Best places to see, stay and eat in Yogjakarta
When traveling through Yogjakarta in Wonderful Indonesia, there are many hidden gems to explore. Borobudur is without question the main attraction in Yogiakarta, and where many visitors spend most of their time. While Borobudur is indeed an image of beauty (especially during sunrise), there are many other places which should be added to your to-do or bucket list.
WHAT TO SEE
Fruit Garden Mangunan in Yogjakarta
This one is a location I consider an absolute must-see! Important note: the most beautiful view is during the (very) early morning, so the best experience is for the early birds. If you’re there around 5AM, you can watch the sunrise and beat the crowds: A win-win! Be aware, the mist is at its most beautiful during the rain season.
Prambanan Temple in Yogjakarta
Prambanan is an impressive premise with giant towers rising to the sky. The temples enclose ancient shrines with beautiful stone carvings and hidden statues. Tip: Don’t hesitate to climb the stairs into the towers! We weren’t sure this was allowed, but after a security guard encouraged us, we made sure to see all the towers. You’ll be in awe by all the magnificence.
Another sight near Prambanan that’s worth a visit is Candi Boko, which hold great mystery as its history still remains unclear and unsolved. Named after the legendary King Boko, mentioned in Loro Jonggrang folklore, the 16 hectares site is located on a plateau, about 3 kilometers from the Prambanan Temple. The area consists/ed (some are in ruin) of temples, square stone structures, an audience hall, miniature temples, and a large bathing place. The complex provides a memorable cultural experience and many photographers try and capture the great beauty at sunset, unfortunately the weather dowesn’t always cooperate.
Kalibiru National Park
The Kalibiru National Park is a go-to for both a quick visit or a fun filled half-day. There are several activities, such as rock climbing, tight rope walking and a cable car. It’s the perfect place for impressive pictures as there are highly placed wooden decks providing amazing views! Hope you aren’t afraid of heights 😉 Side note: all activities are priced separately, so make sure to bring some cash.
WHERE TO EAT
The Sawah Restaurant
This restaurant is part of the well hidden B&B and luxury home of Wim, a retired Dutch man. Expect a beautiful garden with only a few tables where you’ll enjoy a lot of privacy, friendly table service, a chat with Wim, and of course, some delicious food. There’s no menu: they serve you a classic Javanese rijsttafel, the traditional way. Indulge on some great food in a wonderful atmosphere. As they say: it’s not a restaurant, but a place to eat! Click here to make a reservation:
The food at this restaurant was inspired by Prince Joyokusumo’s, whose home this once was. The restaurant/house is also a small museum. After dinner walk around where an employee or even the lovely owner herself will be eager to show you around. I was particularly impressed by the gamelan collection, inside the house and in the restaurant itself. The facility is quite beautiful and offers an authentic Indonesian dinning experience.
Kali Opak Restaurant
A really interesting dinning experience is at a place called Kali Opak Restaurant, it’s walking distance from the Prambanan Temple. This restaurant is they type of place that if not recommended, you might not go there, or even happen upon it. The entrance of the restaurant is a bit nondescript and perhaps even uninviting, but once you walked through the threshold, you’ll discovered a dining sanctuary. The outdoor restaurant gently terraces down a hillside reveling a small meandering river. The setting is broken up into various sections to accommodate private groups and makes diners feel as though they are eating within the confines of a jungle, which in a sense you are. The traditional Indonesian food is served buffet style and is quite good.
Sekar Kedhaton Restaurant
Sekar Kedhaton demonstrates opulent Javanese decor while serving traditional keraton style food. This restaurant seems to cater to large tour groups, but is still a great dinning choice when in Yogjakarta. The restaurant is set in a bit in the countryside and has a tranquil feel. The service is extremely courteous, but not very efficient: often slow and a bit confused.
WHERE TO STAY
The Phoenix Hotel by MGallery
My advice, when In Yogjakarta, stay at the Phoenix Hotel. Upon walking in the hotel you feel like going back in time as luxurious facility blends perfectly with the old Colonial days. Expect a feeling of grandeur and nourish yourself with all the hotel has to offer, like the beautiful spa and pool (one of the best massages I experienced in Indonesia [about 450,000 Rupiah, or $35 U.S. dollars] . The hotel also offers tours of the city in beautiful vintage cars. Weather breakfast, lunch or dinner, the dining experience is amazing!
If you have any additional tips or suggestions when visiting Yogiakarta, please leave a comment below.
Article by: By Jaimie Teelen – follow her on Instagram at @mylovelyluggage