Kotagede Heritage District in Yogyakarta, This is What You Should Know!

When you plan to visit Yogyakarta than you should consider about Kotagede heritage district, it’s special region in the south of Yogyakarta that has tons of historical story about how this city come from.

Today I start my scooter engine and ride it to Kotagede which is about 9 km from the city center Malioboro. It was sunny day even I got a headache once I arrive at home but I’m so happy that I’m back with beautiful memories about Yogyakarta kingdom and why the government make this region is so special.

When I reach the Kotagede entrance gate than I feel this city move so slow and I just feel like home, every people are doing their daily activities which is doing the silver crafting and go to the market for Pasaran Day, it’s a special day where majority of locals will visit market.

I just met a nice parking man who show me the way to the great mosque or Masjid Gede Mataram Kotagede where I should belong to for today trip. As I know before that Yogyakarta tradition has a big influence with Hindu even all the moslem leader on that period spread Islam with Hindu tradition to interact other to joining Islam way.

Before I continue this story I want to let you know about basic things that you should know before visiting Yogyakarta, it just a simple thing but hope it helps you to figure out how to go to this amazing city.

Introduction of Yogyakarta

The Visa

I often see that some foreigners pay visa on arrival in the Adisucipto airport, if you live in a country around Southeast Asia than you able to visit Yogyakarta in free visa. No matter where you come from than I still recommend you to check Indonesia’s visa requirement before your arrival.

Recommended Hotel in Yogyakarta

There are hundreds of nice hotel in this city, here you can choose from the B&B, guesthouse, and for sure these best 7 five star hotel in Yogyakarta, but if you don’t stay for longer than I suggest you to choose hotels which is close to the city center.

Transportation in Yogyakarta

We do have Go-Jek, it’s seems like Indonesia’s Uber and definitely more famous than the others, go download it on Andriod store or IOS.

Other cheap transportation is by using Trans Jogja, it’s a flat rate (IDR3.600/trip) bus that covered Kota Yogyakarta district only. But if you focusing on simplicity than rent a scooter or car with recommended driver is the best choice that I can recommend for you.

Travel Essentials

I live in Yogyakarta over than 20 years and let my house as an Airbnb unit called Boma House, so I know little bit about what my past guest bring on their bag or even I can suggest you with some recommended things to have on your bag.

I wrote about Yogyakarta travel essentials than you can consider before visiting my town.

Visiting the Great Mosque in Kotagede Heritage District

This complex is located in Dusun Sayangan RT 04 Jagalan, Kecamatan Banguntapan, Bantul Yogyakarta.

I saw the green signage on the right side and that mean finally I arrive in the great mosque complex, one of the most famous place to visit in Kotagede district

As you can see below that there is a big tree called Beringin that belong to typical or special trees in Yogyakarta, you will see this tree in such special places like Alun-Alun, Presidential Palace, and Sultan Palace. Lately I know that this great mosque is in one single complex with Makam Raja-Raja Mataram or King;s cemetery of Yogyakarta. Kotagede heritage district

Generally it is a simple ‘kampong‘ where the local lived by, most of people surrounding this complex is live by selling traditional Javanese clothes called Surjan, selling food and snacks, and selling some other tradition apparels such as blangkon (the hat) and batik fabric.

All the houses inside this kampong are look nice with their own local architecture, thick wall with natural cross ventilation system. Now I walk into the ancient gate made from brick stone with Hindu style which is bring me to the mosque, just few meters from where I stand, there are some Americans who also coming to this place this afternoon.

Once I saw the mosque than I could say that everything about Kotagede heritage district were so special and it was amazing! If you a person who love history than you MUST come here!

This mosque is built by Panembahan Senopati the very first Yogyakarta’s King in 1589 and it ever burned in 1919 and having a renovation on 1923. The main building this mosque is consist of five elements:

  1. Kuncungan – it’s the main access to go to the mosque with kampong style roof with two pillar that made from the brick stone.
  2. Jagang – it’s a mini pond around the mosque which symbolize the border of holy line (you may not wearing any shoes or sandals anymore) but today this pond is decorated with black fish and it looks so beautiful
  3. Serambi – actually this is a transition are that separate the main building with an outdoor space
  4. Main building – if you able to visit this main building someday than it gonna be so peaceful inside it, now it compliment with comfort air conditioning even still have their traditional roof style and interiors
  5. Wudhu area – it’s a special place to clean your body before praying
visit kotagede yogyakarta

Don’t stop here and keep walking, if you see the left side there is a way to go to the Kind’s tomb complex where the Yogyakarta founding father buried. Some of the famous name are Ki Gede Pemanahan, Panembahan Senopati, Panembahan Hanyakrawati, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono II, and Pangeran Adipati Pakualaman.

Here you will see some photos that represent all the beauty of great mosque and some area before the Kind’s tomb. I uploading this photo in high resolution and once you love and want to use it both for commercial or editorial than you can buy it on my Shutterstock.

kotagede yogyakarta
how to go to kotagede in yogyakarta

Once I saw the mosque than I could say that everything about Kotagede heritage district were so special and it was amazing! If you a person who love history than you MUST come here!

kampong in kotagede yogyakarta
kotagede heritage complex
masjid gede kotagede
pond in masjid kotagede

Once again, Kotagede heritage district was super amazing,

I continue walking to the King’s cemetery complex but so sorry I got no picture at all cause it is restricted complex and I don’t wanna do some stupid things inside. If you willing to entering the tomb’s complex than you should rent a traditional clothes both for Men and Women which is cost of IDR35.000/person.

Here you must walk in a bare foot just like what Abdi Dalem did (this is the Tomb’s guard), but trust me it gonna be interesting by wearing that clothes, it looks so locals!

Look at my picture below and see some foreigner behind me…if you are female than you have to release all your clothes and change it into Kemben, it’s traditional clothes for female, and you can do it too!

wearing traditional clothes
Do I look nice?


Visiting great mosque in Kotagede heritage district is truly worth it to do, highly suggest you to put it in your travel lists. Some tips that I can say is just prepare your money in a small amount, just prepare for IDR5.000, IDR10.000, and IDR20.000 because there is always a donation that the guard ask you to pay.

All your payment will also help them to keep this complex in a better way, as I know they will clean up this cemetery twice a week which is on Monday and Thursday and they will put a fresh rose flower on Friday.

Another things to do in Yogyakarta

Personally I can recommend you to stay between 2-3 days here in Yogyakarta, it’s quite small city but I’m sure that you don’t wanna miss some good destination surrounding by such as:

  • Borobudur Temple – This biggest Buddha temple is located 50 km from Yogyakarta and need about 45 minutes to 1 hour to achieve. If you want to see the sunrise in Borobudur temple than be ready to wake up early approx. at 3.30 am cause sunrise will showin’ up beautifully at 5.20 am, for sure you can do it privately or joining some sharing tours
  • Prambanan Temple, Dinner, and See and Ramayana Ballet Show – If you have a time than see the Prambanan Hindu temple in the afternoon, get romantic dinner with majestic temple view and continue to see the Ramayana ballet show is really worth it to do. You can join this sharing tour at 13.30 and get back to your hotel around 22.30
  • Go to the white sand beach in Gunung Kidul – If you willing to see the beautiful beach in Yogyakarta than don’t go to Parangtritis but take some car and drive it for about 2 hours to Gunung Kidul area, it’s about 40 km from Yogyakarta but the view will be so majestic!

Travel Scam in Yogyakarta, Be Aware!!!

I can’t say that all your visit in Yogyakarta will be in a good day for all even my city is nominated as one of the safest city in Indonesia, but before you visit this city that better for you to consider about these few things:

  • Handwriting Batik Scam – Not every batik fabric is a handwriting even some of seller will tell you their batik as a handwriting and charge you at maximum. But if you want to know how to check so try to see it in detail. Handwriting batik will always had a human error, remember, it’s a handmade so there always be a single error on it like over ink or some little mistake. Stamp batik will always perfect and no error at all but this is why people don’t like it
  • Think twice if you willing to buy the Kopi Luwak – just find the trusted coffee shop in Tripadvisor or somewhere else, this gonna be so tasty but costs a lot of money
  • Ask the total price before ordering – no matter you buy some food or book some tours than make it clear, ask the detail about the information and total price before you make an order

Handwriting batik will always had a human error, remember, it’s a handmade so there always be a single error on it like over ink or some little mistake

Simple Basic Saying in Bahasa and Javanese Languages

This is almost the end of my Kotagede heritage district story and before it finished I suggest you learn some basic greeting word that will make you more comfort in this place. Take a look for some sentences below:

  1. Hallo, my name is Miguel and I’m coming from Mexico (EN); Halo, nama saya Miguel dan saya berasal dari Mexico (IND); Halo, nami kulo Miguel lan kulo saking Mexico (JV)
  2. I want to order 1 portion of noodle without chili (EN); Saya mau pesan 1 porsi mie tanpa sambal (IND); Kulo bade pesen bakmi setunggal mboten ngagem sambal (JV)
  3. Excuse me, how to go to Sultan Palace by bus? (EN); Permisi, bagaimana cara untuk pergi ke Kraton dengan menggunakan bis? (IND); Nuwun sewu, kados pundi carane budal dateng Kraton nitih bis? (JV)
  4. Is there any room for me? (EN); Apa masih ada kamar kosong untuk saya? (IND); Menopo tasih wonten kamar kagem kulo? (JV)
  5. Can you speak English? (EN); Apakah anda bisa berbahasa Inggris? (IND); Menopo panjenengan saget ngendiko Inggris? (JV)
  6. My friend is sick, I need your help to go to hospital (EN); Teman saya sakit, saya butuh bantuanmu untuk ke rumah sakit (IND); Rencang kulo sakit, kulo betah bantaun panjenengan dateng rumah sakit (JV)
  7. Take me to this hotel (EN); Antar saya ke hotel ini (IND); Tulung dhereaken kulo dateng hotel meniko (JV)

Last, I’m taking beautiful photos about my city Yogyakarta and if you want to have it for your own then you can buy it on this page


Professional wedding photographer and blogger since 2010 who put a concern to write a story about photography, traveling, culinary, and hospitality services

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