Yogyakarta, or “Jogja” how locals call it is the cultural city of Java. It is famous for its traditional art and cultural heritage. You can visit here some of the most spectacular temples and also lovely neighborhoods with a lot of street art, cafés and even a bulk-store that we loved.

How to get to Yogyakarta

We traveled from Malang to Yogyakarta by train. It is the Malioboro Express that serves this route also when you visit Java the other way around. The train ride will take you about 8 hours and costs 274K IDR per person, which is about 19$. We booked our ticket on 12Go.Asia

Yogyakarta has a international airport. If you come by plane, you can take a taxi from the airport to the city. We paid 80K IDR (5.70$) to get to the airport when we left Java.

Read More: East Java Itinerary – 10 Days route guide

Where to stay in Yogyakarta

Our favorite area in Yogyakarta was Prawirotaman, and we would recommend you to stay in this area. There are many restaurants and shops around here.

Where to eat in Yogyakarta

  • Sade Tropical Kitchen  very lovely garden restaurant, serves amazing bowls, great vegan options
  • Depot Veggie  very lovely owner, local and vegan food only, very good prices
  • Milas Vegetarian  beautiful garden restaurant, amazing vegan/vegetarian food
  • Ranah Bhumi  lovely bulk-store to get some snacks
garden with a bike hanging from the ceiling of a house
breakfast granola bowl
jars with nuts and dried fruits in a bulk store

Things to do in Yogyakarta

Visit Prambanan Temple

This is a magnificent temple complex with different sizes of temples. It is located a bit outside of the city, and we drove there by scooter. We visited this place in the morning around 8.30, and it was already crowded. But we didn’t mind that because the people were 99% local families or school classes. So many people came to us to talk and take pictures with us. The school kids did some interviews with us. We had a great time visiting and almost didn’t find time to make some photos ourselves.

Visiting temples in Yogyakarta is a bit pricey, if not to say, the most expensive thing we did in Indonesia. The entrance fee for Prambanan Temple is 350K IDR per person, which is about 25$. You can buy your ticket at the entrance of the temple where you will also find restrooms and a restaurant.

Couple standing on the stairs of the entrance to a temple
Couple standing in the entrance of a temple

Visit Borobodur Temple

We visited Borobudur temple for sunrise, which seems to be popular for tourists. It was already crowded in the early morning hours. When you visit this temple, you will arrive at a tourist point first to get your ticket, the same as at Prambanan Temple, and also, this one is expensive to visit. We heard that you could buy a combination ticket for both temples, but they told us at the ticket counter that this is not available for sunrise. Also, they said to us that visiting for sunrise is more expensive than usual and we ended up paying about 70$ for two people and have to say this was way too expensive in our opinion. The temple is, of course, worth seeing, but this price was double from the Taj Mahal, for example, and that was much more spectacular, in our opinion. So if you like to visit Borobudur but save some money, we would recommend you to go later in the day and get a combo ticket for both temples.
We haven’t been very lucky with the sunrise because it was so cloudy that we couldn’t see the sun coming up, but the colors were still beautiful and the temple itself too. After visiting the temple we found out that a breakfast is included in the ticket price. This wasn’t for us because we are fasting in the morning but it’s nice that there is something more included in the high ticket price.

Women walking behind a pagoda
Buddha statue made of stone
Couple walking between pagodas at borobodur temple

Go on a hunt for street art in Yogyakarta

We love to stroll through some neighborhoods when we explore a new city. While we did so, we found the bulk-store and some of the lovely restaurants mentioned before. But we also found a lot of fantastic street art, what we love. The area that we can recommend most for this is Prawirotaman.

Overall we can say that we enjoyed traveling in Java a lot. The Javanese people are some of the friendliest and warmest we ever met, and we loved all the unforgettable memories we made during this trip.

Read More: Sunrise at Mount Bromo – Everything you need to know

street art
street art of a bird with sneakers and a spray dose in his hands
wall with street art behind some potted trees

Budget for traveling in East Java

Traveling in Indonesia is quite affordable. We have listed here an average budget when visiting East Java. Of course, this can vary a lot with the choice of accommodation and transportation.

  • Costs for food per day: 15-20$ for two people (local cuisine)
  • Costs for accommodation: 30$ per night for a guesthouse or standard hotel
  • Costs for train ride from Malang to Yogyakarta: 19$ per person
  • Costs for scooter rental: 5$ per day
  • Costs for taxi: 40$ for 110km