Being a small city, often times we’re wondering where actually the center of Yogyakarta is. Referring to the density of foreign tourists’ activities, people will point Prawirotaman area as the city’s center. Geographically, it is going to be said that the KM 0, south of a very well-known street, Malioboro, is the city’s center. However, many will say that Malioboro itself is the city’s center. Famous for the hundreds of affordable souvenirs stalls, culinary, and lodgings in the surroundings, it’s totally reasonable for Malioboro to be called so..
Not only we can do shopping on this pedestrian-friendly street, we can also see traditional music performances as well as, often times, carnivals. Not too far from Malioboro Mall, there’s a government’s Tourist Information Center where we can ask about important stuff we need to know as travellers.
Further walk to the south, there’s Beringharjo Traditional Market. There we can see local merchants selling their various goods from the edibles like traditional seasonings, vegetables, and fruits; handy crafts souvenirs; traditional foods like Bakpia, Geplak, and Gudeg; Batik clothes; and many more. As a mandatory tradition preservation, every student, civil servants, also merchants in this market will be wearing traditional clothing every 35 days, precisely on every Kamis Paing (Thursday Paing, based on Javanese calendar). So, let’s mark our calendar before we go!
Just across of the market, there’s this famous shop called Hamzah Batik. Beside the souvenirs and batik, there’s a Cabaret show you don’t want to miss, held every Friday and Saturday at 7 PM on their 3rd floor.
On the end of this street, we will find three interesting sites:
- On the right side, there’s “Istana Merdeka”, it was earlier used as the Indonesian President’s residence as well as office during the transition of power in the post-colonial era. Now it is used by the president during her/his visit to this city.
- On the left side, there’s a museum called Vredeburg Fort which was built by the Dutch colonial as an actual defence fort, but now functioning as a museum about Indonesian independence history.
- Next to the fort, on the corner of the street, there’s “Monumen Serangan Umum 1 Maret” or literally translated, “Monument of March First Public Attack.” It happened after Dutch’s Second Aggression which led Indonesian Army to react in order to assert the existence, sovereignty, and the power that has been gained since its independence on August 17th, 1945.
In many occasions, there will be installation artworks from local artists displayed around this area.
(From Various Sources)