If you know about Indonesia’s capital city, Jakarta, and Indonesia’s prime vacation destination, Bali, you should know Yogyakarta (pronounced as Jogjakarta or simply Jogja). As one of the country’s flourishing cities, Jogja is well connected to all other Indonesian cities and the rest of the world. Thousands of local and international tourists make their way to Jogja regularly for its ancient temples, royal palaces, natural resources and colorful festivals. Getting to Yogyakarta is easy and convenient. Here are a few tips on how to get to Jogja.
When getting to Yogyakarta by air, the only international carrier is Garuda Airlines, Indonesia’s national airlines, with regular flights to and from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Garuda also has several domestic flights crisscrossing Indonesia’s three major tourist destinations – Jakarta, Bali and Yogyakarta. While a few flights also come in from Surabaya, Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra, and other minor cities.
When arriving at Jogja’s Adisucipto International Airport for the first time, don’t be surprised as you will be asked to walk down the plane and across the tarmac since there are no sky bridges here for now. You will then be directed to where you can get your bags. Don’t be surprised, too, that airport guards could be very strict in checking your baggage before allowing you to leave the airport. The airport has a number of ATM machines and tourist information desks for your convenience. Just outside the arrival area is the greeting area where you can get a taxi ride to any point in the city. The major hotels are only about 20 minutes away, without the usual traffic jam. Normally, though, it could take an hour or more. If you are booked in a major hotel, you could request for an airport pickup.
Leaving the city through the domestic airport also involves a few rounds of strict checks by airport guards. You will also be asked to pay a departure tax of 25,000 Rupiah (US$3.00). Once inside the departure lounge, you may relax, check out a few shops or eat while waiting for your flight out.
Meanwhile, getting to Yogyakarta by land is not as bad either. Jakarta to Yogyakarta, as well as Solo to Yogyakarta, is very easy on board the express train. There are several train companies making their way to Yogyakarta’s Tugu Station. These rail companies are Taksaka, Sancaka and Prambanan Express, but the quickest and most convenient ride is on the Agro Class Express. If you choose to take the rail from Jakarta, you will be treated to a picturesque ride with beautiful views of lush green fields and majestic mountains. Some trains offer free lunch. There are also buses coming to Yogyakarta from Jakarta (nine hours away), Surabaya (eight hours), and Bandung (six hours). These are very long trips, but just perfect for tourists who love an adventure. Yogyakarta’s main bus station is about 4 kilometers southeast from the city proper.
The truly adventurous tourists might want to try driving on their own from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. The drive getting to Yogyakarta can be very long and rigorous, but also very scenic and memorable.