It’s been a while since the last time we covered the city in Indonesia, my home country. So, after Jakarta and Ubud that I posted a long time ago, finally thanks to Jacqueline and James of The Travel Deck, we’re gonna cover a city that has been romanticized a lot… Even for other native Indonesians!
As you could probably guess in the profile, this post will cover how much you could get in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
The city with two sides of the same coin. Romanticized by many due to their low-profile way of living and their status as a special region in Indonesia due to its Sultanate. However, it is also often criticized by so many social justice warriors in Indonesia due to the province’s lowest minimum wage. Not just within the city, but also in Indonesia.
By 2019, the minimum wage in the city was as low as IDR 2,000,000 (around $143 USD) with some regency around the city have even lower minimum wage than that. So, now that we know about it… How far you could get around the city with your $10 USD?
How to Spend Your $10 Easily in Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta is a bustling city well known for its Dutch-influenced historical buildings, local cuisine and amazing heritage sites on its doorstep. Jogja, as the locals call it, is central Java’s art and heritage city.
Interesting as it may be, Jogja is still relatively unknown to the everyday western tourist. However, it is a popular hotspot with domestic tourists. Therefore, given the fact nothing is targeted towards Western tourists, Yogyakarta remains a very affordable city.
In fact, you will easily manage to spend a whole day exploring the city with IDR 140,000 or around $10 USD.
We stayed 1 month in Jogja and combined, we have spent a total of 4 months in Indonesia. Although we’ve still not explored all Indonesia, we can definitely say this is one of the cheapest places you’ll come across.
Taman Sari Water Castle
You can start off your day by visiting Taman Sari, one of the city’s major highlights. The entrance fee only cost you IDR 15,000 (around $1 USD).
Taman Sari is a water castle with the main draw being a large pool fit for a king, literally. The main purpose of this castle was a resting and bathing complex for the sultan of Yogyakarta.
Along with being used as a defense area, workshop and meditation area.
Today, a big part of Taman Sari’s surrounding complex has been occupied by a cluster of houses.
Sumur Gumuling Underground Mosque
Don’t forget to keep your Taman Sari ticket. Included in the fee, you’re also eligible to get another attraction. Once you’ve spent time wandering around the castle, make your way out. Somewhere in the surrounding village is Sumur Gumuling.
I remember this is the point where things got a bit tricky. Reaching Sumur Gumuling is through the maze of narrow alleys in the village. If it wasn’t for a guided tour, which we followed, I don’t think we would have found the place. Said that, we also asked the villagers who happily pointed to the right direction.
Sumur Gumuling is a mosque. But, a unique mosque which in fact is underground. The highlight is 4 staircases forming into a dome in an open ceiling space.
Malioboro street is the heart of Jogja. Bustling with street vendors, spicy local cuisine street food, a broad choice of shopping and cool cafeterias, Malioboro is definitely worth a visit.
A dominant view of Mount Merapi looks onto this popular street making quite an impressive scene.
We would usually come here for a break and a quick lunch. You won’t have any problem finding a place to eat. And if you’re into tasty local cuisine, you’re in for a treat.
Indonesia is home to some world-famous dishes such as the amazing beef rendang. Beef rendang will cost around IDR 40,000 (around $2.85) but if you stick to fried rice or fried noodle, it will only set you back IDR 15,000 (around $1).
Beside the great cuisine, I would suggest checking out Roaster & Bear. Roaster & Bear is a chic cafeteria on the first level and the next level is a steak house. Although a steak won’t be in the $10 budget, I can’t help but recommend try it out.
But let’s just stick to a coffee and cake in the cool instagrammable cafeteria. It costs IDR 60,000 (around $4.3).
As the sun starts to set and the day comes to an end, make your way to Alun Alun Kidul. During the day you won’t find much going on here. But, come nightfall and the place shifts to a colorful and vibrant scene.
Every evening, a stream of flickering, neon, brightly lit up peddle cars circulate 2 huge banyan trees. And warungs are dotted all around two huge banyan trees. This is where you can have a go at the banyan challenge.
Blindfolded, you must cross between the trees and those who succeed are said to never go astray in life. Or else, hop on one of the cars and peddle your way around the park.
And if hungry you’ll be spoilt for choice. From the popular nasi goreng to local snacks and treats, the choice is vast. We paid IDR 35,000 (around $2.50) for fried duck, rice and veggies.
As you can see it is very easy to spend a whole day out in Yogyakarta and barely spend IDR 150,000. I must say, that around the city are loads of things to do and you could easily spend a week with something new each day.
Contributor: James and Jacqueline from The Travel Deck
The Travel Deck is a travel blog mainly revolving around interesting places and experiences in Asia. The blog is quite new and was created while James and Jacqueline were already on the road for a 1-year trip. Their aim is to give in-depth experiences and include useful itineraries on how to plan each place. Along the way, James also decided to include a personal where he will give his own personal experience in each specific place.
Like my post?