The True Heart of Jogja's Downtown

Jl. Malioboro, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
See map

Malioboro is the true heart of Jogja's downtown. As such, it's no wonder that the neighborhood now offers numerous affordable lodgings despite the fact that the city has indeed had increased number of star hotels.

Updated on 11 October 2019

( / Jaya Tri Hartono)

The sun had just risen. The streets were quiet and the air was still fresh when two old friends accidentally bumped to each other at Malioboro.

"The hell brings you to Malioboro this early in the morning?"

"Errr, well...I'm looking for some food for breakfast."

"Seriously, you're having breakfast at Malioboro? I'd say that breakfast is something you'd normally enjoy at home!"

The two of them laughed and then fell deep into nostalgia. I, who coincidentally sat somewhere near them, almost choked up from holding my laughter.

Malioboro is indeed well known as a paradise for shopping souvenirs and crafts, but many tourists and locals also often spend their time around Malioboro early in the morning for some light workout or to enjoy the fresh air while enjoying breakfast around there. Such tourists typically stay at the hotels near Malioboro.

Hotels Near Malioboro

( / Jaya Tri Hartono)

The first big hotel in Malioboro, the Grand Hotel de Djokdja, was built in 1908. The cool thing is that the hotel remains intact and operating until the present time, although it had changed its name several times.

Below is the list of hotels near Malioboro.

  • Neo Malioboro Hotel

    Neo Malioboro Hotel is located at Jl. Pasar Kembang, but is very close to Malioboro and Tugu Train Station that you can reach them on foot. I particularly like the view of Mount Merapi that's visible from the hotel's pool, as well as its abundant breakfast menu. The rooms are designed in minimalist modern style with rates starting from around 500K. The parking area is indeed rather small, but the hotel provides valet parking service.

  • Grand Inna Malioboro

    Grand Inna Malioboro is a legendary hotel built in 1908. Although the name has changed several times, the locals continued to call it Garuda Hotel. The hotel's building employs colonial style with numerous meeting rooms. The rooms are classic—okay, old—but they're large in size. The rates start from around 900K. The hotel's parking area, located right at Jl. Malioboro, is also very large.

  • POP! Hotel Malioboro

    POP! Hotel Malioboro is a budget hotel located at Jl. Gandekan, 500 meters to the west of Jl. Malioboro. The rooms are small, but each comes with a sofa that you can use as an additional bed. The rates start from around 300K. The breakfast menu, however, is limited, and so is the parking area.

  • Hotel Ibis Malioboro

    Ibis Malioboro Hotel is located at Jl. Malioboro and has a "secret door" heading to Malioboro Mall. Tourists favor the hotel for the rooms' cleanliness and the comfortable beds. The rates start from around 600K. The breakfast menu comprises many variants, while the parking area is also sufficiently large.

Prior to the emergence of star hotels around Malioboro, there have been many affordable inns and lodgings along Malioboro's small alleys. Some have survived until today, among others: Losmen Setia Kawan, The Munajat Backpacker, Happy/Harum II Inn, and Losmen Utar Pension.

They offer rooms at affordable rates, of course—mostly around 200K, but certainly you couldn't expect them to provide facilities like those of star hotels. Most of them don't even have parking areas for cars. It's because the price of land around Malioboro has been soaring high; in 2015, it had struck a 45 million rupiah/m2 mark.

Even more affordable lodgings are now spread within 3 km around Malioboro. You can even find some lodgings offering rooms at 60K/night for rooms you can share for 4 persons. Some even offer rooms at 50K/night for rooms equipped with AC and TV. Inns like these are targeted to young tourists traveling backpacker style.

Tourist visiting Jogja with their families may consider staying at guest houses around Malioboro. Guest house is a house offered for rent with complete facilities—typically rented on daily basis. Aside from being more budget-friendly than staying at 2-3 rooms at star hotels, guest houses are also more comfortable as they are commonly equipped with kitchens and laundry areas. Due to the skyrocketing price of land, it is very unlikely for us to find guest houses somewhere really close to Malioboro; thank God, most of them are still within 5 km radius from Malioboro.

Read also: Hotels in Yogyakarta, Inns, Homestays, and Guest Houses

Tourist Destination Around Malioboro

( / Jaya Tri Hartono)

From noon to late at night, Malioboro transforms into a paradise for tourists to shop souvenirs and handicrafts. More than a thousand vendors would display their products in front of the shopfronts along the street.

The key to purchasing souvenirs and handicrafts at reasonable prices is to be smart when bargaining. This is, indeed, maybe what makes tourists addicted to shopping here.

Sakdiyah Ma'ruf, an Indonesian stand-up comedian who was listed in BBC's 100 inspiring and influencing women of 2018, once tweeted "#malioboro is a baby talk for Mari Yo Borong (Come and Buy Them All)." I couldn't agree more, really.

#malioboro is a baby talk for Mari Yo Borong

Aside from shopping, Malioboro today has also transformed into a very pleasant area for walking around. There are walkways with instagrammable benches along the street, extending to the 0 km point.

So, let's explore the following tourist destinations near Malioboro by foot to the south/heading to the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta.

  • Beringharjo Traditional Market

    Walking for few minutes, you'd arrive at Beringharjo. This is the most all-in traditional market in Jogja. The items offered have now become more extensive; from batik, traditional snacks, herbs, to Buddha statues sold for some hundred thousands.

  • Siti Djirzanah Mosque

    Inaugurated recently in 2018, the mosque is particularly enchanting. In a glance, it looks somewhat like a monastery, but in blue paint. The mosque's architecture is closely related to the culture that has been growing in Malioboro since long ago. The mosque is located in front of Beringharjo Traditional Market (across the street).

  • Hamzah Batik

    Located just across Beringharjo Traditional Market, Hamzah Batik is Jogja's most visited batik and souvenir shop. The shop offers items similar to the ones offered by the street vendors along Malioboro; the difference is that the shop applies frixed prices and the rooms are equipped with AC.

  • Vredeburg Fort

    Aside from Beringharjo Traditional Market, there's also Vredeburg Fort.

  • Taman Pintar

    To the east of Vredeburg Fort, you'll find Taman Pintar Science Park, a tourist attraction where you can play while enhancing your knowledge about technology.

  • Jogja's 0 km

    Iconic buildings in Indische style around the 0 km neighborhood are so instagrammable to serve as backgrounds for your selfie photos.

  • Museum Sonobudoyo

    Sonobudoyo Museum is located near Jogja's 0 km. While displaying Javanese history and culture, the museum also houses around 1200 keris from all around Indonesia.

  • North City Square

    North city square is the frontyard of the Royal Palace of Yogyakarta. This is where various events related to the Royal Palace are held, such as Sekaten, which is held every Rabi' al-awwal month.

  • Carriage Museum

    Museum Kereta Keraton Ngayogyakarta (Yogyakarta Carriage Museum) is located southwest of the north city square. The museum has an extensive collection of carriages that were once or still used by the king and the royals up to the present time.

  • Royal Palace of Yogyakarta

    The Nyagogyakarta Hadinigrat Royal Palace is the official palace of the Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate.

Malioboro at Night

( / Jaya Tri Hartono)

When the sun has already rolled its way to the west and the street lamps have been turned on is when Malioboro starts to double its magical charm.

Sweet memories remain on the benches along the walkways; longing is whispering through the notes sung by street musicians. All of them are calling you to retrace your steps to Malioboro.