How To Spend 48 Hours in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Borobudur Temple
Borobudur Temple | © Trey Ratcliff
Edira Putri

Whether you’re a nature adventurer, cultural geek, culinary aficionado or even shopping enthusiast, Yogyakarta offers a sweet combination of all aspects of tourism. From magnificent sunrise views to temples and shopping streets, read our guide on how to spend 48 hours in Yogyakarta.

Day 1

1. 30: Sunrise at Suroloyo Peak

Suroloyo Peak is the highest summit at the picturesque Menoreh Hills, which share the neighbourhood with the renowned eco-tourism destination Kulon Progo. This peak is one of the most popular spots to catch Yogyakarta’s most glorious sunrise that cast rays of light upon the Borobudur Temple and Java’s big four mountains: Merapi, Merbabu, Sumbing, and Sindoro. Other than the breathtaking view, this peak also holds some religious artefacts, including ascetic pavilions and statues.

Suroloyo Peak, Giritengah, Magelang, Central Java

Suroloyo Peak, Yogyakarta | © Hardi Saputra/Flickr

2. 00: Sightseeing at Kalibiru


From one peak to another, the newly-popular destination of Kalibiru will present you with the sweeping nature view of lush jungles, lakes, mountains, even the seashore when the day is clear. Organised by the local community, this creative eco-tourism destination boasts various outbound activities and stunning spots that guarantee coveted selfies, such as a stretching wooden bridge and a charming treehouse.

Kalibiru Wisata Alam, Hargowilis, Kulon Progo Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta

Kalibiru, Yogyakarta | ©Pandora Voon/Flickr

3. 30: Lunch at Bale Raos


Head back to the city centre for a lavish lunch that will recharge your energy for the next adventure. Bale Raos serves royal cuisine as loved by Yogyakarta’s Sultans, with an affordable price. From the original creation of Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX named Bebek Suwar Suwir to spice-rich beverages, this restaurant offers you a distinctive dining experience you can’t taste anywhere else.

Bale Raos, Jalan Magangan Kulon, Panembahan, Yogyakarta City, Special Region of Yogyakarta

4. 30: Explore Yogyakarta’s Palace

Now that you’ve dined like a royal, it’s time to actually see the life of the Javanese regal. The royal palace complex, or keraton, still serves as a residence for the Sultan’s family, but some parts of it are open to public. There’s a diorama museum depicting traditional practices of the monarchy and showcasing the royal family’s antiques and heirlooms. You can also watch traditional dance and music performances, including the sacred Serimpi dance.

Keraton Yogyakarta, Jalan Rotowijayan Blok No. 1, Panembahan, Yogyakarta City, Special Region of Yogyakarta

Interior of the Yogyakarta Palace | ©Danumurthi Mahendra/Flickr | © Danumurthi Mahendra / Flickr

5. 00: Visit the Affandi Museum

Building, Museum

Affandi was a renowned Indonesian artist considered as the nation’s father of expressionism and perhaps the most internationally-famous and acclaimed Indonesian painter. He decided to reside in Yogyakarta in 1945, where the painter designed a free-form house for himself. Now serving as a contemporary museum, this iconic building in Yogyakarta houses more than 250 of his paintings, along with some works by his artist wife Maryati and daughter Kartika, who also became a painter herself.

Affandi Museum | © Damien Halleux Radermecker/Flickr

Day 2

7. 30: Sunrise at Punthuk Sethumbu

Perhaps you’ve heard of the famed Borobudur Temple, the biggest Buddhist sanctuary in the world. Start the day with the only thing as jaw-dropping as visiting the temple itself —watching the sunrise with the majestic temple in the backdrop. From this hill, the first light of the day will slowly reveal the mesmerising temple complex and its surrounding lush nature. The morning mist makes it appear like the temple is floating on clouds, intensifying the magical and mystical atmosphere of the temple. If the day is clear, tourists will also be granted a sweeping view across Mount Merapi and Mount Merbabu.

Punthuk Setumbu, Karangrejo, Magelang, Central Java

8. 00: Borobudur Temple

8. 00: Borobudur Temple
© Justine Hong/Flickr

Breathtaking as it is, the sneak peek of Borobudur is just that, a teaser. When you get to the vast temple complex, it’s a whole other world, indeed. The complex consists of platforms built with a distinctive Javanese Buddhist architecture that blends traditional beliefs with Buddhist concepts. The stone walls are carved with reliefs depicting ancient narratives and scriptures, and 504 Buddha statues leading up to the central dome. In fact, Borobudur’s relief is considered the largest and most complete unit of reliefs in the world, making this destination popular among tourists, scholars, and religious pilgrims alike.

Borobudur Temple, Borobudur, Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia

Borobudur Temple | © Justine Hong/Flickr

9. 00: Taman Sari Water Castle

Building, Mosque

Taman Sari Water Castle is one of the most beautiful ancient palaces in Yogyakarta and Indonesia. Built in the 1700s, this castle serves as both a fortress and recreational site for the Yogyakarta Sultanate royal family. The purposes of this building are reflected through the refreshingly airy building plan with large pools, spacious rooms to rest, as well as tall stern towers. In addition to the eye-soothing bathing complex, this castle complex also has an artificial lake, gardens, and an underground hall that once served as a covert mosque.

Kampung Wisata Taman Sari, Patehan, Yogyakarta City, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Taman Sari Water Castle | © Eric Lefevre-Ardant/Flickr

10. 00: Shopping spree at Malioboro Street

As Yogyakarta’s main shopping area, this is perhaps the most lively street in the city, bustling with shops, street food vendors, hawkers, restaurants, and more. This street holds tourists’ best chance to purchase traditional products at the most affordable prices, from batik clothes to handmade crafts. This street is also a hub for tourists exploring the city, where various museums and palaces flocks nearby. Even if you’re not big on shopping, you can still find many things to do in Malioboro, such as venturing on for scrumptious local snacks or riding around on a becak.

Jalan Malioboro, Sosromenduran, Yogyakarta City, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Becak in Yogyakarta | ©LIGHT-WALKER/Flickr

18.00: Eat like a local

Nothing gives you such a genuine local experience in Yogyakarta like dining at an angkringan or traditional food vendor. As the sun goes down, the city centre will be lined up with erected tents or carts of angkringan. So here’s how it works: tourists can handpick various traditional side dishes set on the cart — different kind of satay (skewer), tofu, tempeh, quail eggs and more. Then the vendor will prepare the dish for you for a really affordable price. Simple as it is, these humble establishments have been a big part of locals’ daily lives and might be a relaxing way to conclude your fun trip in Yogyakarta.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article