Cheap Flights To Semarang
The Javan city of Semarang in the centre of Indonesia's biggest island is a melting pot of history, modernity and good times. This medium-sized city is home to 1.5 million people and, being off the usual tourist trail, is a great destination for those looking to discover the 'real' Indonesia. The city's vast, green central square, Simpang Lima, is the best place for luxury shopping, restaurants and night-time adventures. Further highlights include notable Chinese temples such as Getung Badu and Tay Kak Sie as well as the Dutch colonial Old Town Kota Lama which enjoys UNESCO protected status. A small but lively Chinatown is certainly worth a visit, especially on the day it hosts a weekly night market. Annual events range from the city fair to a Chinese parade.
Things To Do
Java's fifth biggest city Semarang has played an important part in Indonesian history and much can be understood here from the spread of Islam to the Dutch colonial powers and traditional Javan culture.
Sam Poo Kong/Getung Badu Temple
Half an hour's drive from Central Semarang is the largest temple complex in the city, that was built in the 18th Century (replacing an earlier 15th-century temple) in a classic Indo-Chinese style. The temple honours Zheng He, a Muslim Chinese Chief from the Ming Dynasty who was thought to be instrumental in spreading Islam around Indonesia.
Colonial History in Kota Lama (Old Town)
Dutch colonialism was a significant time for the island of Java. The Dutch built a walled city here in the late 1600s and although the wall itself is gone, the medieval and Baroque-style buildings can still be enjoyed in the Old Town thanks in part to the area's UNESCO protection. The city's biggest landmark is another Dutch Colonial building known as Lawang Sewu: this colossal and haunting building has been both a railway station and World War II interrogation centre in its time.
Learn more at Ronggowarsito Museum
This is the biggest and best museum in the province and pays homage to Javanese culture, folklore, natural history and artefacts spanning thousands of years. Visitors lucky enough to attend on a Friday morning will be able to experience a live traditional dance show.
Calendar Of Events
Events in Semarang range from cultural fairs to traditional Chinese parades and religious festivals.
Semarang Fair: This yearly event held in July showcases a range of cultural events and performances as well as fairground rides.
Jaran Sampo: Held at the two Chinese temples Sam Poo Kong and Tay Kak Sie, this festival has been celebrated by the local Chinese and Muslim communities for hundreds of years and commemorates the arrival of Zheng Ho in the city. This colourful procession of horses and dragons is enjoyed by all on 30th June.
Dug Der Festival: This traditional religious festival is held one week before the fasting month (known as Puasa in Indonesia). The festival's icon is the Warak: a mythical creature which locals buy in toy version and parade through the town.