Surabaya is a pulsing metropolis and port that blends soaring modern skyscrapers with Dutch colonial landmarks. Its cultural enclaves include a vibrant Chinatown and atmospheric Arab Quarter that reflect the cosmopolitan character of Surabaya.
Things to do in Surabaya
Visit the House of Sampoerna, the Dutch colonial factory dedicated to producing Indonesia’s most famous brand of kretek cigarettes. Discover the history of Sampoerna in the on-site museum and witness workers hand-rolling prestigious Dji Sam Soe cigarettes using traditional equipment.
Want to sample authentic Javanese street food? Head to the G-Walk in the west of Surabaya, which ignites after dark with the scent of roasted meats and spicy sauces. Feast at the food stalls that line one side of the strip, then grab a drink in one of the exclusive bars nearby.
If you’re travelling with kids, cool off at the Ciputra Waterpark, one of the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia. There’s a whole host of rides, water slides and a lazy river, many of which are themed around the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor.
Visit the Heroes Monument and the 10 November Museum, which are dedicated to those who died during the 1945 Battle of Surabaya. The museum details the struggle of pro-independence Indonesian fighters against British soldiers, with an impressive collection of weaponry, photographs and artefacts belonging to the military leader Bung Tomo.
Getting around Surabaya
Juanda International Airport is 45 minutes’ drive south of the city centre. Trains connect to destinations across Java, while buses, bemos and taxis are the main means of getting around the city.