Numerous songs has been written about Malioboro, a strip of street that is probably as famous as the city itself. Malioboro used to be the avenue of the Sultan to go to the Palace (Keraton). During the colonial era, the Dutch heavily built this area and make it their main center of administration and economy in Jogjakarta.
Malioboro starts from Tugu Train Station in the north to Point Zero of the city in the south, which is located at the intersection in front of the main post office. This north to south also symbolize a straight axis from Mount Merapi, Keraton, to Parangtritis Beach. Today, Malioboro is a must-visit destination when you travel to Jogjakarta. It is a nice shopping district, as well as a good place to learn a bit of history and culture.
Shop till you drop
Malioboro has lots of shops, selling many items, mostly Javanese traditional batik and other crafts. You can buy the item from the specialty shops, in the Malioboro Mall, or even at the small vendors at the sidewalk. However, the ultimate place to shop is in Beringharjo Market, the biggest traditional market in Jogjakarta. You often have to haggle fiercely with the seller to get at the price that is acceptable by both parties. Not only batik, you can also buy other products and food in this market.
Fort Vredeburg, the peace fort of Jogja
Fort Vredeburg was built on the site of the old Fort Rustenburg that had been destroyed by earthquake. Vredeburg means peace because the Dutch and Jogja Sultanate were having a good relationship. Today, Vredeburg has become a museum showing Indonesia’s struggle for Independece. This museum exhibit collections of historical items, old photographs, replicas, and dioramas. One of the diorama showing the capture of Pangeran Diponegoro.
Visiting the official home of The President of the country
Gedung Agung is one of six Presidential Palace of Indonesia, located in front of Fort Vredeburg. Officially, this is the official house of the most powerful person in the country, and yet it is open for the public. Visitors are required to register and wear a proper dress. You can admire its classic and antique furniture, sculpture, and decorations. This palace was actually used as a Presidential Office during Indonesian Revolution from 1946 to 1949.
Feast at Gudeg Yu Djum
Gudeg is the traditional food of Jogja and you actually can find many warung gudeg all over the city. The food is basically unripe jackfruit boiled with coconut milk for more than 12 hours! Gudeg is served with rice and side dish of your choice, usually boiled eggs and fried chicken. Gudeg Yu Djum has several outlets, one of them located in Malioboro Street. This is the perfect place to feast after you explore the street.
You can get around everything in Malioboro on foot, enjoy the street at your own pace. However, you can also charter and andong (horse-powered cart) to sightsee comfortably. If you really like Malioboro, you can stay in one of the hotels there. Malioboro is actually a good base for exploring the whole Jogjakarta Province.