sultan, Panembahan Senopati.
Kota Gede is made up of a labyrinth of narrow streets, lined with mosaic-tiled houses that were once home to the upper-class. The neighborhood is also known for being the main hub for the city’s silver industry; Jalan Kemasan is the main street leading into town and this is lined with silver shops.
Also referred to as Plaosan Complex, this is a Buddhist temple site situated around one kilometer from the revered Hindu temple, Prambanan, and around 20 kilometers from Yogyakarta city center.
Plaosan Temple was built in the 9th century. The site spans some 2000 square meters and, rather uniquely, features two main temple structures – the North Plaosan Temple and the South Plaosan Temple, both of which have a number of buildings, stupas, and shrines surrounding them. Each temple shares common features, including a gate, a middle courtyard surrounded by a wall, and a guardian statue known as Dwarapala.
Pantai Parangtritis or Parangtritis Beach is the most famous beach resort in Yogyakarta. Located 27 km south of Jogja City, this beach is easily reached by public transport or private vehicle. Public transport operates until 17:00.
Here you can have fun with the family conquering the beach sand dune with ATV (All-terrain Vechile) as well as down the beach by two-wheeled horse-drawn carriages (called Bendi) in romantic afternoons.
In the afternoon before sunset is the best time to visit this beach. If you have time, you can go up to Gembirawati Cliff behind this beach. From there you can see the entire area of Parangtritis Beach, the south sea, to the horizon.
Well, with all the interesting tourist destinations above, now is the time to move Yogyakarta to the top of your holiday destination list.
|Cheap flights to Yogyakarta|
Adisucipto International Airport (IATA: JOG, ICAO: WAHH) is the main airport in Yogyakarta, located in the Sleman Regency, on the northeast outskirts of the city. There are many flights to Yogyakarta offerred by hundreds of airlines and travel sites.
Below are the cheapest airfare from several cities to Yogyakarta:
- Yogyakarta, The Javas Artistic and Cultural Heart
- Popular Hotels in Yogyakarta
- Things To Do in Yogyakarta
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