Overlooking the Java Sea, Semarang is a lively port city home to historic Dutch colonial architecture in its old quarter and a fascinating Chinatown area. Along with sumptuous street food and enthralling wildlife experiences, Semarang grants access to family-friendly water parks and a popular marina.
Things to do in Semarang
History lovers can admire a number of eye-catching buildings around Semarang, including the circa-1907 Lawang Sewu, which was the headquarters of the Dutch East Indies Railway Company. Don’t miss seeing the unique Sam Poo Kong, the city’s oldest Chinese temple with traditional Chinese and Javanese architecture. You can also admire various architecture at the grand Great Mosque of Central Java.
Looking to immerse yourself in the local dining scene? Head to Lapangan "Pancasila" Simpang Lima, an inner-city park where basketball courts and bike rental stands sit next to street-food stalls serving traditional and international cuisine. Alternatively, watch locals fishing from the piers along Marina Beach, where you’ll also catch sight of boats entering the port.
If you’ve got the kids with you, treat them to a day out at Water Blaster, a sprawling water park with high-speed water slides, a play area and food court. They’ll also love the Old City 3D Trick Art Museum Semarang, which houses unique 3D artwork that makes for great photo opportunities.
Get up close to wild monkeys at Goa Kreo, an expansive cave that was once used for meditation and now houses hundreds of cheeky monkeys. You can also enter an otherworldly landscape of oases, canyons and ochre rock formations at Brown Canyon Semarang.
Getting around Semarang
Semarang is best reached by flying into Bandar Udara TNI Angkatan Darat Semarang, an international airport about nine kilometres from the city centre. You can easily get around using mini buses, buses, taxis or a rental car.