Malioboro Street in Indonesia: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Exploring the busy street on an alarm clock… 



Malioboro Street or Jalan Malioboro, as it is commonly called, is one of the busiest streets of Yogyakarta (Jogja), Indonesia. In its 1-kilometre stretch, you can see old colonial-style as well as modern buildings and numerous hotels in the vicinity. It remains open 24 hours. Yes, the street doesn’t sleep, only gets dull by about 11.30 P.M. It is famous for its street food hawkers, restaurants, mall, shops selling clothes, junk jewellery and trinkets, and of course, for its street art and installations.

We wondered why people queued up for hours just to click a selfie by the sign-board…


The UGLY – First impression

Honestly, the first impression of this street wasn’t too good for me. The first thing that was a total turn off was the crowd and the second thing was the mess. Agreed that these streets are not going to be the best-maintained ones, but I expected it to be a little more organized and clean. It is quite a filthy street. Be ready to retract yourselves from exploring the deep alleys and being uncertain about the quality of street food. My motto was to explore the nooks and corners of the street, which wasn’t quite possible owing to the tight schedules of our outings in Jogja. The thing about Jogja is – if you like adventure and nature, you will have to spend at least half a day travelling to and back from a spot. You don’t really get time to do anything else and are poofed out by the end of the day.

Follow us…


Food scene: Choose what you like and sit on the benches provided on the other side


You can find both old and modern structures along the stretch

The BAD – Falling short of time

We didn’t have time. Nevertheless, I came up with a master plan. I woke my sis up early on the day we were supposed to head back. Before 06.00 A.M., we were ready and on the street. We walked till the end and when the sun was bright enough, we headed back, stopping and clicking on the way. We set an alarm for 1 hour as we had to complete the stretch at any cost… and get back to the hotel cab in time for boarding our flight.

Let’s go that way…


The GOOD – Street art and early morning stroll

This is what we explored along the stretch…

Street Art: You all know my love for street art by now. The art on this street was scattered all along the stretch. We had to dig in to find it. Most of it was in the most inconspicuous places.


They needed an extra hand…


Tip: Look for temporary foodsheds and stalls in the by-lanes. You should find some art there.


Most of these units turn into dining tables by lunchtime.


The art is not really well-marked or painted in a linear fashion. It’s scattered all over the place – by doors, across frames, through walkways etc.


There is some random graffiti too.


It’s a love-hate relationship after all: you either love street art or you hate it for the mess it creates. 😉


There are a few installations at regular intervals. You just can’t miss this one.


We fell in love with the intricate gate as the sun shone bright


There are a lot of shops selling souvenirs, clothes, slippers, accessories, bags, wallets etc.


The calm before the rush hour. For her, it’s business as usual…

Too early – are we?


It’s always nice to observe vendors set shop way before the market opens

Food: There is a lot of chicken around this place for sure. You can order a plate of chicken rice, fruits, bakso, dessert and more…

Best time to explore:

– Early morning around 7 A.M. to see the vendors in action

– Around 10.30 A.M. till noon to shop and have lunch

– 5.30 – 9.30 P.M. for dinner and chilling on the beaches

– Late night if you’ve nothing else to do. Don’t expect dinner waiting for you.


2 happy faces on completing the tour 🙂 


How to commute:

The best way to explore the stretch is to walk. Start from the signage near the Tugu Railway Station side and walk forward till the end of the stretch. You could hire an andong, horse-pulled cart or a becak, pedicab if you like.


Too early to ride? 


Congratulations! We have successfully completed the tour in an hour. Hope you’re not as fuzzy as us after that street-walk/run…  *Press snooze now* 😉

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6 thoughts on “Malioboro Street in Indonesia: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  1. Good to meet a street-art lover! 🙂 I have to stop and click every piece of art I find… I clicked so many today too.. will share them soon


  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE street art! It brings life to a place! With food/shopping streets like this, at the beginning it’s a hit or miss. However after you been to a few, you seem to have created a different scale for food streets. I tend to grade the food streets around China haha! Would love to try some of Indonesia street food, seems like it would taste good!

    Liked by 1 person

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