This Part D of the Surakarta itinerary series is meant for when I’m traveling with my foreigner companion who wants to keep attention to themselves at the very minimal but eager to visit historical places, learn about Javanese culture, and have accepted their fate to sometimes pay extra for their foreigner privileges in certain situations.
12 pm – 2 pm: Arriving at Solo | Lunch @ Saffron Resto & Meatshop
A tip for 2-day traveling with a foreigner: do not give them ‘local’ food they have never tried before on the first day unless you want to gamble whether their stomach can take it or not; and you can possibly ruin the trip altogether. Instead, get some lunch at a proper establishment. Saffron Resto is serving real delicious western cuisines with large variety of options, from pasta, steaks, seafood, soups, etc. It’s hard to get disappointed by Saffron, that I guarantee.
2 pm – 2.30 pm: Hotel check-in
2.30 pm – 4.30 pm: House of Danar Hadi
Premium batik store and a museum providing a fully guided tour with thousands of antique batik collections, some are even been there for more than a hundred years. No matter the ethnic background/ nationality of my companion, learning about batik, its meanings, the history, the processes of making those fabrics, will always be interesting to them.
4.30 pm – 5.30 pm: Afternoon tea @ Omah Lowo Batik Keris
Omah Lowo is a renovated historical building in Purwosari. There’s a cafe, Batik Keris store, museum, restaurant, and lush garden within the compound. To visit the museum, we must buy something –anything at all– from the store first, while to get entry to the garden area, we have to dine in at the restaurant beforehand.
5.30 pm – 7 pm: Dinner @ Manir’s Family Kitchen
Indian food in Solo, just because. This family kitchen has been well-known to the foreigners living in Solo since before the pandemic, and they’re still going strong to this day. The food may take a while to get served because it is said to be a minimum personnel operation in their kitchen.
7 pm – 8.15 pm: Drinks @ AGRA Rooftop Alila
If it’s up to me, every evening during a trip should be spent at a rooftop, looking up to the stars, wherever we may be. Alila Hotel is one of the tallest buildings in Solo (especially since there are no other high-rise around it, so it sticks out like a sore thumb in the area) and it has a rooftop café on its 29th floor. The food, drinks, and even the service are honestly so-so, and I personally don’t like café with live band performing, so I don’t think we’d stay for too long in this spot.
8.15 pm onwards: Back at hotel | Order snacks | Rest and sleep
Since my foreigner companion doesn’t want to be in any crowded place where they feel like some sort of contrasting element in it, I usually order snacks to get delivered to the hotel. Since now I know Solo quite well, my aim is to get them to taste the snacks I already know I liked, and to get their approval, per se. But if we’re in a city which food we both know nothing about, we usually discuss what to order.
5 am – 7 am: Rise and shine
7 am – 8 am: Hotel breakfast time
I love hotels’ breakfast buffet. Aside of that, we don’t go out for breakfast because breakfast places are usually quite crowded. Meanwhile at the hotel restaurant, it’s a familiar setting (because it’s globally standardized) where my companion could be starting their day more comfortably.
8 am – 9:30 am: Mangkunegaran Palace
Get to the palace early to take the tour because the air is still fresh, there are not many people arriving yet (everyone is still gathering at the car free day area), and the tour guides are usually still in a good mood to handle questions and inquiries from a curious foreigner, especially if we tip them heavy after.
9:30 am – 10.30 am: Batik Soga Laweyan
If your foreigner partner is like mine, then you’ll get used to insert as many premium batik store as possible to your itinerary. After Danar Hadi and Batik Keris on Saturday, it’s time for Batik Soga on Sunday. I chose the Laweyan store because it seems a bit bigger and definitely easier to access than the Kauman store. Also, good (or sad?) thing about having a bule with you, is that it doesn’t matter if you ended up just window shopping and not buying anything (even though it’s a rare occurrence); inferior complex against foreigners is a real problem.
10.30 am – 11.15 am: Light brunch @ Kusuma Sari Restaurant
The trip is about to end, so now we can tease my companion a little bit with some local tasting brunch. But since I don’t even like many of the dishes on the menu, we would not order full meals (maybe just 1 kind of soup) and instead opt for ice creams and light snacks (bitter ballen, croquette, risoles, sosis solo).
11.15 am – 12 pm: Back at hotel | Order snacks
Since some sweets and snacks stores are already closed at 6 pm, we wouldn’t be able to order them the previous evening, so, this is when I would order serabi solo or roti mandarijn for us to try together.
12 pm onwards: Hotel check out
This post is the last of a 4-part-er Surakarta weekend itinerary trip suggestion I wrote for this blog. The same recommendation I’d give for all the parts is to seek for hotel located anywhere along the Slamet Riyadi Street.
- Part A: For solo/ local duo trip.
- Part B: For when I’m traveling with my Mom & Dad (people in their late 50s – early 60s).
- Part C: For when I’m traveling to entertain children under the age of 10 like my niece & nephew.
- Part D: For a trip with a foreigner partner who’s eager to learn about the richness of Javanese culture and accustomed to pay more for things because of their skin color privilege in exchange for additional ease, comfort, and politeness in hospitality (yes, this is both stereotyping but also oddly specific; thanks for noticing).