Situated on the island of Java in Indonesia, Yogyakarta, fondly called Jogja by the locals, is the soul of the island. It is a cultural hub that is renowned for its history, traditions and art, and is also a great place for tourists from all over the world to get a taste of the Javanese lifestyle. While there are numerous day trips in the region, there also plenty of fantastic things to do in Yogyakarta without having to go too far.
5 Best Things To Do In Yogyakarta For All
Take a look at some of the best Yogyakarta things to do to give you an unforgettable experience during your stay.
1. See The Sunrise From Borobudur Temple
One of the first things to do when in Yogyakarta is to wake up early, and drive to the central part of java to witness the most beautiful sunrise in Borobudur Temple. Nothing beats seeing the sunrise from this famous temple which also happens to be the largest Buddhist temple in the world built dating back to 9th century. As the sun makes its way across the pale sky from the east horizon, you will see the light hit the intricate carvings on the temple, creating a mystical effect which is not to be missed.
Highlights: Gupta architecture that reflects India’s influence on the region, and 504 Buddha statues
Location: Jl. Badrawati, Kw. Candi Borobudur, Borobudur, Magelang, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
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2. Watch The Sunset From Prambanan Temple
Less than a one-hour drive from Yogyakarta, you will get to see Indonesia’s most beautiful Hindu temple – Prambanan Temple. Also known as Rara Jonggrang Temple, it was discovered by the Dutch in the 10th century. Dedicated to Lord Shiva Mahadeva, Prambanan Temple is characterized by its tall, and pointed architecture wherein the central building measures 47-meters high inside a large complex of individual temples. The walls of each temple are sculptured with intricate and interesting details after exploring which, one can relax and watch the sun go down in Prambanan Temple that is one of the best things to do in Yogyakarta.
Highlights: Relics that illustrate the Ramayana, three temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma and the animals that serve them
Location: Kranggan, Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
3. Witness The Fascinating Ramayana Ballet Show
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After watching the sun set in Prambanan Temple, catch the Ramayana Ballet Show to make it a complete experience. The show is performed in an outdoor theater stage within easy reach of the temple. With the lighted Prambanan Temple under the night sky as a backdrop, it is a picture-perfect sight that you will be in awe of. To complete the ballet experience, a traditional ensemble of Javanese music called the Orchestra of Gamelan accompanies the performance. The actors are clad in bright and bold costumes to add drama and flair to the ballet, making it a fabulous visual treat. Do not miss out on watching the dramatic performance of the Ramayana epic and a traditional Indonesian ballet that happens to be one of the most unforgettable things to do in Yogyakarta at night.
Highlights: Bright bold costumes, and a stunning backdrop with the Prambanan Temple
Location: Jl. Brigjen Katamso, Mergangsan, Keparakan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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4. Visit The Sultan Palace And Water Castle
One of the top things to do in Yogyakarta is visiting the Sultan Palace. The province of Yogyakarta is ruled by the Sultan himself as governor. The Kraton or Palace was built in 1757 and still serves as the royal family’s home to this day. It is a magnificent structure that displays an authentic form of old Javanese architecture and culture. The halls and floors are intricately designed, the ceilings painted bright gold – a classic example of luxurious Javanese architectural style. Another one of the most popular Yogyakarta activities is visiting the Water Castle, which is also known as Taman Sari and is located just a few steps away from the Palace. Explore a large subterranean mosque, interesting ruins, and underground passages too.
Highlights: Collection of the Sultan’s belongings, authentic Javanese architecture, and subterranean mosque inside the Water Castle
Location: Jalan Rotowijayan Blok No. 1, Panembahan, Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia
5. Shopping In Malioboro
If you want to go shopping in Yogyakarta, the best place is Malioboro. Located in the heart of the city, this is where you can get almost everything at a steal. Malioboro is a great place to shop for souvenirs and gift items to take home. The best way to explore the bustling shopping streets of this area is by walking. Go at a leisurely pace to truly immerse yourself in the exciting atmosphere. It might get a little crowded, but if you are looking to shop on a budget, there is no place better than Malioboro. You will definitely love the countless little shops – some of which sell the most curious things!
Highlights: Shops that sell amazing souvenirs at affordable prices
Location: Jl. Malioboro, Sosromenduran, Gedong Tengen, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Cannot wait to experience these best things to do in Yogyakarta? Get going to spend a quiet, relaxed, and laidback vacation in the heart of Java Island. And to make the most of it, book one of the tailor-made Bali tour packages with TravelTriangle.
Further Read: A Tour Guide To The Java Island in Indonesia
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