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Top Activities in Yogyakarta

See all 508 things to do in Yogyakarta

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Areas & Neighborhoods in Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta Attractions

Yogyakarta is the cultural heart of the island of Java, and its many heritage-filled ancient structures and buzzling streets attest to that fact. Its history stretches back to the 8 th and 9 th centuries, when the magnificent UNESCO-listed temples of Borobudur and Prambanan were built, and extends through the 16 th and 17 th centuries when it was the seat of the Mataram kingdom. Elements of its storied past can be found throughout the modern city, which still overflows with traditional flavor in its markets and arts. As the gateway to the wonders of Central Java, Yogyakarta is filled with things to do, from hiking majestic Mount Merapi to tasting Javanese flavors on a food-filled walk through Jalan Malioboro.

With UNESCO-listed temples and a multitude of historic sites within the city, Yogyakarta has no shortage of sightseeing destinations. Immerse yourself in the amazing heritage of the city and the surrounding region as you explore each incredible spot.

What to See in Yogyakarta

Kotagede - Established in the 16th century as the first capital of the Mataram Sultanate, Kotagede is a historic neighborhood. Although only a few parts of the royal palace remain, the area is still home to the Kotageded Royal Cemetery and the Great Mosque, which you can explore by bike. Kotagede is famous for its ornate silverwork crafts, with many stores lining the main street of Jalan Kemasan, and its delicious local Javanese cuisine.

Prambanan - The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Prambanan, also known as Candi Rara Jonggrang, is an ancient Hindu temple compound from the 9th century. Visit the impressive 3 main Trimurti temples, which honor the deities Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, and admire the smaller Vahana temples among other well-preserved structures that display intricate Hindu architecture.

Kraton - The Kraton of Yogyakarta, formally called the Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, is a walled palace complex and the main seat of the Sultan of Yogyakarta. The area acts as a political and cultural focal point for the city, and a large part of the palace is used as the Museum Kereta Keraton. Tour through the grounds, stopping by the Alun-Alun green square in front of the palace, and see the nearby Taman Sari water castle.

Aside from Prambanan, Yogyakarta is full of astonishing temples rich in history. Borobudur, the world's largest Buddhist temple and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was constructed in the 9th century and boasts breathtaking Javanese Buddhist architecture that tells the story of Buddhist cosmology. Thanks to its elevated location, the site is a popular spot for watching the sunrise, and the nearby Pawon and Mendut temples make the area worth a visit. Immerse yourself in Javanese culture as well by watching a performance of Ramayana traditional ballet, which tells the ancient epic poem of Ramayana.

Sightseeing in Yogyakarta

Along with its incredible temples, one of Yogyakarta's charms is its proximity to wonders of nature. The stratovolcano of Mount Merapi is a popular destination for hikes, with sunrise journeys offering spectacular views of the region. Go caving in the Jomblang Cave, or Goa Jomblang, an enormous sinkhole and tunnel created by thousands of years of rainwater and underground rivers, and discover the vast Goa Grubog cavern where sunlight pours in from far above. Yogyakarta city itself also features an abundance of cultural and exciting experiences. The area is prized for its beautiful

batik

fabrics, with the market in Beringharjo being one of the most famous places to find the exquisite textiles, and there are many opportunities to try your hand at making your own. Get engaged with local culture by exploring bustling markets and shops on the major shopping street of Jalan Malioboro, near the old Dutch fortress of Fort Vredeburg. Yogyakarta is also famous for its sumptuous street foods and local cuisine, including traditional Javanese dishes like the jack fruit-based

gudeg yogya

, flavorful

ayam goreng kalasan

, and sweet

kipo

.

Things to Do in Yogyakarta with Kids

There are plenty of amazing experiences in Yogyakarta that the whole gang will get a buzz out of. Here are a few of the best family friendly experiences in the area.

Free Things to Do in Yogyakarta

Escaping to Yogyakarta on a budget? The following can be seen for zip.

Museum Sasmitaloka Panglima Besar Jenderal Sudirman - Loaded with exhibits and artifacts, this gallery is a wonderland for inquiring minds.

Bank Indonesia - If you're into modern-day architecture, add this landmark to your must-see list.

Gadjah Mada University - If you're thinking of exploring the history of the region through its landmarks, stick this one on your must-see list.

Great Mosque Kotagede Mataram - This vibrant location is a popular hangout for locals and tourists alike.

Bringharjo Market - Widely known among the locals, this site is worth exploring.

Sambisari Temple - Mix a bit of spirituality into your getaway with a visit to this sacred place.

Explore The Neighborhoods of Yogyakarta

Central Yogyakarta

Central Yogyakarta is noteworthy for its historic sites, and you can make a stop at top attractions like Malioboro Street and Malioboro Mall.

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Malioboro

You'll enjoy the museums and monuments in Malioboro. You might want to make time for a stop at Malioboro Street or Malioboro Mall.

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Mlati

Gardens, golf courses, and restaurants are some highlights of Mlati. You might stop by Jogja City Mall or Sleman City Hall while you're in the area.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What to do in Yogyakarta on a sunny day?

Make the most of the nice weather (and stretch your legs too) with some of these top activities:

What to do in Yogyakarta on a rainy day?

There's no need to squelch your way through a soggy day when there are so many wonderful indoor activities like these on offer:

Are there cheap things to do in Yogyakarta?

You'll find tons of fun experiences here that are ideal if you're watching your budget:

What can you do in Yogyakarta for free?

You could even leave your money in the hotel safe for the day, because these cool attractions won't cost you a cent:

  • Borobudur Temple
  • Prambanan Temple
  • Jogja City Mall
  • Gadjah Mada University