Yogyakarta, the cultural city

Yogyakarta (also Jogjakarta, or Yogya and Jogja for short) is the capital city of the Yogyakarta Special Region (Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta) in Java, Indonesia. It is famous for its tradition, culture, and arts. It is every traveler’s paradise and shopper’s delight. When visiting this cultural city, make sure you do not miss these 8 must-visit spots.

Malioboro Street

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.

Kraton Yogyakarta

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.

Taman Sari Water Castle

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: the Segaran Lake area in the west, the Umbul Binangun bathing complex to the south of Segaran Lake, the Pasarean Ledok Sari and Garjitawati Pool in the south of the bathing complex, and the remaining parts of the complex.

Prambanan Temple

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 7:30 am to 5 pm. Tickets are classified by domestic or foreign visitors. The latter are charged USD 18.

Borobudur Temple

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 a breathtaking view from the top of this 800-AD temple. Beat the crowds and the heat by visiting the temple at sunrise, at approximately 4:30 am. The local guides will help visitors understand the ornately decorated relief walls around the temple. Foreign visitors are charged USD 18 to enter.

Ullen Sentalu Museum

The Ullen Sentalu Museum is a private museum on art and Javanese culture. It is situated in Kaliurang, Yogyakarta. Established in 1994, the museum belongs to four of the central kingdoms of Java: two kingdoms in Yogyakarta and the other two in Surakarta. It displays a wide range of paintings, artifacts and relics from royal houses and palaces (kraton) of Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Pakualam and Mangkunegaran.

Mount Merapi

The beautiful yet terrifying Mount Merapi is the perfect tourist attraction for adventurous travelers. This very active volcano in Indonesia has erupted 68 times since 1548. Dare to hike the mountain to shoot spectacular photos while grooving on amazing scenery. A ticket booth is available before the village of Selo, and it is the only way to hike to the summit of the mountain. Most climbers start their hike at 1 am to be able to reach the summit by sunrise at 5:30 am.

Beringharjo Market

Being the oldest market in Yogyakarta, Beringharjo Market upholds the town’s historical and philosophical values. It is a multi-level market with diverse sellers, offering different items from fabrics, clothing, herbs and spices, to wedding supplies and souvenirs. It is also the land of batik in Yogyakarta, especially inexpensive stamped batik (batik cap). The market opens daily from 7:30am to 4pm. Visitors are advised to bring cash and to utilize their bargaining skills when shopping in the market.

source : http://theculturetrip.com/