What to do in Yogyakarta

Monday, January 21, 2019

Yogyakarta also was known as Jogja, Jokja, and Jokjakarta is a beautiful cultural city located in the Java island of Indonesia. In the past, it was home to many important kingdoms dominated by Buddhism and Hinduism. You may be even wondering, what to do in Yogyakarta?

So, you will find this beautiful city dotted with temples and many other cultural monuments. Everything about this city is dramatic, colorful, artistic and shaped by the rich Yogyakarta culture. 

Check out this Postcard from Yogyakarta!

Here is where you can hunt for some of the ancient temples in the world, witness the most active volcano in Asia and embark on thrilling adventures with lush nature. You will also get to try new varieties of food, shop for authentic Indonesian products and mingle with people and maybe even learn the Javanese language! 

It’s the perfect place for anyone craving for a serene getaway to relax and enjoy. Here’s what to do in Yogyakarta!

Borobudur

Borobudur Temple is surrounded by vast jungle.
Borobudur Temple is surrounded by vast jungle.

Borobudur is identified as the world’s largest Buddhist temple complex and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a treasured historic destination that is an hour away from the city. 

Check out this Postcard from Borobudur!

Built in the 9th century, it is a structure constructed out of millions of stone blocks. The architecture is just spectacular as it is a combination of unique Indian and Indonesian elements. The site is located on top of a small hill and is simply breathtaking during sunset. 

Also, the entire Borobudur area consists of around 500 Buddha statues. So, Borobudur tour should be a must-do in your list when you visit Yogyakarta.

Visit a Batik Museum

In the Museum Batik Yogyakarta, you can find an extensive collection of batiks.
In the Museum Batik Yogyakarta, you can find an extensive collection of batiks.

If you are thinking what to do in Yogyakarta besides hunting temples, visit a batik museum to learn about this intricate art. 

Museum Batik Yogyakarta has an extensive collection of batiks, some even dating back to the 19th century. It also displays tools and other different equipment used to create batik craft and portrays the different stages of the entire process.  Want to learn the art of dyeing fabrics with intricate patterns by yourself? You can take part in one of the workshops conducted here. 

Interestingly, the museum also houses a private collection of embroidery paintings done by the museum owner’s wife. Museum Batik Yogyakarta is open from 9 AM- 3 PM every Monday-Saturday and the entrance ticket fee is Rp. 20,000. 

Yogyakarta Food

Gudeg is the most popular food in Yogyakarta.
Gudeg is the most popular food in Yogyakarta.

Yogyakarta’s food is something else that will keep you going here because there are a variety of dishes to try.

Its most popular food among locals as well as tourists is gudeg which is a sweet dish cooked using jackfruit, coconut milk, palm sugar, and spicy sauces. It’s usually served with rice and a few other side dishes. If you are hunting for the best gudeg, head to Warung Yu Djum. 

Read more: Must-Try Food in Yogyakarta!

Brongkos is another favorite in Yogyakarta which is basically cooked beef flavored using different spices and sauces. Not to forget, Yogyakarta street food is also lip-smacking delicious and mouthwatering. So, don’t hesitate to try them while you are touring around the city.

Merapi Volcano

One of the interesting facts about the towering Mount Merapi is that is has erupted regularly since 1548.
One of the interesting facts about the towering Mount Merapi is that is has erupted regularly since 1548.

Towards the north of Yogyakarta is Mount Merapi which is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth and erupted last in June 2018. 

If you are wondering what to do in Yogyakarta to make your trip a bit more adventurous, trekking Mount Merapi is an ideal activity. Discover nature in its purest form as you trek through its lush greenery and serene landscapes. 

Read more: What To Do in Jakarta?

If you manage to get to the top, you will be able to get a closer look at the volcano. You can even take the Merapi Lava Tour by jeep and visit the Sisa Hartaku Museum, Alien rock and the villages around the area.

Malioboro Yogyakarta

If you're wondering what to do in Yogyakarta regarding shopping, then Malioboro Street is the best!
If you're wondering what to do in Yogyakarta regarding shopping, then Malioboro Street is the best!

If you are looking for the perfect place to shop in Yogyakarta, head to Malioboro Street which bustles with life day and night. The shops on both sides of this long street have anything from quality silver, artwork, clothes, to pottery! 

It’s the perfect place to shop for authentic handmade souvenirs and batik clothes at a reasonable price. There are also many other things to do on Malioboro besides shopping. 

Read more: How are Indonesian People Like?

You will come across food stalls that let you enjoy street food while listening to musicians sing. You will also come across many buildings that symbolize the colonial influence in Indonesia. Some of these have been turned into European-style coffee houses. 


As you might have noted now, Yogyakarta is a city that is diverse and provides you with a lot of different places to visit and discover its unique essence. Its heritage is a combination of colonialism, Chinese and Indian influence. Most of the people in Indonesia are very helpful and will be eager to assist you or tell you about its unique culture and history. When it comes to transport, there are many ways in which you can get around the city. The most popular mode of transport is bekak (bicycle trishaws) but taxis, motorbikes, and buses are readily available too. Whether you are a nature lover, culture enthusiast or someone who simply want a good holiday, Yogyakarta awaits you. You won’t have to think about what to do in Yogyakarta because you will be constantly occupied with its beautiful landscapes, friendly people, yummy food, and colorful goodies!

Raeesha Ikram freelance content writer for aSabbatical
Travelling isn’t a mere journey to different places. Instead, it’s an eye-opener revealing how beautifully diverse the world is.