Java's heart, pumping with innovation and spirit
600 km from Jakarta and 1000 km from Bali, Yogyakarta is the main gateway to Central Java. Located at the foot of the active Merapi volcano, Yogyakarta is Indonesia’s cultural and intellectual centre. Crammed with prestigious universities and academies, the city clings strongly to its traditional values and philosophies. The key attraction of Yogyakarta is 'Kraton'. The walled-in compound, in the city centre, is home to 25,000 people and includes the Sultan's Palace, Taman Sari (also known as the water castle or fragrant garden), museums and even a bird market. A major craft centre for batik, and traditional performing arts, Yogyakarta Craft Centre and the Agastya Art Institute provide a fascinating day out. Be sure to wander around Kota Gede and watch the master silversmiths at work. Yogyakarta has more than just culture though. Its lively downtown precinct is a shopper's delight. The main road, Malioboro Street, is always crowded and is famous for its colourful street vendors.