Introduction to Yogyakarta

There are many reasons why Yogyakarta is one of the most visited cities in Indonesia. It is the preferred starting point for those who wish to make their way to a number of ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples in the Central Java area, two of which (Borobudur and Prambanan) are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Although these temples are often the major reason why tourists made their way to Yogyakarta, they are not the sole attractions the city has to offer.

Historically, Yogyakarta and the surrounding areas has been the seat of government for various ancient kingdoms of Java, and this gave rise to the multitude of grand temple and palace complexes in the area. In more recent centuries the area was center of the Mataram kingdom – the last major kingdom on Java – and in the early days of the Republic of Indonesia the city also served as its capital.

To complement its prominence as center of governance, the people of Yogyakarta have developed a very rich and refined culture. The Javanese language dialect spoken here is considered the most refined form compared to other parts of the island, and this reputation also generally applies for various art forms such as dances, painting, and silversmithing. The royal family has been a strong patron of the arts, and the ordinary citizens also highly regard traditions as a way of life. Here, rituals are an important and inseparable aspect of life. It is little wonder that the city is widely known as the cultural capital of Java.

Today, Yogyakarta is also known as Indonesia’s city of learning, boasting a high number of universities and attracting large numbers of students from all over the nation as well as overseas. The inflow of youthful energy and different cultural elements means that Yogyakarta is no longer merely the cultural capital of Java like in the olden days, but also the cultural melting pot of modern Indonesia and beyond.

 

Popular Sights / Activities

  • See world famous UNESCO World Heritage sites of Borobudur and Prambanan.
  • Explore Yogyakarta’s historical district and its heritage buildings, including the royal palace (Kraton) and water castle (Taman Sari).
  • Visit the slopes Mount Merapi on offroad jeeps and see the beauty and devastation nature can offer.
  • Watch how local painters, silversmiths, leatherworkers and other artisans do their trade.

 

Sample 4D3N Itinerary

The following is a sample 4D3N trip itinerary, highlighting major attractions that can be experienced within the time frame. Please feel free to contact us for detailed itinerary, or if you need a customized itinerary for your trip.

Day 1
Arrival in Yogyakarta
Visit Prambanan temple complex

Day 2
Sunrise at Borobudur temple
Visit Mount Merapi and Jeep tour
Night food street

Day 3
Sultan’s palace (Kraton)
Water castle (Taman Sari)

Day 4
Visits to artisan workshops and shopping
Departure from Yogyakarta