Where to stay in Yogyakarta? Is it better on Jalan Sosrowijayan in Malioboro area? or should you stay in Prawirotaman area? Each area has it own perks for backpackers.
Jalan Sosrowijayan / Malioboro area
Sosrowijayan is the first backpacker area in Yogyakarta. The reason is because this street is the closest area to Yogyakarta Tugu Train Station. As we all know, most backpacker area all over the world are basically “born” because the location is so near to the main train station.
This also means, Sosrowijayan is located right in the city center. You can easily walk to Jalan Malioboro, Yogyakarta’s smaller version of Singapore’s Orchard Rd. Other tourist sites such as Sonobudoyo Museum, Sultan Palace, Vredeburg Museum and Water Castle are within walking distance. However, a little note on Sosrowijayan, most of the accommodations here are quite old. Some of them sort of “relunctant” to upgrade or at least renovate their place. Therefore, you will find lots of them a bit old-fashioned. Some are dirty, some are clean. Best not to book them in advanced. As they are really close by the train station, you can visit the accommodations and find something that suits you. But you could still find some new modern ones.
Prawirotaman is the second backpacker area in Yogyakarta. Not exactly in the center of the city, but the advantage of staying here, you will be close to many art galleries and good local as well as international food. Way more options compared to Sosrowijayan / Malioboro. As Yogyakarta is famous for their contemporary arts, staying in this area is well indeed a better choice. Since Prawirotaman area is only 3km away from the city center, you can slowly walk make your way to the museums and sultan palace. It’s doable. If you’re lazy, taxi ride is only 10-15 minutes away. Or you can take a cheaper option, Transjogja Bus. I would say prawirotaman area is more “poshy” compared to Sosrowijayan. You can find more homestays, hostels, boutique hotels that are considerably new in this area. Other than this reason, some travelers prefer to stay here to avoid busses of local tourists flocking Malioboro area.
So what was my suggestions to you? I would say, combined both area in your itinerary. 1-2 nights in Malioboro area and then you can move yourself to Prawirotaman to enjoy both sides of Yogyakarta’s backpacker area.
My recommendations where to stay in Yogyakarta for backpacker under $13/night:
The Packer Lodge (Malioboro, Jalan Dagen)
Yogyakarta BnB (Malioboro, Jalan Sastrodipuran)
Good Karma (Prawirotaman)
Sae Sae Hostel (Mantrijeron)
TRAVA house (Mantrijeron) [Newly opened September 2017]