Surabaya, formerly the leading trade center in the age of the Javanese emperor, remains a shining business destination in Indonesia. Although some people still prioritize other capitals in East Java, the city, situated on the northern coast of Java, surprisingly has many enticing corners. With its sunny weather, Surabaya is indeed a must-visit spot before watching the sunrise in Penanjakan, Bromo, or hiking on Mount Ijen to marvel at the blue fire phenomenon. To satisfy your curiosity, you’d better check out all the 10 top things to do in this vibrant metropolis.
1. See the iconic Surabaya National Monument
To reminisce about how the local heroes fought against Dutch occupation, you can visit Surabaya’s National Monument, also called Heroes Monument or “Tugu Pahlawan.” The monument is a simple obelisk. History lovers are highly recommended to make a visit to the site to learn more about Surabaya’s past. To avoid the scorching heat, you should visit the area either early in the morning or in the afternoon. You also can take a picture while enjoying the monument.
Address: Jl. Pahlawan, Alun-alun Contong, Bubutan
Opening Hours: 8 am to 2.30 pm (weekdays), 8 am to 1.30 pm (weekend) Closed on public holidays.
2. Hang out at Bungkul Park
Bungkul Park or “Taman Bungkul” is an open green space in Surabaya that is ideal for those travelling with family. It’s the best spot to chill out, enjoy the fresh air, or go for a walk. There are numerous facilities including a playground and skateboarding park for your children. It’s called “Bungkul” because it’s named after the Mbah Bungkul, a cemetery inside the park. You can try traditional street food at the park, such as pecel semanggi, which is legendary.
Address Jl. Taman Bungkul, Darmo, Wonokromo
Opening Hours: 24 hours
3. Enjoy an amazing view of Suramadu Bridge
Some people associate the Suramadu Bridge with the Golden Gate Bridge in California. It indeed provides an enticing view for candid pictures. The bridge, connecting the islands of Java and Madura, is the longest bridge in Indonesia. The cable stayed-bridge was built in 2009 and has two lanes for each direction. You can cross the bridge to Madura to discover more of East Java.
Address: Jalan Tol Suramadu, Tambak Wedi, Kenjeran
Opening Hours: 24 hours
4. Go Chinese mosque hopping
If you are a culture and art enthusiast, you must drop by at Muhammad Cheng Ho Mosque. The unique architecture depicting cultural assimilation between China and Islam is so fascinating. You can explore the dominantly red and green mosque in less than an hour. Although it’s not as massive as Al-Akbar Mosque, Muhammad Cheng Ho Mosque is worth to visit.
Masjid Cheng Ho
Address: Jl. Gading No.2, Ketabang, Genteng
Opening Hours: 24 hours
5. Thai vibes at Sanggar Agung Temple
Experience a bit of Thailand at Surabaya’s Sanggar Agung Temple. The feature of the temple is a four-faced Buddha statue with its towering stupa. The captivating Buddha statue is gold plated. You will be amazed by the temple’s architectural design, especially if you enjoyed Wat Pho in Bangkok. The well-maintained temple is very popular among worshipers.
Sanggar Agung Temple
Address: Jl. Pantai Ria Kenjeran, Sukolilo Baru, Bulak
Price: from 0.4 USD / ~5,300 IDR
Opening Hours: 8 am to 5 pm
6. Visit a museum
Surabaya is an excellent destination in Indonesia if you’re interested in museums and galleries. There are numerous enticing museums that we can recommend. House of Sampoerna exhibits some collections of ancient vehicles, cigarette lighters and cases, and is a good site to see cigarette rolling. House of Surabaya displays historical artifacts with their displays. Meanwhile, Museum Mpu Tantular illustrates Javanese architectural design with a modern flair.
House of Sampoerna Museum
Address: Taman Sampoerna No.6, Krembangan Utara, Pabean Cantian
Opening Hours: 9 am to 10 pm
7. Unwind at Surabaya North Quay
Surabaya North Quay is another lovely way to spend your time in the city. The seafront spot, newly built in 2016, offers a romantic atmosphere for young couples. Enjoying the sunset with the view of docked cruise ships is the best part of chilling out at this vibrant place. Other highlights are the live music, super clean lounge area, and chic galleries.
Surabaya North Quay
Address: Perak Utara, Pabean Cantian, Perak Utara, Pabean Cantian
Opening Hours: 9 am to 9 pm
8. Enjoy Dutch architecture
[ old town ] Previously, BII Building is building Nederlands Spaarbank or commonly referred to Nutsspaarbank or Savings Bank for Public Benefit. Nutsspaarbank is the only of the Savings Bank General in Surabaya at that time. The building was built in 1914 and put into use since March 8, 1916. The architect of this building is Fritz Joseph Pinedo, who was born on June 12, 1883 in Haarlem, North Holland Province. This building is a classic form of settlement building corner there is lots of colonial architecture. The dominant of this building is the dominance gevel front and tower or mast at the main entrance. Pinedo Nutsspaarbank building work is a masterpiece of architecture during the transition trend in the world of design styles, namely in the year 1890-1915. Elements of interior in the style of the period performed by the design style of transition, such as the Dutch Colonial style, Empire Style, Art and Craft, Art Nouveau, Amsterdam Schools, and headed to a more modern Nieuw Bowen. #OneOfTheFUGood_09012016 #FotografiaUnited #AkalaKoIbaKa #SeptemberFeels
History and heritage lovers are obviously recommended to get lost on either Pahlawan Street or Pemuda Street. Dutch ambiance can be felt along these roads. The ancient, artistic, and Dutch-style buildings along the street will captivate anybody’s eyes. Some buildings are well-maintained and revitalized while the rest are simply abandoned, yet remain attractive. These buildings can be found near the iconic Surabaya National Monument.
Address: Jalan Pahlawan and Jalan Pemuda, Surabaya
Opening Hours: 24 hours.
9. Enjoy dinner at Food Junction
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
If you want to grab a dinner featuring local foods, don’t forget to visit Food Junction. There are hundreds of food stalls here serving both international and traditional culinary delights. Ronggo Malang’s dish called cwi mie, Farina’s pempek meal, and Harissa’s fried duck are among the highlight foods. Situated in western Surabaya, this bustling spot also features several attractions such as an amusement park, lagoon pond, and other events to discover.
Grand Pakuwon Food Junction
Address: Jl. Grand Banjar Boulevard, Tandes, Banjar Sugihan, Tandes
Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm
10. Stroll down Tunjungan Plaza (TP)
Surabaya is famous for its shopping malls, and one of the top malls is Tunjungan Plaza. The biggest shopping center in the capital contains more than 500 retail outlets. You can shop for fashionable shoes and chic accessories, watch the latest film, dine out, or simply stroll through the area. A children’s arcade center, restaurants, and cafes are also provided. Shopaholics must spend their money in TP mall.
Address: Jl. Basuki Rahmat No.8-12, Kedungdoro, Tegalsari
Opening Hours: 10 am to 10 pm
There are tons of ways to enjoy Surabaya
Some travelers may not think to put Surabaya, Indonesia on their bucket list. In fact, the capital is actually a hub for hidden attractions. Although it doesn’t offer much natural attractions, wanderers can absolutely enjoy Surabaya’s cultural and heritage attractions through the religious sites (mosque and temple), museums, and landmarks. Some cool places to hang out, like Surabaya North Quay and Tunjungan Plaza, are also fun.
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