Top 10 Things to Do in Solo City

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Discover a world of cultural wonders and authentic things to do in Solo City, Indonesia. 

Like its neighbor, Yogyakarta, Solo City (often called Surakarta) is still identical with a long history of monarchy government. Both Yogyakarta and Surakarta make their palace 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. The people of Surakarta elect the Governor of Surakarta.

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

Why visit Solo City, Indonesia?

Solo City, Indonesia, is a captivating destination showcasing Java’s rich cultural heritage. With its historic palaces, ancient temples, and traditional arts, Solo City offers a glimpse into Javanese traditions and history. The city’s vibrant food scene, renowned for its authentic Javanese cuisine, and reputation as a hub for batik and handicrafts further add to its allure.

Surrounded by natural beauty and known for its warm hospitality, Solo City is a delightful place to explore and immerse yourself in the unique charm of Indonesian culture.

Things to do in solo city
Things to do in Solo City – Keraton Palace. Photo by Fala Syam on Unsplash

Top 10 Things to Do in Solo City

Look Up to The Palace Closer

One thing you really must see is, of course, the beauty of Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta. This palace is a complex of buildings that still 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 to the public. The admission fee is only IDR 10,000 for domestic tourists and IDR 15,000 for foreigners (about USD 1.2)

Learn to Bargain at Klewer Traditional Market

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

Try Serabi, the original pancake in Surakarta

Serabiis may differ slightly from pancake, with its thick dough and flat shape. They combine the rice flour with coconut milk, making the pancake taste both savory and sweet. The thin, crispy crust surrounding it makes it even more tempting. The original Serabi from Notosuman is white and plain, but they also make more variants by adding toppings like chocolate sprinkles, slices of banana, and 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.

Learn The History of Cetho Temple

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

Watch the shadow puppet show

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

Getting Around The City with A Fancy Double Decker Bus

Department of Transportation Solo provides a double-decker bus that will take the passengers around the city to see the beauty of Solo City by paying IDR 20,000/person. This bus is called Werkudara Bus and is taken from a character in the Mahabharata story. Werkudara is described as a tall, brave, and undoubtedly doughty man, quite an apt name for this giant bus in bright red color. In the middle of the journey, there will be a time when passengers have to exchange their seats. 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 in Jalan Slamet Riyadi for a while, allowing passengers to get off and take pictures. Photo by Isti

Quench your thirst with Es Dawet at Pasar Gede

Pasar Gede means Big Market. Try to find Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi here. Finding this place is no easy feat 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 want to come back here repeatedly, lining up like all the others to taste 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 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 they are well worth the splurge if you appreciate painstakingly hand-drawn batik.

Batik in kauman, batik village, solo city, indonesia
A small alley in Kauman with a 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 life. 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 oldest bakery in town is the most famous place to have snacks and cakes. One of the tourists’ favorites 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.

Best Hotels in Solo City

Solo City, or Surakarta, is a popular destination in Central Java, Indonesia. It is known for its rich cultural heritage and beautiful landmarks. Here are some of the best hotels to consider for your stay in Solo City:

MAHALAYA The Legacy Hotel – Best Overall


Mahalaya Legacy Hotel Solo is a distinguished hotel situated in Solo city. It offers comfortable rooms with elegant decor and modern amenities, ensuring a pleasant stay for guests. The hotel boasts a range of facilities, including a swimming pool, fitness center, and spa, providing opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Guests can enjoy a delightful dining experience at the on-site restaurant, which serves a variety of local and international cuisine. The hotel also offers meeting and event spaces, making it suitable for business travelers or those hosting special occasions.

Check out the latest prices on *
Check out the latest prices on *

The Alana Hotel & Convention Center Solo – Best Luxury

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Alana Hotel Solo is a contemporary hotel located in the heart of Solo city. It offers a range of amenities including comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool with panoramic city views, a well-equipped fitness center, and multiple dining options. The hotel’s prime location near Solo Grand Mall and Klewer Market makes it an ideal choice for those who enjoy shopping and exploring the local scene.

Check out the latest prices on *
Check out the latest prices on *

The Royal Surakarta Heritage Solo – Best Mid-range

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The Royal Surakarta Heritage Solo is a luxurious hotel that combines Javanese and colonial architecture. It offers elegantly designed rooms, a swimming pool, spa, and multiple dining options. The hotel is conveniently located near attractions like Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta and Pasar Gede, making it a perfect choice for exploring Solo City’s cultural heritage.

Check out the latest prices on *
Check out the latest prices on *

Hotel Laksana Solo Managed By Dafam – Best Budget


Hotel Laksana Solo, managed by Dafam, is a well-regarded hotel in Solo city. It offers comfortable rooms and a range of amenities for guests to enjoy. The hotel provides a swimming pool, fitness center, and an on-site restaurant serving delicious meals. With its convenient location and attentive management, this hotel offers a pleasant stay for visitors to Solo.

Check out the latest prices on *
Check out the latest prices on *

How to get to Solo City

By Air
The closest airport to Solo City is Adisumarmo International Airport (SOC), which is served by domestic flights from major Indonesian cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bali. You can take a taxi or pre-arranged transportation from the airport to reach the city center, which is approximately 15 kilometers away.

By Train
Solo City has a well-connected railway network, and you can reach the city by train from various destinations in Java. Solo Balapan Station, a central railway hub, serves the city. There are regular train services to Solo City from Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and other major cities. Trains provide a comfortable and scenic way to travel and offer different seating classes to suit your preferences.

-> We recommend booking train tickets ahead at *.

By Bus
Solo City is well-connected by bus services from different parts of Java. Regular intercity buses operate between Solo City and major cities like Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, and Semarang. The journey duration and bus facilities may vary depending on the distance and the type of bus you choose.

-> We recommend booking your bus tickets ahead at Easybook *.

By Car
Solo City is accessible by road, and you can reach the city by private car or rental car
*. The city is connected to major highways, including the Solo-Yogyakarta and Solo-Semarang. The travel time and road conditions may vary depending on your starting point and traffic conditions.


Solo City offers a diverse range of experiences that are sure to captivate any visitor. From exploring the rich cultural heritage and historic sites to indulging in authentic Javanese cuisine and witnessing traditional arts, Solo City provides a unique and immersive travel experience. With its warm hospitality, convenient location for day trips, and the natural beauty that surrounds it, Solo City is a destination that should not be missed for those seeking an enriching and memorable journey through the heart of Java.

Travel Tips:
1. Book the best accommodations –* or *
2. Find the cheapest flight options that suit you – Skyscanner * or *
3. Rent a car in advance and make your trip more convenient – Rentalcars *
4. Make the most of the time that you have! Exciting excursions, professional guides, and more – Klook *
5. Book your train tickets online easily – * or bus tickets at *
6. Order ahead Indonesian Rupiah with the best exchange rate – Wise Travel Card *

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