Best things to do in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Photo by CC user Cccefalon on Wikimedia Commons

If you are headed to Indonesia on a holiday later this year, make plans to see Yogyakarta, the cultural center of the island of Java.

Life here stands in stark contrast to the chaos that reigns on the streets of Jakarta, as the lazy trees, emphasis on the arts, and its abundance of imperial buildings and world famous temples couldn’t be any more different then the mega city of 20 million people that lies just a few hours to the west.

By booking via websites such as, you can ensure that your time in Yogyakarta is relaxing from start to finish.

When you step inside, stylish, avant garde accommodations such as Hotel Neo Malioboro, it will set your mind at ease, allowing you to enjoy some of the best things to do in Yogyakarta.

Visit Prambanan and Borobudur

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Located in close proximity to Yogyakarta, the Hindu and Buddhist temples of Prambanan and Borobudur are Indonesian icons that any visitor to this country should not miss if they have the chance to see it in person.

Though it is situated in a Muslim-majority country, this monument is the world’s biggest Buddhist temple.

Built in the ninth century when Buddhism was more prevalent here, it remains a site for pilgrimages even to this day. Containing influences from Indian Buddhism as well as unique Javanese influences, it is truly a sight to behold at sunrise.

A short distance away is the Hindu temple of Prambanan. The largest temple of this religion in all of Indonesia, and one of the biggest in Southeast Asia, it too was built in the ninth century.

Built to commemorate God as the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer of all things, its architectural stylings are truly magnificent, but the one standout sight is its 154 foot tall tower, which makes a visit here well worth it on its own.

Admire the power of Merapi Volcano

Merapi Volcano is one of Indonesia’s most active, and it frequently shows off its power via many spectacular eruptions.

Its most recent tantrum was thrown a few years ago, and its fluctuating status makes climbing the peak a touch and go situation even at the best of times.

If the mountain is closed to climbing, respect the closure, as your safety is more important than getting a spectacular view, but if it is open, you might get the chance to see molten lava flow from one of many fissures located near the crater.

Go shopping on Jalan Malioboro

Photo by CC user Gunkarta on Wikimedia Commons

Widely respected as a center of arts and culture on the island of Java in Indonesia, there are many crafts, items of clothing, and household decor items that you can purchase along the street front of Jalan Malioboro.

Many Batik art items are available for sale here as well, giving tourists a chance to take home a unique piece of Indonesia with them from the markets that they find here.

In addition to that, there are plenty of street musicians and food stalls available for those that want to sample Indonesian culture in a different way.

Tour the Kraton

Though Indonesia is a traditional democracy in the present day, the city of Yogyakarta still has a sultan from the days of monarchy.

Though he is merely a figurehead in current times, the walled city in which he lives and the palace buildings that he inhabits are certainly worth a look.

Life inside the walls goes on in the same way that it does in the rest of the city, but the old buildings contained within the walls are some of the best historical treasures in all of Yogyakarta.


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