Versi Bahasa Indonesia:

Written by Junanto Xu
Co-written by Matin Firas Harahap, Cisca Lim, Soma Dutta, Stephanie Peeters
Assisted by Antonius Yudi Sendjaja, Shasya Pashatama, Muhammad Yanuar Firdaus, Cathrine Theodora Sukotjo
Edited by Jiayi Ng, Candice Neo

The centre of Javanese arts and culture, Yogyakarta (pronounced as ‘Jogjakarta’, or ‘Jog-ja’ for short) is a city with culture and customs as rich as they were centuries ago, governed independently by a traditional Sultanate system which differs from the rest of Indonesia.

If Jakarta were to be the heart of the nation, powering the economy and the industries, Yogyakarta is the soul, keeping the spirit in perfect balance and harmony.

1. When to travel to Yogyakarta

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Yogyakarta is great all year long, and the temperature remains roughly the same through the year. However, it would a good idea to try to avoid the peak of the rainy season – which usually falls between January and March, so the rain won’t deter you from visiting any of your destinations.

Being the cultural capital of Indonesia, the month of Suro (first month of the Lunar Calendar) is also a time when many places of worship in Yogyakarta perform annual rituals – something you wouldn’t want to miss when coming to Yogyakarta.

2. Getting there

From JakartaFrom Singapore (tap here to view)

1. Flights

Fare starts at Rp. 350,000 (USD 26) via Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, AirAsia (1 hour 10 minutes flight)

2. Train

a. Executive: starts at Rp. 285,000 (USD 21)
– Depart from Gambir Station (Central Jakarta), and arrive at Tugu Station (City Center of Yogyakarta, about a 7-hour ride)

b. Economy: starts at Rp. 145,000 (USD 11) – Seats are cramped, and not recommended
– Depart from Pasar Senen Station, and arrive at Lempuyangan Station (about a 7-hour ride)

Direct flights start at SGD 87 (USD 64) via AirAsia (2 hour 15 minutes flight)

3. Getting around

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Although public transportation is available in Yogyakarta, it is not recommended since its schedule is not what you would call reliable. The stops also do not extend as far as many of the destinations you might want to visit. If you haven’t had your transportation arranged, here are a few options you might want to consider;

a. Rent a car with a driver/tour guide
Packages usually include fuel, toll fees, parking, and the driver’s meal throughout the day (make sure these things are made clear before making a booking). Most operators will offer similar prices ranged below Rp. 500,000 per day (USD 37) for 4-6 passengers.

Our recommendation?

Mr. Ukhi has built an excellent reputation over the years on the interwebs, and has now launched his own website. He speaks English fluently and can arrange the trip according to your requirement. Best of all, he knows all the best spots around town,  and his vehicle of choice is usually the Toyota Avanza. (However, he can definitely make arrangements for larger groups as well!)

Mr Ukhi, Yogya Driver

Email: [email protected]
Phone: +62-81-2158-9136
Price: Rp. 450,000 per day (USD 34), but may vary according to the destinations and days planned



b. Rent a car without a driver

If you are feeling a little more adventurous, Yogyakarta is not too difficult to navigate. (Do note that it would most definitely be a good idea to preload your GPS maps, or get a physical map. Mobile service can be unreliable in many parts of the Gunungkidul area).

Most rental services offer a Toyota Avanza (7-seater) at around Rp. 350,000 per day (USD 26). However, we’ve found that Cahaya Transport, the cheapest and one of the most equipped operators offers them at Rp. 250,000 per day (USD 19).

Cahaya Transport

Address: Iroyudan RT 06, Guwosari, Pajangan, Bantul, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Phone: +62 812 2712 299, +62 878 3831 2232, (0274) 368 412

Facebook page 


c. Rent a motorcycle

Have the most fun (and biggest bang for your buck) getting around on two wheels. Not only are they cheap to rent, they are also cheaper to run on gasoline as well as parking fees.

Bening transport offers delivery services for their motorcycles anywhere in Yogyakarta. All you have to do is provide three forms of identification, and you will be given the keys and a pair of helmets.

Bening Transport

Address: Samirono Lama CT VI/22 Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Phone: (0274) 547 440, 826 3214
Prices: Starts at Rp. 60,000 per day (USD 5) and Rp. 250,000 per week (USD 18)

Facebook page 

Contrary to that in larger cities, life in Yogyakarta is a lot more laidback. The locals are friendly, the food is good, and there’s an endless list of places to go to.

Also read: 
12 trendy boutique hotels in Yogyakarta for under $35
12 Affordable hotels in Yogyakarta with stunning scenic views of nature
14 secret beaches in Yogyakarta the locals will never tell you
10 unique cafes and restaurants in Yogyakarta that will enchant you
5D4N Scenic Yogyakarta adventure itinerary under $200

Besides well-known historical and cultural landmarks such as the many temples left behind by ancient civilizations, Yogyakarta is a gold mine of astonishing natural landscapes that reminds you of Mother Nature’s greatness.

So if you’re wondering where to go, here’s our take on the best that Yogyakarta has to offer.

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31. Uncover the Mystery of the 7 Families at Gunung Api Purba Nglanggeran

Once an active volcano around 60 million years ago, the Gunung Api Purba Nglanggeran is one of the oldest volcanoes in the Central Java region. Its unusual shape may be due to the fact that it was once an undersea rock which emerged above the surface from a volcanic eruption.

Standing 700 metres above the Gunungkidul countryside, this two-peaked mountain surprisingly only requires about 60 to 90 minutes of trekking past exotic rock formations, native inhabitants and narrow stone walls.

Photo by thomasdian

Upon reaching either the West or the East peaks, you may come across a few residents along the way. This is because according to local beliefs, there should be exactly seven families living on the mountain – if there’s any more or any less, a catastrophe is bound to happen.

As you stand on the summit, the phenomenal view of the karst mountain range and lush greenery can take you back to the Java that stood several hundred years ago.

Don’t miss the Embug Ngalanggeran, a water reservoir that is both beautiful and functional, providing water to the surrounding villages and farms.

Photo by irawan3719

Gunung Api Purba Nglanggeran

Address: Desa Ngalanggeran Kecamatan Patuk, Kabupaten Gunungkidul, Gunugkidul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55862
Phone: +62 818-0260-6050
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 11:00
Entrance Fee: Rp. 7,000 (USD 1.12 for foreign tourists)

32. Delve into Secrets of the Ancient Past at the Ullen Sentalu Museum

Even if museums aren’t really your thing, the Ullen Sentalu Museum, crowned as Indonesia’s best museum by National Geographic, is a must-visit.

The Ullen Sentalu museum exhibits a privately owned collection that illustrates history from the era of the Mataram Kingdom, one of Indonesia’s most powerful kingdoms from the 8th Century that built the Borobudur and most of the temples in Yogyakarta.

Photo by yositanita

Upon entering, you will be brought around by a complementary tour guide through a maze of narrow alleys connecting rooms displaying artefacts, such as furniture, pictures, artworks and a brief history of batik.

Photo by dinawidhikirana, farizalhazm

One notable room to look out for is the Guwa Sela Giri, an underground tunnel that displays paintings, each with a story of its own. It is said that one painting of a woman would appear to be following you wherever you are in the room – creepy!

The tour ends in a lavish garden guarded by moss covered stone walls under the shade of old trees, where you will be served with a glass of Ratu Mas, a secret cocktail of seven natural herbs that is believed to bring health and beauty.

Photo by wxssy, seethatseethis

Ullen Sentalu Museum

Address: Jl. Boyong Km 25, Kaliurang Barat, Kec. Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
Phone: +62 274 895161
Opening hours: 08:30 – 16:00 (closed at 17:00 on weekends / Closed on Mondays)
Entrance Fee: Rp. 60,000 (approximately USD 4.26 for foreign tourists)


33. Lucky Enough to Spot a Whale?: Laut Bekah

Unlike most seaside scenery in Yogyakarta, Laut Bekah offers no sandy beaches. Instead, it boasts of limestone cliffs that extend into the vast Indian Ocean up to 70 metres in height.

Relatively unknown, it is the perfect place for those looking for a little solitude to replenish the mind. But getting there takes a bit of effort.

Photo by riefffadill_90

If fishing is your passion, have a go at rock fishing, a sport that is gaining popularity in Indonesia.

Photo by bocahmlaku

The Tebing Bekah provides direct access to deeper waters, meaning bigger fishes, and even the occasional sight of whales!

Laut Bekah

Getting There: From Yogyakarta, head towards Parangtritis Beach and travel Eastwards towards Purwosari, Gunungkidul. Turn in the direction of Padukuhan Temon at the junction before SDN Karangnongko 1. Your destination will be at the end of the road. Make sure your vehicle is in fit condition. Coordinates here.

34. Test your Bargaining Skills at a Souvenir Haven: Malioboro Street

From batik shirts to miniature rickshaws, Malioboro Street is Yogyakarta’s answer to Bangkok’s night markets.

An overcrowded street during the weekends is usual, as it has been serving as Yogyakarta’s centre of trade since the colonial era.

Photo by elsapurwaningrum, anjartriutomo

A concoction of traditional gamelan music blasting on crackling loudspeakers, dubbed with the yells of hawkers, is the soundtrack for a stroll through this street market.

Go souvenir hunting in Malioboro’s most prominent and tacky souvenir haven, which is known as Hamzah Batik. Their vibrant and endless collection of handicrafts, jewellery and Batik will surely bring out your inner shopaholic.

Photo by sd.gempita

As the birthplace of the term nongkrong (roughly translates to ‘hanging out’, specifically on a street side), many places for nongkrong are scattered nearby here.

Try out bite-sized rice meals which are referred to as Nasi Kucing (Cat Rice), or have a sip of the local novelty, Kopi Jos – coffee with a scorching red chunk of charcoal dipped in it!

Photo by savina_wong82, anggirika27

Malioboro Street

Address: Jl. Malioboro, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Opening hours: 8am – 10pm (may vary)

35. Did the Mayans visit Watu Giring?

This enchanting place is decorated with high limestone rocks, caves and amazing views.

Photo by widodo.ira

The varying heights of the limestone rocks allow you to climb up to the top and gaze at the magnificent view. Watu Giring is actually a former mining site, but the stone structures resemble ancient ruins or even Mayan temples.

Photo by wahyu sbp

On sunny days, when the sky is clear blue, you can see Mount Merapi rise up in the distance – a stunning backdrop to an epic photo-worthy moment.

Photo by qqordhowi

Watu Giring

Address: Villa of Jelok, Pacarejo, Semanu, Kabupaten Gunung Kidul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
Getting there: Head towards Jalan Wonosari from Yogyakarta city. The ride is 44.6 kilometers and it takes around 1 hour and 23 minutes to drive there.
Entrance fee: Free
Parking fee: Motorbike Rp. 2.000 (Approximately USD 0.15) and Rp.5.000 (USD 0.38) for cars

36. Sunrise and sunset from dramatic mountain peaks: Batu Miring

Batu Miring is the place to go for breathtaking panoramic views of Java Island. Go early to watch the enchanting sunrise colour the landscape or in the late afternoon to watch the sun set over the island.

Photo by zkyjacobs

Batu Miring is surrounded by endless mountains, limestone rocks and lush greenery. There’s no public transport here, so you’ll have to take your motorbike and drive up yourself for a good old adventure.

From the parking lot, a short 200-metre walk will lead you to the foot of the majestic mountain, Gunung Kukusan.

Photo by rickyfebriaadityaputra

There are two paths to choose from, which lead to two different peaks. The path on the left leads to Dempok Summit and the other to Kendeng Summit, the highest peak of the two. From both summits, you will be mesmerized by the magnificent mountain views and the peaceful valley below.

Photo by shantie syifa

Breathe in the fresh mountain air, listen to the birdsong and reconnect with nature!

If you’re here early in the morning, be sure to wear a sweater as it’s cold! You will surely enjoy watching the landscape rise out of the morning mist.

Batu Miring

Getting there: From Yogyakarta, drive in the direction of Godean. Continue westward in the direction of Kulon Progo until you reach the intersection with Nanggulan. Then turn right towards the intersection of Dekso. Turn left and continue to follow the path towards Samigaluh to find Plono market. Drive in the direction of the Nglinggo tea gardens and continue to the foot of Mount Kukusan. The ride is 28 kilometers and it takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes to drive there.
Entrance fee: Rp. 5.000 (Approximately USD 0.33)
Parking fee: Motorbike Rp. 10.000 (Approximately USD 0.66) and car Rp.20.000 (Approximately USD 1.3)

Unique Themed Restaurants

Dine in a Jailhouse, Airplane and Abandoned House

37. Dinner Time in Jail: Bong Kopitown

Want to know how it feels like to spend your dinner time in jail?

Well, we may not be able to send you into a real prison, but in Bong Kopitown, you can at least feel the unique ambience of eating as a felon while being locked up in a private block.

Photo via leonamakeuparts
Photo via sheilaandriana, piaamilun

Besides their eccentric interior, Bong Kopitown also invests creativity on little details such as their menu book. Instead of ordering through the usual book or paper, you can pick out the dish that you desire from a newspaper!


In accordance to its theme, you can also see iron bars towering up around the restaurant, thickening the jail vibes. But don’t worry, this restaurant isn’t a dirty, rusty jail like the ones you see on TV, as everything here is quite clean and smartly organised.

Photo via gunturkartassmita

Even some of the food here is served using actual jail cutlery to make you feel like a real criminal. The only difference here is that you’re free to choose between a bowl of lip-smacking Singapore Laksa or scrumptious Penang Fried Noodles.

Photo via vanisembiring

Never has jail time been so good.

Bong Kopitown

Address: Jl. Sagan Kidul No 4, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
Contact: 0274-589 333
Opening hours: 10am – 12am
Price: Food starts from Rp 10,000 (approximately USD $0.75)


38. Enjoy a First Class Flight Experience: The Captain Urban Lounge

The Captain Urban Lounge has been living under the spotlight for quite a while. Want to know why?

Photo via jejejulie25

Not only is their restaurant shaped like an airplane hangar, the head of a plane can also be spotted in front of the restaurant, lending a unique atmosphere to mealtimes here.

As you enter, you’ll be amazed as a part of the restaurant is built out of a Fokker 28 airplane body. The cockpit functions as the music stage and dining area – if you’ve never rocked it out on a plane before, now’s your chance!

Photo vvia olyviacindys

Spending your time here means that you will be entertained by melodic live music or the sick beat of a local DJ while finishing a delectable dish. It’s a first class flight experience like no other.

Photo via jeyoarizky

Curious about the food here? The Captain Urban Lounge offers lots of mouthwatering snacks such as nachos and tacos. If you’re looking for a heavier meal, the pasta here can never go wrong!

Photo via iwansunaryanto

The Captain Urban Lounge

Address: Jl. Damai 41 Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
Contact: 0821 3800 7279
Opening hours: 5pm – 12am (Monday – Thursday) | 5pm – 1am (Friday – Sunday)
Price: Food starts from Rp 20,000 (approximately USD $1.47)


39. Chill Out in the Abandoned House: Tap House Beer Garden & Beer House

Tap House is the best watering hole in Jogja for youngsters who want to spend some quality time with their friends while having some alcohol.

What’s so special about Tap House is that their theme and interior design resemble an abandoned house that has been deserted for years. The rusted wall with overgrown green moss emphasises the sense of being in the wilderness – this is the place to let go, and go wild.

Chill out with your loved ones on the ever-so-comfy bean bags and drink away. The atmosphere here will make you feel unrestricted, as no one will have the time to judge you, they’ll be too distracted by the decor!

Photo by muhamadyanuarrr, dee.yessrin

If you’re a big fan of live music, you can get to meet local DJs and musicians who showcase their talents here (usually during the weekend)!

Tap House Beer Garden & Beer House

Address: Jl. Jlagran No 18, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
Contact: 0812 2444 2225
Opening hours: 6pm – 3am
Price: Drinks from Rp 20,000 (approximately USD $1.47)


40. The Fairyland in a Pine Forest: Seribu Batu Songgo Langit

Want to immerse yourself in a natural fairyland and star in your own fairytale? Enter Seribu Batu Songgo Langit, a magical dream come true.

Nestled in the renowned Dlingo pine forest area, Seribu Batu Songgo Langit is a trending travel destination that packs an unusual charm compared to the other pine forests nearby.

Photo  by sandaravalerie, trisnoarybudi

This pine forest creates a fairyland atmosphere that brings all your favourite Disney movies to life. You can find numerous photogenic spots within the forest, settings that were created using only wood and creativity – such as a hobbit house, wooden bear and hut made of branches!

Photo by jadenprimero, alyshaicha

Who knows? Your next Prince Charming or Sleeping Beauty might just reveal himself or herself the next time you visit!

Seribu Batu Songgo Langit

Address: Jalan Hutan Pinus Nganjir, Mangunan, Dlingo, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
Getting there: Ringroad selatan – Terminal Giwangan – Imogiri Timur – Pertigaan pasar Imogiri – Desa Mangunan – Restaurant Bumi Langit- Watu Goyang -Seribu Batu Songgo Langit
Coordinates here.
Opening hours: 6am – 5pm
Entrance fee: Free

41. Get Intimate with the Majestic Mount Merapi: Bukit Klangon, Merapi

We all know Mount Merapi, one of the most iconic volcanoes in the world that has become the source of both life and destruction in Yogyakarta. It’s hard not to respect and fall in love with such a majestic force of nature.

At Bukit Klangon, you can take your admiration for Mount Merapi into the next level, as this hill is situated at its foot. That’s right, you can get up close and personal with this fierce volcano.

Photo by rommydhano

In addition to its close location to Mount Merapi, Bukit Klangon is also known as a chilly hill that doesn’t only offer peace and quiet for fatigued souls, but also a scenic panorama of unspoilt nature.

Photo by iwanamaco.

Remember to visit early in the morning when the sky is clear, so no clouds will mar your little therapy session with beautiful Merapi.

And if you’re a fan of downhill mountain biking, do put your ability to the test with Bukit Klangon’s own version of a biking track!

Photo by ramadhanoctafian__

Bukit Klangon, Merapi

Address: Glagaharjo, Cangkringan, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55583
Coordinates here.
Opening hours: 5am – 6pm
Entrance fee: Free

42. Chill Out to Unique and Gorgeous Views: Pinus Pengger (Hutan Pinus Dingo)

Imagine yourself walking through endless towering pine trees accompanied with complete serenity, at a place where you can temporarily leave all your troubles behind and feel completely unrestricted.

That’s Pinus Pengger for you – a pine forest where travellers can find tranquility and inspiration.

This forest houses a myriad of fascinating photo spots, such as a treehouse, giant bird nest, love stairs and the iconic hand-shaped viewing post – beautiful spots where travellers can sit back and relieve their stress.

Photo by emalgumlugardomundo, toprakkokusuuuuu

The best time to visit would be at night, when city lights sparkle the brightest. Looking down, you’ll be completely captivated by Yogyakarta’s shimmering nightscape, the most beautiful end to any day.

Photo byalbert.tirta, sat.real212

Pinus Pengger (Hutan Pinus Dingo)

Address: Jl. Dlingo-Patuk, Terong, Dlingo, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta
Coordinates here.
Opening hours: 6am – 6pm
Entrance fee: Free
Parking fee: Rp 10,000 (Approximately USD $0.74) for cars and Rp 3,000 (Approximately USD $0.22) for motorbikes

43. Challenge Yourself with Southeast Asia’s Longest Flying Fox: Gedangsari Green Village

Yogyakarta is now the proud home to Southeast Asia’s longest flying fox – which you can find in Gedangsari Green Village!

Here, you can feel the sensation of flying through a 625-metre-long zip-line with your adrenaline pumping like never before. Not only will you feel like you’re actually flying, the breathtaking scenery and chilly weather will make this experience even more exciting!

Photo by ruzitajamaludin

After the crazy ride, you can relax by slowly exploring Gedangsari while gazing out at the peaceful landscape surrounding the village.

Photo by wahyu610

Flying Fox Green Village Gedangsari, Gunung Kidul

Address: Mertelu, Gedang Sari, Gunung Kidul Yogyakarta
Coordinates here.
Contact:  082313953529
Opening hours: 6am – 5pm
Entrance fee: Parking fees at Rp 5,000 (approximately USD $0.40) for cars and Rp 2,000 (approximately USD $0.15) for motorbikes | Flying Fox: Rp 100,000 (approximately USD $7.40) (includes: insurance + transport  + snack + mineral water)

Are there any more interesting things to do in Yogyakarta we have missed? Comment below to let us know!

PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
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