What to do in Yogyakarta in 2 days? Guide Yogya, as the locals call it, is considered the cultural capital of Java. It is a city full of life, monuments and museums. It is the perfect combination of traditional and modern. It is also the most touristic city on the island as it is home to the major temples: Prambanan and Borobudur. Although it is a province of Indonesia, it is a city with its own government. Yes, it is the only province whose government is a Sultanate from pre-colonial times. Yogya enchanted us, we still can't figure out what attracted us the most, whether it was the chaos, the food stalls on every street corner, the friendliness of the people, or the imposing temples that surround it.
How to get to Yogyakarta?
If your flight arrives in Jakarta you have two options:
- Train: The cheapest but most time-consuming way. It is a journey that includes beautiful scenery and a local experience. Tips and facts for travelling by train in Java
- Plane: This is the fastest way. One of the cheapest airlines is Air Asia.
What to do in Yogyakarta in 2 days?
1. Visit Borobudur Temple
It is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and one of the most magical places in Indonesia. One of the most typical ways to visit it is at sunrise, definitely a worthwhile experience.
There are different ways to visit them and we will tell you about them. here.
2. The temples of Prambanan
The second star stop of Yogya. It is a group of more than 200 Hindu temples that currently only 8 are still standing. Since 1991 it is considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The complex is quite large and there are 3 more temples to visit: Candi Lumbung, Candi Bubrah and Candi Sewu. The most curious thing is that they are Buddhist and not Hindu temples.
The visit to Prambanan is usually combined with a visit to Bodobudur. Here you can see how to visit it and the prices.
3. Sultan's Palace, Taman Sari and Sumur Gumuling
The Sultan's palace is the residence of the current Sultan of Yogya and his family. You can see the complex and some buildings adapted as a museum. We could not visit it since the day we wanted to go it was closed. The Taman Sari is the old water castle that the sultan used as a resting area. It is a quick visit and the entrance fee is $USD 1.
Within the Taman Sari complex is Sumur Gumuling, known as the Underground Mosque. Once you enter the mosque, the walkway takes you to the center of the mosque. The center of the mosque includes three staircases that form a pyramid shape and a huge open circular roof that reveals the beautiful daylight.
4. Malioboro Street
This is the commercial street of Yoyga, where hotels, food stalls and shops are located.
Try to go at night because the atmosphere is very typical: the smells, the sounds, the lights, the noise of the motorcycles, the crowd of people. It also offers several gastronomic options, lose your fear and dare to try the different foods sold in the stalls. Some of them have strange but delicious flavors.
5. Learn about the famous Batik technique.
It is a painting technique for which Java is known worldwide. It is done by applying wax to different fabrics in order to print or paint them. It is an art that requires a lot of patience and is very popular in Yogya. In the street many people will offer you to go to a school or gallery to see how they do it (for free), and even let you try to draw something with wax. We recommend you to go there, they are usually close to the centre!
6. Watching the sunset at Hutan Pinus Pengger
It is a park full of trees and with an incredible view of mountains and volcanoes that is located 30 minutes by car from the centre of Yoyga. It is a forest that has many wooden statues for the enjoyment of locals and tourists that make the place a very beautiful place. The one we liked the most was the one of a hand suspended in the air. We went to enjoy the sunset and have a drink in one of the Warungs in the park.
Park entrance fee: $USD 0.20
Grab round trip: $USD 10
Where to stay?
One of the best areas to stay is near Malioboro Street, which is central and has a good atmosphere. We stayed about 10 minutes from this area because we preferred to be close to the train station as we were arriving at night.
One of the cheapest and most common types of accommodation in Asia are Homestays. Our accommodation was Griya Batik Giri Sekar Homestay We loved staying in this type of accommodation as it's usually a local family who will look after you and cook for you, and it gives you a more authentic experience.