The Special Region of Yogyakarta is the only region in Indonesia that officially is ruled by a monarchy. The region is ruled by the Yogyakarta Sultanate with the city of Yogyakarta as the capital and economic center of the region. It is known for its artistic heritage and vibrant traditions. Now a vast metropolitan area filled with shopping malls and fast-food chains, the region still manages to retain its fascinating cultural sites such as Taman Sari Water Castle, Prambanan temple, and Borobudur Temple. This beautiful region attracts visitors from all over the world who are looking for cultural tourism. It is also home to Indonesia’s largest and oldest university, Gadjah Mada University, and is known as the country’s primary education center.
The region is very popular with both locals and expats, mainly because of its slow-paced lifestyle, affordable living cost, and the beautiful geographical surroundings. The region’s economy relies highly upon the production of services including wholesale and the retail trade, repairs of vehicles, information, communication, real estate, educational services, as well as other services categories. There are many job opportunities in Yogyakarta for expats and most of the expats in the region are exchange students, artists, aid workers, exporters, and teachers.
Popular Areas in Yogyakarta
The expat community is spread throughout the region, mostly in the capital city. The city of Yogyakarta is divided into 5 parts: South, East, North, West, and the Center.
Weather and Climate in Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta has a tropical climate, which means the weather is warm and humid all year round. The average annual temperature is around 26 to 27 °C with April as the hottest month. The dry season runs from July to September and the sky is normally clear most days. August is the driest months and is also the peak season for tourism. The wet season dominates the majority of the year, starting from October and ending in June and you can expect rain showers almost every day during this season.
Getting Around in Yogyakarta
The main airport of Yogyakarta is the Adisutjipto International Airport, located 6 kilometers from the city center. It is the fourth busiest airport in the Java-Bali region after Soekarno-Hatta, Juanda, and Ngurah Rai Airport. The airport serves both domestic and international flights. It connects the city with almost every city in Indonesia as well as Malaysia and Singapore. The most affordable option to travel around the country by air is by flying with budget airlines such as Citilink, Lion Air, and Wings Air. If you need to be more cost-effective, traveling to other cities in Java can easily be done by train.
Getting around in Yogyakarta is easy since it is a relatively small region. There are various transport options at an affordable price. Becak (trishaw) and Andong (horse-cart) can be found in almost every part of the city and are suitable for short distance travel and tourist usually use it for sightseeing. Yogyakarta has two kinds of buses: TransJogja and regular buses. TransJogja is air-conditioned, comfortable, and only stop at designated stops. A single ticket costs around Rp4.500 and regular trip cards vary from Rp15.000 to Rp100.000. Regular bus costs around Rp2.500 and try not to bring anything valuable since pickpockets on the regular buses are common.
Taxis are available, especially around the airport. The most reliable taxi is Blue Bird. You can order taxis by phone or hail them directly from the streets. Online hailing apps such as Go-Jek and Grab are also available and these apps provide motorbike taxis and private cars.
Work Visas in Yogyakarta
Foreigners who want to work in Indonesia need to obtain a work visa and a work permit. In order to obtain a work visa, a foreigner needs sponsorship from an Indonesian company. The work visa is known as VITAS with a validity that will adjust to the maximum duration of stay granted for your position. Once you obtain VITAS, apply for ITAS KERJA which is your stay permit for working in Yogyakarta. The permit is valid for the length of your employment contract with a maximum of two years.