Top things to do on your trip to Yogyakarta, Indonesia
With pine tree forests, active volcanoes and stunning UNESCO World Heritage sites,Yogyakarta is truly a city like no other. If you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway that’s filled with adventure and mouth-watering local food but on a tight budget, Yogyakarta is the place for you!
The best time to experience Yogyakarta is from April to October, aka dry season. Plenty of the attractions in Yogyakarta are outdoors so you definitely won’t want to be caught in the rain. We’ve tried and tested a 3-day trip to Yogyakarta and narrowed down the best options for food, activities and more.
P.S. Read till the end for a special discount promo code on your holiday to Yogyakarta!
Getting around Yogyakarta
While you’ll find ride hailing apps like Go Jek and Grab, these taxis and motorcycles often operate only in the city and you will have to go through the trouble of hailing a ride each time you wish to get to a place.
We instead suggest pre-booking a private car charter, giving you the freedom of customizing your itinerary and heading around the city at your own pace. If you’re travelling in a group, this is also a great option as the car can fit up to 5 people whereas a ride hailing car will require you to part ways and split into 2 groups.
The best part is you can even ask your local driver for recommendations on places to visit and places to eat at! The locals know best for sure. Get picked up from the airport and head straight into the action after dropping off your suitcases. Your driver will meet you at the arrival gate, holding up a Klook sign with your name that you surely won’t miss.
Cost per person for 3 days: $24
Places to stay in Yogyakarta
There are plenty of boutique hotels in Yogyakarta that cost as low as $17/night! We stayed in the Greenhost Boutique Hotel and a double occupancy room only cost $25/night. It is conveniently located just minutes away from the Taman Sari Water Castle and the Kraton Yogyakarta and the stunning lobby makes for great photos.
Cost per person for 3 days: $37.50
Flights to Yogyakarta
Pre-booking your flights in advance will allow you to fly on Singapore Airlines for as low as $190 round trip!
Cost per person for 3 days: $190
1. Pick up your SIM Cards
Upon landing, pick up your SIM Cards from the airport before heading off on your journey. We all know you’ll need to post your ‘grams on the go and of course, stay connected to your loved ones.
Pre-book your SIM cards on Klook and collect it immediately upon exiting the arrival hall. A Klook staff will be waiting at the arrival hall with a Klook sign so you’ll definitely be able to spot him. You’ll also have the SIM cards set up for you before you leave.
Cost per person for 3 days: $8.69
2. Meet your private driver
Meet up with your private driver who will be waiting for you right at the Arrival Hall gates as well! Look for the sign with your name on it and get ready to head off for your adventures. You won’t even need to head to the hotel to drop your bags first since you can just leave them in the car.
But if you prefer changing out and freshening up, just tell your driver to make a pit stop at the hotel and you’re ready for an adventure!
3. Try out 32 different types of Sambal at SS Waroeng
If you’re a fan of spicy food, you’ll definitely love the food over at SS Waroeng! Their speciality is the 32 different types of sambal (chilli paste) that you can dip with whatever you order. Choose from freshly grilled chicken, fried calamari or prawns, vegetables and more.
A piece of chicken only costs $1.60 (Rp 16000) and the sambal varies from $0.20 to $0.40 (Rp 2000-4000).
Address: Jl. Prof Dr. Herman Yohanes No. 53, Caturtunggal, Depok, Samirono, Caturtunggal, Kec. Depok, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55223, Indonesia
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 12mn
Cost per person: ~$4
4. Visit the pine forest, Pinus Pengger
Located about 1 hour away from the city, Pinus Pennger is a pine forest area with unique structures made entirely out of trees! Upon reaching the forest, you’ll be greeted by the fresh cool air and the smell of fresh pines. Don’t forget to pick one up to take home as a souvenir.
The most iconic photo spot is an art installation in the form of a giant hand. Set against the beautiful panoramic views of the city, there are plenty of different photo spots around the area from giant brooms to bird cages and bird nests.
We suggest packing some light snacks and just hanging out in one of the many hammocks to rest up for a bit!
Address: Desa Terong, Kecamatan Dlingo, Kabupaten Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta.
Opening hours: Daily 7.30am to 11pm
Cost per person: Rp 2500 ($0.25)
5. Visit the stairway to heaven, Pintoe Langit Dahromo
This dreamy stairway to heaven was truly made for Instagram. Located at Pintoe Langit Dahromo, you’ll find a lone staircase that extends into the sky. This set of stairs extends into the sky and boasts a rustic white doorway at the top!
Set against scenic mountains and lush greenery, there’s even a lone piano for you take photos at! The world is your stage and beautiful photos await.
Address: Jl. Dahromo, Karang Asem, Muntuk, Dlingo, Bantul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55783, Indonesia
Opening Hours: Opens daily from 8am to 11pm (Weekdays), 7am to 12mn (Weekends)
Cost per person: Rp 2500 ($0.25)
6. Visit the Malioboro night market
Head back into the visit at drop by the bustling Malioboro Night Market. If you’re in need of a quick recharge, pick up a cup of charcoal coffee! The stall owners drop a piece of burning charcoal into your coffee, giving it a smokey and clean taste.
Afterwhich, stroll along the streets and pick up a souvenir or two for your loved ones back home. There are plenty of handcrafted batik items as well as woven animals and wooden toys that will definitely remind you of your fondest memories here.
Address: Jl. Malioboro No.60-54, Sosromenduran, Gedong Tengen, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55271, Indonesia
Opening hours: 24 hours
7. Dinner at Yammie Pathuk
Finally, end off your night with a bowl of dumpling minced meat noodles at Yammie Pathuk. These noodles might look plain but trust us, it is bursting with flavour. Add their homemade chilli sauce for an added kick. Served with minced chicken bits, dumplings and meatballs, you can even choose a jumbo option ($2.30) if you’re feeling hungry.
Address: Jl. Kemetiran Kidul No.63, Pringgokusuman, Gedong Tengen, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55272, Indonesia
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 9pm
Cost per person: $2.30
1. Descend into the Jomblang Cave
The Jomblang Cave is one of Yogyakarta’s natural highlights and is comprised of a huge sinkhole, a long tunnel and a central cave. Getting down to the cave is not for the faint hearted and it is when your life is in the hands of the local, that you realize how strong the local people are.
After getting strapped in, you’ll slowly get lowered by rope to the bottom of the 50 metre deep sinkhole, and once you’ve safely descended to the bottom, you’ll follow the trail into the tunnel.
#Klooktip: Bring a torch light as it can get pretty dark near the middle of the tunnel and the rocks can be muddy and slippery. Given the sweat-inducing descent to the bottom, we recommend bringing a shower cap to protect your hair if you get a particularly pungent helmet.
After a short trek through the muddy cave, at the final corner of the tunnel, you’ll start to see rays of sunlight peeking through the roof of the Grubug cave. Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe how breathtaking the natural light is.
The best time to catch the natural light is from 10am to 12noon and since the cave is about 90 minutes away, get ready to rise and shine early to ensure you catch the best light. Fret not, when you pre-book your Jomblang Cave and Pindul Cave Tubing tour on Klook, it comes with 2 way transfers for you to catch a quick snooze in the comfortable car before you reach. Plus, they only allow a maximum of 80 people into the cave daily so be sure to book early.
2. Go river tubing in the Pindul Cave and Oya River
After trekking through the caves, relax your muscles as you sail across the underground river that flows through the Pindul Cave. Marvel at the hollows produced by the Karst Rocks as you drift past on a rubber tube! This is nature’s lazy river.
If you’re looking for an adrenaline kick, you can even opt to do a bit of cliff diving! Get ready your boomerangs and take a leap of faith off the rocks into the cold waters. Choose from a 4-metre or 9-metre platform of rocks and dive into the cool waters.
There’s even a small waterfall along the Oya River that you can stand under for a refreshing shower.
After a whole day out and about, you’ll be thankful for the transfer back to your hotels that comes with the Jomblang Cave and Pindul Cave Tubing experience Klook. Wash up and get ready for dinner!
Cost per person: 81.79
3. Dinner at House of Raminten
The House of Raminten is a restaurant housed in a Javanese terrace wooden house and keeping with tradition, you’ll see the servers in traditional kraton jarit wrap arounds. The first thing that catches your eye upon stepping in is the unique decor all around.
With cartoon pictures of Raminten in humourous and amusing provocative gestures, a contrast to the strong Javanese ambience of Bunga Setaman and Gamelan music. For the uninitiated, Raminten is a popular media personality in Yogyakarta that all the locals know, he is also the owner of the restaurant and he often dresses up in drag. Brace yourselves for a dinner experience like no other.
Some of the must order dishes include the Ayam Koteka, Nila Goreng and Bakmi Jawa!
P.S. The whole fried fish is only Rp 10000 ($1).
Address: Jl. Faridan Muridan Noto No.7, Kotabaru, Gondokusuman, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55224, Indonesia
Opening Hours: 24 hours
Cost per person: $5-7
1. Sunrise at Borobudur Temple
The Borobudur Temple is the world’s largest Buddhist temple and one of the most iconic cultural sights in SouthEast Asia. Built from 2 million blocks of stone, the intricate details on the stone carvings are definitely a sight to marvel at and surely worth waking up early for.
You’ll see many camping out just to get a good spot within the temple compounds to catch the rising sun.
Pre-book your Sunrise at Borobudur Temple and Mount Merapi experience on Klook and let the driver pick you up in time for the sunrise. This allows you extra time to catch a wink of sleep on the way there. You’ll even be given a torch light for your climb, an extensive buffet breakfast and a souvenir to take home at the end of it!
2. Jeep experience at Mount Merapi
Embark on a jeep adventure like and channel those National Geographic vibes as you race across through the forests of Yogyakarta. Feel the wind in your hair and take in the sights around you.
Stop by the Merapi Museum where you’ll see artefacts of people whose property got destroyed because of the volcanic eruptions. This was truly an eye opening experience.
Pre-book your Merapi Jeep adventure and fret not, it comes with a driver because you definitely won’t want to be handling those uneven and unnamed roads on your own.
Cost per person: 70.89
3. Visit the majestic Prambanan Temple
The Prambanan Temple comprises of 244 different temples and this UNESCO World Heritage Site is also Indonesia’s largest Hindu site. Be sure to head over to the central compound where there are 16 temples on a raised platform.
Even though the temples were ruined by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, these ruins still look extremely majestic!
Address: Jl. Raya Solo – Yogyakarta No.16, Kranggan, Bokoharjo, Kec. Prambanan, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia
Opening hours: Daily 6am to 5pm
4. Have lunch at Abhayagiri
The Abhayagiri Restaurant is the perfect place to dine after a long morning out. With stunning views of the nearby Prambanan Temple and even Mount Merapi peeking out behind, you’ll definitely want to spend some time here just soaking in the views. This is definitely a romantic place you can bring bae.
Be sure to order the Nasi Campur and Bebek Kebuli and wash it all down with a Sereh Blukutuk (Sparkling Lemongrass) drink.
Address: Sumberwatu Heritage Resort RT.02/RW.01, Sumberwatu, Sambirejo, Kec. Prambanan, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55571, Indonesia
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 10pm
Cost per person: $17 (with drinks)
5. Visit the Taman Sari Water Castle
The Taman Sari Water Castle is the place of fairy tales. More commonly known as the garden for the Sultan of Yogyakarta, this castle was originally built for rest and relaxation as well as for the princesses to bathe and be courted by the Sultan.
Legend has it that the Sultan would throw a rose from the high tower and the princess who catches the rose will be his wife.
Address: Wisata Taman Sari Jalan Tamanan, Patehan, Kecamatan Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia
Opening hours: Daily 9am to 3pm
6. Stroll through the Pantai Samas Sunflower Gardens
The Pantai Samas Sunflower Gardens is a great place to spend the afternoon, just strolling through Sunflowers as tall as you! Of course, this is the place you’ll be able to get your shot for the ‘gram.
There are plenty of sunflower gardens along the stretch so take your pick and choose the one with the nicest sunset for a stunning glow for your pictures.
P.S. These sunflowers bloom ALL YEAR ROUND!
7. Have dinner at Ikan Panggang Bu Bambang Sagan
For the last meal of your trip, it’s time for some freshly BBQ-ed fish! As you enter Ikan Panggang Bu Bambang Sagan, you’ll see a huge array of seafood placed on ice. Pick your seafood and the sauce and style of cooking and grab a seat inside.
The grilled fish (ikan bakar) was very well marinated and grilled to perfection. The flesh was white and fluffy, with a tinge of charred sweet seasoning. We chose to have our squid fried and it was crunchy, bouncy and perfectly seasoned. The squid costs us $5.40, the fish $25 and the prawns were $7.20 for 9 pieces. The amount of food was more than enough for a party of 4.
Address: Jl. Damai, Mudal, Sariharjo, Ngaglik, Sleman, Yogyakarta 55581, Indonesia
Opening hours: Daily 11am to 1030pm
Cost per person: $10
Get picked up for your flight!
If you’re catching an early morning flight out, be sure to pre-book an airport transfer in advance and get picked up straight from your hotel. We were extremely thankful to have that extra 30 minutes of sleep in the car before we got to the airport.