Top 10 Locals’ Favourite Restaurants in Jakarta

Indonesia has been known well for its thousand kinds of local food. In Jakarta itself, you can find all the food from around Indonesia ranging from street food to restaurants. We locals love to eat out too in search of our own favourite foods. The restaurants here are mainly from Javanese and Balinese influence.

Eating out in Jakarta will definitely delight your palate with sweet and spicy dishes such as turmeric fish, fried duck with green chillies, mixed rice with all sorts of dishes, meat skewers and much more.

Here is a list of the top 10 locals’ favourite restaurants in Jakarta that you should try:

Café Batavia

This restaurant is located in the Kota Tua (Old Town) of Jakarta. Do not be surprised if see more foreigners than Indonesian people here. This restaurant preserved its colonial design and structure since 1837. Enjoy your seating in the classy wooden chairs with your selected local food such as Soto Betawi, Nasi Campur, or their signature Batavia Fried Rice.

Address: Jl. Lada No.14, RT.7/RW.7, Pinangsia, Tamansari, Jakarta Barat 11230

Café Batavia, Pinangsia, Tamansari, Jakarta, Barat
When foreigners and locals are hunting the same kind of cuisine at Cafe Batavia. Photo by Isti

Omah Sendok

Taken out from the Javanese language, Omah Sendok literally means “House of Spoon”. This restaurant used to be a house which has been turned into a restaurant. That is why you will find the authentic home ornaments such as its wooden chairs and tables. There is also a view of the pool while you enjoy your meal. I recommend to try Bandeng Priyayi, a dish made with milkfish with a touch of turmeric inside, covered with eggs on the outside, and served with crunchy crisps on the top.

Address: Jl. Taman MPU Sendok No.45, RT.8/RW.3, Selong, Kby. Baru, Kota Jakarta Selatan 12190

Bandeng Priyayi, Omah Sendok Baru, Kota, Jakarta, Selatan
The delicious Bandeng Priyayi. Photo by Omah Sendok

Bebek Kaleyo

If you ask the people in Jakarta about the best place to eat duck in Jakarta, they will definitely answer “Bebek Kaleyo!”. This place is especially for those who love spicy meals. The duck which can be a kind of tough meat can be found tenderly cooked here, with the taste of spices perfectly absorbed deep within. The favourite dish here is Bebek Goreng Cabe Hijau (Fried Duck with Green Chili). But if you still cannot live without red chillis, don’t worry as they are always ready on each table.

Address: Jalan Lapangan Roos No.49, RT.4/RW.1, Tebet Timur, Tebet, RT.4/RW.1, Tebet Timur,  Jakarta Selatan 12840

Best place to eat Duck Bebek Kaleyo, Tebet Timur, Jakarta Selatan
Spacious restaurant around Tebet. AC room is available at the corner of this restaurant. Photo by Isti

Smarapura Resto

Balinese food does not have to be enjoyed in Bali. It can be found in this capital city of Jakarta too. Just located not far from Bebek Kaleyo, Smarapura Resto has a homey ambience with a local touch of Bali. There are 4 wooden gazeboes adorned with typical Balinese fabric in its surrounding. The waiter and waitress here also wear a traditional Balinese suit. A famous dish from Bali you must try is Nasi Ayam Betutu. Another good option is Nasi Campur Bali.

Address: Jalan Tebet Timur Dalam II No.43, Tebet, RT.3/RW.3, Tebet Timur, Jakarta Selatan, 12820

Smarapura-Resto-Tebet-Timur-Jakarta-Selatan
Ayam Betutu, a grilled spiced chicken. Photo by Smarapura Resto Tebet

Mbah Jingkrak

From Bali, we move then to Java. Mbah Jingkrak is a restaurant which serves many kinds of Javanese dish with the typical taste of sweeti and spicy. The menu is displayed in the front and you may choose your own favourites here. There is also a live Javanese music called Keroncong every day starting from 7 PM until 9 PM here. Mbah Jingkrak is located in an ancient Javanese concept house. There is also a pool at the corner that contains colourful balls that you can use for your photo background.
Address: Jl. Setiabudi Tengah No.11, RT.1/RW.1, Setia Budi, Setiabudi, Jakarta Selatan 10220

Javanese food at Mbah Jingkrak, Setia Budi, Setiabudi, Jakarta
Mangut, fish spiced up with coconut milk and chili at Mbah Jingkrak. Photo by Andreas Surya

Dapur Solo

This is another Javanese restaurant which specifically serves a variety of dishes from Solo, Central Java. As the other Javanese restaurant, dishes at Dapur Solo comes laden with sweet and spicy. One of the most renowned food from Solo is Nasi Liwet or in Javanese, we call it Sego Liwet. Nasi Liwet is a kind of rice cooked with coconut milk and Indonesian herbs added with shredded chicken, cooked squash, boiled egg, and of course, sambal (chilli sauce).

Javanese restaurant at Dapur Solo, Melawai, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta, Selatan
Nasi Liwet in Javanese Restaurant Dapur Solo. Photo by @dapursolo1988

Address: This restaurant has few branches. One of them is located in Jl. Panglima Polim Raya No.1, RT.3/RW.6, Melawai, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan

Bunga Rampai

For some more Indonesian local cuisine, you should give this A-class restaurant which a Dutch architecture a visit. This restaurant is very popular among the expats around Jakarta. You will find the entire restaurant filled with luxurious furniture and wallpaper. For the food, you can try Nasi Buketan, a big portion of green rice accompanied with meat skewers, sweet fried potato, diced omelette, and chilli sauce.

A classy dutch style restaurant, Bunga Rampai, Menteng Kota, Jakarta, Pusat
Classy Dutch styled Indonesian restaurant, Bunga Rampai. Photo by Isti

Address: Jalan Cik Ditiro No.35, Menteng, RT.10/RW.5, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat, 10310

Bebek Bengil

Adopted from The Balinese language which means Dirty Duck, Bebek Bengil has been here in Jakarta since 2009. The first branch is originally located in Ubud, Bali. Their concept is actually to bring the Balinese ambience to this city. The signature dish here is the Crispy Duck served with stir-fried of string bean and bean sprouts. Don’t worry, the chilli sauce has been included in the package.

Address: The Ubud Building, Jl. H. Agus Salim No. 132, RT.1/RW.5, Menteng, Kota Jakarta Pusat 10310

Bebek Bengil, Menteng Kota, Jakarta, Pusat
Get used to the chili sauce just like the locals. Photo by Naotake Murayama

Sate Khas Senayan

This is one of the restaurants that has opened a lot of branches in Jakarta since 1974. Just like its name, Sate, meat skewers, is their main dish here. The decoration is dominantly filled with the Javanese touches such as the Wayang characters framed on each branch. Wayang is a popular puppet-shadow show in Java. If you visit Sate Khas Senayan, you should order Sate Ayam Campur which serves you chicken skewer layered with good fat and served with peanut sauce.

Address: They open so many branches in Jakarta. One of them is in Jl. Salemba Raya No. 59, Kenari Senen, RT.9/RW.5, Paseban, Senen, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta 10440

Sate Khas, Senayan Paseban, Senen Kota, Jakarta, Pusat
Chicken satay is placed above the compressed rice cakes. Photo by Aulia Masna

Kedai Tiga Nyonya

When we recall in memory of our grandmother’s cooking, we would go to Kedai Tiga Nyonya. Before you even enter the restaurant, you will see a window styled in typical traditional windows of Batavia (the previous name of Jakarta). You will also find some pictures of old generations framed on the wall with a touch of sepia colour. The recommended food from Kedai Tiga Nyonya is Ayam Siao. It is a chicken dish cooked with ketchup and a touch of kluwak (one of the typical herbs which can only be grown in Southeast Asia)

Address: TIS Square Kav. 8-9, Jl Mt Haryono, Tebet, RT.11/RW.5, Tebet Barat, Jakarta Selatan  12810

Kedai Tiga, Nyonya, Tebet Barat, Jakarta, Selatan
Grilled Gurame accompanied with Stir-Fried Swamp Cabbage and Some Sambal. Photo by : Rollan Budi

As previously mentioned, Indonesia has plentiful of local cuisine, so it might not be enough to just visit one restaurant to have a representative of the Indonesian food. So, get your stomach ready and choose what typical local cuisine you prefer. Do not forget to always order sambal, which is really mandatory to accompany any kind of Indonesian food.

Related articles:
Top 10 Indonesian Food You Must Eat
Top 10 Best Coffee Places in Jakarta – Locals’ favourite picks
Top 8 Vegetarian Food to Eat in Indonesia
3 days Itinerary in Jakarta

Top 10 Day Trips from Jakarta

Jakarta city may be really fun to visit itself, but if you have enough days, doing some day trips out of Jakarta would just be what you need. There a lot of opportunities to discover new sights or explore a new culture, all within the range of a day from Jakarta.

Our day trips from Jakarta covers from historical sites to tasting Indonesian food to exploring nature, be it mountains or the sea, from must visit tourist attractions to simple but fun local activities.

Here are our recommended day trips from Jakarta for you:

Enjoy Indonesian food in Central Bogor

Located 53 km south of Jakarta, Bogor will offer you with a wide range of Indonesian food. Recently, many new cafes and restaurants are mushrooming on the narrow streets of Bogor. Drop by the area of Taman Kencana, Central Bogor where you can find a row of great restaurants lined up along in one alley. There is a famous Kedai Kita restaurant which people go for their famed BBQ Grilled Pizza (Pizza Bakar BBQ). After that, don’t forget to get delicious desserts at Death by Chocolate or Klapertaart Huis.

How to get there: Take the train to Bogor station then you can take the public minivan (angkot). Pay IDR 4,000 and get off in Taman Kencana.

-> Check out our Travel Guide to Bogor
-> Read our Day trip from Jakarta – Bogor’s Botanical Garden, Cimory and Taman Safari

Grilled Pizza, Kedai Kita, Bogor, Jakarta, Indonesia
Grilled Pizza, the Signature Dish at Kedai Kita Bogor. Photo by Angels

Visit The Historical Sites in Cirebon

Another place in the West Java you have to visit is Cirebon. Cirebon offers you the richness of their culture and history. Visit Kasepuhan Cirebon Palace to see the relics from the Islamic Kingdom in Cirebon.

Also, satisfy your cravings by having a bowl of Empal Gentong which you can easily find around this city. Also before heading back to Jakarta, buuy some colourful Batik patterns in Trusmi Batik Village as souvenirs.

How to get there: You can take a car or simply take the train and have three hours journey from Jakarta. There are Cirebon Express and Argo Jati. Both are departing from Gambir Station. The ticket is only IDR 85,000.

-> Check out our One Day Trip to Cirebon from Jakarta guide

Kasepuhan Cirebon Palace, Keraton, Jakarta, Indonesia
Kasepuhan Palace in Cirebon

Shop and get around in Bandung

This city is quickly becoming one of the most popular places to visit in Java. Especially with the number of restaurant, café, factory outlet, and boutique that are growing rapidly in Bandung nowadays. Stroll along Jalan Riau where most of the boutiques are located. After that, head to Jalan Braga and Jalan Asia Afrika to dwell in old city ambience. Alternatively, get closer to nature with Bandung’s tourist attractions such as Situ Patenggang Lake, Tangkuban Perahu, and Keraton Cliff (Tebing Keraton).

How to get there: So many bus options can take you to Bandung. If you want to sit more comfortable and private, you may choose to use elf. The price is considered to be still affordable with around IDR 90,000-IDR 100,000.

-> Read our Travel Guide to Bandung, Java
-> Check out Top 10 Things to Do and Must See in Bandung
-> Don’t miss out Top 10 Best Food to Eat in Bandung

Tebing Keraton, Bandung, Jakarta, Indonesia
Great Morning View from Tebing Keraton at Bandung. Photo by Isti

Find beautiful beaches in Banten

Banten is another area that is easy to reach, with approximately 3 hours drive from Jakarta. Since Banten is located in the lowlands, there are several beaches you can visit. Our favourites are the Sawarna Beach, Tanjung Lesung Beach, and Sangiang Island. After getting your skin tanned at the beach, you can move on to learn some history in Old Banten (Banten Lama). Here, visit the Keraton Kaibon which was built in 1815 and then destroyed by the Dutch in 1832.

How to get there: Take a bus going to Merak or Cilegon, Jakarta to Serang from only IDR 28,000 (as of 2017).

The Ruins of Keraton Kaibon, Banten, Jakarta, Indonesia
The ruins of Keraton Kaibon in Banten. Photo by Isti

Dive and snorkel at Thousand Island

Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu) does not literally consist of thousand of islands, it has approximately 342 islands. One of the most visited islands here is Pulau Harapan, which 4 hours away by ship from Jakarta. People say this island has the best snorkeling spot in Thousand Island. If you find snorkeling is not enough, then you have to explore more by diving deep under where you will find underwater paradise. You can also visit turtles in a sanctuary in Pulau Kelapa Dua and eagle care in Pulau Klotok.

How to get there: You can depart from Muara Angke by paying IDR 50,000 only or from Marina Ancol using a more luxurious boat with a more expensive ticket.

Pulau Harapan, Pulau Seribum Thousand Islands, Indonesia
Pulau Harapan of Thousand Island (Pulau Seribu). Photo by B10m

Explore the unique Baduy Tribe

Baduy is located in Lebak Regency. This tribe decided to live without electricity or any vehicles. They also do not use shampoo or soap. They chose to stay by these rules and not follow any form of modernity. Baduy is divided into two area, Inner Baduy (Baduy Dalam) and Outer Baduy (Baduy Luar). If you want to experience this unique way of living without modernity, then you should take a look to Baduy Dalam. Baduy Luar is the gateway to Baduy Dalam.

How to get there: You can take the train to Rangkasbitung from Jakarta’s Tanah Abang station. Then transit at Aweh Terminal and continue your journey to Ciboleger Terminal, the entrance gate to Baduy Tribe

Traditional House, Sulah Nyanda, Baduy, Lebak Regency, Jakarta, Indonesia
Traditional House, Sulah Nyanda in Baduy. Photo by Hendry Sudarman

Take amazing photos at Gunung Pancar

Gunung Pancar is an area surrounded by pine trees in Sentul, West Java. You can also camp and enjoy your leisure time by hammocking here. If you venture further into the national park, you will find spring water which is one of the source of clean drinking water for the local people.

How to get there: It takes only two hours drive from Jakarta city. Use Jagorawi toll road and exit in South Sentul. A direction map will take you easily to reach Gunung Pancar.

Tall Pine trees in Sentul, West Java, Indonesia
Pine trees of Gunung Pancar, West Java. Photo by Isti

Head up to Puncak (The Peak) for tea plantations or paragliding

Puncak might be the destination where most of the local people go on the weekend. Therefore, a tip is to know when the one-way road system is conducted. Usually, starting from 09.00-11.30, it will be only one-way direction up to Puncak while the one way down back to Jakarta is from 15.00-17.00. Enjoy the vast view of tea plantations or visit the strawberry garden at Berry Farm. For those who like a more challenging experience, try paragliding here!

How to get there: It will be simple to take a car. Use a long toll road and exit in Ciawi.

Tea plantations, Green View, Puncak, Jakarta, Indonesia
Tea plantations at Puncak. Photo by Irman Fauzi

Picnic at Selabintana

Another place which can be reached just 120 km from Jakarta is located at the foot of the Pangrango Mountain. Surrounded by big pine trees, it is really fun to picnic here in the greens. Roll out your picnic blanket and bring some of your own favourite snacks. Else you can also try the popular food from West Java here called Cuanki, a dish consists of tofu, meatball, and dumplings.

How to get there: Get on the bus heading to Sukabumi Terminal and then take angkot number 15. You will arrive right in front of the entrance of Selabintana.

The tasty Cuanki at Selabintana, West Java, Indonesia
Get one of the tasty Cuanki at Selabitana. Photo by Budi Nusyirwan

Fishing or boating at Situ Gunung

Another charm of West Java nearby Jakarta is this artificial lake called Situ Gunung. You can go for fishing and boating here to enjoy its tranquillity. You can also just sit at the lakeside and observe how local people pull in the trawl to trap the fishes. If you are feeling active, you can jog uphill for 4 km to Curug Sawer. Be prepared to get some swimming in too under the waterfall.

How to get there: Go to Bogor Station to take the train to Sukabumi. Get off at Cisaat Station. It is advisable to rent a public minivan to reach Situ Gunung for convenience, at estimated price of about IDR 80,000. A minivan can take up to 8 people.

A Man Fishing with Traditional Net, Situ Gunung, West Java, Indonesia
A local fishing with the traditional net at Situ Gunung. Photo by CIFOR

Making a journey to these places near Jakarta will is definitely a good idea to get away from the hustle and bustle of Jakarta city. It is sometimes a welcome break or sometimes a much sought for adventure. These places are easily visited in a day from Jakarta and much recommended!

Related articles:
Top 10 Things to Do and Must See in Jakarta
Jakarta Travel Guide
Top 10 Things to Do in Java Island
Itinerary for one week from Jakarta around Java

Top 10 Bali Honeymoon Ideas – Things to Do and Places to Visit

Many people come does their honeymoon in Bali and to no surprise as the place is full of facilities for pampering and romance while still holds the charm of novelty and history. Also most notably is the beautiful beaches, sea, rice terraces and mountain views. It is no wonder that many come here together in a pair to be delighted in all senses as they start their journey of life together.

As wedding is probably the only big thing in your mind or you are still fresh from it but both of you do not want to take up any of those Bali honeymoon packages, you are in the right place as there are many romantic things to do in Bali.

Here are some honeymoon ideas for you to serve both of your delights.

-> Or jump to see the Best Honeymoon Accommodations in Bali

Massage and Spa, Bali Honeymoon, Indonesia

Pamper your loved one with massage and spa. Photo by eGuide Travel

Balinese Massage and Spa

Pamper yourself and your spouse with the best of Balinese massage to loosen up yourself and dissolve any stress. Then continue with an indulgence of 1-hour spa treatment to smoothen the whole experience. There are many choices of aromatics to choose from to enhance this entire indulging experience. You can be sure that both of you would be in the best mood after the entire honeymoon.

Enjoy romantic dinners together

There are many romantic dinner ideas to choose from in Bali, from eating under moonlight by the beach to candlelight dinner in restaurants beside a pond and uncovered beautiful starlit sky. Few of the choices are the Jimbaran seafood dinner by the seaside or the SeaSalt restaurant dinner set by the floating lotus pond.

Sunset Dinner, Bali Honeymoon, Indonesia

Sunset Dinner at your Bali Honeymoon. Photo by Catriona Ward

Cruise the crystal sea of Bali

Touristy as it sounds, a cruise is still quite ideal for a honeymoon activity. Imagining sailing out into crystal clear sea with clear blue sky while visiting some remote islands, have a beautiful sunset dinner on the cruise before heading back home in the dark cuddling together while enjoying the starlit sky above.

-> Romantic Bali Sunset Dinner Cruise at City-discovery.com *

Soak in natural hot springs

Indulge yourself once again by soaking in the Banjar hot spring. The picturesque setting here offers two main pool of gushing warm sulphur water from the mouths of dragon (local call it Naga) in the middle of a lush tropical garden. Your spouse and you will be transported back in time and feels like King and Queen that are enjoying their afternoon bath.

Hot springs, Bali Honeymoon, Indonesia

Steamy hot springs. Photo by Prince Roy

Invoke senses at Coffee Plantation

Time to invoke your other senses by going to the Agra coffee plantation to do some coffee tasting. This zen-like place is for you to sit back and slowly appreciate your cup of coffee together while overlooking coffee plantations that roll out as far as the eye can see. You can also see the process of how the famous and expensive Kopi Luwak are made and even the civet cats themselves. If both of you enjoys good coffee, this would be a plus to appreciate it together.

-> Find romantic Bali hotels at Booking.com *

Trekking the rice terraces

Besides all the indulgence, both of you can set out to do some light trekking together through the rice fields, villages and plantation towards Tirta Gangga to enjoy the dramatic view. Tirta Gangga means water of Ganges and is a sacred water palace built back in early 20th century. This light yet interesting trek offers rolling hills of rice terraces, dramatic limestones as a backdrop and water features cutting through the scene.

Trek rice terraces, Bali Honeymoon, Indonesia

Trek the rice terraces together. Photo by McKay Savage

Explore Bali on a bicycle

Another activity to enjoy together is to take a leisure bicycle ride out to explore Bali. Take the ride through quiet villages of Bongkasa or the rice fields, plantations and small village roads. Or just throw out the map and get lost together, it will be a good partnership bonding to explore together and let serendipity takes place. These Bali villages has been quite a tourist attractions nowadays after the beauty of it has been discovered.

Frolic in the beach

Back to relaxing, go to many of the beautiful beaches of Bali and just frolic together under the sun. Choose from the top 10 best beaches of Bali or if you want more privacy, you need to venture further out to secret beaches like Nyang Nyang beach in Bali, though harder to get to, the privacy is worth it especially for honeymooners!

Frolic in the beach, Bali Honeymoon, Indonesia

Frolic in the beach. Photo by Adhi Rachdian

Cook delicious Balinese food for each other

Take up one of the many cooking lessons in Bali and make each other authentic Balinese food. Some cooking class will have you visiting traditional food market to learn of the ingredients before learning how to cook them. After that, you can sit down and find out who among you two is best to do the cooking for the rest of your lives.

Enjoy some of Bali’s tourist attractions

There are many tourist attractions in Bali and after all both of you are here for a holiday, it would not be truly complete without visiting some of the important sites. We have a list of Top 10 Must Visit Places in Bali for you to choose from and you can both decide which ones that you may be interested in. If you all are into temples, we also have a list of Top 10 Bali’s Best Temples. Enjoy some sightseeing before leaving Bali!

Bali Honeymoon Indonesia

Bali Honeymoon. Photo by closari

As you can see you do not need to take up Bali honeymoon packages just for ultimate happily ever after experience. Most important of all is just the two of you enjoyed together, it would be fun also to customize it together and enjoy a free and easy honeymoon that leaves a lot of room for romance and serendipity. Here’s to an unforgettable Bali honeymoon with the ideas above.


Best Honeymoon Accommodations in Bali

Booking.com is my favourite site to book a place Bali when I am planning my trip. The main reason is that most of the bookings can be cancelled right up to the trip, allowing flexibility.
Agoda.com is another good choice for me because they have the most extensive hotel listings in Asia.

Here are our recommendations of the best accommodations for your honeymoon in Bali:

  • The Oberoi, Seminyak
    For those who are looking for privacy and to splurge for a honeymoon or special occasions. With quick access to Seminyak beach, this Balinese inspired accommodation is built on 15 acres of tropical gardens. The Frangipani Cafe inside here is famed for its cuisine. Notable are their open-air massage pavilions and outdoor pool overlooking the ocean.
    Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
    Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
  • Amarterra Villas Bali, Nusa Dua
    For those looking for a dreamy villa in a sanctuary within Bali, this hotel comes with a beautiful pool surrounded by Balinese styled modern villas. The stylishly designed hotel grounds, with rattan and thatched verandah and lots of greens, would make you almost not wanting to leave the place, even though it opens up to a beautiful beach. The service is well rated and it also comes with free shuttle and private pool.
    Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
    Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
  • Samabe Bali Suites & Villas, Nusa dua
    For those on a honeymoon, this 5-star luxurious villa will bound to impress your better half. Offering suites with an uninterrupted view of the ocean plus a romantic bath with glass enclosure, this villa promises privacy and relaxation with style. It also comes with 24-hour butler service and free flow alcohol among many other extras.
    Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
    Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
  • St Regis, Nusa Dua
    For those looking to splurge on their honeymoon or important trip, this hotel delivers the experience with style. Ranging from villas to suites, there is one that would meet your needs and appetite. The setting is like a dream with thatched roofs, palm trees and running pool overlooking the ocean. To top it off, it comes with impeccable service, sumptuous breakfast at the famous Boneka restaurant and amazing spa in an overall uncrowded hotel.
    Check out the latest prices on Booking.com *
    Check out the latest prices on Agoda.com *
-> See Best Resorts and Hotels for Honeymoon in Bali

Related articles:
Top 10 Must Visit Places in Bali
Top 10 Best Beaches in Bali
Top 10 Best Restaurants in Bali
Top 10 Best Areas to Stay in South & Central Bali

10 Things to Do and Must See in Solo City

Just like its neighbour, Yogyakarta, Solo (or often called Surakarta) is also still identical with a long history of monarchy government. Yogyakarta and Surakarta both make their palace as the center of cultural development and preservation.

Furthermore, the palace is also a symbol of the king’s power. Unlike Yogyakarta whose Sultan is still automatically elected as the governor, Solo has another governor who runs the city. Governor in Surakarta is elected by the people in Surakarta.

If you are coming to Solo, here are some suggestions you might put on your to-do list.

Look Up to The Palace Closer

One thing you really must see is, of course, this beauty of Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta. This palace is a complex of buildings that still runs a function as a residence of Sri Sunan Pakubuwono and palace households that conduct royal tradition until today. Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta Is open for visitors from 09.00 AM-02.00 PM except on Friday, Keraton is closed for public. Admission fee is only IDR 10,000 for domestic tourists and IDR 15,000 for foreigners (about USD 1.2)

Keraton Surakarta, Solo, Indonesia

A majestic view of Keraton Surakarta at night. Photo by Isti

Learn to Bargain at Klewer Traditional Market

It is still typical of Indonesian habit to haggle at a traditional market to have a better price. The most wanted market to see is this Klewer Market (Pasar Klewer) which is located near Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta. You can just walk on foot to get here. This market offers you thousands of stores selling fabrics, batik, jewellery, trinkets, even puppet leather. FYI, Klewer Market was damaged by massive fire back in December 2014. Now, though you may not be able seeing how this authentic market looks like, you can still find many Javanese pieces of stuff here at the new face of Klewer Market.

Pasar Klewer in Solo city, Indonesia

Gate to Pasar Klewer in Solo city. Photo by Benny Lin

Try Serabi, the original pancake in Surakarta

Serabiis maybe slightly different from pancake you know with its thick dough and flat shape. They combine the rice flour with coconut milk which finally makes the pancake tastes both savoury and sweet. The thin crispy crust surrounding it makes it even more tempting. The original Serabi from Notosuman is actually white and plain but they also make more variants by adding some toppings like chocolate sprinkles, slices of banana, and also jackfruit. You can find many Serabi mongers on the side street along Jalan Slamet Riyadi but the one with its legendary recipe since the 1920s is here in Jalan Mohammad Yamin No. 28.

Original Pancake, Serabi, Surakarta, Solo City, Indonesia Original plain serabi with no topping.. Photo by Herman Saksono

Learn The History of Cetho Temple

This temple is located in the area of Gumeng village, Karanganyar regency, which is 36 km away from the city center of Surakarta. One of Javanese-Hindu temple which is still undamaged by years since Cetho Temple was built around 15th century. Pay attention to the every inch of its beautiful cravings accompanied by the mild breeze coming from such plantation complex nearby.

Cetho Temple, Surakarta, Solo City, Indonesia
A misty morning in Candi Cetho. Photo by Andrey Samsonov

Watch the shadow puppet show

If what you only know so far is just shadow puppet show, you also have to attend this special show which brings the puppets alive. Wayang Orang, which literally means Human Puppet will show you group of real human act out characters based on various forms of drama. The story is mostly adapted from Javanese version of Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata. Human Puppet Show is run daily from Monday until Saturday on 8 PM. The ticket fee is only IDR 10,000. Just go to GedungWayang Wong in Sriwedari, Jln. BrigjenSlametRiyadi No. 275, Surakarta.

Human Puppet, Sriwedari, Surakarta, Solo City, Indonesia
See the group of people playing their characters at the stage in Sriwedari. Photo by Chris Lewis

Getting Around The City with A Fancy Double Decker Bus

Department of Transportation Solo provides double decker bus which will take the passengers going around the city to see the beauty of Solo city by just paying IDR 20,000/person. This bus is called Werkudara Bus and it is taken from a character in Mahabharata story. Werkudara is described as a tall, brave, and certainly doughty man, quite an apt name for this giant bus in bright red colour. In the middle of the journey, there will be a time when passengers have to exchange their seat. If you have first chosen a seat in the upper deck, then you must come down halfway to a seat in the lower deck.

Werkudara Bus, Jalan Slamet Riyadi, Solo City, Indonesia
The bus will stop for a while in Jalan Slamet Riyadi, giving chance for passengers to get off and take pictures. Photo by Isti

Quench your thirst with Es Dawet at Pasar Gede

Pasar Gede literally means Big Market. Try to find Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi here. It is no easy feat to find this place because it is only such a small kiosk. The stall can only accommodate six customers at the same time. Do not ask how it tastes like, just go and try it! Trust me, you would be wanting to come back here again and again, lining up like all the others for a taste of this addictive sweetness. This Es Dawet consists of cendol (green pulpy dish of rice flour), tape ketan (fermented glutinous rice), bubur sumsum (rice flour porridge), and with the main ingredient telasih/selasih (basil seeds).

PasarGede, Solo City, Indonesia
Enjoying a bowl of EsDawet at this small kiosk. Photo by Isti

Hunting Batik in Kauman Batik Village

There are actually two Batik villages in Solo, Laweyan and Kauman Batik Village. The nearest one to the city center is the Kauman batik village. Here you can find local houses with parts of it converted into a boutique. You are also able to watch the batik making process here. As you know, the stamped batik (batik cap) is cheaper as they are easier to make. But if you appreciate batik that is painstakingly hand-drawn, then they are well worth the splurge.

Batik in Kauman, Batik Village, Solo City, Indonesia
A small alley in Kauman with side to side boutique offering batik fabrics and clothes. Photo by Isti

Find Cool Spots Around Post Office

When night comes, the area around Solo Post Office comes to live. People, mostly youth, gather around here just to spend their night. It is also popular to get the best angle shot of the classical buildings here or the passing by vehicles as your downtown background.

Cool Spots around Post Office, Solo City, Indonesia
This direction sign board will help you not to get lost. Photo by Isti

Mandarijn Cake For Your Family and Friends

The most famous place to have snacks and cakes is in this oldest bakery in town. One of the tourists’ favourite is their Roti Mandarijn (Mandarijn cake) which has two layers, yellow at the top and dark brown at the bottom. Pineapple jam glues both these layers together.

Roti Mandarijn, Solo City, Indonesia
Variants of Snacks and Cakes You Can Choose Here. Photo by Jeffrey Beall

Solo is known as the “Spirit of Java”, and for a reason I am sure. You should put this city into your next destination wish-list when you visit Indonesia and find out if what they say is true. I personally agree!