Things to do in Yogyakarta at night
I love Yogyakarta. It’s my favourite city on Java Island after having visited a few. Initially, it was supposed to be a 2-day trip. However, there were too many reasons to stay. The super cheap price, the scrumptious food, the jaw-dropping historical architecture, the amazing hospitality… I had to stay. Thanks to the locals that I have made friends with, they have carefully curated this list of the things to do in Yogyakarta at night! Read on!
1. Alun-alun Kidul
Alun-alun literally means the entrance of a Javanese palace. Traditionally, there are 2 entrances to each palace (keraton). Nowadays, an alun-alun has become the place of gatherings and meet-ups. I even saw a language exchange event happening at one of the cafés at Alun-alun Kidul! If you wanna hang out with the locals, head to any alun-alun! I prefer Alun-alun Kidul over Alun-alun Lor just because there are more activities and photo points!
2. Malioboro Street
Malioboro Street (or Jalan Malioboro) is the beating heart of Yogyakarta. It is the confluence of youth, street art, fashion, food and everything else you can think of. There are many things to do in Malioboro Street at night. If going on a shopping spree doesn’t appeal to you, enjoy the famous street performance featuring a traditional Javanese instrument known as “Angklung”. The performance is so good I stood there watching for a good 20 minutes! This has gotta be one of the best things to do in Yogyakarta at night.
3. Titik Nol Kilometer
What to do in Yogyakarta at night? Head to Titik Nol Kilometer if you wanna see some historical buildings built by the Dutch. It’s called Titik Nol (Point Zero) because it is the geographical centre of Yogyakarta. According to my friends from Yogyakarta, if they trying to think of the things to do in Yogyakarta or where to eat, but struggle to come out with something, they would just say “Let’s meet at Titik Nol and we can decide later!” Well, it’s the centre of everything so it conveniently turns out to be the meeting point for many Yogyakartans!
4. Pengger Pine Forest
Yogyakarta enjoys a cooler climate compared to other parts of Indonesia. It is blessed with many pine forests. I highly prefer Pengger Pine Forest because of the ubiquitous photo points and the beautiful night view across the city of Yogyakarta!
5. Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan (Sendratari Ramayana)
Watching a Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan after sunset is one of the best things to do in Yogyakarta! The spectacular show starts at 7:30 pm after the last hue of sunset kiss Yogyakarta goodbye. The amazing choreography paired with the mysterious glow of fires, your evening is going to be filled with exhilarating and mind-boggling surprises! Tickets start at 125,000 IDR and they sell out fast during high season! Make sure you check out the schedule and the ticket availability at http://visitramayana.com/.
6. Hang out at any Angkringan
Angkringan is a common phenomenon in Java. It’s a push cart that serves a variety of traditional Javanese food. If you are a foodie, this is the answer to all your prayers. There are many Angkringan in Yogyakarta but I love Angkringan Jeng Nana, Angkringan Wijilan and the ever-famous Angkringan KR.
Youngsters tend to hang out here a lot for 2 reasons: the scrumptious local and international delicacies AND the ridiculously cheap price! If you are sick of Malioboro Street, head to Angkringan and make sure you try out the Nasi Ayam Balado (spicy) and the satays!
7. Taman Pelangi (Rainbow Garden)
Taman Pelangi is a ticketed garden which is flamboyantly lit up with any colour imaginable. With an entrance ticket of less than 1 USD per person, you will be greeted by seas of lights in all direction. Make sure you take a photo under the loving swans! It’s the Indonesian mistletoe!
8. Bukit Bintang Jogja (Patuk Kebupatan Gunung Kidul)
Bukit Bintang literally means the starry-hill. I reckon what they are trying to say is that it’s a prime spot for stargazing. Not only that, you will be granted an amazing hawk-eye view of the Yogyakarta, making it one of the best things to do at night in Yogyakarta! It is around 15km drive from the city centre so if you don’t have a car, call a GrabCar or a Gojek and discuss the price for them to wait for you there!
9. Breksi cliff (Tebing Breksi)
Tebing Breksi can be visited both during the day or the night. However, it is much more spectacular at night as the lights hit on the historical site. There’s not a whole lot to do at Breksi cliff so I recommend only coming here if you have done all the above and have run out of ideas on things to do in Yogyakarta at night!
Other things to do in Yogyakarta?
These 9 things had me reminiscing all the good times I had in Yogyakarta. In my opinion, they truly are the best things to do in Yogyakarta! If you are searching for restaurants to eat, make sure you check out my list of must-try food in Yogyakarta!
Where to stay in Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta is an inexpensive city and that is reflected on the price of accommodation. For example, you can stay at this amazing homestay whilst having authentic interactions with local Indonesians for around 9 USD per night! That works out to be just 4.50 USD per person!!
Stay in traditional Javanese accommodation! For around 35 USD per night for 2 people, you will have an authentic Javanese experience! Moreover, it’s strategically located near to the historical quarter – you can literally walk to visit most of the main attractions in Yogyakarta!
The good news is – it doesn’t cost too much to splurge in Yogyakarta! Stay with this fabulously-rated 5-star hotel for just 70 USD per night for a deluxe room. Treat yourself a perfect staycation while having fun exploring the best things to do in Yogyakarta at night!
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Born and raised in Malaysia, Aaron is a medical student who desperately preaches about “Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive” – well, he has a full-on blog about it. When he is free, he checks for the cheapest airfare that would get him out of Australia. Aaron indulges in local cuisine so much that he has to lose some weight before and after he goes travelling. Read more about him here!
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