What makes Yogyakarta beautiful

The ultimate photo guide to Yogyakarta

When traveling to Java, you should definitely visit YOgyakarta. In addition to the well-known Borobodur temple near the city, there is still a lot to discover in Yogya. In addition to the nice old town around the Taman Sari moated castle and the Hindus Prambanan temple, you can find interesting markets and an insight into Indonesian culture in Yogya. We'll show you the most interesting things from Yogyakarta here!


Most visit Yogja only to see Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. And not without reason. We have already seen a few temples but Borobodur is something special. It is especially beautiful there at sunrise. Because the temple is on a hill and you can see the whole area with Mount Merapi and other volcanoes and the misty rainforest all around, it is a very special experience. The temple does not officially open until 6:00 a.m. (regular tickets are reduced by 50% for students and you can also buy a double ticket for Borobodur and Prambanan), but the Mahoni Hotel offers sunrise tours (you do not have to be a hotel guest).

We stayed in a nice homestay just 500 meters from the entrance of the Mahoni Hotel. At 4:30 am we got up with the call of the muezzin from the nearby mosque and went to the Mahoni Hotel. There you follow the signs into the entrance hall, where you can get your ticket for the sunrise tour (400,000 IDR approx. 25 $ per person). (Warning! Flying drones is forbidden in the Borobudur temple and bags are checked at the entrance of the hotel, we had to leave our drone there). From there it is not far to the temple. At sunrise it is usually relatively full, but you can always find a good place.

Transport: From Yogyakarta you can easily take the bus to Borobodur. The best way to do this is to take a Trans-Jogja bus (3500 IDR per person) from the hotel to the Jombor terminal in the north of Yogyakarta. From there the buses go to Borobodur (be careful, don't pay before the bus leaves the station!). The bus ride should cost 15000-25000 IDR per person and it takes about 1.5 hours. A taxi to Borobodur costs around 400,000-600,000 IRD. Of course, you can also rent a scooter and drive there on your own.

More information: https://wikitravel.org/en/Borobudur


The second major temple in Yogya is the Hindu Prambanan Temple. Ballet performances are also offered there in the evenings. We went there in the morning for the best light to take photos with fewer people (besides, it's not that hot then;)). There are three other smaller temples on the site of Prambanan, of which Candi Sewu is the most beautiful.

Transport: You can get to Prambanan by public Trans-Yogya buses (the last stop on one of the lines) or you can take a taxi there (saytaxi is a good taxi app, bluebird doesn't work in Yogya).

Taman Sari - moated castle

The Taman Sari moated castle is located in the old town of Yogya and is surrounded by small alleys that invite you to stroll around and in which you can find some shops for silk painting. The moated castle itself consists of several inner courtyards with large water basins, which are very beautiful. Admission to the moated castle costs 15,000 IDR, tickets are available at the main building. There are guides in the castle (included in the entrance fee) who will tell you something about the castle and show you around. Some parts of the Taman Sari are hidden in the alleys around it, like the underground mosque.

Bird market / animal market

You have to visit the bird market or animal market in Yogyakarta (although this is not for animal lovers). hundreds of birds are kept in a cage. There are all sorts of animals to buy: geckos, reptiles, rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, rats, roosters, chickens, chicks, ravens, fish and turtles. One of the vendors there also told us there is a snake market nearby where you can eat cobras. AT the market we also witnessed a strange bird competition, which was probably about which bird cries the loudest? If someone knows what this is all about, write it in the comments!

Transport: There is no public transport to the bird market, so it is best to walk, take a scooter or a taxi.

Flashing velo cars

One of the funniest things we saw in Yogya were the blinking, with glowing LEDs decorated Radl cars in the optics of VW beetles and VW buses. In the evening as soon as it is dark you can find them on the square behind the Sultan's Palace. There you can rent a flashing “car” for a round trip or two around the square. Of course, we couldn't help but do a few laps in the blinking vehicle.

Marlioboro Street

Marlioboro Street is known as Backpacker Street. There you will find many shops, but everything is very touristy. There is always a lot going on here at night. In an inner courtyard there is also a large market where you will surely find what you are looking for when it comes to souvenirs.

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