A Memory of an old time in Semarang, Central Java

Semarang is situated on Java's northern coast and is called the capital of Centarl Java, as it lies just about halfway between the extreme east and west coasts of the island. The environs around Semarang are perfect for day trips and side and side excursions.

The old records of this city date back to the 15th to the 18th century AD in where captivating ancient and colonial monuments still standing to present date. In the older part of the city, near the harbour, you can still find an interesting collection of buildings dating back to the Dutch Colonial era and the Dutch East Indies Company, such as GEREJA BLENDUK, is the eldest Christian Church in Central Java built by the Dutch community in 1753. It shows the Church architecture of the 18th century with its huge dome and a baroque organ inside the building. Nearby the Church, there are some buildings from the Dutch colonial time. STASIUN TAWANG, the main railways station with its "Old Time" architecture located also in this area. While LAWANG SEWU or usually called as Thousand Doors, situated in the downtown of Semarang is also a remarkable building from the "Old Dutch Time".

Beside an interesting collection of Dutch Colonial buildings, there's an also Chinese buildings remain in Semarang. In the west part of Semarang, a temple SAMPOKONG or locally known as Gedong Batu (Stone Building) was dedicated to Chinese Moslem Admiral Cheng Ho, his fleet arrived in the first time at 1406 AD. The other Chinese Buddhist temple is Tay Kak Sie at Lombok Street built in the year 1772.


  • By Plane
    To and from Semarang is easily accessible by Air, the airport name is Ahmad Yani located in West Semarang around five km from the downtown.
    There are several airlines, such as Garuda and Merpati, connect with other cities of Indonesia such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Banjarmasin, etc.
  • By Train
    The main railway station is Tawang, in the old part of the town. The main train connection is between Semarang, Cirebon and Surabaya. There is also
    service to Solo.

  • By Bus
    The main Bus Terminal is in Terboyo, in the eastern part of the city. Several Bus companies serve the inter-city connections with many cities in Java, Bali and Sumatra. Direct information can be collected directly in the terminal.
  • By Boat
    The Semarang harbor is in Tanjung Mas. There are regular shipping lines for passengers sail to and from Semarang to other island, as Kalimantan. The main line is Pelni. Inquire also for occasional cargo boats, taking passengers in the harbor.

Where to Stay

This city has enough accommodation for its visitors, from budget hotels to the star-rated hotels. Some top hotels located in downtown and in any luxurious area. The facilities meet international demands with combination of traditional specialties.

Moving Around

You can move around the city by becak (a three wheels vehicle) only in the north part of the city, mini-buses,
buses and taxi.

Other Things to See or Do

While in Semarang, you can visit other interesting places, such as:

  • Simpang Lima, it is a square with many shops and cinemas around. In the evening a lot of people are here taking a walk or window-shopping. Early in the morning, people are jogging along the street.
  • Gombel, its a favorite place on the hill with its fresh air and picturesque landscape. In the evening, people like to be here to relax while enjoying the panoramic vista to the city and the harbor.
  • Puri Maerakaca, it is a well arranged park on the beach exhibiting traditional houses of every Central Java regencies. In these houses, specific crafts of each regency are displayed.

Dining Guide

There are a lot of restaurants in Semarang offering delicious food of Indonesian, Chinese, and European cuisine. One should find easily in Jl. Pemuda around Pasar Johar the best speciality market in Simpang Lima mall.

The area of Gang Lombok and Jl. Gadjah Mada are famous with its Chinese restaurants, in Jl. A. Yani there are tasteful Javanese restaurants.

Semarang is famous for its Lumpia (Chinese Spring Rolls ), Pia, Wingko Babat and Bandeng Presto (Tendered Fish).

Souvenir Tips

Souvenir and art objects are available in Semarang, mostly in the downtown areas and popular market places or shopping centres. Batik cloths and garments, handwoven fabrics, traditional and local jewellery, leather puppets, basketry and many.

Travel Tips

  • The weather is most pleasant between May to September and it is recommended that travelers choose this time of year to visit
  • Dress light and comfortable to wear
  • Don't forget to bring an umbrella or raincoat, in case of rain