Normally, most cities famous for their street art are proceeded by their reputations. You will have seen photos of it on Instagram or on a blog; or else heard about it from previous visitors. But discovering the Yogyakarta street art scene came as a welcome surprise; not that it should have been that surprising. This hip city, also known as Jogja, is a centre of culture and home to many universities. It’s also one of the most visited tourist destinations in Indonesia, thanks to the nearby temples of Borobudur and Prambanan.
The Taman Sari, or Water Castle, district, to the south west of the sultan’s palace, contains most of Yogytakarta’s street art. It’s worthwhile spending a few hours exploring the area’s ruins and tunnels, keeping an eye out for artworks. Make sure you also pay to enter the romantic restored baths.
There’s also street art scattered through other parts of the city. Keep an eye out along the river, plus when passing the pylons of the overpass over the train line. Just like everything else in this city, you never quite know what you’ll find around the corner.
And one final side to Yogyakarta street art: don’t forget the traditional colourful archways at the start of some streets. One example is the gateway at the edge of the Kauman kampung, to the northwest of the sultan’s palace.
Travelling by train to Yogyakarta? Check out my tips for travelling by train on Java
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