Mastering Yogyakarta for best time, best areas to stay, getting around, top attractions, must try cuisines, budgeting, finding deals, and tips for muslim travel.

First-Time Adventurer's Guide To Discovering The Best Of Yogyakarta

Why Yogyakarta is an Ideal Destination

Yogyakarta, a vibrant city on the Indonesian island of Java, is a mesmerizing blend of tradition, culture, and natural beauty. It's a destination that offers Singapore travelers a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, and yet, remains relatively undiscovered by many tourists. The list of things to do in Yogyakarta is endless, from exploring ancient temples to indulging in mouth-watering local cuisine, and everything in between. The city's cultural richness, combined with its warm and welcoming people, make it an ideal destination for anyone looking for an immersive and unforgettable travel experience.

Yogyakarta's rich history and cultural heritage are reflected in its stunning architecture, traditional arts, and lively festivals. The city's location, nestled between the majestic Merapi volcano and the Indian Ocean, also provides opportunities for unique outdoor adventures. Whether you're a history buff, a food lover, or an adrenaline junkie, Yogyakarta has something for every traveler from Singapore.

Furthermore, Yogyakarta's proximity to Singapore, along with affordable travel and accommodation options, make it a highly accessible destination. With direct flights and a travel time of just over two hours, you can easily swap the skyscrapers of Singapore for the temples and rice fields of Yogyakarta.

Best Time to Visit Yogyakarta: Seasons, Weather, Festivals & Events

Determining the best time to visit Yogyakarta largely depends on your preferences and what you want to do in the city. The tropical climate means that Yogyakarta experiences warm temperatures year-round, with a wet season from November to March and a dry season from April to October.

The dry season is generally considered the best time to visit, with clear skies and a lower chance of rainfall making it ideal for outdoor activities. However, the wet season can also be a good time to visit Yogyakarta, particularly for those who prefer lesser crowds, and the opportunity to snag better deals on flights, hotels, and tours.

Yogyakarta also hosts a number of other festivals and events throughout the year, including ArtJog, which showcases the city's thriving arts scene, and the Yogyakarta Gamelan Festival, a celebration of traditional Javanese music. Visiting during these events can provide a unique insight into the city's culture and traditions.

Best Areas to Stay in Yogyakarta: For Families, Couples, and Unique Stays

Choosing where to stay in Yogyakarta can greatly enhance your travel experience. The city offers a range of accommodation options to suit different travel styles and budgets, whether you're traveling with family, as a couple, or looking for a unique stay.

For families, the district of Prawirotaman is a great choice. Known as Yogyakarta's 'tourist village', it offers a variety of family-friendly accommodation options and is close to many restaurants and shops. Recommended accommodations here include the Hyatt Regency Yogyakarta and the Greenhost Boutique Hotel.

For couples, the district of Kraton offers a more romantic setting. Here, you can find a range of boutique hotels and guesthouses nestled among historic buildings and narrow lanes. Melia Purosani Hotel Yogyakarta and The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta are two recommended accommodations that provide a romantic and cultural experience.

For those seeking a unique stay, consider the rural area of Kaliurang. Located on the slopes of Mount Merapi, this area offers unique accommodation options such as traditional Javanese villas and eco-lodges. Sambi Resort and Spa and The Cangkringan Jogja Villas & Spa are two recommended accommodations that allow you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Yogyakarta.

Getting Around Yogyakarta: Local Transport and Ride Hailing Apps

Getting around Yogyakarta is relatively easy, with a range of transport options available.

Becaks are a unique way to get around Yogyakarta and provide an opportunity to soak in the city's atmosphere. They cost between Rp10,000 - Rp100,000 (SGD 0.90- SGD 9) depending on distance, time of day, and destination. Always agree on a fare before you take a ride.

Taxis are a convenient option for travel in Yogyakarta , especially for longer distances. Metered fares start at Rp10,000 (SGD 0.90), plus Rp4,000 (SGD 0.36) per kilometer traveled. However, be aware that not all taxis use meters, so do avoid these taxis where possible.

Grab and Gojek is available in Yogyakarta, and offers a convenient and affordable way to get around Yogyakarta. Travelers from Singapore will be familiar with these apps, and more importantly, it’s the best way to avoid getting ripped off.

Top Attractions to Visit in Yogyakarta: Highlights, Opening Hours, and Ticket Prices

Yogyakarta is home to a plethora of attractions, each with its own unique charm. When considering what to do in Yogyakarta, a visit to the city's historical and cultural sites should be at the top of your list.

The Borobudur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit. Known as the world's largest Buddhist temple, it's a stunning architectural masterpiece that offers breathtaking views. Setumbu Hill is where you can watch the amazing Borobudur sunrise. The temple is open from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm daily (with different visiting time slots), and ticket prices start from Rp 455,000 (SGD 41) for adults and Rp 305,000 (SGD 27) for children. There is a quota on tickets, so we highly recommend that you book your tickets in advance here.

Another top attraction is the Prambanan Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This Hindu temple complex boasts beautiful architecture and hosts a traditional Ramayana ballet performance at night. The temple is open from 6:30 am to 5:00 pm daily, with ticket prices starting from Rp 362,500 (SGD 33) for adults and Rp 217,500 (SGD 20) for children (3-10yrs old). Full access to Borobudur Temple and Prambanan Temple are not available on Mondays, but you may still visit the temples for a look.

The Kraton, or Sultan's Palace, is another must-visit. As the heart of Yogyakarta's culture and history, it offers an insight into the city's royal heritage. The Kraton is open from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm daily, except on Fridays and national holidays when it closes at 1:00 pm. Ticket prices start from Rp 15,000 (SGD 1.45).

Must Try Cuisines in Yogyakarta: Food and Restaurants

One of the best ways to experience Yogyakarta is through its cuisine. The city offers a culinary journey that reflects its rich cultural heritage and diverse influences.

Gudeg, a traditional Javanese dish made from jackfruit, is a must-try. It's typically served with rice, chicken, and a spicy coconut milk sauce. You can find this dish at many local eateries, but Gudeg Yu Djum and Gudeg Pawon are particularly renowned for their versions.

Sate Klathak, a type of satay made from goat meat and served with peanut sauce, is another local specialty. You can try this dish at Angkringan Lik Man, a popular street food stall.

For a more upscale dining experience, consider visiting Mediterranea Restaurant, which offers a fusion of European and Mediterranean cuisines, or Milas Vegetarian, a vegetarian restaurant that uses organic ingredients sourced from local farmers.

Tips for Traveling in Yogyakarta

Be sure to exchange your Singapore dollars (SGD) to Indonesian rupiah (Rp) before your trip, because money changers in Singapore typically offer a better rate. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and upscale restaurants, but cash is preferred at local eateries and markets.

For safety, it's advisable to avoid areas like Prawirotaman and Malioboro Street at night, especially if you are traveling alone. These areas are popular with tourists during the day, but may attract pickpockets preying on solo travelers when the sun goes down.

In case of emergencies, the emergency number for police in Indonesia is 110, and for ambulance services, it's 118. Singapore travelers can also reach the Singapore Embassy in Jakarta at +62 21 29950400.

Budgeting for a Trip to Yogyakarta from Singapore


Round-trip flight from Singapore to Yogyakarta: SGD 150 - SGD 300


Mid-range hotel: SGD 50 - SGD 100 per night

Budget guesthouse or hostel: SGD 20 - SGD 50 per night


Local transportation (e.g., taxis, ride-sharing, and public buses): SGD 10 - SGD 30 per day


Meals at local restaurants or warungs: SGD 5 - SGD 15 per meal

Dining at mid-range restaurants: SGD 20 - SGD 40 per meal

Street food and snacks: SGD 2 - SGD 5 per item

Activities and Attractions:

Entrance fees to temples and cultural sites: SGD 5 - SGD 15 per attraction

Guided tours or activities: SGD 20 - SGD 50 per activity


Telekomsel prepaid SIM card with 25gb data: SGD 13.50

Total Budget:

For a 5-day trip, a mid-range budget traveler might spend around SGD 850 - SGD 1,800 per person, including round-trip flight costs.

Finding The Best Deals in Yogyakarta

Booking your flights and accommodation 3-6 months in advance can often result in significant savings. Consider using travel comparison websites to compare prices and find the best deals. If you're flexible with your travel dates, try to avoid peak travel periods to get cheaper rates. Agoda.com offers the best prices for hotel stays in Yogyakarta.

For attractions, consider purchasing a combined ticket for the Borobudur and Prambanan Temples, which offers a discount compared to buying individual tickets. You may visit klook.com for attractive deals and combos on attraction tickets in Yogyakarta.

For dining, consider using apps like Zomato or Chope to book a table or find dining discounts and deals at local restaurants in Yogyakarta.

When shopping, it's a common practice to haggle in Yogyakarta's markets. However, remember to do so respectfully and with a smile.

Muslim Travel to Yogyakarta: Accommodation, Food, Mosques, and Activities

Yogyakarta is a Muslim-friendly city, with many facilities and services catering to Muslim travelers. There are numerous halal restaurants throughout the city, several mosques for prayer, and accommodations that cater to Muslim guests.

Areas like Kraton and Prawirotaman have a significant number of halal restaurants. Some of the popular halal eateries include Ayam Goreng Suharti, which serves traditional fried chicken, and Bale Raos, which offers royal Javanese cuisine.

For prayer, the city has many mosques, with the Masjid Gedhe Kauman, located near the Sultan's Palace, being one of the most notable. Other mosques include the Masjid Agung Bantul and the Masjid Agung Kotagede.

Many hotels in Yogyakarta also cater to Muslim travelers, providing facilities such as prayer mats and Qibla directions. The Alana Hotel and Convention Center and the Sare Hotel Yogyakarta are two such accommodations.

With its rich culture, stunning natural beauty, and warm hospitality, Yogyakarta offers an unforgettable travel experience. As a first-time visitor from Singapore, you'll find a wealth of unforgettable things to do in Yogyakarta, making it a destination that's well worth exploring. Enjoy your adventure in this hidden gem of Indonesia!

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