Yogyakarta is one of the most famous cities in Java and also one of the most interesting. It is known across Indonesia as the cultural capital of the country and it is also a university town that has a reputation for attracting artists and intellectuals who flock here to enjoy the arts scene and the cafe culture.
The city is also notable in Indonesia as it is technically a sultanate and the royal family has been a fixture of the city since the 1700s. As a result, many of Yogyakarta’s attractions relate to the royals, but, true to its learned roots, you will also find a wealth of museums here as well as workshops and handicraft shops.
Yogyakarta is also known for its famous surroundings, as it sits at the base of Mount Merapi and is close to iconic sights in Java such as Borobudur and Prambanan temples. Many people combine a trip to Yogyakarta with a visit to these sites, but if you only have time to take in the main part of the city then you can still enjoy a range of eateries, cafes, ancient monuments, and shopping venues
Borobudur Temple is clearly the crucial destination to visit when in Yogyakarta. Being the largest Buddhist temple in the world, visitors will be delighted with an amazing view from the top of this 800-AD temple.
Beat the crowds and the heat by visiting the temple at sunrise, at approximately 4.30am. The local guides will help visitors understand the ornately decorated relief walls around the temple.
Kraton Yogyakarta (or ‘Yogyakarta Palace’ in English) is the heart of Yogyakarta. It is not only a palace complex, but also where the Sultan of Yogyakarta and his family live. Be prepared to be amazed at the Dutch-style stained-glass windows which decorate the palace, or the intricately decorated roof and marble floor.
Here, you can find several small museums which display artifacts from the different sultanates, as well as other Javanese artifacts from different eras. You can also find old photographs of former Sultans of Yogyakarta.
Malioboro Street is the biggest shopping street in Yogyakarta. Around one-kilometer long, Malioboro Street offers different choices of shops, hotels and restaurants for its visitors. The shops vary from traditional local shops, to big shopping centers.
Local vendors are spread along the sidewalks in Malioboro, and you can choose from many types of souvenirs: batik clothes (traditional cloth painted with wax), wayang (Javanese puppets), and much more.
Being one of the largest Hindu temples in south-east Asia, Prambanan Temple was also believed to be the testimony of love from a powerful young man named Bandung Bondowoso to Princess Roro Jonggrang.
The temple itself was built in the 10th century as an tribute to Shiva. Visitors will be mesmerized by its many magnificent structures. The temple opens daily from 7.30am to 5 pm. Tickets are classified by domestic or foreign visitors.
Taman Sari is a water castle located approximately two kilometers south of Kraton Yogyakarta. It is an old royal garden built in the 18th century. The complex includes a workshop area, a resting area, a meditation area, a defense area and a hiding place.
Basically, Taman Sari can be divided into four different zones. These are the Segaran Lake area in the west and the Umbul Binangun bathing complex to the south of Segaran Lake. There is also the Pasarean Ledok Sari and Garjitawati Pool in the south of the bathing complex, and the remaining parts of the complex.
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