Versi Bahasa Indonesia: https://indonesia.tripcanvas.co/id/surabaya/tempat-wisata-terasik/
Written by Sahiri Loing
Edited by Laura Jodoin
While Surabaya might not be the obvious choice for travel, you’re sure to fall in love with its colonial and scenic charm (just like Jakarta).
Much like the capital city, most people visit Surabaya for business purposes, or as a point of transfer before they head off to greener pastures like Mount Bromo or the Ijen Crater.
Also read: 17 unexpectedly fun things to do at the chilly town of Malang, just 2 hours from Surabaya
But up close and personal, Surabaya and its surrounding areas have many interesting things to quench your thirst for wanderlust!
Check out these 15 attractions in Surabaya that will have you glad you visited this unique and charming city.
1. Stand Between Majestic White Pillars: Bukit Kapur Sekapuk
We’ve got another accidental man-made tourist attraction that’ll look great on your Instagram/Facebook post – in case you’re looking for some Instagram inspiration!
Similar to Jaddih Hill, the Sekapuk Hills in Gresik regency are composed of active chalk mines that, after years of “sculpting” by the miners, have resulted in sleek-looking caves, hallways, and beautiful giant “pillars” that are sure to remind you of the halls and pillars of ancient Greece.
For those who like to “do it all”, Sekapuk Hill is located only 14 kilometres from Mushroom Hill, so it’s easy for you to be able to do both in one day – and should absolutely be part of your holiday itinerary in Gresik!2. A Sublime Limestone Scene: Bukit Wisata Pelalangan
The local community-managed Pelalangan Hill in Madura Island houses towering, highly photogenic landscapes of limestone cliffs surrounded by bright, lush greenery, and the limestone mining adds that flowy, sculpted look to the cliff face.
We promise you’ll be awestruck just staring at these cliffs – but make sure to capture the magnificence on camera so you can see it again and again!
But the beauty is of course not all man-made; the brown rocks—resembling something that you might find on a trip across America—have naturally-occurring carvings etched into their surfaces.
So feel free to snap away (to preserve the moment forever!) then go ahead and marvel at the wonder.
3. Monumen Kapal Selam – Climb Inside a Submarine!
If you’re a fan of boating, Monumen Kapal Selam (or Monkasel) is the perfect daytime destination while you’re out and about in Surabaya. You won’t want to miss this unique attraction!
Located near Plaza Surabaya, the monument lies as majestically on land as it would in water. This Soviet era-made submarine was once used during missions in the 1960s, and now stands proudly on land as a visitor attraction.
And not just to look at, either – this stunning structure is open to the public, and you can actually enter!
Named KRI Pasopati 410, the submarine boasts of seven small rooms. Explore the corners of this awe-inspiring submarine, from officers’ modest lodgings to the structural points unique to this underwater beast.
Get a sense of how life at sea might have been, and explore the innards of this historical structure – you won’t regret spending your day here!
4. A Towering Figure of the Past: Menara Suar Sembilangan
For folks who love the ocean, this next stop is sure to tickle your fancy. On Madura Island, just off the coast of Surabaya, is found a stunning Dutch-era lighthouse, a 65m tall and 17-floor towering presence protruding from Sembilangan Village.
Though it’s a bit of a struggle to get to the top of Sembilangan Lighthouse (this is a great spot for you to get your workout in, thanks to all the stairs!), once you’ve reached the top, you’ll be glad you made the trek! It’s no wonder that so many couples opt for their pre-wedding photos to be taken here.
Though you might be huffing and puffing on the way up, you’ll be another kind of breathless when you reach the top; you’ll be gazing out at a gorgeous view of the ocean, the Tanjung Perak port, and the surrounding greenery all around the village. This makes for a fantastic spot for aspiring photographers; don’t forget your camera!
5. Nature sites rock!: Bukit Masegit
Nature lovers unite! For a more nature-friendly destination, Bukit Masegit in Sampang (still on Madura Island) is growing in popularity, quickly becoming one of the most visited natural sites.
At Bukit Masegit, you’ll be blessed with a stunning scenic view of surrounding trees. This rocky hill is high enough to offer you not only these wide green views, but it’s also a great spot where you can marvel at the sunset, especially if you’re travelling with your sweetheart in tow, or the sunrise, if you’re an early bird!
For those with an adventurous streak in them, you can even do some basic rock climbing thanks to the protruding rocks nearby!
6. Insta-fabulous natural spring: Bukit Jaddih
While this visually-pleasing spot may be more man-made, you’ll be sure to fall in love with its bright charming looks – we promise!
If you’re wondering what it is about Bukit Jaddih that makes it stand out, you’d be correct in thinking that it’s got that special something!
Bukit Jaddih in Bangkalan is actually a cluster of chalk deposits that became chalk mines, many of which are still in operation today.
That’s why the hill has a sculpted structure that—even though man-made—makes it awe-inspiring and totally Instagrammable (which we know is a huge plus for all you Insta-lovers!).
But it’s not just chalk; you’ll also see a pool in the middle of the hills filled with natural spring water, coined by locals as “aeng goweh pote” (or the white cave water). This impossibly clear blue water makes for a great photo-op to tell all your friends about your trip.
Plus, after some picture-taking in the sweltering heat, you will probably be tempted to take a little dip!
7. Rumah Hantu Darmo – Oh What a Ghoulish Affair!
If you have a bit of a daredevil streak and a thirst for spooky adventure, you will definitely want to check out the Darmo’s Haunted House, where, according to legend, a family perished in a fire that burned down this house.
Another famous tale claims they made a pact with the devil in return for wealth (locally called pesugihan), and when they broke the promise the devil sank their ship as they were travelling by sea.
While these claims may be nothing more than fanciful tales to spook the gullible, half the excitement is in the possibility of a real haunted house.
Though the rundown structure, which once stood majestic, now looks benign in the daytime (the rooms are all out in the open now), it becomes a looming structure at night and emanates a chilling aura.
So go ahead… be their guests. For an added dose of terror, wander around the area after darkness has fallen!
8. Escape to the Mediterranean: Wisata Bukit Mas
If you’ve always wanted to visit Europe, but haven’t found the time, this might be the place for you!
Wisata Bukit Mas is a premium housing complex reminiscent of European regions; the different areas are named with monikers such as Alexandria, Acropolis, Madrid, Versailles, and Rome.
Their Notre Dame Adventure Park is worth a visit too, owing to its playground and beautiful lake. This makes it an unforgettable place to spend a day if you decide you want a little short-term escape from Indonesia!
This complex offers many corners for you to relax the day away, with its wide and lush green space.
Are you athletically-inclined? Good news: it’s also ideal for a jog, and a swim at their Colosseum Club House (modelled after the Roman amphitheatre of the same name!) will only cost you Rp. 30k (or USD2.25) on workdays and Rp. 35k (USD 2.63) on weekends.
So if you’ve been looking for a different dose of culture, you won’t regret visiting the Wisata Bukit Mas – and you can tell your friends that you’ve been holidaying in the Mediterranean!
9. A Peek Inside an Empire: House of Sampoerna
Even if you’re not a smoker, you might find an inspiring rags-to-riches story at the heart of House of Sampoerna.
This fascinating museum chronicles the rise of Liem Seng Tee and his wife from small-time handmade cigarette producers to business moguls, eventually coming to found the biggest brand in Indonesia.
To make you feel particularly comfortable and at-home, this museum is set in the real home of the company’s founders; you’ll see genuine old photographs of the family, along with an endless collection of enchanting antique paraphernalia (including an old cigarette stall!).
Interestingly, the museum is still home to 4,000 female workers who hand-roll the tobacco, producing incredible amounts of cigarettes every hour. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you might want to visit the art gallery, or find something memorable in the souvenir shop.
Though smoking may not be your cup of tea, there’s no denying that this museum is a fascinating place to gain insight into the economic history of Indonesia – and a great way to kill some time on a rainy day!
10. Picture Perfect (and Haunted!) Train Graveyard: Dipo Lokomotif Sidotopo
If you love antiques, and all things old-fashioned, the dipo locomotive is great for picture-taking (especially at the west side entrance!).
Just like Darmo’s Haunted House, this locomotive is home to some spooky tales: some people have reported seeing a ghostly presence in the vicinity, and one particular story mentions that one locomotive—the made-in-Germany BB 301 from the 60s—left the station on its own, unmanned.
In short, you’re sure to get goosebumps at this place, and even if you don’t, who can resist historical sites?
This still-functioning station is used largely for the loading of heavy items for delivery. The station (with 18 emplacements) and the dipo (the trains’ final stop where they are repaired and maintained, or stored if not in use anymore) is considered the biggest in Java.
You won’t want to miss this interesting stop in Surabaya if you happen to be here for the day! Be sure to get a selfie with the train in the background; if you’re lucky, you might capture a ghost too!
11. Parading Pasuruan’s Best Fashion: Pasuruan Fashion Carnivale
Though Indonesia may not be well-known for its fashion carnival, this is not a fiesta that you are going to want to miss. This particular carnival, while being bright and vibrant and wildly enthusiastic, offers a vibe much like a small-scale Mardi Gras.
You’d be getting a head start into the world of this fashion carnival; Pasuruan Fashion Carnivale is new to the scene, having only been held for the first time last year on September 14 as a celebration alongside the town’s 1087th anniversary.
The parade will tour around the town, displaying the majestic and exotic creations of the locals that incorporate Pasuruan’s homegrown signatures like the batik, as well as motifs of fruits and flowers.
Some designs even use recycled goods such as plastic – for those who appreciate environmentally-friendly fashion, you should definitely check this out!
It’s simply wonderful to see the creativity being paraded, and if you’re a local, get ready to swell with pride – and encourage travellers from near and far to join in on the fun!
12. Be Sheltered Under Giant Mushrooms: Bukit Jamur Bungah
If you’re after a unique day trip, look no further. Though it might seem strange to call this location something akin to a smurf village, you’ll understand why.
Bukit Jamur in Gresik (located 45 minutes north of Surabaya) quite literally resembles its namesake – the mushroom. From afar, you might mistake this for a cluster of mushrooms, and it almost looks like a village!
But get a little closer, and you’ll enter what feels like Lilliput city – because these towering rocks can reach up to 7 meters high.
These adorable mushroom hills are formed naturally by weather and wind throughout the years, and became mushroom-shaped when the upper rock is sturdier than its base.
You can have a lot of fun with photo-ops here; if you pretend you’ve shrunk, your family and friends might believe you!
13. A Gorgeous Island Getaway: Bawean Island
You can’t go wrong with a tropical island getaway, especially if the island is still one of the best-kept secrets of the region!
Bawean Island is located off the shore of Gresik regency in the north, roughly a 3 to 3.5-hour ferry trip (that runs three times a week). The ticket price varies: the Bahari Express costs between IDR 146,500 (around USD 12) for Executive Class and IDR 162,500 (or approximately USD 1) for VIP.
But, of course, it’s even faster if you take the plane—Air Fast airline—that now flies three times a week from Surabaya, with the plane ticket costing between IDR 302,200 (around USD 24) and IDR 240,200 (around USD 19). Plus, only on a plane will you descend into the island paradise with stunning views that overlook the entire island.
Of course, you can’t forget accommodations! On Bawean, you can find four inexpensive hotels near the Sangkapura port (Barokah, Pusaka Bawean, Fathin, Intan); while not fancy, these hotels will satisfy all your hotel needs with a rustic and homey charm.
The island is beautiful and very lush, offering unspoilt stretches of natural tropical landscape. Good news for water lovers – this untouched paradise is perfect for diving or snorkelling!
But venture deeper into the island and you’ll find other must-see natural attractions that will make you seriously consider never leaving!
13-a. Take a Dip in the Fountain of Youth: Danau Kastoba
Though Danau Kastoba is often a second choice for lakes, Danau Kastoba in the heart of Pulau Bawean is still a sublime and enchanting oasis.
It’s quite a trek to get here but once you’ve reached, you’ll be thrilled you made the trek. The water is cool to swim in, but if you’re not in the mood for a dip, just sit at the gazebo and gaze out at the enthralling view.
For environmental enthusiasts, Danau Kastoba has been listed as a conservation area since 1979—so you’ll be pleased to know that people make extra effort to keep this area especially clean and unspoilt. In short, no littering!
According to the locals, the water at Kastoba may preserve your youth, but whether or not this is a one-time deal, or the result from repeated exposure is unclear. Although if it is the latter, at least you’ll have plenty of reasons to come back again!
13-b. An Unparalleled View of the Seas: Tanjung Gaang
A tantalizing view of the ocean will never fail to delight you – and that’s exactly how we felt when we reached Tanjung Gaang (or Gaang Promontory).
This awe-inspiring site boasts of a vast expanse of towering coral cliffs (some covered in natural vegetation) that winds and stretches out into the clear blue sea; every spot easily ideal for photo-taking. You can also spend some leisure time here as well as down at the Tanjung Kodok Beach.
If you decide to come explore this hidden corner of the island, renting a boat is highly recommended (rent costs only Rp. 50k and it can carry more than 10 people) so you can cruise every corner of the promontory.
Feel like a world explorer as you steer your vessel out to the clear blue sea to get up close and personal to this wonder of nature!
13-c. Go with the Flow: Air Terjun Grojogan Candi
Of the two incredible waterfalls in Pulau Bawean, the first —Grojogan Candi—is located not far from Kastoba Lake, only a 200-meter trek down from the lake.
It’s a modest-sized waterfall (or grojogan in the local language), flowing like a water slide from between the rocks to gather in the cool, greenish pond below, but the scenery surrounding certainly adds a more soul-soothing experience.
Whether you come here to relax, or to take some unforgettable pictures to carry home with you, you can’t miss this stunning and refreshing stop, yet another box to tick on the list of wonderful sites on this enchanting island.
13-d. Refresh Your Mind and Body: Air Terjun Laccar
Taller than Grojogan Candi (25 meters high, to be exact), Laccar Waterfall bursts through beautiful lush cliffs.
It’s quite a trek to get here, but you’ll be rewarded with an awesome view and a cool, relaxing atmosphere. Once you see the oasis around you, feeling at peace and totally relaxed beside these rushing streams of crystal clear water, you’ll be glad that you pushed yourself through the challenging trek.
Plus, the area is the perfect site to do some soul-searching reflection, or perhaps yoga – namaste!
13-e. Sun, Sand, Surf, and Solitude: Pulau Noko and Pulau Gili
If pristine white sand beaches are what you seek, these two islands are for you! After all, who can say no to crystal blue water and white sand?
The uninhabited Noko Island has one of the most beautiful beachfront lawns in Indonesia.
If you’re a fan of water adventure, this might be the perfect place for you, since Noko Island is also great for snorkelling owing to both the clarity of the water, and the prosperous aquatic life which makes for a successful snorkelling outing!
Meanwhile, the nearby Gili Island (connected to Noko Island via a land spit, across which you can walk for approximately 30 minutes at low tide) has a population of around 700 households, and, similar to Noko, features gorgeous white sand beaches and snorkelling-worthy seas. (P.S. This is not in Lombok’s cluster of Gili islands, in case you are wondering! It’s another island with the same name.)
These islands make the perfect getaway for the beach bum in everyone – so if you’re seeking sun, sand and surf, but also a little solitude away from crowds and tourists, this is the perfect place to satisfy your beach needs!
14. Have a sea-riously yummy lunch – Dream of Kahyangan Art Resto
Have a scrumptious lunch at this eccentric fusion restaurant located in the heart of the city! The uniqueness of this restaurant shines through from their Chinese-Javanese inspired interior, making your lunch here a mindblowing tastebud and cultural experience.
Make sure you try their well-known seafood dishes, such as the Sate Kamasutra, a squid and shrimp skewer coated with their special sauce, or Gurami Pesona Sangkuriang, fresh local fish cooked in sour gravy.
Photo Via Gabyinhere
Photo Via Surabayarek.com, Fefymarcel
Photo Via Pristystory, Mbah_Saroeng
15. Late night yums in your tums – Kodam Brawijaya Night Market
The night is still young! Why not take a short stroll in the city’s most loved night market and enjoy an Indonesian street food experience?
Besides offering local food like Batagor, Siomay, and Ayam Penyet, this night market is filled with numerous bizarre food stands too, so be as adventurous as you’d like!
Photo Via Puji_kk
Photo Via Chairul Agung, Kikiris
Photo Via Nikeayu1005