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10 Amazing Things to Do in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Located on Indonesia’s Java island, Yogyakarta, more popularly known as Jogja, boasts rich history and fine arts traditions dating back to ancient times. Here’s a sneak peek into what all this amazing city has in store for you!
Quick Fact
In Indonesia, Yogyakarta enjoys a special status and is known as the “Special Region of Yogyakarta”, owing to it being the center for fine arts and culture and also that for higher education.
Catch the Sunrise at Borobudur Temple!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Borobudur is also one of the largest Buddhist shrines in the world.
With magnificent architecture and tranquil surroundings, this monument will catch you in awe. Climb up the temple platforms right to the top and watch the most amazing sunrise of your lifetime!
Sunsets at Prambanan are Magical too!
Less than an hour’s drive from Yogyakarta is another UNESCO World Heritage Site – the majestic Hindu temple of Prambanan.
With imposing architecture and intricate carvings, it has to be on your Yogyakarta itinerary.
After exploring the shrine, pick a spot in the Prambanan complex to watch the sun go down; it will be one of your best experiences near Yogyakarta.
Catch a Ramayana Ballet Performance!
Not very far from the Prambanan temple is an open-air theater where traditional Ramayana Ballet is performed every night.
With actors dressed in traditional bright costumes and elegant headdresses, fabulous dance moves, and melodious Javanese music, it is indeed the sight to behold!
Explore the Kraton Palace Complex!
Perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in Yogyakarta, Kraton is the royal palace complex that still serves as the residence of the Sultan and his family.
The complex has the museum of Javanese art and culture and an open-air performance area, among other buildings.
Visit the Taman Sari!
Located in the close vicinity of the Kraton Palace is the royal family’s water castle, known as Taman Sari.
The place boasts an elaborate series of swimming pools and exquisite gardens.
The highlight of Taman Sari is its subterranean catacomb, alongside some underground passages and other interesting ruins.
Relax on the Indrayati Beach!
If you are seeking a relaxation amidst the hustle and bustle of Jogja, hit the Indrayati Beach on the southern side of the city.
With golden sand and clear blue waters, this place is very popular among tourists.
The beach is lined by many cafés and restaurants serving good Indonesian cuisine.
Seek Adventure on the Progo River!
If you’re an adventure lover, Yogyakarta has you covered on that front too. The Progo River will enchant you every step of the way with its picturesque surroundings.
Rent a kayak and see the lush riverside flora and fauna from the vantage point of the water. Rafting is also available on the Progo River.
Go Trekking in Kalibiru National Park!
Located in in Kulonprogo, Yogyakarta, the Kalibiru National Park is managed by the local citizens of the area. Trekking is top-notch here!
Previously, Kalibiru was just a dry land due to logging and palm oil clearing. It was later converted into a lush forest by local farmers.
Don’t miss climbing up the high wooden platform that overlooks the mountains and the lush forest beneath.
Take Your Kids to the Gembira Loka Zoo!
Located to the southeast of Jogja, the Gembira Loka Zoo is a haven for nature lovers. Spend a day with your kids here!
In the zoo, there are plenty of reptile and bird species, alongside some indigenous Indonesian animals. Your kids will really enjoy this day out!
Join a Batik Workshop!
Yogyakarta is renowned all over the world for making Batik fabrics via authentic methods. You can not only buy Batik fabrics in the city, but also learn to dye them.
Several Batik workshops are offered in and around the city for locals and tourists alike. The best place to sign up for such a workshop is the area around the Kraton Palace.

 Sucheta Pradhan

Patrick Schöpflin, Camille Bismonte