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Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Alun Alun Kidul, Patehan, Kecamatan Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Verry
Local tour guide
"Visit Alun-Alun Kidul in Yogyakarta just before dusk to enjoy the magical atmosphere as the locals come out to relax; it's the perfect time to blend in and enjoy the traditional street food. Don't miss the unique experience of 'masangin', a local challenge where you try to walk blindfolded between the two banyan trees - legend says if you make it through, your wish will come true!"

What is Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta?

Alun-Alun Kidul, often abbreviated as Alkid, is a significant and vibrant public square located in the heart of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. This southern square, one of the two main squares of the Kraton—or the Sultan's palace—is a place where tradition, culture, and community come together in a beautiful display of local life. It's a hub of activity, especially at night, where families, friends, and tourists gather to enjoy the festive atmosphere.

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What makes Alun-Alun Kidul truly unique is its blend of historical significance and contemporary leisure activities. Imagine a wide-open space framed by large banyan trees, imbued with a sense of mystery and enchantment. Legend has it that those who walk between the two sacred banyan trees located in the center of the square with their eyes closed will have their wishes granted.

History of Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta

The history of Alun-Alun Kidul is deeply intertwined with the royal history of Yogyakarta itself. The square dates back to the 18th century, conceived as part of a grand palace ground design during the reign of Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. As the counterpart to the Alun-Alun Lor, the northern square, Alkid was essential in the philosophical and spiritual layout of the Kraton, representing the dual forces in Javanese cosmology.

Traditionally, Alun-Alun Kidul served multiple purposes, from being a space for royal festivities to a gathering place for the people of Yogyakarta. It was also an area where the Sultan would meet with his people, blending governance with communal interaction. Over time, its function evolved, but it has always remained a place for social congregation and celebration.

Historically speaking, the square's charm lies in its resistance to change. While modernization has touched many parts of Yogyakarta, Alkid retains much of its traditional character. It is as if time slows down within the confines of its mystical banyan trees, allowing a peek into the past where Javanese culture is on full display.

Why is Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta Important?

Alun-Alun Kidul represents more than just a public gathering space; it is a cultural emblem and a spiritual oasis. For the people of Yogyakarta, it is a place deeply rooted in Javanese belief systems, and it reflects the harmony between human life and the supernatural world. The importance of Alkid is also highlighted by the local and international visitors who come to experience Yogyakarta's living culture.

Moreover, Alun-Alun Kidul is a tangible link to the Sultanate of Yogyakarta's history, showcasing the enduring influence of the Sultan and the ways in which traditional values are maintained in contemporary life. Its significance is reaffirmed during special occasions like Sekaten, a week-long festival celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, when Alkid becomes the epicenter of festivities.

For the contemporary traveler, Alun-Alun Kidul is an entryway into understanding Yogyakarta’s unique blend of monarchy, religion, and community. The square provides a direct, palpable connection to the pulse of local life and offers an authentic Javanese experience that stands apart from the more commercialized tourist attractions.

Things to Do & See at Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta

Upon visiting Alun-Alun Kidul, you'll find an array of activities that entertain and intrigue. For the adventurous spirit, there's a peculiar challenge: attempt to walk blindfolded between the twin banyan trees—a test of purity and inner balance, it is believed. If you successfully pass between them with your eyes shut, your wish might just come true.

As the sun sets, Alkid transforms into a lively fairground with a festive atmosphere. Among the most popular attractions are the brightly lit pedal cars, known locally as odong-odong, which come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from cars to animals, and are illuminated with colorful lights. It's a delightful experience, especially for those visiting with children.

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Food enthusiasts will also savor the opportunity to indulge in an array of local street foods, a true feast for the senses. A plethora of food stalls selling traditional Javanese snacks and beverages sets up as dusk falls. Sample delights such as gudeg (a traditional jackfruit stew), bakpia (sweet bean-filled pastries), and the refreshing es dawet (a cold coconut milk drink with jelly-like ingredients).

Whether you're looking to engage with the local Javanese culture, tempt your taste buds with regional specialities, or simply relax and enjoy the vibrant night atmosphere, Alun-Alun Kidul is a place that combines the essence of Yogyakarta's past and present in a deeply engaging way. With each visit, you'll uncover more layers of this magnificent cultural tapestry.

Frequently asked questions

What is Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta?

Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta, also known as the Southern Square, is a public square located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is a significant cultural and historical area that is often used for various traditional events, ceremonies and is a popular recreational spot for locals and tourists.

How can I get to Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta?

You can get to Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta by taking local transportation such as a bus, taxi, or becak (rickshaw) from different parts of the city. If you are staying in central Yogyakarta, it is within walking distance from the popular Malioboro Street.

What activities can visitors do at Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta?

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk, taste local street food, ride colorful pedal cars, take part in traditional games like masangin (blindfolded walking between two banyan trees), and observe the lively atmosphere at night when the square is beautifully lit up.

What is the best time to visit Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta?

The best time to visit Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta is during the evenings when the square becomes more vibrant with activities and the temperature is cooler. Weekends and holidays may be more crowded but also offer a fuller cultural experience.

Are there any cultural restrictions or dress codes at Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta?

There are no strict dress codes at Alun-Alun Kidul Yogyakarta, but visitors are encouraged to dress modestly out of respect for the local culture. During certain ceremonies or religious events, it is advisable to follow any specific guidelines provided.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Alun Alun Kidul, Patehan, Kecamatan Kraton, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps