Touring Yogyakarta – Old City

Yogyakarta is a mixture and combination of various cultural influences, from the historic colonial era to the mystical influences of Sultans and temples of old, this old city has them all. As you explore the cultural and social diversity and daily life, take time to visit historic sites and go museum-hopping, this is a city that is sure to charm history buffs and culture vultures alike!

Photo credit - Java Tourism

Photo credit - Java Tourism

Hustle and Bustle of Malioboro

Tourists in Yogyakarta invariably finds themselves drawn to the hustle and bustle of Malioboro, and so must we start off our tour by visiting this centre of Yogyakarta. This major shopping street is the largest tourist district in Yogyakarta, with various shopping, eating and sightseeing available for all to see.

Photo credit - trugiaz

Photo credit - trugiaz

Historic Fort Vredeburg

Fort Vredeburg was called the Rustenberg Port when it was first built by the Dutch in 1760. But the name was changed in 1765, and since then it was used as a military base until 1992 when it became the National Revolutionary Museum. In the museum are exhibits recounting the nationalist struggles of Indonesia’s revolutionaries against the Dutch colonials, which makes for a lengthy history – the Dutch colonialism of Indonesia lasted 350 years!

Photo credit - DMahendra

Photo credit - DMahendra

Taman Sari – Water Castle

Taman Sari or Water Castle was built as a rest house and pleasure park for the Royal Family back in 1758. This popular tourist destination consisted of the Sacred Room, the Bathing Pool as well as Kenanga or Cemeti Island. The Cemeti Island is an especially interesting place which plays host to various underground tunnels and canals. Legend has it that a secret tunnel exists, connecting the Indian Ocean to the South where mythical Nyai Roro Kidul (Queen of the South) resides.

Photo credit - DMahendra

Photo credit - DMahendra

Keraton – Sultan Palace

The word Keraton literally means the palace of a person of power, usually the King or Queen. In this particular instance, the Keraton is the home of the Sultan of Yogyakarta, a person of the highest importance in Yogyakarta, which to some locals are held in the same regard with the President of Indonesia himself! In the legend of Javanese community, the Keraton is defined as the centre of the world, and as such is held with the highest awe and sacredness amongst Yogyakartans. Part of the Palace is now open to public for sight-seeing, with various showcase of traditional Yogyakarta cultures on show, such as the gamelan, or the various costumes of old.

Yogyakarta is host to Sekaten, one of Indonesia’s most widely anticipated festivals. Find out more about it and Indonesia’s other unique festivals in our review of 6 Uniquely Indonesian Festivals!

Photo credit - Elefevre

Photo credit - Elefevre

Ngasem, Bird Market

The Ngasem Market, only 400 metres away from the Keraton, is a hive of activity and interest, filled with birds of all kinds and variety. Many other animals are also sold here, such as snakes and reptiles, but the birds are without a doubt the major attractions here, with many visitors looking to enjoy the beauty of the birds being showcased, and to purchase them.

Photo credit - Gromanuk

Photo credit - Gromanuk

Kota Gede – Silver City

In the times of old, Kota Gede, or Silver City, was famous for its silver crafts which were of such high quality that they were exported to foreign markets. This former capital of the ancient Mataram Kingdom host hundreds of silversmiths producing handicrafts ranging from jewelries, ornaments and utensils and are renown as the center of Javanese silver handicraft.

Photo credit - Thrillseekr

Photo credit - Thrillseekr

Majestic Borobudur Temple

Undoubtedly the jewel of Yogyakarta, Borobudur Temple is an awe-inspiring ancient Buddhist stupa and temple complex approximately 45 minutes from Yogyakarta’s city center. This is the single most popular tourist attraction in modern day Indonesia, and you can expect hordes of tourists there every day. If you want to enjoy a peaceful, private tour, head on to nearby Manohara Hotel and book yourself a sunrise tour, which gives you the chance to enjoy the magical complex before the crowd can enter. This is well worth the money!

The island of Java is a melting pot of culture and history, with Borobudur being the main jewel of the crown. Check out our photographic journey through this man-made wonders, Borobudur Temple, Central Java!

Photo credit - riza

Photo credit - riza

Prambanan Temple

The Prambanan Temple is often considered the little sister of nearby Borobudur Temple. Massive and impressive, but not quite as enchanting as the popular Borobudur Temple. This temple complex however, is still a very important architecture in Indonesian history. The Prambanan Temple complex is a collection of Hindu temples built by the Mataram Kingdom. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the largest Hindu temple in the world, which makes it another must-see attractions in Yogyakarta.

Photo credit - Chauromano

Photo credit - Chauromano

Ratu Boko Temple

This blend of Hindu and Buddhist architectural masterpiece is a fascinating attraction located approximately 3 kilometres south of Prambanan temple. The temple is believed to have been built as a dormitory for monks, based on inscriptions dating back to the mid 700s. It is also a reminder of King Boko, the legendary king mentioned in Loro Jonggrang folklore. The temple boasts beautiful monasteries, terraces and ponds, sectioned into two main temples (Candi Batu Putih and Candi Pembakaran), three miniature temples and a Bathing Place.

Unearthing Asia is a travel zine focusing on Lifestyle, Culture and Attractions all over Asia. Don’t miss out on the best bargain holiday ideas and inspirations in the region of Asia, such as this list of top attractions in Ho Chi Minh City.


9 Comments on "Touring Yogyakarta – Old City"

  1. Michael on Wed, 29th Sep 2010 2:43 am 

    Well, it makes me want to go! Nice collection of photos too.

  2. aliyonk on Thu, 11th Nov 2010 3:30 pm 

    welcome to the center of javanese cultures

  3. erma on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 1:45 am 

    i love jogja.. :)

  4. winbakti on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 4:10 pm 

    Jogjakarta i miss u….
    culture, heritage, friendly everything about jogja
    i’ll be back, soon

  5. Leena on Thu, 24th Feb 2011 10:17 am 

    Like your blog. Give me the idea where i shall visit in Yogyakarta. I will be there this coming September 2011.

  6. yesh on Mon, 28th Mar 2011 9:58 am 

    as described above you should visit those places! Yogyakarta has numerous museums and galleries, you can visit them too. You may want to see Sendratari Ramayana (or Ramayana Ballet). It is a no-dialogue performance that combines the art of dance and theater of the legendary Ramayana’s story which sculpted on Candi Siwa, a temple in Prambanan complex. Hundreds local dancers, huge gamelan orchestra, and a sinden as a narrator (in Bahasa and English) makes a great harmony of sounds and interesting visual. Taken place in front of the temple, the stage is so splendid with hypnotizing lighting.

  7. Fean on Tue, 19th Apr 2011 5:16 am 

    it is very good article…
    but maybe I just want to give you an information that it is correct that you can reach Borobudur approximately 45 min by car, but Borobudur is not exactly part of Jogjakarta… it should be part of Central Java.
    Maybe most of people knew that Borobudur is in Jogjakarta… so through your article, I just try to correct a bit :)

  8. Gita on Sun, 10th Mar 2013 7:50 am 

    Very pleased you enjoy the trip in Indonesia. Just come back to Indonesia, and find other beautiful places that you should visit and stay. Maybe could be a good recommendation for you to find another interesting destinations in Indonesia :)

  9. sewa mobil paling murah di jogja on Sun, 10th May 2015 6:41 pm 

    Useful info. Fortunate me I found your site by chance, and I am surprised why this coincidence did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

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