Semarang at a Glance

Published on February 5, 2018

Semarang as the capital city of the Central Java province has a strategic position because it is located in the middle of the northern coast of Java. Semarang has around 1.5 million inhabitants. The local temperature ranges from 26⁰C – 32⁰C. It lies about 480 km east of Jakarta, and 310 km west of Surabaya. Semarang is a very interesting town because it has a Kota Bawah (Lower Town) which is situated in the coastal lowland and Kota Atas (Upper Town) which is situated in the hilly area in the south. The Purple Campus of Soegijapranata Catholic University is on the hilly Upper Town, where the temperature is cooler and the landscape is greener.

Historically, Semarang is known as an influential town in Java. There is a lot of interesting historical sites that tourists can visit. Sam Po Kong shrine is one of them. It is a proof of the harmonious relationship between the Moslem and the Chinese in Semarang. Another is the Lawang Sewu (a Thousand Doors) building built by Dutch architects in 1900s. Every Sunday morning, Semarang citizens often use the center of the city for sports, arts, culinary and tourism activities in an open public area called the Simpang Lima.

In addition, Semarang also has the Kota Lama (Old City) area with Gereja Blenduk (a domed church) as its icon. It was formerly the center of the Dutch colonial government and business area. Amateur and professional photographers can find photo objects in this Kota Lama area.  During the colonial times, Semarang was one of the famous business port cities in the Archipelago. In addition, it is also famous for its specialty food and souvenirs, such as Lumpia, Wingko Babat and Bandeng Presto.

Because of its strategic location, Semarang city is accessible. Visitors can travel by buses or trains. Semarang has two train stations, i.e. Tawang and Poncol stations. Trains available are those from and to Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Jombang, and Malang. Historically, Semarang has been known as an important train station meeting point in Indonesia. It is in this town that the Dutch built the first railway system in Java. The Dutch opened the first public railways on August 10th, 1867 (

Semarang’s international airport, Ahmad Yani airport, serves connecting flights to numerous cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, Denpasar and to limited cities overseas such as Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. For sea transportation, Semarang has Tanjung Mas Harbor, which connects the city with other major ports in Indonesia.

The city bus, angkot (city transport) and becak (pedicab) are available for city transportation. Also, since 2009, Semarang has operated the BRT (Bus Rapid Transportation), which is a public mass transportation but does not use special bus lanes like those in Jakarta. The traffic jam is Semarang is not as bad as other major big cities in Indonesia. It only happens during rush hours. Therefore, getting in, around, and out of Semarang is more comfortable than that in other major cities.

Semarang is a safe and comfortable town to continue one’s study. As the centre for government, Semarang has good schools, which range from the primary to tertiary levels. In addition to good school system, Semarang is well-known for its industry and tourism. To understand the dynamics and beauty of Semarang, we need to explore the ‘breath’ and ‘life’ of the town and prove them ourselves. Soegijapranata Catholic University reflects the dynamics of the town. Through an exploration of science, technology and arts, students from the Purple Campus can experience a metamorphosis in thinking and action. Do not miss out on this opportunity of adventure in Semarang and the Purple Campus life at Soegijapranata Catholic University. Updates can always be found at