[Updated: 9 September 2019]
Yogyakarta is one of the Indonesian cities which never fails to surprise us; it's a city with plenty of activities to do and yummy food to eat. This time, we're taking you to 9 of the most gorgeous spots there, which will guarantee you amazing photos ? Arm yourself with a decent camera and get ready for postcard-perfect photographs to spice up your Instagram feed!
As a bonus, each of these spots have Muslim-friendly eateries nearby, so you can top off your experience by enjoying nice halal treats after visiting the spots.
1. Borobudur at sunrise or sunset
Borobudur in itself is a majestic man-made structure built more than 1,200 years ago. Did you know it was in the original list of the Seven Wonders of the World? ? But Borobudur at sunrise or sunset is another level of beauty. From any angle, rays of sunlight turn this great Buddhist temple into an out-of-this-world view.
Credit: @jsn_pdog on Instagram
Whether you're an early bird or prefer to enjoy the sunset, the view at Borobudur is always breathtaking.
Credit: @padmakirana on InstagramAddress:
Jalan Badrawati, Kawasan Candi Borobudur, Magelang (40 km northwest of Yogyakarta)
6am - 6pm, daily
IDR 40k (Domestic visitor) or IDR 325k (Foreign visitor)
Regardless of what time you visit, make sure you unwind and have a meal at one of the good Muslim-owned eateries nearby, Sekar Kedhaton
. With its extensive menu of traditional Indonesian and international food, coupled with elegant ancient Javanese architecture, this restaurant is a hot favourite!
Credit: @mikothecat on Instagram
Whether you're craving for Indonesia's national dish, Nasi Goreng, or feel like having Ayam Penyet (crushed chicken), you'll be treated to a delightful meal ?
JL Borobudur, Km. 2, 5, Pabelan, Mungkid, Pabelan Satu, Pabelan, Mungkid, Magelang, Jawa Tengah 56512, Indonesia
8am - 9pm daily
+62 293 789 429
2. Taman Sari Water Castle
Ever wondered how it feels to live in a castle? Or a water castle? ? Well, now you have the chance to get a glimpse of just that, at Taman Sari Water Castle, a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. Though you can only visit a limited number of areas now, rest assured you'll still be able to take insta-worthy photos!
Credit: @rauf_abdrazak on Instagram
There are two pools in the area, which were once used by the Sultan and his wife. Also, the rooftop offers a fantastic view in the afternoon with the structure bathed in golden sunlight, and the old mosque underground will be a beautiful surprise. Explore this gem at your own pace and have fun creating your own photo collection at this ancient water castle ?
Credit: @adi_juniawann on InstagramAddress:
425, 09, Kampung Taman Kt 1, RT.36, Patehan, Kecamatan Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55133, Indonesia
9am - 3pm, daily
IDR 7.5k per domestic traveller or IDR 15k per foreign traveller; IDR 3k per camera if you bring your own
Refuel after an afternoon of exploration at one of the many eateries nearby, like Bakmi Pak Pele
(on Google Maps as "Special Bakmi dan Nasi Goreng Pak Pele"). Slurp down a delicious and affordable plate of noodles, and savour the authentic taste of local dishes such as Mi Bakso and Mi Godog (Noodles in gravy).
Credit: @sandrasyahrul on InstagramHalal Status:
JL. Pojok Tenggara, Jl. Alun-Alun Utara, Panembahan, Kecamatan Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55131, Indonesia
4pm - 11pm (Tues - Sun), 5pm - 11pm (Mon)
+62 274 297 1111
3. Parangkusumo Sand Dunes
Compared to many other attractions in Yogyakarta, Parangkusumo Sand Dunes is one that is relatively not so crowded. This is one of the only few places in Indonesia where you can find sand dunes, so here's the perfect chance for you to admire the scenery here and feel like you're in an Arabian desert. ? One thing you shouldn't miss while you're here is to try sandboarding. And make sure you stock up on great photos here which you can use to spice up your Instagram feed later on! ?
Credit: @anitadsw on Instagram
Parangkusumo's scenery is magical both in the day and at night. When it's dark, you get to stargaze at the clear sky free of any light pollution. Stand in awe of the grand milky way which will definitely remind you of Allah's greatness. ?
Credit: @infiatravel on InstagramAddress:
Jl. Pantai Parangkusumo, Parangtritis Beach, Kretek, Yogyakarta
Free entrance but IDR 10k per car or IDR 5k per motorbike for parking. IDR 80-100k per sandboard rental for sandboarding
If you want to feel even closer to nature before visiting the sand dunes, make a stop at the nearby Warung Bumi
(located 35 minutes drive from the dunes) to snack on organic home-grown produce. From homemade bread and pisang goreng
to nasi campur
made with locally-sourced vegetables and free-range meat, this eatery is dedicated to highlighting and supporting local farmers.
Credit: @julianculinary on InstagramHalal Status:
Muslim-owned (Do note that the eatery serves non-alcoholic fermented kefir drinks made from animal milk)
Jl. Imogiri-Mangunan Km. 3 Desa Giriloyo, Wukirsari, Imogiri, Bantul, Yogyakarta Indonesia
9am - 4pm (Tues - Sun), closed on Sundays
+62 896 6011 1730
4. Kampung Code and Kali Code Riverside
Kampung Code had previously always been known as a slum area, but thanks to the hard work and generous efforts from a reputable architect, the area has now been transformed into a colourful art village. It's even received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1992 ? You can enjoy the best views from Gondolayu bridge at Kali Code riverside.
Credit: @indonesiantraveler_ on Instagram
Today, as you walk through the small alleys in the village, skillfully-painted murals can be found everywhere. Strike a pose with them or simply just admire their beauty; it's really interesting to see how the local villagers live their lives too ?
Credit: @prudence.bansemer on Instagram
Address: Jl. Jend. Sudirman No.44, Gowongan, Jetis, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55233, Indonesia
If you need to fill your tummy while you're at Kampung Code, head over to Roaster And Bear, a hipster cafe specialising in a variety of local and Western dishes. Continue your photoshoot here with their bear-themed latte art, yummy snacks, or delightful mains like Nasi Goreng Salmon or Ayam Bakar Bumbu Bali that will leave you feeling satisfied. ?
Credit: @temptingtables on Instagram
Address: Jl. P. Mangkubumi No.52, Gowongan, Jetis, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55233, Indonesia
Opening hours: 11am - 11pm (Sun - Thur), 7am - 12am (Fri - Sat)
Contact No: +62 274 292 0027
Website | Facebook | Instagram
5. Beringharjo Traditional Market
Beringharjo Traditional Market is the place for, perhaps literally, everything. It's called Pasar Beringharjo locally (the word "pasar" means market) and inside this humble old building you will find rows and rows of everything from local snacks and desserts to Batik clothes. You can also get exotic fruits or vegetables and traditional herbal drinks called "jamu" plus local handicrafts and silver jewelry.
Credit: @fvckalogic on Instagram
To satisfy your craving for Javanese food, there are many halal stalls to choose from. Among the most legendary and well-loved dishes by locals are Bakmi Pentil (tapioca noodle), Soto Pithes Mbok Galak (clear chicken soup with fresh chili peppers), Sate Kere Mbah Suwarni (fatty beef satay), and Es Dawet Mbah Hari (their version of ice chendol). Not to mention the traditional snacks that keep calling you at every turn!
Credit: @nindisofi on Instagram
At this market, seizing the day means capturing the daily lives of the sellers, sharpening your food photography skills, sampling every treat you haven't tried before, and shop till you drop. A day at Beringharjo Traditional Market is a sure way to enjoy Yogyakarta ?
Jalan Margo Mulyo No.16, Ngupasan, Gondomanan, Ngupasan, Gondomanan, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55122, Indonesia
8.30 am - 9 pm daily
6. Kalibiru National Park
Kalibiru is arguably one of the most unique national parks in the world, as it was built entirely by the initiative of the local community. It was originally a badly damaged area due to irresponsible farming but thankfully with the help of locals and several non-profit organizations, it's been refurbished as a state forest. Today, it is beautiful and green space with many local and international visitors.
Credit: @faisal.not.faizal on Instagram
It has several dedicated photo spots, each with different views but no matter where you're at, rest assured you'll be able to get a wonderfully scenic view. With picturesque views of the mountains and lake, you're guaranteed that picture-perfect backdrop ?
Credit: @diyana_jafri on Instagram
But, photo-taking is not the only thing you can do at Kalibiru. The national park also offers options for adventure activities like trekking, flying fox, and paragliding among others.
Jl. Waduk Sermo, Hargo Wilis, Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta
6.30am - 6pm daily
IDR 5k-10k per pax for entry; IDR 15k-35k per spot for access to dedicated photo spots and IDR 5k per photo to copy the photos taken by the official site's photographer
Once you've got your shots you are more than welcome to enjoy delicious snacks, food and drinks around the area. Head over to Muslim-owned eateries, Warung Makan Pawon Ndeso Kalibiru
and Rumah Makan Gunung Rebab
for a quick meal.
Credit: @rumahmakangunungrebab on InstagramWarung Makan Pawon Ndeso Kalibiru
Unnamed Road, 55652, Kalibiru, Hargowilis, Kokap, Kabupaten Kulon Progo, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55653, Indonesia
8.15am - 4pm daily
Rumah Makan Gunung Rebab
Soropati, Hargotirto, Kokap, Kulon Progo Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta 55653, Indonesia
8am - 7pm daily
+62 859 2749 2620
7. Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat
A trip to Yogyakarta is simply incomplete without a visit to the Sultan's palace: Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat; or in short, just Kraton. This palace complex is the official residence of the reigning Sultan and his whole family, as well as the centre of Javanese culture. In the area, you'll feel the heartbeat of the Javanese people in Yogyakarta through the architecture, museum, traditions, and many more.
Credit: @riskydputra on Instagram
One of the wonders of Kraton in Yogyakarta is the staff members, or as they are locally called, the "abdi dalem". These are the fulltime workers of the palace complex, working exclusively and for the best interests of the Sultan and his family. Take time to capture their daily activities in the Kraton area and sit with them to listen to their stories, which are often enriching for the soul.
Credit: @jumspasiadi on Instagram
Don't forget to make time for the magical "wayang orang", traditional dance show accompanied by full "gamelan" music held regularly on Sunday evenings. It's free and open to public. Besides watching the show, have dinner in a royal setting at nearby halal restaurants, Ndalem Ngabean or Bale Raos Kraton.
Be aware that visitors are expected to avoid any misconduct (e.g. littering, uttering swear words, and the likes) in the area.
Jl. Rotowijayan Blok No. 1, Panembahan, Kecamatan Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia
9am - 2pm (Sat - Thurs), 9am - 11am (Fri); cultural show areas are also open during show schedules (check online for the most recent schedules)
IDR 7k per domestic traveller or IDR 15k per foreign traveller for entry; site tour guide may charge another fee.
Treat yourself to a meal fit for a king at Bale Raos
nearby, a restaurant owned by the royal family themselves! To the surprise of many people, this place is not a fine dining restaurant despite the lavish appearance and they have a wide variety on the menu, from bebek goreng
, fried rice, meat dishes and even local desserts such as tapak kucing
Credit: @baleraosresto on InstagramHalal Status:
Jl. Magangan Kulon No.1, Panembahan, Kecamatan Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55131, Indonesia
10am - 10pm daily
+62 274 415 550
8. Jomblang and Grubug Caves
Jomblang and Grubug caves are unlike any other caves - they are vertical caves naturally formed due to the collapse and dissolution of limestone layers from the seafloor millions of years ago. Jomblang is now 60-metres deep and Grubug is 90-metre deep, and it's the deepest vertical cave in Java ? To experience the best of the caves, you'd need to engage a local tour operator to head into the caves.
Credit: @bigwave32 on Instagram
As part of the guided tour, you'd get to go down into the caves and rest assured, there'll be safety equipment such as helmets, shoes, and vests. Plus, did you know that proceeds from these guided tour fees go straight to helping the locals?
Credit: @lolaitaima on InstagramAddress:
Jetis Wetan, Semanu, Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta
8 am - 2 pm, daily
IDR 500k per pax (on average) for guided tour to the two caves, usually starting from Jomblang cave and end at Grubug cave.
If you've spent all your energy exploring the caves and feeling a little hungry, head over to a nearby halal restaurant, RM Bu Tiwi Tan Tlogo
and feast on their delectable traditional dishes.
Credit: @esther_yulia on InstagramHalal Status:
Jl. Wonosari-Semanu KM 3,5, Mijahan, Semanu, Sambirejo, Semanu, Kec. Semanu, Kabupaten Gunung Kidul, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55893, Indonesia
8am - 8pm daily
+62 878 3975 4333
9. Pentingsari Village
Pentingsari may be a tourism village, it is always overlooked by visitors. Located in Sleman regency in Yogyakarta, it has green rice fields and cool rivers. You can stay at the guest houses run by locals here and of course, enjoy yummy local food too. Not only will you be able to experience daily activities of the locals, you're also free to join them ?
Credit: @holdingwind on Instagram
With a back-to-nature vibe, this village offers so many Instagrammable spots, one of which is this happy, colourful backdrop ?
Credit: @riskakkkk on Instagram
All in all, what you can enjoy in Pentingsari Village is some peace and quiet, and maybe the best way for you to rejuvenate amidst your busy schedules.
Pentingsari, Umbul Harjo, Sleman, Yogyakarta
After that, continue your journey to find halal food. Besides the available local eateries in the village area, you can also head to Omah Palgading Resto
, which is well-known for their wonderful halal Javanese food.
Credit: @ichacipta on InstagramHalal Status:
JL. Palgading, Palgading, Minomartani, Kec. Ngaglik, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55581, Indonesia
8am - 10pm daily
+62 812 1519 1912
So, what are you waiting for? It's time to get your cameras ready and head to Yogyakarta for an unforgettable vacation filled with gorgeous pictures and delicious local cuisine!