Adjacent to Paragon Mall, the largest and most modern shopping mall in the city and surrounded by banks, corporate and government offices, this is an ideal destination for both business and leisure travelers.
From jakarta, take the Mutiara Utara air conditioned express train (leaves Kota Station at 4.30 p.m., reaches Semarang at 1.15 a.m., US$17.50), or catch a Garuda shuttle from Soekarno Hatta Airport – 8 daily flights, no advance bookings. (old) Mandala also has daily flights from Jakarta, and Bouraq links Semarang with Kalimantan and Sulawesi, but now you can Airasia etc.
To get here directly from Bandung, you have to take the bus, but from Cirebon, Pekalongan, Yogya or Solo, you can travel by more comfortable and convenient inter – city “colt” instead.
Semarang’s best hotel is the Patra Jasa, located up on a hill in Candi Baru overlooking the city US$35 to US$60 for a double, plus 21 percent tax and service. The Candi Baru Hotel. Closer to the city but still in the hills, has spacious rooms with a view for less money (US$17 to US$28 for a double; US$40 for a suite), and in the same area, the Green Guest House is a bargain at US$14 to US$18 for an air conditioned double with breakfast (tax and service included).
Down in the centre of town, the best hotel is the Metro Grand Park (doubles are US$35 to US$45 plus 21 percent). The old Dutch hostelry, the Dibya Puri, is just across a busy intersection from here – only US$25 for an air conditioned double, with breakfast (tax and service included), but the place is looking (and smelling) a bit wilted these days, the Queen Hotel around the corner on Jl. Gajah Mada is a newer place and about the same price.
Budget travellers can check out some of the hotels on Jl. Imam Bonjol around the train station, like the Dewa Asia, the Tanjung and the Singapore, all with rooms in the US$10 range. The Nam Yon Hotel, tight in the middle of the Chinatown district, also has clean rooms for as little as US$4.50 a night including breakfast – air conditioning for only US$14 a night (tax and service included).
First Class (US$35 and up a night):
Metro Grand Park (38 rooms) Jl. H. Agus Salim 2 – 4 , Semarang
Patra Jasa Hotel (147 rooms), Jl. Sisingamaraja, Po. Box 8, Semarang.
Siranda Hotel (60 rooms), Jl. Diponegoro 1, Semarang.
Sky Garden Motel (82 rooms), Jl Setiabudi, Grogol, Semarang.
Intermediate (US$25 – US$35 a night):
Candi Baru (23 rooms), Jl. Rinjani 21, Semarang.
Candi Indah (32 rooms), Jl. Dr. Wahidin 123, Semarang.
Dibya Puri Hotel (62 rooms), Jl. Pemuda 11, Po. Box 562, Semarang.
Green Guest House (20 rooms), Jl. Kesambi 7, Semarang.
Merbaru Hotel (46 rooms) Jl. Pemuda 122, Semarang.
Queen Hotel (26 rooms) Jl. Gajah Mada 44, Semarang.
Telomoyo Hotel (73 rooms), Jl. Gajah Mada 138, Semarang.
Budget (under US$15 a night)
Grand (25 rooms), Jl. Plampitan 39, Semarang.
Islam (23 rooms), Jl. Pemuda 8, Semarang.
Dewa Asia (21 rooms), Jl. Imam Bonjol 1, Semarang.
Nam Yon/Nendrayakti (41 rooms), Jl. Gang Pinggir 68, Semarang.
Rama Losmen (16 rooms), Jl. Plampinan 37, Semarang.
Singapore (27 rooms), Jl. Imam Bonjol 12, Semarang.
Tanjung (15 rooms), Jl. Tanjung 9 – 11, Semarang.
This town is famous for its Chinese food. The best Chinese restaurant is probably Pringgading Jl. Pringgading 54, Tel: 288973, 27219, 27364), though the Gajah Mada Jl. Gajah Mada 43 Tel: 23753) is a bit more centrally located. Also on Jl. Gajah Mada is a complex of open air eateries known as the Kompleks Warna Sari, containing a wide assortment of Chinese and Indonesia restaurants. There are also many Chinese restaurant in Chinatown on Gang Lombok, just bedside the Thay Kak Sie temple, all of them quite good.
At night, food stalls set up along both sides of Jl. Depok just off of Jl. Gajah Mada. This is a great place to get inexpensive seafood – grilled prawns and steamed crabs, as well as barbequed chicken and a variety of other dishes.
For Sundanese grilled fish and chicken, try Lembur Kuring on Jl. Gajah Mada, or for sate go over to Sate Ponorogo Jl. Gajah Mada 107, tel: 20637.
Teh most notable restaurant in town, though is Toko Oen, Jl. Pemuda 52, Tel: 21683 – a holdover from colonial times, with Dutch items like Paprika Schnitzel and Uitsmijer Roastbeef and Biefstuk Compleet on the menu. They also have an exotic assortment of ice creams – Vruchten Sorbet, Cassata and Eoen’s Symphoni – as well as cakes, cookies and Chinese dishes.
Semarang residents are avid theatre goers, and this city boasts not one but three venues to watch nightly performances of the popular wayang orang and ketoprak – more troupes than in any other Javanese city!
Ngesti Pandowo, Jl. Pemuda 116.
Sri Wanito, Jl. Dr. Dipto.
Wahyu Budoyo, Kompleks Tegal Wareng, Jl. Sriwijaya.
–> Read Also : Accommodation and Dining of East Of Semarang