Joining Worlds

The Best Way to Spend A Day in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Borobudur Temple. Photo courtesy of

Borobudur Temple. Photo courtesy of

This semester, Cory Rogers gave a very useful assignment to his first year graduate students at UGM’s Center for Religious and Cross Cultural Studies. He knew that the Japan Fellows Lissette, Cassie and Anabel would be visiting him and that they would be wondering what would be the best way to spend a day in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

So he asked his students to design a personalized itinerary of the best way to spend a day in Yogyakarta. Below you can see the “winning itinerary”! Very useful for anyone with a taste for adventure looking for the best way to spend a day in Yogyakarta! 

Oberlin Shansi Fellows and Students plan the best way to spend a day in Yogyakarta

Cory (standing) along with Fellows Julie Gaynes and Anabel Hirano sitting to his left and right, work with students to plan the ideal itinerary for the best way to spend a day in Yogyakarta. Lissette took the photo.


by Meli, Nana, Lilin, Heri and Eline

There are many interesting places in Yogyakarta apart from temples. Today people do not only visit Yogyakarta to see Borobudur or Prambanan because there are many interesting new places as well since there is a new culture called, travelling as a backpacker. So, everyone can travel. This has made adventurous young people are keen to explore the unusual places mostly visited by the common people or elderly which are mostly quite boring and not challenging for them. Since they are in a budget so they have to be smart by minimising their spending yet expect to get more experiences which is hard, but some people could do it. And here is an itinerary of a day in Yogyakarta in a budget.

  • A slurp of Coffee for Breakfast: 09 A.M – 10 A.M

Before you start a short adventure in Yogyakarta, it is always good for you to start your day by eating a smooth cake, fresh fruits and a hot coffee. You can enjoy your breakfast while surfing on the internet to check shops or any information out about Yogyakarta or just read the news at Hany’s Bakery. It is located in Prawirotaman street 1 number 14. The price is quite varied depends on what you eat, but usually for a cake, fresh fruits and a cup of coffee, you pay for less than two dollars.

  • The Adventure of the Ancient Volcano: 10 A.M – 01 P.M

Nglanggeran Volcano

Flying over the canyon and the valley!

The ancient volcano, Nglanggeran suits your trips since you love riding a motorbike. It is quite expensive if you rent a motorbike for a day. It is around 50.000, but if you could bargain to the renter, you could have less than 40.000 or as an another alternative, if you could ask your friend who has got a motorbike to go with you then you do not have to pay that much, just pay for the fuel that will cost 20.000. It takes you around 30 minutes to get to the mountain from Prawirotaman street, but the road trip is worth it because you would feel like you are in a real adventure and see many beautiful views. Give it a go to check the lake out there. The lake is in the peak of the ancient volcano. It is a cool place that you can enjoy while taking photos, just like many Indonesians always do. There is also a “flying fox” service across the valley if you brave enough to fly over the canyon and the valley.


  • Bukit Bintang Yogyakarta: 01 P.M – 02 P.M

After visiting Nglanggeran mountain and want to go back to the city, do not miss your lunch at the place nearby. Go to Bukit Bintang that will take you about 40 minutes from Nglaggeran. It offers you a variety of local food such as pecel lele, soto, and bakso and prices are affordable for students. The cafes and the restaurants are quite new and you could see the entire city of Yogyakarta from Bukit Bintangbukit bintang

Bukit Bintang is a tourism place located in Bukit Pathuk, a hill in a main highway that connects Yogyakarta with Wonosari regency. Why is it called Bukit Bintang? Because in English it literally means Star Hill (bukit means a hill and bintang means a star)  and from this place you can feel like you see all the sparkling stars at night. So Yogyakarta would be seen in such a beautiful city and its sparkling stars. Don’t be sad if you couldn’t go there at night to see the sparkling stars because during the day you could also see the beautiful sunset.

  • Puppet Museum Kekayon, the buried pearl of Jogja: 02 P.M – 03 P.M

After popping over at Bukit Bintang to eat lunch and see the views of Yogyakarta, continue your trip to stop by at the Museum Kekayon in Wonosari street kilometers 7. It is 15 away from Bukit Bintang so it is not far and worth to stop by. The Museum is unlike famous museum such as Keraton or Affandi. This is because there are not many people know about the existence of that Museum Kekayon.  It is an old building with many Puppets collected from each different area of Indonesia, and also some are from abroad such as Thailand’s Puppet. There are some monuments chronologically records Indonesian history from the colonial era until the independent day. You would also get some explanations from the tour guides and see a mini show at this museum for 1 dollar. shadow puppets tino copy

  • Candi Ijo (Green Temple): 3.00 pm-6.00pm

Visiting Jogjakarta without visiting any temples is incomplete. It tells a fascinating history and landscape of Yogjakarta. One of many temples in Jogjakarta which both gives us information about the history and a pleasure is Candi Ijo, it is close to Prambanan temple. The temple is from a nineteenth century. And it is interesting that it does not belong to a specific religion, but it takes acculturation form instead. This temple is for Hinduism and Budhism. The complex of the temple is structured into 11 terraces, there are many small temples in the complex and variety of paintings and sculptures.


By Masgatotkaca (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

The best thing to see is it is located in the highest place in Yogjakarta. We can see Yogjakarta from the peak, enjoying the landscape and seeing the airplanes taking off or landing in the international airport of Yogjakarta. Spending sunset in the highest place and enjoying the view of Yogjakarta is the best thing to do here. It is a fortunate since this place usually is not crowded with visitors so you could always look around the temples without feeling of being stalked by other visitors. The fresh air stimulates our enjoyment there. Moreover, the ticket here is inexpensive.

  • Dinner at Pondok Cabe (Chili House): 06.00 pm-07.00 pm

People of Yogjakarta love spicy food. A good place to enjoy spicy food is at Pondok Cabe, in the city, not far from Universitas Gajah Mada (UGM). During dinner we can see many young people enjoy their meal here. Yet, this place is well structured so that it is not crowded and noisy. This place offers Indonesian food mostly vegetable, fish, meat, and traditional food, such as tempe (fermented soybean) and tofu. This place is named “Pondok Cabe” that literary means the house of chili. Here we could order all food with chili. This place also offers several types of sambal (chili sauce) which some of them rarely cooked anymore.

This place is also cozy, with beautiful night lights. It is designed as traditional Javanese house which surrounded by wood. As a pondok (traditional house), the place is made from bamboo. Instead of sitting down on the chair, we sit on the floor with a mat, this is called lesehan. In Javanese tradition, people would eat together, sit on the floor and eat with their hands, without spoon and fork. You can experience Indonesian’s way of eating at this restaurant.

  •  Karaoke at Happy puppy: 07 p.m- 09 p.m

Right after dinner, you deserve a ‘me time’ by doing a karaoke at Happy Puppy. Get a small room for 4 people and it is cheap if you guys chip in or have a voucher. You can sing all of your favorite songs without being judged by others if you cannot sing. Rule number 1, invite people who like doing karaoke but cannot sing. It would be fun. There are 2 Happy Puppies but it is better for you to go to the closest which is in Ringroad near Kaliurang street.

  • Kampung Gudeg Wijilan: 09 p.m- 10 p.m

Oberlin Shansi Travel Itinerary for the best way to spend one day in yogyakarta indonesia

Photo courtesy of

I bet you would get hungry after karaoke. As you are in Yogyakarta it is a must thing to do to eat Gudeg in Kampung Gudeg, Wijilan. Gudeg is a traditional good of Yogyakarta and it is made from jackfruit. The taste is sweet. Usually it has got rice, tempe, tofu, chicken and egg on it There are many Gudeg restaurants in Wijilan and this would confuse you. As a recommendation, go to the most crowded place because it is usually the best.

Here is a discussion of Gudeg with Cory Rogers!

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