Jogjakarta Backpacker Guide
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
Yogyakarta / Jogjakarta is one of the most favorites cities to explore in Indonesia. Well-known as its cultural background and hospitality, set Jogjakarta always reserved from domestic or international travelers. Not to mention, the famous Borobudur Temple as one of the seven wonders can be reached for 2 hours driving from Jogjakarta. If you are intending to visit this city, here are the things that you should know:
How to reach Jogjakarta?
Lots of options for transportation mode can be selected when you're planning to visit Jogjakarta. If you are from Jakarta, you can select the options:
Thirteen hours bus drive from the nearby bus station with varies ticket costs.
A nine-hour train trip from Gambir Train Station which cost you starts from Rp.400.000 ($40)
One half hours flight from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport to Adisucipto Airport which approximately cost you Rp.700.000 ($70)
However, if you are from Bali, taking the flight to Jogjakarta is the most reasonable answer due to the length of these cities.
Transportation and accommodation in Jogjakarta
Taxis are available from the airport to take you to the city center. Make your payment at the taxi counter at the airport and they will give you the car number to drive you to your destination. No extra payment will be charged to you. When you are taking a train from Jakarta, the Jogjakarta train station is located in the heart of the city. You can take a 5 mins walks from the train station to the famous touristy area, Malioboro.
Most of the tourists tend to spend their nights in Malioboro street. Malioboro street has the most complete amenities you'll need during your stay. Malioboro is packed with shops selling curiosities, and street vendors offering souvenirs at affordable prices. If you’re after some batik to take home as a souvenir, then Malioboro is the right place for you. At night, the street comes alive with merchants initiating up tents serving all kinds of local cuisine. If you are on the budget and looking for a room, walk into Dagen street in Malioboro. Lots of room under Rp. 300K ($3) are available. Check the air BnB for any budget room variations since Jogjakarta has lots of unique cultural-themed hostel for you to stay.
The best way to take in the sights of Jogjakarta is on a motorbike since the distance from one spot to another considerably distant. Most of the motorbike rental can easily spot on Malioboro street which usually cost you Rp. 80K/days ($7). I recommend you to take ride a becak (pedicab) for any short trip around Malioboro, considering the Malioboro street is heavily crowded to pass by a motorbike.
Foods in Jogjakarta
One of the major draws to visit Jogjakarta is the heavenly culinary scene. Don't be surprised to find that sweet dishes dominate the food. Gudeg is the food you should try during your visit. Made from the jackfruit stewed with coconut milk, garlic, and palm sugar turns into a legendary dish you should try.
Eating Sate Klatak should be added to the food list you should try in Jogjakarta. This version of satay is unusual; instead of using the chicken meat, Klatak uses Mutton meat greased with butter and sweet soy sauce. I recommend you to beat Sate Klatak Pak Bari in Wonokromo market, Jogjakarta as the restaurant has become a legend in Indonesia. They turn out the old-ruined market as their restaurant which adding a unique experience eating there.
Places to visit in Jogjakarta
Known as the largest Buddhist temple in the world with 9 levels and 504 statues, Borobudur temple is on the top of your list. Sunrise is the best time to visit Borobudur as the sunbeam hits directly into the stupas which form an incredible moment. Borobudur can be reached for 1.5 hours driving from Malioboro street. The ticket entrance cost USD25/person.
Ratu Boko Temple
While Borobudur for the sunrise, Ratu Boko for the sunset. Thirty mins drive from the center of Jogjakarta, Ratu Boko offers a timeless sunset through the temple gate you can never find in the other place. Don't forget to bring your camera as the orange sky and sunbeam will create an epic photo. The ticket entrance will cost you $15/person.
One of the Jogjakarta's uniqueness is the present of Gumuk Pasir Parangkusumo. When you visit Gumuk Pasir you'll feel as you're not in Jogjakarta. Most of the time the prewedding photoshoot held in here as the landscape offers magnificence sand stretch. Sand boarding is the most favorite activities to do here. Gumuk Pasir located next to Parangtritis beach, this trip can be done with one way trip to the beach.
Keraton Jogjakarta (Palace)
One of the heritage buildings in Jogjakarta you should visit. Keraton was the place of Sultan of Jogjakarta stays, as Jogjakarta, the only city in Indonesia adopts the monarchy system. The best time to visit Keraton is the morning as the place only open for public until 2 pm. You could see the ancient collection of the kingdom on the Keraton display. In front of the Palace area, you will find Alun-Alun Jogjakarta as the communal area. Two Banyan tree stands firmly hundred-years in Alun Alun Jogjakarta believed as the place of God and Goddess to rest. Lots of street food stalls appeared around the Alun Alun.
Taman Sari ( The Water Castle)
The old architecture mixing of Java and Portuguese culture as one of the attractiveness of Taman Sari. Located near Keraton makes this building accessible enough to be reached. You could take the Andong ride while enjoying the architecture of Jogja along the way to Taman Sari. The ticket entrance is super cheap, only $2/person. If you hire a guide they will ask you another $10 extra. Make sure you get a licensed guide since a lot of scam in this area offering you a tour-guide.
Located on the east Jogjakarta, Prambanan is a Hindu temple which has 47 meters height (five meters taller than Borobudur temple) certified as UNESCO Heritage Site. You can reach the Prambanan temple only for 30 mins drive from Malioboro Street. One thing fascinates me in the Prambanan temple, every month from 8 to 10 pm they held the Ramayana performance, only when the moon fully appears. Prambanan temple opens from 6.00 to 17.00 which costs you 18 USD / person.
In closure, I would recommend you to stay 3-4 days in Jogjakarta to taste the truly culture of Java.