Solo has been an essential centre of Javanese culture and heritage since its heritage as the heart of the Mataram kingdom in 1745. Solo (also known as Surakarta) has an exciting assortment of items to see including the 18th century Puri Mangkunegaran palace, museums, temples, cultural dance displays, and musical performances though conservative, and lesser travelled than Yogyakarta. A significant textile centre, Solo is the place to pick up local crafts and several Indonesia’s most fabulous batik fabrics.
Solo is a launch point for exploring the countryside of Central Java, a lush, mountainous area with a rich and varied agricultural landscape. Spots throughout the city offer views of the volcano, Mount Merapi. The magnificent Borobudur and Prambanan temples can be easily visited on a day excursion, and right road and rail links offer easy accessibility on Java to other cities, such as Semarang and Yogyakarta.
Solo’s abundant history as the centre of an ancient kingdom of Solo is on display in a number of its famous areas. The Kraton Surakarta is the palace for Pakubuwono II (Solo’s first king), who established his courtroom in 1745. Practically destroyed in a fire in 1985, the palace was restored, and a few features including the Panggung Songgo Buwono tower have kept their original glory. The second significant palace Puri Mangkunegaran, established by the descendants of Pakubuwono II in 1757 of Solo, includes a mix of design and Javanese, with a gorgeous ceiling adorned with zodiac figures. Its museum has a superb collection of royal artefacts including elaborate jewellery masks and dancing costumes.
Masjid Agung mosque, built-in 1794, is just one of the Solo places of worship using traditional Javanese design. Sahasra Adhi Pura, the modern Hindu temple in Solo has on-screen versions of some 50 fundamental religious structures from all over the world and might be a centre for Kundalini yoga. Some museums worth seeing are Danar Hadi, with batik displays, the Radya Pustaka Museum for traditional performance items like puppets and gamelan instruments, and Dullah museum for the art gallery.
Solo Dining & Restaurants
Solo’s dining landscape is inseparable from its lively street life, where a lot of the town’s most tasty dishes are served fresh from open-air restaurants and food stalls. Solo’s most common street-food meals include nasi gudeg (spicy chicken with jackfruit and rice), nasi liwet (rice with coconut milk, papaya and garlic), bakso solo (meatballs) and timlo solo (beef and vegetable noodle soup).
Fantastic spots to find a massive selection of local fare include the food courts at Solo Grand Mall or Galabo, equally on Jalan Slamet Riyadi. Moreover, along the same street is Adem Ayem, a place famous for its reasonably priced fried or gudeg-style poultry dishes. For Western meals, try kinds of pasta and wood-fired pizzas at O Solo Mio Italian restaurant. If you want to try unusual food, Mas Mul restaurant on Jalan Veteran features an unfamiliar menu item: snake. Please choose one from a tank containing a selection of the live writhing creatures, then ask for it to be prepared as a stir fry or satay snack.
Solo is situated in Central Java. The town is well connected with air, train, and bus links to other cities in Indonesia.
Adi Sumarmo airport in Solo welcomes frequent flights from Jakarta on local air carriers, as well as from two global destinations: daily flights on AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and thrice-weekly flights to and from Singapore on SilkAir.
By bus, several daily economy bus trips are arriving at Solo’s Tirtonadi bus terminal, about 3-kilometres away from the Solo city centre. Here, there is an economy (mostly non-air-conditioned) bus service linking Solo to Yogyakarta, Semarang, and Prambanan in Central Java, as well as East Java destinations such as Surabaya and Malang. Nearby is the Gilingan minibus terminal offering express service on air-conditioned minibuses to and from the same destinations.
Solo is on the main train line which connects Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and Surabaya, with frequent daily express and business-class trips arriving and departing from Solo’s Balapan train station. Economy-class service to Surabaya and Jakarta can be arranged at Jebres train station. Suppose you have a lot of time to spare, the slow trip with the train may be recommended for you.
Before you plan a trip to Solo, make sure to research more about Solo and Indonesia by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.