Cheap Flights To Yogyakarta
Yogya, as the locals call it, is one of Indonesia's tourist gems. Located in central Java not far from the capital Jakarta, Yogyakarta isn't that large (with around 400,000 inhabitants) but it punches well above its weight in cultural terms. A major centre for Javanese dance and puppetry, the city has historical jewels like the Kraton (where its Sultan still holds court) and is a fantastic place to stock up on craft items like batik fabrics, ceramics and even Wayang Kulit puppets, which make a truly unique souvenir.
The city was once the epicentre for Javanese resistance to both British and Dutch colonial rulers, and this gives it a special status among Indonesian locations. You can feel that special atmosphere when you visit outstanding attractions like the Water Gardens of Taman Sari, markets like Pasar Beringharjo and the Sono-Budoyo Art Museum - a wonderful collection of batik, masks and puppets. There are also some fabulous excursion options, not least the chance to visit Borobudur. This ancient Buddhist temple complex around 30 miles away from Yogyakarta is one of the world's most spectacular religious sites and a must-see for all visitors.
Things To Do
With dazzling works of art, enchanting puppet shows, beautiful palaces and serene gardens, Yogyakarta is a place that engages all of the senses, offering plenty of things to see and do.
A Buddhist marvel
The area's star attraction is beyond doubt. Built in the 8th century by the Sailendra Dynasty, this mini city of pyramids, terraces and sculptures is breath-taking. Preserved by being buried for centuries under volcanic ash, few places come close to the majesty of Borobudur.
A revelation for shoppers
It's tough to imagine a better place to shop for exotic gifts and craft items than Yogya. Whether you want to find some charismatic Wayang Kulit puppets, some beautifully dyed batik fabrics or finely decorated ceramics, places like Pasar Beringharjo will have everything you need (and more).
Gardens and palaces to capture the imagination
Taking a tour of central Yogyakarta is another must when you visit. This royal capital is centred around the Kraton, a sprawling palace, with elegant courtyards and pavilions to savour. But Taman Sari is another essential stop-off, with its gorgeous network of bathing pools and its unusual underground mosque.
Calendar Of Events
As Java's main cultural centre, it's not surprising that Yogyakarta's events calendar is pretty packed, with events for music, history, food and puppetry fans alike. Here are a few great occasions for tourists to check out:
The Festival of Lights: Every June and July, Mount Merapi on the outskirts of Yogyakarta becomes festooned with colourful lights, creating a magical spectacle as Ramadan concludes.
Jogja Art Festival: The city's premier cultural event, JAF is all about dance - one of the city's major pastimes. Taking place in late September, it's a feast of street and theatre performances.
Pesta Boneka: Actually a biennial festival, every two years this puppetry event brings companies from all over Indonesia (and the wider world) to Yogya. Taking place in December, it's a quirky window into one of the city's great passions.