Slightly off the touristic radar, Surabaya, located in East Java, is a great place to visit in Indonesia. Despite not being particularly popular among visitors, the city itself is the second largest city in the country after Jakarta. The various historical and cultural sights in Surabaya make this city worth visiting, especially if you are already planning to visit Java. Check out some Surabaya hotels here too.
Apart from the worthy sights in Surabaya, one of the main reasons to visit the city is the opportunity to live an authentic slice of Indonesian city life, and far from being spoiled by the many tourists. Here, you’ll be able to try some of the most authentic and traditional national dishes as well as enjoy the breathtaking natural beauty. Below are some things to do when in Surabaya.
Don’t Miss the Surabaya National Monument
You cannot leave the city without paying a visit to the local National Monument, one of the most popular sights in Surabaya. This iconic landmark symbolizes the city itself whose name, Surabaya is made of two Sanskrit words: “sura”, meaning whale and “baya”, meaning crocodile. The National Monument contains two sculptures of these two animals that have come to symbolize the city.
Visit the Gorgeous Mount Bromo
This active volcano is one of the main highlights of the area that you should be visiting when in Surabaya. By joining a tour from Surabaya, you’ll have the opportunity to easily get to Bromo Tenggger National Park. One of the best tours is the Midnight tour: by leaving at around midnight, you’ll be able to watch the sunrise from one of the most beautiful scenarios in the world.
Take A Glimpse of The Beautiful Suramandu National Bridge
One of the longest bridges and most scenic ones are the Suramandu National Bridge, running between the city and the island of Madura. One of the best ways to admire this majestic bridge is to walk along the waterfront after dark. Indeed, at night the bridge gets illuminated with colorful lights that make the bridge one of the most iconic sights in Surabaya.
Try Some Delicious Food At G-Walk
In the west part of Surabaya, you’ll find a vast variety of food stalls and night bazaars as well as famous restaurants where you’ll be able to taste some of the best food in the city. Mostly popular among the city’s youth, G-Walk is a great spot if you want to do some people watching and meet some locals.
Relax at Taman Bungkul
When looking for some green areas in Surabaya, one of the best places in the city is the park called Taman Bengkulu. Locals love to come here to take a break from the congested traffic and the messy and frenetic pace that characterizes the city. Keep in mind that because Taman Bungkul is one of the most popular sights in Surabaya, it can get very busy in the evenings. If you can visit the park in the afternoon.
Enjoy Real Indonesian Food at Pasar Atun
We’ve already mentioned G-Walk as a good way to taste some local food. If you are looking to try real Indonesian food and eat like a local, get to Pasar Atum, a neighborhood where you’ll find cheap but extremely delicious food, both sweet and savory.
Learn About History at the House of Sampoerna
If you are interested to learn more about national history, the House of Sampoerna is one of the best ways to do so. Here, you’ll find more information about the story of Indonesia’s earliest history and its evolution through time to the current days.
Wander around Chinatown
Surabaya has some of the best Chinatowns in the country due to the large Chinese population that settled in the city some centuries ago. Here you’ll be able to enjoy the food of several Chinese restaurants, shop around and simply get a relaxing afternoon walk. If you have the opportunity, make sure to pay a visit to the Chen Hoo Mosque, one of the most important religious sites of the Chinese Muslim Indonesians. The building is interesting in the sense that it resembles some of the most traditional Chinese temples.
As you can see, there are several sights in Surabaya that are worth visiting. If you are looking for a more authentic destination during your trip to Indonesia, consider visiting this city in East Java. Not only you’ll be able to visit some important cultural and historical attractions but also to get a glimpse of the local lifestyle.