Yogyakarta, or Jogjakarta, locally called 'Jogja', is a little city in the heart of Java. I came across this city when I was reading up on how I should spend a week in Bali, and what I saw online made me want to devote at least 2, ideally 3 days in Yogyakarta.
The city is packed with culture and heritage. I loved how warm the residents are towards travellers - they're more than excited to talk to you in an effort to practice their English, and will most likely ask you for a selfie too. It's rather adorable.
I landed at Jogja's Adisucipto Airport from Bali sometime in the afternoon, and had pre-scheduled a pickup with my hostel. A bustling city, complete with traffic and horns, wires hanging over buildings, and a general sense of brown. On looking closer though, I saw every street vendor spoke to his customers with a smile. Every scooter on the road wasn't necessarily a local, but a traveller set out to explore the city. Every building bore a sign of being typically Javanese, something I came to realise as I walked through the city later.
And all of a sudden, I felt so welcome.
Jogja was a bit of a culture shock at first. Having spent 10 days in Bali, I was used to walking around in my bikini, with shorts and a coverup thrown over. Bali, a city which boasts of beaches and parties and waterfalls, sees an influx of tourism that is much, much greater than what Jogja sees. The locals are used to seeing hoards of travellers take their streets, even live among them. It isn't the same in Jogja. Yes, there are travellers, but far fewer numbers than what Bali sees. Jogja is also a Muslim dominated city, and nearly all the women wear traditional clothing from head to toe.
So when I turned up at a couple of shops looking for a SIM card, wearing shorts, I ended up attracting a lot of attention. It made me a tad uncomfortable, only because I was sticking out like a sore thumb, so I basically spent my 3 days in Jogja in ONE pair of leggings!
I guess what I'm trying to say is, respect the tradition and culture of a place, and wear clothing that helps you blend in. As a traveller, it's just so much more advisable to do that in the long run.
I love walking around a city, because it helps me get familiar with the layout of the place. And it's a good thing where I put up was walkable from EVERYWHERE.
Where To Stay
Malioboro, Suryodiningratan, Prawirotaman
I stayed at a lovely little hostel called Ostic House in Suryodiningratan, which was 1.5 km away from Malioboro, the main city centre. The closer you stay to Malioboro, the more expensive your accommodation will be. The other two streets are rather well located and well-connected, walking distance to a lot of the city's attractions, and a tuk-tuk ride away from Malioboro.
Ostic House is a spacious bungalow, fully equipped with comfortable beds, clean rooms and bathrooms, a kitchen, a nice hang-out area, and wonderfully helpful and friendly staff. They orient you to the city right away and will happily assist you with planning your days in Jogja. A winner, in my eyes.
3 days in Yogyakarta is ideal to cover some of the major city sights, and go hiking to one of the nearby volcanoes as well. I was there for long enough to see and experience the temples, the city itself, and the food, but didn't have enough time to go for one of the famous sunrise hikes, which I would TOTALLY recommend.
What To Do in 3 Days in Yogyakarta