Surabaya is a city full of noise, sights and bustle – no surprise there as it’s the second largest city in Indonesia. Dubbed “The City of Heroes” for playing a part of Indonesia’s fight for independence in history, explorations will reveal a plethora of great sights, sounds and wonders in and out of the dense city. The highlight of a trip here should include the mighty Mount Bromo, an active volcano with sceneries so majestic and surreal that it could easily pass for the backdrop of a sci-fi movie.
Best of Surabaya
1. Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park
Home to the majestic Mount Bromo, this absolutely scenic national park is the only conservation site in Indonesia that consists of a sand sea, the Tengger Sand Sea. Traverse through its surreal-looking landscapes for the highest mountain in Java, Mount Semeru, which also doubles as an active volcano.
2. Ciputra Waterpark
The largest water park in Indonesia, this fun family-friendly attraction occupies five hectares of land filled with exciting slides, a 480-metre long river and an artificial beach!
3. Submarine Monument
KRI Pasopati 410 submarine, which served the Indonesian Navy from 1952 to 1990, now resides at Jl. Pemuda and serves as a walk-in monument. Get to know all of the seven sections of this mighty military watercraft and learn more about the history of the Indonesian Navy when you visit this unique attraction.
4. Pasar Atum
The vendors in this large indoor market sell many varieties of clothing, accessories and just about everything else. The many food stalls are also a great draw for visitors!
5. Masjid Cheng Ho (Zheng He Mosque)
With its distinctive blend of Chinese, Javanese and Islamic architecture all drenched in vibrant colours of red, green and yellow, Masjid Cheng Ho is not just a place of worship, but also one of the significant buildings in Surabaya. It was built to commemorate Admiral Cheng Ho’s effort in spreading Islam in the city during the 15th century.
6. Gereja Katolik Kelahiran Santa Perawan Maria
Surabaya’s Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church was built in 1899 to replace the old church (built in 1822), making it the oldest church in the city. Don’t forget your camera as the designs are simply stunning!
7. House of Sampoerna
This old colonial building mainly functions as a showcase of the famous tobacco brand in Indonesia, but you can catch other interesting displays in the museum such as the antique carriage and old kebaya.
8. Tugu Pahlawan
This ‘Monument of Heroes’ was built to honour the heroic act of the people of Surabaya in the nation’s struggle against colonialism. There is also an adjacent museum dedicated to World War II.
9. Hotel Majapahit
A colonial-styled hotel with an elegant facade and furnished with beautiful gardens, built by the Sarkie brothers who also designed the Rafﬂes Hotel in Singapore.
10. Balai Pemuda
There are many activities offered here, from band gigs to handicraft expos. The building Balai Pemuda (Youth Hall) itself is a protected cultural heritage of the city. Watch the Reog show every Sunday at 11am.