Jogjakarta, a Truly Special Asia

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Jogjakarta is one of the birthplaces as well as the bastions of Javanese civilization. This city is extremely popular as one of the best cultural centers in Indonesia. Jogja, or sometimes also Yogya, as this city is often called, is the main starting point to explore two of the best historic temples in Indonesia; Prambanan and Borobudur.

Tugu Yogyakarta, Indonesia, at night (c) Shutterstock
Tugu Jogjakarta, Indonesia, at night (c) Shutterstock

Jogjakarta can mean the city or the province (the sultanate). Within the city alone, there are lots of interesting spots to explore. From the extremely popular Borobudur Street to silverworks galleries at Kotagede. Here are some spots you must visit in Jogjakarta.

Malioboro Street

Malioboro street road guide (c) Shutterstock
Malioboro street road guide (c) Shutterstock

Malioboro is an extremely popular avenue, a true shopping promenade. This 2 km long street gives access to countless shops, offering legendary dishes, traditional batik, and traditional handicraft. Just strolling along this avenue might make you sense the soul of the city.

When you enter Pasar Beringharjo from this street, you can see how locals live their daily lives. You can buy daily items from fresh produce to many kind of handicrafts. You need to negotiate the price here.

The Kotagede Silversmiths

Brass handicrafts in the Kotagede, Indonesia (c) Shutterstock
Brass handicrafts in the Kotagede, Indonesia (c) Shutterstock

Kotagede is the center of Jogja’s silver crafts. Silverwork was developed when the area was used as the location of Mataram’s capital in 16th century. Today, Kotagede is a popular destination for tourists who want to see how silvercrafts are made. You can see how the skilled silversmiths chiseling every nook in their crafts. Many of the tourists end up buying the crafts which is so unique that they cannot be found anywhere else.

Hunting for Handicrafts

a wooden helicopter toys line in store market in malioboro jogja yogyakarta indonesia (c) Shutterstock
a wooden helicopter toys line in store market in malioboro jogja indonesia (c) Shutterstock

As a cultural City, Jogja do not only preserve traditional values but also cater the development of contemporary arts. That reflected in the many fine art craft stores you can find in this city. Traditional craft still dominate the handicraft sale in this city, and yet modern crafts slowly enter the market and getting great reception from locals and tourists alike.

The Festive Sekaten

Gunungan composed of vegetables and fruits for the event grebeg tradition in yogyakarta (c) Shutterstock
Gunungan composed of vegetables and fruits for the event grebeg tradition in yogyakarta (c) Shutterstock

Sekaten is a week-long festival, originated from the ceremony to commemorate Maulid or the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. Originally, the festivities were organized to attract people to learn about Islam. Today, this festival is a very popular destination, with bazaar and traditional seasonal market, offering rare traditional items, ranging from foods till toys.

The pinnacle of the festivity is the Grebeg, when the royal palace dispense a gunungan, an assorted food laid out to look like a mountain. People usually scramble to get their hand on the food because they believe the food is blessed.

How to Get to Jogjakarta and What to do There

night festival sekaten in yogyakarta (c) Shutterstock
night festival sekaten in Jogjakarta (c) Shutterstock

Jogja is easily accessible from any part of the country, overland or by air. Adisucipto International Airport offers daily flights from many big cities in Indonesia and the neighboring countries. Jogja is also well connected with other cities in Java with railways and roads.

In the central part of the city, you can enjoy them all by walking, make sure you have time to spare. To explore other part of the city, you can ride a becak or rent motorcycle or a car. To explore other part of the province, though, is a whole another beast.

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Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta kotagede Malioboro sekaten jogjakarta Yogyakarta
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