Yogyakarta is a busy city within close proximity to some key historic sites (Prambayan and Borobudur) making it a good jump off point.
From the train station, it’s a short walk to get to Jalan Sosrowijian where a bunch of budget accommodation and home stays are located. The first place you’ll likely see is Bladok Losmen, which is where we ended up staying.
Bladok was pretty basic, with a double bed and Indonesian washroom (mandi & squat toilet), but the real reason we chose this place was because they had a pool! We paid 120,000 rp/night (+ 10% tax) and that didn’t include breakfast but the luxury of having a pool after a long sweaty day was so worth it. We thought our room had rats the first night but it turned out only to be bats that were roosting underneath the eaves outside making the squeaky noises. Other than the fact that breakfast wasn’t included and squat toilets get to you after a few days, it was fine. They also have a restaurant downstairs but we never ate there as it was mostly Western food that was over our budget anyways, but they did have very fast wifi.
The place we ate at most often were the local food stalls on Marioboro street. There’s a variety of food to choose from and all you do is place your order then sit down and they bring it to you. Be sure to try gudug while you’re in Yogya as it’s a local specialty and so good that I had it two nights in a row!
We went to Atap restaurant as per Lonely Planet’s suggestion and luckily they had happy hour beers because their menu was quite pricy! We ended up ordering a Bintang and some fries and left. Lonely Planet described it as a place with “character” but it was pretty antisocial and we had to ring a bell if we wanted our server to come by as he sat downstairs behind the desk on the computer.
We visited Bedhot restaurant a couple times since they were one of the few places open early because of Ramadan and the prices were pretty cheap. Also because their rendang padang was really good! They have a little bit of everything from Indonesian staples to Western food and barbecued SNAKE… random! They have really fast wifi as well and the seating area upstairs is nice.
While in Yogyakarta we visited the Kraton, which is where the sultan lives. It was extremely boring – thankfully it was extremely cheap to enter as well. At the gate, people will offer to guide you for a price and we refused, though once inside a man with no teeth who had worked there for 25 years showed us around a little bit for free. We spent about 20 minutes here, and that was already too much. Afterwards in true Yogyakarta fashion, they will lead you to a Batik art studio to show you how the Batik is made in hopes that you’ll buy something. I have no idea what the prices are like but likely they are tourist prices. The method is interesting enough, but once they start serving you tea and coffee and the only people in there are white tourists you know that it’s not just an art gallery but a setup.
if you want to do a bit more exploring of Yogya there are places to rent scooters all along Jl. Sosrowijian, There are also loads of tour group offices if you want to get on a bus and see Prambayan and Borobudur. You can also take the public bus there as well. We chose to rent a scooter and drive ourselves to Borobudur (60,000 rupiah for the day) so we were able to come and go as we wanted, and it was relatively easy to find.
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