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Yogyakarta: The Cultural Heart Of Java

Yogyakarta: the cultural heart of Java

4 mins read

Last May our freelancer photographer Laura went to the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Indonesia and took the chance to visit the historical city centre of Yogyakarta, famous for its cultural importance in central Java. Follow her on this journey around the city.


The city centre is full of tourists from all over the world, shops, food stalls and restaurants. Malioboro Street is one of the main streets and perfect spot if you fancy going shopping. Here it’s possible to find local shops as well as big shopping malls. While walking around these streets, you’ll see some traditional shops selling Batik stamped clothes, which is a technique of wax resist dyeing to a cloth. This national treasure is a UNESCO Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Streets of Yogyakarta

One of the markets in the historical city Yogyakarta where it’s possible to find batik clothes and products is the Beringharjo Market. Here there are many levels to browse and at the stalls you can find food, herbs, clothes, souvenirs and a lot more.


Kraton is another important highlight to not miss in Yogyakarta because this is the palace complex where the Sultan and his family live. During a visit of the palace you can see some museums displaying the past sultanates’ stories and some ancient Javanese art pieces. The complex incorporates pavilions, big halls and spacious courtyards and one of the most impressive parts of the palace is in the reception hall: the Bangsal Kencana which is decorated with precious stained-glass windows and columns of carved teak and a marble floor.


Taman  Sari Water Castle located  two kilometres south of Kraton Yogyakarta is an old 18th century royal garden. There are many areas that make up the complex including a workshop area, resting area and a meditation area to name a few. There are four zones in Taman Sari. The Segaran Lake area to the west, Umbul Binangun bathing to the south of Segaran Lake, the Pasarean Ledok Sari and Garijitawati Pool in the south of the bathing complex as well as the remaining parts of the complex.

Taman Sari Castle


Prambanan Temples are one of the most beautiful Hindu temples in South East Asia that became UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991. They were built in the 9th century and known locally as Roro Jonggrang. The biggest temple is dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer, and the two smaller ones are dedicated to Brahma, the creator and Wisnhu, the sustainer, these sit to the right and left of Shiva.

Prambanan Temples


Borobodur Temple is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument and one of the world’s seven wonders. The Sunrise ticket offers the opportunity to see the beautiful temples in all their glory. The temple’s design in Gupta architecture reflects India’s influence on the region. Despite this, scenes and elements have been incorporated to make Borobudur uniquely Indonesian.

Borobodur Temples


There are many lumpia stalls in the historical city Yogyakarta, but the best is Lumpia Samijaya. It is located in front of Mutiara Hotel. It consists in chicken, beansprouts and other vegetables wrapped in lumpia skin, deep fried until golden cripsy and served with shaved garlic, pickled cucumber and green chili. 

If you fancy noodles there are many noodle bars to choose from including Yammie Pathuk. They have a savory based seasoning which accompany the soup wonton and meatballs, crispy wonton and fried chicken balls. 

Street food in Yogyakarta

If you’d like to eat with the locals Es Buah PK & Bakso Sapi serves fruit shaved ice dessert and Beef Meatball soup. The shaved ice consists of pineapple, jackfruit, sawo/ sapodilla, coconut, grass jelly and syrup. These are a great cheap but delicious treat, loved by the locals.


Some of the best places to sleep is in Yogyakarta are in Malioboro Street. The hostel Yogyakarta B&B is the perfect accommodation for a trip here. The hostel is close to the main attractions, it’s clean and serves amazing breakfast.

Do you have more suggestions or travel tips about Yogyakarta? Let us know! Remember to not miss a visit to our Wildlife Rescue Centre!

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