What should I do in Jogjakarta

Tips and highlights in Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta (often called "Yogya") is something like that cultural center of the island of Java. Curiously, the city is particularly famous for two sights that are a few kilometers outside the city: the two temples Borobudur and Prambanan.

Yogyakarta itself is definitely bigger and more hectic than expected, but it also has quiet, very cozy corners. In Yogyakarta you will find many exhibitions, a few temples and, above all, many incredibly good restaurants. Yogyakarta is a university city, so the flair of the city is quite young and lively.

In this article, we'll tell you what to expect on a trip to Yogyakarta. We will show you the most beautiful sights and of course leave our personal tips for you.


1. The most beautiful sights and highlights in Yogyakarta

Borobudur temple

One of the main attractions of Yogyakarta is not in the city center at all, but rather far outside. The Borobudur temple comes from the 8th century and is actually that largest Buddhist temple complex the world - madness, right? No wonder that the temple has long been used UNESCO World Heritage Site was appointed.

The Borobudur Temple is a step pyramid with innumerable characteristic bell-shaped stupas. It is nestled in the midst of lush green hills. The landscape is really magical. You can climb the temple: there are nine levels in total.

The largest stupa towers over the top of the temple. From there (but also from below) you have one fabulous look over the jungle. Quite curious: we were asked innumerable times by young Indonesians (mainly school classes) for a photo together at the Borobudur temple.

When is the best time to visit Borobudur Temple?

You can already guess what comes next: Unfortunately, a visit to the Borobudur Temple is not nearly as lonely as some photos suggest. Unfortunately, this now applies to all times of the day. A visit to the Sunrise. The atmosphere is really magical, but unfortunately you have to share the scenery with many others.

We ourselves were at sunset There. The weather didn't mean it well to us, but we found this period to be ideal. There weren't as many people there as expected and the visit is also cheaper than in the morning. (We'll tell you more about this in a moment.) We'd skip lunchtime instead.

Information about visiting the Borobudur temple

Price: 350,000 IDR (at sunrise the price is 475,000 IDR; combined ticket for Borobudur and Prambanan 630,000 IDR)
Opening hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Getting there: It's a good hour's drive from Yogyakarta by car. We would recommend that you either hire a driver or organize a minibus transport (with other people and therefore much cheaper). You can also reach the temple on your own by scooter. We only recommend this if you are practiced (and definitely not in the dark).

Tip # 1: If you find it too difficult to arrange transport on site, you can also book a private tour in advance via GetYourGuide. This already includes the price for the entry ticket.

You can book your tour here:Sunrise or sunset tour

Tip # 2: If the journey early in the morning from Yogyakarta or the return journey after sunset is too difficult for you, then you can also consider staying in the vicinity of Yogyakarta.

Our hotel recommendation near the Borobudur temple: Janur bungalow

Prambanan temple

The second major temple in the Yogyakarta area is the Prambanan Temple. He is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia. Just like Borobudur, the Prambanan Temple is very old: it dates from the 8th century.

The architecture of the temple complex is somewhat reminiscent of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Eight shrines or temples rise up. The main building is almost 50 meters high.

Although the temple is of course very impressive, we have to admit that the Prambanan temple impressed us a little less than Borobudur. But this is only our personal opinion, which certainly not everyone shares. Here, too, we were asked dozens of times by young Indonesians (primarily school classes) to take a photo together.

When is the best time to visit Borobudur Temple?

We ourselves went to the Prambanan Tempe during the day, but would only recommend this time of the day to a limited extent as it was very busy. If you can arrange it, this is it sunset a suitable visiting time.

Information about visiting the Prambanan Temple

Price: 350,000 IDR (at sunrise the price is 475,000 IDR; combined ticket for Borobudur and Prambanan 630,000 IDR)
Opening hours: 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Getting there: You can drive to Prambanan from Yogyakarta in about half an hour. We would recommend that you either hire a driver or organize a minibus transport (with other people and therefore much cheaper). There is also a public bus (number 1A) that runs from Malioboro Street to Prambanan Temple every 20 minutes (IDR 3,600 per person each way). You can also reach the temple with the scooter, but here again our recommendation: Only if you are practiced and not in the dark.

Our tip: If you find it too cumbersome to arrange transport on site, you can, for example, book your private tour in advance via GetYourGuide. The entrance fee is already included in the price of this tour.

You can book your tour here:Sunset tour

Taman Sari (Water Castle)

The moated castle (called Taman Sari in Indonesian) is located in the center of Yogyakarta and is one of the most famous sights. It was built in the 18th century as a spacious garden and Retreat for the Sultan built.

First things first: The photos of the Taman Sari are unfortunately a little misleading. The moated castle is unfortunately not nearly as photogenic and well preserved as one would assume in most corners. Therefore, almost only photos of the famous central one circulate on the Internet turquoise water pool (which you can also see in our picture). In general, the system is getting on in years and has one renovation sorely needed.

The water palace is pretty well attended. If possible, we would recommend you come as early as possible and skip lunchtime.

Information about visiting the Taman Sari

Price: 15,000 IDR
Opening hours: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kraton (The Sultan's Palace of Yogyakarta)

The Sultan's Palace from Yogyakarta (also called Kraton) is just a few minutes' walk from Taman Sari, also in the heart of Yogyakarta's old town. Here, too, the name of the attraction doesn't really do justice: Please don't expect a stately palace complex.

The Kraton is pretty expansive and you get a good insight into the life of a sultan. However, we are of the opinion that you could get a lot more out of the system. We liked the fact that traditional Javanese music is played in the courtyard in the morning. Our conclusion on the Sultan's Palace: You can have seen it, but you don't have to be.

Information about visiting the Kraton

Price: 15,000 IDR (1,000 IDR additional for taking photos)
Opening hours: daily except Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Jalan Malioboro & Pasar Beringharjo

Jalan Malioboro is not exactly a gem, but it is the main shopping street in Yogyakarta. The street is now quite touristy, but it's worth seeing the hustle and bustle here with your own eyes.

Along the Jalan Malioboro is one of Yogyakarta's most famous markets, the Pasar Beringharjo. If you like markets then this is where you should stop by. You can buy batik, but also groceries and spices. The market is open between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

You have to expect that you will be approached by quite a few supposed guides and art dealers along the Japan Malioboro. The best thing to do is to simply refuse in a friendly, but firm manner.

2. Eating and drinking in Yogyakarta: Our tips

Yogyakarta has tons of great cafes and restaurants. You will find the best in two areas in particular: On the one hand, around Backpacker Street Pravirotaman, on the other hand around "Gang1" and "Gang2", two mini-alleys leading from the Jalan Sosrowijayan Run towards the train station.

Via Via Resto & Bakery

The ViaVia is a pretty popular (maybe even a bit hyped) restaurant with a directly connected shop. There is a lovely terrace on the upper floor and a wide variety of Western and Indonesian dishes. The ViaVia also offers cooking and other courses, but unfortunately we have not tested them.

Kesuma restaurant

Here you can enjoy traditional Javanese cuisine in a cozy atmosphere. The French restaurant owner is very accommodating. His wife, an Indonesian, prepares the dishes.


You eat well in Bladok, but it is clearly designed for tourists. There are Indonesian and Western dishes, all of which are medium to higher priced. The ambience is very nice: you can sit outside in the front yard.

3. Our hotel tip for Yogyakarta

The selection of hotels in Yogyakarta is quite large and there are suitable accommodations for every travel budget. We can recommend the Adhisthana Hotel Yogyakarta to you. It's just around the corner from the JalanPravirotaman, in which many restaurants are located.

The rooms at the Adhisthana Hotel Yogyakarta are laid out around a lovely pool. Depending on the room category, the rooms may be a bit small, but they are tastefully decorated. The breakfast area and the lobby are also very comfortable. All in all: Great value for money.

You can book the hotel here:Adhisthana Hotel Yogyakarta

4. More tips for Yogyakarta

Safety in Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is no more unsafe than other larger cities in Indonesia. Apart from the usual petty crime (pickpocketing etc.) Yogyakarta is very safe and we never felt uncomfortable.

You have to be careful mainly "Wrong" guides, that is, to those people who chat to you in the middle of the street and want to recommend a great art exhibition that is only open today (which is, of course, absolute nonsense). It would be best if you simply declined the offer in a friendly but firm manner.

Transportation within Yogyakarta

Many destinations in Yogyakarta are within walking distance. To get from A to B, however, you can also get one Bicycle rickshaw take, called becak. There are plenty of them in Yogyakarta and you can find them on almost every street corner. The price for a ride is between 20,000 and 30,000 IDR.

Our tip: travel guide for Indonesia

Even if you can now find so much travel information on the Internet, we never travel without a printed travel guide. We really like the Stefan Loose travel guides for Asia. The one from Indonesia is no exception.

The guide has accompanied us to Indonesia several times. It's well researched and, as usual from Loose, very detailed. We have a clear recommendation for this travel guide.

You can buy the travel guide here:Stefan Loose Indonesia

Transparency: Affiliate Links

This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something via the links, we receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. Many thanks from both of us!

Have you already been to Yogyakarta and maybe you have more tips? Or are you planning a trip to Indonesia or Yogyakarta and still have questions? We look forward to your comment!