What comes into your mind when you’re thinking about celebrating Valentine’s day in Semarang, the capital city of Central Java? Strolling around the Old Town while observing its old and historical buildings with Dutch colonial architecture is one way to spend the day with your sweetheart.
However, you can actually do a lot of other fun and romantic things in Semarang. These are our seven recommendations for you to celebrate love in this fascinating city.
1 | Adventure to the ancient Gedong Songo Temple
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Escape from the hustle and humidity of downtown Semarang by taking an hour trip to Gedong Songo temple in the outskirts of Semarang city. The 8th century temple is situated on the slope of Ungaran Mountain, about 1,200 meters above sea level.
You can take your beloved to go on a horseback riding or stroll in the refreshing pine forest around the temple. Please note that there are four temples in this area which are located quite far from each other. As a result, you will need to take a long walk and hike to reach all of the temples. If you need to rest your muscle after that, you can take a dip in a natural hot spring by only paying IDR 5,000 per person.
Address: Candi village, Bandungan, Semarang
Opening hours: 6am-5pm
Fee: IDR 35,000
2 | Relax together at Umbul Sidomukti Resort
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Too reluctant to take a long hike at Gedong Songo Temple? That’s alright, because you can still celebrate Valentine’s Day by relaxing in a natural pool called Umbul Sidomukti, only a few kilometres from Gedong Songo.
The “infinite” pool is located inside a resort with the same name. You can see a panoramic view of Semarang city landscape from 1,200 meters above sea level in this pool. You can stay at the resort to extend your relaxing time with room rates ranging from IDR 575,000 to IDR 1,250,000 per night. While you are here, you can try outdoor activities like Zipline and Rope Bridge. You can also enjoy coffee time at Pondok Kopi Umbul Sidomukti, just a few meters above the resort.
Address: Sidomukti village, Bandungan, Semarang
Opening hours: 9am-4:30 pm on weekday
8am-5pm on weekend
24 hours for the resort’s guests
Fee: IDR 10,000 per person on weekday
IDR 13,000 per person on weekend
3 | Couple photo session at Brown Canyon
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This abandoned quarry went viral on social media because it looks like a miniature of the Grand Canyon in USA. Now, The 50 hectares land turns into a tourism spot.
You can take couple pictures at this place. If you want to, you can even hire a professional photographer. The area is quite barren with a few grass and bushes. The cliffs can be a dramatic background but be careful as the area is not overseen by safety authorities. The area is managed by the locals.
Address: Rowosari village, Tembalang, Semarang
Opening hours: 24 hours
Fee: IDR 3,500
4 | Stroll together in matching Chinese attires in Sam Po Kong Temple
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This historical site used to be a place to rest for Chinese admiral Zheng He or Ceng Ho. There are four temples that you can observe in this complex namely Dewa Bumi, Juru Mudi, Kyai Jangkar and, the largest one, Sam Poo Tay Djien temple. Because this temple still functions as a place of worship, you are only allowed to observe the buildings from the outside.
But don’t worry because you can still have fun in this place. Rent a pair of matching Chinese attires for IDR 100,000 per piece, and then wear it while strolling around the complex area. The booth that rents the attire opens from 9am to 5pm.
Address: Jl. Simongan Raya No. 129, Semarang
Opening hours: 8am-10pm
Entrance fee: IDR 5,000 for adult
IDR 3,000 for children
5 | Visit Curug Lawe and Curug Benowo Waterfalls
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Besides Gedong Songo Temple and Umbul Sidomukti, you can explore more interesting places which are situated on the slope of Ungaran Mountain. For instance, there are two waterfalls named Curug Lawe and Curug Benowo which are only few hundred meters from each other.
Curug Lawe is a 50-meter waterfall surrounded by trees in a quite wide area, while Curug Benowo is a 70-meter waterfall with similar surroundings albeit in a smaller area. You can visit both “hidden” waterfalls, but local people suggest visitors to visit Curug Benowo first as it is easier to access.
Address: Gonoharjo village, Limbangan, Semarang
Opening hours: 6am-3pm
Entrance fee: IDR 5,000
6 | Valentine dinner? how about lunch at KoenoKoeni Cafe Gallery
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Get a taste of Javanese traditional cuisine on a lunch date at this vintage restaurant. This cafe applies vintage concept for its architecture and interior design. Vintage cupboards, chests, and other ornaments are displayed to create a blast-from-the-past atmosphere. Its gallery also showcases vintage memorabilia, from statues to old motorbike.
As you sit down, you will be welcomed with a glass of healthy herbal drink called beras kencur (mixed rice and herbal tea) and a plate of cassava. The cafe serves traditional Indonesian dishes such as asem-asem ikan patin (catfish with sour and spicy soup), nasi langgi (Javanese mixed rice) and nasi lodeh ikan (rice with fish and Javanese vegetable soup in coconut milk). If you visit the restaurant on Sunday, you can enjoy live music performed using gamelan (Javanese bronze ensemble).
Address: Jl. Tabanan No. 4, Candisari, Semarang
Opening hours: 11am-12am
Price range: IDR 30,000-40,000
7 | Dinner under the moon at Kampung Laut
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Kampung Laut offers a romantic place to have dinner by a pond. The dim light and the reflecting moonlight on the pond creates a romantic atmosphere. The building is made out of woods with palm leaves. Kampung Laut is mainly a family restaurant but it’s also a nice place to have dinner for two.
This restaurant serves dishes such as honey-grilled carp, deep fried milkfish, and fried grouper with Thai sauce. The restaurant also serves various sauteed vegetables.
Address: Puri Maerokoco Tawang Mas, Jl. Anjasmoro Raya, Tawangsari, Semarang
10am-10pm on Sunday
Price range: IDR 17,500 – IDR 100,000
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Sam Poo Kong Temple
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