A quick break in Semarang

I was supposed to spent 2 nights in Semarang actually, that’s on the first and last day of my trip but things doesn’t always go as planned. The ferry from Karimunjawa didn’t get approval to set sail on the day I was supposed to get back due to technical problems. So I was stucked in Karimunjawa for another night, burning my prepaid hotel voucher in Semarang and also my time to spend in the city.

paddy field along the way

The ferry from Karimunjawa arrived in the town of Jepara, famously known for their teak wood furniture. As we passed by the main road heading to Semarang, I could see lots of furniture shops by the road ranging from affordable ones till the high end range. It took us about 2 hours to reach Semarang from the pier, passing through paddy fields and the town of Demak.

I saw lots of horse cart nearby Demak area

Semarang city skyline

By the time we reach Semarang, there’s only like half a day left to spent in the city before our flight back to KL. We still managed to cover a few hotspots though. Among the places that I managed to explore during my short time there are.

Masjid Agung Semarang

It was built with a combination of Java, Arab and Greek architecture. It’s capable to accommodate 15,000 people at one time, making it the largest mosque in Central Java. The 6 giant umbrellas in front of it reminds me of the Nabawi Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. There’s a minaret attached to it and we had to pay 5000 rupiah to get up there. Once up there, you will be served with a 360 degree view of Semarang City. Locals said that the view is even awesome at night.

the tower/minaret

top view

Lawang Sewu

This is the most famous landmark of Semarang. The colonial building was built by the Dutch during the 1900s. It was previously a railway station which now acts as a museum. During the Japanese era it was used as a prison. One could even go to the water-filled underground area where previously convicts were tortured. U will need to rent the gumboots in order to go down the basement.

Sam Poh Kong

This is another identity of Semarang, which is also known as Gedung Batu by the locals. It’s actually a Buddhist worshipping place. Only worshippers are allowed inside the temple area but visitors can wonder around the courtyard. Entrance fee is 10,000 rupiah but locals pay only 3,000 rupiah. Luckily I blend in well, so it’s 3000 rupiah for me.

Location Map


View Semarang in a larger map

3 Responses so far.

  1. Jeff says:

    I myself didn’t go to the Gedung Batu as I’m not too fascinated with it. Lawang Sewu, on the other hand, is very beautiful. Too bad the main building was closed for renovation. I also went to Masjid Agung for the minaret as I wanted to view the city as a whole. I didn’t walk around the mosque though for I didn’t want to disturb people praying.
    Jeff recently posted..Semarang – Adventure from the Get GoMy Profile

    • danarif says:

      yup Lawang Sewu was beautiful but they insist that I need to take the guide that day.. did u experience the same? and did u went for the underground tour?

      • Jeff says:

        Insisted is too kind a word as we can’t said no at all..but at least the tour guide added something extra to the tour and not just a photo taking session..and yea, i did went down to the underground..i can’t imagine the lives of those prisoners kept under there during the Japanese Occupation..


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