Salatiga is a town in Central Java, Indonesia. It is known for its cool weather and the Merbabu volcano. It is also the site of the annual Festival Mata Air, a festival highlighting the importance of sustainable use of Central Java's water resources.
Salatiga was designated as a town in 1917 by the Dutch East Indies government. It was called De Schoonste Stad van Midden-Java (the most beautiful town in Central Java) because it sits at the foot of Mount Merbabu and Mount Telomoyo. Because of the cool weather, the Dutch settled at the area and built luxurious houses along the Diponegoro Street. Salatiga is one of the most tolerant cities in Indonesia, with students from many parts of the country studying at the Satya Wacana Christian University.
It takes around an hour from Solo or Semarang, and around three hours from Yogyakarta. Bus operators that serve the Semarang to Solo route include Rajawali, Safari, Taruna, and Ismo. Ask the bus driver's assistant (the person who checks your ticket on board the bus) to wake you up or let you know when you get to Salatiga. The bus station is the 1 Tingkir Terminal in the southern part of the town.
Salatiga is located at the main road that connects Semarang and Solo. If you come from Semarang through the Semarang–Solo Toll Road, take the Bawen exit as the Tingkir exit is too far south from the town center.
There are some angkota (mini-van) public transport lines which are numbered. The minibus number 5 will take you from the southern town border to the Plaza Taman Sari. Unfortunately, no public transport is allowed to go through the main "market" road (i.e. Jalan Jenderal Sudirman) because it is so crowded, however the market and shops along this street are within a walking distance from the minibus routes. A single ride costs Rp3,000 for adults and Rp2,000 for students.
By ride-hailing apps
Using your smartphone, you can now easily hail a GoJek or Grab in Salatiga. It is worth investing in a local SIM card with data so you can use the apps. Because the maps used in the app are not always reliable, drivers tend to call you shortly after they accept the job, to get more precise information. It is helpful to have enough Indonesian language skills to tell them exactly where you are waiting, to be able to describe a useful landmark, and what colour clothes you are wearing.
Merbabu, an inactive volcano which is more than 3000 m high. Most people will head to nearby Kopeng which is about 20 minutes away by car.
- 1 Lapangan Pancasila (Pancasila Square). You might be able to visit a night market or a carnival at certain times.
Salatiga is a small town, therefore there are not many attractions around.
- 1 Agrowisata Salib Putih, Jl Hasanudin Km.4, ☎ , , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can camp, swim at the swimming pool with the beautiful view of the town and Lake Rawa Pening, and take a field trip of the coffee, tea and clove plantations, as well as a dairy farm. You can learn how to plant crops, make organic fertilizers, and get milk from cows.
- 2 Atlantic Dreamland, Jl Soekarno Hatta No.303. Atlantic Dreamland is an amusement park that offers attractions like water boom, water toys, bom-bom car, softplay, flying fox, circular track, mini coaster, carousel, water roller, 4D theater, and ATV. Rp5,000 admission fee.
- 3 Havana Horses, Tegalwaton, Tengaran (On the road from the Tingkir bus station towards the highway tollgate), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Horse riding school, where the horses live outside all year round in herds, eat locally-available grasses and hay, go barefoot, and are ridden without bit, spurs or other means of force.
Although Salatiga has a relatively large market (fresh market and clothes shops in one large area), it is not special and not geared to tourists. There is a small shopping center, "Plaza Taman Sari", near the clock tower roundabout, between Jl Diponegoro and Jl Sudirman.
- 1 Cenik Jegeg, Jl Kota Baru II No. 150, Blotongan, ☎ , . daily. Artisan textiles created with natural dyes. Leaves are pinned onto the cloth, and then simmered to leave an imprint of the leaf on the cloth, in shades of strong purple, and soft greens, yellows, browns and pinks. Call first, this is a home-based industry.
- 2 SAPU, Jl Kenanga, Randuacir, Argomulyo, ☎ . Sapu Upcycle is part of a community of artists and activists that upcycles waste materials into valuable products. They work with bus and truck inner tubes, canvas from former army tents, shipping container webbing straps and circuit boards from mobile phones to make bags, wallets, pouches and jewellery.
Eateries are spread out around the town. Those around the university tend to be cheap. Mie Bandung (Jalan Pemotongan) serves good chicken noodles (though salty) and "nasi tim" (soft steamed rice with chicken and soy sauce topping). In 2009 they cost below Rp10,000.
Tuntang (one of Salatiga's neighbouring districts) is close to the Rawa Pening lake, where you can find a group of lesehan grilled fish traditional restaurants. These restaurants have small gazebos where you can eat sitting on the floor. Lesehan means "sitting cross-legged on the floor.
- 1 Biztro, Jl Bima No.3/8, Dukuh, Sidomukti (a little bit hidden in a residential area. Keep a close look out for the sign on the main road), ☎ . Th–Tu 10:00-22:00. A long menu of pizza, pasta, Mexican, steak, chicken, Chinese and Indonesian dishes, but the kitchen seems to cope. Friendly service, and a choice of 'spaces' to sit in, including the garden. Rp75,000 and up.
- 2 Waroeng Joglo Bu Rini, Jl Mawar No.5B, ☎ . A restaurant with a view of rice fields and Mount Merbabu, offering traditional dishes, especially ribs.
Non-alcoholic drinks are served in most small eating places and medium to large restaurants. They tend to be sweet. The "es campur" (literally "mixed ice") consists of tape (sweet fermented cassava), pearl balls, black "cincau" cubes, agar-agar, sometimes with mung beans, served with syrup, crushed ice and sweetened condensed milk.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Less than Rp250,000|
|Splurge||More than Rp500,000|
- Plaza Salatiga Hotel – in the centre of the town. It is not immediately obvious from the main road (Jalan Jenderal Sudirman) but located inside an "enclave" of shop houses. From Rp 100,000, you will get a room with a fan and hot water, including breakfast.
- Ngawen Indah Hotel (on the way to Kopeng, right hand side of the road from Salatiga).
- 1 Laras Asri Resort and Spa, Jl Jend. Sudirman No.335, ☎ , , fax: , , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rp650,000.
- 2 Grand Wahid Hotel, Jl Jendral Sudirman No.2 (From the clock tower roundabout go south), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. A 4-star hotel with a swimming pool. Rp725,000.
- 3 Kayu Arum Resort, Jl Magersari, Ringinawe, Tegalrejo (Follow the signs located at the three-way intersection of "ABC" on the road from Salatiga to Solo.), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Rp850,000.
- 1 Satya Wacana Christian University (Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW)). The largest university in Salatiga and one of the best private universities in Indonesia. Offers courses in Bahasa Indonesia, of varying lengths up to about three months, featuring homestays and cultural activities.
- 2 RSUD Salatiga, Jl. Osamaliki No.19, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com.
- 3 RS Paru Dr. Ario Wirawan, Jl. Hasanuddin No. 806, ☎ , fax: .
The area code for Salatiga is 0298.
- Kopeng is about 15-20 mins by car to the southwest of Salatiga. From Kopeng, continue to Magelang, the nearest large town to the Borobudur temple, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
- Ambarawa is a small town with a railway museum, 15-20 mins by car northwest of Salatiga.
- Surakarta, one of the two centers of Javanese culture (Yogyakarta is the other) is one hour by car to the southeast of Salatiga.