There’s a broad range of accommodation in Solo, and visitors who have ample time to explore Java often choose to spend a night or two here and discover the city—and surrounding temples such as Candi Sukuh and Candi Cetho—independently. Travelers on a tight schedule, however, may well prefer to experience the city’s highlights compressed into a convenient Surakarta day tour. These typically depart from Yogyakarta, a city that’s more used to tourists, and cover highlights such as the Mangkunegaran Palace and Triwindu Market.
Things to Know Before You Go
Solo will thrill history buffs and lovers of Indonesian culture.
Solo is a relatively conservative Muslim city, so women will feel more comfortable wearing clothes that cover shoulders and knees.
Surakarta and Yogyakarta have been rivals since they split from the mighty Mataram Empire in the mid-18th century.
How to Get There
Solo is located in central Java, around 37 miles (60 kilometers) northeast of Yogyakarta. It has its own airport—Adi Sumarmo International Airport—with flights from Jakarta, Bali, and Singapore, among other destinations. It’s also on the main Jakarta–Yogyakarta–Surabaya train line, and train is the easiest way to reach the city from Yogyakarta. There are extensive bus connections to destinations across Java.
When to Get There
Rain and humidity are common in Solo year-round, but at their worst during the rainy season (roughly November to April). The weather is at its most clement between around June and September. The Sekaten festival, which follows the Islamic calendar and celebrates the birth of Muhammad, is a particularly colorful time to see the city.
Solo and the Art of Batik
A type of cloth made using wax patterns that resist dying, batik is a national symbol of Indonesia. Traditionally, the elaborate wax patterns were painted by hand then dyed using all-natural materials. Surakarta is famous for its handmade batik, including certain patterns that are unique to the royal court, and has its own batik museum as well as vintage-batik dealers.
- Things to do in Yogyakarta
- Things to do in East Java
- Things to do in West Java
- Things to do in Bali
- Things to do in Surabaya
- Things to do in Bandung
- Things to do in Jakarta
- Things to do in Banyuwangi
- Things to do in Seminyak
- Things to do in Sabah
- Things to do in Sumatra
- Things to do in Kedah
- Things to do in Southern Vietnam
- Things to do in Southern Thailand and Andaman Coast
- Things to do in South Coast