Yogyakarta is truly a unique city. Ruled by a king (sultan) whose lineage can be traced to centuries, this city offers plenty cultural and historical heritage. Here you can eat lesehan style without chairs. The rather sweet cuisine of Yogyakarta might surprise you first, but many people have been longing for good Javanese food after trying it once, so you might have the same experience.
This city offers many luscious delicacies. From bakpia cookies, wingko babat, to enting-enting kacang, visitors will be delighted to find there are so many delicious choices here in this town.
Gudeg is one of Jogjakarta’s specialties. This dish is made of young jackfruit with traditional herbs, sometimes with eggs and chicken. Cow’s inner skin, cooked until tender, usually accompanies gudeg with steamed rice. Most traditional restaurants in Jogjakarta sell this specialty.
Don’t let the sweet taste of gudeg fool you, however, the chili sauce of Javanese food can be really, really spicy because it is made mainly from cabe rawit the spiciest chili in Indonesia.
Restaurants worth visiting in Jogjakarta:
Kesuma Restaurant, Gang Sartono – Jalan Parangtritis (Opposite side Market Prawirotaman) MJ III – 827, Yogyakarta
Djogja Kafe, Jalan Kyai Mojo 57
Gadjah Wong, Jalan Gejayan 79D
Omah Dhuwur, Jalan Mondorakan 252, Kota Gede
Restoran Mbok Berek, Jalan Kaliurang Km 16 Pakem
Restoran Moro Seneng, Jalan Solo 55
Jogjakarta is synonymous with arts and crafts. There are plenty to choose from: from batik clothings, silverwares and silver jewelries, potteries, to wayang figurines made of cow’s hide or wood. You can also bring along boxes of the famous bakpia for your family and close friends. Bakpia doesn’t last long, though, so please ask the sales people for expiration date.
Packed with local and international tourists, Jogja is ready with its innumerable inns and hotels. Choose the place to stay according to your budget and your liking.
Take a walk on Malioboro street, it’s packed with people selling interesting souvenirs, with stores offering more exclusive products. Bering Harjo market on Malioboro street offers cheaper products. Don’t forget to use your bargaining skill! Visit Kota Gede, the center of silverwares and silver jewelries. You can even see silversmith at work here. The items sold here are usually more pricey because they’re more exclusive. For regular yet still beautiful silver jewelries, visit Malioboro instead. Visit Kasongan if you’re into potteries. Explore the city from Kraton (Palace) to Taman Sari, where old kings and their families spent their happy days, swimming and enjoying themselves. Take a trip to Borobudur and Loro Jonggrang (Prambanan) Temples.
Jogjakarta is a small city. To illustrate this, for some Jogjakartans, 2 kilometers is considered very far. In the city, you can give your legs some exercise, ride andong/delman (cart carried by a/two horse/s), use the bus and public transportation, ride a taxi, or, try how it feels like to ride becak/pedicab. If you want to visit interesting sites within the city, it is best to move around on foot. If, however, you want to marvel at the grandiose of Borobudur Temple, for instance, it is best if you rent a car.
To make it easier, and shorter, you can take a plane from major cities such as Jakarta or Bali. From Jakarta and Bandung you can also go to Yogyakarta by train and the journey will take approx. 8-12 hours, though. Some travel agents or rental cars also offer trips to Yogya from big cities with a reasonable fee. The journey will take longer than 12 hours from Jakarta or Bandung.
Because there are so many things to see, if you don’t have much time, it is best if you go to a travel agency. It will save you time.
On traditional markets and Malioboro, most of the items sold there are bargainable. When in doubt, ask if the wares are bargainable or not. Bargain at least half the price the seller offers first. If you’re not certain, take a look around and ask for the similar item’s prices, for comparison.
If you have a travel guide from a travel agency, ask her/him to bargain things for you. The same goes if you’re lucky enough to have locals as your friends or relatives.
Never hire an unlicensed travel guide.
Bring lightweight clothings, also hats and shades, if necessary. Jogjakarta can be quite hot.
If you’re being offered things that do not interest you, be firm and say no.