Looking for a colorful bustling environment to purchase a local souvenir? Take a few hours and explore Yogyakarta’s iconic traditional market, Pasar Beringharjo. It is only 800m north-east of the Kraton, adjacent to the Vredeburg fortress.
The area was formerly occupied by a banyan tree forest. Soon after the foundation of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat kingdom in 1758, the area became an open-market for the people of Yogyakarta and its vicinities. In 1925, this transaction place was given a permanent building.
In choosing a name, Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX hoped the market would bring prosperity and welfare to the people. In Javanese language, ‘bering’ means banyan tree and ‘harjo’ means prosperity. The banyan tree is a symbol of unity and protection.
Discover Pasar Beringharjo
Beringharjo is the largest traditional market in Yogyakarta. It consists of two buildings: the west building counts three levels while the front section has only two stories. The main entrance is on the west side facing Jalan Malioboro. There is also back entrance on the east side of the building, plus many smaller accesses on the north and south sides.
What to see in Beringharjo
The market offers a wide array of local products from fruits and vegetables, fish and meat, to spices and cakes. A vast section of the ground floor consists of textile booths, clothing, bags and shoes. Basketry and handcrafted items occupy the east end of the top floor. Exotic spices and herbal concoctions are found on the ground floor approximately in the center of the market and on the second floor. The comforting odor of Javanese jamu will tickle your nostrils as soon as you approach the healing herb sellers.
Don’t miss the third floor. A large section features locally handcrafted items and materials. Another part offers second hand goods, sometimes a few decades old like typewriters, helmets, etc.
You can taste local snacks and cakes especially on the sidewalk in the front of the market: bakpia , onde-onde , nagasari , putu bambu , etc.
How to get there?
Just a nice walk from most tourist hotel areas. Otherwise you can take a city bus or a becak.
Although the fruits and vegetables are available daily as early as 5am, the textiles and most of the other sections do not open before 8.30 or 9am.
Since April 2018 part of the market is open until 9pm to accommodate local and international tourists.