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Updated by Rozy James on Feb 17, 2016
Rozy James Rozy James
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Excursions in Solo – The Traditional Village of Java

Solo still retains traditional roots, the least modernised of all Javanese villages it's a marvellous mix of attractive districts to explore. Such as elegant malls, backstreets of Kampung and markets.


Kraton Surakarta

The Kraton Surakarta was once a bustling epi centre of the Solo Empire. Today although it has faded into time it still is well worth exploring. Most of the palace destroyed in a 1985 fire has been well restored although its former glory seems to be missing. The high point of the visit would be your trip to the Sasono Sewoko Museum. There you will come across vintage Hindu and Javanese silver and bronze figures, royal heirlooms, weapons and a rather impressive collection of horse carriages. Parts of the Kraton are sealed off as these areas are still occupied by the Susuhunan – Sultan. Climb to the top and you will enter a tower that belongs to 1782, this tower which has withstood the test of time is said to be the meditation room of the sultan. It is here that he speaks to the Goddess of the Sea. The palace is open from 9 am to 2 pm.


Istana Mangkunegaran

The Istana Mangkunegaran is the second house of Solo. The building dates back to 1757 and surprisingly is in much better condition than the palace. Taking central place in the compound is the Pendopo this is a pavilion built using traditional Javanese and European construction styles. The high round ceiling is a lovely sight; painted with a vibrant flame around which figures from the Javanese zodiac are displayed. You will see that each figure is painted in its personal 'mystic' colour. Every colour guards against a different kind of ill such as; wicked thoughts, fear, evil, hunger etc. The palace museum is a must visit; on display there are gold plated royal garments, a huge collection of masks, jewellery, Buddhist rings and some other rather quirky but interesting objects. Open from 8.30 am to 2 pm Monday to Saturday and 8.30 am to 1 pm on Sunday.


House of Danar Hadi

Danar Hadi is Java's world famous batik museum. Exploring the museum is quite a treat for it is home to a vibrant collection of vintage and royal textiles from across Java, China and other neighbouring regions. The collection boasts over 10,000 pieces and is housed within an exceptionally beautiful colonial style building. A typical tour will take around 1 and half hours and are conducted in English. And for those of you curious about the trade, do visit the workshop where craftsmen are hard at work creating new works of art. You can purchase these beautiful creations at the souvenir shop.

In order to enjoy the best experiences in Solo do consider a Solo hotel that is well placed within a central location. Choose a traditional resort that offers endless luxury and comfort together with typical Javanese hospitality and service. One such option considered by travellers visiting the country is the Alila Solo hotel.


Taman Sriwedari

This one is for the whole family. Taman Sriwedari is an amusement park loaded with fun rides and other invigorating activities. Pack tickets for multiple rides are available at the entrance kiosks while the in-house theatre is known to put up nightly cultural shows such as Wayang Orang performances.


Mesjid Agung

The Mesjid Agung is the largest mosque in Solo and it is also revered as the most holy. Go there for sights of classical Javanese architectural styles and serene spaces.