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Overview

Solo – more properly called Surakarta – is a sister court city to Yogyakarta (Jogja) formed in the 18th century by the Dutch, who feared the power of the mighty Javanese empire, Mataram. Splitting the kingdom into two parts, pitting brothers against each other and moving one of them to the banks of the Bengawan Solo River solved the problem for Holland. Although Solo’s palaces and museums are not as well maintained as Jogja’s are, Javanese culture is still very strong here, and like Jogja, its batik-makers draw thousands of tourist-shoppers both from other parts of Java and abroad each year. The main palace, Keraton Kasunanan, was built in ...

Solo – more properly called Surakarta – is a sister court city to Yogyakarta (Jogja) formed in the 18th century by the Dutch, who feared the power of the mighty Javanese empire, Mataram. Splitting the kingdom into two parts, pitting brothers against each other and moving one of them to the banks of the Bengawan Solo River solved the problem for Holland. Although Solo’s palaces and museums are not as well maintained as Jogja’s are, Javanese culture is still very strong here, and like Jogja, its batik-makers draw thousands of tourist-shoppers both from other parts of Java and abroad each year. The main palace, Keraton Kasunanan, was built in the 1740s. It and the palace of a lesser member of the royal family, Puro Mangkunegaran, are open to the public. East of Solo is sacred Mt. Lawu with two 15th-century temples, the Mayanesque Candi Suku and multi-terraced Candi Ceto. North of town is Sangiran (Sragen), a UNESCO World Heritage Site where Java Man was unearthed. A small museum houses artifacts from other archaeological digs.

Linda Hoffman
About the Expert

Linda Hoffman is a contributing editor for five Periplus guides, including Bali (two editions), Papua, Java, Nusa Tenggara, and eight editions of Insight Guides Indonesia and the Indonesia section of their Southeast Asia guidebook.

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Linda Hoffman for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Solo adjoins Karanganyar Regency and Boyolali Regency to the north, Karanganyar Regency and Sukoharjo Regency to the east and west, and Sukoharjo Regency to the south.
  • Language: Indonesian
  • Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time, if a few hours of daily rain won’t bother you.