Beaches – Being stuck in the middle of the island, it’s a bit of a hike to the beaches. Nearest are the 3 triplets Baron, Kukup and Krakal, about 2,5 hours driving to the south. As the place gets more and more integrated into the local tourist circuit, accommodations are added by an monthly rate. Further east, about 3,5 hours from Solo, is the horseshoe shaped bay of Pacitan, with small beachside bungalows which lately have gone more upmarket. A much better option is to head a little bit more to the west from Pacitan to breath taking picturesque Watu Karang beach where you also can find simple accommodation or reside in the comfort of the new opened Desa Lima San (www.desalimasan.com) A very nice outing, though a bit difficult to reach so its only worth if you go for a minimum of 4 days is the beautiful island group on the north cost of Java, the Karimunjawa Islands.
Bowling – There is a good 10-pin bowling rink in Jl. Cokroaminoto in Jebres.
Fitness – There are well appointed fitness clubs/gyms at all of the more upscale hotels such as Novotel, Royal Surakarta Heritage and Alila Solo.Taman Budaya Jawa Tengah, Jl. Ir Sutami 75, Kentingan
Solo Fitness has opened on Jl. Raya Solo Baru, but it has limited opening hours.
RPM Body-Fitness inside Stadion Manahan (www.rpmbodyfitness.com)
Body & Mind Fitness on Jl. RM Said 156, have well-equipped gyms in addition to all kind of classes like Aerobic, Martial Art, Yoga, Latin, Zumba etc.
Celebrity Fitness located at Paragon Mall is spacious, clean and modern.
Football – Solo is football mad and has a national league team called Persis. When they play in the Manahan Stadium the town erupts in red shirts, drum bands and enthusiastic youth driving through town with the exhaust removed from their motorbikes and flags waving.
Golf – The Adi Sumarmo golf course alongside the Solo airport is 9 holes and very cheap. There also is a driving range on Jl. Adisucipto on the way to the airport from Solo. Yogyakarta is not far away and there are a beautiful 18-hole course on the slopes of the famous Mount Merapi volcano as well as another near Yogyakarta airport and a 9-hole course at the Hyatt Hotel.
Horse Riding – is available in most of the mountain tourist spots. The ponies are small, but quite strong. Tawangmangu has rides from a quick turn round the block to a 5 hours trip to Gua Maria cave. You can even arrange a trip to the summit of Mount Lawu. A little further afield horses are available in the market towns of Kopeng on the slopes of Mount Merbabu and Bandungan on Mount Unguran.
Havana Horses in Salatiga (www.havanahorses.co.id) is run by a mixed couple and has full-sized riding horses.
Indoor Tennis – GOR Solo Baru has courts, as does the GOR behind Sriwedari in Jl. Penumping Kidul.
Manahan Stadium – This, the largest stadium in Solo, is a very popular spot for sports, especially Sunday mornings.
Massages – A very good Japanese acupressure massage you can get a Nakamura. There are several outlets, at Solo Grand Mall, across from Pasar Legi, at Goro Assalam and at Plasa Solo Baru.
NEST Family Reflexiology & Spa at Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan 35 in Laweyan has a nice environment and competitive prices. Most of the big hotels also have nice Spa Departments attached.
Movies – There are several shiny and modern cinemas around town. Empire XXI Multiplex and Grand21 Multiplex have outlets in Solo Grand Mall, Solo Paragon, The Park and Solo Square. The latest movies are shown not long behind their Jakarta release.
Solo Car Free Day – is every Sunday from 6:00 to 9:00 AM when Jl. Slamet Riyadi and the street in front of Manahan Stadium are closed for all cars and motorbikes and becomes a giant open air sports ground. There are several aerobic groups you can join for free and it has become a major social event with hundreds of people showing up and having fun. It is also the time when everybody takes out their bicycles to get around.
Swimming – There are good pools at most of the big hotels.
The Sunan Hotel has a half-Olympic, a paddlers and a middle-sized pool but charges 150 000 IDR entry fee for non guests.
The Lor Inn Hotel has a very nice pool area in the middle of a tropical garden, although the facilities are a little bit aged.
The Paragon Hotel and Apartments has a middle sized pool with a nice view over town. Novotel has two pools, a quieter one on the side facing the street and a one more exposed one next to the restaurant.
Alila Hotel has an enormous outside pool with view all over the city. Signing up for a gym membership grants you access to the pool and the pool day pass is 100 000 IDR / day including either a meal or 2 drinks.
In Solo Baru the Pandawa Water Amusement Park makes a good outing for people with kids.
Timezone – For those with small kids, a desire to ride motorbike simulators and a lot of money to burn; head to Timezone located in Solo Grand Mall or Solo Paragon.
Walking – There are very nice walks in the 3 mountains surrounding Solo. Merapi and Merbabu to the west have various trails to their summits. Mount Lawu to the east has summit trails as well as the popular Candi Sukuh to Tawangmangu hike (about 2-3 hours) and the hike from Candi Cetho to Candi Sukuh (4-5 hours). Cool pine forests, spectacular views and tiny mountain villages will be the rewards for your efforts.
White Water Rafting – best to enjoy in the wet season or you will do a lot of paddling. 1½-hour driving from Solo two businesses are based in Mendut near Borobudur temple. They are both very professional with experienced raft captains, proper helmets and life jackets etc. The four separate voyages are of varying degrees of screamingness; the easier ones are good for kids (citraelo.com)