Most travellers wouldn’t have heard of Semarang. Certainly not as a destination. But if you’re looking for something a little different for your year-end trip, this little transit town is a destination worth considering. So we've put together a list of what to do in Semarang in this article.
Recently many of my friends have been asking me where they should visit in Southeast Asia. With the weak Ringgit, Thailand has become expensive. Singapore is out of the question. Cambodia and Vietnam use USD for transactions (but these are still affordable options). But one of the most affordable options that’s really close by to Malaysia is Indonesia.
Bali is overdone. Jakarta is pretty hectic. Yogyakarta is one of my suggestions to visit before it gets overcrowded. But Semarang is a great town to fly into before making your way to Yogyakarta (just about 2-3 hours away).
We landed in Semarang on a Saturday morning and stayed till Monday morning. We checked into the all-new Wimarion Hotel, which sits atop a hill and is in a quieter part of Semarang.
Wimarion Hotel is a gorgeous new boutique hotel that is such a tranquil place, it is great for all kinds of travellers. Whether you’re here for a wedding, a honeymoon, on business or as a family, this hotel will ease all your worries and leave you in a state of peace.
Overlooking Semarang, the Wimarion Hotel offers stunning views. With modern amenities and a decent location, it’s everything you need in a good hotel.
Just look at this stunning view! The azure skies are something of a common occurrence in this part of Indonesia. We noticed clear blue skies everyday while we were in Semarang and Yogyakarta.
So now that you know where to stay in Semarang, here’s what to do in Semarang. We list down 9 must-do activities in Semarang:
1. Enjoy the stunning views and infinity pool at Wimarion Hotel
2. Enjoy dim sum at the best Chinese restaurant in town
Palace Fine Cuisine and Ballroom is one of the most classy places you could possibly have a meal at with the family. Weekend brunches are filled with families coming to enjoy the wide array of dim sum available.
There are so many choices that you will want to order them all. Take it from us - do order them all. They're all worth enjoying!
3. What to do in Semarang at night: Indulge in some rooftop bar bites and drinks at Wimarion Hotel
The rendang nachos are to die for and some of their cocktails are incredibly refreshing. Get the bartender to recommend some great drinks to pair with your bar snacks.
Even desserts here are such a delight. Some of the dishes here are executed with such expertise, you will think you're in a fine dining restaurant. And you probably will feel that way with a dedicated wine room on the premises and a stunning night view of the town below.
4. Visit a hipster’s haven - Spiegel Cafe in the Old Quarter
We loved the vintage interior and classic vibes at Spiegel Coffee. Many people who walk through those doors will instantly fall in love with the place. With generous streams of natural light flowing in and killer homemade gelato for sale, it's a winning combination.
The chrome furniture had us desperately wanting some for our own. #interiorgoals
5. Walk around the old quarter and enjoy the vintage architecture
6. Visit the Rainbow Village
What did we say about the clear blue skies? We were blessed with this everyday!
7. What to do in Semarang for history buffs: Check out the eerie historical site - Lawang Sewu
This old colonial building is a little creepy, especially at night. But we played it safe and went during the day where we got to experience the cooling breeze within the halls, the light streaming through the stained glass windows, affording us the stunning intricate designs. Lawang Sewu is a former prison during the Japanese occupation, which is where it gets its notorious haunted house reputation.
Lawang Sewu means thousand doors, which is exactly what this building has... many doors and windows and arches. It's a great building to explore, especially for history and architecture buffs.
8. Unwind with the best coffee in town - Strada Caffe
It's easy to unwind in one of the best cafes in Semarang. If you love your coffee, you must head to Strada Coffee, where you will find some of the best brews in town. Get the barista to recommend something based on your palate preference and go home with a bag of beans too!
9. Indulge in the best martabak in town - Thien Thien Lay
This highly addictive sweet and savoury pancake dessert is NOT to be missed at all. You have to make every effort to get your hands on some freshly made pancakes as they are to die for!
So, will you be planning your trip to Semarang anytime soon? Check out these places for the best Semarang trip ever. Now you can't say you don't know what to do in Semarang!