Indonesian houses

Browse our Yogyakarta Tours

Yogyakarta is the kind of city you dream of when traveling to Java. The city has over one million inhabitants but manages to retain a calm, blissful atmosphere with a fierce devotion to its ancient customs, making it a favorite among visitors to Indonesia.

The prodigious complex of the Sultan’s Kraton Palace is still at the heart of the city’s cultural life. The elegant pavilions and royal walls make for gorgeous afternoon strolls, but the real treat is witnessing the colorful spectacle of traditional Javanese dances and chiming gamelan orchestras presented almost daily in the palace grounds. By night, Yogyakarta offers candle-lit shadow puppet or beautiful Ramayana ballet shows. A tailormade Yogyakarta tour through this artistic city will introduce you to the beating heart of Java’s ancient, living history and passionate, soulful present.

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Borobudur stupa's

Discover Yogyakarta

The cultural epicenter of Java, Yogyakarta explodes with activities and life. From the open, refined demeanor of the city’s residents to the ornate Javanese architecture of its royal palace and temples, the city is a cultural and artistic mecca. Tailored Yogyakarta tours will take you through the fine collection of traditional Javanese art in the Sono-Budoyo Museum, to special performances in the stately pavilions of the Kraton palace, or to traditional cooking and craft-making classes with local masters.

Take in the city’s upbeat, contemporary air aboard a jostling becak rickshaw through the backstreets, listen to chirping songbirds in the huge Pasar Ngasem market, and taste the spices of Javanese cuisine in bohemian restaurants and beckoning street stalls. Our Yogyakarta travel agency team can also organize excursions just outside the city to the spectacular, surreal ruins of Borobudur and Prambanan — iconic temple complexes of Java.


Discover more about Indonesia, Ubud or Bali

  • It has been a wonderful holiday and the guides you gave us were great! Thanks for all your help and we hope to contact Backyard Travel again in the near future for another adventure.

    Ms. Carolyn Wood (Indonesia, Jan 2015)

  • Amazing service . Thanks Olivia and Chika. Professional, organized, generous, helpful, kind, interesting, knowledgable. What more can we ask for?

    Mr. Tamar Eres (Indonesia, Sept 2014)

  • Your organization of our tour was fantastic, the staff was always nice and helpful, we loved everything and all the activities. Overall from 1 to 10, I give you 10 on everything.

    Mr. Marcos Cauduro Rojas (Indonesia, April 2014)

Indonesian dancer

Some Questions

about our Tours of Yogyakarta & Indonesia

To thoroughly enjoy your tailored Yogyakarta holiday and avoid taboos of dress and etiquette, read over Backyard Travel’s guide, which includes recommendations for Indonesian cuisine and activities as well.

Yes, you do, but most nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival, which are available at most international airports in Indonesia including Bali, Jakarta, Medan, and Padang, as well as most international seaports. Visas for Indonesia on arrival cost US$35 and are good for a single entry lasting 30 days. For further information, contact our Indonesia-based Travel Specialist.

As an archipelago nation of more than 8,000 inhabited islands (that number jumps up to 17,000 when you count uninhabited islands!), Indonesia is home to many different topographies and microclimates. However, the Indonesian archipelago straddles the equator and temperatures generally range between 25 to 30 degrees Celsius (high 70s to 90s Fahrenheit) year-round.

Weather in Indonesia is dry from June to September. The monsoon season, which starts in December and lasts until March, brings heavy but short downpours. Indonesian highland areas are cooler than the beaches and can get chilly at night. When you travel to Indonesia, it’s best to bring comfortable, casual, lightweight clothing in natural fabrics. But if you’re traveling to higher altitudes during the winter months, bring warmer clothes.

We recommend visiting Bali, Java, Sumatra, and Lombok during the dry months of June to September. If you’re thinking of heading east, towards Papua or Maluku, for example, May and June are your choicest months. July and August are peak season in Indonesia, however, which increases the price of services and accommodations. Keep this in mind if you’d like to avoid big costs and crowds. You can also contact one of our Bali-based Travel Specialists, whose hyper-local knowledge of the islands can help you plan a customized trip to Indonesia any time of year.

Indonesia is not just about the sun seekers and surfers at Bali’s famous Kuta Beach. A dizzying array of sights, activities, and experiences await you in this country’s many thousands of islands! If you want to avoid the tourist madness pervading Indonesia’s hotspots, you’ll be wowed by the peace, tranquility, and pristine beaches of the smaller islands, such as Lombok and rustic Sulawesi. Snorkelers and divers might appreciate the original “Spice Islands” of Maluku, where the turquoise waters teem with bright schools of fish.

Whether you’re seeking wildlife encounters in Sumatra, great diving and snorkeling, a volcano trek in Java, a guided Yogyakarta walking tour, tropical culinary adventures, or just some simple relaxation, we welcome you to use the in-depth knowledge of our Indonesia Travel Specialists to get you away from the crowds and in touch with new experiences.

Yes, and how! Indonesia is the land of the Komodo Dragon, the ‘Spice Islands,’ and of shipwrecks that sleep under the sea—it’s the stuff of childhood legends! Family travel in Indonesia also offers opportunities to meet orangutans in the wild, learn how to surf in Bali, see the Komodo Dragon, dive to a shipwreck, explore temple ruins, and snorkel your heart out. For the older set, Indonesia will awe and inspire with its vibrant culture, its intriguing history based on ancient trade routes, and some of the most creative and delectable cuisine in Southeast Asia. And did we mention the shipwrecks?

Some aviation safety records may have you thinking twice about flying to this archipelago nation, but we at Backyard Travel only book the safest airlines in Indonesia available. There has also been a major overhaul of the Indonesian aviation industry in the past few years, and safety records have improved.

You can easily find 3G-capable Indonesian SIM cards throughout the country. The four GSM-compatible phone operators are Telkomsel, Indosat, XL Axiata, and 3 (pronounced “Tri”). Of these, Telkomsel tends to be the most popular, as its coverage reaches virtually all of Indonesia. However, if you’re not planning on venturing into remote places, XL Axiata and Indosat offer good coverage in the urban centers at cheaper prices.

SIM cards and top-up credits are sold at virtually all phone shops and operator offices throughout the country. You’ll need to register your personal information to activate your local Indonesian phone number.

Credit cards are widely accepted in Indonesia, and you can expect to find currency exchange counters throughout the country. ATMs are ubiquitous in most cities, although they’re not as common in rural or remote areas. If you are traveling into the jungle or away from major tourist destinations, bring Indonesian currency (the Indonesian rupiah) with you just to be safe.

Indonesian food is as diverse as its islands and heavily influenced by its various historic trading roots. If you’re a foodie, you’ll love trying the Indonesian national dishes nasi goreng, an aromatic fried-rice that can be flavored with tamarind or dried fish; gado-gado, a delectable salad of cooked veggies, tofu, and egg topped with peanut-sauce (a great vegetarian option); and satay, succulent meat skewers covered with peanut sauce and often served with rice. If you can’t decide what you want, go for a plate of nasi camupur, as it combines a portion of white rice with many small servings of meats, vegetables, seafood, and satay dishes—a veritable sampler platter of Indonesian cuisine.

If like your meals less adventurous and more familiar, never fear. Bali has some fantastic international options. Keep in mind, however, that remote areas will have fewer options.

While tipping is not expected but always appreciated in Indonesia, it’s customary to tip your tour guides and drivers. As a general guide, we suggest tipping your Indonesian tour guide US$2.50 per person per day and your driver US$2 per person per day. If you loved the job your adventure tour guide did, we recommend tipping him or her US$15 per day for the whole group. In a restaurant, tipping 5–10% of your bill will make wait staff happy.

We are constantly impressed with the wide selection of accommodation in Indonesia, which boasts some of the best hotels in Southeast Asia. Whether your tastes run toward design, boutique, or 5-star, all are on offer in Indonesia. In remote areas, accommodations tend to be more basic, but they can be all the more charming for their rustic locations. Contact one of our Indonesia-based Travel Specialists who will be able to suggest the best accommodations for your preferences.

Before you travel to Indonesia, you should be inoculated against typhoid, cholera, hepatitis A and B, tetanus, and polio. These are, for the most part, routine vaccines. Malaria and dengue fever are present in Indonesia, and we do advise taking precautions. It’s also essential to have good medical insurance that covers the cost of an evacuation flight. Check with your government travel advisory on Indonesia for up-to-date information.

Indonesia is home and sanctuary to a vast spectrum of wildlife species. Please treat them and their ecosystems with respect.

If you come across an Indonesian temple festival or local ceremony, by all means feel free to observe, but do so with respect and the proper cultural etiquette. Similarly, because Indonesia is one of most culturally and religiously diverse countries in the world, you should take particular care for any cultural differences you may encounter. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

With a large Muslim population, Indonesia values modesty in dress, especially in women. Cover bare skin from the shoulders to the knees (that means no tank tops, shorts, or miniskirts), especially when entering places of worship. Many temples and religious sites will provide a sarong and waist sash for you to wear as you visit the site. Take off your shoes when entering someone’s home.

Shop for locally made products. Indonesia has a long and proud heritage of regional arts and handicrafts, including woodworking, carving, weaving, and puppetry. Plenty of beautiful and fascinating gift ideas will enthrall you, and your support of local artisans will help keep traditional Indonesian crafts alive.

YOGYAKARTA
Real Travel

Video by Cundra Setiabudhi

Tuk Tuk's

Sights & Experiences

Browse our blog for the latest tips for your own bespoke Yogyakarta holiday. From the timeless Borobudur to the unimaginable Prambanan, the renowned archeological sites attract travelers here. But this artsy, intellectual town brims with cultural heritage — take in a local dance show or bike through the coffee-flavored Javanese countryside.

 

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MORE TRAVEL INSPIRATIONS & INSIGHTS

Read our ‘INSIDE ASIA‘ Travel Magazine:

What’s Special about Yogyakarta?

Backyard Travel’s tailormade Yogyakarta tours provide an insider’s look into the history and culture of this buoyant city. In a town known for its traditions, art, and restless spirit, you’ll find something new to see and learn at every turn, whether you’re looking for it or not.

Group of happy girls in headscarves

CHARACTER

Worldly and open, Yogyakarta is known for its cultured citizens. Above all, the city’s residents are deeply proud of their traditions, willing and happy to greet visitors and even explain the finer points of gamelan music over coffee.

Beach cushions and umbrella's

CLIMATE

The city’s robust calendar of events and public performances makes any time of year a good time to visit. If you’d rather stay out of the rain while discovering the city, the dry season falls between July and September.

Borobudur scene of Buddha and Stupa's

ENTERTAINMENT

Bars, lounges, cafes, and clubs are covered in Yogyakarta, but you’ll be eager to dig deeper into the local entertainment. Sample local coffees or enjoy traditional performing arts, like the 24-hour marathon puppetry.

indonesian House

CULTURE

Try nasi gudeg — chicken, jackfruit, and rice — at the Kranggan marketplace, then watch a Ramayana dance performance. Artists, students, and passionate locals make Yogyakarta one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the region.

2 Lady farmers

LANGUAGE

Indonesian is spoken by the vast majority of Yogyakarta’s inhabitants. Due to the city’s large population of foreigners, however, English is also widely spoken, especially in tourist destinations.

Borobudur

HISTORY

History is everywhere in Yogyakarta. The Hindu Prambanan is overlooked, considering its Buddhist rival Borobudur, but both are enchanting realms that reveal the astonishing multiculturalism of Java. Don’t miss Kota Gede, the old quarter of the city.

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Cycle rickshaw

Meet the Indonesia Team

What makes our tailormade Yogyakarta tours special is the local expertise of Backyard Travel’s Indonesia specialists. Let our experts take you to their favorite spots and reveal to you what makes Yogyakarta an ethereal destination like no other.

Novi Olivia

Indonesia Travel Specialist

Nature doesn‘t last forever. It needs us to witness it‘s beauty and it‘s hard for me to refuse its seduction, or my urge to see more hidden things.

Unik

Indonesia Travel Specialist

Travelling has taught me many lessons, how people are living, respecting their life and care for each other. There is something magical about travelling.

Andhika Putra

Indonesia Travel Specialist

I draw my inspiration from my dream to see the world. When I lived in the US, I felt that I had got to a whole new world and this encouraged me to keep on exploring new things I love: Culture and food.



Talk to us about Your Holiday

Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.


 

 

 

Genuine Client Feedback

Backyard Travel

A company's services are best described by genuine unfiltered client feedback. Reviews for Backyard Travel Tours have been compiled from genuine customer feedback in partnership with leading review service, Feefo. A closed invitation only platform, we guarantee every single review is matched to a genuine customer who has travelled through with us. We currently have 12 Client Reviews of Yogyakarta, of which 100% had a good or great time with us, and we hope you will be next!

Well organised good transport and guides great hotels

Service rating : Everything was well organised however some aspects were disappointing but overall good
Product :...

4

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A fantastic tour of Java and Bali

Excellent in every respect - arrangements, staff, reliability, itinerary. Everything ran smoothly, our driver and guide...

5

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Ottima qualità dei servizi

Service rating : Il programma offerto da Backyard Travel è stato eccellente e completo sotto tutti...

5

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Amazing Indonesia experience

Service rating : Novi was extremely helpful and responded in a prompt manner. The holiday was...

5

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Your comapny was really goodand very helpfull all around. Especially...

Service rating : Your comapny was really goodand very helpfull all around. Especially since we had...

5

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Olivia handled my inquiry original quickly and efficiently, at relatively...

Service rating : Olivia handled my inquiry original quickly and efficiently, at relatively short notice before...

5

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"WHEREVER YOU GO, GO WITH ALL YOUR HEART"

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Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.