The city's name is said to derive from the Javanese words "asem" and "arang", which could be translated as "scarce tamarind."
Semarang lies on the province's northern coast. It is a bustling, growing mid-sized city with a population of over 1.5 million. More an administrative and business town rather than a tourist destination, it nevertheless has its own charm, with contrasting modern mid-rises, a significant set of Dutch colonial architecture, Chinatown, and "kampung" all jutting against each other.
Semarang's topography is marked by a narrow coastal plain, rising sharply inland. The city sprawls up from the coast, and the higher areas see some of the highest rate of residential development, due to the slightly cooler climate. The sea is slowly reclaiming the coastal lowlands during the monthly rob or high tides, causing flooding up to more than a kilometer from the coast.
The coastal location can make the climate uncomfortably hot and humid. It is not unusual for temperatures to be above 32 °C (90 °F). In contrast to many Indonesian cities, Semarang still has a fair amount of greenery. Locals will tell you that areas that used to be (by their standards) "cool" are no longer. The climate is hot and humid, except on the slope - where it is slightly more pleasant - towards Ungaran, so wear light-coloured cotton clothes, such as T-shirts and knee-length trousers for comfort.
In 2007 the government started to promote Semarang as a tourist destination, starting with the Semarang Pesona Asia (Semarang, Asia's Enchantment) branding.
- 1 Tourist Information Center (TIC) Semarang, Jl Pemuda No 147 Semarang (Just across the street from the City Hall. Near Lawang Sewu and Tugu Muda. TransSemarang Koridor I, II, III, IV), ☎ . Has an information counter and some leaflets about Semarang and other parts of Central Java. The Joglosemar bus (going to Yogyakarta or Solo) and the Central Java Travel shuttle van (going to Jepara), depart from here.
- Tourist Information Center, (TIC) Achmad Yani Airport. The tourist office also has an information counter at the airport.
- 1 Achmad Yani International Airport (Bandar Udara Internasional Ahmad Yani SRG IATA) (is close to the city centre). It is well connected with multiple flights each day from hub airports in Jakarta and Surabaya. There are also direct flights from cities in Kalimantan, such as Pangkalanbun, Sampit, Pontianak and Ketapang (KalStar), as well as Balikpapan and Banjarmasin (Lion Air). Direct connection from other cities includes Bandung and Batam (Lion Air), Bandar Lampung (Aviastar) and Bali (Garuda, Wings Air). International flights are also available, daily from Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia) and less frequently from Singapore, (AirAsia, Silk Air).
For international arrivals, if you need a Visa on Arrival, proceed to the left side of the immigration queue, otherwise go straight to the immigration counter.
Buses from the airport
Line 4 (Koridor IV) of the TransSemarang bus system passes through the airport between 05:30 and 17:30. For the city centre (e.g. Simpang Lima or the City Hall Balai Kota), take the bus towards Tawang train station and transfer to Line 1 (Koridor I) in Karangayu. Tickets cost Rp3,500 which includes transfers to any of the other lines. Keep your ticket for checking.
Taxis from the airport
There is a taxi counter outside arrivals, to the left. Cross over the drop off lane. Prices are fixed and roughly double the price of normal city taxis because the airport cooperative has a monopoly. A cheaper option is to turn right out of arrivals and walk to where incoming taxis drop off travellers at the departure area, and take one that has just dropped its passengers off. A city taxi to Simpang Lima or the city centre area should cost about Rp30,000.
There are two main railway stations, both on the north coast mainline connecting Jakarta with Surabaya:
- 2 Tawang Station (Stasiun Tawang or Semarang Tawang in online bookings), Jl Taman Tawang No. 1 (TransSemarang Koridor II, III, and IV), ☎ . Located in the Old Town (Kota Lama) area, Tawang is historically significant, being the oldest major railway station in Indonesia that is still operational, having been used since 1867. It mostly serves business and executive class long distance trains from other major cities. However, some economy trains do stop here, for example those serving Solo and Purwokerto. Be sure to listen out for the bittersweet farewell/welcome song Yen ing tawang ono lintang (When there are stars in the sky), played over the tannoy at the arrival or departure of every train.
- 3 Poncol Station (Stasiun Poncol or Semarang Poncol in online bookings), Jl Imam Bonjol No. 115 (TransSemarang Koridor III and IV), ☎ . Poncol mainly handles economy class trains serving nearby cities in Central Java, such as Tegal, Pekalongan, or Purwokerto. However, there are some long distance economy trains serving Jakarta, Surabaya, and Malang.
Semarang is well-connected to Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya by train. From Solo, once daily early in the morning there is an economy class train Kalijaga, meaning travel from Yogyakarta all the way by rail is theoretically possible, although it requires a 04:00 departure with a transfer, and is likely to be slower and less comfortable than taking the direct buses. Multiple executive-class trains connect Semarang to Jakarta (6 hours) and Surabaya (4 hours) several times a day, with overnight journeys also possible. The Harina service connects Semarang to Bandung once a day with executive, business and economy class coaches.
From Cilacap in the very southwest of Central Java will take seven to eight hours, via Banyumas, Wonosobo and Temanggung. At Temanggung you can choose to keep going on the main roads through Secang and Ambarawa, or to cut up over the side of Mount Ungaran to Sumowono and Bandungan and take advantage of their all-day fruit and vegetable market.
Many bus companies offer daily service from Jakarta, from Pasar Rebo Terminal in East Jakarta, Kalideres Terminal in West Jakarta or from Lebak Bulus Terminal in South Jakarta. The overnight bus with A/C is also available with good service. You can choose bus operators such as Rosalia Indah, Raya, Kramat Jati, Safari Dharma Raya, Garuda Mas, Laju Prima, which are all well reputed. Sometimes the bus route is Jakarta to Solo via Semarang. You can choose them too, but make sure to remind the bus driver's assistant (the person who checks your ticket on-board the bus) to wake you up in Semarang.
There is an executive-class tourist bus Joglosemar, which connects Jogjakarta, Solo and Semarang (hence the name). It picks up tourists from specific hotels and provides snacks and water for their trip. Pricier than other executive buses, it is more comfortable and provides friendly service. They depart almost hourly.
Other companies providing shuttle vans in and out of Semarang include DayTrans (from Jogjakarta, Jepara), Solo and Cilacap), Central Java Travel, Bejeu (from Jepara), Bintang Raya, Matraman Travel, Mitra Travel and Putra Mandiri.
Semarang's Tanjung Emas Port (reachable by TransSemarang Koridor III) is located in the northern part, in an area that unfortunately is often flooded during high tide.
It is regularly served by ships mostly to/from destinations in Kalimantan. The state-owned PT PELNI has ships going to Banjarmasin (using KM Egon), Pontianak (using KM Lawit), and Kumai (using KM Leuser and KM Egon). Another operator with ships also going to Kalimantan is Dharma Lautan Utama, which serves Pontianak, Ketapang, Kumai and Sampit. There are no regular ships going directly into Semarang from other major cities in Java, except for occasional ships from Jakarta during the mudik period close to Lebaran offered as an alternative for people going back to their hometowns.
Cruise ships occasionally spend a day in port. It has few facilities for passengers, but an informal market of street vendors often assembles outside the secure area. Most passengers take a one-day tour to Borobudur, or a city tour of Semarang.
There are medium-sized buses operated by government-owned company DAMRI in the city. These buses are normally blue and white, and travel the following routes:
- DAMRI Route 1: Terboyo-Banyumanik
- DAMRI Route 2: Terboyo-Mangkang
- DAMRI Route 3: Ngaliyan-Pucang Gading
- DAMRI Route 4: Johar-Kompleks Perumnas
- DAMRI Route 5: Mangkang-Ungaran (via toll road)
- DAMRI Route 6: Penggaron-Ungaran (via toll road)
All DAMRI buses are air-conditioned and relatively well-maintained. There are also routes operated by companies such as Rata Kencana, MINAS and Nugroho, which tend to not be air-conditioned and the fleet tends to be less well-maintained. These stop whenever a passenger flags them down. To alight, just tell the driver or conductor and the bus will stop. There are very few designated bus stops and no route maps whatsoever, so it is good to ask beforehand and double check with the conductor. Fares range from Rp2,000 to Rp8,000 depending on the distance travelled.
There are also TransSemarang buses with designated stops on raised platforms (locally known as shelter). Despite being called a BRT system, the buses do not travel in designated lanes. There are six routes:
- Koridor I: Penggaron-Mangkang
- Koridor II: Pudakpayung-Terboyo (Bus terminal)
- Koridor III: Pelabuhan (Port)-Akpol
- Koridor IV: Cangkiran-Ahmad Yani Airport-Stasiun Tawang (Tawang Station)
- Koridor V: Meteseh to PRPP
- Koridor VI: Diponegoro University (UNDIP) to Semarang State University (UNNES).
Most interchanging of buses is done at the Balai Kota (City Hall) or SMAN 5 shelter on Jl Pemuda. Further expansion is underway for Corridors V and VI.
Ticket costs Rp3,500 for adults and Rp2,000 for students. The ticket is valid for as long as you are travelling, but you cannot break your journey. If you get off one bus and get straight on another, the ticket is valid. Keep your ticket when transferring from one corridor to another so that you won't have to buy a new ticket. Some of the less-frequented shelters do not have officials selling tickets, so you have to buy on-board. Every bus also has a conductor. This is by far the most visitor-friendly method of going around by public transport.
Central Java provincial government also runs a bus rapid transit route, Trans Jateng, from Tawang railway station to the bus terminal at Bawen, 36.5 km (22.7 mi) away on the southern outskirts of the city. Passing through Semarang Old Town, the main post office, town hall, Tugu Muda, Kariadi hospital. It also passes the Watu Gong Buddhist temple, and the Sido Muncul jamu factory. A ticket costs Rp3,500. If you break your journey, you will need to buy another ticket when you get back on. The first bus leaves at 05:00, until 21:00. They run every 15-20 minutes and should do the whole journey in about 90 minutes.
There are plenty of minibuses (locally called angkot or daihatsu) serving other routes. The route is written on the windscreen, and sometimes on the back and side of the vehicle. The route is normally written in the form of 'origin-destination' and sometimes with 'via' information if there is more than one minibus route with the same origin-destination but with a different path in between. For example, the route written as Johar-Sampangan, means it starts in Johar and ends in Sampangan, and vice-versa. Minibus fares are around Rp2-3,000. There are two kinds of minibus, the orange coloured ones travel longer routes, and the yellow ones travel shorter routes (e.g. from a housing complex to the nearest market or terminal). Ask the conductor or driver before you board about the route and whether it goes where you want to go. This is where you need some rudimentary Indonesian as the person you ask is unlikely to speak English.
Taxis are safe and comfortable, and reasonably priced (starting price Rp4,000).
Make sure you understand the route or ask a friend. Make sure the driver uses the meter ("argo"). If he refuses to use the meter, use another taxi. List of taxi companies:
- Astria, Jl Jatisari 1, ☎ .
- Blue Bird, Jl Brigjen Sudiarto No. 492, ☎ . Ordering a Blue Bird in Semarang is now possible through a smartphone app. They also link up with the Go-Jek ride service to offer Go-Bluebird.
- Centris Multipersada, Jl Majapahit 583, ☎ .
- Kosti, Jl Pamularsih 15, ☎ .
- Pandu Persada Saranamukti, Jl Kaligawe Km 4/46, ☎ .
- Puri Kencana, Jl Rogojembangan Raya 68, ☎ .
Online ride-hailing apps
Using your smartphone, you can now easily hail a GoJek or Grab in Semarang. It is worth investing in a local SIM card with data so you can use the apps. In Semarang, Grab offers Grab Car and Grab Bike, and GoJek offers its full range, including Go-Bluebird, its tie-in with Bluebird Taxis: book a Bluebird using the GoJek app. 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.
At first glance, central Semarang seems to have wide pavements. On closer inspection, they turn out to be paved with ceramic wall tiles that are lethally slippery when wet. Trees grow out of them, bus shelters take up nearly the whole width, traders start to encroach. Coupled with the hot and humid climate, walking suddenly seems a lot less attractive. What's more, trying to cross the road is borderline suicidal. Many of the main roads in the central area are one way, which turns them into race tracks. Pedestrian crossings, even with traffic lights, are disregarded. There are footbridges in places, but construction is low quality so watch your step on the stairs, and some have railings missing.
The Old Town is the only part of town that can be truly explored on foot. In behind Gereja Blenduk you will find a fascinating warren of streets between colonial offices and warehouses.
You can walk around the open green space of Simpang Lima, but crossing the road to get there is risky.
- 1 Gua Kreo (Kreo Cave), Jl Raya Goa Kreo, Kandri, Gunung Pati (Any taxi driver will know the place), ☎ . daily 05:00–18:00. A modest cave formation surrounded by a man-made lake with a resident band of long-tailed macaques. Can get crowded on the weekend, but you may it all to yourself on a weekday.
- 2 Lawang Sewu, Jl Pemuda, Sekayu (Right on the Tugu Muda roundabout). 07:00-21:00. Lawang Sewu means 'a thousand doors' in Javanese. It has a lot of them, but probably not that many. Built as the headquarters of the Dutch East Indies railway company in 1907, over time it served various purposes. The Dutch reputedly used the basement as a jail and torture centre. During World War II it was used as the Japanese army's headquarters in Semarang, and further atrocities were committed by the Japanese. The attic, with its twin water towers, was used by the military as a badminton court. Reputed to be haunted. Tour guides are available at the building's entrance. Flashlight tours of the basement, with its interesting system of small pools of water to help keep it cool, are a fun scare.
- 3 Sam Poo Kong Temple, Jl Simongan No. 129, ☎ . The beautiful Sam Poo Kong temple (Gedung Batu) was built to honour the Muslim Chinese admiral Cheng Ho of the Ming Dynasty, who visited Semarang in the early 15th century. It was extensively renovated in 2006 to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Cheng Ho's visit. In the entry area there are a couple of stores that sell Chinese art and objects, including giant candles and, of course, there's a place to eat. This complex is one of the major temples for certain Chinese religions, notably Kong Hu Chu (Confucianism), and is replete with a long stone mural depicting major events of Cheng Ho's time here, as well as several different temples, each with its own specific style and architecture. You can burn an envelope in a special prayer oven, or ask a soothsayer to read fortune-telling sticks for you. The temple area is open to visitors if you pay an additional fee, otherwise you can see much of it from behind a chain - but the mural is behind the temples - but only those seeking to pray may actually enter the temples.
- 4 Simpang Lima. A large square and shopping district at the heart of Semarang. At night, you can eat, drink, or just wander around. Enjoy a ride on the decorated bicycles ("gowes"). On Sunday mornings, this is the venue for Semarang's Car Free Day (actually a couple of hours only), where families gather and enjoy activities such as cycling, roller-blading, playing basketball or simply enjoying the atmosphere while eating in their favorite food stall.
- 5 Taman Budaya Raden Saleh (Raden Saleh Cultural park), Jl Sriwijaya No.29. A park and cultural centre, with theater and dance performances and the occasional art exhibition in the four buildings in the complex. It has was formerly the site of Semarang's zoo. Suitable for family recreation or just watching artists practice for their performances.
- 6 Tanjung Emas. A busy, important port during Dutch occupation (from 17th century to 1945). Of special interest is the lighthouse built in 1884.
- 7 Watugong Buddhist Temple (Vihara Buddhagaya Watugong), Jl Perintis Kemerdekaan Pudakpayung, Banyumanik (Any taxi driver will know it, or take the TransJateng rapid transit bus from the centre of town in the direction of Bawen). Popular Buddhist site, featuring the 45m Pagoda Avalokitesvara with seven tiers, the tallest in Indonesia. Various shrines relevant to the Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions. Development started in the 1950s.
Before you get into the hilly area named Bukit Sari, you will see on your left Taman Tabanas Gombel where you can stop by, drink tea and see Semarang from the hill. It's a really beautiful view in the daytime and a very special romantic view during the nighttime.
Around the Old Town
- 8 Old Town (Kota Lama, Oudstadt). Northern Semarang has many old Dutch colonial buildings. This was where the old walled city was located. The wall is no longer there, but many of the buildings remain. While there are a number specific points of interest, the whole area is atmospheric and interesting for a wander. Early morning or late afternoon offers the coolest parts of the day and the best light for photography. The rundown nature is part of its charm, but the City Council is making concerted efforts to bring it back to life. The numbers of cafes and restaurants is slowly growing. This helps to give life to the area at night also, and there is a semi-permanent bric-a-brac market that is most active during these cooler hours. During certain high tides, the area is flooded. Tackling it is also part of the government's plan, and the flooding is slowly dropping in terms of number and intensity of incidents.
- 9 Gereja Blenduk (GPIB Immanuel), Jl Letjen Suprapto 32 (The heart of the Old Town). The name means "domed church". A beautiful Protestant church built in 1753, it is the oldest church in Semarang. It has a baroque organ, a rarity in Indonesia.
- 10 Semarang Contemporary Ary Gallery, Jl Taman Srigunting No.5-6, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 10:00–16:30. Modern gallery offering a selection of contemporary art in revolving exhibitions. Strong focus on Asian artists in general and Indonesian artists in particular.
- 11 Taman Srigunting (Right by the Gereja Blenduk). A small, shady square nestled by the Gereja Blenduk. Good for a quick sit-down after the exertions of walking around the Old Town, and great for indulging in a bit of the Indonesian national pasttime of taking selfies. Expect to be invited to join in photos with other visitors.
- 12 Tugu Muda (The Monument to Youth), At the western end of Jl Pandaran and Jl Pemuda. One of Semarang's landmarks - an obelisk set in the middle of a roundabout. It commemorates the five days of fierce battle (14-19 October 1945) between Indonesian freedom fighters and Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender.
- 13 Museum Ronggowarsito, Jl. Abdurrahman Saleh No. 1, ☎ . 08:00–14:00, except on Monday. Javanese culture and art. Rp 2,000.
- 14 MURI (Museum Rekor Indonesia), Jl. Setiabudi no.179 Srondol. M–F 08:00–16:00. Indonesian Record Museum.
- 15 Mandala Bhakti, Jl. Mgr. Sugiyopranoto. Tu–Th 08:00–18:00, F 08:00–10:30, Su 08:00–12:00. Military museum.
Always interesting. Go early in the morning to see the most activity. They tend to have quietened down by late morning. There are a plenty to choose from. Perhaps the pre-eminent one in Semarang is
- 16 Pasar Johar (Johar Market), Jl K.H. Agus Salim, Kauman Tengah (Just south of the Old Town and at the eastern end of Jl Pemuda.). Built in 1936, and famous for its neo-vernacular design by architect Thomas Karsten. Unfortunately damaged by fire in 2016, but renovation started in late 2017 and will hopefully restore it back to full glory.
- Catfish Park (Taman Lele). Kecamatan Tugu. Open daily. Facilities: children's playground, cultural and art shows, animal shows.
- Marina Beach. North Semarang. Facilities: swimming pool, children's playground, beach volleyball, water sports.
- Ngaliyan Tirta Indah, Jalan Raya Ngaliyan Kecamatan Ngaliyan. Facilities: swimming pool, beautiful plantation, flower garden, sports centre.
- Puri Maerokoco and Kampoeng Laut (a famous over-the-water restaurant). Tawangmas PRPP, a clone of TMII (Jakarta). Facilities: cultural and art shows, boat, water bike, small train, fishing pond.
- Sodong, 20 km from Semarang. Beautiful plantation, fishing pond, swimming pool.
After some hard travelling, a long flight, climbing a volcano or just a long walk around town, an easy way to unwind is one of 'reflexology' places offering an hour or two in an easy chair, with vaguely Oriental ambient music tinkling away, while someone squeezes your feet (despite being called reflexology, it is rarely that, but very pleasant nonetheless). All for a very reasonable price.
- 1 Cozy Feet, Jl Kapten Piere Tendean No. 5, Sekayu (The street behind the Novotel.), ☎ . 10:00-22:00 every day. Reflexology and massage.
- 2 Yu Zu Tang, Jl Anggrek Raya Blok C No. 20-22, Pekunden (Behind the Citraland Mall. Leave the mall by the door next to Galael supermarket, turn right and follow the wall of the mall around until you get to Yu Zu Tang.), ☎ . 10:00-22:00. Reflexology and massage. From Rp75,000 for one hour.
- Jateng Fair, at PRPP Marina. Annual showcases of Central Java Promotions and Development. It's held between June and July.
- Jaran Sampo, Tay Kak Sie and Sam Poo Kong Temples. Attend the biggest ceremony of the Chinese community in Java, featuring a colourful procession and dances of decorated horses and 'liong' (dragon).
- Dug Der Festival, Johar, Kota Lama, Polder Tawang. Annual festival, one week before fasting month, or puasa. The name is derived from the sound of bedug ("Dug" - the sound of a gigantic drum often associated with Islam), and meriam bambu ("Der" - the sound of the traditional bamboo cannon). At the end of the festival, there's "Ngarak Warak", meaning procession to bring Warak across the city's main street (normally from the Mayor's office to the Johar Market). The Warak is a mythology animal, part giraffe, part lion, part Chinese dragon, part horse and part bird. It's the icon of the festival. You can buy toys at the festival, normally a warak laying an egg, thus the name "Warak Ngendog".
- Wayang Wong Ngesti Pandowo, Jl. Sriwijaya No. 29 (inside Taman Budaya Raden Saleh, Ki Narto Sabdho building), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A weekly show of Javanese drama in the form of human puppet (wayang orang in Indonesian or wayang wong in Javanese), with stories from folklore, Mahabarata and Ramayana. There is a show every Saturday night. An excellent chance to get a glimpse of Javanese culture in Semarang Rp 25,000.
- 4 Sobokarrti, Jl Dr Cipto 31-33, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A cultural institution offering presentations and some training of Javanese performing arts: dance, gamelan, wayang kulit. The building was designed by Thomas Karsten, drawing together elements of indigenous Javanese and Dutch tropical colonial styles.
- 5 Diponegoro University (Universitas Diponegoro (UNDIP)). State university, and the biggest and oldest university in the city (est. 1956). Faculties of law, economics, medicine, architecture, engineering, fisheries and marine sciences, animal agriculture, humanities, social and political sciences, public health, natural sciences and mathematics, and psychology. Almost 40,000 students in two campuses, Pleburan (downtown) and Tembalang in the southeastern part of the city. Offers six month and one year Indonesian language courses through the Darmasiswa program.
- 6 Semarang State University (Universitas Negeri Semarang (UNNES)). Has over 21,000 students in faculties of education, language and arts, social sciences, mathematics and science, engineering, sport science, economics and law. Opened in 1965. It offers six month and one year courses via the Darmasiswa program: Indonesian language, fine art, handicrafts, traditional music, traditional dance and batik art.
Finding part-time work as a traveller in Indonesia is never easy and will be of questionable legality due to the strict labour laws. You may be in contravention of the terms of your visa.
Having said that, there is always demand for native English speakers to share their skills in some formal or informal capacity. Formal requirements for foreign nationals teaching English in Indonesia are very stringent.
As a manufacturing centre, especially for the export-oriented furniture industries in Semarang and Jepara, you may hear of opportunities for those with the required technical or sales background, with native English language ability.
Be aware that your part-time work may take the place of a full-time job for a competent and experienced Indonesian.
One of the favourites is milkfish, bandeng, pressure-cooked to soften the bones. It goes by the name bandeng presto or bandeng duri lunak. Also popular are lumpia Semarang (a spring roll with bamboo-shoot filling), wingko babat (small grilled patties of glutinous rice and shredded coconut), ganjal rel (a cake named after the railway sleeper that it resembles in shape and texture) and pia Kemuning (various kind of filling, but the traditional ones are filled with palm sugar). There is a well-known strip of toko oleh-oleh stores on Jl Pandanaran.
- 1 Bandeng Juwana Elrina, Jl Pandanaran no.57, ☎ . 06:30-22:00 Sun-Thur, 06:30-23:00 Fri-Sat. Bandeng presto, lumpia Semarang, wingko babat, gandjal rel cake and more. Free tasting.
- 2 Wingko Babat Cap Kereta Api (Railway Brand), Jl Cendrawasih 14 (On the eastern edge of the Old Town.), ☎ . This outlet is just on the edge of Semarang's Old Town. In addition to wingko they have a wide range of other sweet and savoury snack stuffs, and a small selection of souvenirs like fridge magnets. The shop is a much calmer experience than the toko oleh-oleh of Jl Pandanaran which can be crowded and hot, especially if a coachload of tourists arrives.
Arts and crafts
There are numerous places around town to buy jewelry, paintings, handicrafts, art and other items that could make great souvenirs, and these places can be found all over town. You can buy batik, antiques and traditional items in Pasar Johar (Johar Market)). There is plenty of choice. It is also accessible by Angkot (mini-bus). Aside from there, you can also buy high-quality batik at department stores, or at batik specialists like Batik Keris and Danar Hadi, both in the Simpang Lima square area.
Semarang also has its own style of batik, which can be found in various stores around town.
Club Merby on Jl MT Haryono (Mataram) No 653.
- Andika Art & Crafts Gallery, Jl Puri Anjasmoro, Block O-1/5., ☎ .
- Lia Gallery, Jl Genade Selatan 2, ☎ .
- Goedang Art & Antique, Jl Pemuda 37, ☎ .
- Gallery Gerbang, Jl Dr. Wahidin 56, ☎ .
- Pandjang Art Shop, Jl Widoharjo 31A, ☎ .
- La Vogue, Jl Pemuda. The city's oldest antique shop.
As Semarang is not a tourist city, you won't find a large concentration of money changers. Those listed below are generally reliable, and you can even call ahead to 'lock' a rate first before coming in personally in the next half an hour or so.
- Golden Valasindo, Jl Jend Sudirman 322, Ruko Siliwangi Square Kav 10 (TransSemarang Corridor I and IV, stop at Pasar Karangayu (Karangayu Market) - on the way from airport to the city centre), ☎ .
- Rudo Indovalas Dunia, Jl Simpang Lima, Gajah Mada Plaza Bl A/9-10 (TransSemarang Koridor III and IV, stop at Simpang Lima), ☎ .
- Supit, Jl Pemuda 39C, ☎ .
- Supit (branch office), Mal Ciputra Shop Office Bl B/4, Jl Simpang Lima 1 1 (TransSemarang Corridor III and IV, stop at Simpang Lima), ☎ .
- Valin Internusa, Jl Mayjen DI Panjaitan 158-160, ☎ .
Banks are open between 08:30-15:00.
This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including a soft drink:
Budget up to Rp50,000
Splurge over Rp150,000
Although Semarang's choice of foods is not as large as other cities, you can find Japanese, Italian, Thai, Korean, Indian and more.
There are food stalls all over Semarang. They are popular and cheap, as they are not permanent, and do not have phone numbers and exact addresses. However, they usually open in the same spot and time every day. Hygiene is not a top priority. If you have a sensitive stomach, consider the cook's access to the fresh water and toilets, as well as whether the food is cooked fresh or set out in serving dishes.
The cheapest of the cheap is nasi kucing (literally, cat rice) which is very small portions (just enough for a cat to eat, presumably) of rice served with a modest amount of meat and vegetables.
- 1 Kedai Beringin, Jalan Beringin I/9 (On a small residential street heading north off Jl Pierre Tendean behind the Novotel), ☎ . 07:00-15:00 Javanese menu, 16:00-21:30 Chinese menu.
A Semarang institution, frequented by office workers at lunchtime for its cheap and good Javanese-style dishes - rice with various soupy dishes (rawon, asem-asem daun kedondong, etc), nasi campur, gado-gado and so on. Various ice-based desserts also available. Halal. Opens for two sessions a day. The first, at lunchtime, offers the Javanese menu. Opening again in the late afternoon and evening, it offers a more Chinese style menu.
Be aware that there are two Kedai Beringin in town. The other is not so far away, in front of Poncol train station. Bigger, with a wider menu, and offering some dishes with pork.
- 2 Lumpia Gang Lombok (Loempia Gang Lombok or Loenpia Gang Lombok), Gang Lombok, Chinatown (next to Tay Kak Sie temple). The pioneer of Semarang's many lumpia (spring roll) stalls. Started operating before the Second World War. Some of the owners of other lumpia outlets started by working at this place. Uses both dried shrimp and fresh shrimp. Semarang lumpia is known for the use of bamboo shoots, which give them a distinctive taste.
- Simpang Lima. This square in the heart of Semarang has plenty of stalls offering a variety of local food. Prices are low: a piece of fried chicken, a thigh or a leg, plus a plate of steamed rice for as little as Rp15,000. Some stalls offer lesehan (sitting on a mat), with or without a low table. Active from early morning until late at night. The best stalls are busy and sell out quickly.
- Soto Bangkong, Ruko Bangkong Plaza, Jl. Brigjen Katamso No. 1, Peterongan, Semarang (a kilometre or so to the east of Simpang Lima. Any taxi driver or ride sharing driver will know the location.), ☎ . daily 07:00–22:00. Clear chicken soup, a local variation of the soto ayam found across Indonesia. A Semarang institution.
- Jalan Pahlawan, south of Simpang Lima, you will also find many food stalls under tents (tenda), selling a variety of foods from Gudeg (Jogjakartan pressure-cooked sweet jackfruit meal, usually served dry or wet with coconut milk soup, and you can add in fried chicken, eggs, and other items), bubur ayam (chicken porridge, a real treat), jagung bakar (grilled corn) and many others. Pamper yourself with plenty of good food, yet very cheaply. If you'd like something local, try Pak Edi's (Mr. Edi is the proprietor of the kaki lima) tahu gimbal, which is shrimp fried in a patty, raw cabbage, lontong, krupuk and bean sprouts in peanut sauce. If you want dessert, across the street from where the grilled corn vendors are is the famous es putar Conglik, where they serve traditional coconut milk ice cream in a variety of tantalizing flavors, such as coconut, durian, chocolate, and blewah (Cucumis melo, a type of squash).
- Semawis Night Market, Gang Warung, Chinatown. Night market, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Hawker-style local food. There's also an annual, larger Semawis Market before Chinese New Year.
- Ayam Goreng Salim (Fried Chicken Salim), Jl Pringgading (Food stall on the corner of Jl Mataram and Jl Pringgading.). Tasty fried chicken
- Kalasan Fried Chicken, in Simpang Lima offers good food at cheap prices.
- Koee Lekker Paimo, Jl Karanganyar, (in front of Loyola High School, a famous school in Semarang). Indonesian interpretation of Dutch pancakes. Daytime, weekdays only (Mon-Sat).
- Prasodjo. Hot and fried tofu (soybean curd) and tempe (soybean cake), eat them while they're hot with a green chilli named "cabe rawit" if you love it spicy hot!
- Mbok Berek, Jl Jendral Sudirman 58A. ayam penyet (traditional Javanese fried chicken that is smashed in a mortar and pestle so you can enjoy the sumsum - marrow), served with coconut milk and lalapan (raw vegetables).
- Nasi Ayam Bu Wido, Kemuning. Nasi Ayam or Javanese Chicken Curry (open for dinner only).
- Satay Pak Kempleng, Ungaran area - is delicious and known for years for its big cut satay portion (open for lunch).
- Soto Bangkong, (Bangkong Chicken Soup). Soto is delicious soup with a chicken/beef and turmeric based broth.
- 3 Dyriana Bakery & Cafe, Jl Pandanaran 51A (look for the big oval billboard.), ☎ , . 06:30-22:00. Freshly baked bread — try "roti pisang" (bread with a small banana inside) —– cakes, and a nice cafe serving local hot food and cold drinks. Air-conditioned. Often has demonstrations of traditional products being made (call first, often around 15:00-17:00).
- 4 Elrina Restaurant, Jl Pandanaran 83, ☎ . Serving different dishes of milkfish with local taste, Chinese and seafood. Air-conditioned.
- 5 Gama Ikan Bakar & Seafood, Jl. M.T. Haryono 870A (Just south of the well-known Bangkong interchange on Jl MT Haryone, about a kilometre east of Simpang Lima.), ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. 11:00-23:00. Indonesian seafood, with both indoor and outdoor eating areas.
- 6 Gelato Matteo, Jl Mataram 914 (near SMP Maria Mediatrix and SMA Sedes), ☎ . Mon-Fri 10:00-22:00 Saturday 10:00-23:00 Sunday 10:00-20:00. Real Italian gelato made by a real Italian man. All the favourite flavours plus some specials. Cups, cones and in brioche. Small range of other snacks, and proper Italian coffee.
- 7 Ikan Bakar Cianjur (IBC), Jl LetJen Suprapto 19 (Opposite Gereja Blenduk), ☎ . Highly dependable Sundanese food with quick service in lovely old Dutch bank building. The name refers to the grilled fish for which it is famous.
- 8 Karuna, Jl Depok No. 47, ☎ . One of Semarang's only vegetarian restaurants. In the Chinese style, this replicates meat-dishes but with mushrooms, beancurd and tempe. Canteen-style, where you look in the case and point to what you want. On Saturdays it has a fixed-price all you can eat offer, but you have to clear your plate. If not, you will be fined. Has a small selection of wholefoods for sale as well - pulses, dried fruit, nuts.
- 9 Mbah Jingkrak, Jl Taman Beringin No. 3 (In the residential area to the north of Jl Pierre Tendean, behind the Novotel.), ☎ . One of the chain of Javanese restaurants. Choose from a large number of dishes laid out - white or red rice, beancurd and tempe dishes, devil's hair chicken (pitik rambut setan), hot and sour steamed chicken (garang asem). Staff will spoon portions of those you point to, then the total is added up when you get to the end. Bentuman Steak shares the same building.
- Nglaras Rasa, Jl MH Thamrin 124., ☎ . Regular food and buffet. Specialising in catering for large groups, including coach parties. Air-conditioned.
- 10 Sate & Gule Kambing 29 (Sate Dua Sembilan), Jl Letjen Soeprapto 29 (right in front of the famous Blenduk Church in the Old Town), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 9AM–10PM. Anything you like, as long as it is goat. Famous for its goat sate and soup. This is the original restaurant, with original interiors and no air-conditioning. There are two more branches in Semarang - less inspiring interiors, but they do have AC, and a branch in each of Yogyakarta and Jakarta.
- 11 Toko Oen, Jl Pemuda 52, Bodjong., ☎ . A Semarang institution since Dutch colonial days. Famous for its ice cream, steak and fried rice, and bread and cookies. Still with the atmospheric original decor. Serves pork.
- 12 Talisman Rotisserie, Jl Teuku Umar No. 18, Gajah Mungkur, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. daily 10:00-23:00. It's all about chicken - mostly cooked on a rotisserie, but also soups. Salads and sides, including mashed potatoes. Part of the same group as the Basilia and Massimo restaurants.
- 13 The Blue Lotus Coffeehouse, Jl Ahmad Yani No.197 (At the Bangkong intersection, between Panin Bank and CIMB Niaga Bank), ☎ . Tu–Su 09:00-21:00. Famous for the freshly home-roasted Indonesian coffee and eight different ways of brewing, but has a great selection of Western food and Japanese cheesecake. Comfy sofas and strong Wi-Fi
- 14 Bowery, Jl Achmad Yani 140, ☎ . Steaks, wine, cocktails, mocktails, generally fine dining. Western and Asian. Black and chrome, atmospheric lighting, Gotham-city vibe. Paired with the more casual dining Eastman.
- Holiday, Jl Pandanaran 6 Blok 18-20. Expensive Chinese food, including dim sum, often considered the best Chinese restaurant.
- Pesta Keboen, Jl Veteran 29. Indonesian and Dutch cuisine served in a restored Dutch colonial house furnished with antiques and Dutch East Indies memorabilia. Go there for the ambience.
- Pringgading Restaurant, Jalan Pringgading 54. Chinese food with an Indonesian flair. Yum cha on Sunday mornings. Always full, very lively and chaotic. Service is not outstanding.
- Rinjani View, Jl Rinjani No.12 (across the street from Hotel Candi Baru), ☎ , . 10:00-01:00. One-stop entertainment, food and beverage centre located in the upper town. Rinjani View consists of six outlets: Resto, Lounge, Teraz, Karaoke, The Cafe and Apartment's View. There's a fabulous view of Semarang City and Java Sea from all six. Serves Western, Chinese and Indonesian food. WiFi is available.
- Seoul Palace, Jl Pandanaran 109. Korean-style restaurant, with delicious barbecue, flavourful soups, and noodle dishes. Does not serve pork.
- Sisingamangaraja Site, (known as "S2"), Jl Sisingamangaraja, (across the street from the Grand Candi Hotel). A modern and hip mixed-use complex where people can hang out, drink, eat Japanese, Peranakan, or Western cuisine, or have coffee and desserts.
- 15 Spiegel Bar and Bistro, Jl Let Jend Suprapto No.34 (In the heart of the Old Town, close to Gereja Blenduk and Taman Srigunting), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Su-Th 10:00–00:00, F-Sa 10:00–late.
Thoughtful and atmospheric reworking of an almost derelict heritage building, formerly a general store during colonial times. Pizza, burgers, pasta, steak, fish and chips, Caesar salad - the menu is similar to all other Indonesian venues of this kind. A few surprises here and there. It's a bar too, so there is alcohol, but also means smoking is allowed. The building also hosts two related businesses:
- Spiegel Home Studio — a rental studio apartment. Sleeps 4. Rp800,000. Room service available from the bistro
- Impala.space — co-working space, on the mezzanine above the bistro
- 16 The Tavern, No. 1 Jalan Rinjani, Gajah Mungkur, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M-F 4PM-12AM Sa-Su 4PM-1AM. Steaks, burgers, grills, pasta, pizzas. A selection of Indonesian dishes. Beer, wine. Fills up quickly so book or go early.
- 17 Trattoria, The Vee Building, Jl Gajah Mada, Brumbungan, ☎ . 11:00-23:00. One of the chain of Italian restaurants found across southeast Asia. Dependable and good - pizzas, pastas, steak. Also serves Japanese sushi and sashimi. Serves wine by the glass.
- Xiang Yuen (Inside Grand Candi Hotel), ☎ . Jl Sisingamangaraja No. 16. M-F 06:00-15:00 & 18:30-22:30, Sa-Su p7:00-15:00 & 18:30-22:30. Authentic Cantonese & Szechuanese. Rp 100,000-1,000,000
In Semarang it is not easy to find bars. However, lately a few stylish venues have sprung up, mainly caters to the trendy young population.
- E-Plaza, Jl. Ruko Gajahmada Lantai II No.29. Located in an entertainment complex which comprises a cinema, a restaurant, and pool game venue.
There are few bars and cafes around 'Simpang Lima' (right in the downtown). After sunset, please avoid small tents selling homemade tea (teh poci) as lots of hookers look for targets, especially rich looking travelers.
Wedang or wedhang means hot, soothing drink. You can get them in Simpang Lima, hotels or restaurants in Semarang. One of the most popular variety is STMJ (Susu Telor Madu Jahe, a concoction of milk, egg, honey, and ginger drink).
- Es Kelapa Muda Kartika, Jl MT. Haryono 83 (near Bubakan). The most delicious young coconut drinks. Daytime only, just get there early because late afternoon they're most likely sold out already.
- Black Canyon Coffee Bar, (in front of Hotel Candi Baru). Stylishly designed. Cozy place but very crowded especially during weekends.
- 1 Club 123, Jalan Pemuda 123 (at Basement of Novotel Semarang), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 21:00 - 02:00.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Less than Rp250,000|
|Splurge||More than Rp500,000|
Go to Jalan Kauman (Near Johar Market - TransSemarang Koridor II or buses to/from Terboyo Terminal) and you'll find a lot of cheap accommodation. They are most likely to be a basic fan room with outside bathroom for the cheapest price level, some naming themselves as losmen (inns) and others as hotel. Several places offering basic fan room are located near the mosque at the northern end (Masjid Kauman) with rooms going for as cheap as Rp 50,000. Many budget places will not have a western-style shower.
Another group of budget accommodation, slightly more upmarket but still affordable hotels, can be found along Jl. Imam Bonjol. With Rp 250,000 or even less you can possibly have an air-conditioned room in these hotels, such as Hotel Bali and Rahayu. TransSemarang Koridor III and buses to/from Terboyo Terminal (except DAMRI) pass by Jl. Imam Bonjol.
Both areas are not too far from both train stations (Poncol and Tawang), as well as the seaport (Tanjung Mas).
- 1 Hostel Imam Bonjol, Jl Imam Bonjol 177 B, ☎ , , e-mail: email@example.com. 400 m from Tugu Muda, a 10-minute walk to Paragon Mall, 12 minutes to Dp Mall, 20 minutes from Ahmad Yani Airport, 5 minutes from Tawang train station, 2 minutes from the Joglosemar Shuttle bus station. Free WiFi, hot water, free map. They rent bicycles, and can assist with car rental. Rp 100,000 single room, Rp 165,000 double room.
- 2 Ibis budget Semarang Tendean, Jl. Pierre Tendean No. 21, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. from Rp 258,000 double room.
- 3 Hotel Merbabu, Jl Pemuda 122-124, ☎ , , fax: . Check-out: 13:00. Single bed to family room for 4 people. A/C, telephone, TV, indoor bathroom, hot water. Refrigerator for deluxe rooms and above. Strategic location in Jl Pemuda next to Paragon City Mall. Rp 250.000.
- 4 Hotel Rahayu, Jl. Imam Bonjol No. 35-37, Semarang, ☎ . Double, triple, and quadruple rooms available, both fan and air-conditioned. Wi-fi available. Rp 100,000 for a double.
- 5 Hotel Oewa Asia, Jl. Kol. Sugiono No. 12 Semarang, ☎ . A hotel which is slightly derelict, but is unique as it has witnessed Semarang's history from the Dutch colonial era. Located in Semarang's Old Town (Kota Lama) area. From Rp 55,000.
- 6 Hotel Terboyo Indah, Jl. Terboyo Industri Raya No. 30 Semarang, ☎ . Located in the northeastern part of Semarang, in the same area as Terboyo Bus Terminal. Rp 95,000.
- 7 Hotel Elizabeth, Jl. Sultan Agung, No. 1, Semarang, ☎ , , . Located in the southern, slightly hilly part of Semarang, in the area known as Candi. Close to St. Elizabeth hospital and popular with many guests actually visiting their hospitalized relatives. Rp 175,000.
- 8 Candi Baru Hotel, Jl Rinjani 21, Gajamungkur, ☎ . Dutch colonial era hotel in Semarang's hilly district. Hosts a branch of Black Canyon Cafe, a Thai café chain, in its front yard.
- 9 Hotel Dafam, Jl Imam Bonjol 188, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Three-star hotel for business and leisure travellers, comfortable accommodation. Rp370,000.
- 10 Hotel Grasia, Jl S. Parman 29, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 13:00. Three-star hotel in Gajahmungkur. Rates include buffet breakfast, pick-up service from/to airport,car wash, unlimited WiFi. Rp475,000.
- 11 Hotel Ibis Simpang Lima, Jl Gajah Mada 172 (near Simpang Lima), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 3-star hotel near the hustle and bustle of Simpang Lima Rp370,000.
- 12 Hotel Muria, Jl Dr. Cipto 73, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 13:00. Two-star hotel near Chinese business area. Caters to family and convention needs, has six meeting rooms, buffet breakfast, pick up service from/to airport, car wash, unlimited WiFi access. Rp297,000.
- 13 Quest Hotel (Quest Hotel), Jl Plampitan No.37-39, ☎ , e-mail: SemarangInfo@Quest-Hotels.com. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 13:00. Near Simpang Lima business district and Chinatown . Ten minutes from the train station. Rooms have cable TV, safe and tea/coffee making facilities and a private balcony. Rp265,000.
- New Metro Hotel, Jl Haji Agus Salim 2-4, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Newly-refurbished 3-star hotel. Close to Pasar Johar traditional market.
- 14 Hotel Ciputra, Jl Simpang Lima, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Managed by Swiss-Belhotel. Overlooking the town square and connected to Semarang's largest shopping mall, Mall Ciputra. Rp650,000.
- 15 Grand Candi Hotel, Jl Sisingamangaraja No. 16, ☎ , fax: . In an upscale residential area on the hill, and has several excellent restaurants. Rp600,000.
- 16 Novotel Semarang, Jl Pemuda No. 123, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Novotel is in the CBD area. Rp610,000.
- 17 Horison NJ Semarang, Jl. Mt. Haryono No.32-38, Purwodinatan, Semarang, 50137, Central Java (Near Bundaran Bubakan), ☎ .
- 18 Patra Semarang, Jl Sisingamangaraja (from Jl Sisingamangaraja, turn into Jl Ungaran. It leads straight to Patra Jasa Hotel), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Resort-style hotel is in the hilly area of Candi Baru Rp565,000.
- 19 Santika Premiere Semarang ((formerly Graha Santika Hotel)), Jl Pandanaran No. 116-120, ☎ , , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Four-star hotel close to the city centre. Rp640,000.
- 20 Gumaya Tower Hotel, Jl Gajah Mada 59-61, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 5-star hotel. Houses a few restaurants and a coffee shop. Rp760,000.
Semarang is moderatly safe. People are nice to strangers, helpful and friendly.
Never touch anyone's head (especially teenagers and older men) as it is considered as "insult" and might invite troubles. In the crowded bus/train/small car used as public transportation, "unintended touch" is tolerated. Never look at someone (especially young men) straight in the eyes more than 3 times as it might be considered as "challenging them to fight" (this applies especially in bigger towns/cities) - Villagers are more friendly to strangers.
Semarang is neither a small city nor huge city if compared to Jakarta. Everyone is urged to observe universal safety rules such as "only walk in the light-bright areas"; do not attempt to deal with hookers or trans-sexual hookers which are usually done under secluded and dark areas; lady travelers are urged not to travel alone after 23:00 especially in an unknown dark neighborhood, sometimes even in residential areas. Only withdraw a moderate amount of money in an open air ATM.
When riding the public transportation it is not encouraged to wear jewellery, or gaudy and branded or designer watches. Petty thieves are common, but they do not strike when it isn't obvious. During the night if you must use public transportation, look for those units which have more than a few people riding and do avoid the empty ones. You might want to choose a seat close to the driver.
Hospitals with 24 hours emergency rooms:
7 Kariadi Hospital (Rumah Sakit Umum Pusat Dr. Kariadi), Jl Dr. Sutomo No. 16, ☎ .
- RS. St. Elizabeth, Jl. Kawi No 1. ☎ +62 24 831 0035
- RS. Telogorejo, Jl. K.H. Achmad Dahlan, ☎ +62 24 446000.
- RS. Panti Wilasa Cipto, Jl. Dr.Cipto 50, ☎ +62 24 546040.
- RS. Panti Wilasa Citarum, Jl. Citarum No. 98, ☎ +62 24 3542224.
The dialing code for Semarang is 024.
Some hotel lobbies and cafés offer free wifi. Ask your server for the password wifi (PAHS-wuhrd WIGH-fee).
- Ambulance: ☎ 118
- Police: ☎ 110
- Central Java Police HQ, Jl Pahlawan 1, ☎ +62 24 831-1382
- Semarang Police HQ. Jl Dr Sutomo 19, ☎ +62 24 844-4444, +62 24 841-8400
- Central Semarang. Jl Brumbungan Tengah 41, ☎ +62 24 354-5175
- North Semarang. Jl Letjen Suprapto 45, ☎ +62 24 692-1275
- South Semarang. Jl Sultan Agung 103, ☎ +62 24 831-5123.
- West Semarang. : Jl Ronggolawe Selatan, ☎ +62 24 761-0698
- East Semarang. Jl Majapahit, ☎ +62 24 671-0863
East Overland, all points to Surabaya, taking in:
- The important religious sites in Demak and Kudus
- The batik centre of Bakaran near Pati to see the unusual black, cream and indigo batik
- Rembang for its salt fields and kawista syrup
- The Chinese architecture and heritage of Lasem, with its famous batik style
- Cepu for its former glories of the teak industry, and its outrageously OTT hotel
- The remnants of the Majapahit empire near Mojokerto
Southeast The main destination in that direction is Solo, a two to three hour drive. On the way you will pass through:
- Salatiga, relaxed university hill town located at the foot of Mount Merbabu, and jumping off point to explore Lake Rawa Pening and go up to the mountain village of Kopeng
- Boyolali, famous for its dairy industry, and the delicious clear soup Soto Seger Mbok Giyem. Also the jumping off point to visit the copper-beating village of Cepogo and to investigate the pass between the volcanoes of Merapi and Merbabu
- Once in Solo, keep going further south and east, either up the slope of Mount Lawu to the magical high temples of Sukuh and Cetho, and then over into East Java, or towards the fantastic surfing beach of Watu Karung near Pacitan
- Slightly south of Semarang are some smaller hill towns easily reached in a day trip: Ungaran, Bandungan and Ambarawa
- Keep going further south to Magelang and Yogyakarta. It takes 3-4 hours to drive from Semarang to Yogyakarta
- Go to the Dieng Plateau through the small towns of Temanggung and Wonosobo to see ancient Hindu temples/candi in a former ancient city which lies in the misty plateau
- Keep going in that direction and you will eventually get to the resort town of Pangandaran in West Java
West All points to Jakarta, including:
Northeast and out to sea
- Jepara for its laid back, coastal town vibe, furniture industry and jumping off point to explore Mount Muria
- Karimunjawa - A marine national park in the small islands north of Semarang
|Routes through Semarang|
|Anyer ← Pekalongan ←||W E||→ Kudus → Panarukan|