Approximately 5 million people live in this densely populated city, filled with pride and cultural expression, shown through the diverse arts and crafts produced locally. Until today this city continues to produce philosophers, thinkers, artists and master craftsmen. Yogyakarta is also commonly known as Jogjakarta, or just Jogja.
Yogyakarta continues its long history of being a Sultanate… in which the Sultan himself is widely adored and revered. The Sultan of Yogyakarta has been progressive and forward thinking, amongst other things, encouraging higher education and donating land for Universities to be established. For this reason Yogyakarta is now bustling with students.
The Sultan of Yogyakarta has held an important role in the history of the
republic of Indonesia, being involved in the politics and declaring the Sultanate
a part of the greater Indonesia upon independence from the Dutch.
Yogyakata is often used as a base for travel around central Java, and there is a great range of options for accommodation & delicious local food. In general, prices in Yogyakarta are lower than in Jakarta. For advice on your accommodation options, our Visitor Assistance Centre can give you recommendations within your budget and preferences.
The weather is consistently around 30 C / 86 F during the day, with a high humidity of around 75%. Wet season starts as early as September to around March, when it will rain most days for a period, but as it is not cold, it is still reasonably comfortable to travel and see the sights.
With the mountains Merapi and Merbabu close by, the land has a rich volcanic soil, that is hugely fertile. Sugar cane, rice, and tobacco are grown locally.
SULTANS PALACE [Kraton]
The revered Sultan of Yogyakarta has opened up a large portion of his palace up for people to visit. The architecture of the buildings dates back to 1756.
It is an opportunity to see traditional Javanese culture, there are often performances of dance, music, and there is a permanent exhibition of the local crafts such as Batik, which explains the intricate meanings behind and uses for the many traditional designs.
WATER CASTLE - TAMAN SARI
The water castle was built as a ten hectare pleasure park and residence for the Sultan, his family, and entourage, close to his Palace. It was completed in 1765. The architecture is said to be Portuguese with Javanese influences, and made the most of an artesian water spring to furnish a series of swimming pools and a substantial series of lakes with water.
Originally the complex included artificial lakes that could be traversed by boat with islands and pavilions, and a bathing complex. Underground/underwater passages linked the buildings. Some of these passages remain in use. Others have since collapsed. A story that a passage connected the Palace to the Indian Ocean may have given a means of escape should the palace be attacked.
The area fell into disuse after an earthquake in 1867 which caused substantial damage, and slowly squatters began to move in and settle villages throughout.
The site is extraordinary, and restoration work is being done, with a potential
UNESCO world heritage listing in the works. Until then, with a guide and
some imagination, the former glory can still unfold in front of you.
KOTOGEDE AND SILVERWORK
Kotogede is an old city, dating back to the Mataram Dynasty in the 1500s. It is 5km south east of the current Yogyakarta centre, it has been absorbed into Yogyakarta as the city has extended. Kotogede is the famed area for silversmiths, the filigree work is a local specialty.
There also remains archeological sites in the area worth a visit,
100 metres to the South of Kotagede Traditional Market is an Islamic graveyard filled with Hindu artifacts. The graveyard is open to visitors on Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Traditional Javanese clothing must be worn, and can be leased at the entrance. Please do not bring cameras with you, or wear gold jewellery. The Koto Gede mosque within the graveyard is the oldest mosque in the area. A narrow passage way behind the wall around the graveyard area lets you see the local architecture and observe the daily activities of the people in Kotogede. A series of well preserved traditional houses for visitor viewing are just to the south of the graveyard. Further south a fortress and palace (Kedhaton) remain.
LOCAL TASTE - Gudeg
Young jack fruit slow cooked with palm sugar, coconut milk and spices is a local delicacy. Often served with white rice, chicken, hard-boiled egg, tofu and tempeh, this is a dish that Yogyakartans are rightly proud of.
Adisucipto International Airport about 20 minutes car ride from the centre of town.
Train station is close to the centre of town, trains travel in the directions of Solo and Jakarta. To the south, in the Bantul region, is the Giwangan bus station, the largest bus station in Indonesia.