Yogyakarta, located in the central and southern part of Java Island, is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia and served as the capital of Indonesia during the 1945-1949 War of Independence. Yogyakarta, with many historic sites, is the most important Java culture and art center in Indonesia, and a window to display Java’s traditional culture.
Yogyakarta is also a famous tourist destination. From Javanese cultural monuments to bustling shopping districts, to a variety of exciting outdoor activities, there is something for everyone here.
Humanities lovers will love its various temples and cultural attractions; food lovers will be lucky enough to feast on Yogyakarta; and shopping malls with convenient locations and styles will be the best solace for shopaholics.
Borobudur is the remains of a Mahayana Buddhist stupa, 40 kilometers northwest of Yogyakarta city. It is the largest Buddhist structure in the 9th century. At the end of June 2012, it was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest Buddhist temple in the world today.
Borobudur was built around 842 AD by the rulers of the Shaliantra Dynasty who ruled Java Island at that time. Later, due to a volcanic eruption, the stupa group sank and was hidden in the dense tropical jungle for nearly a thousand years. It was not until the early 19th century. Cleaned up, together with the Great Wall of China, the pyramids of Egypt and the Angkor Wat of Cambodia, it is called the “Four Wonders of the Ancient East”.
Borobudur attracts millions of tourists every year. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for its rich history, beautiful architecture and breathtaking landscapes.
The Prambanan temple complex is located 15 kilometers east of Yogyakarta. It was built in the 10th century and mainly dedicated to the three gods (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). It is full of mystery and is the largest and most beautiful Hindu temple in Indonesia today.
The Prambanan temple complex consists of 240 temples, most of which have been reduced to a pile of rubble, but some of the main temples have been rebuilt with people’s efforts, and they are back to their former glory.
Malioboro Street is one of the most famous neighborhoods in the center of Yogyakarta. It is also a souvenir paradise and a must-see for tourists who come to Yogyakarta. Here, Indonesian traditional costumes and handicrafts are dazzling, which is very popular among local residents and tourists from all over the world. Sometimes you can also see local artists selling their own artwork on the street.
Here, you’ll hear hawkers wooing customers, lively laughter, car horns and exciting bargains. Even if you don’t buy souvenirs, it’s a good experience to walk down Malioboro Street and feel the daily life of the people of Yogyakarta.
Mount Merapi is 32 kilometers northeast of Yogyakarta, with an altitude of 2911 meters. It is a cone-shaped volcano and the most active volcano in Indonesia. It once destroyed a kingdom in Middle Claw Island and buried the Borobudur stupa.
Here, in addition to feeling the magic of the volcano, observing the remains of the volcano when it erupted, you can also experience the passion of off-roading. Hike to the volcano and enjoy a dreamy sunrise on the top of the mountain in the morning; or take an open-top off-road vehicle and go all the way to the volcano viewing platform, this tour experience will not disappoint you.
The Kraton of Yogyakarta
The Kraton of Yogyakarta is located in the center of Yogyakarta and was built in 1756. After Indonesia’s independence, the government allowed the original royal family to continue to live in the palace, and the servants in the palace still wore ancient costumes. This is the office of the Yogyakarta Municipal Government and the residence of the Sultan of Yogyakarta.
The entire palace is a mixture of Islamic culture and Javanese culture, and has a European style. The Royal Palace of Yogyakarta is open for inspection and is a must-see for tourists visiting Yogyakarta.
Yogyakarta Military Museum Pusat TNI
This is a free and open military museum, which mainly introduces the entire history of the Indonesian war since the War of Independence, including the war of independence against the Dutch and the history of the Indonesian army fighting against various domestic enemies such as religious forces.
Water Palace (Taman Sari)
The Water Palace is located in the southwest of the Sultan’s Palace in Yogyakarta. It is a complex of canals, ponds and palaces. It used to be the palace’s luxury entertainment park, swimming pools and waterways for the Sultan and his entourage to travel.
This elaborate residence was built between 1758 and 1765 by a Portuguese architect. Destroyed by the Java War at Diponegoro, the 1865 earthquake completely destroyed it. Most of the relics seen today are the previous ruins, and the landscape bathing pool that best represents the water palace was rebuilt later.
Here is the best museum in Yogyakarta with various gems and gold Hindu statues. The museum exhibits a first-class collection of Javanese art, including shadow puppets from Wayang shadow puppets, masks, daggers and batik. There’s also a courtyard filled with Indian statues and artefacts from further afield, including superb Balinese carvings.
Kota Gede since the 1930s has been the center of Yogyakarta’s silver industry, however this quiet old town is now a suburb of Yogyakarta. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Mataram, established in 1582. Kemasan Street, the town’s main street, extends into the town from the north and is lined with busy silverware workshops. Most stores carry similar items, including handcrafted bowls and boxes, quality silver filigree jewelry, and contemporary jewelry.
Built in the middle of the 9th century, the Palesen Temple is a Buddhist building, some of which have been destroyed by the earthquake, but the north and south remains are still preserved.
Two relatively complete temples, separated by a road in the middle, are about 1 km away from the Prambanan temple complex, and are relatively small in scale.
The Parlesen temple complex combines the religious symbols and carvings of Hinduism and Buddhism. It was built at the same time as Prambanan, but the carvings are more elaborate and there is almost no space left. All the places that can be carved are engraved with patterns and various Bodhisattva statues.