Mataram lies in the Western area of Lombok, Indonesia, and its the largest city in Lombok. Most of its residents are orang Sasak or the people of Sasak, which are the indigenous people in Lombok. As such, most of the locals speak Bahasa Sasak instead of Bahasa Indonesia, so its best that you go to Lombok with a local guide who understands the language.
Mataram is also the center of education, government, and commerce of the West Nusa Tenggara province. Although 80 percent of the population is currently Muslims, Mataram still retains a large number of historical artifacts from when Hinduism was largely practiced in the region. Similar to other areas in Indonesia, Mataram also showcases the history of the area dating back from when it was ruled by monarchies to colonial powers, before gaining independence. Mataram is best visited in June and July when it is drier and the temperatures are not as high as in January. Read on to learn about the best things to do in Mataram!
1. Batu Payung Beach
Batu Payung (literally known as Umbrella Stone Beach) is named such due to a large rock on the beach which resembles an umbrella. The rock has become the focal point of the beach, especially at low tide where visitors to the beach can take pictures. Unlike other beaches, the shoreline of Batu Paying Beach is more stone than sand, which you can walk on at low tides. This place is perfect for couples and families on strolls.
Batu Payung Beach
Address: Jalan Kuta Lombok, Pujut, Kabupaten Lombok Tengah, 83573 Nusa Tenggara Bar., Indonesia
2. Pura Agung Narmada
Pura Agung Narmada is the mother of all Hindu temples in Lombok. Built in 1727 A.D. by King Anak Agung Gede Ngurah Karang Asem, the temple forms part of a palace complex where the king resided. The temple grounds also consist of numerous pools to wash in as well as a beautiful park. Do take note that soaps and cleansers are not allowed in the cleansing pools. As the temple is very quiet and tranquil, visitors can take the time to pray in peace.
Pura Agung Narmada
Address: Cakranegara, Mataram, 83229 Lombok, Indonesia
3. Islamic Center Mosque
The largest mosque in Lombok, the Islamic Center Mosque has beautiful minarets. Already stunning in the daytime, at night, the mosque has a display that bathes the mosque in a more breath-taking light. Unfortunately, unlike other mosques, the inside of the mosque is only open to Muslims but photos can be taken from the outside.
Islamic Center Mosque
Address: Jl. Langko no. 5, Mataram, Lombok, Indonesia
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4. The Griya
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
A small tucked away art gallery, don’t let the Griya fool you! It is definitely an interesting stop for anyone interested in art and furniture, especially those made from recycled materials. Most of the artwork and furniture are for sale, so for avid collectors, do enquire with the gallery owner, Mr Theo. He is ever ready to answer your questions!
The Griya Lombok
Address: | Pantai Penghulu Agung, Griya Pesona Agung No.777, Mataram, 83114 Lombok, Indonesia
Facebook: The Griya
5. Trek Mount Rinjani
Of course, the main attraction of Mataram: Mount Rinjani. An active volcano, Mount Rinjani measures approximately 3.7 kilometers (2.2 kilometers) in height and is the second highest mountain in Indonesia, which makes it an extremely popular climb with locals and tourists alike. You can sign up with Ali Trekking, whose guides will help and cater to your every need when climbing. Especially for the newbies, an experienced guide can mean wonders for your new climb. Hikers sometimes opt to stay on the mountain for a day so if you wish to do so, make sure you do not miss the chance to catch a view of the spectacular sunrise!
Address: Jl, pariwisata senaru bayan lombok utara | lombok senaru bayan, Mataram, 83554 Lombok, Indonesia
Characteristic of many beach and island getaways is a spa experience. Sign up for a great afternoon at Puri Mas Spa Resort to work those kinks off your back or just to relax with your group of friends. The resort promises to cater to your spirituality and self-indulgence and boasts first-class service and beautiful premises. The spa uses products from Babor, Germany, and has facial treatments to suit all skin types and bodies so you do not need to worry if you have sensitive skin.
Puri Mas Spa Resort
Address: Jl. Raya, Kerandangan, Senggigi, | Lombok, Mataram, 83355 Lombok, Indonesia
Website: Puri Mas Spa Resort
7. Pura Meru
The largest and second-most important temple in Mataram, Pura Meru is truly a sight to behold. The Hindu temple was built in 1720 and its three ‘merus’ or multi-tier shrines are meant for three different deities: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. They can also be taken to signify the three sacred mountains: Rinjani, Agung and Bromo and Mount Meru. Visitors to this temple are required to wear a sarong and sash but if you do not own any, the caretaker often lends you one. As with other places of worship, do be respectful when visiting the temple and be appropriately dressed.
Address: Jl. Selaparang, Cakranegara Tim., Cakranegara, Kota Mataram, 83239 Nusa Tenggara Bar., Indonesia
8. Mayura Water Palace
Representing Balinese bale kambang (floating pavilion) structure, Mayura Water Palace “floats” on an artificial near Jalan Selaparang. Built in 1744 by King A. A. Made Ngurah Karang Asem of Bali, it was originally used as a court of law and a meeting hall for numerous Bali princes. A fierce fight took place in the palace halls in 1894 where the Balinese fought against the Dutch colonizers. Today, the palace is surrounded by the peaceful water and carefully maintained mangosteen trees.
Mayura Water Palace
Address: Jl. Selaparang, Mayura, Kec. Mataram, Kota Mataram, 83289 Nusa Tenggara Bar., Indonesia
Website: Mayura Water Palace
9. Lombok Handicraft Centre
Lombok’s traditional crafts consist of those mainly made of bamboo and clay, of which the most notable are the traditional weaved baskets called “kerajinan.” Located in Senggigi, Bayan Lombok Handicraft Centre has many of such traditional items on sale and it is the perfect place to pick up some focal pieces for your home or traditional souvenirs for your friends and family. All prices in this gallery are marked and fixed but rest assured, they are reasonably priced.
Bayan Lombok Handicraft Centre
Address: Jl. Raya Senggigi km 8, Senggigi
Website: Bayan Lombok
10. West Nusa Tenggara State Museum
Visit the museum to learn about Sasak Ethnic culture. It’s not designed as a tourist trap and elegant exhibits such as the basket and weaving one are fascinating. You can learn about some of the interesting traditions of the local people. It’s a good place to visit to find out something of the geology of the area and there’s also a small display presenting jewelry.
The small museum’s air-conditioned with clean restrooms. A small gift area may surprise you with some items worth purchasing. If you have a few hours to spare, it’s worth a visit.
West Nusa Tenggara State Museum
Address: Jln. PanjiTilar Negara 6, Mataram, Lombok 83115
Telephone: +62 626 32519
Ride downhill for 10 km (6-mile) through plantations where you will see cocoa, coffee, and vanilla trees. Enjoy biking through natural rainforest. The journey begins in the Senggigi area at 7.30 am. Your journey takes you to a waterfall where you can swim and relax in the natural surroundings. After that, pass through an area of terraced rice fields which is very beautiful. The tour includes transport to and from a Mataram hotel. Allow a full day for your excursion which takes you to the beautiful rural areas of Lombok.
Mountain Biking and Waterfall Tour from Lombok
Duration: 6 hours
The thriving capital of Lombok: Mataram
As it is the largest city in Lombok, Mataram houses a huge diversity of activities and experiences waiting to be explored. From history and culture to a thriving local arts scene, one will definitely not run out of things to do in this bustling city. If you are planning a trip to Lombok, make sure to add Mataram to your itineraries!
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