8 Cool Things to do in Solo, Java, Indonesia
This list of 8 cool things to do in Solo gives a short review of each of the things to do in Solo as well as links to more detailed reviews (where applicable), and advise on accommodation in Solo.
Solo (a.k.a. Surakarta) is a city in Central Java, Indonesia. It is about a 90 minute train ride north of Yogyakarta.
I arrived in Solo via train at about 1230 and after checking into my hotel (Laksana Inn) I met up with Ria (my friend). She picked me up on her motorcycle.
8 Cool Things to do in Solo
1. Batik Museum
The first place we went was the batik museum. This was actually much better than I though it would be and if I had taken more than one photo I would have written a review post about it.
In any case, it costs 35,000IDR to visit and you get a free guide. The guide was very nice with excellent English. He showed/told us (really just me because apparently Ria goes there often – she knew everyone there) all stages of making batik, the history of it, and we even got to see them making some.
I was guessing that tipping the guide was the done thing so I gave him 20,000IDR.
2. Pasar Klewer
After the batik museum Ria suggested the antique market and then quickly changed her mind saying that it wasn’t very good, so instead we went to Pasar Klewer which is basically a clothes market. She walked me through until we finished at a poster of a man holding a bra, which she was happy to show me. In fact, I think this was the whole reason we came there, because after that we left.
3. Slamet Riyadi
Slamet Riyadi is a street named after the man whose statue is located at the end of it. It looks as though the man was a revolutionary. In any case, it is a food street and also has a market across the road.
Solo has many of it’s own foods. We had already eaten lunch but in the evening we returned to Slamet Riyadi to eat nasi lewat.
4. Human Puppets
After dinner we went to what Ria called a human puppet show. It was the same idea as the puppet show in Yogyakarta but with real people. They had dancing (which I thought was pretty good), singing, music, and comedy (which I couldn’t understand because it was in Javanese, but others were laughing).
At the end of the second act they did a little dance representing a fight scene which I really enjoyed. We left after that, I figured to leave it on a high note.
5. Candi Cetho
The next morning we took a 1+ hour drive to Candi Cetho, a Hindu temple. While in Yogyakarta I neglected to go to any of the temples. My plan was to see them on my last day before I flew out, but after seeing Candi Cetho I was content with not needing to see any more.
6. Jumog Waterfall
Another thing I was going to do once back in Yogyakarta was to go see a waterfall, but Jumog was conveniently located close to Candi Cetho. Chances are I’ll still see another waterfall or two before leaving Java, and probably another temple also, but if I don’t I won’t be upset.
7. Pura Mangkunegaran
The next day we went to Pura Mangkunegaran. I was going to write a full post about this but essentially it was the same deal as the Keraton Sultan Palace in Yogyakarta. Perhaps a little smaller and much less tourists. It was good to have Ria there as she told me a lot of stuff about the place. The prince of Solo actually lives there. No-one seems to know where the king is.
Entry is 20,000IDR.
8. Pasar Gede
The last thing on this list of cool things to do in Solo is Pasar Gede. I had moved hotels that day and Pasar Gede was just down the road. It is probably the better known market in Solo as it is in the city center. Lots of fresh food and also some clothes and stuff. Mainly fresh food.
Getting To Solo (Surakarta)
From Yogyakarta you can catch a train.
0530, 0735, 0815, 0910, 0957, 1105, 1215, 1445, 1800
There’s more but the picture the owner of Villa Sambal sent me only went that far.
I just rocked up one hour earlier and bought a ticket on the spot (8,000 IDR). No assigned seats, just sit if there is space. The journey is about 1hour and 15 minutes.
The train from Yogyakarta goes to Solobalapan station but train to/from most other popular places will go to Purwosari station.
When I continued onto Semarang I took a bus from Terminal Tirtonadi.
Accommodation in Solo
Whilst doing all the cool things to do in Solo I stayed at two different places.
Cost: Double bed is 200,000IDR / night if booked on-line (costs more for walk-ins). Weekly and monthly rates available.
Address: Jl. Teratai 2 No. 11, Mangkubumen, 53171 Solo, Indonesia
The first place I stayed in was the Laksana Inn. It was fine. Clean, and adequate. Location was a bit far from the city but walking distance to the mall. It had a good restaurant right across the road. Cheap and nice food. I got woken up at about 5am every morning because of what sounded like a sermon (it was in Indonesian). The staff was nice. Cable TV, internet, small desk, air-conditioner and hot water shower. Room was a bit small for my liking. Only had just enough room to do yoga.
Cost: Cheapest room is 200,000IDR / night including a simple Indonesian breakfast (noodles or rice and tea or coffee).
Address: Jl. Urip Sumoharjo No.25, 57129 Solo, Indonesia. Phone: +62271632847
After two nights in the Laksana Inn I swapped to Hotel Trio. It was the same price as the Laksana Inn (200,000IDR/night) but much better. Large room, seat on the balcony, air-conditioner, TV (local), hot water (Indonesian style shower), clean, nice staff, free drinking water (hot and cold), excellent location, internet (temperamental), study desk, etc.
Maybe some people won’t like the non-cable TV or the Indonesian shower. These things are not important to me so the fact it was a much bigger room with a study desk makes me rate Hotel Trio much higher than Laksana Inn. Also, the TV has English movies at night.
Get the very best deal available at Hotel Trio or any accommodation you choose in Solo.
To get to either of these hotels I suggest using the GoJek app. The things to do in Yogyakarta post has more details on this app.
Got anything to add to this list of cool things to do in Solo? Let us know them (or anything else you want to say) in the comments 😀 .