Tropical city and center of Javanese art, Yogyakarta offers both scenic splendor, historic charm and ancient temples like Prambanan and Borobudur Bhuddist temple. If shopping strikes your fancy, try picking up some locally produced goods at the Jalan Malioboro and Pasar markets, where you can find great deals on clothes, rattan products, handbags and silver jewelry. Sampling some traditional food, in the form of “gudeg” is a must-do when in the city. Gudeg is a traditional dish from the region, made from young jackfruit or “nangka” combined with milk, coconut, spices and palm sugar. A day trip to hike Mount Merapi is a great way to enjoy both nature and history in the area. Short or long hikes are possible.
The Water Castle (Taman Sari) offers a maze of old village houses, defensive walls, secret chambers, gardens, pools and underground water holes. At Kratan Yogyakarta you will find a palace that was once home to sultans. Here you can enjoy the original architecture and enjoy a guided tour complete with myths, legends and humour about ancient times and members of the elite.
The city has a tropical climate and offers many days of sunshine annually. Hot and humid weather is the norm in the city for most of the year. There are two main seasons during the year, namely the wet or monsoon, and dry season. Between May and September the climate is at its driest and sunniest. From October to April the weather is noticeably wetter as the monsoon arrives. During the monsoon, as much as 24 inches of rain falls each month. December to March are the wettest months and tropical storms can be quite severe. During the rainy season there is still plenty of sunshine to be had.
The off-peak season in Yogyakarta coincides with the monsoon season and its, sometimes, dramatic thunderstorms. Peak season runs from July to September and at this time hotel and airfare rates are usually higher than during the low season. Some hotels are busy all year round, but quite full during the dry season so to avoid crowds try the beginning and end of the off-season when rainfall is lower and the visitor numbers are still low. May is a great month to take advantage of special deals offered by hotels and airline companies.
Once in the city, you can take advantage of the local buses to get around the city. Exercise caution on public transport as pickpockets sometimes take advantage of distracted travelers. Multiple car rental companies operate in Yogyakarta as well if you prefer to explore at your own pace. Bicycle or a taxi are other options available to visitors.