Renowned for its traditional arts and cultural heritage, Yogyakarta is a bustling city in the heart of Java. As well as being home to the 18th-century royal Kraton palace complex and an outstanding selection of museums, it’s also on the doorstep of some of Indonesia’s most important religious monuments.
Things to do in Yogyakarta
Visit Sri Sultan's palace, also known as the “Kraton”, for a glimpse into the royal family’s luxurious lifestyle. Admire the traditional Javanese architecture and stop in at the Sultan's Carriage Museum, with regular dance and musical performances held within the Main Court.
Discover Java’s long-established batik tradition at the Museum Batik, with the oldest piece dating back to 1840, or purchase your own on the famous shopping strip of Jalan Malioboro. The Museum Sonobudoyo is also worth a visit, exhibiting Javanese gamelan instruments, wayang puppets, traditional weaponry and masks.
Wake early to watch sunrise over the temples of Borobudur, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Yogyakarta’s most impressive destinations. Admire the thousands of relief panels and more than 500 Buddha statues that adorn this sacred site.
Yogyakarta is also the gateway to Prambanan, a 9th-century Hindu temple complex that’s one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Admire the towering architecture of the three Trimurti temples, which are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma and were designed to resemble the holy mountain of Meru.
Getting around Yogyakarta
Adisucipto International Airport is 25 minutes’ drive from Yogyakarta. Ojek motorcycle taxis and becak trishaws are the most efficient means of getting around Yogyakarta, while many sights are also within walking distance of one another.