Makassar was the traditional capital of the Bugis kingdom. The Bugis were known throughout the region as proud, fierce warriors and pirates and highly skilled mariners, and before the Dutch defeated them, they had a formidable empire and sphere of influence in what the Europeans called the "Spice Islands". The Bugis also traded throughout the region, and you can find Bugis people today in many other parts of Indonesia and beyond.
Makassarese cuisine, based as you might expect on seafood, is highly prized throughout the region, so make sure to have some while you are here.
Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport (IATA: UPG) is located 20 km from Makassar and acts as the primary hub for flights to Eastern Indonesia which encompasses the whole Sulawesi island, Maluku and Papua. There are multiple flights from Indonesia's capital, Jakarta as well as smaller cities such as Surabaya and Bali. The only international flights are from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Taxi is the most feasible option and should cost Rp90,000 to the city. A free shuttle bus connects the airport (bottom level) to the main road where you can catch a bemo into town for Rp 10,000.
The main port of Makassar is the Soekarno-Hatta Harbor. Makassar is a major port for Pelni ships for Central and Eastern Indonesia. It takes about 16 hours to Balikpapan, 24 to Surabaya, and 30 to Tanjung Priok.
Becak is a trishaw of unique design but minimalist compared to the ones in Java, can accommodate 2 small persons/children, but suitable only for one adult. Fare depends on the distance, usually Rp 8,000-15,000 around town.
There's a lot of taxi companies, all have the same fare and all use meters.
By petepete (Angkot)
Petepete is the equivalent to other cities' angkot (angkutan kota/city transportation).
By Trans Mamminasata
Trans Mamminasata (Makassar, Sungguminasa and Takalar) initial operates in early 2014 with Corridor-2 Trans Studio-Mal Panakukkang. Not as TransJakarta which serve only inside Jakarta, Trans Mamminasata serve also to outside Makassar. It will be 11 corridors, but until early 2015 there are no additional corridors since initial corridor.
As South Sulawesi is dominated by the Bugis, the local language in Makassar is Buginese. Nevertheless, Indonesian is spoken by practically everyone as well.
- Losari Beach (Pantai Losari). the name of long stretch of waterfront in the middle of the city. A very nice sunset view. Food stalls set up every night here.
- Fort Rotterdam. an old fortress from Dutch colonial days. A small donation is expected of around Rp 10,000, and they will insist you sign a guestbook. Note if you are a foreigner, you will be the biggest tourist attraction there, and expect to spend at least half your time taking pictures with curious local residents and kids from small town Sulawesi on field trips. The friendly attitude makes this experience quite fun, and you can learn a lot about Sulawesi as well from it.
- Pulau Khayangan. a small island about 20 minutes away by boat from central Makassar.
- Pulau Samalona. a beautiful white sandy island with good diving. Trip from Makassar takes 30-45 minutes, and costs Rp600,000-800,000 (1 boat can carry 2-8 people).
- Trans Studio. The largest indoor theme park in the world at this time. Authorized name is Trans Studio World Makassar. Having more than 20 games and equipped with facilities such as shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, and marina.
- Makassar Hash : for those who love jogging, running or hiking with a great view, in the jungle, river, or just adventure, this is your group. Makassar Hash gather every week at Kios Semarang, a restaurant in front of Losari Beach, and the group will take you to various places every Saturday.
Makassar has the type of shopping malls you would find in any other major Indonesian city, nothing very inspiring. The largest include:
- MTC Karebosi.
- MTC Karebosi (Makassar Trade Centre Karebosi), features: IT Centre (Electronic, Mobile, and Computer), Carrefour Express, Local Shops, Cafes, Playground, CFC, etc.
- Mall Ratu Indah, features: Matahari Next Generation Dept. Store, Gramedia Bookstore, Hero Supermarket, Disctarra, 21 Cineplex, Breadtalk, Excelso,Texas FC, Mcd, Pizza HUt, KFC, playground, Some cafes and boutique, etc.
- Mall Panakkukang: Matahari Dept Store, Rimo Dept. Store, Hypermart, Diamond Hypermarket, 21 Cineplex, Excelso, Gramedia, Disctarra, Breadtalk, AW, Sport Shop, Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut, Rotiboy, Jco, some cafes, boutiques, playgrounds, etc.
- Trans Studio Mall: Hugo Boss, Guess, Gucci,Louis Vuitton, Giorgi Armani,and many other international brand store, Metro Dept Store, Gramedia Bookstore, ME Gallery(Apple authorised reseller),Pizza Hut and Crocs.
- Pisang epe, Losari Beach. Pressed grilled banana, served with melted brown sugar. Available with chocolate and/or cheese topping, and durian (seasonal) flavor.
- Buroncong, Losari Beach. Early morning breakfast cake. Baked on firewood. It's made of grated coconut, flour, etc.
- Nyuk Nyang, Jl. Bali. Chinese style pork meatballs. Served in tasty pork broth.
- Restoran Nelayan, Jl Alimalaka. Famous seafood restaurant. They serve various fish, shrimp, squid, lobster (sometimes), chicken, traditional vegetables, etc. There are other similar restaurants around the city, you might want to try Dinar or Ratu Gurih, both on Jl. Lamadukelleng.
- Sop Konro Karebosi, Jl. Lompobattang. One of the most famous Sop Konro restaurants. They serve Sop Konro (beef ribs in traditional dark soup) and Konro Bakar (grilled beef ribs, served with tasty peanut sauce). There are some other Sop Konro restaurants.
- Sop Saudara, Almost everywhere. Traditional South Sulawesi soup, it contains meat, liver, lung, etc. However, you may choose the ingredients you want in your soup.
- Pisang Ijo. Banana wrapped in thick green rice flour layer, served with condensed coconut milk and syrup. The most famous one is made by Bravo Restaurant on Jl. Andalas, but it can also be found at Nyuk Nyan restaurant on Jl. Irian and Jl. Bali, sometimes hotels serve Pisang Ijo as well..
- Cafe Mama, Jl. Serui. A cozy cafe. They serve traditional cakes, cookies, sweets, and drinks. They also serve home made ice cream.
- Coto Makassar, Everywhere. Traditional makassar soup. Quite similar to Sop Saudara, but has different taste. Usually served with rice cake. It's very easy to be found around Makassar. The famous coto restaurants are Coto Gagak on Jl. Gagak, Coto Nusantara on Jl. Nusantara, Coto Daeng on Jl. Karunrung and Jl. Pengayoman, Coto Dewi on Jl. Sunu, Jl. Sultan Alauddin and Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan and Coto Ranggong on Jl. Ranggong
- Pangsit Mie, Around Chinatown. Pangsit Mie is noodle served with BBQ pork, chicken and wontons. Easy to be found around the chinatown (Jl. Sulawesi, Jl Lombok, Jl. Sangir and surrounding area). They usually available only until lunch time. The famous one is Pangsit Mie Kenangan on Jl. Lombok, Pangsit Mie Toraja on Jl. Sulawesi and Pansit Mie Madya on Jl. Buru
- Mie Kanton, Around chinatown. Kantonese style fried noodle. It's deep fried or usually grilled noodle, served with condensed soup containing vegetables, fried meatball, and pork meat. Can be found around chinatown (as mentioned above). The famous Mie Kanton restaurants are Kios Lombok on Jl. Lombok, Lotus Restaurant on Jl. Lombok, Kios Ateng on Jl. Sangir, Kios Ramayana on Jl. Gunung Lompobattang, etc
- Pallubasa. Makassar style meat soup. The soup is spicy and contains grated coconut. The most famous Pallubasa is located on Jl. Serigala, known as Pallubasa Serigala. Note: Avoid lunchtime as it is very difficult to get seats on lunchtime.
- Surya Restaurant, Jl. Nusakambangan. One of the biggest Chinese food restaurant in Makassar. They are famous for their crab dishes. Ask for the female crab (it might cost more than the male crabs), female crabs have the delicious crabs egg inside them.
- Nasi Kuning. Yellow rice served with various dishes. One of the most favorite breakfast in Makassar. The most famous one is Nasi Kuning Riburane, located at the corner of Jl. Sulawesi and Jl. Riburane or you might want to try Nasi Kuning Popsa, located IN the Popsa pier on Jl. Penghibur. Some nasi kuning seller sell at night. If you have a midnight hunger, you might take a walk to Jl. Ahmad Yani, there is a nasi kuning seller called Nasi Kuning Emon across the Balaikota Building (Mayor's Office).
- Ikan Bakar Paotere, Paotere. Famous seafood restaurant, they are famous for their grilled milkfish served with peanut sauce and coconut milk soup. Other seafood restaurant also sell grilled milkfish, but this one is remarkable.
- Songkolo. Stirred glutinous rice, served with fried grated coconut, salted fish and sambal (traditional chili sauce). It's quite difficult to find songkolo around Makassar nowadays. It's usually available at the traditional market or traditional food seller. Try Bacan Market (Pasar Bacan) in the morning if you want to have songkolo.
- R.M. Ramayana, Jalan Gunung Lompobattang no 109, ☎ +62-411-311618, +62-411-3611618. 09.00-23.00. Traditional Restaurant offering mixed Indo-Chinese food in Makassar. They are famous for variety of food such as Mie Hokkian, Mie Kuah, Makassar Fried Rice, Bakpao (Makassar signature Pork Meat Bun), Healthy Soy Drink. They have many local and tourist customers especially during peak seasons. Price range Rp.4,000 - Rp.30,000.
- Krispi Kriuk - Donald Bakmi, Jl. Boulevard, depan BCA, Panakukkang Mas, ☎ 430933. Krispi Kriuk - Donald Bakmi serves Ayam Goreng 'Kampung' and Bebek Goreng with local spices and serve on Banana leaves, Kakap Fillet, Lele Goreng,and Crispy Fried Shrimp, which all serve on Banana Leaves. They also serve Makassar favorite noodle 'Mie Pangsit' and many more noodle dishes and Desert like Es Sarang Burung, which is mix fresh fruits serving in coconut. And Fresh Local Fruit Juices like soursop, avocado, jack fruit, terong belanda etc. Prices are affordable.
- Pizza Ria Kafe, Jl. Latimojong 152, ☎ +62 411 313575. 8am-10pm.
- Rumah Makan Makassar Kuliner, Jl. Lanto Daeng Pasewang. Famous for its local traditional food and various of seafood. Located near Sahid Hotel and MARI mall.
- Kafebuku, Jl.Tentara Pelajar no. 141, ☎ +62 411 336 108. a small cafe-library near the harbor and is a good place for coffee and some Indonesian literature. There are also some books in English.
- Ballezza. there is a brewpub on the first floor, family style karaoke on the second/third, and a dance club on the fourth. Attracts a mostly local crowd, with some expats mixed in. Sports will be on big TV's on the first floor, and DJ's are shipped in from Jakarta to play upstairs. A very friendly crowd, and nice service people as well. A good place to go for a night out.
- Aston Hotel Makassar, Jl. Sultan Hasanuddin 10, ☎ 0411-3623222. TV, AC, hot shower, free breakfast and Wi-Fi.
- New Legend Hostel, Jl. Jampea 5A, ☎ 313777. Helpful English-speaking staff. Central location. Price includes breakfast. 95000-125,000.
- Wisma Jampea, Jl. Jampea No. 2, ☎ 0411-317895. TV, AC, hot shower, free breakfast and Wi-Fi. Very clean. rp200000.
- Japan Consulate General, Jl. Jenderal Sudirman No. 31, Makasar, ☎ (62-411) 871-030. , 872-323 , 851-882
- On land
- Tana Toraja, the famed Land of the Heavenly Kings is an 8-10 hour drive or 1 hour flight to the north.