Things to do in Surabaya? Surabaya, is the capital of Jawa Timur (East Java), located on northeastern Java island and along the edge of the Madura Strait and the second-largest city in Indonesia. Travelers come here mainly for business and as a stop-over to continue to other East Java cities but the city is actually home to many historic destinations for its central role in Indonesia’s fight to independence. Over the last 3 years especially, under the leadership of first directly-elected Mayor Tri ‘Risma’ Rismaharini, the city has received massive makeover and upgrades. We guide you to some of the must-see destinations in the city:
1. Taman Bungkul
Mayor Risma’s policy has been to make the most of empty land and open spaces. There are now eleven major parks in Surabaya, all with different themes, with many providing free Wi-Fi access and even include libraries, fitness and other sports facilities. The most prominent is the transformation of Bungkul Park, which has been recognized as the cross-culturally public-engaged park in Southeast Asia.
Jl. Taman Bungkul, Darmo, Wonokromo, Surabaya
2. House of Sampoerna (Sampoerna Museum)
Situated in “old Surabaya”‚ this stately Dutch colonial-style compound was built in 1862 and is now a preserved historical site. Previously used as an orphanage managed by the Dutch‚ it was purchased in 1932 by Liem Seeng Tee‚ the founder of Sampoerna‚ with the intent of it being used as Sampoerna’s first major cigarette production facility.
The compound consisted of a large central auditorium‚ two smaller buildings on the east and west sides and numerous large‚ single story‚ open-space structures behind the central auditorium. The side buildings were converted to family residences and the large warehouse-like structures were used to accommodate facilities for tobacco and clove processing‚ blending‚ hand-rolling and packaging‚ printing and finished goods processing.
Today‚ the compound is still functioning as a production plant for Indonesia’s most prestigious cigarette‚ Dji Sam Soe. In commemoration of Sampoerna’s 90th anniversary in 2003‚ the central complex has been painstakingly restored and is now open to the public.
Taman Sampoerna No.6, Krembangan Utara, Pabean Cantian, Kota SBY, Jawa Timur 60163
3. Local Shopping at Pasar Atom
Photo credit: inijie.com
This massive market–if you can call it that way because it is so massive, and deserve a title of a shopping megablock– is the most legendary shopping spots in Surabaya. Built in 1972, it is now connected with the newer Pasar Atum Mall (what a redundant name, we know) and takes up a space of 6 Ha, and is home to more than 2000 retail shops mostly for fashion, jewelry, and anything really. Most importantly, it has tons of food stalls that have been around for decades, offering awesome nostalgic food you can’t find elsewhere.
4. Sunset-gazing at Surabaya North Quay
One of the newest spots in Surabaya, Surabaya North Quay sports a food court, a long balcony where visitors can see and welcome the coming ships and even cruise ships, a museum of East Java culture, and even a lounge-like area with wifi, oversized pillows, and even live music on weekends. It even has a view of the famous Suramadu bridge (that connects East Java and Madura) from a distance, and most importantly, a sunset view.
5. A stroll down Jalan Pahlawan
Explore Jalan Pahlawan that’s where many of the city’s last colonial buildings are located and which offers many photographic spots such as the well-preserved Gedung Bank Mandiri, the art deco style Governor office, the Pelni building, and end your stroll in Surabaya’s most historic monument, Tugu pahlawan.
6. and Jalan Rajawali
photo credit: mixedupalready.com
Jalan rajawali is more pedestrian-friendly with wide sidewalks and has just as many cool buildings to check out such as the colonial style Hotel Ibis, and also Gedung Cerutu (cigar building, for its pointy cigar-like dome).
7. A visit to the unique Cheng Ho Mosque
One building that is more relevant than ever as a reminder that Indonesia is a place for religious tolerance as well as cultural assimilation. The Cheng Ho mosque was built to pay respect to Cheng Ho or Zheng He, a muslim Chinese Admiral who did not only trade but also spread Islam during his travels to Southeast Asia in the 15th century.
Jl. Gading No.2, Ketabang, Genteng, Kota SBY, Jawa Timur 60272
8. Splashing fun at Ciputra Waterpark Surabaya
If you are visiting with kids, then this waterpark is a must visit! It is one of the biggest waterparks in Southeast Asia, with many different attractions and activities for all ages, including a 5D cinema. ‘
Kawasan Waterpark Boulevard Citraland, Sambikerep,Surabaya
Phone: (031) 7441155
Hours: 1–7PM, Sat-Sun, 10am-7pm
9. Roller-coasting at Suroboyo Carnival Park
A modern yet nostalgic theme park in the middle of the city. Suroboyo Carnival Park has lots of fun rides for the whole family, open only at night, such as ferris wheel, giant carousel, ghost ship, 3D Art & Wax House, mini and large roller coaster, and many more.
Location: Jl. Ahmad Yani no. 333, Surabaya
hours: Mon-Fri : 17.00 – 23.00 wib
Sat Sun : 16.00 – 23.00 wib