48 Hours in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: 10 Cool Things To Absolutely Do


Welcome to Yogyakarta, the cultural heart of Indonesia’s Java island. With just 48 hours in this vibrant city, you’ll have the opportunity to explore ancient temples, indulge in local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the rich Javanese culture. Yogyakarta is a fascinating blend of tradition and modernity, where you can witness the timeless beauty of historical landmarks while experiencing the buzz of a bustling city. Here are 10 cool things you absolutely must do during your short but exciting stay in Yogyakarta.

1. Visit Borobudur Temple

Your first stop should be the world-renowned Borobudur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest Buddhist temples in the world. This awe-inspiring monument showcases centuries-old architecture and intricate stone carvings that will leave you in awe. Wake up early to catch the sunrise over the temple’s spires and explore the surrounding serene landscape. The spiritual atmosphere and breathtaking views make Borobudur Temple an unmissable experience.

2. Discover Prambanan Temple

Another architectural marvel is the Prambanan Temple, a complex of Hindu temples located just a short drive from Yogyakarta. Explore the intricate details of the towering temples, dedicated to the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Marvel at the fine craftsmanship and the stories depicted on the stone reliefs. Prambanan Temple’s grandeur and historical significance make it a must-visit attraction.

3. Explore the Sultan’s Palace

No visit to Yogyakarta is complete without a visit to the Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, also known as the Sultan’s Palace. Immerse yourself in the royal history and culture as you wander through the opulent halls and courtyards of the palace. Learn about the Javanese monarchy and witness the traditional ceremonies that are still held within the palace grounds. The Sultan’s Palace provides a glimpse into Indonesia’s rich heritage.

4. Wander Through Malioboro Street

For a taste of Yogyakarta’s vibrant street life, head to Malioboro Street. This bustling shopping district is lined with street vendors selling everything from batik textiles to traditional handicrafts. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, bargaining for souvenirs and sampling local street food. Whether you’re looking to shop or simply soak in the authentic Indonesian vibe, Malioboro Street is a must-visit.

5. Try Traditional Javanese Cuisine

Yogyakarta is a food lover’s paradise, offering a wide variety of local delicacies. Be sure to try Gudeg, a traditional Javanese dish made from young jackfruit stewed in coconut milk and spices. For a unique experience, indulge in a traditional royal Javanese dining experience at Bale Raos, where you can savor authentic dishes in an elegant setting. From street food to high-end dining, Yogyakarta’s culinary scene has something for every taste.

6. Get Artsy at Taman Sari Water Castle

Step into a world of beauty and intrigue at Taman Sari Water Castle. This former royal garden is filled with intricate waterways, pleasure pools, and stunning pavilions, showcasing the architectural prowess of the Javanese people. Explore the underground tunnels and secret passages that were once exclusive to the Sultan and his family. Taman Sari Water Castle offers a unique artistic and historical experience in the heart of Yogyakarta.

7. Visit the Affandi Museum

Delve into the vibrant world of Indonesian art at the Affandi Museum. Dedicated to the famous Indonesian artist Affandi, this museum houses an extensive collection of his paintings, sculptures, and personal belongings. Explore his unique expressionist style that captures the essence of Indonesian culture and society. The Affandi Museum is a hidden gem for art enthusiasts and a great way to appreciate the local art scene.

8. Ride Through the Countryside on a Becak

Experience a slice of local life by hopping on a becak, a traditional Indonesian rickshaw. Take a leisurely ride through the charming neighborhoods and lush countryside surrounding Yogyakarta. Enjoy the breeze and soak up the beautiful views of rice fields and traditional Javanese architecture. Riding a becak is not only a fun mode of transportation but also a great way to see the city from a unique perspective.

9. Batik Workshop

Unleash your creativity and learn the ancient art of batik at one of Yogyakarta’s many batik workshops. Batik is a traditional Indonesian textile art form, and Yogyakarta is renowned for its intricate and vibrant designs. Join a workshop to try your hand at creating your own batik masterpiece. Under the guidance of skilled artisans, you will learn about the traditional dyeing techniques and create a beautiful souvenir to take home.

10. Attend a Wayang Kulit Performance

End your 48-hour adventure in Yogyakarta with an enchanting Wayang Kulit performance. Wayang Kulit is a traditional Javanese shadow puppet theater that tells ancient stories and legends. Sit back and immerse yourself in the mystical world of puppets, accompanied by the mesmerizing sound of the gamelan orchestra. This cultural performance offers a fascinating insight into Indonesian folklore and traditions.

With just 48 hours in Yogyakarta, you can uncover the city’s rich history, explore magnificent temples, indulge in local cuisine, and immerse yourself in Javanese culture. From the grandeur of Borobudur Temple to the bustling streets of Malioboro, Yogyakarta offers a diverse range of experiences. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in the cultural heartland of Indonesia!