When you are on the Indonesian Island of Java you cannot miss the vibrant city called Yogyakarta (or Jogjakarta or Jogja or Yogya)! Anywhere you are in Yogya, you are always surrounded by art. From people making batik to traditional gamelan music to one of the many gorgeous street art pieces. The beauty of the city never ceases to amaze you. It is a lovable student city where modernity and tradition seem seem to fit perfectly together.
Yogyakarta can also be used as a good base from which to do tours and daytrips. To save you some time here is a list of 6 yogyakarta tours and daytrips.
Bicycle tour: Tour of ceramics village + waterfall
Yogya offers some of the most interesting bicycle trails! Small suburban neighborhoods offer a maze of tracks that allow you to get a glimpse of local life deep in the villages, which look better in real life than in pictures anyday.
This tour is the perfect Yogyakarta daytrip. Not only do you bike through gorgeous scenery and traditional villages but you also get to be a part of it by learning traditional techniques of creating pottery and actually making your own ceramic product. If you want to, you can even overcome your fear of heights by cliff diving at a secret waterfall.
This day has no fixed schedule so you can really take your time and be in the moment! Find out more here Bicycle tour: Tour of ceramics village + waterfall
Evening street food tour
The angrinkans (roadside stalls set), warungs (local restaurants) and Lesehans (street stalls where one would generally sit cross legged on the floor) are the places to be for a taste of a truly local and delicious culinary experience!
This street food scene in Yogyakarta is often left unexplored. Safety, hygiene and communication barriers are all factors that often restrict one from being able to truly indulge despite the willingness to. These worries can now be washed away as you make room for a new adventure.
The Backstreet Evening Street food tour provides a look into the street food scene in Yogyakarta. It’s such a huge part of people’s lives here that you must experience it! Your guide is a master home chef and an all round foodie. They will show you the favorite local spots and stalls where you will find the best the city has to offer. From the very interesting dish Gudeg where they stew unripe jackfruit and fry buffalo skin in sambal, to Kopi Jos where a flaming piece of charcoal is thrown theatrically into your glass, there’s something amazing for every palate! Check out our video for some real footage!
Additionally, the tour also happens to pass by historical attractions. Your tour guide will be more than happy to delight you with snippets of history as you chomp your way down the streets. If you are vegetarian or have any other food restrictions that is not a problem! You let them know and they will find tasty alternatives!
Summiting Mount Merapi: Trekking to the crater of Indonesia’s most active volcano
This one, on our Yogyakarta tours and daytrips, is for the fit adventurers!
Summiting Mount Merapi: Trekking to the crater of Indonesia’s most active volcano. To the Javanese, Merapi is a revered potent mystical symbol of life, so much so that it is ritually celebrated by the Sultan and people of Yogyakarta every year. This volcano is considered the most active volcanoes in Indonesia and perhaps even the world. However, it still finds local residents calling its slopes their homes and travelers trekking up to see the gorgeous view from the summit.
The climb is about three hours. Not too bad right? Think again! This is a really tough one and it will hurt! The slopes are steep and especially the last part is killing. However when you are at the top you will feel amazing! The stunning view and the sense of accomplishment easily make up for the 3 hours of asking yourself why you wanted to do this again. If you like a challenge you should not miss this opportunity!
Fishing in the South Sea with local fishermen
Get a peek into the life of a fisherman! When thinking about Yogyakarta, fishing is probably not the first thing you think of. However, it is a thing you don’t want to miss out on!
The first of its kind, this fishing trip starts in one of the fishing communities in the south coast of Yogya. You will join Mr Tino and his crew and fish like they do. While the fresh baits attract your catch for the day, you can enjoy a dip in the Indian Ocean. You can learn about how your host, Mr Tino and his community live their lives, their deep respect for the South Sea and their strong belief in the legend of the Queen of the South Sea.
After the fishing you will go to a local warung where you get to eat some of your delicious catches (i’m getting hungry again just writing about it). Get more information on fishing in the South Sea with local fishermen here.
Extra tip: Sand Boarding is a popular activity 10 minute drive from the lunch venue. You can make that an extra late afternoon activity.
Prambanan temple: A different approach
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest hindu temple in Indonesia, Prambanan is characterized by its tall and pointed buildings, typical of Hindu architecture. It is one of the things in Yogyakarta that you will have difficulty with, just to take it all in. The gorgeous detail of the enormous amounts of stones is simply incredible.
You don’t have to understand the meaning behind these buildings and carvings to find them impressive and mesmerizing. However it does feel even more special when you do! Learning about the three main shrines that are dedicated to the three Gods: Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Keeper) and Shiva (the Destroyer), and hearing their stories, the place really comes to life. Also, hearing about how these old Hindu Influences still influence Yogyakarta to its present day really deepen the experience. It really is Prambanan temple with a different approach.
This tour is easily combined with other Yogyakarta tours & daytrips so I would suggest that, before you go, you also plan something for the afternoon. Also, if you are also going to Borobudur check out the option for a combination ticket, that might cut a bit of the price of.
Borobudur Temple: The complete experience
There is nothing quite like the Borobudur experience! At dawn, as you witness the mist shrouded plains and hear the first call of the birds, it becomes effortless to imagine yourself time travelling to that ancient time of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms when magnificent monuments were raised to the heavens in expression of their cultural and religious devotions. As the mist slowly begins to lift with the rising sun to reveal the totality of Borobudur’s architectural masterpiece, it sets the perfect backdrop for a morning exploring this timeless monument of Javanese history.
To get a truly rich experience of Borobudur a guided tour offers the best option. To make sure you get a good guide go to Borobodur Temple: the complete experiece.