When we decided to visit central Java we wanted to find one central location and base ourselves there. Now that we are travelling with a toddler it is much easier to have a base and go on day trips, then it is to pack up and move locations constantly.
We decided that the best option was the city of Jogyakarta which was central to everything we wanted to visit in central Java. Yogya is near to the temples of Borobudor and Prambanan, as well as not far from the beaches of southern Java.
To be honest, most of the attractions in Yogya didn’t really strike my fancy, we really only spent one day actually exploring the city, and 24 hours is all you really need to see the main sights.
24 hours in Yogyakarta
Morning – The Kraton
The Kraton is the old palace of Yogyakarta. Here you can see traditional Javanese architecture and see exhibits about the royal families luxurious lifestyle and history.
Each day at around 10 AM you can see some sort of cultural performance as part of your ticket. On some days you will see a traditional puppet show, and on other days you will be treated to a gamelan performance – a traditional style of music. You can sit and watch the musicians or you can enjoy the soft tinkling music as you wander around the grounds.
The services of a guide are included in your entrance fee, but some guides may expect a small tip. Having a guide is very beneficial as there are essentially no informational signs in the complex.
Afternoon – Explore Malioboro
Malioboro is the main tourist shopping area in Yogyakarta and no trip is complete without at least once battling your way down this 2km stretch of commercialism. If you are after souvenirs of any type, you will surely find them here.
Malioboro is a good place to either start or end your day, as taxi drivers, horses and carts, and tuk tuk drivers congregate here en mass. When you are finished exploring you will have no trouble finding someone willing to take you to your next destination.