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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Top Things to Do while in Solo – Step into the Heart of Java
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Things to Do while in Solo – Step into the Heart of Java

Often referred to as the nucleus of Java's identity and culture, Solo or Surakarta as the locals say, has plenty to draw you back for a second time. Here we take a look at the best things in town.

1

Keraton Surakarta (Surakarta Palace)

This place was once the epicentre of an empire and the Keraton Surakarta still remains as a popular landmark in the town. Much of its former glory was ruined thanks to a fire in 1985, but most of the inner buildings were rebuilt, giving visitors a glimpse of what had been. Built in the seventeenth century, it currently houses a museum called the Sasono Sewoko. Other than the marvellous architecture, one can view the multiple art objects, ancient weapons and the glittering coaches used by the Royal Family. The Palace also regularly hosts cultural events. Furthermore, the central location makes it easy to access from any hotel in Surakarta such as the Alila Solo Hotel Indonesia.

2

Sriwedari Amusement Park

Another place that ties in with the Royal Family, the Sriwedari Amusement Park was once a retreat for the family. With a beautiful design that makes use of ample lush vegetation, the amusement park has a multitude of features that are meant to entice locals as well as tourists. These include a wayang house, a play area for kids, street food and souvenir stores. Moreover, the Sriwedari Amusement Park organizes the Malam Slikuran festival. The park is present at the Slamet Riyadi Street and is walking distance from the nearest train station, so reaching the park is of zero hassle.

3

National Press Monument

A museum dedicated to Indonesia's press, this is a must see for anyone looking to gain an insight into the history of the press. It was given the status of a Cultural Property in the country and is advertised as a location for educational tourism. It houses a stock of over one million newspapers as well as magazines but it does not stop there. It further houses communication equipment from the before ages such as telegraphs, typewriters and decades old camera systems. The National Press Monument allows you to read newspapers for free and make use of its library.

4

Batik Gunawan Setiawan

Located in the Batik Village in Kauman, Batik Gunawan Setiawan is one of the most popular attractions in the area. To start with, you can find hundreds of different batik items that are sold at a range of prices. However, what makes Batik Gunawan Setiawan stand out is that it allows a visitor to learn and educate themselves on the process of making batik. It accomplishes this by operating an open workshop. Thanks to this workshop, the visitor can view the batik making process from the start of the process to the end of it. On top of that, you are treated to an herbal drink that stays true to the Bali tradition. The exact location of the Batik Gunawan Setiawan is number 21 at Cakra Street. The road to the place is a little path that is easy to miss. Worry not though, as the locals would be more than happy to point out the way.