THE CITY of Semarang in Central Java has a variety of interesting tourist destinations to visit while on vacation. If you want to spend two days and one night in the city of Semarang, there are various alternative visits to historical buildings and various delicious culinary delights.
Moreover, the distance between one destination and another in the city is relatively close, so it can be easily reached with a limited time. The following is a two day and one night itinerary in Semarang City which can be used as an alternative travel plan.
First day Breakfast at Soto Pak Muri “Diponegoro Stadium”
The journey started by enjoying breakfast at Pak Muri’s Soto Ayam, which has been around since 1986/1987 at the Diponegoro stadium. Located in the Diponegoro stadium area, precisely on Jalan Ki Mangun Sarkoro, this soup has a distinctive taste and is served hot in a small bowl.
One bowl contains rice, shredded chicken, scallions, fried onions, and soto sauce mixed with Pak Muri’s concoction of spices. There are also various side dishes such as quail egg satay, tempeh satay, clam satay, offal satay, and chicken satay. Pak Muri’s chicken soup stall is usually open from 06.00 until noon, or in the afternoon at 15.00.
By 11.00 noon, you can take public transportation or online transportation as far as 2.6 kilometers to the Semarang Old City Museum. As the name implies, the Semarang Old City Museum contains the history of the city of Semarang from 1547 to the present. The historical stories in the museum are visualized with immersive technology, and explained by a tour guide who guides about 10 people per session.
To enter the Kota Lama Museum, visitors can choose a session that is available every 30 minutes, through the online ticket booking application “Lunpia” which can be downloaded on the playstore and appstore. The Semarang Old City Museum is located at Jalan Cendrawasih No. 1a, Purwodinatan, Central Semarang District, Semarang City.
Walk 400-meters to the Semarang Old Town area, time for lunch at one of the cafes, namely Spiegel Bar & Bistro. Spiegel Bar & Bistro is one of the old cafes located near Bleduk Church, Semarang. This cafe is famous because it is often used as a place to eat as well as take pictures, because the design of the building is in a classic style.
This culinary place provides a variety of light dishes to the main menu. Starting from small two-flavored gelato cups for IDR30,000, various pastas for IDR60,000, cheese burgers for IDR70,000, beef ribs for IDR85,000, and many more.
Still in the Old Town area of Semarang, about a 100-meter walk from Spiegel Bar & Bistro, there is a collection of artworks by Indonesian artists at the Semarang Contemporary Art Gallery. You can enjoy a variety of interesting paintings, sculptures, sketches, and other installations that are replaced every few times a month or so, in this gallery.
The entrance ticket to the Semarang Gallery is IDR20,000 per person, and is open every Tuesday-Sunday at 10.00 – 16.30. The contemporary art gallery is located at Taman Srigunting number 5-6, Tanjung Mas, North Semarang District, Semarang City.
After about two hours at the Semarang Contemporary Art Gallery, it’s time to explore the outdoor areas of Semarang’s Old Town. You can observe or take photos at the aesthetic spots of historical Dutch heritage buildings. Some of the popular photo spots include the GPIB Immanuel Church or Blenduk Church, Srigunting Park, Marba Building, Kitikan Market, Old City 3D Trick Art Museum, and many more.
Not only buildings, there are a number of properties that can support taking pictures to make them more interesting. It takes about two to three hours if you want to really go around one by one in this area, so you can also feel the atmosphere of the Old Town area at night.
Entering the evening, the culinary that can be tried is the legendary spring roll shop typical of Semarang, namely Lunpia Cik Me Me. Not only spring rolls containing chicken pieces, there are other variations on offer such as Nusantara mushrooms, young male goats, snapper, and crabs at a price of IDR 17,000 – IDR 29,000.
You can visit the main outlet of the Lunpia Cik Me Me shop at Jalan Gajahmada Number 107, Miroto, Central Semarang District, Semarang City, which is open every day at 05.00 – 22.00 WIB.
After eating a variety of spring rolls at the Lunpia Cik Me Me shop, you can stay at the Artotel Gajahmada hotel which is only 100 meters away. By walking for about a minute, you will find a boutique hotel with contemporary art designs that are aesthetically pleasing and stylishly modern.
The hotel, which has 12 floors and 80 rooms, also provides a bar and cafe on the rooftop, which are suitable as photo spots in the afternoon or evening.
Second Day Visiting Sam Poo Kong Temple
In the morning, you can visit the Sam Poo Kong Temple which is located at Jalan Simongan number 129, Bongsari, West Semarang, Semarang City, Central Java. The distance from the ARTOTEL Gajahmada hotel to this location is 4.7-kilometers (km) with a travel time of about 15 minutes.
This pagoda is a place of worship and historical tourism that has the beauty of Chinese and Javanese art buildings. This can be seen from the building which resembles a Joglo house, and some parts of the pagoda have stone carvings similar to Javanese temples.
Visitors can also find a statue of Admiral Zeng He as high as 10.7 meters. The entrance ticket to the Sam Poo Kong Temple is IDR35,000 for adults and IDR20,000 for children.
By noon, the next destination is one of the iconic tourist attractions in Semarang, namely Lawang Sewu, on Jalan Pemuda, Sekayu, Central Semarang District, Semarang City. Lawang Sewu can be reached in eight minutes by motorized vehicle, or about 2.6 km from Sam Poo Kong Temple.
As the name suggests, Lawang Sewu which means ‘door of a thousand’, this place has almost 1,000 doors. The actual number is only 928 doors with 425 frames, and 114 workspaces, not including meeting rooms. Apart from being a tourist spot and a museum, Lawang Sewu is also often used as a place for exhibitions, meeting rooms, weddings, to festivals.
There are also many cool photo spots in this area. The entry ticket price for Lawang Sewu is IDR10,000 for the public. As for children or students, the ticket costs IDR5,000.
In addition to the destinations in this itinerary, you can also visit several other destinations according to your interests. So, which tourist destinations in Semarang are on your bucket list? [Kompas.com/photo special]