Yogyakarta offers myriad choice when it comes to finding a place to sleep, from hostels to fancy five-star establishments. What it does particularly well though is small guesthouse-style accommodation — we found some of the funkiest and friendliest we’ve seen in Indonesia.
When tourism first developed in Yogya, foreign visitors were drawn to two primary areas: one centred around Jalan Sosrowijayan off Jalan Malioboro in the city centre, and the other south of the city in the vicinity of Jalan Prawirotaman. Although both areas are still busy, decent choices are now more widespread, with a newer area developed to the north near many of Yogya’s universities, mostly catering to students. We have focused our coverage on an expanded area based around the original (and still popular) spots, using the Kraton (Sultan’s Palace) as a division. Both are easily walkable or a short becak ride to the major inner-city sites.
Additionally, we’ve included a couple of special places, one near Borobudur and one near Kota Gede. Be warned that the high season months of July and August may see you forking out a little extra for a bed, and it's wise to book at this time too.
Jalan Malioboro is Yogyakarta’s vibrant and hectic main thoroughfare. The street and its surrounds are chock-a-block with hotels, many targeted at the growing middle-class domestic market. At the northern end of town, Jalan Sosrowijayan, once backpacker central, still offers many options, but most haven’t changed since we first stepped inside them in the early ’90s. However don’t despair, some excellent new (and some long-running) options will have you comfortably rested. Nearby food choices are plentiful, and predominantly of the local variety, providing an excellent opportunity to explore Yogya’s culinary culture.
Want to experience the lifestyle of a Javanese Sultan? The five-star Phoenix Hotel oozes historic charm and luxury and although its history is not of royal lineage, it is rather palatial. Originally built in 1918 by a successful spice trader, the building has had a colourful history, including at one time being the residence of President Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president. Assuredly... Read our full review of The Phoenix Hotel.
If a modern chain hotel is more your style (hey we get it and won’t judge), Hotel Neo Malioboro is smart, spotless, and ticks all the boxes for mid-range comfort. An excellent city location means you couldn’t get closer to the railway station if you were on the train. As well as the rooms having a lot more charm than a standard air-con box, the reception staff are some of the friendliest... Read our full review of Hotel Neo Malioboro.
Within the labyrinth of Gang 1 off Jalan Sosrowijayan, Pawon Cokelat Guesthouse is hard to find but like chocolate, is well worth seeking out, as it’s the best-value and most stylish flashpacker in the centre of town. Towards the northern end of the tiny lane, look up to find the easily missable, modern post-brutalist concrete-slab building, softened with a curtain of hanging... Read our full review of Pawon Cokelat Guesthouse.
Smart, spotless and well packaged, The Packer Lodge is an excellent choice for a hostel in central Yogya, albeit a little on the pricey side. You won’t miss the large four-storey building with its screaming orange awnings and white facade conveniently situated near the centre of the action just 50 metres from Jalan Malioboro, close to the train station and Beringharjo market. ###7342 The... Read our full review of The Packer Lodge.
Yogyakarta BnB has a special kind of charm. This sweet funky heritage home is well hidden in a back street just 300 metres from Jalan Malioboro, and is run by a bunch of local folk just like you — a ’fixer’ for the BBC, a travel writer, and a graphic designer. It’s not a hotel, but their home, and they share it with travellers. Opened in December 2015, it was still looking smart and... Read our full review of Yogyakarta BnB.
We were drawn to Ameera Boutique Hotel by its joglo entrance and enchanting classical Javanese design. The foyer and public areas are indeed lovely with heritage-style decor featuring pattered cement tiled floors. The hotel was fully booked when we visited, and we were only able to view one standard room, which although tiny, was comfortable and clean, however windowless. Rooms with windows... Read our full review of Ameera Boutique Hotel.
Amid the tangle of passageways in Sosrowijayan, tucked into the side street that runs alongside Rama Hotel, a patch of green hides Dewi Homestay from the street. The guesthouse offers a handful of rooms that are bursting with character and charm. Mosaic floors, carved teak panelling, antiques and bric-a-brac add homely touches to the appealing rooms. Mozzie-netted four-poster beds in some... Read our full review of Dewi Homestay.
Clean, simple and friendly, Wake Up Homestay is not really a homestay, but a modern hostel offering pod-style dorms. Select from a choice of 10-bed mixed dorms, four-bed mixed or female dorms or a family room, which is set up in the same pod style with double-sized bunk beds. The “Ikea-style” air-con rooms are light and bright with white walls, pale wood and chartreuse curtained pods.... Read our full review of Wake Up Homestay.
Jalan Prawirotaman and surrounds has developed significantly in the last few years, increasingly with large multi-storey hotels predominating the skyline. However this area remains one of the city’s most vibrant, and has the best selection of international cafes, restaurants and bars, all within walking distance. Coupled with the growing number of boutique hotels and terrific small guesthouse and hostels, it’s our favoured area to stay.
Stylish, serene and tasteful, Adhistana Hotel offers excellent value from backpacker dorms to flashpacker and midrange rooms. The minute you see the facade constructed from old wooden shutters and doors of this well located hotel, you know you’re in for a visual treat, and Adhistana Hotel pulls off a fresh modern look without being too hipster. Using a palette of white, blue and natural wood... Read our full review of Adhistana Hotel.
Creative and unconventional, Greenhost Boutique Hotel is a fabulous designer hotel filled with art and offering industrial-chic rooms with an eco-friendly bent. Built around an atrium enclosing a 16-metre salt-water swimming pool, restaurant, gallery, spa and gift shop, the five-storey concrete and metal structure is covered with (mostly edible) greenery overflowing from the on-site hydroponic... Read our full review of Greenhost Boutique Hotel.
You’ll feel like a content enlightened person after a good night's sleep at Happy Buddha, one of Yogya’s best value small and friendly guesthouses. Run by our friends who also run the terrific and popular hostel Good Karma, Happy Buddha had not yet opened its doors when we visited in November 2016, which is a pity as we’d have moved right in, however we did get to have a sneak preview.... Read our full review of Happy Buddha.
Abrakadabra creates a little bit of magic in the quiet backstreets near the Prawirotaman area with its art-filled themed private rooms and dorms, terrific chill-out area, cute plunge pool and fun welcoming hosts. The eclectic creative mix may not be everyone’s cup-of-pixie dust, and at times feels a bit hodge-podge, but it’s definitely fun and unique. On offer is a six-bed female dorm,... Read our full review of Abrakadabra.
You could be forgiven for thinking you've walked into a spa when you enter Bamboo Bamboo, with its bamboo-themed decor, plant and pebble-lined paths plus delightful water features filled with pretty fish. The main double-storey building offers a four-bed dorm and the superior double rooms, while the standard doubles occupy another building about 500 metres away (we were unable to view these).... Read our full review of Bamboo Bamboo.
As the name suggests, Good Karma is a small welcoming hostel with an excellent friendly vibe. Tucked away in a quiet back lane off Jalan Prawirotaman I in a colourful and arty relaxed space, they offer one 10-bed mixed air-con dorm, and three private doubles with ensuite, two with air-con, and one fan-cooled. Super clean dorms are spacious and airy with solid wooden bunks, curtained for... Read our full review of Good Karma.
For travellers who like to immerse themselves totally in the history and culture of a place when they travel, staying at nDalem Gamelan is a perfect choice. This wonderful historic small guesthouse sits within the exclusive Jero Benteng area, within the walls of the Kraton (Sultan’s Palace) fort. Historically only families who work in the Kraton had the privilege of living in this area,... Read our full review of nDalem Gamelan.
Colourful, relaxed and friendly Nextdoor Homestay is not so easy to find, but worth the wander down the back lanes near Jalan Parangtritis. Hidden behind a lime green wall and bamboo gate, within a lovely leafy courtyard, a handful of room options range from fan-cooled singles with share bathroom to air-con doubles with ensuite, all in a vivid kaleidoscope of hues reminiscent of a Mexican colour... Read our full review of Nextdoor Homestay.
Behind a high wall in a small laneway off Jalan Prawirotaman, sweet and neat Omah Salam is a cheerful small guesthouse consisting of a handful of comfortable air-con rooms set in an L-shaped block around a pleasant small garden. Simply designed, the bright spotless tiled rooms are appointed with snug bouncy beds sporting smart grey striped linen, which give focus to the otherwise neutral... Read our full review of Omah Salam.
If you’d prefer to stay with friends, but don’t know anyone in Yogya, Sae Sae Hostel is the perfect alternative. Tucked into a quiet corner, a 10-minute walk to Jalan Prawirotaman, this wonderfully warm and welcoming home-like hostel offers more than just a place to sleep. The owners are full of insights to this wonderful town and are keen for the world to be a smaller more personable... Read our full review of Sae Sae Hostel.
Set behind a well-established tropical garden, Wisma Ary’s Hotel is a delightful Javanese-style small hotel that offers excellent value comfortable rooms. Particularly good deals are available for single travellers on a budget, for as well as the usual twins, doubles and family rooms, single-bed rooms are offered for a very competitive rate. A double-storey L-shaped brick block houses the... Read our full review of Wisma Ary’s Hotel.
Borobudur and surrounds can easily be explored on a day trip from Yogyakarta, but to truly experience this magnificent monument, a nearby stay is ideal.
So you’ve come to Yogya to explore the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site of Borobudur? Maximise your time at the temple by spending a night at Manohara Hotel, bordering the monument. Unlimited entry to Borobudur is included during your stay, which (so the helpful reception staff mentioned) equates to two day's entry for a one-night stay. If you are really into history or temples or just... Read our full review of Manohara Hotel.
While Kota Gede is only about 20 minutes' drive from the popular tourist area of Prawirotaman, a stay here offers the opportunity to delve in deep to this interesting heritage area.
In the thick of the Kota Gede heritage area, former capital of the 16th century Mataram Sultanate, nDalem Natan Royal Heritage Guesthouse is a gorgeous restored mansion and the ideal place to stay if you are interested in Javanese culture. From the hotel, it’s an easy walk to the royal cemetery and the royal mosque, and the location is terrific for exploring the tiny laneways filled with... Read our full review of nDalem Natan Royal Heritage Guesthouse.