Ambarawa Travel Guide

The small market town of Ambarawa is located between Semarang and Magelang in Central Java and while only really appealing as a stop-off, the nearby Pening Lake is well worth a look.

The town used to be a vital cog railway link into the mountains of Central Java, between Semarang and Magelang which was known as the Semarang-Ambarawa-Magelang line. The railway ceased operating in 1977 although people can visit the excellent Ambarawa Railway Museum and take a ride on a wooden carriage.

Nearby Pening Lake is a must-see on a visit to Ambarawa. It’s only a few kilometers south of town and can be hiked to easily enough. The lake has fantastic mountain views and is also a popular spot to see sunrises from - on the Love Hills (Bukit Cinta). Ambarawa also has a good market while nearby Bandungan also has an interesting flower market.

Getting There & Away

Semarang receives flights from Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Airport, the nearest major airport to Ambarawa. Flight time is under an hour; transfers to Ambarawa take about an hour via taxi to cover the 50km distance. Yogyakarta, farther south, also has a domestic airport.

Things to Do

Ambarawa Attractions

Ambarawa Railway Museum

The main attraction in town includes old engines on display and rides into the mountains in wooden carriages.

Ambarawa market

Not really worth the effort to get here but has a great range of flowers and food vendors.

Side trips from Ambarawa

Rawa Pening Lake

The main attraction in the region is this stunning lake a few kilometers to the south of ambarawa.