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For the board game, see Surakarta (game).
Clockwise: Skyline of Solo, Omah Sinten, Pura Mangkunagaran, Sriwedari, Windujenar Market
Clockwise: Skyline of Solo, Omah Sinten, Pura Mangkunagaran, Sriwedari, Windujenar Market
Official seal of Surakarta
Nickname(s): Solo
Motto: The Spirit of Java
Surakarta is located in Indonesia
Location of Surakarta in Indonesia
Coordinates: 7°34′0″S 110°49′0″E / 7.56667°S 110.81667°E / -7.56667; 110.81667Coordinates: 7°34′0″S 110°49′0″E / 7.56667°S 110.81667°E / -7.56667; 110.81667
Country Indonesia
Province Central Java
 • Sunan (King) ꦦꦏꦸꦨꦸꦮꦤ꧇꧑꧓꧇ (Pakubuwana XIII)
 • Adhipati ꦩꦴꦔ꧀ꦏꦸꦤꦴꦒꦫ꧇꧙꧇ (Mangkunegara IX)
 • Mayor F. X. Hadi Rudyatmo
 • Total 44.03 km2 (17.00 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 520,061
 • Density 12,000/km2 (31,000/sq mi)
Time zone WIB (UTC+7)
Area code(s) 0271

Surakarta (Hanacaraka : ꦯꦸꦫꦏꦂꦠ, often called Solo and less commonly Sala), is a city in Central Java, Indonesia of more than 520,061 people (2009)[1] with a population density of 11,811.5 people/km2. The 44 km2 city[2] 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.[3] On the eastern side of Solo lies Solo River (Bengawan Solo). The city is the seat of Surakarta Sunanate kraton (palace/court). Together with Yogyakarta, Surakarta is the heir of the Mataram Kingdom that was split into two kingdoms in 1755.

Surakarta is the birthplace of the current president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo. He led as mayor of Surakarta from 2005 to 2012.


Surakarta is also widely known by the name "Solo". "Surakarta" is used in formal and official contexts. The city has a similar name to the neighboring district of "Kartasura," where the previous capital of Mataram was located. The Dutch name "Soerakarta" influenced the Indonesian spelling "Soerakarta" in use before the 1948 spelling reform.


Its ruling family lay claim to being the heirs to the Mataram dynasty. Like Yogyakarta, Solo has two royal palaces.

Foundation of the dynasty[edit]

A series of wars and clashes between the Adipati (dukes) followed the death of the last Sultan of Demak Bintoro,[citation needed] the first Islamic kingdom in Java. One of these was Jaka Tingkir, son-in-law of the late sultan. After defeating the last opponent duke of Jipang-Panola, Jaka Tingkir, also known as Sultan Hadiwijaya, claimed the throne and moved the capital to the city of Pajang, located about 8 miles from present-day Surakarta. His adopted son, Sutawijaya, formed a conspiracy and killed him with the help of an assassin. Then he ascended the throne and once again moved the capital to Mataram in the present-day province of Yogyakarta, and a new dynasty was founded.

Pakubuwono II[edit]

Tower and portal of Kraton Surakarta

Up until 1744, Solo was little more than a quiet backwater village, 10 km east of Kartasura, the contemporary capital of the Mataram kingdom. But in that year the Mataram susuhunan (king), Pakubuwono II, backed the Chinese against the Dutch, and the court at Kartasura was sacked as a result. Pakubuwono II searched for a more auspicious spot to rebuild his capital, and in 1745 the entire court was dismantled and transported in a great procession to Surakarta, on the banks of the Kali (River) Solo. February 18, 1745 is regarded as the official birthday of the city. It was said that the place he chose to be the new palace was situated on a small lake. The "babad" or official record of court historians still mentions that the lake was drained by the favor of the mythical queen of the southern sea, Nyi Roro Kidul.

The Wayang Orang performed at the Gedung Wayang Orang, Sriwedari

However, the decline continued, and in 1757, after the kingdom of Mataram was divided into the Surakarta Sultanate (northern court) and the Yogyakarta Sultanate (southern court), another rival royal house of Mangkunegoro was established by Raden Mas Said, also known as Pangeran Samber Nyowo (The Slayer Prince), right in the centre of Solo. It marked the success of the Dutch policy of divide et impera (divide and conquer) in the East Indies. The Mataram held considerable power in Java, yet it submitted to the Dutch. Thereafter, Solo's royal houses quit fighting and instead threw their energies into the arts, developing a highly sophisticated and graceful court culture. The gamelan pavilions became the new theaters of war, with each city competing to produce the more refined court culture. Wayang Kulit and Wayang Wong are some theatrical arts still performed today.

The Palace contains a notable museum, which used to house a female chastity belt until it was stolen by thieves.

Pakubuwono X[edit]

Perhaps the most significant ruler of the 20th century was Pakubuwono X. His relationship with the Dutch, his large family, and his popularity contributed to perhaps the largest funeral procession that ever occurred in Solo. He had spent a large amount of money on the Royal Graveyard at Imogiri, both the main sections of the graveyard and the new section that he was buried in. In the era just prior to independence Surakarta had European, Chinese, and Arab quarters.

Struggle for Independence[edit]

After hearing the proclamation of Indonesian Independence, both Mangkunegara VII and Pakubuwono XII declared Surakarta a part of the Republic of Indonesia (RI). Because of this support, President Soekarno declared Surakarta the Daerah Istimewa Surakarta (DIS)/"Surakarta Special Region".

In October 1945, an anti-"swapraja" (anti-feudalism/anti-monarchy) movement was established in Surakarta. One of the leaders of this movement was Tan Malaka, a member of the Indonesian Communist Party. This organization wanted to abolish all feudal kingdoms in Surakarta and the Surakarta special region (DIS) and replace all regents in Surakarta. The key issue was whether the end of Dutch rule should bring a total change in the government, or whether the ancient and historic institutions, giving the people a link to pre-colonial times, should be retained.

On October 17, 1945, KRMH Sosrodiningrat, the vizier of Kasunanan kingdom, was kidnapped and murdered by communists. The new vizier, KRMT Yudonagoro, and 9 other officials from Kepatihan were also kidnapped and murdered by the same movement in March 1946.

In 1946, the capital of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) was moved to the nearby city of Yogyakarta.

On June 16, 1946, the DIS was abolished and replaced with the regency (kabupaten) of Surakarta. This event is commemorated as the birthday of the city of Surakarta. This only has administrative and not civic significance.

On June 26, 1946, Prime Minister of Indonesia Sutan Syahrir was kidnapped by a rebel movement led by Major General Soedarsono, the commander of the 3rd division. President Soekarno (more often called Sukarno) was angry at this kidnapping and on July 1, 1946, 14 civilian leaders of this movement, including Tan Malaka, were arrested by Indonesian police.

On July 2, 1946, the rebel leaders were freed from Wirogunan prison by rebel troops, led by Maj. Gen. Soedarsono. President Soekarno asked the local military commander in Surakarta, Lieutenant Colonel Soeharto (who later became President Soeharto [often spelled Suharto]) to arrest Major General Soedarsono and the rebel group. Lt. Col. Soeharto refused to follow this command unless it was given directly by the Military Chief of Staff, General Soedirman. President Soekarno was angry at this rejection of his authority to give direct commands to all levels of the military, and called Lt. Col. Soeharto a stubborn ("koppig") officer.

Lt. Col. Soeharto pretended that he supported the rebellion and persuaded Maj. Gen. Soedarsono and his group to stay at his headquarters at Wiyoro, Surakarta for their own safety. Later that night he persuaded Maj. Gen. Soedarsono to meet President Soekarno at his palace the next morning. Lt. Col. Soeharto secretly informed the presidential guard troops about Maj. Gen. Soedarsono's plan on the next morning.

A statue of Slamet Riyadi in Surakarta

On July 3, 1946, Maj. Gen. Soedarsono and his group were arrested by the presidential guard near the palace. Prime Minister Syahrir was released unharmed. Several months later, Maj. Gen. Soedarsono and his group were pardoned and released from prison.

Later this rebellion was called the "failed July 3, 1946 coup". This event is mentioned in President Soeharto's autobiography published in 1988.

From 1945 to 1948, the Dutch re-occupied various regions in Java. The remaining areas of the Republic of Indonesia were in Yogyakarta, Surakarta, and surrounding areas.

In December 1948, the Dutch attacked and occupied the cities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. The Indonesian army led by General Soedirman started a guerrilla war from surrounding areas. The Dutch said that the Republic was destroyed and no longer existed. To disprove this claim, the Indonesian army conducted large-scale raids into the cities of Jogyakarta and Surakarta, called Serangan Oemoem. The Indonesian troops managed to beat the Dutch troops and occupy the city for several hours. The leader of the raid to Yogyakarta was Lt. Col. Soeharto. The leader of a similar raid on Surakarta on August 7, 1949 was Lt. Col. Slamet Riyadi. To commemorate this event, the main street of the city of Surakarta was renamed "Brigadier General Slamet Riyadi Street".


By 1950 Surakarta had a population of 165,484.[4] In 1950 Surakarta, or Solo, was a trade center for such agricultural products as rice, rubber, corn, indigo, cassava, and sugar. It also had seen the development of some industries. These included tanning, textiles, and machinery. Also batik making was a common activity.

1960s troubles[edit]

From October 1965 to 1966, there was large-scale chaos in Central Java, following an abortive coup and the subsequent killings of 1965–66.

1998 riot[edit]

In May 1998, there was a large riot in Surakarta. It was initially triggered by rising oil prices, with an angry mob ransacking and setting many buildings on fire, particularly banks and official government buildings. But then the situation became uncontrolled as the mob also targeted shopping centers and other commercial buildings for destruction, before it finally turned into a racial riot as rioters targeted houses and business assets of the local Indonesian-Chinese, leading to widespread destruction in the region.


Day View of Surakarta

Surakarta is a lowland lying on flat terrain 105 m above sea level (in the city center about 95 m above sea level), with an area of 44.1 km2 (0.14% of the area of Central Java). It is approximately 65 km (40 mi) northeast of Yogyakarta and 100 km (62 mi) southeast of Semarang. The eastern part of the town is bordered by Bengawan Solo River, the longest river on Java. The river is the inspiration for the song "Bengawan Solo", a 1940s composition by Gesang Martohartono which became famous throughout much of Asia. The city's soil is fertile because of the river and its tributaries.

The city is surrounded by Merbabu and Mount Merapi (3,151 m high) to the west and Mount Lawu (3265 m high) to the east. The Sewu Mountain Range lies further south. Nearby is also the infamous Mount Kemukus (also known as Sex Mountain).


The water sources for Surakarta are in the valley of Merapi, a total of 19 locations, with a capacity of 3,404 l/second. The average source water height is 800–1,200 m above sea level. In 1890–1927 there were only 12 wells in Surakarta. Today, underground water wells in 23 locations produce about 45 l/second.[5]

In March 2006, Surakarta's state water company (PDAM) had a production capacity of 865.02 l/second: from Cokrotulung, Klaten, 27 km from Solo, 387 l/s; and from 26 deep wells, with a total capacity of 478,02 l/second. The total reservoir capacity is 9,140 m3 and can serve 55,22% of the population.[6]

The soil in Solo is fertile, partly because of the volcanic activity of Mounts Merapi and Lawu. Combined with abundant water source, makes the hinterland good for planting vegetables, food and cash crops. But in the last 20 years, manufacturing industry and tourism have been booming and agriculture declining.


Under the Köppen climate classification, Surakarta features a tropical monsoon climate. The city has a lengthy wet season spanning from October through June, and a relatively short dry season covering the remaining three months (July through September). On average Surakarta receives just under 2200 mm of rainfall annually, with its wettest months being December, January, and February. As is common in areas featuring a tropical monsoon climate, temperatures are relatively consistent throughout the year. Surakarta's average temperature is roughly 30 degrees Celsius every month.

Climate data for Surakarta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 29
Average low °C (°F) 22
Precipitation mm (inches) 350
Source: Weatherbase[7]


Surakarta borders the Karanganyar and Boyolali Regency in the west and north, Karanganyar and Sukoharjo Regency in the east, and Sukoharjo Regency in the south. At each of the city borders stands a gapura kraton or Javanese entrance monument, erected in 1931–32 during the reign of Pakubuwono X in Kasunanan Surakarta. Each of them serves as a border and an entry point to the capital of Kraton Surakarta with the neighboring territories. The gapuras were built not only on highways but also on the riverside of Bengawan Solo. Bengawan Solo used to be a port and crossing point (in Mojo/Silir).

The gapuras were built in two sizes, large and small. Large gapuras were built on major roadways. They can be seen in Grogol (south), Kerten and Jurug (east). Small gapuras can be seen near Dr. Oen Hospital (north), on the road to Baki in Solo Baru (south), Makamhaji (west), and in Mojo/Silir. Each of the large gapuras also has a stele that contains the name of the reigning monarch and the year that it was built.[8]

Administrative division[edit]

Surakarta City Hall

Surakarta City and its surrounding regencies, Karanganyar, Sragen, Wonogiri, Sukoharjo, Klaten, and Boyolali, are collectively called the ex-Surakarta Residency (Dutch: Residentie Soerakarta). After Surakarta became a city, it was divided into five districts (kecamatan), each led by a camat, and subdivided into 51 kelurahan, each led by a lurah. The districts of Surakarta are:[9]

Greater Surakarta[edit]

Surakarta as a dense core city in Central Java, and its second city, spills considerably into neighboring regencies. Though a traffic study quotes the population as 1,158,000 as of 2008,[10] this reflects only the very core, as the city affects entire neighboring regencies by significantly driving up overall population densities in Sukoharjo Regency and Klaten Regency over the already dense countryside. Furthermore, the government of Indonesia officially defines a broader region as Surakarta's extended metropolitan zone, with the acronym Subosukawonosraten as the city and 6 surrounding regencies.,[11][12] though obviously not a core metropolitan area as some of its regencies are not particularly suburbanized, it reflects a broader planning region. Both the metropolitan area and extended areas border Yogyakarta's metropolitan area, while only the extended metropolitan area borders Kedungsapur or Greater Semarang. See also List of metropolitan areas in Indonesia.

Administrative division Area (km²) Population (2010 Census) Population density (/km²)
Surakarta Municipality 44.03 499,337 11,340
Sukoharjo Regency 466.66 824,238 1,766
Klaten Regency 655.56 1,130,047 1,723
Boyolali Regency 1,015.1 930,531 916
Sragen Regency 946.49 858,266 906
Karanganyar Regency 800.28 813,196 1,016
Wonogiri Regency 1,822.37 928,904 509
Greater Surakarta (Subosukawonosraten) 5,750.49 5,984,519 1,040


In the current Indonesian context, Surakarta is a city within the province of Central Java. Previous to the Indonesian nation being formed, it was an autonomous kingdom ruled by the Sunan and a principality ruled by the Mangkunegaran.

During Dutch occupation Yogyakarta and Surakarta were known as the Vorstenland or principalities. Rivalry between the two has been endemic since their founding in the 18th century and was a deliberate ploy by the Dutch to distract attention from the presence of the Dutch colonial power.

The hereditary ruler of the kraton or main court within the city bears the title of Pakubuwono, the present king being Pakubuwono XIII. Like Yogyakarta, Solo also has a junior court, born of another civil war: the Mangkunegaran, a small principality inside Kasunanan, of which Mangkunegara IX is the present monarch. Neither holds any political power and according to Indonesian law, both only have civilian status.


The current mayor of Surakarta (until 2015) is F.X. Hadi Rudyatmo, who replaced Joko Widodo in 2012 after the latter was elected as Governor of Jakarta in 2012.

Under Joko Widodo's mayorship, the city had experienced a marked improvement. He rebranded and promoted Solo as "The Spirit of Java," a Javanese culture and heritage center, batik capital, and tourist-friendly city.

Juridically, the City of Surakarta was formed based on Government Regulation No. 16/SD 1946, announced at July 15, 1946. Based on several historical factors, 16 June 1946 is set as the anniversary of the Government of Surakarta. The city anniversary itself is celebrated every 16 February, based on the date of the moving of the palace from Kartasura to Surakarta in 1745. On 16 February 2011, the city celebrated its 256th anniversary.


One of the earliest censuses held in Surakarta Residency (Residentie Soerakarta) was in 1885. At that time, with an area of about 5,677 km², there were 1,053,985 people in Surakarta Residency, including 2,694 Europeans and 7,543 Indonesian-Chinese. The area, 130 times the current area of Surakarta, had a population density of 186 people/km². The capital of the residency itself (roughly the size of the City of Solo proper) in 1880 had 124,041 people living in it.[13]

According to the 2009 census, there were 245,043 males and 283,159 females (a sex ratio of 86.54) in Surakarta.[14] 119,951 of the population were 14 years or younger, 376,180 were between 15 and 64, and 32,071 were above 65.[15] The number of households was 142,627 and the average number of household members was 3.7.[16] The population growth in the last 10 years was about 0.565% per year.[17]

Compared to other cities in Indonesia, Surakarta is the most densely populated city in Central Java, the eighth most densely populated city in Indonesia, the 13th smallest city in Indonesia, and the 22nd most populous of 93 autonomous cities and 5 administrative cities in Indonesia.

The labor force of Solo in 2009 was 275,546, of whom 246,768 were working, while 28,778 were seeking work. Another 148,254 people aged 15 and above were not in the labor force.[18] Based on employment numbers, the most common work in Solo was worker/paid employee (112,336), followed by self-employee (56,112), self-employee assisted by temporary employee (32,769), unpaid employee (20,193), self-employee assisted by permanent employee (14,880), freelance employee in non-agricultural work (10,241), and freelance employee in agricultural work (237).[19] Based on the industry, most people in Solo worked in trade (106,426), services (59,780), manufacturing (42,065), communication (16,815), construction (9,217), financing (9,157), or agriculture (2,608), and the rest in mining, electricity, gas, and water companies (700).[20]

The mean working week in Solo was 47.04 hours (47.74 for men and 46.13 for women),[21] and 212,262 people worked more than 35 hours per week compared to 34,506 who worked less than that.[22]


According to 2009 statistics, 242,070 people above 15 in the city had finished high school, while 86,890 had only finished junior high school, and 94,840 were still in school or had only finished elementary school. The percentage of high-school graduates was the highest of the cities and regencies in Central Java.[23]

According to the statistics of Data Pokok Pendidikan (Dapodik), in the 2010/2011 school year, there were 68,153 students and 853 schools in Surakarta.[24] There are two big universities possessing more than 20.000 students: Sebelas Maret University (UNS) and Muhammadiyah University of Surakarta (UMS), both are recognised as among Indonesia's 50 best universities according to the Directorate of Higher Education, Ministry of Education RI. There is also arts concentrated university Art Institute of Surakarta (ISI), religious studies State Islamic Institute (IAIN). There are around 52 private universities and colleges such as STIKES Muhammadiyah, Universitas Tunas Pembangunan, Universitas Slamet Riyadi, Universitas Surakarta, Universitas Setia Budi etc.[25]


Pasar Klewer and Gapura Kraton (Klewer Textile Market and Kraton Gate)

The Domestic brutto Income of Surakarta in 2009 was 16,813,058.62 IDR, the fourth highest in Central Java after Kudus, Cilacap, and Semarang.[26] The living standard in 2009 was 723,000 IDR.[27] The Consumer price index in January 2011 was 119.44.[28]

Surakarta has several traditional markets (pasar), including Pasar Klewer, Pasar Gedhe, Pasar Legi, and Pasar Kembang. Pasar Klewer is famous as the biggest textile market in Indonesia. There are also antiques markets in Pasar Triwindu and in Pasar Keris near the palace of Surakarta. Every night there is the Galabo Open Food Court near the City Hall, and every Saturday night the Ngarsopuro Night Market near Slamet Riyadi Road.

The business centre in Solo is located along the main artery road of Slamet Riyadi. Several banks, hotels, shopping centres, international retsaurants, and also tourism destinations are located along this road. Every Sunday morning from 5 am to 9 am, this road is closed as the city government designates that day Solo Car Free Day (SCFD) along the Slamet Riyadi Road in a campaign to reduce carbon emissions. Modern malls in Solo are Solo Square, Solo Grand Mall, and Solo Paragon (under construction).

On the outskirts of the city there are several industrial zones, such as Palur, Grogol, and Jetis. Large corporations headquartered in Solo include Sritex (textiles), Indo Acidatama (industrial chemicals), and Konimex (pharmaceuticals). The batik home industry has also become one of Solo's specialty industries.

Public services[edit]

There are many hospitals in Solo; some with 24-hour ICU facilities are PKU Muhammadiyah Hospital, Panti Kustati Hospital, Islamic Hospital of Surakarta, Kasih Ibu Hospital, Dr. Moewardi Hospital, Panti Waluyo Hospital, Brayat Minulyo Hosipital, Panti Kosala (Dr. Oen Kandang Sapi) Hospital, and Dr. Oen Hospital in Solo Baru. Public parks are also numerous, especially since Joko Widodo became mayor of Solo. He revitalized several parks and now the public of Solo can enjoy Balekambang Park, Sekartaji Park, Sriwedari Park, and Jurug Zoo, one of the oldest and biggest zoos in Indonesia. In Sriwedari Park there is also public entertainment such as Wayang Orang theatre GWO Sriwedari, and the night market in Ngarsopuro, which only opens on Saturday nights.

The area code of Solo is (+62)271. Coin or card phone booths are rare, but there are many phone shops and small stalls selling prepaid phone credits. Internet cafes are also abundant. Several public places such as restaurants and cafes provide Wi-Fi access to their customers too.


Surakarta has a long sport history and tradition. In 1923 Solo already had a football club, one of the earliest clubs in Indonesia (at that time still the Dutch Indies), called Persis Solo. Persis Solo was a giant club in the Dutch Indies and still exists, but is past its heyday. During the Perserikatan tournament, Persis became seven-time champion. Currently it plays in the Premier Division. Other than Persis, several clubs have existed in Solo: Arseto, Pelita Solo, Persijatim Solo FC, and lastly Solo FC, that plays in the Indonesian Premier League since 2011. Both clubs that still exist, Persis and Solo FC, have made Manahan Stadium their home ground. Manahan Stadium is one of the best sport stadiums in Central Java, with more than 25,000 seats, and has several times hosted national and international matches. It was recently the venue for the AFC Champions Cup 2007, the final venue of the Indonesian Cup 2010, and the opening venue for the Indonesian Premiere League on January 15, 2011.[29]

In 1948, Surakarta became the host of the first National Games, whose opening date is still marked as the National Sports Day of Indonesia. At that tournament, Solo as Surakarta Residency came out as the champion. In 2011, Surakarta also became the host city of 2011 ASEAN ParaGames.

Until 2009, Surakarta was also the only city in Central Java with a professional basketball team, Bhinneka Solo. In 2009 the team was merged with Stadium Jakarta and moved to Jakarta.



Adi Sumarmo International Airport

Adisumarmo International Airport (IATA code: SOC) has direct flights to Kuala Lumpur by Air Asia and during the haji season, Saudi Arabia, as well as regular flights to Jakarta by Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, Lion Air and Batavia Air. The airport is located 14 km north of the city.[30] Since May 2011, BST (Batik Solo Trans) buses connect the airport to the city. There is also taxicab service. In 2009 Adisumarmo had 2,060 outbound domestic flights and 616 outbound international flights.[31]


Surakarta has four train stations, Solo Balapan, Purwosari, Solo Jebres, and Solo Kota (Sangkrah). Solo Balapan is the largest station in Surakarta, and is the junction between Yogyakarta (westward), Semarang (northward), and Surabaya (eastward), while Purwosari is the junction located west of Solo Balapan, and has a connection to Wonogiri (southward). There are several direct lines to other cities, such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Semarang, Madiun, and Malang. For regional traffic, a special train connects Surakarta and Yogyakarta, the Prameks (Prambanan Ekspres) train.

Surakarta is unique because it is the only Indonesian city to still have a street-parallel rail track between Purwosari and Solo Kota, along Jalan Slamet Riyadi, Solo's main road. A heritage railway, called Jaladara, also operates between the two stations. Historically, Purwosari had the junction to Kartasura and Boyolali (northwestward).

In July 26, 2011 the Railbus has been launched to serve Surakarta/Solo-Wonogiri route, but for the moment only Solo-Sukoharjo trackage was ready due to there are 99 bridges should be strengthen between Sukoharjo-Wonogiri.[32] Until April 2012, Surakarta-Wonogiri railbus is still in a big question mark due to the 12 tons railbuses are considered too heavy for existing railroad track that only has the capacity of accommodating 10-ton vehicles, furthermore PT KAI have proposed a fare between Rp30,000 ($3.27) and Rp40,000 ($4.36) per passenger, while Surakarta administration wants tickets to be priced much lower between Rp5,000 ($0.54) and Rp7,000 ($0,76).[33]


Batik Solo Trans

Tirtonadi Terminal is the largest bus terminal in Surakarta. Surakarta is situated on Indonesian National Route 15, which connects it to Yogyakarta and Waru (Sidoarjo). A Semarang-Solo Toll Road is currently under construction. In 2009 the total extent of roadways in the city was 705.34 km: 13.15 km state road, 16.33 km province road, and 675.86 km local road.[34] The number of bus companies was 23, and the total number of buses operating was 1,115 intra-provincial buses and 1,107 inter-provincial.[35]

In 2010, the government of Surakarta launched a new bus route named Batik Solo Trans (BST), which resembles TransJakarta bus rapid transit service. It has only two routes, the Departure Route (Adisumarmo Airport – Kartasura – Palur) and the Return Route (Palur – Kartasura – Adisumarmo Airport). A single trip costs Rp.3000, Rp.1500 for students. A special ticket for the trip from or to the airport costs Rp.7000.[36]


One main tourist attraction of Surakarta is the Keraton Surakarta, the palace of Susuhunan Pakubuwono, also the Princely Javanese court of Mangkunegaran. Pasar Gede market is often visited by tourists, mostly for its unique architecture and fame as the biggest traditional market in the Solo area. The Pasar Klewer is famous for its batiks in all prices and qualities, while the Pasar Triwindhu located near Mangkunegaran palace specializes in antiques. Taman Sriwedari is a popular local entertainment park featuring a children's playground, dangdut music performance, and Wayang Wong traditional Javanese dance performance almost every night. Near the park is Radyapustaka Museum, one of the oldest museums in Indonesia, with a collection of Javanese cultural artifacts. The traditional batik village of Laweyan and Kampung Batik Kauman, located in the southwest part of the city and the city center respectively, are famous for producing fine quality Javanese batik.

Surakarta is located 60 km from Yogyakarta and shares many tourism spots with it. Candi Borobudur, Candi Prambanan, Candi Ratu Boko, Candi Kalasan, and many other Candi or ancient temples are historical tourist sights. Surakarta is located much closer to Candi Cetho and Candi Sukuh on the slopes of Mount Lawu. The mountainous area of Tawangmangu, featuring Grojogan Sewu waterfall on the slope of Mount Lawu, is also a popular destination for tourists.

A modern museum and visitors centre is at the important Sangiran archeology site around 15 km north of Surakarta near the main road north out of Surakarta to Purwodadi.

Within Surakarta tourists can also use the Jaladara old steam train which was launched on in September 2009 for 5.6 km connecting Purwosari Station and City (Sangkrah) Station. In 2011 there were 60 trips and in 2012 will be 80 trips.[37]

Accommodation is widely available from small lodgings to international chain hotels.


Food associated with Surakarta includes Nasi Liwet, Nasi Timlo, Tongseng, Serabi, Sate buntel, Intip, Roti Mandarin, and Bakpia Balong. Gudeg Solo is also different with Gudeg Yogyakarta, Gudeg Solo is more soupy and rich with thick coconut milk, while gudeg Yogya is dryer and have reddish color from the addition of teak leaf.

Timlo kuali near Mangkunegaran Palace.


Grebeg Maulud is a traditional ceremony held by the royal court of Keraton Surakarta to commemorate the birth of Islam's holy messenger, Muhammad. This ceremony was first held during the reign of the Demak Dynasty dating back to the 15th century.
Javanese Surakarta bride in dhodot or Solo basahan royal wedding costume.

Surakarta together with Yogyakarta is well known as the cultural heartland of Java. As the centre of surviving Javanese court (kraton), Surakarta is famous for its refined, highly polished aesthetic, and sophisticated Javanese art. The Kraton served as an important center dedicated for the preservation of Javanese culture. Several important traditional Javanese ceremonies such as Satu Suro and Sekaten rituals were observed in high importance among its people. The Sunan (king) of Surakarta, although today no longer holds official actual political power, is still revered and holds important position as cultural symbol among Javanese people.

Local dialect[edit]

The mother tongue of Surakartans is a local variety of Javanese that differs in some respects from that of other areas. For example, for Surakatans the Javanese word for "cold" is adem, but in Semarang it is atis. The Javanese language of Surakarta and Yogyakarta is used as the standard for all Javanese speakers throughout the nation. Indonesia's official national language is Indonesian.


As the center of Javanese courtly culture, Surakarta is the center of royal Javanese dances. Several Surakarta dances are characterized with its slow, constrained and refined movements, as the epitome of gracefulness; such as bedhaya, serimpi, and Surakarta style Wayang wong. Wayang wong is routinely performed in a wayang wong theatre in Sriwedari park.


Main article: Batik

The batik of Solo (Surakarta) is known as among the older batik tradition in Java. The typical style of Solo batik is its sogan (dark yellow) color, in contrast with Yogyakarta batik has whitish background. The main production centers of traditional Solo batik is in Kauman area and Laweyan, and Pasar Klewer is the main batik market in the city.

Surakarta in popular culture[edit]

In popular culture of Indonesia, the term Putri Solo (Solo Princess) is a well known idiom to describe the extraordinary beauty and grace of the Surakarta ladies.

The Solo Batik Carnival held annually, is the event that showcased Surakarta as the center of Javanese batik art as well as the center of creative fashion industry based upon batik.

Surakarta is also famous for staging some international music festivals such as Kereta Kencana World Music Festival (formerly Solo International Ethnic Music Festival), Solo Keroncong Festival, and metal music festival Rock In Solo.

Notable people from Surakarta[edit]

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Jumlah dan Persentase Penduduk menurut Kabupaten/Kota dan Jenis Kelamin di Provinsi Jawa Tengah Tahun 2009" (in Indonesian). Badan Pusat Statistik Provinsi Jawa Tengah. 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-19. 
  2. ^ (Indonesian) Badan Pusat Statistik: Luas Daerah menurut Kabupaten/Kota di Provinsi Jawa Tengah Tahun 2009
  3. ^ (Indonesian) Map of Surakarta
  4. ^ Columbia-Lippencott Gazeteer
  5. ^ PDAM Solo: The Greater Surakarta
  6. ^ (Indonesian) Produksi air
  7. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Surakarta". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved November 24, 2011.
  8. ^ (Indonesian) Gapura Batas Kota (Keraton)
  9. ^ (Indonesian) Kecamatan dan Desa/Kelurahan menurut Kabupaten/Kota di Provinsi Jawa Tengah Tahun 2005, 2008 dan 2009
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ (German) Seite aus Meyers Konversationslexikon: Suppeditieren – Surate: Surakarta
  14. ^ Population of Jawa Tengah by Regency/City and Sex 2009
  15. ^ Population of Jawa Tengah by Regency/City and Age Group 2009
  16. ^ Number of Households and Average of Household Member by Regency/City in Jawa Tengah 2009
  17. ^ (Indonesian) PDAM Solo: Profil
  18. ^ Population Aged 15 Years and Over by Regency/City and Type of Activity during The Previous Week and Sex in Jawa Tengah 2009
  19. ^ Population Aged 15 Years and Over who Worked during for The Previous Week by Regency/City and Employment Status in Jawa Tengah 2009
  20. ^ Population Aged 15 Years and Over who Worked by Regency/City and Main Industry in Jawa Tengah 2009
  21. ^ Working Hours Rate during the Previous Week by Regency/City and by Sex in Jawa Tengah 2009
  22. ^ Population Aged 15 Years and Over who Worked during a Week by Regency/City and Time of Work in Jawa Tengah 2009
  23. ^ Population Aged 15 Years and Over by Regency/City by Education Attainment in Jawa Tengah 2009
  24. ^
  25. ^ (Indonesian) Daftar universitas swasta di Surakarta
  27. ^ Value of Worker Proper Life Requirement and Regency/City Minimum Wage by Regency/City in Jawa Tengah 2007 – 209 (Rupiahs)
  28. ^ (Indonesian) Indeks Harga Konsumen dan Inflasi Di 66 Kota ( 2007=100 ) 2011
  29. ^ The Jakarta Post: Welcome LPI
  30. ^ Adi sumarmo International Airport Solo,, Retrieved July 25, 2010
  31. ^ (Indonesian) Arus Lalu Lintas Pesawat Udara Komersial Menurut Bandar Udara di Jawa Tengah Tahun 2009 (Trip)
  32. ^ Solo-Wonogiri Railbus
  33. ^ "Surakarta’s ‘railbuses’ are too heavy for tracks: KAI". April 13, 2012. 
  34. ^ (Indonesian) Panjang Jalan Negara, Jalan Propinsi dan Kabupaten/Kota di Jawa Tengah Tahun 2009 (Km)
  35. ^ (Indonesian) Banyaknya Perusahaan Bus Umum AKDP/AKAP menurut Kabupaten/Kota di Jawa Tengah Tahun 2009
  36. ^ Batik Solo Trans. Portal Informasi Kota Surakarta
  37. ^ "Asyiknya Menikmati Kota Solo dengan Kereta Uap Jaladara". April 10, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Surakarta dan Montana, Bulgaria Menjadi Kota Kembar". Portal Nasional Republik Indonesia. October 21, 2007. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  39. ^ "Indonesia – Sister Cities". Skyscraper City. Retrieved 2010-09-16. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Majeed, Rushda. "The City With a Short Fuse." Foreign Policy. September 2012.
  • Majeed, Rushda. "Defusing a Volatile City, Igniting Reforms: Joko Widodo and Surakarta, Indonesia, 2005-2011." Innovations for Successful Societies. Princeton University. Published July 2012.
  • Miksic, John (general ed.), et al. (2006) Karaton Surakarta. A look into the court of Surakarta Hadiningrat, central Java (First published: 'By the will of His Serene Highness Paku Buwono XII'. Surakarta: Yayasan Pawiyatan Kabudayan Karaton Surakarta, 2004) Marshall Cavendish Editions Singapore ISBN 981-261-226-2
  • Soeharto, G. Dwipayana dan Ramadhan K.H. "Ucapan, Pikiran dan Tindakan Saya". 1988. PT Citra Lamtoro Gung.
  • Miksic, John (general ed.), et al. (2006) Karaton Surakarta. A look into the court of Surakarta Hadiningrat, central Java (First published: 'By the will of His Serene Highness Paku Buwono XII'. Surakarta: Yayasan Pawiyatan Kabudayan Karaton Surakarta, 2004) Marshall Cavendish Editions Singapore ISBN 981-261-226-2
  • Soeharto, G. Dwipayana dan Ramadhan K.H. "Ucapan, Pikiran dan Tindakan Saya". 1988. PT Citra Lamtoro Gung.
  • Paku Buwono XII (Sunan of Surakarta), A. Mutholi'in, "Kraton Surakarta", Yayasan Pawiyatan Kabudayan Karaton Surakarta, 2004
  • Nancy K. Florida, Javanese literature in Surakarta manuscripts / Vol. 1 Introduction and manuscripts of the Karaton Surakarta, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. Southeast Asia Program (SEAP), 1993.
  • Nancy K. Florida, Javanese literature in Surakarta manuscripts / Vol. 2 Manuscripts of the Mangkunagaran Palace, Cornell University Ithaca, NY : Southeast Asia Program (SEAP), 2000.
  • Nancy K. Florida, "Writing the past, inscribing the future: history as prophesy in colonial Java", Duke University Press, 1995
  • Richard Anderson Sutton, "Traditions of gamelan music in Java: musical pluralism and regional identity", CUP Archive, 1991
  • Clara Brakel-Papenhuijzen, "Classical Javanese dance: the Surakarta tradition and its terminology", KITLV Press, 1995
  • The domestication of desire: Women, wealth, and modernity in Java (1998) Brenner, Suzanne April. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Kraton and Kumpeni: Surakarta and Yogyakarta, 1830–1870 (1994) Houben, V. J. H.. Leiden: KITLV Press.
  • Prelude to revolution: Palaces and politics in Surakarta, 1912–1942 (1987) Larson, George D.. Dordrecht, Holland and Providence, R.I., U.S.A.: Foris Publications.
  • Solo in the new order: Language and hierarchy in an Indonesian city (1986) Siegel, James T.. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.
  • Pakubuwono's kraton of Surakarta: Short guide to Surakarta's grandeur : the palace of the Susuhunans Pakubuwono (1980) No contributors listed. Jakarta: Proyek Pengembangan Sarana Wisata Budaya Jakarta.
  • Miftah Sanaji, "Wisata Kuliner Makanan Daerah Khas Solo", Gramedia 2009, ISBN 978-979-22-5209-5
  • "Ekspedisi Bengawan Solo", Laporan Jurnalistik Kompas, Kompas 2009, ISBN 978-979-709-390-7
  • Linda Carolina Brotodjojo, "Jajanan Kaki Lima Khas Solo", Gramedia 2008, ISBN 978-979-22-4143-3
  • Izharry Agusjaya Moenzir, "Gesang", Gramedia 2010, ISBN 978-979-22-5911-7

External links[edit]

Solo travel guide from Wikivoyage

External media
Pictures of Surakarta on Flickr
Video about Solo and surrounding from