Skip to Content
Saved Flights

Your Saved Flights

No Saved Flights

  • Overview

    'Yogya', as it is affectionately known, is one of the most attractive and ancient historical cities in Indonesia and undoubtedly one of the most popular and rewarding tourist destinations the country has to offer. It was established in 1755 when Prince Mangkubumi built the Kraton Palace, called himself Sultan, and created the most powerful Javanese Kingdom since the 17th century. Today it remains a symbol of resistance to Dutch Colonial rule, as well as the centre for classical Javanese art and culture, including batik, Ramayana ballet, shadow puppetry and traditional music.

    Yogyakarta is a special city to explore and rates far more highly with tourists than the capital, Jakarta. Whereas Jakarta is a sprawling melting pot of all things Indonesian, Yogya is a typically Javanese centre with an individual charm. Also unlike Jakarta, Yogya has a lovely city centre where a number of attractions are clumped together within easy walking distance for visitors. It's a great city for shopping, with many markets and craft centres, and the perfect base for exploration further afield.

    With its ancient historical city, museums, cultural performances, lively atmosphere, and an abundance of accommodation and restaurants, as well as its proximity to two of the most impressive religious monuments in the country, it is no wonder that this splendid city is a major stop on the tourist route.

    Wayang Kulit (Shadow Puppets)

    Shadow Puppet performances are a proud part of Indonesia's cultural heritage. In fact, UNESCO has declared wayang kulit a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, meaning that the art form is considered a global treasure. The puppets are lovingly handcrafted out of buffalo hide or goat skin, and mounted on bamboo poles, with moveable limbs that are worked by a highly skilled puppeteer from behind a backlit screen, casting the shadows of the puppets onto the surface to tell spellbinding stories. The puppeteer is usually the creator of the puppets, the director, producer and main narrator of the shadow world.

    Wayung Kulit Wayung Kulit Arian Zwegers
    Prambanan Temple Complex

    Rivalling the Buddhist monument of Borobudur, this magnificent Hindu temple is the largest in Java and arguably the most beautiful in Indonesia. Prambanan was built in the 9th century, possibly to compete with the splendour of Borobudur, or to celebrate the return to power of the Hindu dynasty in Java at the time. The complex is dominated by three main temples, Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, each dedicated to their namesake, and the walls are decorated with exceptional relief carvings depicting scenes from the famous Hindu classic tale of Ramayana.

    Prambanan Temple Complex Prambanan Temple Complex Cazz
    Borobudur

    One of the greatest Buddhist monuments in South East Asia, Borobudur was built in the 8th century and stands on top of a hill surrounded by volcanoes and green fields. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an immense, multi-tiered structure, crowned by a Great Stupa (bell-shaped monument) that stands 128ft (40m) above the ground. It is part of a 2.5 mile-long (4km) chain of smaller temples, with the Mendut Temple containing three exquisitely carved giant statues of Buddha and two disciples inside. The terraces of Borobudur are covered in sculpted reliefs, their narrative panels illustrating Buddhist beliefs and teachings, and covering an estimated length of 3.5 miles (6km).

    Borobudur Borobudur null0
    Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park

    The Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park encloses spectacular volcanic landscapes and one of the most impressive natural sights in Indonesia. The ancient Tengger crater in its midst stretches for six miles (10km) and within its sheer volcanic walls are three peaks: Batok, Kursi and the smoking Mt Bromo. Thousands of tourists make the journey up Mt Bromo for the unforgettable spectacle at sunrise (during the dry season), when the surrounding landscape takes on an otherworldly quality. The views from the top and into the smoking crater are unbelievable.

    Sunset over Mount Bromo Sunset over Mount Bromo Hasna Syalva

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Yogyakarta is a lovely city, popular with tourists and brimming with attractions. It is the arts and crafts centre of Java and has retained its traditional charm and character while still developing into a modern city with all the expected amenities.

    At its heart lies the quaint Old City with the elegant Sultan's Palace at its centre, containing the Water Palace, an interesting bird market and several museums and galleries. Guarded by traditionally dressed gentlemen, the splendid interior features extravagant pavilions and courtyards. Leading away from the centre, where sightseers usually start their adventures, are boulevards and backstreets filled with the confusion of markets containing galleries, shops and numerous other craft industries - a shopper's paradise for souvenirs and Javanese art. The silver centre of Yogya, Kota Gede, has streets lined with silver workshops creating the well-known and distinctive designs. Workshops allow the visitor the opportunity to watch traditional art in action. On every corner becaks (bicycle rickshaws) clamour for business, wobbling their way down the windy streets with bargain-weary passengers inside.

    Yogya is also a great base for further travels on Java, especially as it is conveniently close to two of the most famous tourist attractions in Indonesia: the Buddhist temple complex of Borobudur, and the Hindu temple complex of Prambanan. It is also near the volcanic splendour of the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park.

    a1

    No direct flights from Heathrow to this Destination