Yogyakarta Landmarks and Monuments

(Yogyakarta, Central Java, Indonesia)

As one of Indonesia's most historical cities, Yogyakarta is home to a myriad of heritage buildings, striking landmarks and important monuments. The epic Sultan's Palace (kraton) is the principal historical attraction, being built for the sultans of Yogyakarta and residing in the very city centre, where it is known as both Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono's Palace and as the Kraton Ngayogyakarta.

A landmark of enormous proportions, the kraton itself is more like a walled city, since around 25,000 residents live within the walls of the actual greater kraton compound. Here, visitors to Yogyakarta will discover shops, silver workshops, mosques, schools and a bustling daily market.

Kraton Complex (Sultan's Palace)

Address: Yogyakarta, Indonesia, ID
The current sultan still lives within the innermost part of the kraton complex and these particular buildings were constructed in the mid-18th century. At the very centre of the kraton is the Golden Pavilion (Bangsal Kencana), which boasts a beautifully detailed roof and some huge teak columns. Other points of interest to look out for include the separate male / female entrances (with respective dragon signs), regular musical 'gamelan' performances and shadow puppetry, and the onsite Museum Kareta Kraton (Sultan's Carriage Museum).
Open hours: Saturday to Thursday - 08:00 to 14:00, Friday - 08:00 to 13:00
Admission: free, charge for guided tours

Ancient Temples (Candi)

Address: Yogyakarta, Indonesia, ID
Yogyakarta truly is a city brimming with historical landmarks and ancient temples (candis). Many of these archaeological structures date from between the 7th century and the 9th century, and were well built for specific religious denominations, such as Buddhists and Hindus, using either river or volcanic stone blocks and a huge workforce. The candi walls are elaborately decorated, with carvings and relief work, often depicting relevant gods and religious scenes. Close to the Adisucipto International Airport, the underground Candi Sambisari makes for a fascinating visit, while the Candi Kalasan is also quite noteworthy and to be found close to the Prambanan temples, approximately 12 km / 7 miles to the east of central Yogyakarta. Very near to the Candi Kalasan and just a stone's throw to the north-east, the Candi Sari started its life as a dormitory for Buddhist monks.
Open hours: daily - hours vary
Admission: charge


Address: Yogyakarta, Indonesia, ID
A city known for its culture and education, Yogyakarta is home to a number of important university complexes, including the acclaimed Universitas Gadjah Mada, which ranks highly in the world and is actually the oldest and largest of all the universities within South-East Asia. Further educational institutions in the city include the Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta, the Universitas Islam Negeri Sunan Kalijaga and the Universitas Islam Indonesia, the latter of which is Indonesia's most historic private university. Also of note is the very sizeable and impressive Institut Seni Indonesia art academy, where degrees are offered on subjects such as 'wayang' performances, Javanese dancing and traditional 'gamelan' music.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Benteng Vredeburg

Address: Jalan Jenderal Ahmad Yani 6, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, ID
Tel: +62 0274 586 934
This Dutch fortress was built in the 1760s, to protect the resident Dutch rulers against potential cannon shots by the sultan. The Benteng Vredeburg is still surrounded by a moat, which adds further to its character. Rectangular in shape and featuring bastions on each of the corners, together with ramparts and further historical detailing, the Benteng Vredeburg offers exceptional panoramas of the President's Palace (Gedung Agung) and other central sights. The Benteng Vredeburg Museum is one of the main attractions here and contains some impressive dioramas.
Open hours: Tuesday to Thursday - 08:30 to 13:30, Friday - 08:30 to 11:00, Saturday and Sunday - 08:30 to 12:00
Admission: charge

Pakualaman Kraton

Address: Jalan Sultan Agung, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, ID
Located on the north-easterly side of the main kraton, the Pakualaman Kraton is considerably smaller in size, although still very much worth a look. Inside there is an interesting collection of historical artefacts, displayed in a museum-type setting, as well as a colonial house and a spacious open-sided pavilion (pendopo), where regular large events are staged, including performances by 'gamelan' (traditional Indonesian bamboo instruments) orchestras. If you arrive when the Pakualaman Kraton is closed to the public, you are still able to explore the spreading grounds if you so wish.
Open hours: Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday - 09:30 to 13:30
Admission: charge

Tugu Monument (Tugu Jogja)

Address: Jalan Mangkubumi / Jalan Sudirman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, ID
Regularly featuring on postcards and illuminated to dramatic effect by night, the Tugu Monument stands in the very heart of downtown Yogyakarta, where it is topped by a pointed golden spire. This imposing stone column (tugu) dates back to the mid-18th century and originally stood between the kraton and Mount Merapi, although its current incarnation stands in the centre of the Jalan Mangkubumi and the Jalan Sudirman crossroads, being redesigned, rebuilt and relocated in 1889, after the former Tugu Monument was destroyed by an earthquake.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

President's Palace (Gedung Agung / Gedung Negara)

Address: Jalan Jenderal Ahmad Yani, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, ID
The President's Palace goes by a number of different names, such as the Great House (Gedung Agung) and the State Building (Gedung Negara), and stands directly opposite the Benteng Vredeburg fortress. This landmark is easily recognisable, since it features three large pyramid-type peaks as its roof and is fronted by an expansive lawn, with nothing to obstruct the view, other than simple gates. Also known as the Palace of Yogyakarta and the Court Building, the Gedung Agung was initially built in the 1820s, although did need to be rebuilt again some 40 years later, following earthquake damage. The building itself serves as the official residence for none other than the President of the Republic of Indonesia himself and offers a variety of interesting attractions, including regular twilight processions, on the 17th of every month. Look out for the stone monument on the lawn, which is called the 'Dagoba' and originates from the Cupuwulatu Village, close to the Prambanan temples.
Open hours: hours vary
Admission: charge