Surakarta Travel Guide covers the city, also known as Solo, that surrounds the Kraton Surakarta Hadiningrat, retains much of the feel of old Java. Within the brick walls of the greater Kraton (palace) there now live more commoners than blue-blood, and some of the buildings have been taken over by the government to be used as schools.
Because fewer Westerners go there, Solo is probably a better place to buy batik than Jogja. Browsing is more relaxed, though at the larger markets things can get a bit hectic. Pasar Klewer, which is at the western entrance to the Alun-alun, is one of the largest batik markets in Indonesia.
To get to Pasar Gede go out of the front (north) gate of the Alun-alun and continue straight ahead past the Post Office until you come to a bridge on the right. Cross the bridge and the market is opposite. Behind the market stretches the old Chinese quarter.
Kraton Surakarta Hadinigrat
Kraton Surakarta Hadinigrat is a palace which rivals the palace of Jogja in size and splendor. It was built in 1745 by Susunan Pakubuwana II following the fall of the old kraton at Kartasura to rebels in 1743. The rebels managed to hold the kraton for over one year until they were overthrown with the help of the Dutch.
The large wooden doors near the high white tower open into a private world that goes back thirteen generations. A gamelan adjoins the waiting area, so those who are acquainted are permitted to join the family when they play. Set upon a raised tile floor, the rhythms of the gamelan ring through the pillars and out into the night.
The history of this period is one full of rebellions by wayward princes, and the eventual division of the Greater Prambanan Plain into two large kingdoms. Later, two smaller fiefdoms were ceded to relatives of the rulers in order to quell the continual warfare that had taken such a heavy toll on Javanese society. This division made the job of the Dutch much easier. Their initial aim was purely trade, but they gradually became deeply involved in court intrigue.
Here is a link to an article in the Jakarta Post newspaper on the Sekaten celebrations
Solo has come a long way in the past 200 years, while some parts of town take one back as though in a time-machine. The young of Solo are a sign of its modernity, the lanes through the town and Kraton the key to its past. Solo is best explored on foot or by becak, giving one a chance to see and feel the pace of life in what is perhaps the most relaxed town in Indonesia. Without the over-exposure of nearby Jogja, the atmosphere of Solo soothes the mind. Artisticly, Solo has as much to offer as Jogja, but you have to dig a little deeper to find it. Commercialism in its worst forms hasn’t yet come to Solo. Let us hope it never does.
PUBLIC SERVICES IN SURAKARTA
Post Office Jln Sudirman
Bank BNI Jln Slamet Riyadi No. 348
Bank Mandiri Jln Slamet Riyadi No. 329
Police Polresta Jln Adi Sucipto No. 2
RS Dr. Oen Surakarta Jln Katamso No 55. Tel: +62 271 643 139
RS Kasih Ibu Surakarta Jln Slamet Riyadi No. 404 . Tel: +62 27 171 4422
RS Panti Waluyo Jln A. Yani No.1-2 . Tel: +62 271 712 077
Garuda Indonesia Jln Veteran No. 242
Lion Air Adi Sumarno Int. Airport
Bus Terminal Tirtonadi Jln Ahmed Yani (near corner Jln S Parman)
Tourist Information inside Sriwedari Park, Jln Slamet Riyadi
Pasar Legi Jln S Parman
HOTELS IN SURAKARTA
Kusuma Sahid Hotel Jln Asrama 22
Mangkunegaran Palace Hotel Jln Ronggowasito
The Westerners Jln Kamlayan Kidul (off Jln Yos Sudarso,
Hotel Keprambon Jln A. Dahlan
Hotel Sentral Jln A. Dahlan
NOTE : There are numerous other small losmen in the Keprambon area bounded by Jln A. Dahlan, Jln Ronggowasito and Jln Imam Bonjol.
RESTAURANTS IN SURAKARTA
Ayam Goreng Matukoro 5km out of town past Sriwedari (fried chicken)
Rumah Makan Setia Jln S. Riyadi 86 (Padang)
Rumah Makan Intan Jln S. Riyadi 160 (Padang)
Toko Kue Jln S. Riyadi 76 (cakes)
Solo Juice Bar Jln A. Dahlan
(Indonesian & fresh juice)
There are a variety of restaurants serving Indonesia, Chinese and fresh fruit in Jln Diponegoro near Pasar Triwindu.
Sate Stalls Jln Yos Sudarso
Gudeg Pak Harto Jln A. Dahlan (open 5pm – 2am)
Gudeg Jln Slamet Riyadi (opp Hotel Kota)
Susu Segar (hot milk) Jln Teuku Umur
Gudeg/Liwet Jln Teuku Umur
Surakarta Travel Guide