What to Do in Yogyakarta for Two Days

Video Guide: 48 hours in Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta is one of favorite travel destinations in Indonesia. It is easy to understand why. The city has a laid back relaxing ambiance, a strong culture and deep historical roots. Yogyakarta is most famous as the gateway to Buddhist temple, Borobudur and home of the Hindu temple, Prambanan. Yet there is a lot more on offer. Here is Skyscanner’s video guide to a quick 24 hours in Yogyakarta.

 

Here's a Map of Yogyakarta or Jogjakarta 

 

What to see and do in Yogyakarta in the Morning?

Experience a glorious sunrise from the top of Borobudur Temple

While located in Magelang, Borobudur temple is one of the highlights of Jogjakarta. Most tourists come to Borobudur in the day, but it is at sunrise that the temple is at its most enchanting. On a misty morning, sitting between the Buddhist stupas of the temple shrouded in fog, you will see Merapi and Merbabu volcanoes in the distance.

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Abseiling into Jomblang Cave

Gunung Kidul, one of the regencies in Yogyakarta, is a full package for nature lovers. There are waterfalls, caves, hills and beautiful beaches. The real highlight is Jomblang and Grubug cave that should be visited by every backpacker. On an outing to the cave you’ll abseil down 60 meters into an ancient forest. Then the journey continues as you enter the caves and walk through a dark tunnel for 250 meters or more. At the end of the tunnel speckled rays of sunlight going through the foliage overhead light up Grubug Cave.

 

What to see and do in Yogyakarta in the Afternoon?

Try the local delights. Don’t miss Gudeg.

Yogyakarta is well within Indonesia for its distinct culinary culture. While there are several signature dishes of Yogyakarta, the one that you should try is Gudeg. The dish is made from young unripe jackfruits that are cooked on a low heat for several hours. The dish is served with steamed rice, cow skin, chicken/egg, prawn cracker and tempe or tofu. Some of the most popular places to try Gudeg are: Gudeg Pawon, Gudeg Permata, Gudeg Yu Djum and Gudeg MBarek Bu Hj Ahmad.

Get lost in the Water Palace / Taman Sari

Taman Sari Water Palace belongs to the Sultan of Yogyaarta. As you pass through the gates you enter the private pools and bathing houses that used to house the harem of the kings of Yogyakarta. It’s a beautiful oasis of tranquility in the heart of Yogyakarta. A visit to Taman Sari should be followed with a visit to Sumur Gumuling, the underground mosque. On the journey from the Water Palace to Sumur Gumuling you’ll pass through a warren of small alleyways that connect the old part of Yogyakarta. There is a big chance you’ll get lost, but it is the fun way to explore the old city.

Learn how to make Batik

Yogyakarta is famous for its textile and jewelry production and there are many workshops to join when you are visiting the city. Batik, a fabric created using wax and dyes that is unique to this area of South East Asia, is a home industry around the villages that surround the city. Joining a Batik workshop is a fun and interesting way to spend an afternoon. You will learn a bit about the history and the culture surrounding batik production as well as get a chance to create your own batik.

 

What to see and do in Yogyakarta in the evening?

Explore the Hindu temple, Prambanan.

Prambanan is a UNESCO world heritage site and the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia. Originally the complex consisted of thousands of small shrines that stretched over a huge area. Much of the temple lies in ruins however and only the largest shrines in the heart of the complex remain. It’s nice to visit Prambanan in the late afternoon when the weather is slightly cooler. 

Enjoy the Sunset from Ratu Boko Palace

One of the best places to see sunset in Yogyakarta is Ratu Boko Palace. The palace is located on a series of hills and offers unrestricted views over the fertile plains of the city. The gate of the palace, which is lit up as a silhouette at sunset, usually amazes people visiting Ratu Boko. Make sure to arrive early if you want the chance to really explore the palace complex.

Beach time at Parangtritis Beach

Parangtritis is one the closest beach to Yogyakarta, it is only 25 km away. The beach, which stretches for miles, has distinctive black volcanic sand. There are plenty of fun things that you can do when you visit. For instance you can take an ATV ride, go paragliding (on certain months) or just relax in the infinity pool overlooking the beach. On the way to the beach there is even an area where you can do some sandboarding.

Hang out at night at the South Town Square

Yogyakarta has two town squares; the South and the North. The South Square is the most popular with tourists, especially at night when you can ride the sparkling pedal cars. Don’t forget to also try the walk between the twin Beringin Trees. The local myth is that if you can pass between the two trees with your eyes closed then whatever you ask for will come true.

Experience the Ramayana Ballet performance

If you love culture and the arts then you will want to end your day watching a performance of the Ramayana Ballet. The ballet tells the ancient love story of Rama and Sita (a tale that comes from Sri Lanka and dates back more than 1,000 years). In the dry season the Ramayana Ballet is performed against the backdrop of Prambanan Temple by a troupe of more than 200 dancers.

 

Our Recommendation

Stay at one of the well-preserved old buildings: Phoenix hotel

The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta - MGallery Collection is one of the best five star hotels in Yogyakarta. The hotel, a colonial mansion, mixes the influence of East and West. It’s a beautiful place to stay and a convenient location from which to explore the many delights of Yogyakarta.

 

This video guide was written by Firsta of Discover Your Indonesia.