Yogyakarta (also called Jogjakarta or simply Yogya/Jogja) is one of the foremost cultural centers of Java. One of the key attractions of Yogyakarta is Kraton, the Sultan's Palace. It is the centre of Yogyakarta's traditional life and despite the advance of modernity; it still emanates the spirit of refinement.
A tour to Borobudur temple and a visit of Prambanan
temple site is a must for those who travel to Yogyakarta. Yogyakarta is known as a center of classical Javanese fine art
and culture and especially as a center for batik arts.
The city has more than just culture. It is a very lively city and a shopper's delight. At the main road, Malioboro Street, travelers may hunt for exclusive souvenirs of Yogyakarta, batik, traditional wayang puppets, sculpture, ceramics and silverware.
Attractions in Yogyakarta
The most famous attractions to see near Yogyakarta are the ancient temples of Borobudur and Prambanan, which each are introduced by an own site here at Lestariweb.
Kraton is the Palace where the Sultan of Yogyakarta and his family live. The palace is usually open for tourists. You can take a guided tour in different languages. In the Kraton visitors can also enjoy gamelan concerts and original Indonesian wayan kulit puppet shows. Travelers should ask at the hotel reception for the schedule of these shows. For additional information on the Kraton palace see a cover story of the Garuda Magazine.
If you travel to Yogyakarta, you should also take a tour to Sono-Budoyo Museum, which hosts a first-class collection of Javanese art, wayang kulit puppets, masks and batik. At night wayan kulit puppet shows are performed inside the museum. After a longer story told in Javanese language, which might be boring for foreign travelers, the show starts at around 8:30pm.
The batik painting industry is Yogyakarta's biggest business, especially because of selling it directly to tourists. Batik shops can be found nearly everywhere, but the main places for shopping are Malioboro Street, Tirtodipuran Street, and around Taman Sari. If you plan to buy batik as a souvenir, you should bargain hard and start at 50% of the asked price.
However, tourists can also take a batik workshop or take a tour through the batik process directly at production sites. One day courses to learn all processes of batik making are offered at Sanggar Kalpika in Kampung Taman, at the west of Tamansari, and at Balai Batik on Kusumanegara Street. At Batik Plentong (Jl Tirtodipuran 48) and Batik Winotosastro (Jl Tirtodipuran 54) visitors can enjoy a free tour through the batik process. Guests of the Losmen Setia Kawan hotel can book batik courses directly through the hotel.
The art scene in Yogyakarta is considered more important than that of Jakarta. Works by contemporary artists and a glimpse into the incredibly creative art scene can be found in the exhibition halls of the Langgeng Art Foundation, as well as a few hundred meters further at Kedai Kebun Forum.
About 2 hours away from Yogyakarta travelers find wonderful white sandy beaches. Although, this area is barely developed for tourists and mainly used by locals on weekends, a tour to Parangtritis might bring some variety if you stay longer in Yogyakarta. Travelers reach Parangtritis beach by bus from Giwangan bus terminal in Yogyakarta (Rp. 7,000).
Travel to Yogyakarta
Visitors can travel to Yogyakarta via its international airport, located just 8 km from the city center. This airport serves mainly domestic flights; there are also a few international flights from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. A train station is also available, as are many overland bus connections.
To travel around for sightseeing it is recommendable to use the service of a tour operator or to hire a private driver.
For small distances many Becas are available. Yogya is also a city with metered and efficient taxis. As Yogyakarta is a tourist hot spot travelers will have no problem with getting around. And as Yogyakarta is a very manageable city, many sights to see are in walking distances.