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.
There are frequent buses from Yogyakarta, Solo and Semarang as well as the "travel" services, mini-buses that will pick you up and drop you off.
It takes around 1 hour to get to Salatiga, if you go from Solo or Semarang, and it takes around 3 hour if you choose to go from Yogyakarta. You can choose bus operators such as: "Rajawali", "Nusantara", as they are good reputed bus lines serving Semarang-Solo. Please remind the bus driver's assistant (usually male, the person who checks your ticket on board the bus) to wake you up or let you know when you get to Salatiga.
There are some bemo (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.
Merbabu, an inactive volcano which is more than 3000m high. Most people will head to nearby Kopeng which is about 20 minutes away by car.
Salatiga has a small shopping center named "Plaza Taman Sari" which is near the "clock tower" roundabout, between 2 main streets, Diponegoro and Jenderal Sudirman.
Salatiga is a small town, therefore there are not many attractions around. You might be able to visit a night market in the "town centre" (called alun-alun) at certain times though.
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.
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 Rp 10,000.
Tuntang (one of Salatiga's neighbouring districts) is close to the Rawa Pening lake shore, where you can find a group of lesehan grilled fish traditional restaurants. These kind of restaurants have some type of small "room" or "gazebo" where you can enjoy your meal privately, sitting on the floor (no chair). Indeed, the word lesehan literally means "sitting cross-legged on the floor".
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.
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 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)
Wahid Hotel and Laras Asri Hotel are possibly 3-star hotels. The Wahid Hotel is located near the clock tower and the Laras Asri Hotel is situated close to a major junction where a ring road and a "town-centre" road meets.
Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana (UKSW) offer a number of 2, 4 and 6 week courses in Bahasa Indonesia which feature homestays and cultural activities.
The area code for Salatiga is 0298.