Embrace the Cultural Kingdom That Steadies the Spirit, and Inspires Your Soul, Yogyakarta

The Indonesian city of Yogyakarta rests on central Java, between the cool breezes of the Indian Ocean and the steamy breath of volcanoes. It’s a scenic train ride from Jakarta or a short flight from Bali or Singapore.

The home of sultans, artists and the devout since the 8th century, Yogyakarta is the gentle epicenter of classical Javanese culture and education.

Jalan Malioboro

Step from the main station into the bustling flow of Jalan Malioboro, and you could be in just about any Javanese city. This is where Jogja, as the city is known, comes to wander, shop, and snack, …but refinement, is just a becak ride away.

The Kraton

Cruise down Jalan Malioboro to the very soul of the city, the Kraton. Since 1785 this city within a city has been the home of sultans, and the keeping place of Yogyakarta’s incredible cultural, intellectual and spiritual traditions. While the inner palace serves as the royal family’s private home, the ceremonial courtyards, …pavilions…and museums are open to all.

Taman Sari

Nearby, visit Taman Sari, the water palace where sultans of old – and their chosen few could escape the demands of duty, and the Javanese sun.

Yogyakarta’s courtly center sets the tone of Javanese culture, and from here the island’s arts flow forth in all their purest forms. In the gamelan’s percussive magic, which drifts across the Kraton’s walls to far-off kampongs, inspiring the maestros of tomorrow.

The Wayang Kulit puppets

In the ageless shadows of the Wayang Kulit puppets, who pass thousand-year-old stories of good and evil across the ages. In the fine strands of silver, which have been woven into delicate artworks for centuries. In a cuisine that leans toward sweetness rather than fire, …and in the molten beeswax making its rhythmic marks across the finest batiks.

Kampong Cyber

While Jogja is a place of tradition, it’s also a place of ever-evolving culture. Just a few steps from the Kraton, walk the lanes of Kampong Cyber, where the community has combined street art with online expression to forge new creative possibilities.

The Affandi Museum

A short becak ride away is the Affandi Museum, the former home, gallery and resting place of the maverick artist who loosened the binds of tradition and created a seismic shift in Indonesian painting.

Fort Vredeburg

Jogja has long been at the epicenter of political and ideological shifts as well. Just across from the presidential palace, pass through the gates of Fort Vredeburg to hear the stories of resistance and sacrifice that led to the creation of the Indonesian Republic.


Just 10 miles to the north-east of Jogja, venture back to the eighth and ninth centuries, to a time when Buddhism and Hinduism vied for the kingdom’s hearts and minds.

Prambanan is the heart of a Hindu temple network that stretches for miles. Pay your respects at the towering temples of Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, then follow the bas-relief panels in a clockwise direction to see epic Hindu tales unfold from within the stone.

Ratu Boko

Just a half hour stroll from the main complex is Ratu Boko, where palatial remains frame the same views to Mount Merapi once enjoyed by the visiting princes who rested here after long days of devotion.


Yogyakarta sits at the doorstep of incredible Buddhist monasteries and temples too. While many stand shoulder to shoulder with the Hindu temples of the Prambanan Plain, the greatest of them all, Borobudur, lies 20 miles to the northwest.

Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple and one of the most visited sights on all of Indonesia’s 13,000 islands. Come early for a sunrise you’ll never forget, as hundreds of stone Buddhas bless the new day’s light, just as they have for over millennia.

Yogyakarta is more than just a city; it’s a kingdom.

The immaculate farmlands

Climb aboard a Dokar and ride through the immaculate farmlands and kampongs of the rural heartlands, where life’s necessities and pleasures are still handmade and made with heart.

Mount Merapi Lava Tour

Meet the people who live calmly and creatively within the shadow of Mount Merapi, an active volcano whose moods have been known to topple temples and bury villages with ash.


In our unsteady, rapidly-changing world, deep cultural roots anchor us to all that is important. Culture teaches us to embrace and appreciate the meaning in all life’s moments, from the richest to the ordinary.

If that’s the kind of journey you’re looking for, take a ride through Yogyakarta, a cultural kingdom that steadies the spirit, and inspires the soul.