@lewislie

3 Spots in Semarang, Indonesia that will make you wish you’re there now!

 

Just a one hour and 15 minute plane ride from Jakarta, Semarang, Indonesia
is a city abundant in culture and history waiting for you to be enjoyed.

 

3 Spots in Semarang, Indonesia

Here are three spots in Semarang, Indonesia that will make you wish you’re there now exploring it:

1) Lawang Sewu Building

eric.christianto
Photo credit to @eric.christianto.

Formerly built as a head office of the Dutch East Indies Railway Company (“Nederlandsch Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij”), Lawang Sewu building, which translates to a building with “thousand doors,” has become the iconic building of Semarang, Indonesia.

There are four types of people who will appreciate it:

  1. History Buffs –  The building has a lot of reminders of the history of the place from the locomotive in the grounds to the many old prints that show what the building and the city looked like before in the little museum.
  2. Ghost Hunters – It is indeed a beautiful building, but it has a tragic past. Aside from it being used as prison of the Japanese during World War II, it became the site for the bloody “Battle of Semarang” between the Japanese fighters and Indonesian independence fighters. Thus, a night tour can be availed with a local guide if they want to explore it with the executed victims who allegedly haunt the place. Word has it even the building’s closed basement old jail is one of the most haunted places in Indonesia.
  3. Architecture Lovers – They can appreciate the look of a typical old Dutch building and how it was built enables much air circulation.
  4. Photographers – Since it has a lot of interesting of photo spots, they will enjoy taking different angles of its long corridors, stairs, antique bathroom, gardens, and, of course, the thousand doors which the highlight of one’s visit.

 

Opening Hours: 7AM to 9PM.
Admission Fees:

  • Adults: Rp 10.000/ PhP 36.80 (or 0.74 USD)
  • Kids and students: Rp 5.000/ PhP  18.4 (or 0.37 USD)

 

2) Sam Poo Kong Temple

@novotelsemarang
Photo credit to @novotelsemarang.

Also known as Gedung Batu or “Stone Building,” it was originally in a cave inside a rocky landscape, but after a landslide, it was rebuilt closer to the city center. Admiral Cheng Ho built built the temple foundations so the shrine was dedicated to honor him.

Hailed as the oldest Chinese temple in Semarang, only those who have the intention to pray regardless of religion will be permitted to enter. Those who can’t enter can still do the following:

  • Appreciate the temple’s mixed architectural styles coming from both Chinese and Javanese. All the five temples are adorned with traditional carvings and sculptures.
  • See the massive statue of Admiral Cheng Ho in the central courtyard.
  • Check the souvenir shops.
  • Have a photo shoot wearing the traditional Chinese costumes for rent.
  • Immerse yourself in a multi-religious experience as you hear sounds from nearby Mosques while waling through the temple complex.
  • Enjoy barongsai (or lion dance) performances in festivals to celebrate important historical moments.

 

Admission Fees:

  • Local Tourists: Rp 10.000/ PhP 36.80 (or 0.74 USD)
  • Foreign Tourists: Rp 5.000/ PhP  18.4 (or 0.37 USD)

 

3) Semarang Old Town

@lewislie
Photo credit to @lewislie.

No visit in Semarang will ever be complete without vising Semarang old town. Be charmed with the old buildings whereby you’ll get the 90s vibes. It’s best to explore it by foot than a becak (their traditional transportation) so you won’t miss anything.

Some of the places one can visit in the area the following:

  • Semarang Contemporary Art Gallery – It showcases the artworks of Asian contemporary artists especially those from Indonesia.
  • Gereja Blenduk (Blenduk Church) – It is a protestant church and it is considered as the oldest church in the province.
  • Antique market – You can buy old dishes, furniture, indonesian coins, and more.
  • Spiegel Bar and Bistro – Perfect for hanging out and resting after strolling in Semarang Old Town, it is a trendy cafe in an old, airy and spacious colonial building. You can grab good food and good drinks including alcohol.
  • Angkringan Blendoek – During nighttime, you can hangout in this outdoor place to eat varieties of local street foods and local delicacies like wingko babat, a traditional Javanese pancake-like snack. All these while enjoying cozy live music.


After a full day of exploring any of those spots in Semarang, Indonesia, it is only proper that one will get a full night’s rest. What we recommend is staying at Novotel Semarang that is close to tourist attractions and with the convenience of having Paragon Mall right across the hotel.

@novotelsemarang
Photo credit to @novotelsemarang.

It features spacious but cozy rooms with free high speed Wi-Fi so you can immediately share your photos from your day of exploration. Conveniently book it at Traveloka.


If you liked this blog post, you may want to read more of our travel blog posts. And see also what my home country, the Philippines, has to offer.

What do you think of exploring Semarang, Indonesia?

6 Responses to “3 Spots in Semarang, Indonesia that will make you wish you’re there now!”

  1. The Semarang old town building looks so beautiful! I can imagine taking loads of IG-worthy shots there! Hahaha…. If only there’s more pictures for me to ogle. Heh! It’s a shame that they had to shift the temple out of the caves due to the landslide! It sounded so special and characteristic to be sitting in a cave in the first place!

    Reply
  2. Except for the temple, the other two looks so much like the buildings/structures we are used to here sa atin ano? Parang they remind me of Spanish architecture. I agree, they are good places to visit lalo yung mga merong historical backgrounds.

    As for the Chinese temple, medyo I was surprised kasi ang alam ko sa Indonesia parang ayaw nila sa Chinese…?

    Reply
  3. Hi, I’m Eric Christianto from Semarang, Indonesia. Thank you for using my photo and promoting our tourism object in your blog.. I’m very appreciate it. I hope you follow me on instagram also. Thanks once again 🙂

    Reply
  4. First of all, let me congratulate you for the love you guys have put in making this website. Next, let me admit that the Lawang Setu building held my attention disproportionately to the rest of the post. Ask me why. For the simple reason that I am a sucker of all things paranormal. Do you believe in ghosts too?

    Reply
  5. Amazing pics. I can totally understand why you say that one would want to be at any of these three places time and again. Lawang Sewu Building’s architecture being of dutch style, it does remind me of some of the old world charm that is still present in the Goan state of India.

    P.S. I can understand you disabled COPYING content to avoid plagiarism but not sure why PASTING from clip-board is not allowed 🙁

    Reply
  6. You have certainly introduced me to beautiful Indonesia. I was always under the impression that Islam influenced this city and there is no history or placed of diversity to visit. I am really intrigued the temple. It is gorgeous and I would def take a pic at the temple wearing traditional outfit 🙂

    Reply

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