Best Things To Do In Yogyakarta In 2023 – Yogyakarta is definitely one of the most popular cities to visit in Indonesia. It is located in Central Java and it is well-known for its traditional art and cultural heritages such as the famous Borobudur complex, Prambanan, and more.
Within this article, you will find all the information you need to enjoy all that Yogyakarta has to offer from cultural things like visiting Borobudur, Taking a traditional batik class, and more. Without further ado, here are the 6 best things to do in Yogyakarta.
1. Visiting the historic Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. It is one of the most famous and largest Buddhist temples in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple was built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty and is thought to have taken around 75 years to construct.
Borobudur Temple is a massive structure built in the shape of a mandala and features six square terraces and three circular terraces. The temple is adorned with more than 2,600 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues, depicting scenes from Buddhist teachings and daily life in ancient Java.
Visitors to the temple can climb to the top of the structure to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. It is also popular to visit the temple during sunrise or sunset for a unique and beautiful experience.
2. Exploring the Prambanan Temple
Prambanan Temple, also known as Candi Prambanan, is a Hindu temple complex located in Central Java, Indonesia. It is one of the largest Hindu temples in Indonesia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple was built in the 9th century during the reign of the Mataram Kingdom and is dedicated to the Trimurti, the three main Hindu gods: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva.
The temple complex consists of eight main temples and several smaller shrines. The three main temples, each dedicated to one of the Trimurti gods, are the largest and most impressive structures. The temples are adorned with intricate carvings and reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
Visitors can explore the temple complex and admire the architecture and art of the temples. A traditional Ramayana ballet performance is held at the open-air Prambanan Temple Theater, which is located within the temple complex.
The Prambanan Temple is open daily for visitors and can be reached by car or public transportation from Yogyakarta. Visitors should be aware that the temples are active places of worship and dress respectfully.
3. Taking a Traditional Batik Class
Taking a traditional batik class is a great way to learn about the art of batik-making and experience the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia. Batik is a traditional method of fabric dyeing that involves using wax to resist dye on certain areas of the cloth. The process can be quite intricate and requires a great deal of skill and patience.
During a traditional batik class, you’ll learn about the history and meaning of batik, the tools and materials used in the process, and the different techniques used to create different patterns and designs. You’ll also have the opportunity to create your own batik piece, typically a small scarf or a tote bag, under the guidance of a skilled batik artist.
There are many batik workshops and classes in Yogyakarta, offering different levels of instruction and different types of classes. Some classes are focused on traditional batik techniques, while others teach more modern or experimental methods. Some classes also offer the opportunity to visit batik studios or workshops to see the process in action. It is also possible to purchase batik souvenirs in Yogyakarta.
It’s a good idea to research different classes and workshops beforehand to find one that aligns with your interests and skill level.
4. Visiting the Sultan’s Palace (Kraton)
The Sultan’s Palace, also known as the Kraton, is a must-see destination for visitors interested in learning about the rich cultural heritage and history of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The palace was built in the 18th century and is the main residence of the current sultan, who is also the governor of the region.
Visitors to the palace can explore the complex of buildings and courtyards, which are adorned with traditional Javanese architecture and intricate carvings. The palace also houses a collection of cultural artifacts, including traditional Javanese clothing, jewelry, and weapons. Visitors can also see traditional Javanese gamelan instruments, wayang puppets, and other objects of art.
There are also regular cultural performances and ceremonies held at the palace, such as traditional Javanese dances, gamelan music performances and Wayang kulit, traditional shadow puppet performances.
It’s also a good idea to check out the palace’s museum, which is located in the palace complex, to learn about the history of the palace and the sultan’s family, as well as the culture and customs of the region.
The palace is open daily to visitors and can be reached by car or public transportation from Yogyakarta. Visitors should be aware that the palace is an active place of residence and dress respectfully.
5. Taking a Trip to Mount Merapi
Taking a day trip to Mount Merapi, an active stratovolcano located on the border of Central Java and Yogyakarta provinces is a popular activity for visitors to Yogyakarta. Merapi, which means “Mountain of Fire” in Indonesian, is one of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and has erupted several times in recent history.
A day trip to Mount Merapi typically includes a visit to the volcano’s observation post, where visitors can view the volcano and learn about its history and geology. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the surrounding area to see the impact of past eruptions on the local communities and environment.
For the more adventurous, it’s also possible to hike to the summit of Mount Merapi, which is a challenging but rewarding experience. The hike can be done in a day, with the help of a local guide, and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Visitors should be aware that Mount Merapi is an active volcano and its activity level can change rapidly. It’s important to check the volcano’s activity level before planning a trip and to follow the advice of local authorities.
It’s also possible to hire a car or take a tour from Yogyakarta, which includes transportation, a guide, and all necessary safety equipment.
6. Exploring the Traditional Markets
Exploring the traditional markets and shops in Yogyakarta, such as the Beringharjo Market and Pasar Beringharjo, is a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the daily life of the city. These markets are known for their wide variety of goods, from traditional Javanese textiles and clothing to local crafts and souvenirs.
The Beringharjo Market is one of the oldest and most famous traditional markets in Yogyakarta. It’s located in the heart of the city and offers a wide variety of goods, including traditional Javanese batik fabrics, souvenirs, and traditional Javanese snacks and street food. Visitors can also find a variety of traditional Javanese spices, herbs, and traditional medicine.
Pasar Beringharjo is another traditional market located in Yogyakarta. It’s a great place to find traditional Javanese crafts and souvenirs, including batik fabrics, wayang puppets, and traditional Javanese musical instruments. Visitors can also find a variety of traditional Javanese textiles, such as songket, ikat and batik fabrics.
Both markets are open daily and can be reached by car or public transportation from Yogyakarta. Visitors should be aware that these markets can be crowded and bargaining is expected.
Visiting these markets is a great opportunity to experience the local culture, learn about traditional Javanese art and crafts, and take home a unique souvenir from your trip to Yogyakarta.