Attractions Nearby Solo, Day Trips and Excursions
(Solo, Central Java, Indonesia)
Being located on the eastern side of Central Java, the city of Solo really is very well placed to explore the attractions on this popular island. A number of large Indonesian cities are particularly close to Solo, each offering their own set of attractions, such as Semarang
. It is even possible to take a day trip to the famed Borobudur Temple
Yogyakarta stands some 66 km / 41 miles to the south-west of Solo, where it is an extremely appealing and tourist friendly city. Easily reached by car, taxi, bus or train, Yogyakarta has many attractions, such as its historical palace (kraton), which dominates the Old City area and resembles a small city.
The biggest Buddhist structure on the planet, the Borobudur Temple really is an amazing site and quite a feat of historical construction, since it dates back more than 1,200 years and comprises a staggering two million blocks. Surrounded by a series of lush paddy fields and verdant countryside, the Borobudur Temple is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the whole of Indonesia, and at just 90 km / 56 miles west of Solo, is an especially popular day trip. In June, the Festival of Borobudur
is quite unmissable and features Ramayana-style dancing and even white-water rafting races.
Located on the mountain slopes of the Gunung Lawu (Mount Lawu), Candi Ceto is to be found at an elevation of around 500 metres / 1,40 feet above sea level. On a fine, clear day, the views across Solo are simply stunning and well worth bringing your camera to capture for posterity. The Candi Ceto Temple is believed to date back to the 15th century and is quite medieval in its appearance, with detailed stonework and hillside terraces.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
The Candi Sukuh is a magnificent Javanese-Hindu temple and is sandwiched between East Java and Central Java. This attraction is quite mysterious and is rather Inca-like in its structure, resembling a truncated pyramid in appearance. The Candi Sukuh is to be found approximately 36 km / 22 miles to the east of Solo and features innumerable crude sculptures and carvings, which are around 500 years old, although appear more like they were created in the 5th or 6th century. Close by, a trail leads down the hill and towards Tawangmangu.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Close to Karangpandan, a busy road heads southwards from the main Solo to Tawangmangu road and towards the burial hill attractions of Mangadeg. For just a small donation you are able to visit the elaborate graves of the Mangkunegoro family and enjoy the spectacular surrounding scenery, with views that seem to go on forever. Close by and still within the sacred hills is a further opulent burial site - the Astana Giribangun.
Open hours: daily
Prambanan Temple Complex
Around 50 km / 31 miles from Solo and just 17 km / 11 miles from Yogyakarta, the Prambanan temples are quite impressive and well connected by bus. Created in the mid-9th century and covering a vast area, the Prambanan complex itself really is huge and features more than 250 temples, which stand in various states of repair. Although very little is known about the actual origins of the Prambanan attraction, it is common knowledge that the main temple was dedicated to the Supreme God Shiva and has a spire than soars almost 50 metres / 164 feet high.
Open hours: daily - 06:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts available to students
Sarangan is a small and sleepy town on the outskirts of Solo, and remains fairly quiet during the working week. However, at weekends, many visitors descend on Sarangan and the town quickly becomes a rather crowded holiday resort. The attractions of Sarangan are pleasant enough, although certainly nothing to write home about. If you do take a trip here, you will certainly enjoy the panoramas, and may even like to hop on a speedboat and take a quick tour of the lake. Those planning to climb the Gunung Lawu will find that Sarangan is a good place to base yourself.
At just 15 km / 9 miles to the north of Solo, Sangiran is little more than a matter of minutes away by car and is perfect for an afternoon excursion. Sangiran is a fascinating and ancient archaeological World Heritage Site, where pre-historic fossils of the famous 'Java Man' were discovered in the 1930s. Skulls and fossils are on display here and the museum is open every day except for Mondays.
The city of Semarang is located just over 105 km / 65 miles to the north-west of Solo and contains some appealing Chinese and Arabic quarters. It is the Old City area of Semarang where the main attractions await visitors, with many beautiful historical buildings lining the Jalan Jenderal Suprapto. In Semarang's colourful Chinatown district, the Gang Lombok (Tay Kak Sie Temple
) is a sight to truly savour and was erected in 1772.
The hill resort of Tawangmangu stands on the westerly side of Gunung Lawu and has become something of a popular weekend destination for locals in Solo. Although the attractions of Tawangmangu are not especially plentiful, this resort is much favoured, since it is so peaceful and noticeably cooler than the city. Various outdoor recreational activities present themselves around Tawangmangu, such as walking and hiking.
As well as the city's iconic palace, the Yogyakarta Bird Market (Pasar Ngasem)
may also be of interest to tourists and is held on the Jalan Polowijan on a daily basis, while the Sono Budoyo Museum
is regarded as the pick of all the city's museums and is filled with a host of Hindu artefacts and Javanese sculptures. On the western side of the Kraton
, the Water Castle (Taman Sari) pleasure park is filled with waterways and was once the favourite spot of the sultan.