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Semarang Trip on a Budget: Affordable Destinations to Discover

Looking for a swift and thrilling escape that won’t drain your budget? Look no further than Semarang, a city that offers the perfect solution for those seeking a budget-friendly yet exhilarating getaway. Whether you’re a history enthusiast exploring ancient sites or a food lover indulging in local delicacies, Semarang has something for everyone, making it the ideal destination for an affordable and exciting break.

Read on to find out your most budget-friendly itinerary in Semarang!

07.00 – 08.30 Soto Pandanaran for Breakfast

Soto Pandanaran via Google Maps

Opens your day with a bowl of piping hot Soto Pandanaran for breakfast! Opens daily from 06.30 AM to 9 PM, this local food stall serves traditional Javanese clear soup characterized by its savory broth, tender meat, and delectable toppings. Often enjoyed with steamed rice, the dish is typically garnished with a medley of fresh ingredients such as bean sprouts, lime wedges, celery leaves, and crispy shallots, adding layers of texture and crunch. Ranging from Rp4,500-Rp16,000, you can get a bowl of delicious beef or chicken soto and a cup of warm tea. Feel free to indulge in the city’s culinary heritage one spoonful at a time!

Also Read: Explore Dieng: The Best Places to Visit and Dine

09.15 – 10.45 Sam Poo Kong Chinese Temple

Christine Tanuwijaya via Google Maps

Your next stop is Sam Poo Kong. This captivating Chinese temple, also known as Gedung Batu, marks as the city’s vibrant intermingling of Chinese and Javanese cultures. Sam Poo Kong, derives from Admiral Zheng He, also known as Sam Poo Tay Djien in the local dialect, a renowned Chinese explorer who played a crucial role in diplomatic and trade missions during the Ming Dynasty. Legend has it that Zheng He visited this site during his travels, and the temple was subsequently built in his honor.

Stroll around as you enjoy the intricate architecture seamlessly blends Chinese and Javanese elements, with ornate carvings, intricate statues, and vibrant colors adorning the temple complex. The main hall features a large statue of Admiral Zheng He, surrounded by smaller statues depicting scenes from his legendary voyages. Opens everyday from 9 AM to 8 PM, with entrance fee ranging from Rp40,000 (weekdays) to Rp60,000 (weekends), you are invited to explore Sam Poo Kong’s historical significance that ties two distinct cultures!

11.20 – 12.15 Stroll Around Semarang’s Old Town

Iman Supriyadi via Google Maps

Get ready to discover Semarang’s charming and historic district that serves as a living proof to the city’s colonial past. Semarang Old Town or Kota Lama is a captivating area that blends Dutch, Chinese, and Javanese influences, promising you a nostalgic journey through time. Wander through its cobblestone streets as you step into a bygone era. The well-preserved colonial architecture showcases elegant buildings with distinctive European and Chinese elements, adorned with ornate facades, antique doors, and colorful shutters. These structures bear witness to the city’s history as a vital trading port during the Dutch East Indies era.

One of the iconic landmarks is Blenduk Church, a Dutch colonial church with a unique hexagonal shape and an elegant dome. This architectural gem stands as a symbol of religious harmony in the area, surrounded by historic buildings that house museums, cafes, and galleries. To fully appreciate the charm of Semarang Old Town, consider taking a guided heritage walk or a scenic bike ride through the narrow lanes. When the sun sets, witness as the district transforms into a magical landscape with illuminated buildings and a nostalgic ambiance!

Also Read: Unveiling the Hidden Treasures: 14 Unforgettable Things to Do in Sumba Island

12.30 – 13.30 Lunch at Warung Koyor Kota Lama

Chris Wirawan via Google Maps

It’s time for lunch! While you’re at Kota Lama, get your lunch at Warung Koyor Kota Lama. Established since 1955, this humble eatery is not just a place to satisfy your taste buds, it’s a place that offers a nostalgic ambiance. As you step in, the aroma of spices and slow-cooked delights welcomes you, setting the stage for a genuine dining experience.

The menu at Warung Koyor boasts a variety of classic Javanese dishes, with a spotlight on Koyor, a flavorful beef dish slow-cooked to perfection. The tender and succulent meat is infused with a harmonious blend of local spices, creating a dish that’s both comforting and rich in taste. Opens from 8.30 AM to 3 PM, get a plate of flavourful lunch only at Rp25,000-Rp30,000. Bob recommends you to get your cash ready as the place only accept cash payment!

14.00 – 14.30 Check-in at Bobopod Kota Lama Semarang

Around 2 PM, head to Bobopod Kota Lama to secure a place for your comfortable stay. As you make your way to your pod, you’ll be welcomed by the unique design of modern pod-style rooms that offers a cozy and efficient space, combining functionality with a stylish aesthetic. Each pod is equipped with modern amenities, including comfortable bedding, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a smart pod system, making your stay stress-free!

Also Read: 8 Best Affordable Steak in Jakarta That Will Satisfy Your Cravings on a Budget!

15.00 – 16.00 Sightseeing at Lawang Sewu

Anggrean Yudistira via Google Maps

Spend the rest of the afternoon at Lawang Sewu, a historic landmark renowned for its striking architecture and rich history. Translated as “Thousand Doors,” this colonial-era building is an iconic symbol of Semarang’s past. Runs daily from 8.00 AM to 4.00 PM, you can explore the building’s fascinating interiors and learn about its varied uses over the years. The entrance fee is quite affordable, only Rp10,000, making it accessible to both locals and tourists. As you step inside Lawang Sewu, you’ll be transported back in time, discovering its unique blend of Dutch and Javanese influences. The name “Thousand Doors” may be a misnomer, but the numerous large windows and doors contribute to the grandeur of this architectural gem, inviting you to delve into the intriguing history of Semarang!

Also Read: Cultural Nightlife in Ubud: 6 Memorable Things to Do in Ubud at Night

16.30 – 17.45 Evening Snack at Loenpia Mbak Lien

Emma Projects via Google Maps

In-between lunch and dinner, get your aftrenoon snack at Lunpia Mbak Lien, a culinary destination that has become synonymous with the city’s gastronomic identity. Renowned for its delectable lumpia, Lunpia Mbak Lien is a haven for those seeking an authentic taste of Semarang’s culinary heritage.

The star of the show at Lunpia Mbak Lien is, of course, the lumpia. These delectable spring rolls are a harmonious blend of savory flavors and textures. The thin and crispy skin encapsulates a filling of bamboo shoots, prawns, and other local ingredients, creating a taste that is both satisfying and uniquely Semarang. Opens daily from 8.30 AM to 9 PM, you can get a portion of Semarang’s cuisine heritage for Rp25,000-Rp27,500 only!

19.30 – 20.30 Dinner at Bakmi Jowo Pak Gareng

Eddy Yap via Google Maps

Close the day with a dinner at Bakmi Jowo Pak Gareng. This noodle shop is Semarang’s culinary treasure, renowned for serving authentic Javanese noodle dishes that capture the essence of local flavors. Operating since 1970s as a beloved eatery, Bakmi Jowo Pak Gareng often welcomes hungry customers from 10.00 AM to 11.00 PM. The menu offers a delightful array of Javanese noodle dishes, known as bakmi, featuring various options like mie ayam (chicken noodles) and mie goreng (fried noodles), each meticulously prepared with traditional recipes. The prices are pleasantly reasonable at Rp18,000/portion, providing an affordable yet satisfying dining experience!

As the sun sets over the city, let Bobopod Kota Lama be a place for you to rejuvenate and prepare for another day of adventure. This modern pods seamlessly blend comfort and style, providing a cozy haven to unwind. Each pod is thoughtfully designed with high-tech amenities, ensuring a restful stay. Strategically located at the heart of Semarang’s heritage site, Bobopod Kota Lama adds more convenient exploration of Semarang’s vibrant streets, historical sites, and culinary delights!

Unlock a world of unparalleled convenience with Bobobox App, your passport to a seamless, comfortable, and budget-friendly travel experience as you explore enchanting tourist attractions across Indonesia!

Bob’s Budget Check

  • Soto Pandanaran: Rp4,500-Rp16,000/person
  • Sam Poo Kong:  Rp40,000-Rp60,000/pax
  • Semarang Old Town: Free
  • Warung Koyor Kota Lama: Rp25,000-Rp30,000/person
  • Loenpia Mbak Lien: Rp25,000-Rp27,500/person
  • Lawang Sewu: Rp10,000/pax
  • Bakmi Jowo Pak Gareng: Rp18,000/person


Writer: Ratna Asih Setyaningrum

Header Image by: Wawa Bepe via Google Maps



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