Its name is often said to be derived from the Sundanese words of 'ci' (water or river) and 'rebon' (shrimp). Indeed, the city's main industry is fishery, including shrimps. An alternative Javanese explanation is that the city's name is from 'caruban', meaning "mixture", a reference to Cirebon's complex mix of Javanese, Malay, Sundanese, Chinese and Arabic cultural elements. While Indonesians from outside of Cirebon pronounce the name CHEE-reh-bon, locals say Cheer-BON (with rolling R).
The city weather is hot and humid. Wear cotton clothes. You do not need long sleeves shirt, instead a T-shirt and knee-long trousers are comfortable. Some places like mosques and temples require polite dress such as long trousers/skirts. Hot pants/mini skirts may attract unwanted attention and might be considered impolite.
Cirebon is along the major west-east motorway connecting Jakarta and Central Java. If there are no traffic jams, Cirebon can be reached in about 2.5 hours from Jakarta. However, traffic congestion is common and the trip usually takes up to 4 hours. During weekends and holidays, it may even take significantly longer.
The main station of the city is 1 Cirebon railway station (also known as Kejaksan Station). There is on average about 1 train per hour to and from Jakarta (Gambir or Pasar Senen stations in Central Jakarta), both during daytime and at night. Almost all of these trains are business or executive class trains (one-way tickets about Rp150,000-250,000), but a few per day are economy class. Travel time between Jakarta and Cirebon is usually about 3 hours.
In the other direction, there are also on average hourly trains to the east. The final destinations of these trains differ, with several trains per day terminating at Surabaya, Kediri, or Malang in East Java, and several others going to cities in Central Java, such as Tegal, Semarang, Cilacap, or Yogyakarta. Finally, there are three (executive/business) trains per day from Cirebon to Bandung via Cikampek.
The main bus terminal of Cirebon is 2 Harjamukti bus terminal. The terminal is served by frequent buses to and from various bus terminals in Jakarta, the port of Merak, Tegal and Semarang, Tasikmalaya, Kuningan, and Bandung, among other cities. There are at least daily bus connections to all larger cities throughout Java, such as Surabaya and Yogyakarta, and also to Denpasar in Bali.
There are several ways of getting around the town of Cirebon. The most convenient way is by rented car. However, it is advisable to rent a car with a driver if you are not used to driving in Indonesia.
Another way to get around is by angkot (public minivan). There are various angkot routes throughout the city. Angkots follow a fixed route, but there is no fixed schedule and there are no fixed stops. To get on, simply raise your hand. To get off, simply shout "Kiri!" to the driver, so he will pull over on the left (Indonesian: kiri) side of the road. The price of an angkot ride within the city is usually about Rp3,000. It is best to ask a local which angkot route to take, and how to recognise the location you want to get off.
Other options to get around include hiring a becak (cycle rickshaw), ojek (motorcycle taxi) or a regular taxi. Not all taxi drivers are willing to use a taxi meter, so then the price depends on your negotiation skills. Two taxi companies in Cirebon that are known to usually use the official taxi meter are Central Taxi and Bhinneka Taxi. You can also get around by online ojek or taxi that is already available in the city. Install Gojek or Grab application on your phone, then you can order ojek or taxi from your phone almost anytime, to go anywhere in the city.
- 1 Keraton Kasepuhan (Kasepuhan Sultan Palace), Jalan Kasepuhan No. 43. Daily 8:00-17:00, except Fridays 7:00-11:00 and 14:00-16:00. The oldest sultan palace in Cirebon, built in 1447. The decoration on the inside is interesting, being a curious combination of styles. For example, apart from the Sundanese, Javanese, and Islamic decorations, you may find Dutch Delft blue-and-white tiles. Entrance for foreigners Rp50,000 on weekdays, Rp70,000 in weekends. Discounts for students.
- 2 Keraton Kanoman (Kanoman Sultan Palace), Jalan Winaon Kampung Kanoman. The second sultan palace, established when there was a division in the Cirebon sultanate in the 17th century. This palace is not as well-maintained as the Kasepuhan palace.
- 3 Cirebon Kejaksan railway station building, Jl. Tanda Barat I / Jl. Stasiun. The station building of Cirebon's main railway station was built during the colonial time, based on a design by Dutch architect Pieter Adriaan Jacobus Moojen. The building is a good example of New Indies Style, combining modern European architecture with local elements.
- 4 Grave of Sunan Gunungjati, Jl. Sunan Gunung Jati (off Jl. Raya Indramayu-Cirebon). Sunan Gunungjati was one of the wali sanga, revered saints of Islam in Indonesia in the 15th century. He was the founder of both the Sultanate of Banten and the Sultanate of Cirebon. Just as the graves of the other wali sanga, his grave is a local pilgrimage site.
- Gua Sunyaragi
Cirebon is a centre of batik cloth industry. The special 'Batik Cirebon' style can be bought in many places around the city.
- 1 Yogya Grand Toserba, Jalan Karanggetas. Located at the heart of the city, this Toserba (toko serba ada meaning "shop that sells everything") has4 floors: 1st floor - shoes & bags department, 2nd floor - ladies wear & mens wear, 3rd floor - supermarket, 4th floor - Marina Restaurant.
- 2 CSB Mall Cirebon (Cirebon Super Block), Jl. Doktor Cipto Mangunkusumo No. 26. Daily 10:00-22:00. Shopping centre with a wide range of shops and cafés, as well as a large supermarket and XXI cinema.
Cirebon is known for a few local dishes, often with fish and seafood products, but also other dishes that show the city's mixture of Sundanese and Javanese influences. Below is a list of some popular local eateries that serve these local dishes.
- 1 Nasi Jamblang Mang Dul, Jalan Doktor Cipto Mangunkusumo No. 58, ☏ . Daily 5:00 (AM) - 1:00 (AM). Local 'nasi jamblang' cuisine: a buffet with dishes such as tofu vegetables, liver or meat stews, potatoes, fried eggs, cooked chili, stewed fish, etc. Key characteristic is the use of teak tree leaves to pack the rice.
- 2 Nasi Lengko H. Barno, Jalan Doktor Cipto Mangunkusumo (next to Nasi Jamblang Mang Dul), ☏ . Daily 8:00-22:00. Nasi lengko consists of steamed rice, tempeh and tofu, and bean sprouts, covered with peanuts sauce, garlic chives, and sweet soysauce on top. It is usually served with mutton satay and tapioca starch crackers.
- 3 Sate Kalong Jalan Kesambi Dalam, Jalan Kesambi Dalam No.102. Daily 19:00-23:00. Sate kalong is Cirebon-style buffalo satay. The word 'kalong' means 'bat', which refers to that the buffalo satay is usually only sold after dark.
- 4 Tahu Gejrot Wardi, Jl. Lemah Wungkuk / Kanoman. Tahu Gejrot is a spicy tofu dish. It is sold throughout the city at streetfood stalls, often for only about Rp5,000 per portion. A well-known seller is Tahu Gejrot Wardi at the corner of the Kanoman market, near the Kanoman palace.
- 5 Empal Gentong H. Apud, Jl. Raya Ir. H. Djuanda No. 24, ☏ . Daily 9:00-21:00. Local spicy curry-like beef soup. H. Apud is a famous restaurant selling this dish.
- 6 Empal Gentong & Empal Asam Amarta, Jl. Ir H Juanda No. 37, Plered. Daily 9:30-21:00. Empal asam is the same as empal gentong, but a small star fruit is added, and no coconut is used, making the taste more sour.
- 7 Restaurant Seafood Jumbo, Jalan Siliwangi No. 191, ☏ . Daily 10:00-22:00.
- 8 [dead link] Marina, Jalan Parujakan No. 2A, ☏ . Daily 10:30-21:00.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Less than Rp400,000|
|Splurge||More than Rp800,000|
- 1 [formerly dead link] Amaris Hotel Cirebon, Jl. Siliwangi No. 70, ☏ . Budget chain hotel near the railway station. Double rooms from Rp250,000 per night.
- 2 Cordela Hotel Cirebon, Jl. Cipto Mangunkusumo No.111, ☏ . From Rp294,000 per night.
- 3 [dead link] Hotel Citradream Cirebon, Jl. Cipto Mangunkusumo No. 6, ☏ . From Rp390,000.
- 4 Hotel NEO Samadikun, Jl. Kapten Samadikun No. 60, ☏ . Budget chain hotel. From Rp293,000 per night.
- 5 [dead link] Asri Hotel, Jalan Karang Getas No. 25-27, ☏ . Facilities include swimming pool, fitness centre, and an outdoor breakfast area with Balinese garden. Double rooms from Rp425,000 per night.
- 6 Aston Cirebon Hotel & Convention Center, Jl. Brigjen Dharsono No. 12C, ☏ . Modern business hotel on the western side of the city. With large outdoor swimming pool. Double rooms from Rp548,000 per night.
- 7 BATIQA Hotel Cirebon, Jl. DR. Cipto Mangunkusumo No.99, ☏ . From Rp490,000 per night.
- 8 Grage Hotel Cirebon, Jl. R.A. Kartini No. 77, ☏ . From Rp525,000 per night.
- 9 Hotel Santika Cirebon, Jalan Wahidin No. 32, ☏ . Fitness centre, massage facilities, swimming pool. Double rooms from Rp555,000 per night.
- 10 Metland Hotel (by Horison), Jl. Siliwangi No. 61, ☏ . Three-star hotel near the railway station. Facilities include a coffee lounge and garden restaurant. Double rooms from Rp500,000 per night.
- 11 The Luxton Cirebon, Jalan R.A. Kartini No. 60, ☏ . 4-star hotel with outdoor swimming pool, gym, and spa. From Rp720,000 per night.
- 12 Bentani Hotel & Residence, Jl. Siliwangi No. 69, ☏ . Near the main railway station. The hotel has a spa, fitness centre, swimming pool, and souvenir shop. Double rooms from Rp840,000 per night (discounts available when booking in advance).
- 13 Swiss-Belhotel Cirebon, Jalan Cipto Mangunkusumo 26 (Cirebon Superblock), ☏ . From Rp965,000.
- Mount Ciremai National Park — the highest mountain of West Java province, just south of Cirebon.
- Linggajati — point of entrance to Mount Ciremai, and also the location of the 1946 Linggajati Agreement (now a museum).
- Indramayu — to the northwest, Indramayu has various beaches along the Java Sea coast, as well as a few offshore islands.
|Routes through Cirebon|
|Anyer ← Sumedang ←||W E||→ Tegal → Panarukan|