Tourist attractions in Yogyakarta
1. The Keraton (Sultan's palace)Built in 1756 by Sultan Hamengku Buwono I, today the Keraton is the residence of Sultan Hamengku Buwono X and his family as well as a center of Javanese traditional arts and culture. All the buildings, courts, carvings and trees and even their locations within the 14,000 sq. m. Keraton have deep philosophical meanings and are symbolic of human life. The palace, the Tugu Monument and Mount Merapi are positioned in one line, forming a sacred axis. In the old times, the Sultan concentrated his mind along this axis before leading meetings, making decisions or giving orders to his people.
Visitors can enjoy the atmosphere of the Keraton as it was centuries ago. Daily activities open to the public include gamelan music, Javanese poetry readings, court dances, and puppet shows designed to preserve the ancient arts. Many sets of gamelan instruments, antiques, batiks and heirlooms make the Sultan's Palace one of the most interesting tourist sites in Jogjakarta.
During the May 2006 earthquake, several Keraton buildings were damaged: Trajumas building, Tarub Agung building and Mentog Baturana. All other areas have been repaired and are open to visitors.
Jl. Rotowijayan 1, Jogja. Phone: +62 (0274) 373-177.
Keraton Tours: Monday-Sunday
8:00 am - 2:00 pm, Friday 8:00 am - 11:00 am.
HB IX Museum & Keraton Batik Museum (inside the palace):
Open daily: 10:30 am - noon.
Museum Kereta (Royal Carriages Museum),
Jl. Rotowijayan, west of the Keraton: Open daily: 10:30 am - noon. Entrance fees charged.
Daily Activities at the Keraton
All performances are held at Sri Manganti Pendopo, inside the Keraton.
2. Jl. Malioboro (Malioboro Street), downtown JogjaStores and stalls open 9 am - 9 pm. Food stalls open 5 pm - midnight.
Jl. Malioboro, in the heart of Jogja, is the city's main street and stretches from north to south. It is known as one of the most vibrant tourist attractions in Jogja because the street is flanked on either side by hundreds of street vendors selling a stunning array of souvenirs, handicrafts and accessories.
Jl. Malioboro is also well known for lesehan eateries which pop up along the street at night. Especially popular with the local people, diners sit on mats to have meals or drinks while discussing the events of the day. Favored dishes arenasi gudeg (young jackfruit simmered in coconut milk and spices), sate (skewered, grilled meat served with a sweet peanut sauce) and other specialty foods of the region. Jl. Malioboro is a beehive of activity day and night and is not to be missed when visiting Jogja.
At the southern end of the street is a busy traditional market, Pasar Beringharjo, or Pasar Gede (big market), where local people go to buy handicrafts, traditional foods, batik, clothes and daily needs. To the west of Jl. Malioboro along Jl. Mataram is an area called Pathuk where visitors can find a traditional snack known as Bakpia Pathuk(pastry filled with mung beans, chocolate or black beans) and facilities such as a shopping center, restaurants, hotels and supermarkets.
3. Borobudur Temple
Located 42 kms north of Jogja in Magelang Regency.
Borobudur is the one of the 'must see' sites for all visitors to Jogja. It is a magnificent Buddhist monument constructed between 750 and 850 AD when Central Java was still a Buddhist kingdom. Long abandoned, the first rediscovery and appreciation of Borobudur began in 1815 under Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, who was the Let. Governor of Java during the brief time the British ruled Indonesia. Total reconstruction of the thousands of stones and reliefs took place under the Indonesian government who, with the assistance of UNESCO, completed a 10-year restoration project in 1984. Today, Borobudur is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site with seven levels and 1,460 carved stone reliefs telling the story of the Buddha and representing the steps from the earthly realm to Nirvana. Borobudur is best seen in the early morning or at twilight. Visitors can hire guides, who speak several foreign languages, at the site for a thorough appreciation of the reliefs.
4. Prambanan TempleJl. Jogja-Solo, Km. 17. Open daily 7 am - 6 pm. Entrance fee charged.
The Ramayana Ballet is performed in the Prambanan Temple Complex starting at 7:30 p.m.
May-October on or around full moon evenings on the open-air stage in the Prambanan complex. A cast of 200 artists performs with the magnificent temple as its backdrop.
November-April on or around full moon evenings on the indoor stage at Trimurti Theater in the Prambanan Temple Complex. A cast of 50 artists puts on a stunning performance.
There are two versions of the production of the epic poem. The "episodic story" consists of four parts performed on four consecutive nights. Each episode lasts about 1.5 hours. The "full story" is a compilation of the four episodes and lasts about 2 hours, with a 15-minute refreshments break. Both versions of the dance-drama have been modified for tourists by omitting lengthy Javanese dialog. Refreshments are available on-site. For reservations call (0274) 496-408 or 497-771. Visit www.borobudurpark.com for complete schedules or click on What's On Jogja - Theater & Dance for the current schedule. Click on Attractions & Info - Performing Arts Venues for a description of the play.
Prambanan Temple is a magnificent Hindu monument. Its commonly known name is derived from the village where it is located, but locally it is known as Roro (often incorrectly spelled Loro) Jonggrang, or Temple of the Slender Virgin. It is the biggest and most beautiful Hindu temple in Indonesia and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located 17 km east of Jogja, it is believed to have been built by King Balitung Maha Sambu in the middle of the ninth century. Its parapets are adorned with a bas-relief depicting the famous Ramayana story. The temple complex, containing eight shrines, lies among green fields and peaceful villages. The main temple, dedicated to Shiva, rises to a height of 130 feet and houses a magnificent statue of Shiva's consort, Durga. Other temples are devoted to Vishnu and Brahma.
The area's first open-air theater staging Ramayana performances is on the southern side of the temple and was built in 1960; the new theater on the western side of the temple was completed in 1988. During full moon evenings in the months from May to October, the Ramayana ballet is performed here episodically in four evenings.