Back in Yogyakarta! It felt great to travel to one of my favorite heritage destinations for the second time. In case you didn’t know, Yogyakarta is the gateway to two of the most magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia — The ancient temples of Borobudur & Prambanan. The city itself is a cultural & historical hotspot in Indonesia with lots of old buildings, delicious local food & shopping areas.

This time, I had the chance to experience new things that I missed on my first trip back in 2012. Our group actually spent three days and two nights in Yogyakarta, but we spent only one day to visit most of the places included in our itinerary. We arrived late on our first day and had to leave early morning on our last day. Despite our limited time, we got to maximize our trip & got to enjoy varied parts of the city, from ancient sights & farming villages in the countrysides to shopping areas & food havens in the city center.

Sunrise at Borobudur

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I missed sunrise at Borobudur on my first trip because I woke up too late. Although it was still dark when I left the city center, the sun had caught up with me while I was still on the way. To make sure we make it on time, we departed from the city at 2:30am & arrived at reached the top of the temple at around 5am.

We waited at the Borobudur’s pinnacle level and witnessed dark starlit sky shift colors to warm pastels, golden hues and finally, bright blues. It was magical to see faded silhouettes of the temple and surrounding mountains slowly getting filled in by warm light, revealing colorful details. I totally recommend that you see the sunrise at Borobudur. It is worth booking, even if it’s not your first time to visit the temple.

Breakfast at Stupa Restaurant

Relaxing countryside view from Stupa Restaurant by Plataran, near Borobudur in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Relaxing countryside view from Stupa Restaurant by Plataran Borobudur Resort & Spa, near Borobudur Temple in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

We did not have to travel far to get to our breakfast venue, Stupa Restaurant by Plataran Borobudur Resort & Spa. The restaurant was located in the countrysides near Borobudur temple. They served us a wide selection of traditional Indonesian breakfast dishes. We really enjoyed our meal, not only because of the delicious food but also the hacienda (farm estate) feel of the place and relaxing view of the rice fields.

Countryside tour at Wanurejo Village

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We didn’t waste any time and started our next activity after breakfast— a bicycle tour around Wanurejo Village followed by Batik & pottery making. This tour can also be arranged by Stupa Restaurant by Plataran Borobudur Resort & Spa for IDR450,000 (approx USD35) per person (minimum of 4 people).

We started from the restaurant grounds and cycled our way through scenic rice fields & small farming villages. If you’re not up for the early morning exercise, you can also opt to tour the area on an Andong (traditional horse-drawn carriage).

Locals patiently taught us how to make Batik designs on a little blank sheet & sculpt clay pottery using a hand-spun potter’s wheel. It was only then that I realized how much tedious work and craftsmanship is needed to make them. I still have my batik hankie today as a souvenir of our wonderful day at the village.

Royal Tea Ceremony & Heritage Tour at Royal Ambarrukmo

Tea with traditional Javanese rice cakes and desserts during our royal tea ceremony at Royal Amburrukmo Hotel

Tea with traditional Javanese rice cakes and desserts during our royal tea ceremony at Royal Amburrukmo Hotel

We spent most of the afternoon at Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel. After resting for a bit in our room, the hotel management arranged a tour of the property followed by royal high tea ceremony or Patehan. In addition to providing top-notch accommodations in Yogyakarta, Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel was also one of the city’s highly regarded historical spots, registered as a National Heritage Site. Built in 1859, it formerly served as the Royal Palace Residence (Kedaton Ambarrukmo) & conference venue for the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies.

Sunset at Ratu Boko

Sunset at Ratu Boko in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Sunset at Ratu Boko in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

I skipped Ratu Boko during my previous trip because it wasn’t as grand in terms of the surviving structures compared to Borobudur & Prambanan. I was glad that I got to visit, and finally completed Yogyakarta’s trilogy of UNESCO World Heritage Sites — Ratu Boko, Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple.

Ratu Boko is thought to be an ancient palace complex, named after legendary King Boko. It was located up a hill near Prambanan Temple, which you could see in the distance, on your way up. It’s popularly visited during sunset time because of scenic overlooking views facing the Prambanan Plain & Mount Merapi (volcano).

Eat local in Yogyakarta

During our whole 12-day trip, we had some of the best local food at the restaurants in Yogyakarta. Sampling the local cuisine should definitely be on your itinerary. Here the places we ate at:

Ayam Goreng Suharti

Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) at Ayam Goreng Suharti

Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) at Ayam Goreng Suharti

Don’t miss eating the Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) and Tempeh (fried soy) at Ayam Goreng Suharti. They served best Ayam Goreng and Tempeh that I’ve ever tasted in Indonesia. So crispy and tasty! This homey restaurant seems to be a favorite among locals since the place was packed during our visit.

Omah Dhuwur Restaurant

Omah Dhuwur Restaurant in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Omah Dhuwur Restaurant in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

We ate dinner on your second night at Omah Dhuwur Restaurant. This place was more classy, housed in an elegant historical building in Kotagede, one of the oldest districts of Yogyakarta. They also served really good Indonesian food along with international dishes. It was buffet-style, so we enjoyed a lot more variety.

3 Days Yogyakarta Itinerary

Previous

Day 1

Afternoon — Bandung to Yogyakarta Flights on Lion Air

Arrival in Yogyakarta

Evening — Eat at Ayam Goreng Suharti

Rest at Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel

Day 2

2:30AM — Wake up

3:00 to 4:30AM — Hotel to Borobudur transport

4:30AM to 6:15AM — Sunrise at Borobudur

Morning — Eat at Stupa by Plataran

Cycling around Borobudur Village, Batik & Pottery Making

Eat at Wanurejo Village

Afternoon — Royal Tea Ceremony & Heritage Tour at Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel

Ratu Boko sunset tour

Dinner — Omah Dhuwur Restaurant

Malioboro Street shopping and walking tour

Rest at Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel

Day 3

Morning — Yogyakarta to Bali flight on Garuda Indonesia

Bali to Lombok flight on Garuda Indonesia

Next

Book Your Stay

Reception Hall at Royal Amarrukmo Hotel

Reception Hall at Royal Amarrukmo Hotel

I stayed at the Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel on this trip. I loved this luxury hotel because of its character as one of Yogyakarta’s heritage sites. I was in awe instantly after walking past the main entrance, glancing upon the detailed stone relief that depicted life along the slopes of Mount Merapi. This masterpiece is one of “7 wonders of Royal Ambarrukmo,” that are worth a peek. The hotel was conveniently located beside Plaza Ambarrukmo, a huge upscale mall. It was a few minutes drive away from Yogyakarta International Airport & the old city.

Royal Amarrukmo in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

My room at Royal Amarrukmo Hotel

If you plan on staying at Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel, don’t forget to check rates, discounts & enjoy easy online bookings on Agoda or Booking.com.

This post is part of a travel blog series inspired by my 12-day journey in Indonesia. The trip brought me, along with other top digital influencers to some of the country’s top & up-and-coming destinations including Bandung, Yogyakarta, Lombok, Komodo Islands & Bali.

Special thanks to Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia for making this trip possible. For more inspiration, you can reach & follow them through these channels: