Advertise with us

Versi Bahasa Indonesia:

Written by Beverley Lennon
Edited by Denise Tan

Yogyakarta has gained lots of attention from fellow travellers and history buffs lately. If you’re on the lookout for more of Central Java’s spectacular and diverse cultural heritage and scenery, you will definitely want to visit Solo (also known as Surakarta), a small city near Jogja!

From Yogyakarta, hit the roads for a short 2-hour drive to get to its lesser-known neighbour, Solo!

Although Solo is locally known as the capital of batik, it has a lot more to offer. Not only is it a paradise for nature lovers, it’s also a haven for those who are always hunting for local delicacies!

Here’s our list of unique things to do for when you explore Solo for the first time – you might even want to stay for the weekend!

Read More:

Yogyakarta and Central Java road trip: Scenic landscapes, mountains, secret beaches and sea of clouds!

26 Hidden natural attractions in and around Yogyakarta that you’ve probably never heard of

11 Magical scenic places to witness sunrise in Jogja and Magelang highlands

12 Hidden natural attractions in Magelang with spectacular views of mountains, valleys, rainforests and waterfalls!

1. Catch the glorious sunset amidst mountains and paddy fields – Batu Seribu (Gunung Sepikul)

Admire twin rock formations atop a hill and watch the sun go down a carpet of expansive paddy fields.

The surroundings have been kept in its natural state with no buildings in the vicinity so you can enjoy a completely unobstructed view of Mount Merbabu, an experience that gets twice as magical during sunset.

Photo via fahmikafabih

Sunrise is equally gorgeous, as the sun slowly pierces through the clouds, breaking through the cool morning mist.

Photo via ashari.riri

Aside from the relaxing nature, this is also a vantage spot where you can catch sight of the nearby villages. A striking contrast from the hustle and bustle in Jogja, it’s almost difficult to imagine the charming, tranquil lanes of Solo just 2 hours away from the city.

Batu Seribu (Gunung Sepikul)

Address: Desa Gentan, Kecamatan Bulu, Sukoharjo, Jawa Tengah (Coordinates here)
Motorcycle Parking fee: Rp. 2,000 (Approximately USD$0.14)
Car Parking fee: Rp. 5,000 (Approximately USD$0.33)

2. Have a splashing good time in a natural canyon – Grojogan Selondo

Grojogan Selondo is a small waterfall emerging from rock formations, perfectly carved to form two small ponds at the bottom. It is certainly quite a sight to behold and definitely something you would want to add to your itinerary!

Photo by bendottetapsemangat

While it’s located near the famous Selondo bridge, few tourists know of this amazing natural attraction.

Photo by gocharniansya

Besides being a good place to escape the city heat, this is also where you can enjoy a relaxing day out since it doesn’t require too much effort to get here.

Photo via bendottetapsemangat

You can opt to bring along a set of floaties to enjoy some time in the freshwater ponds. We wouldn’t recommend jumping off the rocks – it might be dangerous as the depth of the water fluctuates seasonally.

Grojogan Selondo

Address: Desa Bakalan, Kecamatan Purwantoro, Wonogiri, Jawa Tengah. Coordinates here.

3. Stroll through flower fields, pretend to be Aladdin and ride a bicycle in the air – Tenggir Park

Tenggir Park is practically a playground for those who can’t stop snapping away on their cameras! In fact, it is known as a wisata selfie (selfie tourism) destination where you can take photos with Instagram-worthy photo props and have beautiful scenery as backdrops – a feast for your eyes too!

Photo by burhandidik

Be it standing in a field of colourful blooms, riding (and gliding) your way into the forest with an elevated bike, or flying through a flying carpet like Aladdin, your photos will make for some really special keepsakes for your trip!

Photo by riaayuparyono, uul.ap

Don’t miss the spectacular views from atop the viewpoints while you’re here – Tenggir Park is a fun destination to explore with friends and family.

Photo by uul.ap
Photo by lailipuspa

P.S. We heard that there’s a secret waterfall nearby too! Do let us know if you manage to find it 😉

Tenggir Park

Address: Candi sukuh, Tambak, Berjo, Ngargoyoso, Kabupaten Karanganyar, Jawa Tengah 57793 (Coordinates here)
Entrance fee: Rp. 7,000 per person (Approximately USD$0.50)

4. Go high above sea level for a spectacular view – Bukit Gancik

Right at the top of Bukit Gancik, you’ll get to enjoy endless views of the majestic Mount Merapi guarding from afar.

Photo by wahyu_setyoko

You can even enjoy lovely unobstructed views of the surrounding exotic plantations from several platforms.

Photo by toni_agustino

Located on the slope of Mount Merbabu, Bukit Gancik can be reached via an easy hike, so it’s perfect for families with kids and elderly!

Photo by an_ekaanurull_politonadam.alhadiadys

Do come early to catch the sunrise at the peak!

Bukit Gancik

Address: Dukuh Selo Nduwur, Desa Selo, Kec. Selo, Selo, Kabupaten Boyolali, Jawa Tengah 57363 (Coordinates here)
Entrance fee: Rp.5,000 per car (Approximately USD$0.35)

5. Go on an underwater treasure hunt – Umbul Ponggok Klaten

Here’s your chance to witness a magnificent array of flamboyant fishes without having to dive deep down into the ocean! Right in the middle of the city, you will find this famous water park filled with numerous colourful fishes and other unusual items that you can discover underwater.

Though it welcomes crowds of visitors, the waters are surprisingly clear and kept in its natural state with rocks lining its bottom.

Photo by pam2_adidharma

And beneath the waters lies a whole new underwater world with unique photo props such as scooters, television sets, bicycles, laptops, and many more! (Psst: Underwater cameras are available for rent as well).

Photo by anitarobson127, irfanhakim75

If you are craving for a snorkelling fun time while in Solo, this is definitely a great option! We would recommend bringing along your own snorkelling set for hygiene reasons.

With the giant floats and waterslides, Umbul Ponggok is also great for families with kids! We have to admit…even as adults, we are huge fans of the water playground too!

Photo by yulek_nouvolele, elzekeida
Photo by shifaput4

If you are keen for some adventure, you can opt for their diving class packages too!

Umbul Ponggok Klaten

Address: Jl. Raya Ponggok-Delanggu, Ds Ponggok, Kec Polanharjo, Ponggok, Polanharjo, Kabupaten Klaten, Jawa Tengah 57474 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +62 823 1438 8880
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8am-5pm
Entrance fee: Mon-Fri Rp. 5,000 (Approximately USD$0.35)
Sat-Sun Rp. 10,000 (Approximately USD$0.70)
Underwater camera: Rp. 100,000 per hour (Approximately USD$7)
Snorkelling set rental: Rp. 20,000 per set (Approximately USD$1.40)
Underwater property rental: Rp.60,000-150,000 (Approximately USD$4.18-10.46)

6. Explore a hidden waterfall surrounded by greenery – Jumog Waterfall

Want to catch spectacular waterfalls pouring down a cliff and winding into gentle rivers? You can do just that at Jumog Waterfall, where its waters come from Mount Lawu!

Photo by ningsih_alden

Seated amongst lush greenery all around, fresh water pours down from a 30-metre-tall drop and visitors can easily access the falls any time of year. We recommend dropping by early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere (some visitors even come here to meditate!).

Photo by rtsetempat, filosofikabut

While you can hop from rock to rock to get closer to the falls, you can also enjoy its view from the bridge, or simply jump in for a refreshing morning swim.

Photo by putraoctara

The sight of the wondrous waterfalls making its way through the moss and rocks will make you feel as though you’re in a mystical fairy world!

Photo by cowboyrimba

Jumog Waterfall

Address: Gandu, Berjo, Ngargoyoso, Karanganyar Regency, Central Java 57793 (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8am-4.30pm
Entrance Fee: Rp. 3,000 per person (Approximately USD$0.21)

7. Lounge in a private natural plunge pool in the forest – Kedung Lumbung

If you’re up for an adventure, head to Kedung Lumbung, where you can swim and relax in a private rock pool amidst the surrounding nature. Getting there may require some effort due to the slippery rock path, but the amazing view and experience will definitely be rejuvenating!

Lounging in the natural plunge pool is a soothing experience, but do bear in mind that the water can get quite deep so we only recommend adept swimmers to get in (children are also advised to stay away!).

Photo via andredonavan

To truly immerse yourself in the serenity and natural beauty of Kedung Lumbung, you might want to come early in the morning to enjoy clearer waters and avoid the crowds!

Photo by digdayaphotography

Also known as the Wonogiri Grand Canyon, opting to enjoy the natural scenery from the rocks instead of the pool can be equally refreshing, where the natural plunge pool sits like a gem within the vegetation.

Photo by bendottetapsemangat

A great alternative to crowded beach bars and hotel pools, nature lovers will love this wondrous attraction that will leave you feeling refreshed!

Kedung Lumbung

Getting there: Set your maps and follow the way to Waterboom Gajah Mungkur (Coordinates here). Once there, drive pass the bridge at Kedung Areng (coordinates here) and secure a parking near one of the warungs. In the area, there are directions to Kedung Lumbung and locals will be glad to help too!
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 8am-5pm
Parking fee: Rp. 2,000 per car (Approximately USD$0.14)

8. Learn the history and culture of batik – Museum Batik Danar Hadi

Have you ever wondered how batik is made?

Before we visited Danar Hadi, we never imagined that a single batik piece could require years of hard work, dedication, passion and creativity.

Every visiting group will get a guide, who will bring you through the exhibits and explain to you the entire batik-making process, from applying the wax, to the dyeing process – you have to trace your design, apply the dye to areas untouched by the wax, then remove the waxed areas and apply wax to the dyed areas. After which, you can apply the dye to the areas where the wax is removed, and the previously dyed areas would not be affected as they would be covered by the dye.

Photo by TripCanvas, nathaniaw

A complicated piece can take up to months or even years to complete! Hats off to these dedicated batik-makers. The tour lasted for more than an hour, so make sure you schedule enough time!

Showcasing batik from different regions (especially in Yogyakarta and Solo) and era that are significant to local Indonesian culture and history, the museum aims at preserving local batik culture. The museum also features their own batik-making compound which you can visit to learn about batik-making with the locals!

Photo via Tripcanvas

Don’t miss the on-site shop too – there’s an extensive collection of batik pieces and we were surprised to find affordable pieces! Danar Hadi also has branch stores in Yogyakarta, Bali, Jakarta and other major cities in Indonesia.

Photo via Tripcanvas
Photo via Tripcanvas

*Note: You are not allowed to take photographs in the museum. We had a media permit so if you are visiting for media purposes, you can request for one.

Museum Batik Danar Hadi

Address: Jl. Brigjend Slamet Riyadi No.261, Sriwedari, Laweyan, Kota Surakarta, Jawa Tengah 57141 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +62271 722042
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9am-4pm
Entrance Fee: Rp.35,000 (inclusive of an English or Bahasa Indonesia guide)


9. Visit a local eatery with authentic Solo dishes and decor – Warung Selat Mbak Lies

Solo is also known as a hub for its local gastronomical delights, and Warung Selat Mbak Lies is the perfect place to get a taste of it! This local eatery, rich in history, offers an authentic eating experience with its antique decor and traditional Solo dishes.

Photo via Tripcanvas

We dropped in at lunchtime and it was packed to the brim so do try to avoid their peak periods or you may make a wasted trip!

Photo via Tripcanvas

The “Selat Solo” is a definite must-try here! A traditional salad in Solo, this dish is made from potatoes, eggs, carrot, pickles and onion, served with their special sauce. Not only was it tasty, but gulping down the soup-like sauce like how the locals did was a unique dining experience too!

We also tried their macaroni, topped with a light sauce and served at room temperature, but it was rather bland, and didn’t stand out amongst the other dishes.

Photo via Tripcanvas

Your might find some local sweets (and we mean really sweet!) and crackers at your table that you could have as appetizers or dessert (you can pay for everything altogether later).

Photo via Tripcanvas

We personally felt that the ambience at the eatery was very special, as though we had stepped back in time as we sat in the unique decorated space with waiters bustling around in traditional clothes.

Warung Selat Mbak Lies

Address: Jalan Veteran, Gang II No. 42, Serengan, Kota Surakarta, Jawa Tengah 57144 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +62 271 653 332
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm
Price range: Rp.10,000-15,000 (Approximately USD$0.66-$1)

10. Venture through the mountains to discover a hidden lake – Telaga Claket

What’s not to love about venturing to a hidden gem that few tourists know about? Mostly visited by the locals, we believe that the beautiful, tranquil lake hidden between mountains at Telaga Claket deserves more attention.

Photo by rennypurwantty

Situated in a remote location, this charming lake is pretty much under the radar of most travellers.

Photo by echapita, devistha_at

If you’re looking for an adventure, you can opt to rent a bamboo boat to explore the lake. Crossing over to the other side will lead you to Bukit Widodari, where you can enjoy a small hike and marvel at more scenic views!

Photo by nangyull22

You can also stay here for a meal as there are local stalls with freshly cooked traditional delicacies such as chicken noodles and meatballs.

Telaga Claket

Address: Jl. Telaga Claket, Sendangijo, Selogiri, Keblokan, Sendangijo, Selogiri, Kabupaten Wonogiri, Jawa Tengah 57652 (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 6am-6pm
Entrance fee: Rp. 5,000 per person (Approximately USD$0.35)

11. Journey back in time with some antique shopping – Pasar Triwindu

Just like Yogyakarta, Solo is also known for its historical and cultural richness. This is often portrayed in its architectural buildings, food, and traditional performances, and even more so at its traditional market.

If you are an antique lover, you will love Pasar Triwindu! This market offers everything from retro suitcases to classic oil paintings, old bathtubs and lamps to sculptures from the 19th Century. With the range here, you are bound to find a little something to bring home.

Photo via Tripcanvas

Aside from big items like furniture and decor, you will also find small vintage accessories like hats and glasses!

Photo via Tripcanvas
Photo via Tripcanvas

It took us a full hour to navigate through the densely-packed market as the two-storey market was packed full of treasures!

Photo via Tripcanvas

Pasar Triwindu

Address: Jl. Diponegoro, Ngarsopuro, Banjarsari, Keprabon, Banjarsari, Kota Surakarta, Jawa Tengah 57131 Indonesia (Coordinates here)
Contact: [email protected]
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm (Night market every Saturday after 6pm)
Entrance fee: Free


12. Shop for some sweet traditional pancakes – Serabi Notosuman

If you’re looking for a unique food souvenir to bring home, this has to be it. We had heard that a stop at Serabi Notosuman was compulsory while visiting Solo.

The legendary shop sells traditional pancakes filled with either coconut or chocolate. Since it comes in a box of 10 pancakes, we opted for half of both flavours and secretly wished we ordered more! These little pancakes are pure goodness – they are moist on the inside and were served warm!

Photo via idananda, Tripcanvas

They also have a branch in Yogyakarta, so if you are departing from there, we recommend you to buy from the Yogyakarta branch instead to ensure freshness! We managed to order a few boxes right before leaving.

Tip: Do drop by the shop one day prior to your departure to place your order, because it can be sold out very quickly!

Serabi Notosuman

Address 1: Jalan Muhammad Yamin No.28, Jayengan, Serengan, Jayengan, Serengan, Kota Surakarta, Jawa Tengah 57152 (Coordinates here) (Solo)
Address 2: Jl. Bhayangkara No.62, Ngampilan, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta 55261 (Coordinates here) (Yogyakarta)
Contact: +62 271 651 852 (Solo) / +62 8510 1440 484 (Yogyakarta)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 6am-4pm
Price: Rp. 25,000 per box of 10 pancakes (Approximately USD$1.80)

13. Join locals for delicacies at the market – Pasar Gede (Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi, Lenjongan, Timlo Sastro)

What better way to immerse in traditional lifestyle than visiting the morning market like the locals?

Unlike many traditional wet markets (surprisingly it was not wet and it was clean), Pasar Gede is also a culinary galore!

Photo via Tripcanvas

So we went on a walking food tour by ourselves, and since we were keen for a sugar rush for breakfast, went down to the most recommended dessert stalls. Take note that in Java, the use of sugar is similar to the amount of oxygen we take in so everything they call “sweet” is overly sweet!

Sit down for a refreshing bowl of Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi – a dessert that makes the world a little more habitable! The woman at the stall throws in ice cubes with different sweet concoctions along with black sticky rice, chia seeds and other glutionuous items. They refer to it as a drink option but it pretty much looks like a dessert!

Photo via Tripcanvas

We also tried the oh-so-raved Lenjongan – a dessert dating back to the colonial era. It is served on a banana leaf with different kinds of sticky rice and other sweet items derived from cassava; all this topped with a generous amount of grated coconut.

Photo via Tripcanvas

Lastly, we settled for a non-sweet dish at Timlo Sastro – a bowl of comfort! Ask anyone about what to eat at Pasar Gede and this is where they will direct you to!

Photo via Tripcanvas

The savoury noodle-based dish is complemented with traditional Sosi Solo (which means “Solo Sausage”, made up of meat wrapped with omelette), chicken pieces and soy-infused boiled eggs! It tasted very homey, something like what mothers make when you are feeling ill – indeed very comforting!

Photo via Tripcanvas

Es Dawet Telasih Bu Dermi:

Address: Pasar Gede Hardjonagoro, Jl. Jend. Urip Sumoharjo, Sudiroprajan, Jebres, Kota Surakarta, Jawa Tengah 57129 (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7am-3pm
Price: Rp. 8,000 (Approximately USD$0.57)


Address: Pasar Gede Pasar Kliwon, JL. Jenderal Sudirman, Sudiroprajan, Solo Kota, Kota Surakarta, Jawa Tengah 57121 (Coordinates here)
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 7am-2pm
Price: Rp. 4,000 (Approximately USD$0.29)

Timlo Sastro:

Address:Jalan Kapten Mulyadi No.8, Sudiroprajan, Jebres, Sudiroprajan, Jebres, Kota Surakarta, Jawa Tengah 57121 (Coordinates here)
Contact: +62 271 654 820
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 6am-3.30pm
Price: Rp.25,000 (Approximately USD$1.80)


Who’s exploring beyond Yogyakarta with you? New adventures await in Solo, so tag your travel buddies in the comments section below!

PLEASE NOTE: All the above information is correct at the date of publication. If you come across any changes or updates, please let us know and we will update the information accordingly. Thank you!
Tell us

Advertise with us