I’ve been fortunate to have expanded my horizons travelling within Indonesia over the past two years. For many people, Indonesia is associated only with Bali, but with over 17,000 islands there really is so much more to see. An alluring destination on the island of Java I’ve put on my discovery list is Surabaya.

Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia and wandering the city you’ll see Dutch, Chinese and Arab influences throughout. One of the main reasons it appeals to me is because it’s the gateway to Mount Bromo. This is just one of Indonesia’s active volcanoes that can be climbed. I think seeing the sunrise over Mount Bromo would definitely be an unforgettable experience. You can find out more regarding Mount Bromo here.

Indonesia’s Mount Bromo. Photo Credit: publicdomainpictures.net


If you’re looking for an activity that doesn’t raise your heart rate then pay a visit to The House Of Sampoerna Museum. This is where tourists can learn the history behind the local ‘kretek’ cigarette. A visit to the museum offers a fascinating opportunity to watch hundreds of ladies hand roll these cigarettes, made of a tobacco and clove mixture. They are then packed and sold all over the country.

On a recent trip to Indonesia’s capital city Jakarta, I was mesmerised during a visit to the Istiqlal Mosque. It really is an enchanting experience observing prayers take place. I’m glad to report that Surabaya’s largest Mosque, Masjid Nasional Al Akbar allows Non-Muslim visitors to enter. I’d definitely recommend spending some time here during your visit. I’ve also learned that this Mosque is surrounded by some amazing local street food vendors. Another noteworthy Mosque that I’d like to see is the Masjid Muhammad Cheng Hoo. This Mosque looks more like a Chinese temple and has been purpose built for Chinese-Muslims living in Surabaya. Whilst Non-Muslim visitors are not permitted to go inside, the building itself is very photo worthy.

Friendly faces you’ll meet at the Mosque


Surabaya has one of the largest Chinatown areas in Indonesia

Eating in Surabaya

Eating is one of my favourite things to do in Southeast Asia. I know it can be a bit of a gamble, but I love the street food scene. The ‘Food Festival’ in Pakuwon City is a must for any foodie visiting Surabaya. Here you can try dishes such as Rujak Cingur, a spicy salad complete with slices of beef lips, or possibly nose. Sounds tasty right? Another local favourite is a bowl of Rawon, a rich dark beef and rice soup. With many nationalities living in Surabaya, there’s an abundance of food choices and you’ll be counting down the minutes until your next appetite.

Always eat local


Accommodation in Surabaya

There’s a great range of accommodation options to suit all travellers and budgets in Surabaya.  A property that has caught my eye is the Hotel Bumi Surabaya. This five star hotel is one of the largest in the city and not only does it have a well equipped gym but a tennis court and yoga classes. Perfect for the active traveller! Thanks to www.traveloka.com you can easily book your Surabaya hotel online.


Getting in and out

Surabaya is easily accessible by air with many international and local carriers offering connections. It’s a 90 minute flight from Jakarta and less than an hour by plane from Bali. Something I am yet to try in Indonesia (but I really want to) are the trains. Java is well connected by rail so getting to Surabaya from other major cities such as Jakarta or Bandung is an affordable way to travel. So, I’m not really sure what I’m waiting for but it’s time to book that trip to Surabaya! Hope you can make it there too!




This is a sponsored post. All research and opinions are my own.

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