My favorite place to visit when we were living in Indonesia was Yogyakarta (pronounced as Jogjakarta). We found it less touristy than Bali and less expensive. Usually I prefer going to the beach when I am on vacation, but since I don’t get to go to the beach in Bali anyway, I’d take Yogya over it any day. It’s more of a shopping, wander and pamper vacation spot.
In the 5-6 times that we visited Yogya, we stayed in different hotels, but my absolute favorite place to stay in Yogyakarta is Phoenix Hotel. It is a historical hotel with great food & ambiance.
I highly recommend it to anyone and I liked it even better than Hyatt, but I am biased because a must for me is good food. I also enjoyed their small but gorgeous courtyard pool Click the following to see photos:
OTHER HOTELS IN YOGYAKARTA
- We’ve stayed in Hyatt Hotel Yogyakarta, very nice clean hotel but the food is not good. My friends who have kids stay there because it is kid friendly and absolutely beautiful. Click here to see photos of our room.
- We’ve stayed in Villa Hanis which has good food, and a nice villa with gorgeous furniture but the grounds are unkempt. The food is good though and you get a 2 room villa for the price of one room in Hyatt so it’s a good deal if you are going in a group of 4 and are on a budget. The food was good so we liked it.
- We’ve stayed in an even cheaper Hotel Batik Yogyakarta & it wasn’t clean at all. I don’t recommend it. Avoid at all costs.
- Ikan Bakar Jimbaran – get everything “bakar” or grilled! YUM!
- Sawa Steaks – excellent steaks in the middle of rice fields
- Villa Hanis order the Belgian chicken and the chocolate torte
- Buy Monggo Dark Chocolate squares at Jalan Marlioboro. I found some in Batik Adiningrat, which you can find HERE. They sell the big Monggo bars at Kemchicks for twice the price of Yogya but my favorite are the small chocolate squares which are the perfect size to serve with tea. I have a hard time finding these in Jakarta, except once in Papaya Supermarket Blok M. I highly recommend these dark chocolate squares. Image via.
- Buy pure silk batik in one color at Mirota Batik in Jalan Marlioboro. As I said before, I am not into prints, but in Yogyakarta, I found batik that is – believe it or not – in one colour only! YES. It is pure silk and the way it has the batik pattern is by the way the same colored thread is woven to create the fabric. It is beautiful and luxe and the texture is divine. We first went to a shop that sold 2 meters for IDR 2 Million. I loved it but it was too expensive. Good thing I didn’t get it because I got the exact same 2 meter fabric for only IDR 800,000 at the premium batik section in the room at the very back of Mirota Batik on the ground floor. I used the fabric as a makeshift skirt when I had to attend dinner in the Sultan’s palace in a long skirt.
- Jalan Marlioboro is the cheapest place to buy ready-to-wear Men’s batik shirts. TD used batik to work sometimes when he is not wearing barong and he loves finding shirts for only about IDR 60.000 – 80,000.
- Buy used Batik Stamps from Mirota Batik Marlioboro for cheap so you can have it framed to use as home decor, like I did HERE.
- Shop for art at Imam Gallery. Yogyakarta is an artists city. We never fail to buy art whenever we are in town. Click on this and this to see samples of art we’ve gotten.
YOGYAKARTA TO DOS
- Sunrise tour at Borobodur Temple
- Sunset tour at Prambanan Temple
- Watch the Ramayanan Ballet with the lit up Prambanan Temple as the backdrop. This is scheduled in the evenings on weekends. Makes sure to check with your hotel on the dates and time first before arranging for transport. Before the show, it yummy Indonesian food in the adjoining al fresco restaurant.
Please note that these is a list on what was a great hit with us during several trips to Bali Between 2010 and 2012. Details like prices may not be accurate, but they are to give you an idea of how much it was then. I’ll be adding more to this list as I recall more details.
What’s on your list of favorite Yogyakarta experiences? I’d love to get some recommendations from people who have been to Yogyakarta. Drop me a line in the comments!