Surabaya Travel Guide

Surabaya is the capital and largest city of East Java. It is mainly used by tourists as a launch point for visits to nearby Mount Bromo and Madura Island and is somewhat lacking in attractions.

As a busy port town, Surabaya was used by the Dutch and there are many colonial-era buildings to gawp at. Surabaya is mainly an Islamic city and as such is loaded with mosques, including the largest in Southeast Asia, the Masjid Al Akbar Surabaya. It features a 65-meter high lookout point. The 1860 House of Sampoerna is another impressive Surabaya attraction.

Surabaya also has an old town along with churches, huge shopping malls, and a bustling harbor, yet is sadly lacking in the beach department. The Ciputra Waterpark is the closest thing in the city you can get to enjoy the water.

As well as its Arabic face, Surabaya also has strong Chinese connections and comes with a Chinatown, which can be found on Kya-Kya Kembang Jepun. At night, this street becomes a bit of a night bazaar with food stalls galore. There is also an Arab market in town - Pasar Ampel.

Getting There & Away

Surabaya is best accessed through Juanda Airport, one of Indonesia’s busiest airports. Flights come in daily from all over Indonesia, including from Jakarta, as well as from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and a host of other major Asian cities. Surabaya is a good day’s drive, bus ride, or train ride from Jakarta via Bandung and Semarang.

Things to Do

Surabaya Attractions

House of Sampoerna

Tucked away in old surabaya, the city’s main attraction is a stately dutch colonial-style complex that was built in 1862. it features a museum and art gallery along with souvenir shops and a cafĂ©.


The governor of east java’s house, which is a colonial-era residence that features traditional dancing at the nearby balai pemuda on sunday morning.


Surabaya’s night bazaar is at citraland in the west of town and has loads of stalls and bazaars - great for people watching and eating.

Ciputra Waterpark

Featuring slides and wave pools, the water park is ideal for those with kids as surabaya doesn’t have any beaches of its own.

Side trips from Surabaya

Mount Bromo

One of indonesia’s best known active volcanoes lies in the tengger massif and is a popular two-day trip from surabaya.

Taman Safari II

Known for its successful javan tiger conservation program, this excellent safari park can be found in the foothills of prigen and is one of the biggest in indonesia.


Yosakai Dance Festival

Originating in kochi, japan, this interesting festival goes off in july and is a must for those into something different.