Things to do in Surabaya

Being Indonesia’s second largest city, it’s no surprise that Surabaya has plenty of tall buildings and shopping malls, but that’s not all there is to the East Java capital. The city also has an abundance of nature attractions as well as culinary hotspots and historical sites which serve as a testament to its long history.

We have compiled a list of places to visit in Surabaya when you feel like going away from the hustle and bustle of shopping malls, from Instagrammable parks to food courts and historical museums.

– Nature spots in Surabaya –

1. Wonorejo Mangrove Forest (Ekowisata Mangrove Wonorejo) – greenery in the city

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Surabaya is a busy city, but Wonorejo Mangrove Forest (Ekowisata Mangrove Wonorejo) offers you a chance to take a breath of fresh air. Located only a 15-minute drive away from the city center, the 800-hectare forest has a long track you can navigate while enjoying the sight of the surrounding mangroves.

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Entry to the forest is free, but for an extra Rp. 25,000 (~USD1.76) you can go on a boat ride along the forest’s waterway. Alternatively, you can also rent a speedboat that can accommodate up to six people for Rp. 300,000 (~USD21.10).

Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: 8AM-6PM, Daily
Address: Jalan Raya Wonorejo No. 1, Wonorejo, Rungkut, Surabaya, East Java 60296

2. Keputih Cherry Blossom Park & Bamboo Forest – spacious Japanese-style park

keputih surabaya - 1Image credit: @thanianhila

Another popular nature attraction in Surabaya, Keputih Cherry Blossom Park & Bamboo Forest offers you a taste of Japan only about 21 minutes’ drive from the city center.

Image credit: @hadiandreass

Unsurprisingly, the forest is one of the city’s most popular photoshoot locations thanks to its cherry blossoms and bamboo trees, so make sure you have your camera ready as you visit and enjoy the view of the forest.

Entrance fee: Free (Rp. 5,000, ~USD0.35 parking fee for cars, Rp. 2,000, ~USD0.14 for motorbikes)
Opening hours: 24 hours, Daily
Address: Jalan Raya Marina Asri, Keputih, Sukolilo, Surabaya, East Java 60111

– Places to eat in Surabaya –

3. Food Junction Grand Pakuwon – outdoor food court and mini theme park

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Image credit: @faridaaaaa97

One of the newest spots in the list, Food Junction Grand Pakuwon is a combination of a spacious outdoor food court and a mini-theme park. There you can find a wide range of popular food outlets such as Steak 21, Chatime, Solaria, and Starbucks.

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Image credit: @andikurnia

The place is especially perfect if you have little kids, as the theme park has various family-friendly attractions such as rental pedal boats, merry-go-round, and a Ferris Wheel.

Opening hours: 11AM-10PM, Daily
Address: Jalan Grand Pakuwon, Banjar Sugihan, Tandes, Surabaya, East Java 60184

4. Surabaya North Quay – sunset views by the sea

Image credit: @trilia_sm

As one of Indonesia’s busiest seaports, Surabaya’s Port of Tanjung Perak welcomes a large number of cruise ships every year, and Surabaya North Quay was specially designed for visitors to enjoy the sight of passing cruise ships and sunset views by the sea.

The quay has a food court and souvenir shops, so you can enjoy a variety of food and drinks while sitting at the seaside terrace and enjoying sunset views.

Entrance fee: Rp. 10,000 (~USD0.70), Rp. 50,000 (~3.51) for the seaside terrace
Opening hours: 11.30AM-8PM, Daily
Address: North Perak, Pabean Cantian, Surabaya, East Java 60165

5. Kampung Ampel – experience a taste of the Middle East

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Image credit: @natria.lazuardi

Named after Sunan Ampel, a Muslim saint credited for spreading Islam in East Java in the 15th century, Kampung Ampel today is the heart of Surabaya’s Arabic community. It is especially famous for its market, which sells Middle Eastern-influenced food such as roti canai and kebabs as well as souvenirs such as prayer beads and fragrances.

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Ampel Mosque at the village
Image credit: @menaraampel

The area is also home of Masjid Ampel, East Java’s oldest mosque, where the eponymous Muslim saint is buried. The mosque is one of Indonesia’s most popular pilgrimage sites for Muslims, attracting hundreds of people especially on important Muslim holidays such as Eid-ul-Fitr.

Address: Kampung Ampel, Semampir, Surabaya, East Java 60155

– Historical and cultural spots in Surabaya –

6. Tugu Pahlawan and Sepuluh Nopember Museum – telling the story of Indonesia’s struggle for independence

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Image credit: @cindymaghriza

Surabaya is known among Indonesians as “the City of Heroes” thanks to the Battle of Surabaya in 1945, in which Indonesian revolutionaries defended the city against Allied troops. The Tugu Pahlawan or Heroes Monument was erected in 1952 to commemorate the historic battle, with the complementing Sepuluh Nopember Museum built underground.

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Image credit: @erlanggaerlangga2911

The underground museum contains documents, records, and various items from the Battle of Surabaya, including the recording of a famous speech made by Indonesian revolutionary leader Bung Tomo just before the battle ensued. It also has dioramas representing scenes from the battle.

Entrance fee: Rp. 5,000 (~USD0.35)
Opening hours: Tue–Fri, 8AM-2.30PM
Address: Jalan Pahlawan, Alun-alun Contong, Bubutan, Surabaya, East Java 60174

7. House of Sampoerna – learn about the city’s cigarette industry

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Image credit: House of Sampoerna

First opened in 2003, House of Sampoerna aims to celebrate Surabaya’s tobacco industry, and is located at the headquarters of Sampoerna, Indonesia’s largest cigarette manufacturer. The main building itself was built in 1862, and still retains the majority of its original Dutch-influenced architecture.

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Image credit: @yatie_wahyu

Here, you can roam an art gallery containing items related to the tobacco industry, such as a collection of antique matches, and a sightseeing bus tour that takes visitors around Surabaya’s historical sites. While the museum is temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it regularly holds online events such as virtual exhibitions and writing workshops.

Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: 9AM-6PM, Daily
Address: Taman Sampoerna No. 6, North Krembangan, Pabean Cantian, Surabaya, East Java 60163

8. Rumah Batik Jawa Timur – experience authentic batik-making

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Image credit: @rumahbatikjawatimur2

First opened in 2008, Rumah Batik Jawa Timur is dedicated to preserving the art of traditional batik-making in East Java. It has a large collection of batik from various parts of the province, including the famous batik Madura.

Visitors can see how batik is made, and try their hands at traditional batik-making. There is also a souvenir shop selling authentic batik products made by local artists, so you can enjoy the beauty of batik and support local artists and businesses at the same time.

Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 8AM-8PM | Sat & Sun 8AM-7PM
Address: Jalan Dukuh Bulak Banteng Timur No. 94, Bulak Banteng, Kenjeran, Surabaya, East Java 60127

Things to do in Surabaya

Surabaya is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia for a good reason – it’s a rapidly growing city with a large number of attractions of various kinds, from nature parks to historical sites.

It’s a guarantee that you won’t be running out of things to do in the East Java capital, whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, thanks to its rich cultural heritage and various attractions.

For more Indonesian guides, check out:

Cover image adapted from @thanianhila and @rumahbatikjawatimur2

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