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Looking for things to do in Yogyakarta? Yogyakarta is a wonderful city that has a lot to offer its visitors.

Yogyakarta is not only the heart of the Javanese culture, but is also a place where you can see some of the world’s most beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples.

In addition to the impressive temples, the city also offers several beautiful nature sites and nice spots for dining experiences and shopping.


Go hiking at the Merapi volcano

Merapi is Indonesia’s most active volcano and is located north of Yogyakarta. Merapi has on average an outbreak every 5-10 years and is feared for its deadly flows of lava, smoke and red-hot avalanche.

The name Merapi comes from the old Javanese language and means “the one who makes a fire”.

The volcano is today a popular place among those who enjoy hiking. If you’re in good shape, it will take about three hours to climb the volcano. It may not sound like a challenge, but the road up to the top is more exhausting than most people think.

It’s popular to climb the volcano around three o’clock to avoid the hot hours and to see the beautiful sunset.

Merapi

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Visit Prambanan

About an hour outside Yogyakarta you’ll find one of the most beautiful and largest Hindu temples in Indonesia, Prambanan.

The temple is also known by the name “Rara Jonggrang” and is characterized by its beautiful architecture. Something you shouldn’t miss when visiting this temple is the sunset, which is incredibly beautiful.

A visit to Prambanan is no doubt one of the best things to do in Yogyakarta if you enjoy visiting historical sites.

Prambanan

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Go on a day trip to Kalibiru

When it comes to things to do in Yogyakarta, it’s a must to go on a day trip to Kalibiru. Kalibiru is located 1,5 hours by car from central Yogyakarta and is a place that’s perfect for those who like to take pictures.

Here you can take some beautiful pictures at the various viewpoints in the top of the trees and also do several fun activities.

You can, among many other things, go climbing, zip-lining and walk over a suspension bridge. It’s a fun place for the whole family!

kalibiru

Explore Taman Sari

A trip to Yogyakarta is not complete without visiting Taman Sari. Taman Sari, also known as the “water castle”, is a beautiful castle from the 17th century that’s located southwest of the royal palace.

The castle consists of beautiful pools and royal buildings with impressive details. Inside this castle you’ll also find some cool underground tunnels that are fun to explore.

things to do in yogyakarta

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Eat the local dish Gudeg

When it comes to Indonesian food you simply have to taste the local dish Gudeg. It’s a traditional dish from Java consisting of a jack fruit casserole served with rice and a hard boiled egg.

It’s a popular dish in Yogyakarta and can be bought at most local restaurants.

Gudeg

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Visit Borobudur

Borobudur is located outside Yogyakarta and is one of the biggest attractions to visit. It’s one of the world’s largest Buddhist temples and is today an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It was built between the 7th and 8th centuries and is decorated with several statues and beautiful Buddha statues.

Borobudur is a place that you simply cannot miss during your stay in the city. I can recommend visiting early in the morning when they open to avoid the big crowds.

Borobudur

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Relax at Indrayanti Beach

Something most tourists do not realize is how close Yogyakarta is located to the sea. You can actually reach several nice beaches within a 1-2 hour drive.

Going to the beach one day to relax is a perfect day trip from Yogyakarta. I can recommend visiting  Indrayanti Beach which is located 2 hours away by car from the city.

things to do in yogyakarta

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Explore Goa Jomblang

Goa Jomblang is one of the worlds most impressive caves and is located 90 minutes by car from Yogyakarta.

To reach the bottom of the cave you have to go down 60 meters by rope. At the bottom awaits a hidden forest and a system of cool caves to explore.

It’s most popular to visit during the morning to watch the sun shine down into the cave. It’s no doubt one of the best things to do in Yogyakarta is you like to spend time in nature and take photos.

Goa Jomblang

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Go see a Ramayana balett show

Ramayana ballet is a traditional dance performance with over 200 dancers and musicians. One of the most popular places to see this performance is at the Prambanan Temple.

It’s a cool performance on an outdoor scene with the beautiful Prambanan temple in the background.

It’s one of the best things to do in Yogyakarta with kids. The show is beautiful and is appreciated by both kids and adults.

things to do in yogyakarta

Photo: Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock.com

Stroll around Jalan Malioboro

Jalan Malioboro is a popular street in Yogyakarta for shopping. Here you’ll find everything from clothes and batik to traditional crafts and jewlery.

If you want to buy some Indonesian souvenirs, this is the place to go.

Jalan Malioboro

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Visit Ullen Sentalu Museum

This is no doubt one of Yogyakarta’s best museums. It’s a museum where you can learn more about the Javanese culture, history, and see old paintings and batik.

I can recommend taking a guided tour inside the museum so you don’t miss anything and can ask questions if you have any.

Ullen Sentalu Museum

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Explore Kraton – The royal palace in Yogyakarta

Exploring Kraton is one of the most popular things to do in Yogyakarta. It’s the royal palace where you can see various beautiful buildings with fantastic details.

The royal family still lives inside the palace and what you can visit today is a museum. A place where you can learn more about the royal history, the traditional Javanese culture and art.

yogyakarta attractions

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Things to do in Yogyakarta with kids

Yogyakarta is a great city to travel with kids. It’s a nice city that offers many fun activities for the little ones. There are interesting museums, water parks, cool nature sites and beautiful performances to look at.

Here are some recommendations on things to do in Yogyakarta with kids:

  • Taman Pintar Science Park
  • Upside Down World
  • Jogja Bay Waterpark
  • Kalibiru
  • De Mata Trick Eye 3D Museum
  • Pinus Pengger Nature Tourism
  • Ramayana Ballet
  • Take a ride on a trishaw
things to do in yogyakarta with kids

Photo: aditya_frzhm / Shutterstock.com

Things to do in Yogyakarta when it rains

There are several things to do in Yogyakarta when it rains, so do not worry if you are unlucky with the weather.

There is everything from museums and fun shows to shopping and spas where you can pamper yourself with various spa treatments.

  • Ullen Sentalu Museum
  • Affandi Museum
  • Plaza Ambarrukmo – Shopping
  • Jogja City Mall
  • Ganjuran Church
  • De Mata Trick Eye 3D Museum
  • Sonobudoyo Museum
  • Ramayana Ballet
  • Spa
  • Beringharjo Market
  • Kauman Grand Mosque
  • Upside Down World
things to do in yogyakarta when it rains

Photo: prasetyobie / Shutterstock.com


Do you have more recommendations on things to do in Yogyakarta? Leave a comment below!