Yogyakarta is a special destination in Indonesia and is one of the foremost cultural centres of the country. The city is the home to the classical Javanese culture and is renowned for its batik, ballet, music, drama, puppetry, poetry and amazing architecture. Today, the town is a hub of art and education, offers some good shopping, temples, heritage and archaeological sites as well as a wide range of adventure sports and outdoor activities.
The best way to get a true taste of this exotic landscape is to indulge in some of the best things to do in Yogyakarta which include taking tours of famous locations such as Prambanan Temple,Water Castle, Merapi Volcano, Tugu Monument and Ullen Sentalu Museum. Other top things to do in Yogyakarta include temple tours of Sewu Temple, Sambisari Temple, tasting Gudeg which is the most famous delicacy in Yogyakarta, venture out to the serene Borobudur or catch a glimpse of Ratu Boko, Plaosan Temple and Kota Gede. The city also offers attractions that are going to keep you amused and entertained like Indonesian Airforce Museum, Affandi Museum, Gembira Loka Zoo and the Taman Pintar Science Park. All the attractions and sights, when combined with the serene and tranquil environment of Yogyakarta, makes it a perfect escape and a peaceful getaway from the bustling, monotonous city life.
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What to Do in and around Yogyakarta
Enjoy 17 best Yogyakarta attractions and points of interest to choose from!
#1 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 8190 times in trip plans
Jl Raya Jogya - Solo Km 16 Prambanan, Sleman, Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia
06:00 am - 05:00 pm
A 9th century Hindu temple complex in Central Java , the Prambanan temple is a UNESCO world heritage site and is largest Hindu temple sites in Indonesia and is one of the biggest in Southeast Asia. Dedicated to the Trimurti – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh; it is located at a distance of 17 kilometres from the city of Yogyakarta.
The structure is characterised by its tall and pointed architecture with the central building towering 47 metres in height, the Prambanan temple attracts visitors from all over the world.
3 Trimurti temples
3 Vahana temples
2 Apit temples
4 Kelir temples
4 Patok temples
224 Pervara temples
The temple complex is pretty huge and requires an entire day or sometime even more to be explored. The Prambanan district has accommodations, restaurants and visitors can either plan a day trip to the complex or extend their stay in the complex area.
#2 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 7134 times in trip plans
Jl. Taman, Kraton, Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia
08:00 am - 02:00 pm
Taman Sari also known as Tamansari Water Castle is a site of a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta built by portugese's invisible hand in 18th century. It is located about 2 km south within the grounds of the Kraton Yogyakarta. The Taman Sari had multiple functions, such as a resting area, a workshop, a meditation area, a defense area, and a hiding place.
It has a big pool inside and high tower at the north and south. Arch windows set on the wall of the tower. There are 2 big teakwood doors, at the west and east, both exits to Tamansari Kampong. In the past, the bath building is surrounded by beautiful wide scale park, being a favorite place for royal family to get a walk in morning and evening. Actually, the bath is one of the buildings on the complex; you also find a retreat place for Sultan and royal family near the water castle.
In the north of water castle, there are several buildings: Pulau Cemeti (Cemeti Island), Sumur Gumuling (Gumuling Well) and tens of secret tunnels. You can see Pulau Cemeti if you walk to the south of Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Market). By stepped chairs, you can see landscape of the city at the top of the building. It used to scout enemy. Sumur Gumuling is a circular building, it has circular chair inside, like a well. It has 6 arch voids. The yellow sunlight comes to the open skylight; it's beautiful in the morning. Historian says, Sumur Gumuling also used to be a mosque, but identified by scientist, it also been a big water catchment well to protect the complex from flood.
The remaining mysteries are tens of secret tunnels, the point of the tunnel find near Sumur Gumuling, it has no end journey inside. People say some men tried to solve the mystery several years ago, but they have disappeared after enter the tunnel. In the past, the tunnel used to escape by royal family, to the south. At the surface, the Tamansari looks like a wide park, but in the lower ground looks like a strong underground fortress with complex circulation. Tamansari was built in the Sultan Hamengku Buwono I era by Raden Ronggo Prawirosentiko, the regent of Madiun Regency as the architect and Demang Tegis, a Portuguese man as the constructor. So, probably this Portuguese man gave his touch to the design.
The Tamansari Water Castle is stunning to look at. In order to see this famed beauty, you will have to book tickets for Tamansari Water Castle. They are easily available for you with our guided tours section. Tamansari Water Castle ticket prices are difficult to procure otherwise as you can find huge crowds. With our tours, you will not only get tickets for Tamansari Water Castle, but also a guide to tell you about the place better. Tamansari Water Castle Tickets is your gateway to know the city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia better.
#3 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 5534 times in trip plans
Central Java, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Mount Merapi, which is situated within a straight line which also connects the Palace of Yogyakarta and the Indian Ocean, holds an important role in Javanese society. The three places are believed to be a cosmologic trinity; all of them are closely connected to each others. Merapi is believed to symbolize fire, Indian Ocean to symbolize water, while the Palace is the balance between the two.
Literally "Mountain of Fire", Mount Merapi is the most active volcano in all Indonesia and it has erupted at least 68 times since 1548. The volcano is thought to be largely responsible for the downfall of the Hindu Mataram kingdom in 1006 and the desertion of the huge temple complex at nearby Prambanan.
Hiking to this mountain and observing the sunrise form the top is a once in a lifetime experience.
#4 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 2878 times in trip plans
Jl. Candi Plaosan, Kec. Prambanan, Kab. Klaten, Jawa Tengah 57454, Indonesia
09:00 am - 05:00 pm
Located about a kilometre away from the Prambanan temple complex, the Plaosan temple is spread over an area of 2000 square meters at an elevation of 148 metres above sea level. Surrounded by verdant paddy fields of banana and corn, the Dengok River provides ample water to the vegetation adding to the allure of the sight.
It was built in mid-9th century by Sri Kahulunnan or Pramodhawardhani; the complex is an ensemble of Plaosan Lor and Plaosan Kidul bifurcated by a road.
174 small buildings (116 stupas and 58 shrines)
Dwarpala- the giant guardian in front of the temple
#5 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 5361 times in trip plans
Kota Gede is a silent witness of the rise of the Islamic Mataram Kingdom that ruled almost the entire Java. The cemetery of Islamic Mataram Kingdom forefathers, the fort's ruins, and the other historical remains can be found in Kotagede.
A former capital and then reconstructed by different rulers the renovation made it huge and was hence named as ‘Kota Gede’ which means ‘Big city’ in the local language.
There are uncountable historical remains of the Javanese and Islamic dynasty and some of them are:
Kota Gede Mosque- traditional house with Javanese architecture
Village and traditional house
Pasar Kota gede- a traditional market
The kingdom forefathers' graveyard- the graveyard area of the Islamic Mataram kingdom
Kota Gede Mosque
Kedhaton- the royal palace
A tour here is like a tour through the timeline of Yogyakarta’s royal heritage!
#6 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 781 times in trip plans
10:00 am - 03:00 pm
Imogiri also known as Imagiri is a royal graveyard complex in Yogyakarta, in south-central Java, Indonesia, as well as a modern village located near the graveyard in Bantul Regency. Imogiri is a traditional resting place for the royalty of central Java, including many rulers of the Sultanate of Mataram and of the current houses of Surakarta and Yogyakarta Sultanate. The name Imagiri is derived from Sanskrit Himagiri, which means 'mountain of snow'. The latter is another name for Himalaya.
Among the site's most prominent graves are those of early Mataram ruler Sultan Agung, and Sultan of Yogyakarta Hamengkubuwono IX, a leader during Indonesia's war for independence. The most recent is that of Pakubuwana XII of Surakarta who was buried in 2004.
The huge graveyard is parted into three main areas:
The Top section is named 'Prabayasa.'
Middle section is named 'Kemangdhungan.'
Entrance yard is called 'Srimanganti.'
With extensive renovation by various rulers and the burial of royal families by hierarchy, this tomb holds a special place in Indonesian heritage.
#7 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 6483 times in trip plans
06:00 am - 08:00 pm
Tugu Jogja is the most popular landmark of Yogyakarta. This monument is located right in the center of the crossroad between the Mangkubumi, Soedirman, and A.M. Sangaji and Diponegoro roads. The Tugu Jogja that is almost 3 centuries old has a very deep meaning and it keeps some history records of Yogyakarta.
Tugu Jogja was built around one year after the construction of Yogyakarta Kingdom. At the early time of its construction, it clearly described the philosophy of the unity of God's creatures that means the spirit of togetherness of lay people and authorities to fight colonials. In Javanese term, the spirit of togetherness is called golong gilig that is clearly described in the construction of the monument: the pole is of gilig (cylinder) form and the top part is golong (rounded). This monument was known as Tugu Golong-Gilig.
In details, the monument was originally constructed in the form of a cylindrical pole with conical form upwards. The base is an encircling fence while the top is rounded. The preliminary height of the monument was 25 meters. The earthquake in 1867 destroyed the monument and it was renovated by the Dutch government in 1889. The top portion is no longer rounded but a pointed cone. The height of the monument is also lower, namely 15 meters. Since then, this monument was also called as De Witt Paal orTugu Pal Putih (white pole monument). The monument has the names of its renovators engraved on its each side.
Being so identical of the Tugu Jogja to Yogyakarta makes many university students from outside of Yogyakarta to express their happiness after the graduation day by hugging and kissing the Tugu Jogja. That may also express their love to Yogyakarta that they will about to leave soon and at the same time say their promise to return to this city.
#8 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 6957 times in trip plans
Jl. Malioboro, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55271, Indonesia
12:01 am - 12:00 am
A great place for shopaholics, Jalan Malioboro or Molioboro Street is well-known as a shopper’s paradise in Yogyakarta. Lying around the north-south axis in line with Yogyakarta Kraton and Mount Merapi, it is an important tourist centre dotted with hotels, restaurants and stores. The sidewalks are flooded with small stalls offering budget goodies.
Several open-air street food joints known as lesehan sprung up in the evenings selling yummy preparations of local food. Street musicians, painters exhibit their art on this street and add to the vibrancy of the area.
#9 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 4444 times in trip plans
Jl. Boyong Km 25, Kaliurang Barat, Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia
08:30 am - 04:00 pm
A museum dedicated to Javanese culture and art, the Ullen Sentalu museum displays a collection of relics and artefacts from royal houses and kratons of Java province (Yogyakarta, Pakualam, Surakarta, Mangkunegaran). This private museum was initiated by Haryono family and is now managed by Ulating Blencong foundation.
#10 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 5613 times in trip plans
Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia
06:00 am - 05:00 pm
The Ratu Boko Palace ruins are the remains of the 8th century golden age of the Javanese kingdoms. Overlooking the magnificent Prambanan temples and the Mount Merapi, Ratu Boko is located at a distance of 17 kilometres from Yogyakarta city centre. A perfect blend of Hindu and Buddhist architecture, the site is named after the legendary King Boko of the famous folklore of Roro Jonggrang. This folklore also links Ratu Boko with the Prambanan temples, Sewu temples and thousand temples in Yogyakarta.
Surrounded by fascinating myths and folk tales, the complex has been a point of interest for historians and archaeologists. The inscriptions date back to 792 AD and reveal some of the hidden mysteries of the site.
Spread over an area of 250,000 square metres, the complex is divided into four major parts.
Central section- main gates, a crematorium temple, a pool, a stone pedestal and the paseban (or audience hall)
Southeast section- the pendopo (attached open veranda which serves as an audience hall), balai-balai (public hall or building), three temples, a pool and a harem complex, well with Amerta Mantana
East side- cave complex, Buddha Stupa, pool
Presenting a perfect blend of Buddhist and Hindu style of interiors, fantastic view and so much history makes this place worth visiting!
#11 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 4952 times in trip plans
Jl. Raya Yogya - Solo, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia
06:00 am - 05:00 pm
Located on close proximity of Prambanan temple, this is the second largest Buddhist temple complex in Java. Dating back to 8th century, the temple complex is said to be built at the end of Rakai Panangkaran’s administration- a popular king from the old Mataram kingdom.
The complex is a Mandala which manifests the universe in the central temple of Mahadev and is surrounded by four rings of 250 small temples dedicated to different deities. The main temple comprises of 5 rooms and the structure has 9 roofs, each of them forming a stupa on the top. The complex served as a centre for religious activities in the past and was probably called as Manjusri Griha- the house of Manjusri; a Boddhisatva.
Eclectic architecture, mystic charm and air of spirituality make Sewu temple a treat to visit!
#12 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 2234 times in trip plans
Jl. Brigjen Katamso, Purawisata, Yogyakarta 55152, Indonesia
07:30 pm - 10:00 pm
This is an art performance uniting Javanese dance, arts, drama, and music on one stage to present the Hindu epic Ramayana. With an amazing presentation of this grand story, the show is a must-watch for the dance movements, gamelan music, enthralling backdrop and special prop acts.
#13 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 2314 times in trip plans
Jl. Panembahan Senopati 1-3, Yogyakarta, Indonesia 55122
09:00 am - 04:00 pm
A tourism project developed specially for the kids, the Taman Pintar Science Park focuses on the spirit of expression, appreciation and creation among kids. The centre strives for the scientific education of kids and young generation through imaginations, trails and games.
It works on the principles of Ki Hajar Dewantara- Niteni (to understand), Niroake (to follow) and Nambahi (to improve).
Playground and public area for Talking Pipe, Whispering Parabola, Tree House, Dancing Water, Water Corridor, Pulley System, Moving Bridge, Sand Palace
Heritage building- pre-schoolers
Oval building- environmental introduction and science exhibition, history, science and technology
Square building- exhibition room, audio visual room, food court, and souvenir counter, elementary material and implementing science, library, science laboratory, animation and TV, and courses class.
#14 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 3061 times in trip plans
Jalan Pabringan, Pasar Beringharjo, Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55122, Indonesia
07:30 am - 04:00 pm
An inseparable part of the Kraton, the Beringharjo is the oldest market of Yogyakarta. It has immense historical and philosophical importance. The word Beringharjo literally means banyan tree forest which is believed as the good luck charm by locals.
Great variety of batik, traditional snacks, ancient money, child and adult clothing, fast food, the basic ingredients of traditional herbal medicine, groceries and antique are available.
#15 of 17 Things to do in Yogyakarta | Added 295 times in trip plans
Jalan Kebun Raya No.2, Kotagede, Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55171, Indonesia
07:30 am - 05:30 pm
A zoological garden opened in 1956, the Gembira Loka Zoo comprises botanical garden, orchid nursery, artificial lake, children’s park and numerous bridges across the Gajahwong River. The zoo boasts a collection of approximately 470 animals including Komodo dragons, orang-utans, gibbons and a hippopotamus. Spread over 54 acres area, the zoo is a must-visit for family and kids!