Yogyakarta, Indonesia (Jogja) is one of the most popular destinations on the island of Java in Indonesia. However, many travelers don’t know that there are far more Yogyakarta Tourists Attractions than just the famous Borobudur temple.
That’s why you can find our Yogyakarta Itinerary for 3-4 days here which will guide you to the most amazing places of interest in Yogyakarta.
Author’s note: This itinerary is created for 4 days, but you can as well do it in 2 ½ – 3 days if you don’t have so much time. We usually like to take our time to just walk around a place in order to get to know locals and hidden gems and finding things to do in Yogyakarta away from the crowds instead of only looking for the usual Yogyakarta Sightseeing.
What to find out in this post
- 1 Yogyakarta Facts
- 2 Best Time to visit Yogyakarta
- 3 Yogyakarta & Borobudur How to get there
- 4 Where to stay in Yogyakarta
- 5 The Ultimate Yogyakarta Itinerary to the best Yogyakarta Tourist Attractions
- 6 Day 1 in Borobudur
- 7 Borobudur Temple
- 8 The Chicken Church (Gereja Ayam)
- 9 Day 2 in Yogyakarta
- 10 Prambanan Temple, Java
- 11 Malioboro – City Stroll in Yogyakarta
- 12 Day 3 in Yogyakarta
- 13 Kraton Sultan Palace
- 14 Taman Sari – The Water Castle
- 15 Get lost in the streets of Yogyakarta
- 16 4. Day – Day Trip from Yogyakarta
- 17 Pinus Pengger
- 18 Tours from Yogyakarta
- 19 Travel Insurance for Indonesia
- 20 Everything packed?
- 21 Where to next?
- Also called Yogya or Jogja
- Was capital of Indonesia between 1945-1949
- Unofficial Capital of Education due to many Universities
- Was Founded in 1756
Best Time to visit Yogyakarta
Dry-Season in Yogyakarta
April – October
Rainy-Season in Yogyakarta
November – March
Yogyakarta & Borobudur How to get there
Getting there by Bus
The probably cheapest way to get to Yogyakarta and Borobudur from other destinations in Java is by bus.
You can check here which options you have.
Getting there by plane
Where to stay in Yogyakarta
For more information, prices, and availability, just click on the name of the accommodation which caught your interest.
Best Budget Accommodation in Yogyakarta
Kosala Jodja – Dorm
Gado-Gado BnB – Private room
Best Accommodation in Yogyakarta
Otu Hostel by Ostic – Private room
Jawajiwa – Private room
Pension Snooze – Private room
Gendis Home Stay – 4 Stars, Private room
Luxury Accommodation in Yogyakarta
Java Villas Boutique Hotel & Resto – 3 Stars, Private room
Greenhost Boutique Hotel Prawirotaman – 4 Stars, Private room
Arjuna Garden Homestay – 3 Stars, Private room
The Ultimate Yogyakarta Itinerary to the best Yogyakarta Tourist Attractions
Day 1 in Borobudur
We will start our Yogyakarta Tour in Borobudur, where you can find the famous temple of the same name. If you want to see the temple early in the morning or even for sunrise, you should make sure to get accommodation in Borobudur directly instead of going there early in the morning from Yogyakarta.
Accommodation in Borobudur
Nurudin House – 4 Stars, Private room
Jaswan Inn Borobudur – 2 Stars, Private room
Luxury Accommodation Borobudur
Shankara Borobudur – 3 Stars, Private room
As you can already guess from the name, the first stop on our 4-days Yogyakarta Tour is going to be the popular Borobudur Temple. But first, let me give you some fun facts about this temple.
Borobudur Temple Facts
- Largest Buddhist Temple in the World
- UNESCO World Heritage since 1991
- Probably built between 750 and 850
- Rediscovered in 1814 and excavated out of Volcanic Ash
- Restored between 1973 and 1983
- Includes 9 levels
Opening Hours: 06.00 am – 05.00 pm
Borobudur Entrance Fee: IDR 350.000 (ca. 21,50€ /$ 25) / Combined ticket + Prambanan: IDR 560.000 (ca. 34€ /$ 40) / Sunrise Ticket: IDR 450.000 (ca. 27,50€ / $32) (June 2018)
Since it was raining every day while staying in Yogyakarta, we didn’t buy a sunrise ticket for Borobudur, in the end.
However, if you’d like to see the sunrise in Borobudur, you can purchase your ticket from 04.30 am at Manohara Hotel.
The Borobudur Temple was, besides Angkor Wat, one of the most impressive temples during our journey and is probably the most popular of Indonesia, Yogyakarta attractions. If you are traveling through Java, make sure to make this temple a stop on your Indonesia Itinerary. And even though the entrance fee seems to be pretty high, we think it was absolutely worth it. We decided to buy the Combined Ticket for the Borobudur and the Prambanan Temple, which is located in Yogyakarta. You can read more about it on Day 2.
If you want to visit this temple during the general opening hours, you might want to get there as early as possible since it is getting pretty crowded from 09.00 am. If you want to have some beautiful photos without dozens of tourists on it, you rather get here beforehand.
If you want to know more about Borobudur, check this website.
You can join some great tours on-site or online on GetYourGuide here.
The Chicken Church (Gereja Ayam)
Opening Hours: 06.00 am – 05.00 pm
Chicken Church Entrance Fee: 30.000 (ca. 1,85 €/ $2,20); Hiking Trail: 30.000 (ca. 1,85 €/ $2,20)
How to get there: Unfortunately, no Public Transport is getting there. You need to take a taxi, go on a tour or rent a motorcycle in order to get here. We decided to go there with an agency, as they would bring us directly to Yogyakarta afterwards since the last public bus to Yogyakarta is already leaving at 04.00 pm.
There are two parking spots. The new one is directly located next to the church. From the other one, you can follow a ca. 20-30 minutes hiking trail that will guide you to the church. (But be careful – It can be pretty slippery here during the rainy season)
Some years back I have seen this documentary on TV talking about the chicken church. Fast forward to our trip to Yogyakarta, I really wanted to see this bizarre church in the middle of Indonesia’s jungle.
The so-called Chicken Church (Indonesian: Gereja Ayam) is apparently supposed to look like a dove as a symbol of peace. Daniel Alamsjah built this absolutely unique house of prayer near Borobudur.
The inside of the church looks totally different from what I expected and every floor is surprisingly different from the others.
In the basement, for instance, you can find meditation rooms that might look quite bizarre if you don’t know what they are meant for. Well, to be honest, we weren’t really surprised to find bizarre things after entering a church that looks like a chicken.
In the upper part of the church, there is even a café in which you can get some snacks and refreshments. Your ticket usually included a snack for free.
You can walk up to the head of the chicken. From there you have an amazing view over the Indonesian jungle that is surrounding the chicken church. One the way up, don’t forget to take a glance from the chicken’s beak as well.
Day 2 in Yogyakarta
Prambanan Temple, Java
The Prambanan Temple gets ignored too often due to its proximity to the extremely popular Borobudur temple. Anyway, a visit to Prambanan is absolutely worth it as well.
Many visitors don’t know that the Prambanan Temple Compounds actually include far more temples than just the Prambanan temple. There even was this one temple we actually liked more than the main temple. But I will tell you about this one later in this post.
- Biggest Hindu temple complex in Indonesia
- Built ca. 850
- Since 1991 part of the UNESCO World Heritage
Opening Times: 06.00 am – 05.00 pm
Prambanan Entrance Fee: $25 / Combinded ticket + Bordobudur: IDR 560.000 (ca. 34€ /$ 40)
How to get there: The Prambanan Temple is located about 17 km outside of Yogyakarta. There is a bus operating between the temple and Yogyakarta (bus stop is about 400 Meter ( 1312 ft) from the temple): Bus 1A by Trans-Jogja from Maguwo. The journey shouldn’t cost more than IDR 3.600 (ca. 0,24 €/$ 0,28).
The Candi (Temple) Prambanan, also called Candi Lara, is the most important and impressive temple of the Prambanan temple complex.
You will already see the temple when entering as it is located directly next to the main entrance of the temple grounds. When entering, you can enjoy a tea or coffee first with a great view of the Candi Prambanan.
You might want to get there early in the morning because, in Prambanan, it usually gets crowded as well.
Even though we arrived pretty early in the morning, a group of Chinese women was following us around until each of them had enough photos with any of us to fill a whole album with. I am pretty sure WeChat must be filled with dozens of pictures of us by now. 🙂
If you want to go from Candi Prambanan to Candi Sewu you need to walk a little (ca. 1km/ 0,6 miles). There is also a little train going between the temples.
I absolutely loved this temple. One special reason I did so was that there was no one else besides us. After visiting Candi Prambanan and the Borobudur temple the day before, that definitely was a nice change.
Many visitors don’t even know that there are other temples to visit in the Prambanan temple grounds. Anyway, I was totally happy we walked to see Candi Sewu as well.
The Siva Temple is located in the Prambanan temple grounds, too. It’s known the be the highest temple of the complex.
It is dedicated to the god Shiva, as you might be able to tell from its name.
However, you can find more temples in this temple complex and it is nice to walk around and have a look at them. Anyway, there wasn’t any other temple we would like to recommend especially.
Malioboro – City Stroll in Yogyakarta
One of the most popular Yogyakarta attractions is Malioboro Street. It’s the perfect place for shopping. Jogja city is famous for its batik art and that’s why you can find many batik products in this area. (But be careful, some people that intend to bring you to their batik shops are trying to scam you)
If you aren’t looking for shopping options like us, you can still explore the restaurants and street food of this area. I am still getting hungry thinking back of the yummy Indonesian cuisine.
Day 3 in Yogyakarta
Kraton Sultan Palace
Kraton Opening Hours: 08.30 am – 12.30 pm; Fridays: 08.30 am – 11.00 am
Kraton Entrance Fee: IDR 15.000 (ca. 0,90€ /$ 1,00)
The Kraton (also called Keraton) is the big pride and joy of Yogyakarta. If you are interested in Javanese culture and history, you will probably love this place as it represents the Javanese conception of the world.
However, for everyone not familiar with it, this probably won’t be the highlight of your trip, unfortunately.
This palace is still owned by the Sultan and therefore, many parts are not accessible to the public.
If you are coming here in the morning, you can join nice performances, for instance, dances and puppet shows.
The exhibits are, well, let’s say, almost non-existent. And the few ones you might find are lacking any kind of information.
Anyway, if you plan to visit the palace, you should definitely go there in the morning to see the performances. But double-check that you are at the official entrance before entering. (It can be pretty tricky to find). The main entrance is in a square with a big clock on it. There are some side entrances where people get scammed by paying to see just an old backyard.
Taman Sari – The Water Castle
Water Castle Opening Hours: 09.00 am – 03.00 pm
Taman Sari Entrance Fee: IDR 15.000 (ca. 0,90 €/ $ 1,00)
When walking through the Water Castle Taman Sari (Translated: Beautiful garden adorned with flowers) you can perfectly imagine how this place was used for bathing by the Sultan and his women.
Many women were invited here to have a bath, so the Sultan could watch them and chose which ones he would like to have as his wives.
I have to admit that the decorations of the water castle seemed impressive and I can totally see how this is an important place in the history of Yogyakarta. Anyway, in our opinion, they should put more effort into restoring this area and cleaning it.
A visit is worth it, but missing this place, in our opinion, wouldn’t be a huge loss either.
Get lost in the streets of Yogyakarta
The rest of the third day, we spend walking around, trying local food, and talking to random locals that approached us on the street.
While walking around, we found some kind of funfair taking place in Jogja and decided to spend the evening there.
Our “Highlight” was the ghost house, in which three little children dressed as ghosts walked around in order to scare the visitors. When they realized that we were foreigners they suddenly forgot about being ghosts and started begging for money instead. Isn’t that the true horror? 😉
4. Day – Day Trip from Yogyakarta
Opening Hours: 06.30 am – 11.00 pm
Pinus Pengger Entrance Fee: IDR 5.000 (ca. 0,30€ /$ 0,35)
How to get there: Unfortunately, there is no Public Transport operating between Yogyakarta and Pinus Pengger. That means you can get there with a tour, by taxi, or by rented motorcycle.
Pinus Penggar is a beautiful pine forest a little bit outside of Yogyakarta.
This place got recommended to us by a local back in Jakarta and after seeing pictures of this wonderful place, we couldn’t wait to finally get there.
We decided to visit Pinus Pengger for sunset. Anyway, when we arrived it started raining. So, besides two minutes of sunshine, there was not much of a sunset. However, this place was absolutely magical. Especially, since there were just a few tourists walking around unlike the other crowded attractions nearby.
On the way to Pinus Pengger, we stopped to see some little temples, which I don’t even remember the name of. It was absolutely nice to simply drive around exploring the surroundings of Yogyakarta on our own.
Tours from Yogyakarta
Join some tours on-site or find some great tours online here.
Travel Insurance for Indonesia
You should definitely get travel insurance before your trip. The World Nomads Travel Insurance is arguably the most popular travel insurance worldwide. If you are still unsure about travel insurance make sure to check our Travel Insurance Guide here.
In our Ultimate Packing List for Southeast Asia, you can find everything we needed for 6 months in Asia.
Travel Guide for your Backpack
Where to next?
Make sure to check our Ultimate Bali Itinerary for 10 Days in Bali as well.