Semarang  is the capital of Central Java in Indonesia.
The city's name derives from the Javanese words "asem" and "arang" which literally translate to "scarce tamarind."
Semarang lies in the northern part of Central Java. It is a bustling mid-sized city with a population of 1.5 million. More a business than tourism destination, it nevertheless has its own charm with contrasting modern mid-rises, Dutch colonial architecture, Chinatown, and small "kampong" jutting against each other.
The city's weather is hot and humid, so wear light-coloured cotton clothes. You do not need a long-sleeved shirt, instead a T-shirt and knee-long trousers are comfortable. However, some places such as mosques (masjid) and temples require polite dress such as long trousers/skirts. Hot pants/mini skirts will attract people's attention in ways you might not like and might be considered impolite.
Semarang is off the tourist trail and knowing even basic Javanese or Indonesian will be helpful (and courteous), although younger educated people can often speak some English.
Semarang's Airport is Achmad Yani International Airport, quite nearby from the city centre. Daily flights are available to many major cities in Indonesia. Garuda Indonesia, AirAsia, Citilink, Lion Air, and Sriwijaya Air fly to Jakarta daily. Wings Air, Sriwijaya Air, Garuda Indonesia, and AirAsia also has a daily flight to Surabaya. Wings Air are also provides daily flight to Denpasar- Bali. Lion Air has also expand their flight route from Semarang to Balikpapan and Banjarmasin in Kalimantan. Trigana Air/Kalstar and Indonesia Air Transport also flies daily to Pangkalanbun.
Semarang is also connected to international destinations Singapore by SilkAir and AirAsia, and Kuala Lumpur by AirAsia.
Semarang is connected to Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya by train. Interestingly, there is no comparable railway service to Yogyakarta, although a railway line exists. The Argo Muria express connects Semarang to Jakarta, and with its relatively new equipment (2002), is very comfortable. The downside is the very early departure (05:00) to Jakarta. Overnight trains are also available. The fastest train between Semarang and Jakarta takes around 6 hours.
Bandung and Surabaya are also connected to Semarang with air-conditioned eksekutif (Executive) class trains.
There are two main railway stations in Semarang, Stasiun Tawang and Stasiun Poncol.
On the northern main line, between Semarang and Pekalongan, the railway line follows the coast line, providing passengers with beautiful views of the Java Sea.
Semarang can be reached by car from Jakarta. It takes around 10 to 12 hours depending on traffic. You can choose to leave early in the morning from Jakarta to arrive in Semarang in the next 12 hours or so. An over-night drive is faster yet more challenging and even dangerous for "Pantura", a non familiar with the roads driver. Pantura derives from "Pantai" which means Beach and "Utara" which means North.
From Jakarta you can take the Eastward route via Cikampek Toll-road. Go along the toll-road until your reach the Cikampek toll gate, take a left and you are in "Pantura Road". In Pantura road you have to follow the directing signs to "Cirebon", "Pekalongan", "Kendal", "Semarang" or "Surabaya" as those cities are eastward from Jakarta.
You will pass small towns such as Patrol, Jatibarang, and relatively bigger ones like Cirebon. Before entering Cirebon, you can take the toll-road, which will steer you out of the heavy traffic by-passing it all-together. That is, if you do want to avoid any traffic and do not intend to sight-see Cirebon. After exiting the Cirebon toll road, you will drive eastward along Losari and then you will pass Tegal, Pemalang, Pekalongan and Kendal before you arrive in Semarang.
Gas stations are abundant, you can see them almost every 5 or 10 kilometres along the road. They have toilet facilities. Pay Rp1,000. Beware of small or old gas station, they have poor lighting and terrible toilets. Choose a newer and bigger petrol station with good lighting, parking space and clean toilets. Please make sure that you have locked your car and do not leave your valuables unattended.
Many bus companies offer daily service from Jakarta to Semarang. You can choose to go in the day time with air conditioned from Pasar Rebo Bus Terminal in East Jakarta, Kalideres Bus Terminal in West Jakarta or from Lebak Bulus Bus Terminal in South Jakarta. The overnight bus with air con are also available with good services. You can choose bus operators such as: "Rosalia Indah" , "Raya", "Kramat Jati", Safari Dharma Raya  as the good reputed bus serving Jakarta to Semarang. Sometimes the bus route is Jakarta to Solo via Semarang. You can choose them too, but please remind the bus driver's assistant, (The person who checks your ticket on-board the bus) to wake you up in Semarang!!.
There is also the executive-class tourist transporter Central Java Transporter, ☎ +6285225993574 ([email protected]), . edit, that connects Jogjakarta, Solo and Semarang (hence the name). Joglosemar picks up tourists from specific hotels and provide snacks and water for your trip. Considerably pricier than other executive buses, it is more comfortable and provides a friendly service throughout the journey.
If you are on a group, you can also rent a "Tourist/Charter Bus"
Jakarta - Semarang and vice-versa, Is mostly a traditionally via-railway travelled route along the northern coast road ("pantura") or by plane. A trip by boat or sea vessel is uncommon due to its rare schedule and the length of the journey that takes too long compared with a train (approx 6 hours) and over-night bus (9 hours).
However, cruise ships occasionally spend a day in port. The port 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.
By mini bus/bus
There are plenty of mini buses (locally called angkot/daihatsu) and medium-sized buses called Damri in the city. These mini buses go to different destinations as follows:
- Damri No.1 Route: Terboyo-Banyumanik. Fare: Rp.6,000
- Damri No.2 Route: Terboyo-Mangkang. Fare: Rp.4,500
- Damri No.5 Route: Johar-Kompleks Perumnas. Rp.5,000
As 2008 Dishub Pemda Semarang operating Damri air con for Rp 5,000
The active corridors of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or called as Trans Semarang are:
- Corridor I: Penggaron-Mangkang (Red Line)
- Corridor II Pudakpayung-Terboyo (Grey line)
Fare: Rp. 350,000, students: Rp. 200,000
The other planned routes are:
- Corridor III Tembalang-Terboyo (Lime line)
- Corridor IV Banyumanik-Tanjung (Yellow Line)
- Corridor V Penggaron-Terboyo (Orange Line)
- Corridor VI Bandara A Yani-Terboyo (Pink line)
The mini bus has the route travelled written on the top-front of the bus. The route normally written in the form of 'origin-destination' and sometimes with ' VIA ' information if there is more than 1 mini bus with the same origin-destination but through a different route or path in between.
For example: Daihatsu Johar-Sampangan, means the origin is from Johar terminal and going to Sampangan and vice-versa. The fares for the mini-bus is around Rp.2000-3000.
Some popular places in Semarang that can be reached by mini bus/bus are:
- Pasar Johar, you need to board Daihatsu with the route Johar-Sampangan.
- ADA Siliwangi Supermarket, you need to board Daihatsu with the route PRPP-Klipang
- Tawang Train Station, Damri No.1 Terboyo-Banyumanik.
- Poncol Station, Daihatsu Semarang-Salatiga.
- Terboyo Bus Terminal, Damri No.1 or Damri No.2.
- Undip (Diponegoro University), Damri No.1 or Damri No.5.
Make sure you ask the conductor/driver of the minibus before you board, for the route it goes and whether it goes to the place YOU want to go.
Taxis are safe and comfortable - yet you have to stay alert, and reasonably priced (starting price, Rp5000). Recommended Taxi : Blue Bird, a bit expensive but has better reputation than other taxi companies.
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 pemuda), Jl Jatisari 1, Semarang 50235 (jl terboyo), ☎ 62-24-7460940. edit
- Centris Multipersada, Jl Majapahit 583, ☎ 62-24-6723624. edit
- Kosti, Jl Pamularsih 15, Semarang 50148, ☎ 62-24-7613333. edit
- Pandu Persada Saranamukti, Jl Kaligawe Km 4/46, ☎ 62-24-6591234. edit
- Puri Kencana, jl raya pemuda (trminal), ☎ 62-24-6705050. edit
Fuel for your car (if you rent a car) Petrol is available in 3 different choices, "Premium", "Pertamax" and "Pertamax Plus" for petrole fueled vehicles and "Solar" for diesel powered vehicles. Fueling is not a self service here, you can not dispense fuel yourself. The petrol station have their own employees who will fill-up for you and then pay them for the fuel.
Rent Car Company like Central Java Transporter, ☎ +6285225993574 ([email protected]), . edit
Rent A Car
Or you can rent a car, you can choose the most convenient car for get around.
List of Rent Car companies :
One of the temple buildings in Sam Po Kong temple complex, Semarang.
- Sam Po Kong Temple, Jl. Simongan No. 129, ☎ +62 24 7605 277. The beautiful Sam Po Kong temple (Gedung Batu) was built to honor the Muslim Chinese commander named Cheng Ho of the Ming Dinasty who visited Semarang in the early 15th century. It was extensively renovated in 2006 to celebrate the 600th anniversary of Cheng Ho's voyage to Semarang.. edit
Northern Semarang has a lot of old Dutch colonial buildings. This was where the old walled city was located. The wall is no longer there, but many of the old building remain, especially in the area called Kota Lama (The Old Town or Oudstadt). On certain months, this part of Semarang is flooded by the rising tide (called "rob" in Javanese).
- Tanjung Mas. A busy, important port during Dutch occupation (from 17th century to 1945). edit
- Gereja Blenduk, Jalan Letjen Suprapto 32. 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 edit
- Stasiun Tawang. The oldest major railway station in Java, completed in 1870. edit
- Simpang Lima. a vast square at the heart of Semarang. At night, you can eat, drink, or just wander around Simpang Lima. edit
- Taman Budaya Raden Saleh. at Jalan Sriwijaya No.29, is a beautiful garden located at the city centre. It has a total area of 89,926 square metres. Suitable for family recreation. edit
- Wayang Wong Ngesti Pandowo. Inside Taman Budaya Raden Saleh, Jl. Sriwijaya No. 29 Ki Narto Sabdho building. A weekly show of Javanese drama, with stories from folklore, mahabarata, ramayana, etc. edit
Semarang has a very good landscape, some say the best landscape thanks to its coastal area in the northern part of the city with Tanjung Mas as its international harbour and hilly area in the southern part streching from Candi area to Bukit Sari with picturesque Mount Ungaran at the background.
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.
Gunung Ungaran with its tea and jasmine plantation, Gua Kreo/Kreo Cave with its interesting stalactite and stalagmite formations and of course Marina at Tanjung Mas are the alternatives for those who have more than 2 free days in Semarang.
Tugu Muda is one of Semarang's landmarks. It is situated westward of Simpang Lima, on one of the 5 streets crossing Simpang Lima named Jalan Pandanaran. This monument commemorates the 5 days of fierce battle (October 14-19, 1945) between Indonesian freedom fighters and Japanese soldiers who refused to surrender.
Stained glass window viewed from inside Lawang Sewu.
There are some Dutch colonial buildings around Tugu Muda; the most famous one is Lawang Sewu which means A Thousand Doors. It was built as the headquarters of the local railway company. During World War II, it was used as the Japanese army's headquarters. Lawang Sewu's main attraction is its tall stained glass window. The building is now undergoing restoration although it is still open to the public. Tour guides are available at the building's entrance. Though reputed to be haunted due to the great number of executions there during WWII, Lawang Sewu remains one of Semarang's most prominent landmarks.
- Museum Ronggowarsito, Jl. Abdurrahman Saleh No. 1, ☎ +62-24-7602389, . 8:00-14:00, except on Monday. Javanese culture and art. Rp2.000 (Mar 2008). edit
- MURI (Museum Rekor Indonesia), Jl. Setiabudi no.179 Srondol, . Monday to Friday, 08:00-16:00. Indonesian Record Museum. edit
- Nyonya Meneer. Jamu (traditional Javanese drink) museum. Jl. Kaligawe. Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10:00–15:00.
- Mandala Bhakti. Military museum. Jl. Mgr.Sugiyopranoto Semarang.
- Water Blaster (Water Boom). Entry through Graha Candi Golf Real Estate, with its dazzling hills view and quite an exotic feels of high breeze.
- Catfish Park (Taman Lele). Kecamatan Tugu. Open daily. Facilities: children playground, cultural and art shows, animal shows.
- Marina Beach. North Semarang. Facilities: swimming pool, children playground, beach volley ball, water sports.
- Ngaliyan Tirta Indah, jalan Raya Ngaliyan Kecamatan Ngaliyan. Facilities: swimming pool, beautiful plantation, flower garden, sports centre.
- Puri Maerokoco and Kampoeng Laut. Tawangmas PRPP, a clone of TMII (Jakarta). Facilities: cultural and art shows, boat, water bike, small train, fishing pond.
- Sodong, 20 km from Semarang. Facilities: beautiful plantation, fishing pond, swimming pool.
- Mangkang Zoo, located in the West Semarang. It's newly opened. There a lot of animals here but it lacks public attraction.
- Semarang Fair, Jalan Sriwijaya no 29 Semarang. Visit this annual which showcases various cultural entertainment. It is held every July. edit
- Jateng Fair, at PRPP Marina, . Annual showcases of Central Java Promotions and Development. It's held between June and July. edit
- Wayang Orang Ngesti Pandowo, Jalan Pemuda. Watch Javanese theatrical performances edit
- Jaran Sampo, Tay Kak Sie and Sam Po Kong Temples. Attend the biggest ceremony of the Chinese community in Java, featuring a colourful procession and dances of decorated horses and 'liong' (dragon) edit
- Dug Der Festival, Johar, kota lama, polder tawang. Annual festival, one week before fasting month, or puasa. The name is derved from the sound of Bedug (Dug), and Bamboo Canon (Der). At the end of the festival there's "Ngarak Warak", means procession to brings Warak across the city's main street (normally from the Mayor's office to the Johar Market). Warak is a mythology animal, part giraffe, part lion, part chinese dragon, part horse part bird. It's the icon of the festival. You could buy the toy on the festival, normally these warak will be laying an egg, thus the name "Warak Ngendog". edit
- Semawis Night Market, Gg. Warung, Chinatown, . Weekly night market, during Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. You could walk along the Gang Warung, and enjoy the hawker style local food, also some souvenir from semarang. There's also annual, larger Semawis Market before the Chinese New Year. Check the website for more information. edit
- Semarang Speedway, Jalan Raya Marina Boulevard kav 88, kawasan marina, ☎ +62 81228509377. Semarang's newest addition, a modern indoor/outdoor go kart track with restaurant and bar on site. edit
Semarang is the hosts of some universities/colleges. Diponegoro University is the state university. It is the biggest and the oldest university with good reputed faculty of law, economics, medicine, architecture, engineering, fisheries etc. It hosts more than 10,000 students in its two campuses, Pleburan (in the downtown) and Tembalang in the southern hilly part of Semarang. Islamic University of Sultan Agung and Catholic University of Soegijapranata are major private universities in Semarang.
For business travellers, Semarang is a transit city where you only have a chance to see Semarang's bustling activities from a taxi or a hotel's window.
Semarang is also an industrial city. Many companies have opened their manufacturing plants in the eastern, western and southern parts of Semarang. For a foreigner who wants to work in Semarang, this is a good place because of its landscape. You can live in the hilly and considerably cooler housing area in Candi or Bukit Sari while you work in the downtown area. Traffic jams is considered to be fewer than in Bandung or Surabaya. For visitors from Jakarta, driving a car in Semarang is "heaven" for its many fewer traffic jams compared with Jakarta.
Semarang is the home of the biggest "Jamu" (means "javanese traditional herbal") industry such as Jamu Jago, Nyonya Meneer and others.
Most of Jakarta's major banks and companies have opened branches in Semarang. For its relatively close vicinity with Jakarta (only 40 minutes by plane and 6 hours by train), making Semarang enjoy its status as a major hub in Java island.
Currency used is Rupiah (Rp). You can find money changer in the downtown area, or simply get into banks and you will get fair exchange rate. Money changers and banks do not accept US$ bank notes issues before 1999 because of the experience in Indonesia if of many being forgeries.
Near the airport in Jendral Sudirman street, there is Money Changer "Golden Valasindo", which accept most of foreign currency including US$ bank notes issued before 1999. The phone number is (024) 766 32631.
Banks are open between 08:30 to 15:00.
You can visit some malls available in Semarang such as Sri Ratu (the first mall in Semarang from the 80's), Matahari Plaza, Ciputra Mall Java Mall, DP Mall and the Paragon Mall. There, you can buy batik (Javanese handwritten cloth), antiques and the traditional items in "Johar Market" or in Bahasa Indonesia called "Pasar Johar" (spell "Pa Saar Jouw Har). They have plenty of choices. Ask if you can get assistance from hotel staff or a travel agent staff to take you around Pasar Johar. It is also accessible by Angkot (vans) from Simpang Lima.
Semarang have many arts and crafts shops around the city. They normally sell Javanese arts, paintings and clothes including Batik. Some shops popularly visited by tourist are:
- Andika Art & Crafts Gallery, Jalan Puri Anjasmoro Street Block O-1/5., ☎ +62-24-7606123. edit
- Lia Gallery, Jalan Genade Selatan 2., ☎ +62-247498700. edit
- Goedang Art & Antique, Jalan Pemuda 37., ☎ +62-24-3564453. edit
- Galery Gerbang, Jalan Dr. Wahidin 56., ☎ +62-24-8447860. edit
- Pandjang Art Shop, Jalan Widoharjo 31A., ☎ +62-24-3541460. edit
- La Vogue, Jl. Pemuda. The city's oldest Antique shop located centrally at the heart of Semarang. edit
Many travellers buy Bandeng (locals call it Bandeng presto or Bandeng duri lunak, which is pressure cooked Milkfish), Lumpia Semarang (a kind of spring rolls with bamboo shoots filling), and Wingko Babat (sticky rice and coconut in a variety of flavours). You can get purchase any of these at either food stores called "toko-oleh oleh" (a lot located in street called "Jalan Pandanaran") or from street vendors/open stalls. If buying from street vendors or open stalls, you might look for those where locals go, as an indication of which ones are done right.
There are hawker-style food stalls and tents all across Semarang. They are very popular and offer good food at unbelievably cheap prices. Please note as they are not permanent establishments, they do not have phone numbers and exact address. However, they usually open in the same spots and at a regular time everyday. Also, as in any hawker-style establishments, hygiene is not a top priority here.
(Note: Unless stated otherwise, these food stalls only open after sunset everyday)
- Simpang Lima  in the heart of Semarang has plenty of food stalls offering variety of Indonesian and Javanese food. The prices are cheap, sometimes very cheap. You can eat 1 piece of fried chicken, a thigh or a leg, plus 1 plate of steamed rice for as little as Rp 10,000. You can also get into other tents to try other meals. Some of them offer "lesehan" or "sit down on a carpet" while eating your meal . Beef or chicken satay (grilled beef or chicken) is mouth watering, with peanut sauce and hot chili with "fried rice" or nasi goreng babat situated in "Air Mancur" or fountain, southward of Simpang Lima and in front of Diponegoro University campus is delicious.
- Along Jalan Pahlawan, south of Simpang Lima, you will also find many food stalls under tents, selling a variety of foods from "Gudeg" (Javanese steam sweet sour vegetables), Bubur ayam (Chicken porridge), Jagung bakar (grilled corn) and many others. Pamper yourself with plenty of good food, yet very cheap.
- Semawis is another place to go for hawker-style food. Located on Gang Warung in the China Town. It opens only weekend nights (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and has a variety of food stalls offering authentic Semarang cuisine and delicacies.
- "Jalan Pandanaran" is a street specialized for having numerous stores selling locally made "Semarang-ish" products worth getting for your loved ones and friends before you leave Semarang. Although parking is a bit of a hassle, it may only take you a minute or two to walk from where you are parked to visit these shops.
- Kalasan Fried Chicken in Simpang Lima offers good food at cheap prices.
- Koee Lekker Paimo Indonesian interpretation of dutch pancake, Jl. Karanganyar, in front of Loyola High School (a famous school in Semarang). Daytime, weekdays only (Monday - Saturday)
- Fried Tofu and Tempe of Prasodjo is also famous for their hot and fried tofu and tempe (soybean cake), eat them while it's hot with a green chilli named "rawit"
- Mbok Berek in Jalan Jendral Sudirman 58A offers a traditional Javanese fried chicked called Ayam Penyet (smashed Fried Chicken) served fried with coconut milk and local salads (lalapan).
- Nasi Ayam Bu Wido in Kemuning offers Nasi Ayam or Javanese Chicken Curry, Semarang style (open for dinner only).
- Bahagia (Happy), Jl. Gajahmada 85 C. Home-style chinese and sea food. The "mie goreng" (fried noodle) and "kee-kian goreng" (fried pork meat) are a must-try. edit
- Bentuman Steak, Jl. Taman Beringin No. 23. edit
- Bandeng Juwana Elrina-Warung (2nd floor), Jl. Pandanaran 57, ☎ (024) 831 1488. Serving different dishes of milkfish with local taste. GPS coordinates: -6.986428S, 110.413279E edit
- Elrina Restaurant, Jl. Pandanaran 83, ☎ (024) 831 0205. Serving different dishes of milkfish with local taste, chinese, and seafood. Air-conditioned. GPS Coordinates: -6.987110S, 110.415114E edit
- Bandeng Juwana Elrina  in Jalan Pandanaran (Jalan Pandaran no.57, (024) 831 1488) is one of the places for you to buy and bring home Semarang's traditional foods (open from 06:30-22:00 Sunday to Thursday, 06:30-23:00 Fridays and Saturdays). It ranges from "Bandeng Juwana Elrina -Bandeng duri lunak" (which is a ready to eat, presure cooked, well packed & soft boned milkfish) to wet or dried "Lumpia Semarang". They also sell Semarang's traditional "Wingko", which is a flame grilled coconut delicacy that is definitely a must-try and taste. Free sample tasting is offered at that store! They make it fresh everyday, under the name of "Dyriana", which is a name of a local bakery that is also affiliated with that store). GPS Coordniates: -6.986428S, 110.413279E
- Dyriana Bakery&Cafe, Jl. Pandanaran 51A (Go to Jalan Pandanaran, look for the big oval billboard sign that says Dyriana bakery and cafe.), ☎ 024-8318531, . 06:30-22:00. Freshly made baked breads with specific local taste (try the "roti pisang" or banana bread), cakes, and a nice cafe serving local hot foods and cold drinks.Air conditioned. (024) 844 5175. This bakery often has live demonstrations of traditional products being made right in the bakery (call first, often around 15:00-17:00). GPS coordinates: -6.986197S, 110.412804E affordable. (-6.986197,110.412804) edit
- Gama Ikan Bakar & Seafood, Jl. M.T. Haryono 870A (Go to Jl. A. Yani from Simpang Lima, go straight and turn right upon meeting a big Jl. M.T. Haryono intersection), ☎ (024) 8455005. 11:00-23:00 everyday. Traditional Indonesian seafood, providing both indoor and outdoor eating areas. GPS Coordinates: -6.995669S, 110.432475E (-6.995669,110.432475) edit
- Nglaras Rasa Jl MH Thamrin 124. Tel.: (62)(24) 8319 766. Indonesian fast food.
- Manggala food court, Jl. Gajah Mada (first traffic light from simpang lima, on the left side of the road). Food court of various food, indonesian, chinese, japanese, indian, western. edit
- Toko Oen Jl Pemuda 52, Bodjong, Semarang 50138. Tel.: (62)(24) 354 1683. A Semarang institution since Dutch colonial days. Famous for its ice cream, steak, and fried rice.
- Satay Pak Kempleng in Ungaran area is delicious and known for years for its big cut satay portion (open for lunch).
- Soto Bangkong (or Chicken Soup Bangkong) is well known for its delicious soto.
- Lumpia Gang Lombok, Lombok Street (Chinatown, next to Tay Kak Sie Temple). 7.00-last (morning). A Famous Lumpia in Semarang edit
- Ayam Goreng Salim, Pringgading (Corner of Mataram and Pringgading). Tasty fried chicken (12,15) edit
- Retro Cafe Semarang Kota Lama (Old Town / Little Netherland) Jl Garuda 24 , near by Gereja Blenduk (Church), Kota Lama Semarang. Artistic, unique and classic interior with antique collection. Indonesian food, modify western food, snack, variant beverages (traditional drink, juice, etc). FREE for open karaoke, photobooh, and WiFi internet access. Open everyday 11am-10pm Ph: (62)(24)3543624. (Price : IDR 4.000 - 27.000) Fb: retro Semarang ; ig: @retrocafesemarang ; twitter: retrocafesmg
- tungdeblang Resto, Jalan Sultan Agung 107 Semarang. . European, Asian & Indonesian Cuisine with A Semi-fine Casual Dining Concept, side by side with tungdeblang pool. edit
- Nori The Japanese Kitchen Lounge, Jalan Jangli, Semarang. Ask your taxi driver for Graha Candi Golf residence, it's located right at the main entrance. They have the best sushi in town. Contemporer Japanese dining with lounge-like ambience.
- Pringgading Restaurant, Jalan Pringgading 54. Chinese food with Indonesian flair. Yum cha on Sunday mornings. Always full, very lively and chaotic. Service not outstanding though.
- De Joglo Live Seafood Resto, JL S.Parman no. 76. Live and fresh Seafood. Venue styled as a traditional Javanese house ("joglo").
- Xiang Yuen, Grand Candi Hotel - Jl. Sisingamangaraja No. 16 Semarang 50232, +62 24 8416 222, . M-F 06:30-15:00 & 18:30-22:30, Sa-Su 7:00-15:00 & 18:30-22:30. Authentic Cantonese & Szechuanese. Rp 100,000-Rp 1,000,000
- Pesta Keboen, Jalan 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. edit
- Seoul Palace, Jalan Pandanaran 109 Semarang, +62 24 844 7414. Authentic Korean-style restaurant, with delicious barbecue, flavorful soups, and noodle dishes. edit
- Sisingamaraja Site, or popularly known as 'S2'. Across the street from the Hotel Grand Candi on Jl. Sisingamaraja. A modern and hip mix-use complex where people can hang out, drink, eat Japanese, Peranakan, or Western cuisine, or have coffee and desserts. There is also a gym on the second floor.
- Rinjani View, Jalan Rinjani No.12 (across the street from Hotel Candi Baru), ☎ +62248508541/42/43, . 10am-01am. Rinjani View is 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 connection is available. edit
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.
- Nori The Japanese Kitchen Lounge, Jl. Jangli (entrance to Graha Candi Golf complex). A great sushi joint and one of few places in town serving "sake", with live accoustic music on weekends. Can get very crowded though.
- Sakapatat Beer Garden & Resto, Jl. Diponegoro 24 (entrance on the road side). A popular venue in town for both the local crowd and the expats. A good place to chill out in the open bar and nice garden - with enough space even when it is rainy! Serves great burgers, western and traditional food items, as well as a decent selection of beer amongst which some Belgian ales. Live music on Wednesday and different events organized on a regular basis.
There are few bars and cafes around 'Simpang Lima' location (right in the downtown). After sunset, please avoid small tents selling homemade tea (teh poci) as lots of prostitutes looking for targets, especially rich looking travellers.
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). For more Wedhang:
- Istana Wedhang, Jl. Pemuda No. 125 (next to Novotel Hotel). A classic place to drink wedhang, this place provides various wedhang, and some local food like nasi goreng, nasi campur, etc.
- Es Kelapa Muda Kartika, Jl. MT. Haryono 83 (near to Bubakan). The most delicious young coconut drinks. Daytime only, just get there early because late afternoon they're most likely sold out already.
- Es Pak Jhon, located at warung infront of christian school at Dr Cipto
- On-On Pub, a Bar located inside oldish Hotel Candi Baru, Jl. Rinjani. A place to gather with other Semarang's expatriates.
- Black Canyon Coffee Bar, near On-On Pub. Stylishly designed, in front of Hotel Candi Baru. Cozy place but very crowded especially during weekends.
If you want to travel backpackers style, you can go to Jalan Kauman and you'll find a lot of hostels there.
- Arjuna Hostel, Jalan Arjuna 24 (Near Udinus University, Central Semarang near Tugumuda monument, Lawang Sewu), ☎ 085225843084. Rp. 70.000 per bed, 1 room only IDR 200.000 (4 bed/ 4 person). edit
- Imam Bonjol Hostel (price start from IDR 100,000 single room, IDR 150 000 for twin beds. IDR 190000 for triple beds, IDR 225000 (22.5US$) for Family 4 Beds, and IDR 310000 for Family 6 Beds), Jalan Imam Bonjol 177 B, ☎ +62 823 2624 9429 and 024 -740 39769 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 355 0563), . only 400 metres from Tugu Muda or Lawang Sewu & museum, 10 minutes walk to Paragon Mall, 12 minutes walk to Dp mall. 20 minutes from Airport,5 minutes from train station, 2 minutes from Jogja/ Solo Joglosemar Shuttle bus station. Free WIFI/internet, Air Condition, Hot water, free central java /city map, rent bicycle, rent car, 24 hour Indomaret Convenience store at based floor, fitness centre. Reservation also can be made by email edit
Anice, clean, and air-conditioned room in Hotel Bali and Rahayu at Jalan Imam Bonjol costs less than US$20. Basic fan room (several places offering those can be found near the big mosque at the northern end of Jl. Kauman) cost Rp 40,000-50,000.
- Rumah Ranting, Jalan Rambutan, ☎ +62 24 7073 7788, . This resort style Guesthouse has an unique atmosphere. (,") edit
- Sumi Hotel (Soft opening promo rate Rp 199,000), Jl. Gajah Mada No. 129, ☎ +62 24 8411403/ +62 24 8411404, . This smart hotel chain is professionally managed and offers comfortable, value-for-money, easy access and highly efficient accomodation. 1 minute from Simpang Lima, opposite Ciputra Mall, 20 minutes from Airport. Free Wifi edit
- Hotel Merbabu, Jl. Pemuda 122-124, ☎ +62 24 3547491, 3547492, 3554991, 3557982 (fax: +62 24 3547491, 3547492, 3554991, 3557982). checkout: 13.00. Rooms from single bed to family room for 4 people. Room facility (for standard rooms and above): air-conditioning, telephone, television, indoor bathroom, hot water. Also, a refrigerator for deluxe rooms and above. Rp50,000. edit
- Santika Hotel, Jl. Jend. Ahmad Yani No. 189, ☎ "+62 ([email protected], fax: +62-24 8414 083), . 2-star hotel in prime location. edit
- New Metro Hotel, Jl. Haji Agus Salim 2-4, ☎ +62 24 3547 371 ([email protected], fax: +62-24 3510 863), . Newly-refurbished 3-star hotel. Close to Pasar Johar traditional market. edit
- Candi Baru, Jl. Rinjani 21 (Start at Simpang Lima, the modern shopping centre. All taxi drivers know where this is. From here take Jalan Pahlawan, when it leads uphill it changes name: Jalan Diponegoro. After 500 metres you will see on the left a remarkable pink building with two towers. Here you turn right into Jalan Argopuro, past the post office, at a three-forked junction turn right. Another 200 metres and Hotel Candi Baru is on your left. Don’t confuse it with the Rinjani Hotel on the right.), ☎ +62 24 315 272. Another dutch colonial style-hotel in Semarang's hilly district. Also the host of OnOn Pub (an expatriat favourite gathering, so you could find some information about Semarang on their bulletin board) and Black Canyon Cafe, a Thai Cafe chain. edit
- Hotel Grasia-the Family and Convention (Hotel Grasia Semarang), Jl. S.Parman 29 (Coordinat 7.0'18S : 110.24'34E), ☎ +62 24 8 444 777 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 8 317 288), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Three-star hotel in Gajahmungkur (@the old european village area)--include: buffet breakfast,shuttle service from/to airport,car wash,WiFi internet hotspot IDR700,000. (15.00,) edit
- Grasia Hotel and Convention (Grasia Hotel and Convention Semarang), Jl. Guntur No. 7 - 9 (Coordinat 7.0'18S : 110.24'34E), ☎ +62 24 8 444 777 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 8 317 288), . checkin: 13:00. Three=Star Hotel in Semarang IDR700000. (15.00,) edit
- Hotel Muria-The Family and Convention (Hotel Muria Semarang), Jl. Dr. Cipto 73 (Coordinate 6.58'41S : 110.26'5E), ☎ +62 24 351 3622 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 351 5843), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. The two-star hotel near Chinese business area for the Family and Convention located in Rejosari Semarang--include: 6 representative meeting rooms,buffets breakfast, pick up service from/to airport, car wash,unlimited internet Hotspot IDR 450,000. (15.00,) edit
- Quest Hotel Semarang (Quest Hotel Semarang), Jl.Plampitan No.37 - 39 (Coordinate 6.97'83S : 110.42'27E), ☎ +62 24 3520808 ([email protected]), . checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:59. Located in the heart of Semarang, Quest Hotel Semarang is situated close to the famous Simpang Lima Business District and also the Chinatown district. It is 15 minutes away from the airport and 10 minutes away from the train station. Rooms are equipped with cable TV, safe and tea/coffee making facilities and have a private balcony. IDR 265000. (15.00,) edit
- Holiday Inn Express (Holiday Inn Express), (Coordinate 6.97'83S : 110.42'27E), ("""). checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:59. Also, Located in the heart of Semarang, this hotel is situated close to the famous Simpang Lima Business District and also the Chinatown district. It is 15 minutes away from the airport and 10 minutes away from the train station. Rooms are equipped with cable TV, safe and tea/coffee making facilities. The gym has modern equipment and the breakfast is western to go style. Cereal, eggs, sausage, muffins, coffee and a great open eating area. IDR 265000. (15.00,) edit
- Crowne Plaza Semarang, Jalan Pemuda No 118 Semarang, ☎ +62 24 865 79111 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 865 79100), . Managed by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), The Hotel is adjacent to Newest and Luxury Paragon shopping mall, 5 minutes to Tugu Muda / Lawang Sewu Historical building, 5 minutes to pusat jajanan and oleh - oleh at Pandanaran street, 10 minutes to Simpang Lima. edit
- Hotel Ciputra, Jalan Simpang Lima, ☎ +62 24 8449 888 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 8447 888), . Managed by Swiss-Belhotel, this hotel has an unbeatable location in Simpang Lima area overlooking the town square. It is connected to Semarang's largest shopping mall, Mall Ciputra. edit
- Grand Candi Hotel, Jl. Sisingamangaraja No. 16, ☎ +62 24 8416 222 (fax: +62 24 8412 688), . The only five-star hotel in Semarang, Grand Candi Hotel is in an upscale residential area on the hill. It is located next to a golf-course and has several excellent restaurants. edit
- Novotel Semarang, Jalan Pemuda No. 123 Semarang 50132, ☎ +62 24 3563 000 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 3584 252), . The latest international chain to open in Semarang, Novotel is in the CBD area. edit
- Horison Hotel, Jl. KH Ahmad Dahlan No. 2, Simpang Lima, ☎ +62-24-8450045 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 8419 009), . Located in Simpang Lima area, connected to Plaza Simpang Lima shopping centre. edit
- Patra Semarang, Jl. Sisingamangaraja (From Jalan Sisingamangaraja, turn into Jalan Ungaran. It leads straight to Patra Jasa Hotel), ☎ +62 24 8414 141 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 8314 448), . This resort style hotel is in the hilly area of Candi Baru edit
- Santika Premiere Semarang (formerly Graha Santika Hotel), Jl. Pandanaran No. 116-120, ☎ +62 24 8413 115, 8413 121 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 8413 113), . A four star hotel close to the city centre. edit
- Hotel Ibis, near simpang lima, 4 star hotel
- Hotel Gumaya, Gajah Mada, 4 star hotel
- Hotel Dafam Semarang, Jl. Imam Bonjol 188 Semarang, ☎ +62 24 3554111 ([email protected], fax: +62 24 3545111), . The affordable three-stars hotel for business and leisure travellers who seek new standard of comfortable accommodation. edit
- Best Western Star Hotel, JL MT Haryono 972 Semarang, 30242, Indonesia, ☎ +62 248644888 (fax: +62 2486448899), . 4 star hotel with rooftop infinity pool and poolside bar. Next door to Jawa Supermall. edit
Semarang's safety is considered moderate. The people are nice, to strangers. (Specially, western tourists); People are 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.
Everyone is urged to observe universal safety rules such as "only walk in the light-bright areas"; do not attempt to deal with prostitutes or trans-sexual prostitutes which are usually done under secluded and dark areas; female visitos are advised not to travel alone after 23:00 especially in unknown, dark areas, and sometimes even in residential areas. For precautions do carry mace or pepper spray. Only take 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 always want to seat close to the operator.
Tap water in Indonesia is not potable. So do not drink your hotel tap water unless you boil it first. Bottled water is very popular and not expensive, popular brand is AQUA, ADES, 2 Tang etc. You can find them in department stores and mini mart such as Indomart, Alfa Mart and even in small street stalls (usually in the corner of street intersection). In unfamiliar establishments or where you have no assurance of of sanitation standards, also take care with ice used in drinks.
Hospitals with 24 hours emergency rooms (ER):
- RS Umum Pusat Dr. Kariadi, Jl. Dr. Sutomo No. 16, Tel.: (62)(24) 413993, (62)(24) 413764, (62)(24) 413476.
- RS. St. Elizabeth, Jl. Kawi No 1. Tel.: (62)(24) 831 0035
- RS. Telogorejo, Jl. K.H. Achmad Dahlan, Tel.: (62)(24)446000.
- RS. Panti Wilasa Cipto, Jl. Dr.Cipto 50, Tel.: (62)(24) 546040.
- RS. Panti Wilasa Citarum, Jl. Citarum No. 98. Tel.: (62)(24)3542224.
Post offices are easy to find. DHL, TNT, Fedex and other international courier also available. Local courier and shipping company (also serving international courier and freight) is ELTEHA (LTH). Ask your hotel staff to help you dealing with these courier companies.
- Ambulance: 118
- Police: 110
- Central Java Police HQ. Jl. Pahlawan 1. Tel.: (62)(24) 831-1382
- Semarang Police HQ. Jl. Dr Sutomo 19. Tel.: (62)(24) 844-4444, (62)(24) 8418400
- Central Semarang. Jl. Brumbungan Tengah 41. Tel.: (62)(24) 354-5175
- North Semarang. Jl. Letjen Suprapto 45. Tel.: (62)(24) 6921275
- South Semarang. Jl. Sultan Agung 103. Tel.: (62)(24) 8315123.
- West Semarang. : Jl. Ronggolawe Selatan. Tel.: (62)(24) 7610698
- East Semarang. Jl. Majapahit. Tel.: (62)(24) 6710863
Tourism Information Centre 
- Jalan Madukoro Blok BB. Tel.: (62)(24) 7608570.
- Jalan Pemuda 147. Tel.: (62)(24) 3515451. Next to Novotel Hotel.
- Citibank, JL Pahlawan 5 phone 062 24 86459300
- HSBC JL Gajah Mada
- Standchart JL A Yani
- DBS jl pandanaran
- ANZ jl pandanaran
- Commbank jl gajah mada
- QNB jl gajah mada
- Hana Bank jl pandanaran
Semarang is the major hub city of Central Java. From Semarang you can go with Central Java Transporter, ☎ +6285225993574 ([email protected]), . edit to Dieng Plateau to a small town named Wonosobo for a one day sightseeing ancient hindu temples/candi in a former ancient city which lies in the misty plateau.
Alternatively, within one and a half hours you can go to Borobudur temple in Muntilan and then to Prambanan temple in Klaten and buy some antiques and batik in Yogyakarta. It takes less than 2 hours to drive from Semarang to Yogyakarta. Solo is also only a one and half hour drive from Semarang.
You can also go further southwards to some small towns like Ungaran, Salatiga, Ambarawa, Kopeng and Bandungan. It will take at least a one day tour but is really worth it. You will see beautiful scenery on the way between Semarang, Salatiga and the adjacent cities like Solo and Yogyakarta. You can reach Solo (sometimes called Surakarta) or Yogyakarta in less than 2 hours.
- Crimon Java some 48 miles north of Semarang, A marine national park in the small islands north of Semarang. Crimon Java is one of the districts of Jepara City.
- Kudus some 60 km northeast of Semarang, the centre of Indonesia's cigarettes industry, where some prominent manufacturers are located, of which 'Djarum' is the most famous.
- Jepara some 73 km northeast of Semarang and 36 km northwest of Kudus, full of nature tourisms (beach, tropic island, mountain, lake, forest, etc), historical building (it is Fort Japara XVI, Portuguese Fort, Mantingan Mosque, Angin Temple, Bubrah Temple, etc), universities, and famous for both its food street markets like "SCJ" (Shopping Center Jepara). Driving time: 1,5 hours.
- Demak some 35 km east of Semarang, There are famous grand mosque Demak, the grave of Sunan Kalijaga. Driving time: 20 minutes.
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