places to visit: (click on the names to know)
It’s actually known as Jogjakarta or just Jogja (JOGH-jah). This is the most popular tourist destination in Java as the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan lies in close proximity.
Ullen Sentalu Museum: A 45mins drive from the city, this is a Javanese art and culture museum, displaying art and artifact from around Java. Getting a guide is compulsory which is good as the guide will help you to understand the fascinating collections in the museum. The entry fee includes the guide, free parking and a welcome drink of Jamu (traditional Java drink). Camera is forbidden. If you are coming to visit Merapi volcano, give this place a visit.
Merapi Volcano: This is the most active volcano in Indonesia. You can see the volcano from the airplane if the weather is clear before landing at Yogyakarta. The Merapi volcano tour takes you to a mini museum where relics from people’s house covered by hardened lava so displayed. You get to see the peak of the volcano if the weather permits. Bird watching is done around southern slope at Goa Jepang, Turgo hill and Telogo Putri but avoid the weekends.
Prambanan Temple: One of the best things to see in Yogyakarta (the other probably being Borobudur). Make sure to get a ticket combined with Borobudur (you will save some money). The site is simply splendid. It’s been mostly rebuild as most of the structures around the complex but offers a good impression of what it was like during earlier times. Visit there around 3/4pm to see the sunset. If the weather permits, you will be able to see the orange rays which will light the temple. The Ramayana Ballet performance is also recommended to see.
Sewu Temple: This temple is very close to Prambanan Temple. Also the entry fee of this temple is included in the ticket of Prambanan. You should rent a bicycle to see as it is 1km from the Prambanan. There is a train which you can catch afar visiting Prambanan to reach here.
Borobudur: Borobudur, or Barabudur is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple. It is the world’s largest Buddhist temple, and also one of the greatest Buddhist monuments in the world. Go early in the morning to avoid rush and heat. The temple complex is so large you’ll feel you are in a maze. Be sure to get the combined entry fee ticket of Borobudur and Prambanan Temple, otherwise it’s USD 15. The student concession is 50% but it’s a hassle for foreigners to get it.
Jomblang Cave: It is an underground cave, an hour and a half’s drive from Yogyakarta. The best place is the point where the upper land has collapsed and you can see sun’s rays entering the cave giving it a mystic view. Other than that, there’s nothing to see. Book slots for Jomblang cave through the car drivers you are going, otherwise you might not be able to enter the cave if there’s no slots..especially in the peak season. Go for the morning slots. Also pack along a shower cap, a change of clothes, and a pair of socks if you are particular about your feet hygiene. The inside of the cave is wet and the helmets they give are known to stink.
Yogyakarta Fortress Museum: A fortress built in the 18th century, now a museum to explore the history of the Republic of Indonesia. There are four halls; each consists of dozens of dioramas, equipped with interactive multimedia instruments. There are many great spots to take pictures.
Taman Sari: Taman Sari also known as Taman Sari Water Castle is a site of a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta. Good place to take some great photos. The main pool area is nice but opinions differ on whether it is breathtaking or not. There are many tour guides at the entrance, and I would recommend taking them to have a deeper understanding. Also take the guide if you don’t want to get lost in the underground tunnels looking for the underground secret mosque, springs and castle.
Kalibiru National Park: Book your trip through a reputed tour agency. This park is heavily commercialized. Nothing special here except some photogenic nature spot. There are some obstacle courses for you to play and a few photo-taking spots (which you have to pay for at every point). Go on weekdays to avoid the crowd.