Yogyakarta is known as the cultural heart of Java, famous for its fine art, batik, silver, dance, music, shadow puppets, temples and Sultan palaces. Below are our recommended things to do while in Yogyakarta:
1. See Ramayana ballet performance at Prambanan temple
Being a UNESCO World Heritage site, both Borobudur and Prambanan Temple is a must visit.
Whereas Borobudur is a the largest Buddhist temple in the world, Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia built in the 8th century dedicated to the three Hindu Gods: Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
A Ramayana ballet performance is held twice a week from 19.00-21.30pm at the open-air stage of Prambanan temple, involving 200 artisans, dancers and gamelan musicians.
2. Catch a sunset at Ratu Boko
Ratu Boko is located 3km away from Prambanan temple. Ratu boko itself is not a temple but a remains of an ancient palace. It is situated atop of a hill ± 195.97 m above sea level. Do come here to catch the sunset behind the stone columns while enjoying the magnificent view of the city.
3. Go underground cave tubing at Goa Pindul
This is a destination for nature enthusiasts. It involves touring a cave through riding a rubber tube down the water channels within the cave itself. On your cave tour, you’ll get to come up close and personal with clusters of bats which reside within the caves, as well as get to examine gorgeous natural stalactite and stalagmite formations. Ticket fees are roughly priced at US $5 per person and this includes your helmet, rubber tube, life vest and rubber shoes plus an experienced cave tour guide who will help you navigate down the cave river. The waters are safe and so gentle, that even children are permitted to join in on this cave tubing experience. We definitely recommend going in the morning at about 9-10am so the water is not too cold, and also to catch some rays of sun filtering through into the cave.
4. Join a batik workshop
Unleash your creative juice by joining a batik workshop. You will learn about the philosophy behind Javanese patterns and bring home a batik of your own creation. A short 3-hour is offered at Rp50,000 per person. Longer classes of 2-day course and 4-6 day course are also available by request. A single participant or a group of participants are welcome.
5. Experience Mount Merapi
With a name that means 'mountain of fire,' it’s no surprise that Mount Merapi is Indonesia’s most active volcano.
It is located 25km away from Yogyakarta. There are some numerous ways to experience Mount Merapi. You can book a 3,5 hours lava tour with jeep to enjoy sunset at the deck or you can embark on adventurous hiking/ sunrise trek which takes about 6 hours climb and 5 hours down the slope. Tours can be booked online by viator or through local tours at the accommodation.
6. Explore the cultural and historical sites of Yogyakarta
Because it’s one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, travelers will find plenty of historic sites tucked between more modern establishments. After stopping by the Keraton, famous Sultan residence, venture to Benteng Vredeburg. The Dutch fort near the Presidential Palace is the perfect place to learn more about the nation’s colonial past. There is also Taman Sari, a water castle nearby. Afterwards, check Imogiri, located just southwest of town. The vast graveyard is the final resting place of numerous royal families and nearby craft villages are the perfect place to pick handmade souvenirs.
7. Go for a shopping spree
Kota Gede is the oldest part of the city that is famous for its silvercraft. Visitors are welcome to see and learn the art of silversmithing. The busiest shopping street in Yogyakarta is Malioboro street where tourists can buy souvenirs, batik and etc. Nearby Malioboro, there is a local wet market called Beringharjo. Both Malioboro and Beringharjo are very crowded area, please take care of your belongings. For ceramic handicrafts, there is a village called Kasongan, located about 8 km to the southwest of the city center of Yogyakarta
8. Rappel down the Jomblang cave
Gunungkidul Regency, Yogyakarta, is known for its wealth of tens of beautiful and exotic beaches. But who would have thought, Gunungkidul also has a lot of caves whose beauty is undeniable. Jomblang Cave, one of the most beautiful cave besides Pindul Cave. This unique cave was caused by a geological shift that created a massive sinkhole that stretches some 300 vertical feet below the surface. Travelers who wish to explore the rocky crags and impressive natural light shows this destination is famous for must navigate a well-worn path using a single rope line, which may prove challenging for some. Not for the faint of heart, visitors must wear coveralls, boots, a helmet and headlamp on their journey into Jomblang. Travelers will find the best time to visit the caves is between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m., when the sun lights paths from above. From here you can also continue your tour to Sedranan beach in Gunungkidul area. Tours can be booked online using viator or at the local tours in your accommodation.
9. Try Yogyakarta's most famous traditional dish : nasi gudeg
If you would like to experience traditional culinary. Nasi gudeg can be served vegetarian, just make sure the chicken and the cow skin are omitted. The vegetarian version of nasi gudeg will consists of rice, gudeg which is basically young jackfruits slow-cooked in a traditional method, braised tofu, coconut gravy and egg.
10. Visit the neighboring city, Solo or Surakarta
Solo ,which is located around 60km from Yogyakarta or 90 minutes drive or 45 minutes by train, is the home for Indonesia Pranic Healing. You are very much welcome to visit and join the regular activities such as meditation and healing service. You can also explore the city attractions:
- Pasar Gedhe, the biggest wet market, marvels at the variety of spices. Try the local dessert called es dawet.
- Pasar Triwindu, antique market selling Javanese decorations.
- Kampung Batik Laweyan, various batik shops in small alleys
- Sukuh and Cetho temple, ancient temple located in the mountain area, 45 minutes from Solo city
Taman Sari Water Castle
Keraton Sultan Residence
Imogiri Royal Cemetery
Kota Gede silver