Hallo I’m Boma and thank you for stopping by, before you continue reading this article I just want to share my honor that you interesting to visit my city, so welcome to Yogyakarta.
I live here since 1990 and just falling in love with its ambiance and interesting with how the real Yogyakarta people live by. By the way I was born in ridiculous city named Jakarta (in case you’re not coming from Bali, may your plane just landed in that city) than my mom took me in to this beautiful city when I was 5, so once you planning for visiting Yogyakarta hope this story belong to useful information that you can keep for sightseeing around my city.
Wear your light t-shirt and pants, bring your sun glasses, hold your water bottle on your backpack, and enjoy my city as well. Here I’m gonna tell you these 7 freakin’ awesome things to do in Yogyakarta when you only have 3 days in this town. First thing first how I know 3 days is the most common days to exploring my city? Nowadays I already served 500 guest here in my Airbnb called Boma House, a simple and basic room for budget traveler and during past 4 years I just found my guest only have 2 – 3 night here in my town, even more I know as well that my city is quite small to explore so 3 days will quite enough to sightseeing around. Now I want you to consider these 7 things:
Visiting Sultan Palace or We Called It ‘Kraton’
Sultan Palace is located about 1 km from Jalan Malioboro (the most common street that people always visit) and about 3 km far from the Jalan Prawirotaman, a nice street where a lot of foreigner crossing by to come to the cafes, restaurant, or simply looking for tour guide. As I know that there will be FREE show inside the Palace from 10 – 12 am, just remind that this palace will be close at 1 pm so once you want to explore just make sure to come first to this palace at 9 am than you will see the morning life in this ‘Kraton’. By the way there 2 (two) entrance that you can go in, front and back entrance. When you go in through the front entrance that you will see the garden, guard, hall, and other outdoor spots and when you go in from the back entrance than you will get the museum of or past 9th king. I highly recommend you to visit both entrance cause the admission will be less than USD2/person. If you’re done with this palace you can go to horse carriage museum and javanese museum which only 10 minutes walk away, it’s quite interesting place to visit too if you are a person who love history.
Taman Sari Water Castle
I can tell you that Taman Sari is our King’s 2nd palace, as I heard from the guide that hundred years ago between ‘Kraton’ and Taman Sari is floaded by water and the King have to paddle his own cano to go to the Taman Sari just to get relax after get bored for his daily life. There are a pool inside the Taman Sari where the King can meet all the ‘Dayang’ a.k.a. his ‘secondary’ wife and once the King want to get laid with them he just go to the tower and throw in the flower to the pool. Anyone who able to get the flower so she can make love with the King, that’s the honor for her at that time and this is why this place called Taman Sari – Taman (Garden); Sari (Flower or we can called it Girl). Admission fee also less than USD2 and you can explore it as well with or without a guide but when you expect to hire some guide there are a lot of man standing by in the entrance who can help you to tell the true story, they not able to ask you some money cause it is not polite even they definitely need the money, so when you want to hire him you can give them about IDR50.000 for all around.
I uploading my Yogyakarta travel photos and sell it online, in case you interesting with the photos that you can buy it on shutterstock.
Wake Up Early and Enjoy the Sunrise in Borobudur
No matter where you stay, go wake up early and consider the Borobudur Sunrise Tour experience. There are 2 (two) spots to see the sunrise, from the Barede Hill, a nice hill behind the temple or from inside the temple. If you don’t have problem with the money so I highly suggest you to go in from inside the Borobudur and enjoy the sunrise. But if you a budget traveler than see the sunrise from the hill is the best one. Don’t be surprise if your admission fee will our 10x cause this is the Borobudur regulation. Here you may go to the Borobudur by your self or simply join my sharing tour which will be 10-12 people in a big car. Our driver will pick you up at 3.30 am and drive the car both to the Barede Hill or go to Manohara hotel, the one and only hotel that have special entrance to go to Borobudur before the regular gate open at 6 am. You may leave us a message or get our Borobudur Sunrise Tour detail here
Enjoy the Sunset Experience in Prambanan Temple
When you’re done with Borobudur, let me introduce you with his ‘brother’ and this is Prambanan Temple about 7 km from Adisucipto International Airport or 25 km from the downtown. There are 2 spots to see the sunset there are Prambanan and Ratu Boko Temple and I’m sure they have paid shuttle that connected to both temple. You can go with trans jogja bus, a simple bus that connected to several bus stop around Yogyakarta. Please remind that the bus will start at 6.30 am and finished at 7 pm so if you want to go to Prambanan make sure you go in to the temple before 5 pm. In case you want to go there in more convenient you may join our Prambanan Sunset tour, please get the detail here
See the Magnificent Show of Ramayana Ballet
It’s folk and love story between Rama and Shinta than they love is against by Rahwana. Ramayana it self establishded since 1961 and this is the one and only performance without dialogue, so all the guest will enjoy the show by see the dancer and musician perform within 2 hours. When you see the show in dry season so they will perform in front of the Prambanan Temple but don’t worry if you visit Prambanan in the rainy season cause the performance still there and perform in indoor theater Trimurti. See the whole schedule and ticket price here
Merapi Volcano Tracking
If you dare enough and have an adrenaline sense you may try this tour, the Merapi Volcano Tracking. Merapi it self is the most active Volcano in Indonesia and here you will start your journey from the New Selo than go up in the middle of night and see the magnificent sunrise at 5.15 am. Our well experience tour guide will accompany you to go up and back down to your hotel safely. We do run our Merapi Tracking tour and you may see the who package on this link
Short Batik Course for Beginner
No matter you know NOTHING about making Batik but our real batik artist will teach you how to make batik from zero. Choose your own pattern, paint it, coloring, and hang it up under the sun….than bring your own art work Batik home. It will be great experience to make your journey in Yogyakarta worth it. Please check the our Batik Course program
Recommended Place to Stay Near City Center
When you stay around city center than you can easily walk away to Malioboro street, Sultan Palace, and Tamansari watercastle. So here I give you my personal recommendation near the city center of Yogyakarta:
- Ibis Malioboro – located right behind the Malioboro Mall, really in the center of Malioboro street
- Dafam Fortuna – located in Malioboro district where you just simply walk about 100 meter from the main street and got tons of cheap street food for whole day
- Amaris Malioboro – great location is its nickname, just same as Dafam, you can simply walk to Malioboro street within 5 minutes
With theres several activities above, you will got amazing experiences while visiting Yogyakarta
Thank you for read my Yogyakarta travel story,
If you interesting in learning more about Yogyakarta, you may check my 44 things to do in Yogyakarta eBook, which include recommendation of attractions, hotel – budget accommodation, bets street food, and simple words to asking help or say greeting both in Bahasa and Javanese language.
Have you ever visit Yogyakarta before?
Share your experience below, I would love to hear from you now!