Yogyakarta sights - what to see

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Yogyakarta and its surroundings are filled with interesting tourist attractions, because it is the cultural capital of the island of Java and Indonesia as a whole. The city is home to the Kraton Sultan's Palace, Taman Sari water castle, several museums, a remarkable large Pasar Beringharjo market, Pasty Pasar bird market, Kota Gede historic district, the remains of the fortress wall and gate, and many more little-known architectural and historical places and monuments that you will come across just while walking around the city.

But the most important thing for which they come here is the two famous temple complexes located nearby – Borobudur and Prambanan. In addition to them, there are several dozen ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples in the vicinity of Yogyakarta, and an unusual modern Chicken Temple.

But Yogyakarta is rich not only in historical sights. From here you can take a tour to the most active Merapi volcano in Indonesia; visit an interesting, but so far little-known among foreign tourists, the Dieng plateau; go trekking in the surrounding area and to the caves; and even visit the beaches on the coast.

It is also one of the best starting points for tours to the volcanoes Bromo and Ijen. Here you can buy cheap tours to visit both volcanoes at once, and there are one-way tours to the city Banyuwangi. The latter option is very convenient for travelers, since such tours end at the pier in Banyuwangi, from where ferries depart for Bali Island. There are one-way tours through volcanoes and directly to Bali, but it is more profitable to buy to Banwangi, and from there to cross on your own.

Here are places in and around Yogyakarta that are definitely worth a visit:

You can get acquainted with the city sights on your own on foot, the city center is small. But for a trip to the surrounding attractions you will have to hire a taxi, rented transport or buy excursions. Borobudur and Prambanan can also be reached by public transport (see Yogyakarta transport and what to use), but it is not very convenient and very tiring, especially under the scorching sun.

Information about the sights and a free map with the most important sights in English can be obtained at the tourist information center on Jalan Malioboro Street, 16 (information center on the map), where you can also buy excursions at the lowest prices. Excursions are also offered in hotels and other travel agencies on the street, or you can buy them online on one of the verified excursion tour search sites with reviews:

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And here is an overview of the most important sights of Yogyakarta, indicating their opening hours, cost, and ways to get to them:

Attractions in Yogyakarta

  • Kraton Sultan Palace / Kraton Sultan Palace

    Kraton Sultan Palace in Yogyakarta

    The Sultan's Palace (Kraton Sultan Palace, or simply Kraton) is a whole complex of buildings that once constituted the palace of the sultans of Yogyakarta. It was built in the XVIII century, and is an example of traditional Javanese architecture. In general, Kraton is considered the main and must-visit attraction of Yogyakarta, but foreign tourists should not expect too much from it. Unfortunately, the signatures to the exhibits inside are not translated into English, when buying tickets, guidebooks with explanations are not issued. Learn more about the Sultan's palace Kraton here...

    🕐 Working hours: daily from 08:30 to 14:00, Fridays from 08:30 to 13:00, seven days a week.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: there are two entrances to the palace with a separate fee, 15,000 entrance (0.93 USD, see currency and money of Indonesia, exchange rate) + 2000 photography; 7000 entrance + 1000 photography.

    🚶 How to get there: the Kraton Palace is located in the center of Yogyakarta, from the tourist street Malioboro can be reached on foot (Kraton on the map). There are two separate entrances to the palace from the north-west and from the south side.

  • Taman Sari Water Castle / Taman Sari Water Castle

    Taman Sari Water Castle / Taman Sari Water Castle in Yogyakarta

    This is another complex of historical buildings in Yogyakarta along with the Kraton Sultan's Palace, and, in our opinion, much more interesting. If you choose what to visit from these two places, we would definitely recommend the Water Castle, although in fact it will not be difficult to get around both of these places for half a day, and you will not even need transport, everything is nearby.

    The Taman Sari complex of water palaces was built by Sultan Hamengkubuwono the tenth (Hamengkubuwono X) in 1758 as a place for the rest of the sultan's family, including his numerous wives. But judging by the strong walls and protective bastions surrounding the water castle, it could also be used to preserve the sultan's family in case of a siege. Learn more about Taman Sari Water Castle here...

    🕐 Working hours: 09:00 – 15:00, Seven days a week. After 15 hours, you can continue to visit the sights outside the main complex.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: 15,000 rupees(0.93 USD), permission to photograph – 3000 rupees.

    🚶 How to get there: Tamansari Water Castle is located in the center of Yogyakarta, a 10-minute walk from Kraton Palace (Tamansari on the map). The main entrance is inconspicuous, marked with a sign from Jalan Taman Street. Further, after inspecting the main complex in search of other objects, you can only move on foot through the narrow streets of the district, it is best to use a navigator or smartphone with offline map applications, or a guide.

  • Malioboro Street / Malioboro Street

    Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta

    This is the main walking and pedestrian tourist area for tourists. Strictly speaking, Malioboro is not a pedestrian zone, but along this busy city road there are wide sidewalks, cafes, restaurants, shops and shopping centers, markets, travel agencies. The street itself is decorated with sculptures and equipped with shops for recreation, sometimes there are street performers, students who want to get to know and practice their English, souvenir sellers and fast food vendors. There are also all kinds of scammers and pickpockets, so be careful. Learn more about Malioboro Street here...

    🕐 Working hours: around the clock.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: free of charge.

    🚶 How to get there: Malioboro Street on the map.

  • Sonobudoyo History Museum

    Sonobudoyo History Museum

    Sono-Budoyo Museum is a good historical museum about the peoples inhabiting the largest islands of Indonesia, including Bali and Lombok, which are popular with tourists. Most of the exposition is devoted to Java. Among the exhibits are Wayang shadow theater dolls, masks, statues, fabrics, weapons, musical instruments. The museum's archaeological collection is perhaps the largest in central Java. The only bad thing, as in most state museums, is that the exhibition is dusty and unkempt, there are few information signs in English. In the evenings there is a performance of the traditional shadow theater "Wayang".

    🕐 Working hours: Tuesday-Thursday 08:00 - 15:30 ; Friday - 8:00 - 14:00; Saturday and Sunday - 08.00 - 15.30. Monday is a day off.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: adults – 5000 rupees (0.31 USD); children – 2500 rupees. The performance of the shadow theater is 20,000 rupees.

    🚶 How to get there: located in the center next to the Kraton Palace, Jalan Trikora/Pangurakan, 6 (museum on the map).

  • Fredeburg Fortress / Vredenburg Fortress

    Fredeburg Fortress

    The museum is a fortress built in the XVIII century by the founder of the sultanate Sultan Hamengkubuwono I (Hamengkubuwono I).Inside is a collection of paintings, dioramas, and a few items related to the history of the sultanate and the struggle for independence. The museum will be very interesting for those who want to learn more about the history of the sultanate, but it is difficult to call it very spectacular and interesting for foreign tourists.

    🕐 Working hours: at 07:30 -16:00, Monday is a day off.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: adults – 10000 rupees (0.62 USD); children – 5000 rupees.

    🚶 How to get there: located in the center at the end of the tourist street Malioboro and next to the Kraton Palace (fortress on the map).

  • Carriage Museum / Kereta Karaton

    Yogyakarta Carriage Museum

    An attraction for great lovers of history and culture, most foreign tourists will most likely be bored here. Here are about a dozen carriages used at different times by the sultans of Yogyakarta. It is worth noting that they are not distinguished by special beauty and delights, apparently, the sultans were quite modest. There are no explanations and signatures to the exhibits, so you will spend no more than 5 minutes here. Learn more about the museum on the map here...

    🕐 Working hours: 08:00 – 16:00, Seven days a week.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: 5000 rupees(0.31 USD), photography – 5000 rupees.

    🚶 How to get there: the carriage museum is located in the city center near the palace, you can get there on foot (museum on the map).

  • Affandi Museum

    Affandi Museum

    Affandi Museum is a museum dedicated to the famous Indonesian artist Affandi Kusuma, famous not only in Indonesia but also abroad. He worked in the house where the museum is now located, and during his lifetime organized a gallery here. After the artist's death in 1990, a full-fledged museum was formed here, and his personal belongings appeared, including a spectacular Mitsubishi Galant psychedelic yellow sports car. Also among the exhibits you can see children's drawings and more serious works of his 11 children!!!

    If you are interested in art, love impressionism and expressionism, the styles in which Affandi worked, then the museum is definitely worth a visit. If you are more interested in antiquities and history, then you will not be very interested here. Learn more about the museum here...

    🕐 Working hours: from 09:00 to 16:00, Sunday is a day off.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: adults – 25,000 rupees; children – 10,000 rupees.

    🚶 How to get there: located away from the city center at Jl. Laksda B Adi Sucipto, 167 (museum on the map). You can get here from the tourist area by bus 1A.

  • Aviation Museum (Museum Dirgantara)

    Aviation Museum

    Museum Dirgantara or Central Museum of the Air Force Air Mandala is a museum of aviation history that will be of interest to a wide range of tourists. Here, under the open sky and in hangars, you can see real airplanes from the Second World War and the Cold War, including the Soviet Mig-15, Mig-21 and La-11; aircraft bombs and missiles; many models and other aviation equipment. You can even climb into some of the exhibits. The museum is located on the territory of the Indonesian Armed Forces base, but anyone can visit it. At the entrance to the military base, they will check your belongings, may ask you to leave your passport as collateral, and explain where to go next. Learn more about the museum here...

    🕐 Working hours: 07:00 – 17:00, Seven days a week.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: 10000 rupees, photography – 1000 rupees.

    🚶 How to get there: the museum is located on the outskirts of the city near the airport on the territory of a military base (museum on the map). You can get here by bus 1A, 1B, 3A to stop 025 Transmart, and then walk 15 minutes.

Attractions in the vicinity of Yogyakarta

  • Borobudur Temple Complex / Borobudur

    Borobudur

    Borobudur is a Buddhist temple complex, the most famous and popular historical landmark of Indonesia. It was built in the period from 750 to 850 AD by the ruling Sailendra dynasty of the ancient state of Mataram, but after a while it was abandoned for centuries, presumably due to the activity of the deadliest volcano Merapi. It is given the status of the world's largest Buddhist temple, although strictly speaking it is not really a temple, but rather a monument or stupa. Visiting it during a trip to Yogyakarta is simply mandatory, but it is also visited with an excursion from other resorts, including the island of Bali. Learn more about Borobudur and how to visit it here...

    🕐 Working hours: 06:00 – 17:15.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: only the main complex of Borobudur - 350 000 rupees (23.93 USD); Borobudur+Prambanan - 630 000 rupees (38.91 RUB); dawn on Borobudur - 1,950,000 rupees (120 USD).

    🚶 How to get there: Borobudur is located 40 kilometers from Yogyakarta, and this city is the best base point to visit it (Borobudur on the map). It can also be visited with excursions or independently from other cities and resorts of the island of Java and the island of Bali. For details on how to get to it and visit, see the link with a full description.

  • Prambanan Temple Complex / Prambanan

    Prambanan

    Prambanan (Prambanan) is a large complex of Hindu and Buddhist temples of 8-10 centuries near the city of Yogyakarta in the central part of the island of Java in Indonesia (Prambanan on the map). Along with the temple, Borobudur is the most popular historical and cultural attraction of the island of Java and Indonesia as a whole. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Learn more about Prambanan and how to visit it here...

    🕐 Working hours: 06:00 – 17:15.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: only the main complex Prambanan - 350 000 rupees (23.93 rub); Borobudur+Prambanan - 630 000 rupees (38.91 RUB); sunset in Ratu Boko - 1950000 rupees (120 USD). The entrance to the small temples around is either free or costs a symbolic 5-10 tr.

    🚶 How to get there: Prambanan is located 17 kilometers from Yogyakarta(Prambanan on the map). It can also be visited with excursions or independently from other cities and resorts of the island of Java and the island of Bali. For details on how to get to it and visit, see the link with a full description.

  • Ratu Boko Palace / Kraton Ratu Boko

    Ratu Boko Palace in Yogyakarta

    Kraton Ratu Boko is the remains of the family palace of the Hindu dynasty of the kingdom of Mataram, built in the 9th century. The palace can be visited separately or in conjunction with the main complex Prambanan or Borobudur on a single ticket, which will be cheaper. But given that it is located next to Prambanan, it is more convenient, of course, to visit it with Prambanan.

    Tourists often visit the palace to meet the sunset here, since the ruins themselves do not cause great interest. Until 2017, there was a special cheaper ticket to meet the sunset, but now the price has equaled the usual one, and the usual one has doubled. Given this, the palace can skip, or visit it on a shared ticket with the main complex, so it will be cheaper. When buying a single ticket, there is also free shuttle bus delivery between the temples of Prambanan.

    🕐 Working hours: from 06:00 to 15:00. Sunset meeting by a separate ticket from 03:00 to 06:00

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: entrance fee to Ratu Boko - 350 00 rupees (23.93 RUB / $25) adults, and 210,000 rupees (12.97 RUB / 15 USD) children. The sunset meeting is carried out on a separate ticket, which costs the same as the usual 350 000/210 000. The price is tied to the dollar exchange rate and may vary.

    🚶 How to get there: The palace is located three kilometers from the main Prambanan complex and a 20-minute walk from the Prambanan Terminal bus stop (the palace on the map).

  • Merapi Volcano / Merapi Volcano

    Merapi Volcano, photo https://pxhere.com/

    It is the most active and dangerous volcano in Indonesia, and the most popular natural attraction visited from Yogyakarta. You can visit it in two ways: a trip day or night to meet the dawn in a jeep around the neighborhood to the observation deck, from where the volcano mountain can be seen in the distance; full trekking with a climb to the volcano crater. The height of the summit is 2914 meters. It is constantly smoking, and actively erupts about every 4-7 years. Learn more about the Merapi volcano and how to visit it here...

    🕐 Working hours: around the clock, it is best to go on one-day jeep tours at night for a subsequent dawn meeting. The best season to climb to the crater is the dry season from June to September.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: jeep tours to the observation decks (the so-called Lava tour) from Yogyakarta cost from 350 00 rupees (23.93 USD), night tours are a little more expensive. There are also combined excursions to Merapi and Borobudur, which is more profitable than two separate tours.

    🚶 How to get there: Merapi is located in central Java, 25 kilometers in a straight line from Yogyakarta (Merapi on the map). Read more about how to get to Merapi with a tour or on your own in the full description at the link above.

  • Candi Mendut Temple / Candi Mendut

    Ruins of the Kandy Mendut Temple

    The ruins of the temple of Candi Mendut (Chandi Mendut) are located 3.5 kilometers from the entrance to Borobudur, and are usually visited together with it. It was built, presumably, in the IX century, and it is the oldest of the trinity temples Candi Mendut, Borobudur and Candi Pawon located on the same line. Inside is one of the most unusual Buddha statues in Java. Her unusual feature is that she "sits" not in the traditional lotus position, but like a European man with her legs spread out. Learn more about the temple of candi Mendut here...

    🕐 Working hours: from 06:00 to 17:30.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: 3500 rupees(0.22 USD), or free of charge when buying a special single ticket to visit Borobudur. According to the tickets purchased here, the Candi Pawon temple is also visited.

    🚶 How to get there: Candi Mendut is located 3.5 kilometers from Borobudur and 47 kilometers from Yogyakarta (temple on the map). It is best to visit it together with Borobudur, it is not very interesting separately. Tours from Yogyakarta and other cities include a visit to this temple, and you can also visit it yourself, see more details how to get to Borobudur is here...

  • Candi Pavon Temple / Candi Mendut

    Ruins of the Kandy Pavon Temple

    Candi Pavon (Chandi Pavon) is another Buddhist temple of the three in the Borobudura complex. Along with Candi Mendut and the main monument of Borobudur, they form a trinity of temples, for some unknown reason located on the same line. Architecturally, it is very similar to Candi Mendut, but on a smaller scale. If you visit on your own, you will spend no more than 5 minutes here. We recommend visiting this temple together with Borobudur as part of a guided tour, otherwise it will not be very interesting here. Learn more about candi Pavon Temple here...

    🕐 Working hours: from 06:00 to 17:30.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: 3500 rupees(0.22 USD), or free of charge when buying a special single ticket to visit Borobudur. According to the tickets purchased here, the Candi Mendut temple is also visited.

    🚶 How to get there: Candi Pawon is located 1.5 kilometers from Borobudur and 50 kilometers from Yogyakarta (temple on the map). It is best to visit it together with Borobudur, it is not very interesting separately. Tours from Yogyakarta and other cities include a visit to this temple, and you can also visit it yourself, see more details how to get to Borobudur is here...

  • Sambisari Temple / Candi Sambisari

    Sambisari Temple

    Sambisari Temple (Candi Sambisari or Sambisari Temple) is an amazing and unusual temple in the vicinity of Yogyakarta and not far from the Prambanan temple complex, usually they are visited together in one trip. It is dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva, built approximately in the IX century. For a long time it was abandoned and unknown, and was rediscovered by a local farmer only in 1966. The peculiarity of the temple is that it is located about 5 meters below ground level in an even square depression. Learn more about Sambisari Temple here...

    🕐 Working hours: 07:00-17:00, seven days a week.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: 10000 rupees (0.62 USD).

    🚶 How to get there: located about 12 kilometers from the tourist center of Yogyakarta and a couple of kilometers before reaching Prambanan (temple on the map). You can get to it only by taxi or rented transport.

  • Candi Sari Temple / Candi Sari

    Chandi Sari Temple in Yogyakarta

    It was built at about the same time as Candi Kalasan, i.e. approximately this is the XVIII century. But this is a more traditional Buddhist temple built by Buddhist monks. The temple is two-storeyed, with three rooms on each floor. You can go inside. It is believed that monks used to live on the second floor. Learn more about Chandi Sari here...

    🕐 Working hours: 08:00 – 15:00, Seven days a week.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: 5000 rupees(0.31 USD).

    🚶 How to get there: Chandi Sari Temple is located near Prambanana near the main road (temple on the map). You can get there by rented transport, taxi, or by bus on the way to Prambanan.

  • Chicken Temple / Bukit Rhema Gereja Ayam

    Bukit Rhema Gereja Ayam Chicken Temple in Yogyakarta

    Chicken Temple (Bukit Rhema) is a modern temple, and perhaps the most ambiguous and unusual in all of Indonesia. Initially, it was conceived not as a tourist destination, but as a temple of all religions, and its shape was also chosen very strange – in the form of a dove. But in fact, he looks more like a chicken, which is why he was so nicknamed by the people. Over time, due to its unusual nature, it has become a popular tourist destination visited from Yogyakarta. The temple even has its own website - https://bukitrhema.com/. Learn more about the chicken temple here...

    🕐 Working hours: 05:30 -17:00, seven days a week.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: 30,000 rupees(1.85 USD), Parking 10,000 and 3,000 rupees per car/ motorbike.

    🚶 How to get there: located 60 kilometers from Yogyakarta (temple on the map), it is most convenient to visit it along with the Borobudur temple on the way (it is located a little further than Borobudur), a separate trip, maybe you shouldn't. You can get there by rented transport or buses. Go the same way as to Borobudur, and then a couple more kilometers through the village. The last half kilometer of the way will have to go steeply uphill, be careful. From the parking lot it is still about 300 meters on foot.

  • Bukit Barede Observation Point

    Photo https://wisatamagelang.com/

    This observation deck is sometimes mentioned as an alternative for meeting the dawn instead of the Borobudur temple, but in fact it is not a replacement, because from it you will discover completely different views than in the temple. She is not worse or better, but just different. It offers views of the Merapi volcano and the surrounding area at dawn, after which you can descend and go exploring Borobudur in the morning, until crowds of tourists come there. Learn more about the observation deck here...

    🕐 Working hours: 04:00-06:00, seven days a week.

    💵 Entrance fee / tickets price: 30,000 rupees regular viewing room (1.85 USD), 50,000 for climbing to the platform on the tree.

    🚶 How to get there: the Bukit Barede observation point is located 60 kilometers from Yogyakarta (observation deck on the map) near Borobudur Temple. You only need to get here as well as to the temple, from the parking lot to climb 10 minutes on foot. Ready-made group tours with a dawn meeting and a visit to the temple are offered. To get to it by dawn, you need to leave at 3 o'clock in the morning.

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