Post Summary: Amazing Things To Do In Yogyakarta in Three Days
It’s no surprise that traveling to Indonesia is rising in popularity. The show-stopping East Java waterfalls, amazing mountains, and beautiful beaches are only the beginning of its claim to fame! (And we can’t forget Bali, of course!)
If you’re looking for unique adventures to take on your Indonesia trip, listen up. There’s more to this amazing country than just the typical tourist locations.
Yogyakarta is the capital of Java Island culture. From hosting Java Island royalty to historic monuments like these amazing temples in Yogyakarta, there’s so much to do in this cultural city.
In this post, we’re sharing directions to the best places in Yogyakarta, tips for visitors, and inspiration for your next trip to Java in Indonesia!
10 Amazing Things To Do In Yogyakarta, Indonesia
(A 3-Day Yogyakarta Itinerary)
Where is Yogyakarta, Indonesia?
Yogyakarta is located on the Indonesian island of Java.
It is in the southern central part of the island, part of its own special region. Therefore, it’s not technically “Central Java” even though it is geographically located there.
You can reach this area by plane or by train from Jakarta or Surabaya. It’s pretty accessible for tourists and has amenities like hotels, restaurants, and tour guides for your vacation.
Things To Know About Yogyakarta Before You Visit
Yogyakarta is known for being the hub of culture for Javanese fine art, music, and history. From Wayang Kulit puppets to ancient temple ruins, there’s always something to discover about Yogyakarta’s history. It’s also very commonly called Jogjakarta, or Jogja for short!
The weather in the mountains of Central Java is cool and quite comfortable. But during the middle of the day, the weather is hot and the sun is direct! It’s good to bring a light sweater for before sunrise and after sunset, but make it a really lightweight one because you’ll quickly ditch it come afternoon.
Many of the people in the city know two languages – Bahasa Indonesia and Javanese. Make sure to brush up on a few phrases to pay respect to the locals and their beautiful culture.
When In The Best Time To Visit Yogyakarta?
The best time to visit Yogyakarta is during the dry season, which is between April and October. It’s possible to visit Yogyakarta in the rainy season (September to March) but you risk having the rain get in the way of your activities, especially if they are outside!
Yogyakarta Itinerary Day 1 (Explore Yogyakarta City)
1. Malioboro Street
Malioboro Street (Jalan Malioboro) is the most famous street in Yogyakarta. The direction of the street is important to locals, as it connects the palace (Yogyakarta Kraton) and the Volcano, Mount Merapi, in a straight line.
This is a really famous spot for tourists, as it has everything from restaurants to hotels, to shopping and yummy street food. The streets are usually crowded with people and cart sellers, making this area a high-sensory location (lots of noise, smells, sounds and more!).
You’ll also find lots of artists along Malioboro Street. From painters to performers, everyone is trying to showcase their talents here!
Hotels in Yogyakarta
The easiest way to visit Yogyakarta is by staying in a hotel or Airbnb in the city. This way you can easily walk to attractions take public transportation or a quick taxi ride to your destination.
2. Universities of Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta is home to brilliant minds and excited innovators in Indonesia. This is apparent in the vast number of universities in the city – 21 to be exact! You’ll notice that a lot of young adults live in Yogyakarta and this is because many come to study here.
Here are the top 10 universities in Yogyakarta:
- Gadjah Madah University
- State University of Yogyakarta
- Islamic University of Indonesia
- Atma Jaya University, Yogyakarta
- Muhammadiyah University, Yogyakarta
- Duta Wacana University of Yogyakarta
- Sarjanawiyata TamansiswaUniversity
- University of Pembangunan Nasional Veteran, Yogyakarta
- Janabadra University
- University of Technology, Yogyakarta
3. Eat Delicious Food in Yogyakarta City
Tips On Safe Eating In Indonesia
Indonesia can be a tricky place for your stomach, especially if it’s your first time visiting an Asian country. We suggest always purchasing bottled water to drink, and staying away from things like tap water and even ice.
We also suggest trying street food! It can be safely consumed if the food is hot when served. A trick we like to use is going to a street food stand that is very popular. A popular street food stand indicates that there is very little time for the food to be sitting at room temperature, so you can expect your food to be piping hot, delicious and most importantly, safer to consume!
Try these authentic Javanese and Indonesian dishes to make the most of your 3-day Yogyakarta itinerary:
4. Other Attractions In Yogyakarta
The Underground Mosque (Sumur Gumuling)
Opening at 9:00 am, the Underground Mosque (known as Sumur Gumuling) is one of the most unique places to see in Yogyakarta. It’s important to plan your trip early, as Sumur Gumuling can get extremely busy during the day.
The walkway eventually leads you to the center of the complex, exposed to the open air in a beautiful pyramid shape with a circular ceiling. It’s a beautiful piece of Muslim architecture that’s a bucket list thing to do in Yogyakarta.
Water Castle (Taman Sari)
Being a bathing complex in its previous life, this building has a beautiful mixture of Dutch and Javanese architecture that’s a must-see place to visit in Yogyakarta.
Plan to pay around 15.000 IDR, which is around $1 USD for an entrance fee. The Water Castle and the Underground Mosque can be easily seen together on the same trip.
Yogyakarta Travel Guide Day 2 (Explore Temples In Yogyakarta)
5. Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning it has historical significance worthy to be preserved and protected.
It is the largest Buddhist complex in the world AND the most visited Buddhist temple in the world.
It’s easily recognized by the 72 stupas (the bell-shaped structures) all around the top of the temple with Buddha statues encased inside. It’s said that if you can touch Buddha’s left ear inside the stupa, you’ll receive good luck.
Locals can get in for 20.000 IDR, but as a foreigner, expect to pay a pretty penny – around 350.000 IDR to gain entry.
Read More: How To Visit The Best Temples In Yogyakarta
6. Prambanan Temple
Prambanan Temple is located just outside of the city, about a 30-minute drive (16km). This one isn’t a Buddhist temple but, instead, a Hindu temple – the largest one in Indonesia.
Prambanan Temple is said to have been built in the 8th century, with many beautiful stories and folklore surrounding its origins. Come to this temple complex to wander the beautifully curated gardens, see the ruins up close, and even peer inside some of the larger standing ones, dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva.
Read More: How To See Prambanan and Borobudur in 1 Day
7. Other Temples In Yogyakarta
If you’re looking to discover more off-the-beaten-path Yogyakarta temples, there are plenty to choose from! This Special Tegion of Yogyakarta was a spiritual hub for centuries, so you can easily visit the smaller, lesser-known temples for a more intimate experience.
Here are some temples in Yogyakarta that we recommend visiting:
- Ratu Boko
- Sewu Temples
- Tama Sari Tourist Village
- Candi Mendut
- Candi Pawon
- Sambisari Temple
- Plaosan Temple
- Pawon and Mendut Temples (near Borobudur)
Yogyakarta Itinerary Day 3 (Exploring The Mountains)
8. Becici Peak
Becici Peak (also called Puncak Pinus Becici) is a cliffside-turned-tourist attraction. It’s known for its incredible views of the two mountains, Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu.
The entrance fee to visit this viewpoint is 2.500 IDR for locals and 10.000 IDR for foreign tourists. Bring small bills to pay for parking as well.
The entrance of this area begins like lots of other Indonesian attractions. There are several small food stands, places to take posed photos and see attractions like small rides and other experiences.
If you keep taking the path towards the cliffside, there are many more places to explore at Becici Peak. It has several platforms to take pictures, including birds nests, tree houses, and playful fantasy carriages. Here are some of our favorite viewpoints at Becici Peak:
Viewing Platforms of Mount Merapi And Mount Merbabu:
- The Bird’s Nest
- The Stage
- Tree On Platform
- Pine Tree Forest
9. Bukit Panguk Kediwung
Bukit Panguk Kediwung was one of our favorite things to do in Yogyakarta. Several platforms line the cliff and visitors have an incredible 180+ degree view of the surrounding valleys and hills below.
We highly suggest visiting this area in the morning. Once the sun rises, there are few places to retreat to the shade and it can get hot really fast!
Another reason to visit Bukit Panguk Kediwung in the morning – our friend Angga photographed this place with a thick layer of fog!
The ticket price is 2.500 IDR for domestic visitors and 10.000 IDR for international tourists. Also, prepare to pay 5.000 IDR to park your car.
Yogyakarta Travel Pro Tip: Come with lots of small bills. You will be charged for the platforms you stand on. During the busy times of the day (early morning and late afternoon) workers are watching to see which places you visit and will ask you to pay at the end.
10. More Yogyakarta Day Trip Ideas
Looking for more activities to add to your Yogyakarta itinerary? There are so many things to do that we couldn’t possibly see everything in three days! If you’re staying for longer, consider these fun things to do around the city:
- Visit The Karanganyar Pottery Village
- Visit Kota Gede
- Check out the Batik Museum
- See the Kraton Palace
- Explore Mount Merapi
- Discover Jomblang Cave
Map Of Things To Do In Yogyakarta
Wondering how to plan your 3-day Yogyakarta Itinerary? Here is a map below of things to do in Central Java to help you plan out your trip!
Ready To Explore More Locations In Java, Indonesia?
Yogyakarta is an amazing city and a perfect starting destination for a larger adventure around the island of Java! If you’re looking for more things to do on Java Island, here are some of our favorite ways to visit Indonesia:
Take a Tour To Mount Bromo Volcano: Mount Bromo is a famous active volcano that you can actually visit! Read our Mount Bromo guide to know exactly how to get there and what to do, and see this amazing place in East Java with your own eyes!
See All The Waterfalls In East Java: East Java is an incredibly adventurous spot on Java Island, perfect for exploring some of their epic waterfalls! Some of the most famous ones include Madakaripura, Tumpak Sewu, and Kapas Biru, but in our opinion, they are all worth a visit!
Stay Nearby Tumpak Sewu Waterfall: Of all the East Java waterfalls, Tumpak Sewu is the most iconic! Known for its sweeping views and adventurous journey, this one is a must-see, and we’re sharing everything you need to know (including directions and accommodations) in this post!
What are some of your favorite things to do in Yogyakarta, Indonesia? Tag us in your photos from there with #themandagies and connect with us on Instagram!