Top 10 Things You Should Do In Surabaya

 In General, Surabaya

Surabaya, the 2nd largest city in Indonesia with a population of slightly more than 4 million. It is a popular business city as well as tourist visiting Mount Bromo. So if you have 1 day in Surabaya, what can you do in this city? Here are top 10 things to do in Surabaya from our opinion:

1.Visit the House of Sampoerna Cigarette Factory

One of Surabaya’s top tourist attractions happens to be where Indonesia’s world-famous Sampoerna cigarettes are produced. Today, the House of Sampoerna doubles as a cigarette factory and museum. This historical site was originally a Dutch colonial-style orphanage compound built in 1862. After being acquired by Liem Seeng Tee, a Sampoerna cigarette company, this preserved historical site now educates visitors about the history of Sampoerna and demonstrates how their famous cigarettes are rolled and packed.


Source: Flickr

2. Masjid Al Akbar Mosque

Towering above the skyline, the Masjid Al Akbar Mosque is one of the largest Islamic mosques in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Built in 2001, the mosque is easily distinguished by its turquoise dome structure, contrasted with white walls. It’s also at this mosque that you can capture the best panoramic views of Surabaya, from the top of the visitor tower. For a country whose traditions are steeped in religion, visiting places of worship in Surabaya should not be missed. This is especially popular among our muslim customers.


Photo credit: Flickr

3. Majapahit Hotel 

A building older than its home country, Majapahit Hotel was first established by the Dutch in 1910 as Hotel Oranje. The telltale elegant colonial architecture and manicured garden make this hotel a pleasant spot to sit back, relax, and enjoy being served like a Javanese royal. Even non-staying guests are coming in for high tea at the classic, charming establishment.


Photo credit: Flickr

4. Tour Monumen Kapal Selam

A massive submarine in the middle of the city is indeed an unmissable odd sight that sparks curiosity. The Submarine Monument is an actual warcraft, sourced from Russia and used by the Indonesian navy shortly after independence. Now that it has retired, the submarine serves as a popular tourist attraction that tells stories about the nation’s maritime history.


Photo credit: Flickr

5. Cheng Hoo Mosque

Surabaya holds a huge Chinese population living and assimilating among locals. This cultural interaction begets unique customs and landmarks, including the Cheng Hoo Mosque, a stunning pagoda-style mosque with a very vivid oriental architecture and Muslim religious symbols. This mosque was built to honour the Chinese admiral who helped spread Islam in the country.


Photo credit: Flickr

6.Sanggar Agung Temple

This temple, also known as Hong San Tan Temple, is eclectic in its style and function. As a house of worship for Buddhist, Tao, and Kong Hu Cu followers, this temple shows influences from Chinese, Javanese, Balinese, and Thai cultures in its architecture. The grand temple’s complex features a monumental statue of Guan Yin that’s 20 metres tall, supported by gigantic statues of dragons with the sea in the background.


Photo credit: Flickr

7. Heroes Monument 

Due to its importance in the movement for independence, Surabaya is nicknamed the ‘City of Heroes’. Not much of the independence struggles can still be seen in the modern city, but the Heroes Monument is an unmissable landmark dedicated to the people who fought for the country. Tourists can also visit the 10 November Museum in the lower part of the monument, commemorating the Battle of Surabaya on 10th November 1945, which is still celebrated nationwide as the Day of Heroes.


Photo credit: Tugu Pahlawan, Surabaya | © Everyone Sinks Starco/Flickr | © Everyone Sinks Starco/Flickr

8. Suramadu Bridge

Perhaps more than its functionality, this bridge is appreciated for its architectural beauty and constructional feat. Suramadu Bridge, which is the longest in Southeast Asia by far, connects Surabaya with the island of Madura. Not only can you cross over to the previously inaccessible island in about 30 minutes, you’ll also get to enjoy the scenic journey.


the big new toll bridge in surabya

Photo credit: Flickr

9. Watch The Sunrise At Mount Bromo 

With a height of 2329 m (7641 ft), Mount Bromo is relatively small when measured against other volcanoes in Indonesia, but the mountain does not disappoint with its spectacular views and dramatic landscapes. Still one of the world’s most active volcanos, Mount Bromo is easily recognized as the entire top has been blown off and the crater inside constantly belches white sulphurous smoke. Bromo sits majestically inside the massive Tengger caldera (a volcanic crater with a diameter of approximately 6 mi or 10 km) and is surrounded by a vast mass of fine volcanic sand. The overall effect is unsettlingly unearthly, and this breathtaking and ethereal landscape has been swooned by many travelers, who mostly hike up or drive to nearby Mount Penanjakan in time to catch the sunrise over Mount Bromo.


10. Walk Around Chinatown 

Indonesian cities are often difficult to navigate on foot so if you get the chance make sure to head to the Chinatown area of Surabaya which lends itself well to an afternoon stroll.

This part of Surabaya got its name thanks to the influx of Chinese owned restaurants and shops in the area and you can still find a wealth of local architecture here that leads off the main road which is called Jalan Karet.


This is a non exhaustive list. However, this 10 places should get you started. We have a couple of tours that could bring you to these places. Click on the links below to have a look:

Surabaya Shore Excursion (1D)

Mount Bromo Sunrise Day Trip (1D/1N)

Alternatively, you can chat with Emily to find out more about our tour options.


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