Prambanan Hindu temple

Hotels in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

After Bali, Yogyakarta is the second most visited tourist destination in Indonesia, so there are plenty of cheap hotels in Yogyakarta for the rupiah-minded traveler who wants to go beyond the island of Java. The artistic and intellectual sister of Jakarta, “Yogya” charms its visitors with cultural riches accumulated over a thousand years when the island was the centre of Taruma and Sundanese kingdoms, Hindu and Buddhist empires, Islamic sultanates and the Dutch East Indies Company. Most important perhaps, “Jogh-jah-karta” is the gateway to Indonesia’s most active volcano, Mount Merapi, and its archaeological crown jewel, the world’s largest Buddhist temple complex, the Borobudur.

Things to do and places to go from the best hotels in Yogyakarta

There is more to Yogyakarta than first meets the eye, or the palate. A short stop at a roadside “warung” or eatery from the airport or from your accommodation in Yogyakarta will have you yearning for the next serving of “gudeg” or green jack fruit sweet stew, a fitting introduction to an island known for its sweet tooth. Even the modest Adisucipto International Airport is trying to keep up with the times, but less than 10 kilometres southwest, it will lead you to another archaeological treasure, the 9th century Prambanan Hindu temple.

The Whiz Hotel Yogyakarta puts you right in the heart of slow-paced action and brings you within 10 minutes to the sultan’s palace or Kraton Complex to the south, and five minutes northeast to Taman Sari or “water castle” where the first sultan kept a pleasure garden. To live out your own royal fantasies, stay at The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta, also right in the city center.

Yogya’s other cultural riches require you to pay more than fleeting attention to fully appreciate them. Perhaps you hear the distant gong of “gamelan” (ensemble of musical instruments) which only grows more hauntingly beautiful as dusk approaches. Eventually, you realize “gamelan” is played to accompany every “wayang kulit” shadow puppetry in Siti Hinggil Selatan (the sultan’s minor palace) or the Ramayana Ballet in the temple grounds of Prambanan. You may even want to bring home “batik” like the one you saw at the Kraton Complex servants’ workshop, only to discover that certain patterns are not mass produced but reserved only for the nobility.

Where to stay in Yogyakarta close to Borobudur

The highlight of any trip to Yogyakarta is to stand before one of Asia’s most significant archaeological sites, the 9th century massive Buddhist temple, Borobudur. If you want to combine sight-seeing with relaxing, there are spas and resorts in Yogyakarta less than 50 kilometres of the temple. Book online to discover where to stay in Yogyakarta and book a good Yogyakarta hotel deal.

The best way to see it, however, is before sunrise, and if you overnight in the best hotels in Yogyakarta, Indonesia within a couple of kilometres of the Buddhists’ pilgrimage site, you have a better chance of arriving before 5AM when the rising sun casts dramatic rays over the stupas. A self-guided tour of Borobudur is possible, or you can skip all the inconvenience and book a room with 5 star hotels in Yogyakarta in the city or close to the temple grounds. They should be able to provide you with transport and special “sarong” or tube fabric that will facilitate your entrance before busloads of other package tourists arrive.