The train station in Jogja is conveniently located at the northern end of Malioboro, and from there you can easily reach your hotel if you plan to stay near the city centre; a good reason to take the train to go to Jogja (from Jakarta, or from the east (Surabaya. . ), but the best reason is to enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Java and the atmosphere of an “exotic” travel by train.
I travelled with the “Argo Dwipangga” a semi-luxurious train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, leaving Gambir station at 8:00 am and arriving at 3:15 pm; so, a bit more than seven hours with an “executive” train; the “regular trains” are a little bit cheaper and take between 15 and 16 hours to make the travel; check the websites, there are 4 “executive” trains per day.
The trains I took was comfortable, I enjoyed a free breakfast, and the atmosphere in the train was very relaxed, the co-travellers sympathetic; what more do you need?
A drawback, in some way, was that as the coaches are air conditioned, you cannot open the windows and the landscapes are not as beautiful as if seen without the smoked glass windows; I “corrected” this imperfection by walking along the train, and finally found the employees coach, and there, not only the windows were open, but also the doors of the coach, as was the heart of the employees who appreciated a lot a client shows some interest in what they do and who they are! (next tips!).
In this overpopulated island which Java is, when you come early at the train station, it is by contrast very quiet and peaceful (picture 1), but when time of departure approaches, like everywhere, the crowds are there (picture 2)! And there goes the trip! We have a stop in Cirebon (picture 3), in Purwokerto (picture 4) and a number of other places. . . The train did not stop in small places like the one on picture 5, and you also can see on that picture that not only the windows are closed, but some are also crazed; that gave me the idea to walk along in the train to find better places to enjoy the landscapes (following tips).
Jakarta-Jogja; fare, one way: 240.000 rupiah (about 25 US$), including breakfast and water bottles; I had an extra meal (seven hours trip!) for 15.000 Rp.
“Regular trains”: 190.000 rupiah.