Small in size but touristy, Solo (or Surakarta) is often considered the little sister of Yogyakarta. I was in the city to visit a French friend who lived there for 8 years. He showed me the nightlife on a Friday and a Saturday night.

Guest-Friendly Hotels in Solo
The city is home to plenty of hotels, but beware as many are conservative and may not accept if you stay with a girl you aren't married to. As a rule of thumb, avoid small family guest-houses and any hotel with the name "syariah" on it (obviously).

Most hotels and places of interest are located either on Jalan Adi Sucipto or Jalan Brigjen Slamet Riyadi. If you want to be near the nightlife, the best area is near the mall Solo Square. The newest part of town is called Solo Baru, in the South, but it is far from the main attractions (Best Western Solo Baru is the best hotel there).

You can stay in excellent hotels in Solo for less than 50$ per night. The best one is the brand new Alila Solo, which is close from everything including the train station. It also has a nice open-air lounge with huge swimming pool called Largo, and a restaurant on its 29th floor called Agra.

Alternatively, the nearby Sunan Hotel is a good-value option. It is a 4-star property with the big advantage of having a popular nightclub inside, Musro.

A bit further, Aston Solo and Novotel Solo are also very central. The Royal Surakarta is an heritage hotel which can be nice if you come for a romantic weekend with your girlfriend.

Some hotels have decent rooftop bars like Amarelo Hotel and the new Alana (Aquamarine Pool and Bar).

Best Nightclubs in Solo

Social Kitchen and Social Lounge Solo (Update 2017: CLOSED)
This small club is probably the most happening in Solo among young people and students. It is rather big, on two floors, with also a karaoke and an outdoor area. The attached restaurant is only ok for a snack or to hangout, don't expect great food. They have at least a weekly special event such as a guest DJ from Jakarta, sexy dancers or a live band.

There may be an entrance fee around Rp50,000 on busy days. Girls enter for free. Campus night on Monday.

Jalan Abdul Rachman Saleh No.1 Banjarsari
Phone number: +62 (0) 271 66 66 98
Pin BB: 597fbaec
Facebook: Social Kitchen Solo
Twitter: Social Kitchen Lounge

Update February 2017: Social Kitchen has unfortunately closed. It had been raided by thugs from an Islamist vigilante group and the closure might be related to this incident.

SLS Executive Karaoke and Lounge
Located in the Best Western Solo Baru, SLS is the newest nightclub in Solo. It is busy but mostly for those who want to party with a bottle and lady companions. One of the best karaokes in Solo with many hot girls. Pricier than average.

Jalan Ir. Soekarno, Solo Baru
Phone number: +62 (0) 271 7880 907
Instagram: sls.karaoke

Twitter: SLS Solo
Facebook: SLS Executive Karaoke and Lounge and SLS

Musro Solo (Music Room)
Musro is the night club within the Sunan Hotel. It may belong to Tommy Winata considering he also owns Musro in Bali and Jakarta.

It is more male-oriented and older than Social Lounge. The place is small and does not really feel high class. They have first a local band, and then a DJ playing house/progressive music. If you are lucky you will see sexy dancers.

The entrance is usually free unless there is a special event. Ladies night on Wednesday. Open from 6pm to 2am from Monday to Saturday. 

Jalan Ahmad Yani No. 40
Phone number: +62 (0) 271 7 3131 2 or 08 57 91 07 93 33

You might also have heard about Hailai International Executive Club. It is now closed and replaced by the Adhiwangsa hotel.

Best Bars and Beer Gardens in Solo

11 12 Beer Garden
11 12 Beer garden is the biggest beer garden in Solo with regular live bands and cheap beer. It was really packed when we visited. I was surprised to see that even girls wearing the jilbab were among the guests. You can smoke shisha as well. Beware the music is loud and the place smokey. Open from 4pm to 2am.

Address: Jalan Adi Sucipto No 48
Phone number: 08 57 25 00 99 66
Twitter: 11 12 Solo

Am Pm Beer and Coffee
There are several AM-PM branches in Solo but I couldn't find the location for all. The one I visited was on Jalan Slamet Riyadi. It is central and, amazingly, open 24h. They have live music, cheap beer and shisha. Young and laid-back crowd. You can order Indonesian and Western food.

Jalan Honggowongso 27 (Pasar Kembang), Phone number: +62 (0) 271 65 3821
Jalan Slamet Riyadi 255 (Purwosari), Phone number: +62 (0) 271 72 8929
Jalan Adisucipto 180

Instagram: Am Pm Solo

House of Beer (HOB) by Stark
House of Beer is located in Park Mall in Solo Baru. It is more expensive and upmarket than the beer gardens listed above. In particular, you will see more Indochinese. Good live music including acoustic sessions and jazz. They also serve food (pizzas, pasta, snacks). Beer towers available.

The Park Mall, GF, Jalan Ir. Soekarno
Phone number: +62 (0) 271 789 1327
Twitter: HOB Solo

Score Bar and Grill (Update December 2016: CLOSED)
A bar and restaurant opened in 2014 in Park Mall, Score is a nice addition to Solo nightlife. It is part of a larger chain that has several locations in Indonesia. The one in Solo is the best I've visited. The design is modern with a large outdoor area and comfortable sofas. This is where rich kids hangout before going to Social Lounge for party. They serve American, Italian and Indonesian food.

Most people come with a group of friends. If you are alone, I would recommend one of the beer gardens above instead. No dress code but it's better to wear pants and shoes. Open from 11am to midnight (until 2am on weekends).

The Park Mall, GF, Jalan Ir. Soekarno
Phone number: +62 (0) 271 789 1322
Facebook: Score Solo Bar
Twitter: Score Solo Baru
Website: www.scorebarandgrillsolo.com

Agra Rooftop Bar (Alila Solo)
Solo City view from Agra (Alila Hotel)
On the 29th floor of the Alila, this new venue is the highest rooftop bar in Solo. It is not that sophisticated for Jakarta standard, but the view is worth going. They serve expensive cocktails and tapas.

Address: Jalan Slamet Riyadi No. 562
Phone number: +62 271 677 0888

Saraswati Bar and Lounge
Hotel bar of the Novotel Solo. They have regular live music but it wasn't very crowded when we visited. Maybe the business people are away during weekends. You can order food as well.

Jalan Brigjen Slamet Riyadi 272
Phone number: +62 (0) 271 724 555

Uncle Bear Beer Bar
One of the most recently opened beer bars in Solo. Clean and fun with live music and DJ in the evening. Open everyday from 5pm to 1am. American and Asian food.

Jalan Veteran 108C
Phone number: +62 (0) 8 12 26 00 97 79
Facebook: Uncle Bear Solo

Par Four Cafe
This is the closest thing from an expat pub in Solo. American-owned. Not a party place but nice for chilling with home-cooked American food and beer. Open from 4pm to midnight every night except Mondays.

Jalan Kebangkitan Nasional 31, Sriwedari Park (next to Sports Station) 
Phone number: +62 (0) 8 11 26 49 36
Facebook: Parfour Solo


Other Karaokes, KTVs and Girlie Bars

Apart from SLS and Musro, you can also try one of the following places:

Primadona Lounge and Karaoke
This is a very local karaoke located in Bengawan Sport Center. They have sexy dancers on Monday and Thursday night. Live music every night from 11pm to 2am. Reasonable prices and many lady companions.

Bengawan Sport Center, Jalan HOS Cokroaminoto 55
Phone number: 08 13212 55 813

Bima Karaoke
Bima is a more expensive karaoke in Solo Baru. Open until 2am, the price for rooms is Rp200,000 per hour with minimal 3 hours. Many girls available as well.

Jalan Ir Soekarno, Ruko HC 19
Phone number: +62 (0) 271 672 7327

I heard that the Lorin Hotel had a nightclub and karaoke but I didn't visited it. There is also Kafe Bola which might be closed already.


Spas, Massage Parlours and Salons

Amazon Spa
This spa is one of the best in the city and it is centrally-located. You can get a HJ with extra tip Rp50,000 to Rp100,000. More is possible as well depending on your negotiation skills. The price of the normal massage + room + facilities (sauna, jacuzzi, cold and hot pool) ranges from Rp200,000 to Rp300,000).

Jalan Adisucipto 48
Phone number: +62 (0) 271 7551308

La Fitto Spa
This is also a recommended plus plus spa in Solo, about 1 kilometer from Solo Square. It is cheaper than Amazon and you can normally get extra services more easily. You can expect to pay Rp150,000 for the room and a normal 2-hour massage. A handjob will cost you from Rp50,000 to Rp100,000 and a blowjob around Rp200,000-250,000. Add at least another Rp100,000 for more. Open from 10am to 10pm.

Jalan Ahmad Yani 296 D
Phone number: +62 271 2700 858
Twitter: Lafitto Spa
Website (with prices): La Fitto Spa Solo

From what I read on Kaskus forum, you have several small brothels (called salons or panti pijat) but they might be hard to find. You can look for Salon Jelita, Salon Mawar, Salon Jasmin, Salon Virgo, Salon Mona and Salon Victoria.

The following spas might be closed:
Refresh Spa, Jalan Kyai Gede Komplek Ruko Beteng Blok B-1, Phone number: +62 (0) 271 657 009
Pluto Spa & Shiatsu, Ruko Bisnis Square Blok JC No. 26, Phone number: +62 (0) 271 799 8568
Athena Spa, Jalan Raya Solo Baru Permai, Blok CA-55, Phone number: +62 (0) 271 623 655
Solo Spa, Jalan Raya Solo-Wonogiri Blok CA No.1, Phone number: +62 (0) 271 623 388
Niagara Spa, Niagara Spa, Jalan Tentara Pelajar No.3, Phone number: +62 (0) 271 789 1916

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