Things To Do In Yogyakarta – Here are the top 10 things to do in Yogyakarta. You will not be confused about what to do in Yogyakarta because this city has a million tourist charm. The activities in this list only scratch the surface of the things you can do when visiting Yogyakarta; read up and plan a Yogyakarta itinerary of your own.
Not much further than an overnight train ride from Jakarta, the historic Central Java, Indonesia city of Yogyakarta serves as a repository for Javanese high culture and history. A special region that is still ruled by a Sultan in the present day, Yogyakarta is a living museum for Indonesian crafts, cuisine, architecture, and performance. Read our list of the top 10 things to do in Yogyakarta.
1. Visit many Ancient Temples
The first, top 10 things to do in Yogyakarta is visit many ancient temples. The land surrounding Yogyakarta has long been the seat of empire. Traces of the ancient Hindu and Buddhist empires that once ruled Java can still be found nearby, from the jigsaw-puzzle Prambanan Temple to the magnificent Borobudur stupa, some 40 minutes away from Yogyakarta by car.
While in Yogyakarta, visit a few other temples off the beaten path, like the Plaosan temple complex (located near Prambanan), the Sambisari temple, and the somewhat dangerous Dieng Plateau and its Hindu temples.
2. Cave Tubing at Gua Pindul
The second, top 10 things to do in Yogyakarta is cave tubing at Gua Pindul. Exploring a river on a rubber boat is just ordinary, but it is not ordinary when the river flows inside a cave as it certainly will be an exciting and thrilling experience. You will be taken to explore a 300m-long river inside a cave.
The cold water caressing your body, the moist air you breathe, and the minimum amount of light will make your heart beats faster. Hide away the fear of dark, drowning, or suffocating. The cave tubing package at Pindul Cave includes life jackets, tire lifebuoy, and trained guides.
3. Visit the Yogyakarta Sultan’s Palace
The third, top 10 things to do in Yogyakarta is visit the Yogyakarta Sultan’s Palace. The ruling monarch of Yogyakarta, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, reigns from a palace, or Kraton, located in the middle of the city. The Kraton serves as a religious and cultural center for the locals: religious processions wind through the Kraton to the nearby Masjid Gede Kauman on special feast days, open-air festivals are held on the Alun-Alun Utara field next to the palace, and daily cultural performances are conducted at the Bangsal Sri Manganti within the Kraton.
The “Palace” may not be as grand as the royal residences you’ll find in Thailand or in Europe, but the buildings are rich in symbolism: the tour guide you’re required to hire at the gate will prove extremely helpful in untangling the legends and symbols associated with the Sultan and his sprawling residence.
4. Ride a Becak around Yogyakarta
The fourth, top 10 things to do in Yogyakarta is ride a becak around Yogyakarta. From the Keraton or around Jalan Malioboro, you can hire a becak (rickshaw) to take you around the historic part of town, or just to get from place to place. The fare is cheap – as cheap as $1 per trip – and the ride is a rush, as passengers are positioned in front of the driver, so you are completely exposed to the oncoming traffic.
One downside to riding the local rickshaws: becak drivers are often working on commission from the shops in the area, and will constantly attempt detours to these shops, in the hopes of your buying from these places, and them getting a cut.
5. Eat the City’s Favorite Meal: Gudeg
Yogyakarta has long been known as “gudeg city”, and it behooves you to try this savory dish before you leave. Gudeg is jackfruit meat stewed in coconut milk, spices, and palm sugar, then served with hard-boiled egg, edible cow skin (krecek), and rice. It’s hearty and it keeps well: visitors from elsewhere in Indonesia often order gudeg for take-home, then bring the package all the way to their hometown to share with friends or family back home.
The best gudeg eateries can be found at Sentra Gudeg Wijilan, east of Alun-Alun Utara along Jalan Wijilan near the Kraton. For a more upscale gudeg experience, visit Bu Tjitro (Jalan Janti 330, tel: +62 274 564 734), a cozy family-style restaurant located across from Jogja Expo Center. Eat Gudeg is one of the best things to do in Jogja.