School holidays! Time for a Road Trip to Central Java


The school holidays are just around the corner, now! Have you got any travel plans yet? If you haven't got any, check out these road trip recommendations for you and your loved ones to explore for a memorable vacation!

If you live in Jakarta and its surroundings, why not take a road trip to Central Java and visit these charming towns?

1. The first day - Cirebon & Tegal

After a three-hour drive from Jakarta, you will reach the City of Cirebon. If you arrive at lunchtime, just look for Cirebon specialty cuisines, such as Jamblang rice, Empal Gentong (a spicy, curry-like beef soup), Tahu Gejrot (fried tofu in sweet spicy sauce), and many others. Don't forget to buy snacks for your next trip. 

Now that your stomach is full, why not explore Cirebon for a while? One of its iconic sites to visit is the Kasepuhan Palace which is a relic of the Sultanate (kingdom) of Cirebon

The Kasepuhan Palace is located in the Kesepuhan village, Lemahwungkuk district, Cirebon Regency. Apart from its magnificence, this palace has a museum of quite a complete collection of objects from the Sultanate's glorious era. A famous antique among the assemblage is The Singa Barong carriage belonging to Sunan Gunung Jati. A well-regarded Kecana (royal) carriage, Singa Barong is bathed in a cultural ceremony and exhibited in a parade around Cirebon City on the first of every Islamic Shawwal month.


After stopping by and recovering your energy in Cirebon, the journey continues eastward for 80km to the city of Tegal. As you stroll around the town, you can snack on Tegal's typical Tahu Pletok (fried tofu stuffed with Aci - tapioca flour or starch - dough that's mixed with turmeric and chives) and enjoy a plate of delicious Kupat Glabed (a dish of Kupat or rice cake served with thick and tasty yellow gravy). Not only that, Tegal has quite a selection of rice-based delights you can try. They range from Langgi Rice, Lengko Rice, Bogana Rice, and Ponggol Rice. This small, charming town can also be the first resting place for you and your family before continuing your journey the next day.

2. The second day - Pekalongan & Semarang

Are you ready to continue with your second day's journey? Let's now head to Pekalongan, a city about 80 kilometers away or a two-hour road drive from Tegal. First, visit its Batik Museum with a collection of more than 1,000 Batik creations, from the traditional to the modern ones. Batik is the art of adorning a fabric with beautiful patterns or drawings, mainly for clothing. It uses Special dyes and waxes to produce single or multiple-color designs. Termed the City of Batik, Pekalongan has numerous batik centers for you to explore. Some of the most popular include the International Batik Center (IBC), Setono Wholesale Market, and Banjarsari Market.

Satisfied with Batik shopping, let's now head to our next destination: Semarang City. It is 100 kilometers to the east of Pekalongan. You can then spend the night here as the charming city has a wide selection of hotels with varying prices to easily suit your budget.

While in Semarang, visit Dusun Semilir (the Semilir Hamlet), which has become the most popular tourist attraction to date. One of its many charms is its buildings with artsy exterior and interior designs.

The buildings in Dusun Semilir are made to look like wooden versions of stupas like the ones in Borobudur Temple. The charming little town will also entertain you and your family with many exciting theme-park rides, the most iconic being the Rainbow Slide and the European-style Boat Rides.

Apart from Dusun Serupa, you can visit the Old City of Semarang, the downtown's iconic area. As the name implies, it is adorned with numerous old European-style buildings still sturdily standing against the test of time. Besides taking pictures, you can enjoy your time here with other exciting activities, such as cycling and culinary hunting. One recommended spot to visit is the aesthetic Bleduk Church.

4. The Third Day - Borobudur

After enjoying a satisfying rest in Semarang, it's time to embark on the next leg of your journey to the magnificent Borobudur Temple. While many travelers visit Borobudur Temple from Yogyakarta, you can also reach it from Semarang in just about 2 hours.

Before reaching Borobudur Temple, make sure to make a pit stop at two incredible attractions along the way. The first is the Losari Coffee Plantation, where you can indulge in the rich aroma and flavors of locally grown coffee. Another worthwhile stop is Kyai Langgeng, a charming cultural and educational park. Immerse yourself in the rich Javanese heritage as you explore traditional houses, engage in interactive workshops, and witness captivating cultural performances. Kyai Langgeng offers a glimpse into the local traditions, arts, and crafts, providing an enriching experience for all visitors.

Finally, as you approach Borobudur Temple, prepare to be awestruck by its grandeur and spiritual ambiance. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the world's most renowned Buddhist monuments, adorned with intricate carvings of its reliefs. Soak in the serene atmosphere that surrounds this architectural marvel.

5. The Fourth Day - Dieng, Wonosobo

Spend the last day of your road trip by enjoying the breathtaking scenery of the Dieng Plateau. The highest plateau on Java island. You can reach Dieng Plateau on a less than two-hour drive from Magelang, a town known for its cultural heritage and close proximity to notable attractions like Borobudur Temple. The journey itself offers picturesque landscapes as you ascend towards the plateau.

Once you arrive in Wonosobo town, the capital of Wonosobo Regency and the gateway to the Dieng Plateau, indulge in a culinary delight such as Mie Ongklok (Onglok Noodle), a local culinary specialty known for its delicious taste and unique recipe. As you explore Wonosobo, make sure to visit Carica, where you can shop for local products, including various types of snacks, jams, and other souvenirs.

After lunch, head to Dieng Tourism Area to enjoy its natural and man-made enchantments, such as Sikidang Crater and the captivating Arjuna Temple. It only costs USD 67 cents per person to enter the Dieng area, and another USD 1.33 to continue to Sikidang Crater and Arjuna Temple altogether.

Having admired Dieng's spectacular beauty, it is now time to return home. Later as you pass the Pejagan-Pemalang toll road,  don't forget to stop by the Rest Area 260B that's well-known as it occupies a former sugar factory that was previously operational since the Dutch colonial era. Inside the building, you can get some rest and enjoy meals from some food stalls or buy souvenirs from surrounding areas, such as Brebes Salted Eggs, Semarang Tripe Wingko, Kuningan Jeniper Syrup, Bakpia Jogja, and so on.

There are still plenty of other road-trip destinations to more parts of Indonesia! Remember, whoever you go on a road trip with, Indonesia is always the best place to create your memorable stories. Find more inspirations by following our Instagram account @wonderfulindonesia