Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta despite the official spelling, the name is usually pronounced and not uncommonly written Jogjakarta or just Jogja (JOGH-jah) is a major tourist destination in Indonesia. It is the capital city of Yogyakarta Special Region which is in the southern part of the Central Java province.

Bank Indonesia Building

Understand

Yogyakarta is a bustling town of some 500,000 people and the most popular tourist destination on Java, largely thanks to its proximity to the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. The city is a centre of art and education, offers some good shopping and has a wide range of tourist facilities.

The New York Times listed Yogyakarta in "50 Places to go in 2014” as number 20.

Strictly speaking, the city (kota) of Yogyakarta is only one of five districts (kabupaten) within the semi-autonomous province of Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta (DIY), literally the "Yogyakarta Special Region". The other districts are:

This special status is thanks to the Sultanate of Hamengkubuwono, which has ruled the area since 1749 and steered the state through difficult times of occupation and revolution. During the Indonesian war of independence, Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX offered the fledgling Indonesian government his enclave as capital city, Yogyakarta became the revolutionary capital city of the republic from 1946 to 1949 when Jakarta was still occupied by the Dutch. As a result, the central government recognized the Sultan of Yogyakarta as the appointed governor of the province of DIY — the only one in Indonesia that is not elected directly by the people. The Indonesian central government has tried to weaken the sultan's power by calling for direct election for the governor. The present sultan, Hamengkubuwono X, was chosen by an overwhelming majority.

Yogyakarta lies in one of the most seismically active parts of Java and has thus repeatedly been struck by earthquakes and volcano eruptions. The worst in recent times was the earthquake of 27 May 2006, which killed over 6,000 people and flattened over 300,000 houses. However, the epicentre was 25 km south of the city, which avoided the worst of the quake, and a surprisingly effective disaster recovery effort saw most of the physical damage repaired quickly.

Only four years later, in October 2010, the nearby volcano of Mount Merapi erupted, spewing lava over nearby villages and killing 353 people. After rumbling on and off for two months amid fears of another Krakatoa devastating the entire island, the volcano quieted down by December 2010. Following on from past averages, it'll be another 2–3 years until the next small eruption and 10–15 years until the next large eruption.

Yogyakarta is full of domestic tourists during school holiday seasons with most buses on Malioboro street and around North Central Park trapped in heavy traffic jams, sometimes for up to one hour. Vehicles, parking, pedestrians and vendors contribute to the traffic jams.

Get in

Adisucipto International Airport

By plane

There is a tourist information desk, ATM and taxi stand in the arrival hall. Official airport taxis are available for around Rp 50,000 depending on your destination, pay at the taxi desk in arrival terminal and then head for the official taxi rank. Give the receipt to your driver, there is no need for any additional payment. It is about half the price to use a taxi dropping passengers off at the departure terminal - insist on using the meter, do expect to pay the Rp 2,000 airport entrance fee, even though this has already been paid by the previous passenger on the way in. A departure tax of Rp 35,000 (as of January, 2011) is charged for domestic flights and Rp 100,000 for international flights.

Yogyakarta airport is also connected to the city by rail. Those arriving from the airport can take a Prambanan Ekspres regional train to/from Kutoarjo (west of Yogyakarta), Palur (just east of Surakarta) and several stations in between, including Tugu (just off Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta) and Solobalapan station at Solo. The station at the airport is just a few minutes walk from the terminal, with an air-conditioned underpass leading all the way to the platform for trains into Yogyakarta.

By bus

There is also a bus station inside the airport which is part of the Trans Jogja Busway System. From there you can get to any one of the many bus stations in their system. It costs Rp 3,000 for a ticket.

If you are going north, to Borobudur temple or Semarang for example, head to Jombor terminal located just above the northern Ringroad. Expect to be ripped off on any bus to Borobudur, the going rate for westerners at the moment is Rp 15,000-25,000 (local Rp 7,000).

If you are planning to come to Yogyakarta from Bandung then you need to go to Cicaheum Terminal in Bandung to get bus. If direct bus is not available then take bus to Purwokerto (6-7 hr, Rp 45,000). From Purwokerto there are regular buses available for Yogyakarta (4-5 hr, Rp 30,000).

Since Yogyakarta is in close proximity with Semarang and Solo, there's also a shuttle bus that operates between these cities, called Joglosemar (Jogja-Solo-Semarang), Rp 45,000 to Semarang, and Rp 25.000 to Solo

Joglosemar (Joglosemar), Jl. Magelang Km 5.5,  +62 274 623 700. Rp 25,000-Rp 45,000.

Day Trans, Purawisata, Jl. Brigjen Katamso,  +62 274 385 990. Rp 50,000 (Semarang).

Cipaganti, Jl. Magelang Km 5.6,  +62 274 919 4777.

By train

Trains to Jakarta take between 7-12 hr from the main Yogyakarta station, commonly called Tugu Station. The Argo-class trains (Argo Lawu and Argo Dwipangga) are the best of the lot being the most comfortable and fastest Rp 375.000(~8 hours, including mineral water and snacks). Taksaka is almost as good Rp 350.000. These express services connect Yogyakarta and Jakarta in 7–8 hours, either at daytime or overnight. Price and schedules are available online . The line between Kroya and Prupuk, where the railway crosses the main backbone mountains of Java, is scenic. Business (Eksekutif) class trains to Jakarta (514 km, 8 hours) now cost from Rp 180.000. and to Surabaya from Rp 110.000. A ticket on a 3rd class train from Yogyakarta to Jakarta costs from Rp 85.000 and to Surabaya Rp 50.000. The Eksekutif class fare from Surabaya to Banyuwangi (Ketapang, the port for Bali) is now Rp 115.000.

Passengers to/from Bandung should take the Argo Wilis or Lodaya expresses which traverse a scenic part of Java during daylight hours, with rice fields and mountains (although there is an overnight Lodaya and the Turangga from Surabaya also travels overnight. The fare is Rp 260,000 including mineral water and snacks.

Passengers to Surabaya are served by the twice-daily Sancaka service departing in the morning and afternoon.

Yogyakarta and Solo are connected by several Prambanan Ekspres trains. Despite the name, the train does not stop at Prambanan station, and even if it does make an unscheduled stop, the station is rather far from the temple complex of Prambanan. The Prambanan Ekspres does stop at Maguwo station (for the Yogyakarta airport) making it easy for travellers to change modes.

Get around

Muscle-powered transport: becak and andong

Yogyakarta is a relatively small city, so travelling around town should not be too expensive. If you are travelling on foot, note that a street sign facing you at a corner indicates the name of the street you are entering, not the cross street. The Tourism Authority has maps in English that can be obtained from its offices next to Hotel Mutiara on Jl. Malioboro, at the airport and the train station. Beware that these maps are not to scale.

By taxi

Yogyakarta's taxis are metered and nowadays most taxi drivers are trustworthy, however some of them still refuse using argometer or using argometer, but the tariff is decided in advance, usually 1.5 to 2 times than using argometer, mainly in school holiday seasons. In low season, refuse the taxi, if the taxi driver don't want to use argometer and get the another one with argometer easily. After the November 2014 fuel hike, all taxis in Yogyakarta have a flagfall of Rp 7,000 for the first kilometre and then Rp 4,250 for every subsequent kilometre. Most trips around the centre of town should not cost more than Rp 20,000. If by chance you find a taxi driver that you feel comfortable with and consider trustworthy, ask for his cellular phone number so that next time you need to travel you can call him directly. Most taxi drivers are more than happy to do this.

By trishaw

Traditional three-wheeled and pedal-powered cart, known as becak (pronounced beh-chak), which can be found in most part of Yogyakarta. Haggle furiously before getting into the becak. Be sure to determine whether the price is for a one-way or return (pulang) trip and if you want the driver to wait whilst you conduct your shopping or business. The journey from within the city to the Malioboro shopping precinct should not cost more than Rp 10,000.

By horse cart

Traditional horse-pulled carts, known as andong, or dokar, wait for tourists outside hotspots like the train station, the Kraton and Mal Malioboro. Haggle furiously. The traditional route is from Jl. Malioboro to Keraton, and this is where you'll find most andong. Usually, andong opt to take you to shop for fake Dagadu t-shirt in Ngasem area with hefty prices. Then, andong will take you back to your initial journey. The cost for one round trip for andong is Rp 20,000. Usually they ask for Rp 30,000 but they may settle for less. Andong can accommodate up to 5 adult passengers.

By bus

Medium and small size buses are the main public transport in Yogyakarta.

TransJogja Bus Stop

There are two kind of bus: regular and patas. Patas buses, known as TransJogja operate from 06:00 to 22:00 and stop only at designated shelters. Unlike regular buses, TransJogja is air-conditioned and generally safer. Tickets can be purchased directly at the kiosks, and the cost for single trip is Rp 3,000. Passengers may purchase regular trip cards which cuts per trip cost to Rp 2,700, and allows transit to other shelter. There are six routes, and route maps can be downloaded .

Regular buses normally operates from 06:00 to 17:00, and some long routes extend their operation until 21:00. Don't bring anything valuable on public buses as pickpockets are common. Cost for single trip is Rp 3,000 regardless of distance (within the city). Usually on a bus there will be one driver and one helper who will hang from the side of the bus and handle money and try to get passengers. The helper will usually tap you on the shoulder to indicate you should pay him. If there is no helper you can pay the driver directly. When you are ready to get off a bus, tell the driver or helper "Kiri," which means left. Animated bus route maps are available at Transportation Agency of Yogyakarta website .

By car or motorbike

There are several car and motorbike rental agencies just outside Tugu Station, on the street that runs east-west just south of the station.

A near new semi-automatic (clutchless) motorbike can be rented for Rp 50,000 per 24 hr; older bikes may come for less, and fully automatic bikes such as a Honda Vario or Yamaha Mio may sometimes cost Rp 5,000-10,000 more.

Toyota Avanza or Daihatsu Xenia (6 passengers) can be rented for around Rp 250,000 for 24 hr, or Rp 175,000 for 12 hr. A driver can be hired along with the car for another Rp 50,000-Rp 200,000/day. A new Low Cost Green Car, Toyota Agya or Daihatsu Ayla can be rented for Rp 150,000 for 24 hours. Rental car with driver prices may vary due to fuel inclusion for a set distance or itinerary. Prices are always subject to negotiation and may increase or decrease due to local demand, type and age of vehicle and your individual requirements at the time.

If renting ensure you are familiar with both the applicable licensing requirements and vehicle use in the prevailing conditions.

By organized ojek

Nowadays, enemies/strong competitors of taxi and non-organized ojek (ojek pangkalan) are organized ojeks. One of it is o'jack (bike) taxi with tariff only Rp 2/meter or Rp 2,000/kilometer. Pickup is free and pay only as printed paper from the argometer. No haggle.

See

Bird Market Building

Being one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, Yogyakarta has many heritage buildings and monuments. The number one must-see attraction is Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono's palace, better known as Kraton Ngayogyakarta. Other heritage buildings from colonial era are: BNI '46 building, Kantor Pos Besar (Central Post Office) building, and Bank Indonesia building, all of them are located near Sultan's palace.

Other notable landmarks and attractions are:

*   Royal Cemetery Kotagede. The ancestral graveyard of the Mataram rulers, who were ancestors of the current Yogyakarta and Surakarta rulers

Kraton Complex

The Sultan's palace or Kraton encompasses the main palace, Sultan's residential buildings, two Sultan's grounds, and large residential area where the sultan servants used to reside.

Also worth seeing is the prince's palace to the SE of the main palace.

Wayang Kulit (shadow puppet show)

Yogyakarta city was built with deep philosophy: the city was designed so that the main elements of the city forms an imaginary line. This straight line starts from Parangtritis on the coast, to Kraton Yogyakarta, to Tugu Monument, and finally to Mount Merapi. This represents Sultan's strong relationship with the guardian spirits of Mt. Merapi and the beach of Parangtritis.

Museums

Swimming pool at the Affandi Museum

Candi (ancient temples)

Candi is the name for ancient archeological structures constructed mainly during 7th-9th century. They were constructed from hundreds of volcanic or river stone blocks. Candi walls are often carved with reliefs depicting stories from either Buddhism or Hinduism, and a stone statue usually sits at the center.

There are many candi and their ruins located in Yogyakarta and surroundings, some have been restored and made accessible.

Borobudur, although called a temple, is also considered a famous candi is south of Magelang, and north from Yogyakarta. Prambanan, also a well-known candi complex is in the Yogyakarta-Central Java border area.

Art galleries

Do

Progo rafting with Kisik River Camp, Yogyakarta

Learn

Yogyakarta is known as the city of education as well as the city of culture. This title is not without reason: many educational institutions are located here. Every year, around mid-July, thousands of new students from all over Indonesia flock into this city, converting the once quiet town to a busy yet dynamic city.

Buy

Many curious goods are available in many places in this city. If you love timeless pieces, Yogyakarta is the home of batik, traditional wayang puppets, sculpture, ceramics and silverware. Countless handicrafts from outside Yogyakarta can also be found here. Don't be surprised if you bump into souvenirs from Bali or Asmat, often with better deal than if bought in those islands. Alternatively, as a constantly growing city, Yogyakarta has several stylish malls and trade centres that offer interesting goods and services at a reasonable cost.

Malioboro

Malioboro street lined with stores of batik, handycraft, and fashion products
  •   Pasar Beringharjo (Beringharjo Market), Jl. Pabringan 1 (north of Vredeburg Fort). Beringaharjo is the largest traditional marketplace in Yogyakarta. The vendors sell many kind of goods, ranging from basic household items (vegetables, fruits, meats) to many kind of handicrafts. Haggle furiously.
  •   Hamzah Batik (Mirota Batik), Jl. Ahmad Yani 9 (opp Pasar Beringharjo),  +62 274 588524, +62 274 518127, +62 274 547016. The large family-owned store offers plenty of handicrafts, not only from Yogyakarta but also from all part of Indonesia.
  • Dagadu (lower ground floor Malioboro Mall). Offers funny contemporary t-shirts and souvenirs that revolves around Yogyakarta people's culture.
  • Ciamis Art Shop, 153 Jl. Malioboro. Shadow puppets, masks, carvings, and more at fixed prices that are lower than in the market. Open from 9AM-1PM and 6PM-9PM.
  • Nadzar, 187 Jl. Malioboro. Huge souvenir shop specializing in batik, art, jewellery, and more. Has every souvenir you could imagine at fixed prices.

If travelling on foot is not your thing, you can ride the pedal-powered trishaw called becak, or the andong horsecart.

Warning: While Yogyakarta is safer than Jakarta, it's not free from pickpockets. Most of the time, Malioboro sidewalk is overcrowded. Take standard precautions to protect your belongings.

Shopping malls

While not as populated as Jakarta, Yogyakarta has several trendy malls which shows a glimpse of the alternate side of Yogyakarta culture.

Handicrafts

Eat

Sweet & chilli cuisine

It's not a big secret to Indonesian people that Yogyakarta people adore sweet foods. The local dish known as gudeg, for example, is distinctively sweet in flavor. Local snacks, such as bakpia and yangko, are extremely sweet. However, not every local dish is sweet. Krecek—the orange-ish fried beef often served with gudeg—is challengingly hot for the untrained tongue. Lodeh made by the locals, though often considered 'too sweet' by other Indonesians, also has a hint of a fiery chili taste. It's a good idea to ask the food vendor whether the dish is hot or not. For those who are just curious, simply ask them to omit the chilli from the dish and serve it separately. This way you can still taste the original flavor of the dish, but add the chili only if you want it.

Originally, Yogyakarta dishes were known for their sweetness. However, as more and more people move to Yogya, this small city starts seeing more diversity in flavor. Now you can find many kind of interesting dishes, ranging from sweet, to spicy, to fiery. Sometimes a fusion from other cuisines such as Chinese or Western can be found. Note that restaurants in the center often close quite early by Western standards, with admission often refused after 9PM.

If you want to eat the traditional way, head to Malioboro for a lesehan dinner in front of the closed shophouses, similar to the Japanese eating style on a tatami, but you sit on a mattress and eat with your hands (you can ask for cutleries though). The food is ready to serve, vegetables, fried and grilled meat (satay, seafood) are the most common, topped with white rice, but you can also order the traditional gudeg. While this is a favorite among locals for the mingle for hours, do not expect very cheap prices.

For supper, the angkringan can serve as a good choice. It is a food seller using hopper as store. The famous food is Nasi/Sego Kucing (literally: Cat Rice) that consists of a small serving rice with a sambal (chilies), vegetables and/or freshwater fish, wrapped in a piece of paper or banana leaf. The most popular angkringan is Angkringan Lik Man, also known as Angkringan Tugu, located in Jalan Wongso Dirjan, north side of Yogyakarta Railway Station (Tugu Station). See Angkringan Tugu below. Angkringan usually opens from dusk till dawn.

At most budget hotels usually we can find Nasi Pincuk, a small portion rice with small portion of dishes in banana leaf, in the morning or sometimes in the afternoon. It is relatively cheap, but you need maybe two or three for a hearty meal. All are served by old lady with its bakul on the back selling them either in or outside the building, they never stay than an half hours at one place, but frequently the other old ladies will replace her.

Local delicacies

The following dishes are recommended:

Budget

Pasar Tiban Kauman

During the Ramadhan fasting season, the local residents at Kauman area open a temporary market selling many kinds of appetizing snacks and dishes. This market is not only great for sampling local foods, but also great for experiencing old architecture as it is set on a long pathway of a classic Javanese neighborhood. It opens at around 15:00 and closes at 18:00, as the foods are meant to be eaten for breaking the fasting at dusk. Consuming the food in the area before dusk, even if you are not fasting, is considered inappropriate. Kauman means the place for preachers since it is in the same block of the Masjid Agung (the sultan's royal mosque). It was home to many Islamic leaders such as Ahmad Dahlan, the founder of the mainstream Muhammadiyah movement.

Ramadan

Ramadan is the 9th and holiest month in the Islamic calendar and lasts 29–30 days. Muslims fast every day for its duration and most restaurants will be closed until the fast breaks at dusk. Nothing (including water and cigarettes) is supposed to pass through the lips from dawn to sunset. Non-muslims are exempt from this, but should still refrain from eating or drinking in public as this is considered very impolite. Working hours are decreased as well in the corporate world. Exact dates of Ramadan depend on local astronomical observations and may vary somewhat from country to country. Ramadan concludes with the festival of Eid al-Fitr, which may last several days, usually three in most countries.

  • 6 June – 5 July 2016 (1437 AH)
  • 27 May – 24 June 2017 (1438 AH)
  • 16 May – 14 June 2018 (1439 AH)
  • 6 May – 3 June 2019 (1440 AH)
  • 24 April – 23 May 2020 (1441 AH)

If you're planning to travel to Yogyakarta during Ramadan, consider reading Travelling during Ramadan.

Yogyakarta is a heaven of inexpensive foods, and some tasty and filling dishes can cost as little as Rp 3,000. There are hundreds, if not thousands of hawker stalls offering inexpensive foods.

Mid-range

Splurge

Yogya is filled with many 'high-end' restaurants serving many kind of dishes, from western to Asian to Asian-fusion cuisines.

Drink

Caution: Traditional alcoholic drinks are common in Yogyakarta, although they're illegal. Some of them are not distillated well, therefore they may contain methyl alcohol (methanol) instead of ethyl alcohol (Ethanol) only. Methyl alcohol will likely make you blind and is capable of killing you. Sometimes vendors also mix the alcohol drinks with much cheaper industrial methyl alcohol. In two days only in February 2016, more than 40 persons died in 2 regencies of Yogyakarta due to consumption of such. Don't try it. Beer in a can or bottle is safe, but avoid mixture alcohol drinks from unreliable cafes.

Clubs

Note, usually all clubs willing to give free entry before midnight if you call and ask for a guestlist, unless on an important event night.

Lounges

Lounges/cafes are an evergrowing phenomena throughout Indonesia's trendy inner city environments

Sleep

Budget

There are hundreds of budget hotels in Yogyakarta. Most of them can be found in Sosrowijayan St (which is adjacent to Malioboro) and the Prawirotaman Rd area, several hundred meters from Tugu Railway Station which is about 3 km to the south of the centre. Many foreign backpackers sleep in Gang (small street) Sosrowijayan which many Gang there, although Gang-3 is a red district area. The 'losmen' tariff is from Rp 100,000 per day in low season. and up to Rp 300,000 per day for losmen with facilities: Aircon, toilet inside the room and TV set. All the gangs can be accessed from railways station in 10 to 15 minutes walking. If you follow one of the many people on the streets advertising cheap accommodations your stay might be more expensive as they will get a commission for bringing you there even if they only showed you 50 meters from the main road.

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Like any other larger Indonesian city, Yogya has its share of petty crime like pickpocketing, especially in local city busses. Watch out for gallery scams and street sellers trying to get commission for batik. These scams tend to occur around the Kraton and Jl. Malioboro. Scammers will approach tourists and tell them about a government art centre, and will hire cheap transport to the 'genuine' gallery. If you're interested in buying batik, this isn't necessarily bad. However, keep in mind that you are, in essence, being manipulated.

Remember to use your credit card wisely. The overall level of credit card fraud is high, although the Indonesian government is fighting hard against it. Moreover, Indonesia does not have effective regulations in place to protect your personal data. Especially, when using your credit card online, consider checking the company's reputation on review platforms such as the local trustedcompany.com Indonesia to identify potential scams and stay safe.

Be cautious when walking in the city. Traffic is very brutal! You might have difficulty crossing roads and streets especially in crowded places.

An earthquake in 2006 caused severe damage. The Mount Merapi volcano looms over the city; it last erupted in 2010 causing many casualties and extensive damage.

Always travel in groups when you are travelling to or from Parangtritis beach. The long stretch between Yogya city and the beach is dangerous at night. You may get stopped by someone riding a motorcycle trying to rob you. Police stations or posts are very little on these road, and unfortunately the posts are often unoccupied. It is best not to swim too far away from the coast as the waves can be unpredictably high, sweeping you away from land.

Connect

The international country code for Indonesia is 62. The local area code for Yogyakarta is 274. There are three main telecommunication providers in Indonesia: Telkom Indonesia, Indosat and Excelcomindo. Coin operated public phones are limited in Yogyakarta. However there are many official telephone kiosks called Wartel.

International dialing

To make an IDD call from Indonesia, dial the access code 001 (for Indosat) and 007 (for Telkom), followed by the country code, area code and party's number.

also available cheaper IDD call via VoIP Technologies, IDD Prefix is 01016 (for Indosat user) and 01017 (for Wartel, Telkom, and Telkomsel user), and 01000 (for XL -excelcom- user)

Mobile phones

Mobile Phones are carried by almost everyone in Indonesia. Prepaid SIM cards are widely available from many telecommunication providers, such as, Telkomsel, XL, Indosat, 3, and Axis, just bring your own GSM 900 or GSM 1800 phone. The pre-paid SIM card costs around Rp 10,000 up to Rp 30.000. A local phone call costs between Rp 500-Rp 2,000/minute. Local text message (SMS) costs about Rp 200-350, while international SMS cost about Rp 300-500.

Internet

There are many internet cafes in Yogyakarta which offer speedy access to the internet. Several hotels provide Wi-Fi on the lobby. Ask the front desk about internet access. The Taman Sari food court at the Plaza Ambarrukmo, coloquially known as Amplas, offers a free wireless internet service for any wifi compatible device.

The 24 hour Indomaret on Malioboro Street offers free wireless access as well as wall sockets, but can be a little noisy.

Tourism

Tourism information centre in Jogyakarta:

Cope

Emergency

List of hospitals with 24 hours emergency room (ER), (UGD):

Consulates

Libraries

Go next

North

East

South

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 14, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.