Before my daughter was born, I regularly travelled between Jakarta and Jogjakarta by train as I found it was a peaceful opportunity to get some work done (there are power points by most seats). It was also a wonderful opportunity to see Java’s beautiful countryside.
But without Bahasa Indonesia skills, navigating the trip can be a little tricky. So I’ve put together a basic guide in the form of this blog post.
There are two main stations for trips Jakarta to Yogyakarta. The station you choose will depend on the ticket class you purchase.
Business class and economy class trains depart from Pasar Senen station, and Executive (the more expensive, but only slightly more comfortable so it’s not really worth the price difference) trains depart from Gambir Station. Take the Executive service however if you take the night train (don’t forget, you’ll arrive around 3am, which is ok, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it if you’re travelling alone of with your kids).
Because traffic jams (macet) are such a problem, I’d recommend staying as close to the station as possible to avoid missing the train’s early departure. There is an Ibis Hotel near Station Pasar Senin, which is a nice hotel with a good breakfast and olympic sized pool: Ibis Jakarta Senen (around $30-$38 AUD)
And if you’re going to depart from Gambir Station, there are options ranging from 1 to 5 stars (yup, 1 star!). Triniti Hotel is middle of the road, four star hotel with prices setting at $19 AUD, and Borobodur Hotel, which is 4.5 stars, is also a great option for those wanting something a bit more resorty (please double check these links before booking for accuracy of location – sometimes websites change their info).
11 trains run daily from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, and it takes about 8 hours. Economy and Business class trains usually take slightly longer as they have more stops. To see an update schedule, type ‘jadwal tiket kereta api Jakarta ke Jogja’ (ticket schedule Jakarta to Jogja) to find a range of sites that offer up to date scheduling.
You can book a train ticket or make a reservation through the National Train Company’s website. The website is only available in Indonesian. Alternatively you can book a ticket through tiket.com, which you can access in either Bahasa Indonesia or in English by selecting the flag with your language at the top right hand corner of the site.
Key Bahasa Indonesia Phrases
Here are some key Bahasa Indonesia words to help you through this process:
Kereta Api (train)
Stasion Tujuan (Arrival Station)
Satsion Asal (Depatrue Station)
< 3 than (less than 3 years old, or infant)
Tampilkan (Submit – for your online booking)
Hotels Near Jogja Station (Maliaboro)
I would recommend staying close to the station around Maliaboro (you can find Yogyakarta hotels here) for your first night at least, however if you choose a hotel further away there are a transport options including taxi and becak (pedicab – and please, don’t rip these poor guys off, they don’t make much money. Offer at least 50 000 IDR as a base fare for a nearby location).
If you’re having trouble finding transport, ask one of the station staff to point you in the right direction.
Have you ever travelled by train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta? How was you trip? Have I missed any important info? Share your thoughts with other travellers in the comments 🙂