Yogyakarta in Java is a unique place for the appreciation of contrasts.

Finding its own harmonious blend of tradition and modernity, where the old way of life and bygone times and customs are appreciated alongside its youthful charm, the city/town is considered Indonesia’s artistic and intellectual heart.

Yogyakarta is best known for its two historic temples: Borobudur Temple, a 9th century Buddhist monument and UNESCO World Heritage site, and Prambanan Temple, dedicated to the divine Hindu Trimurti (trinity).

Interests

  • Heritage

Highlights

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Buddhist Temples
  • Urban Living

Places to Stay

Hotel Santika

Style: Heritage

Hotel Santika Premiere Jogja is set in the downtown area of Yogyakarta, just a few minutes from the airport and a busy shopping district.

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The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta MGallery by Sofitel

Style: Heritage

The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta MGallery by Sofitel is set within a historic, colonial building dating back to the early 20th century. Enjoy proximity to the Royal Palace and the entertainment area of Jalan Malioboro.

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Activities in Yogyakarta

Prambanan Temple Sunset Visit with Ramayana Ballet Performance (Half Day)

Set out in the afternoon to discover the famous Prambanan temple complex – a UNESCO World Heritage site that is just an hour away from Yogyakarta. Dating as far back as the 9th century, this architectural wonder is home to three important shrines dedicated to the Hindu holy trinity of Lord Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Enjoy a stroll around the vast complex as your guide explains the history and significance of the monuments. As the sun begins to set gently behind the colossal structures, proceed to a restaurant nearby to sample authentic regional cuisine. Afterwards, you can enjoy a traditional performance of the Ramayana ballet set against the backdrop of the illuminated Prambanan temples. (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Time of the day: Evening; Travel time to activity: 1 hr; Duration: 5 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; please note that in rainy weather, the performance is held indoors.)

Temple Tour of Yogyakarta

Awake early to take the one hour drive to the famous Borobudur Temple, which many say rivals Cambodia’s Angkor Wat! This famous 9th century temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. This giant pyramid structure was based on an ancient text and took about one hundred years to be completed and old documents suggest it was inaugurated in 824 AD. Rising up from the green plains in a similar shape to its neighbouring volcanoes, it is a most marvellous setting to watch the sun rise, although there is quite a climb up its six tiers to reach the top. However, reaching the top is well worth it as you will find 72 small latticework stupas that each house a Buddha. Once you have witnessed the beautiful, tranquil views, head back to your hotel for breakfast. (Full Day; Private activity & transfer; Travel time to activity: 2 hrs drive; Duration: 8 hrs; Fitness level: Moderate as you will reach the temple after climbing 100 steps that are not steep. Please note that driving between temples will take up time.)

Highlights of Yogyakarta (Half Day)

Your tour of Yogyakarta is brimming with historical charm! Venture to the Sultan’s Palace, or Kraton, as it is known locally. The palace lies between Mount Merapi and Parangtritis beach region, and is considered a central force within Javanese cosmology. Built in the 18th century, it is a fine example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture. The Sultan still resides in the palace, making it somewhat of a living museum, as it showcases Javanese relics and hosts occasional cultural activities, including puppetry and classical poetry performances. Head onwards to Taman Sari Water Castle, which literally translates as fragrance garden and was a former royal garden. This tranquil spot with its meditation areas and pavillions magically combines both Javanese and Portuguese architectural design influences. (Half Day; Private activity & transfers; Duration: 3 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; If you have a preference for timing, please tell your travel consultant at the time of booking, otherwise our team will schedule the tour at the best available time.)

Borobodur Temple Sunrise Visit (Half Day)

Awake early to take the one hour drive to the famous Borobudur Temple, which many say rivals Cambodia’s Angkor Wat! This famous 9th century temple is the largest Buddhist temple in the world. This giant pyramid structure was based on an ancient text and took about one hundred years to be completed and old documents suggest it was inaugurated in 824 AD. Rising up from the green plains in a similar shape to its neighbouring volcanoes, it is a most marvellous setting to watch the sunrise, although there is quite a climb up its six tiers to reach the top. However, reaching the top is well worth it as you will find 72 small latticework stupas that each house a Buddha. Once you have witnessed the beautiful, tranquil views, head back to your hotel for breakfast. (Half Day; Private activity & transfers; Time of the Day: Morning (sunrise); Travel time to activity: 30 mins; Duration: 3 hrs; Fitness level: Easy to moderate, as you will have to climb up 100 gentle steps to the temple; Please note that views can be obstructed during cloudy or rainy weather.)

Prambanan Temple Tour (Half Day)

Enjoy a half day tour as you explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Prambanan Temple, a 9th century Hindu temple complex. The structures are located about a 45 minute drive away from the city of Yogyakarta. These imposing temples contain three important shrines, dedicated to the Hindu holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Learn about the symbolism and the ancient history of the temples from your local guide as you observe the grand buildings. (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Travel time to activity: 1 hr; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; If you have a preference for timing, please tell your travel consultant at the time of booking, otherwise our team will schedule the tour at the best available time.)

Highlights of Yogyakarta & Prambanan Temple

Your tour of Yogyakarta is brimming with historical charm! Venture to the Sultan’s Palace, or Kraton, as it is known locally. The palace lies between Mount Merapi and Parangtritis beach region, which is considered a central force within Javanese cosmology. Built in the 18th century, it is a fine example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture. The Sultan still resides in the palace, making it somewhat of a living museum, as it showcases Javanese relics and occasionally hosts cultural activities, including puppetry and classical poetry performances. Head onwards to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Prambanan Temple, a 9th century Hindu temple complex, located a 45 minute drive out of the city. These imposing temples contain three important shrines, dedicated to the Hindu holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, which your local guide will explain in depth. (Full Day; Private activity & transfer; Travel time to activity: 1 hr; Duration: 6 hrs; Fitness level: Easy.)

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