Yogyakarta 3 Days Itinerary

Yogyakarta is one of the must-visit place in Java, Indonesia. It is also known as Jogjakarta or Jogja or Yogya (you decide!) by travelers and locals alike. From all the places you must visit in Java, this is the one place you cannot miss.

If you have 3 days to spend in Yogyakarta, your itinerary would definitely include an in-depth tour of this interesting city plus visiting the two famous temples of Borobudur and Prambanan.

Here is our suggested itinerary in Yogyakarta for 3 days.

Day 1 : Yogyakarta city center

It is good to stay near the city center, as it helps for quick access to all the tourist attractions in Yogyakarta. It includes the experience living in a bustling city of Indonesia. If you arrived early in the morning from an overnight train, grab a typical Indonesian breakfast at one of the food mongers spread along Malioboro Street. Also, check out the famous Pasar Beringharjo (market), where you can find souvenirs. Bring out your bargaining skills here!

A lady sells Pecel, traditional cuisine, Beringharjo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
A lady sells Pecel, traditional cuisine which combines some vegetables and served with peanut sauce dressing. Photo by : Manogamo

Without wasting more time, head to the famous Keraton Palace, a well-mainted palace from the days of the Sultans. Here you will find unique architecture and heirlooms of the days of glory. Everyone will be accompanied by a local guide who can speak all kinds of languages, and it is indeed a good experience as it gives you insights into the rich history and culture of Jogja.

Next head on to Taman Sari (Water Castle) which is not far from the palace. Use a back way from the other side of the castle and try to sneak your way in through rundown defense walls and scattered village houses. Once you got in, you will find yourself in mazes of underground water holes, secret chambers and gardens and pools. This castle is a huge complex that used to be a former royal garden of Sultanate of Yogyakarta used for various functions including bathing place.

Bathing pool at Taman Sari, Yogyakarta

Bathing pool at Taman Sari, Yogyakarta

After that, it is time to test your luck. Head to Alun-Alun Kidul (South Square park) in Yogyakarta, where an urban legend has it that anyone who successfully crosses between the two huge banyan trees blindfolded will get what they wish for. The amazing thing is apparently many people failed at this attempt despite the huge gap.

-> Check out Top 10 Things to Do in Yogyakarta

Day 2 : Museums, Gudeg and chill at a cafe

One of the popular museums here in Yogyakarta is the Art museum. It features the works of the Indonesia’s legendary painter Affandi, where he spent most of his life here producing many masterpieces while keeping it away from other painters.

Sneak in a lunch at a long standing establishment Gudeg Yu Djum for possibly the best Indonesian dish ever called Gudeg. This unique Indonesian dish is a stew made from young jackfruit (nangka) with palm sugar, coconut milk, meat, garlic, and spices. The special taste came from the slow melding of flavors and textures to the right perfection.

Gudeg Yu Djum, Yogyakarta

Gudeg Yu Djum, Yogyakarta

After that head to Sonobudoyo Museum,, another museum worth visiting. Do not forget to also watch the special leather puppet show featured here, available every day from 8- 10 pm. It is accompanied by Javanese Gamelan music and language. While waiting for the show, you can take a look at the collection of artefacts and collections of batik, keris, wayang, and antique weapons.

In the evening, return to Alun-alun Kidul park and find the new trend of bling-bling car. They are small cars decorated with bold lightings that will bring you around the city. The price is IDR 15,000 for one loop of the ride. Many locals love to give this attraction a try.

Bling bling car, Alun-alun Kidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Bling-bling car at Alun-Alun Kidul, Yogyakarta, each swith its own different characters. Photo by : Adnan Ali

For dinner, head to a traditional food stall, north of Malioboro street in a small alley, called Angkringan Lik Man. Angkringan is a typical roadside stall in Yogyakarta that you can find in almost every corner of the city. Lik Man is the most special as it has an anti-mainstream coffee to warm up your night, which is coffee served with a flaming charcoal. You must also try the Nasi Kucing and other side dishes here, such as chicken intestines satay, chicken gizzard satay, quail eggs and satay.

-> Check out the Best Places to Stay in Yogyakarta

Day 3  – Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple

Now it is time for our day trip to the two anceient temples of Java, Indonesia. Borobudur temple is located 1-hour drive from yogyakarta and it is well worth the trip. Try to get there early to avoid the crowd, and to enjoy the silent beauty of the place with respect. This 9th-century temple is an Indonesia UNESCO Heritage site and one of the largest Buddhist temple in the world, consisting of six square platforms with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha status. Thousands of Buddhists do their pilgrimage here in Borobudur during Waisak day.

-> Read our Guide to Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple Compounds upclose

Borobudur Temple Compounds upclose

After visiting this temple, you can grab a quick lunch in Borobudur city before heading back to Yogyakarta but with a stop at the next temple – Prambanan Temple.

It is a well known ancient Hindu Temple in Indonesia built during the 9th century for Trimurti as an expression that God is the Creator (Brahma), Preserver (Vishnu) and also the Destroyer (Shiva). It is also one of the Indonesia UNESCO World Heritage Site, being one of the largest Hindu temple architecture in Southeast Asia. At the same time, don’t forget to check out Candi Sewu, located just 15 minutes walk from Prambanan temple. This place is a good respite from the crowds of Prambanan, featuring many hidden structures and carvings for self-exploration. If you are here on the right day, there would be a Ramayana Ballet show, with 200 artists playing a role and dancing to classsical Javanese music. This show does not run every day so check online if you want to catch it. The ticket price starts from IDR 125,000 and the show begins at 19.30.

-> Read our Guide to Prambanan Temple

The Ramayana Ballet, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
When the spotlight makes the show even more beautiful. Photo by Deep Goswami

With that is the end of your full 3 days itinerary in Yogyakarta. There is always something more to explore in Yogyakara if you have the time, there are a lot of cafes to check out in the city and there are a number of options for day trips, such as to Mount Merapi, Gunung Kidul, Jamblang Cave or Mangunan Fruit Garden. Check out our Yogyakarta 5 days / 4 nights Itinerary for the expansion.

Related articles:
Yogyakarta 5 days / 4 nights Itinerary
Itinerary for one week form Jakarta around Java
Top 10 Things to Do in Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta Travel Guide

Top 10 Locals’ Favourite Restaurants in Jakarta

Indonesia has been known well for its thousand kinds of local food. In Jakarta itself, you can find all the food from around Indonesia ranging from street food to restaurants. We locals love to eat out too in search of our own favourite foods. The restaurants here are mainly from Javanese and Balinese influence.

Eating out in Jakarta will definitely delight your palate with sweet and spicy dishes such as turmeric fish, fried duck with green chillies, mixed rice with all sorts of dishes, meat skewers and much more.

Here is a list of the top 10 locals’ favourite restaurants in Jakarta that you should try:

Café Batavia

This restaurant is located in the Kota Tua (Old Town) of Jakarta. Do not be surprised if see more foreigners than Indonesian people here. This restaurant preserved its colonial design and structure since 1837. Enjoy your seating in the classy wooden chairs with your selected local food such as Soto Betawi, Nasi Campur, or their signature Batavia Fried Rice.

Address: Jl. Lada No.14, RT.7/RW.7, Pinangsia, Tamansari, Jakarta Barat 11230

Café Batavia, Pinangsia, Tamansari, Jakarta, Barat
When foreigners and locals are hunting the same kind of cuisine at Cafe Batavia. Photo by Isti

Omah Sendok

Taken out from the Javanese language, Omah Sendok literally means “House of Spoon”. This restaurant used to be a house which has been turned into a restaurant. That is why you will find the authentic home ornaments such as its wooden chairs and tables. There is also a view of the pool while you enjoy your meal. I recommend to try Bandeng Priyayi, a dish made with milkfish with a touch of turmeric inside, covered with eggs on the outside, and served with crunchy crisps on the top.

Address: Jl. Taman MPU Sendok No.45, RT.8/RW.3, Selong, Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan 12190

Bandeng Priyayi, Omah Sendok Baru, Kota, Jakarta, Selatan
The delicious Bandeng Priyayi. Photo by Omah Sendok

Bebek Kaleyo

If you ask the people in Jakarta about the best place to eat duck in Jakarta, they will definitely answer “Bebek Kaleyo!”. This place is especially for those who love spicy meals. The duck which can be a kind of tough meat can be found tenderly cooked here, with the taste of spices perfectly absorbed deep within. The favourite dish here is Bebek Goreng Cabe Hijau (Fried Duck with Green Chili). But if you still cannot live without red chillis, don’t worry as they are always ready on each table.

Address: Jalan Lapangan Roos No.49, RT.4/RW.1, Tebet Timur, Tebet, RT.4/RW.1, Tebet Timur,  Jakarta Selatan 12840

Best place to eat Duck Bebek Kaleyo, Tebet Timur, Jakarta Selatan
Spacious restaurant around Tebet. AC room is available at the corner of this restaurant. Photo by Isti

Smarapura Resto

Balinese food does not have to be enjoyed in Bali. It can be found in this capital city of Jakarta too. Just located not far from Bebek Kaleyo, Smarapura Resto has a homey ambience with a local touch of Bali. There are 4 wooden gazeboes adorned with typical Balinese fabric in its surrounding. The waiter and waitress here also wear a traditional Balinese suit. A famous dish from Bali you must try is Nasi Ayam Betutu. Another good option is Nasi Campur Bali.

Address: Jalan Tebet Timur Dalam II No.43, Tebet, RT.3/RW.3, Tebet Timur, Jakarta Selatan, 12820

Ayam Betutu, a grilled spiced chicken. Photo by Smarapura Resto Tebet

Mbah Jingkrak

From Bali, we move then to Java. Mbah Jingkrak is a restaurant which serves many kinds of Javanese dish with the typical taste of sweeti and spicy. The menu is displayed in the front and you may choose your own favourites here. There is also a live Javanese music called Keroncong every day starting from 7 PM until 9 PM here. Mbah Jingkrak is located in an ancient Javanese concept house. There is also a pool at the corner that contains colourful balls that you can use for your photo background.
Address: Jl. Setiabudi Tengah No.11, RT.1/RW.1, Setia Budi, Setiabudi, Jakarta Selatan 10220

Javanese food at Mbah Jingkrak, Setia Budi, Setiabudi, Jakarta
Mangut, fish spiced up with coconut milk and chili at Mbah Jingkrak. Photo by Andreas Surya

Dapur Solo

This is another Javanese restaurant which specifically serves a variety of dishes from Solo, Central Java. As the other Javanese restaurant, dishes at Dapur Solo comes laden with sweet and spicy. One of the most renowned food from Solo is Nasi Liwet or in Javanese, we call it Sego Liwet. Nasi Liwet is a kind of rice cooked with coconut milk and Indonesian herbs added with shredded chicken, cooked squash, boiled egg, and of course, sambal (chilli sauce).

Javanese restaurant at Dapur Solo, Melawai, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta, Selatan
Nasi Liwet in Javanese Restaurant Dapur Solo. Photo by @dapursolo1988

Address: This restaurant has few branches. One of them is located in Jl. Panglima Polim Raya No.1, RT.3/RW.6, Melawai, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan

Bunga Rampai

For some more Indonesian local cuisine, you should give this A-class restaurant which a Dutch architecture a visit. This restaurant is very popular among the expats around Jakarta. You will find the entire restaurant filled with luxurious furniture and wallpaper. For the food, you can try Nasi Buketan, a big portion of green rice accompanied with meat skewers, sweet fried potato, diced omelette, and chilli sauce.

A classy dutch style restaurant, Bunga Rampai, Menteng Kota, Jakarta, Pusat
Classy Dutch styled Indonesian restaurant, Bunga Rampai. Photo by Isti

Address: Jalan Cik Ditiro No.35, Menteng, RT.10/RW.5, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, 10310

Bebek Bengil

Adopted from The Balinese language which means Dirty Duck, Bebek Bengil has been here in Jakarta since 2009. The first branch is originally located in Ubud, Bali. Their concept is actually to bring the Balinese ambience to this city. The signature dish here is the Crispy Duck served with stir-fried of string bean and bean sprouts. Don’t worry, the chilli sauce has been included in the package.

Address: The Ubud Building, Jl. H. Agus Salim No. 132, RT.1/RW.5, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat 10310

Bebek Bengil, Menteng Kota, Jakarta, Pusat
Get used to the chili sauce just like the locals. Photo by Naotake Murayama

Sate Khas Senayan

This is one of the restaurants that has opened a lot of branches in Jakarta since 1974. Just like its name, Sate, meat skewers, is their main dish here. The decoration is dominantly filled with the Javanese touches such as the Wayang characters framed on each branch. Wayang is a popular puppet-shadow show in Java. If you visit Sate Khas Senayan, you should order Sate Ayam Campur which serves you chicken skewer layered with good fat and served with peanut sauce.

Address: They open so many branches in Jakarta. One of them is in Jl. Salemba Raya No. 59, Kenari Senen, RT.9/RW.5, Paseban, Senen, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10440

Sate Khas, Senayan Paseban, Senen Kota, Jakarta, Pusat
Chicken satay is placed above the compressed rice cakes. Photo by Aulia Masna

Kedai Tiga Nyonya

When we recall in memory of our grandmother’s cooking, we would go to Kedai Tiga Nyonya. Before you even enter the restaurant, you will see a window styled in typical traditional windows of Batavia (the previous name of Jakarta). You will also find some pictures of old generations framed on the wall with a touch of sepia colour. The recommended food from Kedai Tiga Nyonya is Ayam Siao. It is a chicken dish cooked with ketchup and a touch of kluwak (one of the typical herbs which can only be grown in Southeast Asia)

Address: TIS Square Kav. 8-9, Jl Mt Haryono, Tebet, RT.11/RW.5, Tebet Barat, Jakarta Selatan  12810

Kedai Tiga, Nyonya, Tebet Barat, Jakarta, Selatan
Grilled Gurame accompanied with Stir-Fried Swamp Cabbage and Some Sambal. Photo by : Rollan Budi

As previously mentioned, Indonesia has plentiful of local cuisine, so it might not be enough to just visit one restaurant to have a representative of the Indonesian food. So, get your stomach ready and choose what typical local cuisine you prefer. Do not forget to always order sambal, which is really mandatory to accompany any kind of Indonesian food.

Related articles:
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3 days Itinerary in Jakarta

Top 10 Day Trips from Jakarta

Jakarta city may be really fun to visit itself, but if you have enough days, doing some day trips out of Jakarta would just be what you need. There a lot of opportunities to discover new sights or explore a new culture, all within the range of a day from Jakarta.

Our day trips from Jakarta covers from historical sites to tasting Indonesian food to exploring nature, be it mountains or the sea, from must visit tourist attractions to simple but fun local activities.

Here are our recommended day trips from Jakarta for you:

Enjoy Indonesian food in Central Bogor

Located 53 km south of Jakarta, Bogor will offer you with a wide range of Indonesian food. Recently, many new cafes and restaurants are mushrooming on the narrow streets of Bogor. Drop by the area of Taman Kencana, Central Bogor where you can find a row of great restaurants lined up along in one alley. There is a famous Kedai Kita restaurant which people go for their famed BBQ Grilled Pizza (Pizza Bakar BBQ). After that, don’t forget to get delicious desserts at Death by Chocolate or Klapertaart Huis.

How to get there: Take the train to Bogor station then you can take the public minivan (angkot). Pay IDR 4,000 and get off in Taman Kencana.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Bogor
-> Read our Day trip from Jakarta – Bogor’s Botanical Garden, Cimory and Taman Safari

Grilled Pizza, Kedai Kita, Bogor, Jakarta, Indonesia
Grilled Pizza, the Signature Dish at Kedai Kita Bogor. Photo by Angels

Visit The Historical Sites in Cirebon

Another place in the West Java you have to visit is Cirebon. Cirebon offers you the richness of their culture and history. Visit Kasepuhan Cirebon Palace to see the relics from the Islamic Kingdom in Cirebon.

Also, satisfy your cravings by having a bowl of Empal Gentong which you can easily find around this city. Also before heading back to Jakarta, buuy some colourful Batik patterns in Trusmi Batik Village as souvenirs.

How to get there: You can take a car or simply take the train and have three hours journey from Jakarta. There are Cirebon Express and Argo Jati. Both are departing from Gambir Station. The ticket is only IDR 85,000.

-> Check out our One Day Trip to Cirebon from Jakarta guide

Kasepuhan Cirebon Palace, Keraton, Jakarta, Indonesia
Kasepuhan Palace in Cirebon

Shop and get around in Bandung

This city is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to visit in Java. Especially with the number of restaurant, café, factory outlet, and boutique that are growing rapidly in Bandung nowadays. Stroll along Jalan Riau where most of the boutiques are located. After that, head to Jalan Braga and Jalan Asia Afrika to dwell in old city ambience. Alternatively, get closer to nature with Bandung’s tourist attractions such as Situ Patenggang Lake, Tangkuban Perahu, and Keraton Cliff (Tebing Keraton).

How to get there: So many bus options can take you to Bandung. If you want to sit more comfortable and private, you may choose to use elf. The price is considered to be still affordable with around IDR 90,000-IDR 100,000.

-> Read our Travel Guide to Bandung, Java
-> Check out Top 10 Things to Do and Must See in Bandung
-> Don’t miss out Top 10 Best Food to Eat in Bandung

Tebing Keraton, Bandung, Jakarta, Indonesia
Great Morning View from Tebing Keraton at Bandung. Photo by Isti

Find beautiful beaches in Banten

Banten is another area that is easy to reach, with approximately 3 hours drive from Jakarta. Since Banten is located in the lowlands, there are several beaches you can visit. Our favourites are the Sawarna Beach, Tanjung Lesung Beach, and Sangiang Island. After getting your skin tanned at the beach, you can move on to learn some history in Old Banten (Banten Lama). Here, visit the Keraton Kaibon which was built in 1815 and then destroyed by the Dutch in 1832.

How to get there: Take a bus going to Merak or Cilegon, Jakarta to Serang from only IDR 28,000 (as of 2017).

The Ruins of Keraton Kaibon, Banten, Jakarta, Indonesia
The ruins of Keraton Kaibon in Banten. Photo by Isti

Dive and snorkel at Thousand Island

Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu) does not literally consist of thousand of islands, it has approximately 342 islands. One of the most visited islands here is Pulau Harapan, which 4 hours away by ship from Jakarta. People say this island has the best snorkeling spot in Thousand Island. If you find snorkeling is not enough, then you have to explore more by diving deep under where you will find underwater paradise. You can also visit turtles in a sanctuary in Pulau Kelapa Dua and eagle care in Pulau Klotok.

How to get there: You can depart from Muara Angke by paying IDR 50,000 only or from Marina Ancol using a more luxurious boat with a more expensive ticket.

Pulau Harapan, Pulau Seribum Thousand Islands, Indonesia
Pulau Harapan of Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu). Photo by B10m

Explore the unique Baduy Tribe

Baduy is located in Lebak Regency. This tribe decided to live without electricity or any vehicles. They also do not use shampoo or soap. They chose to stay by these rules and not follow any form of modernity. Baduy is divided into two area, Inner Baduy (Baduy Dalam) and Outer Baduy (Baduy Luar). If you want to experience this unique way of living without modernity, then you should take a look to Baduy Dalam. Baduy Luar is the gateway to Baduy Dalam.

How to get there: You can take the train to Rangkasbitung from Jakarta’s Tanah Abang station. Then transit at Aweh Terminal and continue your journey to Ciboleger Terminal, the entrance gate to Baduy Tribe

Traditional House, Sulah Nyanda, Baduy, Lebak Regency, Jakarta, Indonesia
Traditional House, Sulah Nyanda in Baduy. Photo by Hendry Sudarman

Take amazing photos at Gunung Pancar

Gunung Pancar is an area surrounded by pine trees in Sentul, West Java. You can also camp and enjoy your leisure time by hammocking here. If you venture further into the national park, you will find spring water which is one of the source of clean drinking water for the local people.

How to get there: It takes only two hours drive from Jakarta city. Use Jagorawi toll road and exit in South Sentul. A direction map will take you easily to reach Gunung Pancar.

Tall Pine trees in Sentul, West Java, Indonesia
Pine trees of Gunung Pancar, West Java. Photo by Isti

Head up to Puncak (The Peak) for tea plantations or paragliding

Puncak might be the destination where most of the local people go on the weekend. Therefore, a tip is to know when the one-way road system is conducted. Usually, starting from 09.00-11.30, it will be only one-way direction up to Puncak while the one way down back to Jakarta is from 15.00-17.00. Enjoy the vast view of tea plantations or visit the strawberry garden at Berry Farm. For those who like a more challenging experience, try paragliding here!

How to get there: It will be simple to take a car. Use a long toll road and exit in Ciawi.

Tea plantations, Green View, Puncak, Jakarta, Indonesia
Tea plantations at Puncak. Photo by Irman Fauzi

Picnic at Selabintana

Another place which can be reached just 120 km from Jakarta is located at the foot of the Pangrango Mountain. Surrounded by big pine trees, it is really fun to picnic here in the greens. Roll out your picnic blanket and bring some of your own favourite snacks. Else you can also try the popular food from West Java here called Cuanki, a dish consists of tofu, meatball, and dumplings.

How to get there: Get on the bus heading to Sukabumi Terminal and then take angkot number 15. You will arrive right in front of the entrance of Selabintana.

The tasty Cuanki at Selabintana, West Java, Indonesia
Get one of the tasty Cuanki at Selabitana. Photo by Budi Nusyirwan

Fishing or boating at Situ Gunung

Another charm of West Java nearby Jakarta is this artificial lake called Situ Gunung. You can go for fishing and boating here to enjoy its tranquillity. You can also just sit at the lakeside and observe how local people pull in the trawl to trap the fishes. If you are feeling active, you can jog uphill for 4 km to Curug Sawer. Be prepared to get some swimming in too under the waterfall.

How to get there: Go to Bogor Station to take the train to Sukabumi. Get off at Cisaat Station. It is advisable to rent a public minivan to reach Situ Gunung for convenience, at estimated price of about IDR 80,000. A minivan can take up to 8 people.

A Man Fishing with Traditional Net, Situ Gunung, West Java, Indonesia
A local fishing with the traditional net at Situ Gunung. Photo by CIFOR

Making a journey to these places near Jakarta will is definitely a good idea to get away from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta city. It is sometimes a welcome break or sometimes a much sought for adventure. These places are easily visited in a day from Jakarta and much recommended!

Related articles:
Top 10 Things to Do and Must See in Jakarta
Jakarta Travel Guide
Top 10 Things to Do in Java Island
Itinerary for one week from Jakarta around Java

Yogyakarta 5 Days / 4 Nights Itinerary Blog

Yogyakarta has long been my must-visit place in Java, Indonesia. It is also known as Jogjakarta or Jogja or Yogya (you decide!) by travelers and locals alike. From all the places you must visit in Java, this is the one place you cannot miss.

If you have 5 days to spend in Yogyakarta, your itinerary can include a city tour, visiting the two famous temples Borobudur and Prambanan and also some nature trip nearby. Here is my own itinerary in Yogyakarta for 5 days and 4 nights.

Day 1 : Yogyakarta city center tour

It is good to stay near the city center, as it helps for quick access to all the tourist attractions in Yogyakarta. It also offers to experience the hustle and bustle of every day from the morning till night. If you just arrive early in the morning from the overnight train, you can grab a typical breakfast of either Soto, Jenang, Nasi Liwet, or Pecel. All of those food mongers are spread along the Malioboro Street and Pasar Beringharjo (Beringharjo Market). You can easily find some souvenirs at Pasar Beringharjo too. Do not forget to test your bargaining skill here. Also, a tip is to not easily agree with the first price they offer. You can start bargaining with 50% markdown.

A lady sells Pecel, traditional cuisine, Beringharjo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
A lady sells Pecel, traditional cuisine which combines some vegetables and served with peanut sauce dressing. Photo by : Manogamo

If you are already tired from walking, you can choose to take the “becak” (local trishaw) to go around the city. You should also bargain so that it would not be overpriced.  They will start with IDR 10,000 to visit some stores like Bakpia and clothes store but be aware that they will be unhappy if you end up not buying anything at the store. This is because they are hoping to get some percentage from the things you buy at certain stores. Therefore, it is better for you to confirm from the beginning whether if you would want to shop for bakpia and clothes. If you are not, then you can bargain for a more reasonable price to go around the area (maybe around IDR 30,000). You just need to tell them where you want to go.

-> Check out Top 10 Things to Do in Yogyakarta

Do not forget to tell the becak driver to take you to visit the popular tourist attractions in Yogyakarta, such as the Royal Palace (Keraton). It has an open pavilion extravagantly decorated with the golden colored ornaments. There are also galleries which keep treasures of the royal family and also showcased of historical batik fabrics.

After that, head to Taman Sari (Water Castle). Only a step away from the palace, this castle used to be a historical bathing complex for the royals. It is built by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I but finished by Sultan Hamengkubuwono II. Since this place is aimed at resting and relaxing, its four areas are consist of an artificial lake, pavilion, and the bathing complex itself.

Bathing pool at Taman Sari, Yogyakarta

Bathing pool at Taman Sari, Yogyakarta

Since Javanese is well known with its Batik, you may also want to try a Batik workshop, just stop by in one of the small alleys around Taman Sari. Here, you can learn how to make all kinds of stuff using Batik patterns such as bags, purses, or any other accessories.

Creativeness in making batik pattern, Taman Sari, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Show your creativeness by trying make any batik pattern as you wish. Photo by : Martijn Nijenhuls

Then it is time to test your luck. When the night comes, go to Alun-Alun Kidul (South Square park) in Yogyakarta. An urban legend has said that those who can successfully cross between the two huge banyan trees blindfolded will have their wishes come true. The amazing thing is apparently most people failed at that attempt, even though the gap is substantially big enough between the trees.

Urban legend about Banyan trees, Alun-Alun, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Close your eyes, get twirled around by your friends, and walk following your intuition. Photo by Isti

Day 2 : Art Museum, Bling-bling Car, Charcoal Coffee

Today you can expand your knowledge of art by visiting museums. Start your day enjoying art paintings at Affandi Museum, which consists of three galleries. This place is located at Jalan Laksda Adisucipto 167. Take a look at the work of Indonesia’s legendary painter, Affandi. This is also the place where he spent most of his life, produced many of his masterpieces and kept them all away from other painters.

-> Check out the Best Places to Stay in Yogyakarta

Another museum to visit is the Sonobudoyo Museum, located at Jalan Pangurakan Yogyakarta No. 6, Ngupasan, Gondomanan. Do not let your visit here go by without watching the special leather puppet show. The show is available every day from 8 PM – 10 PM. Accompanied by Javanese Gamelan music and Javanese language, this show is the epitome of the art and culture of Yogyakarta. While you are waiting for the show, you can take a look at the collection of artefacts and collections of batik, keris, wayang, and antique weapons.

Special leather puppet show at Sonobudoyo Museum, Jalan Pangurakan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
When the show is on, a Dalang is controlling all the puppet chraracters. Photo by : Hermitianta Prasetya Putra

On this night, go back again to the hip main square from yesterday. Again at Alun-Alun Kidul, you will find a bling-bling car decorated with bold lightings. Although it is such a small car, the lights will bring you to it from afar. The loud music makes the car even livelier. The price is IDR 15,000 for one loop of the ride.

Bling bling car, Alun-alun Kidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Bling-bling car at Alun-Alun Kidul, Yogyakarta, each swith its own different characters. Photo by : Adnan Ali

For supper, we head to a traditional food stall. Heading north from the direction of Malioboro Street, you will find a small alley where Angkringan Lik Man is located. Angkringan is a typical roadside stall in Yogyakarta and I bet can find it in almost every corner of the city. But this one is special since Lik Man has an anti-mainstream coffee to warm up your night. This place will introduce you to a coffee served with the flaming charcoal. You must also try Nasi Kucing and other side dishes such as chicken intestines satay, chicken gizzard satay, quail eggs and satay here.

Coffee with flaming charcoal, Angkringan Lik Man, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Challenge yourself to drink a glass of charcoal coffee. Photo by Ivan Lanin

Day 3  – Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple

Borobudur Temple is not actually located in Yogyakarta but in the Magelang Regency, two hours drive away from the main city area. It is designated as a World Heritage by UNESCO. and consists of 72 stupas, each with statues of Buddha. Borobudur is built based on Buddhism, depicting three levels of the universe (Kamadhatu, Ruphadatu, and Arupadhatu).

-> Read our Guide to Borobudur Temple

Borobudur Temple Compounds upclose

Borobudur Temple Compounds upclose

Another must visit historical temple other than Borobudur is the Prambanan Temple. The most suggested thing to do here is to watch the Javanese culture show, the Ramayana Ballet, preserved since the olden days. The show is available indoor at Trimurti Theater and it is also possible to watch in an open air theatre. Do not forget to check the schedule online because the show is not performed every day. The ticket price starts from IDR 125,000 and the show begins at 19.30. Ramayana Ballet will showcase 200 artists combining their skills to play a role and dance along with the classical Javanese music.

-> Read our Guide to Prambanan Temple

The Ramayana Ballet, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
When the spotlight makes the show even more beautiful. Photo by Deep Goswami

Day 4 – Day Trip from Yogyakarta with Mountain peak, Caves and Beach

Now it’s time to escape the city of Yogyakarta to look for some dose of nature. We will be visiting Gunung Kidul, about 40 km west of the city of Yogyakarta. We will start at Ancient Volcano of Nglanggeran. If you are quite a fit hiker, you may need only 1 to 1.5 hours to reach the peak. While walking uphill, do not forget to enjoy the serene surroundings and the fresh air. The cold breeze here is great as it is located approximately 700 meters above the sea level

Ancient Volcano of Nglanggeran, Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
A place for serenity and you can feel togetherness here more.. Photo by Isti

Next on our day trip from Yogyakarta is the Goa Jamblang (Jamblang Cave). This vertical cave is typically known as a collapsed doline, formed from a geologist process resulting in a sinkhole about 50 meters square. It is advisable to get a guided tour here to explore the caves. This guided tour will cost you around IDR 600,000-700,000 per person (including all the equipment rental cost). You need at least 2-3 hours to finish this caving adventure. The best time to explore Jamblang Cave is in the morning, finishing before lunch. You will meet a beautiful sunlight trickling onto the stone down at the cave.

The vertical Jamblang cave, Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Follow the light, that’s where you can find a way out. Photo by M. Reza Faisal

After a tiring morning of trekking and caving, it is time for you to just sit and relax, waiting for the sun to set at Indrayanti Beach. Located still in Gunung Kidul Area, this beach offers you a panoramic beauty which is completed by the white sand, majestic hills of coral rocks and sparkling blue sea. If you are a water sports lover, you can try jet ski here, costing IDR 250,000 per 15 minutes.

The panoramic beauty of Indrayanti beach, Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Beach is such a best place to catch the sunset. Photo by Indra Kurniawan

Day 5 – Mangunan Fruit Garden before leaving

Have a visit to the increasingly famous Mangunan Fruit Garden. It is in the area of Bantul, which is 35 km away from the city center. Here you can learn about various kinds of fruits. All fruits are placed in accordance with the slope of its area such as durian, mango, orange, rose apple, orange, and mangosteen. You will also find a beautiful view here on the viewing dock, surrounded by the pine trees. This is one amazing spot for some selfies! Just stand up at the edge of the dock for the backdrop of greenery hills.

The Fruit Garden, Mangunan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Morning mist will welcome you above the clouds. Photo by Yopi Priatna

After this visit, head on back to Yogyakarta for your onward journey. Although you may have done quite a bit here for 5 days, there are always still much more things to do in Yogyakarta. There are always reasons to return to visit this area of Java Island of Indonesia.

Best Accommodations in Yogyakarta

Booking.com is a good choice as most of the bookings can be cancelled right up to the trip, allowing flexibility. In Yogyakarta, staying in the city center would help to save time in visiting all the must-visit places, but if you are looking for also some relaxation, just a little off center to north or south are some great choices. Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend to stay in Yogyakarta:

    Luxury (from 150 USD)

  • Rosseno Villa
    For those who want tranquillity and privacy, this villa lies just 15 minutes south of the city center surrounded by rice fields. It comes not only with a private pool, but also all meals provided and an all-day use of a car and driver! Well worth the splurge here. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
  • Phoenix Hotel – McGallery by Sofitel
    Run by the well known Sofitel, this hotel is for those who wants their luxury in the center of Yogyakarta. The hotel’s interior comes with a blend of grand Asian and European decor, with the rooms terraces overlooking a courtyard and pool. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
    Mid-range (50 – 150 USD)

  • Novotel Yogyakarta
    For those who seek a well known brand and comfort, this hotel is located strategically to visit the tourist attractions. You can expect clean modern rooms with wide range of delicious breakfast. It also comes with a pool. Definitely value for money. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
  • Dusun Jogja Village Inn
    For those looking for a nature getaway and some tranquility, this hotel is like an oasis in the middle of the city. Surrounded by tropical gardens of palm trees around a beautiful pool. It is also well located, just south to the main attractions area. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
    Budget (below 50 USD)

  • Griya Wijilan
    Just nestled next to the Keraton Palace, this small and Javanese designed boutique hotel is for those who knows a good deal. The location is hard to beat! There is also nice terrace and garden for those who hang to rest in between the hustle and bustle. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
  • Rumah Mertua Boutique Hotel
    For those looking for a boutique hotel, combining comfort with budget, this hotel comes wih Javanese decorated rooms and a pool surrounded by romantic gardens. It is located 20 minutes drive north from the city center in a tranquil setting. Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *

Next destinations:
Malang – pitstop to Mount Bromo, with beautiful landscape and some more ancient temples
Mount Bromo – the most popular volcano crater in Indonesia, particularly for its breathtaking sunrise

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