Top 8 cultural places in Yogyakarta

The bird market in Yogyakarta

The bird market in Yogyakarta ©dany13/Flick

Yogyakarta is an unparalleled cultural center of the Java Island. Gamelan orchestras keep alive the rhythms of history, the beauty and harmony apperas in the classical Javanese dances, shadows come to life in the wayang Kulik (shadow play) stories, and many other traditional art forms are enchanting both the locals and the visitors. The top 8 cultural places in Yogyakarta include markets, museums and a cemetery.

Yogyakarta has an airport with internal and international flights as well. Trains come several times a week to the Tugu train station and express trains come from Jakarta and Surabaya.


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There are regular buses to the Borobudur and the Prambanan temple sites. Bicycles and motor bikes can be rented cheaply.

Interesting markets in Yogyakarta

The Beringharjo market is located at north from the Kraton and there you will find everything from the batik materials to the traditional dishes.

Beringharjo market in Yogyakarta

Beringharjo market in Yogyakarta ©orangescale/Flick

On the Malioboro street the souvenir and handicraft shops are alternating with the eating houses serving typical Yogya food, the gudeget that is a jackfruit cooked in coconut milk with eggs and chicken. It is a real cultural place of the city.

Kasongan lies at 7 km from Yogyakarta and it is famous for its artistic, export quality pottery products.

The Ngasem bird market is an every day opened typical Javanese market where you will find many birds and a varuert of other animals as well. It is located at the southern edge of the Taman Sari and it is a real pleasure to visit it.

The bird market in Yogyakarta

The bird market in Yogyakarta ©dany13/Flick

Important museums of Yogykarta

The Sonobudoyo museum is one of the top cultural places in Yogyakarta and was founded in the November of 1935. The building was designed by the Dutch architect Kersten in traditional Javanese style of architecture. The permanent exhibition contains weapons, wayang kulit puppets (buffalo leather shadow figures), masks, original sculptures and bronze objects of central Javanese temples from the 8th century, Neolithic pottery, textiles, rare and antique Javanese gamelan instruments. The museum is located in the north main square of the city (Alun-alun Utara) opposite to the main entrance of the Sultan’s palace.

The Batik Research Center is located on the eastern edge of the city. It has an interesting permenant exhibition where you can see classic and modern batik materials. The process of the hand drawn or printed batik can be viewed live.

The Affandi Museum lies near the the main road connecting the city with the airport, in a rich green garden on the bank of the Gajah Wong River. Affandi was the most important impressionist painter of Indonesia who created this private collection to show his own artworks.

The Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta at night

The Malioboro Street in Yogyakarta at night ©java tourism/Flick


In Imogiri you will find the official burial place of the royal families from Yogyakarta and Surakarta lying at 17 km to the south-east of Yogyakarta. It is easily accessible by bus or by car. The graves are on a hill in three main courtyards. In the small interior courtyards where are the tombs of the rulers the visitors are only allowed to enter with traditional Javanese dress.

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