I have a good friend who owns a small hostel listed on Airbnb in Jogja. She tells me that a lot of her guests are surprised that there are so many things that they can do when they are in Yogyakarta. I can understand why. There are so many interesting and fun activities in and around the city.
As somebody who lives in Yogyakarta, I’d like to share some of the best parts of the city with you. So to help my readers (it might be you!), I created a personalised three day two night Yogyakarta itinerary. This special itinerary covers the temples (Borobudur and Prambanan, plus some other temples), wandering the city, learning about the culture, plus a bit touch of adventure and nature.
And if you’re thinking this tour is not for me, that’s fine. I designed 8 different Yogya itineraries, ranging from 2 Day 1 Night through to 5 Day 4 Nigh, you can use to plan your vacation (make sure to check them out). In the meantime, as the Lone Ranger used to say, let’s roll.
My Yogyakarta Dream Tour
A private car will pick you up from the airport and drop you off at your hotel. After checking into your hotel and dropping off your bags. Once you’ve had a shower and a chance to relax it’s time to explore some of the cities highlights, starting with the beautiful temples.
While there are many temples surrounding Yogyakarta, the two closest to the city are Prambanan and the less well known Sambisari. It is here at Sambisari that I’d start my first day in Yogyakarta.
Despite it’s location, a short 5-minute drive away from Yogyakarta airport, you won’t find big crowds here. In fact, there’s a good chance you will have the temple all to yourself, which gives you a chance to take everything in.
After a short visit to Sambisari temple, you can continue your journey to Prambanan temple. People usually spend 2-3 hours to explore Prambanan temple and the best time to explore it is close to sunset time, from 3-4 pm until 6 pm when you can catch the sunset.
Optional: visit Ratu Boko Palace, an 8th-century complex located on a hill approximately 3 km away from Prambanan temple. With the view overlooking the city it’s a beautiful place to enjoy sunset. Of course, if the weather permits. 😉
– Watch the Ramayana Ballet: This is a dance-drama performance and tells the story of Ramayana. The show is held against the backdrop of Prambanan temple (Open Air Theatre: May-October). The event, which doesn’t happen everyday, starts at 7.30 and finishes at 9.30 pm.
– Hike Merapi: Hiking Merapi volcano is one of the most fun things to do in and around Yogyakarta. I climbed the volcano twice and wouldn’t mind to climb it again in the future if I had a chance. This is an all-night climb that starts at 10 pm (pick up from your hotel). And yes, you need to be pretty fit to do the climb or do exercises (focus on cardio with elevation) at least 3 months before the climb.
If you decided to hike Merapi volcano then you will usually return back in Yogyakarta around 12 – 1 pm. A perfect combination after climbing a volcano is a lazy day! Don’t worry, there are many things you can do in the Jogjakarta city center.
There are a lot of different things that you can do around the city centre. This includes things like visiting the Royal palace, exploring the Keraton museum and the Water Palace (Taman Sari).
Other activities to do around the town centre include shopping and eating. For local delicacies, I’d suggest visiting Wijilan street where you can try Gudeg. If you’re more into shopping then take a stroll around Malioboro to do some textile shopping and visit the Beringharjo traditional market for local spices like vanilla.
Of course, some people like to always be active on holiday. If this sounds like you then worry not, I’ve got a perfect list of activities lined up for you. All you need to do is decide on what activities most interest you (is it going to be arts and craft or adventure?).
Arts and Crafts
If you feel a little bit crafty, you can either do Batik workshop or Silver workshop. These workshops usually take 2-3 hours and you’ll be able to create your own design. The cool thing about joining a workshop is you’ll know how to make something and you’ll end up with a piece of fabric / silver ring that you created! I always love customized and personal thing.
Visiting Jomblang cave is one of the most impressive things that I have done around Yogyakarta. It’s a real adventure (which will take you half a day). First you abseil 80 meters into a huge cave system. Once you reach the bottom of the cave you will spend the next few hours exploring. This is a really special experience and it’s something that most people visiting Yogyakarta never do (but they so should).
You will agree with me if I say you need to be a little bit more active on your last day in Jogjakarta, right? Especially if that means having an unforgettable experience? Of course, you do. That’s why I’d suggest doing the Borobudur sunrise tour!
After visiting Setumbu hill, you will visit the temple. It’s one of the highlights of the trip and you’ll probably want 2-3 hours to properly explore everything (and take lots of photos). After exploring Borobudur temple, you can stop by at Mendut temple on the way back to town. Then a final bit of shopping and it’s time to go to the airport for your flight out from Jogjakarta.
The 3 Day 2 Night Yogyakarta Tour
I’ve created for you the tour I’d most like to do if I was visiting the city as a tourist. I promise you will have a really great time following the itinerary. Yogyakarta is a beautiful city and I guarantee that you’ll enjoy your visit here. I can help you arrange everything from hotel booking through to your own personal driver.
Interested in joining a three-day two-night Yogyakarta tour? Press the button below to get custom made itineraries.
What do you think about the above itinerary? What things would you suggest people to do in Jogjakarta that I missed?
Still need to book your hotel for Yogyakarta? Save yourself some time! Here’s a list of the best hotels near Malioboro for every budget.