Surabaya: Exploring the Vibrant Heart of East Java

Surabaya: Exploring the Vibrant Heart of East Java

Surabaya is the capital city of the East Java province in Indonesia. Located on the northeastern coast of Java Island, Surabaya is the second-largest city in Indonesia and serves as a major economic, commercial, and transportation hub. The city is known for its vibrant atmosphere, diverse cultural heritage, and bustling markets. Surabaya offers a blend of modern developments and historical landmarks, making it a fascinating destination for travelers seeking to explore the charm of Indonesia’s urban life. Additionally, Surabaya is a gateway to various natural attractions and tourist destinations in East Java, including Mount Bromo, Ijen Crater, and the stunning beaches along the coast.

Surabaya stands out among other cities with its unique blend of cultural heritage, modern development, and lively mood. While Jakarta, the capital city, showcases Indonesia’s political and economic center, Surabaya offers a distinct local charm and a bustling commercial and trading scene. Yogyakarta, known for its rich history and traditional arts, differs from Surabaya’s urban dynamism. Bali, famous for its pristine beaches and vivid tourism, contrasts with Surabaya’s industrial and commercial focus.

Each city in Indonesia has its own character and allure, and Surabaya stands out for its energetic spirit, cultural diversity, and emerging urban landscape.

Short History

Surabaya has a colorful history that dates back centuries. It was originally a small fishing village known as Suroboyo, which gradually grew in importance due to its strategic location as a trading port. In the 13th century, Surabaya became part of the Majapahit Empire, one of the most powerful Hindu-Buddhist empires in Southeast Asia.

Over the centuries, Surabaya experienced the influence of various cultures and colonial powers. It was ruled by the Islamic kingdom of Demak, followed by the Sultanate of Mataram. In the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established a trading post in Surabaya and gradually gained control over the region.

During the Indonesian National Revolution in the 1940s, Surabaya played a crucial role in the country’s fight for independence. It was here that the Battle of Surabaya took place in 1945, where Indonesian freedom fighters resisted the returning Dutch colonial forces.

In the post-independence era, Surabaya has undergone significant development and has become a major economic and industrial hub in Indonesia. Today, it is known for its vibrant culture, strong sense of local identity, and thriving business sector, making it one of the key cities in the country.


Surabaya is a city that showcases a blend of architectural styles influenced by its history and cultural diversity. Here are some notable architectural styles found in Surabaya:

  • Colonial Architecture: Surabaya has several buildings that reflect its colonial past under Dutch rule. These structures feature European architectural elements such as grand facades, ornate detailing, and distinctive Dutch colonial design.
  • Javanese Traditional Architecture: Surabaya also boasts traditional Javanese architectural styles seen in various mosques, temples, and traditional houses. These structures often highlight intricate carvings, steep roofs, and open-air courtyards, reflecting the local Javanese culture.
  • Chinese Peranakan Architecture: Surabaya has a significant Chinese community, and their influence is evident in the city’s architecture. The Chinese Peranakan style is characterized by colorful facades, decorative tiles, and ornate detailing, blending Chinese and Indonesian architectural elements.
  • Modern Architecture: As a bustling metropolis, Surabaya features modern architectural styles in its commercial and residential buildings. These structures showcase sleek designs, innovative materials, and contemporary aesthetics, contributing to the city’s dynamic skyline.
  • Islamic Architecture: Surabaya is home to numerous mosques, each with its unique architectural style. From the grand Al Akbar Mosque with its modern Islamic design to the historic Ampel Mosque, which combines traditional Javanese and Middle Eastern influences, Islamic architecture adds cultural and religious significance to the city’s architectural landscape.

Overall, the city offers a fascinating mix of old and new, traditional and modern architectural styles, creating a unique visual tapestry for visitors to explore and appreciate.

Museums and Galleries

Surabaya offers a diverse range of museums and galleries that showcase its valuable cultural heritage, historical events, and artistic expressions. Here are some of the most interesting museums and galleries in Surabaya:

  • House of Sampoerna: Located in a historic Dutch colonial building, this museum showcases the history of the famous Sampoerna cigarette company. Visitors can learn about the tobacco industry and the cultural significance of clove cigarettes in Indonesia.
  • Surabaya Submarine Monument: This unique museum is housed in a decommissioned Russian submarine. Visitors can explore the submarine’s interior, learn about its history, and gain insights into Indonesia’s naval heritage.
  • Museum Mpu Tantular: Dedicated to Javanese culture and history, this museum exhibits various artifacts, including ancient weapons, traditional costumes, puppets, and sculptures. It provides a fascinating glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Java.
  • Museum 10 November: This museum commemorates the Battle of Surabaya, a significant event in Indonesia’s struggle for independence. It features exhibits, photographs, and interactive displays that depict the historical context and heroic efforts of the Indonesian people during that time.
  • Museum Nahdlatul Ulama: This museum showcases the history and contributions of Nahdlatul Ulama, one of Indonesia’s largest Islamic organizations. Visitors can explore artifacts, manuscripts, and photographs that highlight the organization’s role in shaping Indonesian society.
  • House of Cheng Ho: Dedicated to the Chinese admiral Cheng Ho, this museum tells the story of his voyages and his cultural impact in Indonesia. It houses various exhibits, including replicas of his ships, maps, and artifacts related to the maritime history of the region.
  • Museum Bank Indonesia: Located in a beautiful Dutch colonial building, this museum provides insights into the history of Indonesia’s banking and monetary systems. It displays old banknotes, coins, and artifacts related to the country’s financial development.

From the House of Sampoerna highlighting the tobacco industry to the Surabaya Submarine Monument providing a unique experience inside a submarine, these museums offer visitors an opportunity to delve into Surabaya’s fascinating past and cultural traditions.

Landmarks and Monuments

Surabaya boasts a range of landmarks and monuments that reflect its history, culture, and modernity. Here are some of the most interesting ones worth visiting in Surabaya:

  • Suramadu National Bridge: This iconic bridge connects Surabaya with the island of Madura. It is the longest bridge in Indonesia and has become a symbol of the city’s progress and modernity.
  • Heroes Monument (Tugu Pahlawan): This monument honors the heroes of the Battle of Surabaya in 1945, a significant event in Indonesia’s fight for independence. It stands tall as a symbol of bravery and patriotism.
  • Surabaya Town Hall (Balai Kota Surabaya): This historic building is an architectural landmark in Surabaya. It features a blend of Dutch and Indonesian architectural styles and serves as the seat of the Surabaya city government.
  • Tunjungan Street: This bustling street is one of the main commercial areas in Surabaya. It is lined with shops, malls, restaurants, and historic buildings, making it a popular destination for shopping and entertainment.
  • Grand Mosque of Surabaya (Masjid Agung Surabaya): As one of the largest mosques in Southeast Asia, this beautiful mosque is a significant religious and architectural landmark in Surabaya. Its unique design and grandeur attract visitors from all over the world.
  • Surabaya Submarine Monument: As mentioned earlier, this monument is not only a museum but also a prominent landmark. The submarine itself is a unique sight to behold and represents Indonesia’s maritime history.
  • Cheng Ho Mosque: This mosque is dedicated to the Chinese admiral Cheng Ho, known for his voyages to Southeast Asia. It features Chinese architectural elements and serves as a symbol of cultural diversity in Surabaya.

From the Suramadu National Bridge symbolizing progress to the Heroes Monument honoring the city’s heroes, these landmarks play an important role in shaping the identity of Surabaya. Whether it’s exploring historic buildings, admiring architectural marvels, or paying tribute to significant events, visitors to Surabaya can immerse themselves in its vibrant spirit.

Parks and Green Spaces

Surabaya offers a variety of parks and green spaces that cater to different interests and preferences. Here are some of the most beautiful ones to visit and enjoy:

  • Taman Bungkul: Located in the heart of Surabaya, Taman Bungkul is a popular park known for its vibrant atmosphere and various recreational activities. It features jogging tracks, bike rentals, playgrounds, and food stalls, making it a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.
  • Taman Prestasi: This park is dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and education. It showcases various eco-friendly initiatives and exhibits, providing a learning experience for visitors. Taman Prestasi also has a jogging track and picnic areas.
  • Taman Flora Bratang: Spanning over 10 hectares, Taman Flora Bratang is a botanical garden featuring a wide variety of plant species. It offers a peaceful escape from the city with beautiful gardens, ponds, and walking paths.
  • Suroboyo Carnival Night Market: Although technically not a park, the Suroboyo Carnival Night Market offers a lively and festive atmosphere. It is known for its colorful lights, thrilling rides, and delicious street food. Visitors can enjoy games, entertainment, and a vibrant night market experience.
  • Taman Harmoni: As the name suggests, Taman Harmoni is a serene park that promotes peace and harmony. It offers lush greenery, a pond with beautiful water features, and a peaceful ambiance for relaxation and leisurely walks.
  • Taman Remaja Surabaya: Designed for youth and teenagers, Taman Remaja Surabaya offers recreational facilities such as skateboarding ramps, basketball courts, and a futsal field. It provides a dedicated space for young people to engage in sports and outdoor activities.
  • Taman Pelangi: This park is known for its vibrant colors and picturesque landscapes. It features colorful flower gardens, art installations, and a playground. Taman Pelangi is a great place to capture beautiful photos and enjoy a relaxing day outdoors.

From the bustling Taman Bungkul to the serene Taman Harmoni, visitors can enjoy nature, engage in recreational activities, and experience the beauty of Surabaya’s green spaces. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an energetic atmosphere, Surabaya has parks and green spaces to suit every taste.


Surabaya is located on the northern coast of Java island in Indonesia and does not have direct access to beaches. However, there are several stunning coastal areas with the beautiful beaches near the city that are worth visiting. Here are some beaches to explore:

  • Kenjeran Beach: Located around 20 kilometers from Surabaya, Kenjeran Beach is a popular coastal area known for its long stretch of white sandy beach. It offers various water activities, such as swimming and jet skiing, as well as delicious seafood stalls along the shore.
  • Ria Kenjeran Beach: Adjacent to Kenjeran Beach, Ria Kenjeran Beach is another attractive destination for beach lovers. It features a vibrant amusement park, water park, and scenic views of the sea. Visitors can enjoy thrilling rides and relax by the beach.
  • Tambakrejo Beach: Situated in Gresik Regency, Tambakrejo Beach offers a tranquil and peaceful ambiance. It is a great place for leisurely walks along the shoreline, enjoying the sunset, and sampling fresh seafood from the nearby stalls.
  • Paciran Beach: Located in Lamongan Regency, Paciran Beach is a picturesque beach with soft sand and calm waters. It is known for its stunning views and is an ideal spot for sunbathing, picnicking, and enjoying the coastal scenery.
  • Caruban Beach: Located in Madiun Regency, Caruban Beach is a hidden gem with serene surroundings and a laid-back atmosphere. It offers a quiet escape from the city, with clear blue waters and beautiful landscapes.
  • Sedahan Beach: Situated in Tuban Regency, Sedahan Beach is known for its scenic beauty and tranquility. Visitors can relax on the sandy beach, take a refreshing swim, or explore the nearby caves and rock formations.
  • Malang Beach: Located in Malang Regency, Malang Beach is a popular destination for beachgoers. It offers clean white sand, gentle waves, and breathtaking views. Visitors can enjoy various water sports and relax in the beachside cafes.
  • Klayar Beach: Situated in Pacitan Regency, Klayar Beach is famous for its unique rock formations and crystal-clear waters. It is a great spot for snorkeling, diving, and exploring the underwater marine life.
  • Ngliyep Beach: Located in Malang Regency, Ngliyep Beach is known for its dramatic landscapes, including cliffs, caves, and rock formations. It is a great place for surfing, sunbathing, and enjoying the scenic beauty.
  • Pasir Putih Beach: Situated in Situbondo Regency, Pasir Putih Beach offers pristine white sand and clear turquoise waters. It is a tranquil beach where visitors can relax, swim, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

From the lively beaches to the serene ones, each beach offers its own unique charm and recreational activities. Visitors to Surabaya can enjoy the beauty of these nearby beaches and have a memorable beach experience.

Shopping Districts

Surabaya offers a variety of shopping districts where visitors can find a wide range of goods, from traditional Indonesian crafts to modern fashion brands. Here are some shopping districts to explore in Surabaya:

  • Tunjungan Plaza: Located in the heart of Surabaya, Tunjungan Plaza is one of the city’s largest and most popular shopping malls. It features a mix of local and international brands, restaurants, and entertainment options, making it a one-stop destination for shopping and leisure.
  • Surabaya Town Square (Sutos): Sutos is a vibrant shopping district that offers a unique blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment. It has a modern open-air design and houses various retail stores, restaurants, cafes, and a cinema complex.
  • Pasar Atum: For a more traditional shopping experience, Pasar Atum is a must-visit. This traditional market is known for its affordable prices and wide variety of goods, including clothing, electronics, accessories, and household items. It’s a great place to haggle and explore local products.
  • Grand City Mall: Situated in the city center, Grand City Mall is a popular shopping destination that caters to a wide range of preferences. It features a diverse selection of local and international brands, as well as entertainment facilities, including a bowling alley and a cinema.
  • Surabaya Plaza: Surabaya Plaza is a shopping complex that offers a mix of retail stores, restaurants, and cafes. It is known for its modern architecture and elegant ambiance, providing a comfortable shopping experience.
  • Galaxy Mall: Located in the western part of Surabaya, Galaxy Mall is one of the largest malls in the city. It houses a vast array of shops, from fashion and accessories to electronics and home goods. The mall also includes a food court, cinemas, and a children’s play area.
  • Delta Plaza: Delta Plaza is a shopping center that offers a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. It features a variety of shops, including fashion stores, bookshops, and electronics outlets. Visitors can also enjoy dining options and recreational activities.

Overall, Surabaya offers a diverse range of shopping districts to cater to every taste and preference. Whether you prefer modern malls like Tunjungan Plaza and Grand City Mall or traditional markets like Pasar Atum, there are plenty of options to explore. Surabaya’s shopping districts provide a vibrant shopping experience where visitors can find everything from local handicrafts to international fashion brands.

Food and Drink

Surabaya, as a culinary hub in Indonesia, offers a wide array of delicious dishes and refreshing drinks. Here are some must-try food and drinks in Surabaya:

  • Soto Ayam: Soto Ayam is a popular Indonesian chicken soup dish. It features flavorful broth, tender chicken pieces, rice noodles, and a variety of herbs and spices. Surabaya is known for its flavorful and aromatic Soto Ayam, which can be found in local eateries and street food stalls.
  • Rawon: Rawon is a traditional Javanese beef soup that is famous in Surabaya. The dish is characterized by its black-colored broth, which is made from keluak nuts. It is usually served with rice, bean sprouts, and various condiments. Rawon is a must-try for its rich and savory flavors.
  • Rujak Cingur: Rujak Cingur is a unique Surabayan dish that combines fruits, vegetables, and cooked cow’s snout (cingur) in a spicy tamarind-based sauce. The dish offers a delightful mix of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors and is often enjoyed as a refreshing snack.
  • Lontong Balap: Lontong Balap is a popular street food in Surabaya. It consists of rice cake (lontong) served with bean sprouts, fried tofu, lentho (fried lentil fritters), and a savory soy-based sauce. This dish is a perfect combination of textures and flavors.
  • Nasi Pecel: Nasi Pecel is a traditional Javanese rice dish served with an assortment of steamed vegetables and peanut sauce. It is a vegetarian-friendly option that showcases the richness of Indonesian spices and flavors.
  • Es Cendol: Es Cendol is a refreshing Indonesian dessert drink made with coconut milk, palm sugar, and green rice flour jelly (cendol). It is usually served with crushed ice and is a popular choice to beat the heat in Surabaya’s tropical climate.
  • Kopi Jawa: Coffee lovers should try Kopi Jawa, the local Javanese-style coffee. It is a strong and bold coffee made from locally grown beans, typically served black or with condensed milk.
  • Sate Klopo: Sate Klopo is a specialty from Surabaya that consists of skewered grilled coconut-infused chicken or beef. It is often served with a side of peanut sauce and rice cake. The coconut flavor adds a unique twist to this classic Indonesian dish.
  • Rujak Petis: Rujak Petis is a traditional Surabayan fruit salad with a spicy shrimp paste sauce. It combines a variety of tropical fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and cucumbers, creating a sweet and tangy flavor profile.
  • Kerak Telor: Kerak Telor is a traditional Indonesian snack that originated from Surabaya. It is a savory rice cake made from glutinous rice, topped with fried egg, dried shrimp, grated coconut, and fried shallots. The combination of flavors and textures makes it a popular street food option.

From hearty soups like Soto Ayam and Rawon to refreshing drinks like Es Cendol, the city is a haven for food enthusiasts to satisfy every palate. Exploring Surabaya’s amazing food scene is a delightful journey that allows you to experience the rich flavors and cultural heritage of Indonesian cuisine.


Surabaya offers several convenient transportation options for getting around the city. Here are some of the best ways to move around Surabaya:

  • Taxi: Taxis are a popular and convenient mode of transportation in Surabaya. You can easily find taxis on the streets or at designated taxi stands. It is recommended to use reputable taxi companies or ride-hailing apps to ensure safety and fair pricing.
  • Online Transportation: Ride-hailing apps such as Gojek and Grab are widely available in Surabaya. These apps allow you to book car or motorcycle rides conveniently and often offer competitive prices. They are a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.
  • Angkot: Angkot, short for Angkutan Kota, is a public minibus system in Surabaya. These minibuses follow designated routes and can be an affordable option for short-distance travel within the city. However, they can be crowded and less comfortable compared to taxis or private transportation.
  • Bus: Surabaya has a public bus system that covers various routes within the city. Buses are a budget-friendly option, but they can be crowded and less reliable in terms of schedules. It is recommended to check the bus routes and timings in advance.
  • Ojek: Ojek refers to motorcycle taxis, which are a common sight in Surabaya. Ojeks are a quick and efficient way to navigate through the city’s traffic, especially for short distances. You can easily find ojek drivers stationed at busy intersections or use ride-hailing apps for this service.
  • Car Rental: If you prefer the flexibility of driving yourself, you can opt to rent a car in Surabaya. Several car rental companies offer a range of vehicles to suit your needs. However, be aware of the city’s traffic conditions and parking availability, especially in busy areas.
  • Bicycles: Surabaya is gradually becoming more bicycle-friendly, with the introduction of bike lanes and bike-sharing programs. Renting a bicycle can be a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the city, especially in areas with less traffic congestion.

Exploring Surabaya’s vibrant streets and attractions is made easier with these transportation options, allowing you to make the most of your time in the city. Overall, there are choices to suit every preference and budget, but it is important to note that traffic in Surabaya can be heavy, especially during peak hours. Plan your journeys accordingly and allow extra time for travel. It is also advisable to use reliable transportation services and be cautious of your personal belongings while moving around the city.


Surabaya, like any other city, has its own safety considerations. While it is generally considered safe for tourists, it is important to take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Stay informed: Stay updated on the current situation and any potential safety advisories or travel warnings issued by your embassy or relevant authorities. This can help you make informed decisions and stay aware of any potential risks.
  • Be cautious of your surroundings: As in any unfamiliar city, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings. Avoid displaying valuable items openly and be cautious of pickpockets in crowded areas.
  • Use reputable transportation services: Opt for reputable taxi companies or ride-hailing apps to ensure safe and reliable transportation. Avoid using unofficial or unmarked taxis, especially late at night.
  • Respect local customs and laws: Familiarize yourself with the local customs and laws of Surabaya. Respect local traditions, dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and adhere to any local regulations to avoid any unnecessary complications.
  • Stay in well-lit and populated areas: When exploring the city, especially at night, stick to well-lit and populated areas. Avoid secluded or poorly lit areas, especially if you are alone.
  • Secure your accommodations: Choose reputable and secure accommodations with good reviews. Make sure your room has secure locks and use safety deposit boxes for valuable items.
  • Stay connected: Keep your mobile phone charged and have emergency contact numbers saved. It is also a good idea to inform someone of your travel plans and itinerary.

It is always recommended to exercise common sense, stay alert, and take necessary precautions while traveling in any destination. By being aware of your surroundings and following these tips, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience in Surabaya.

Expensive or Cheap

Surabaya is generally considered to be more affordable compared to other major cities in Indonesia. The cost of living in Surabaya, including accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment, is relatively lower compared to cities like Jakarta or Bali. However, it is important to note that the cost of living can still vary depending on your lifestyle and preferences.

Accommodation in Surabaya can range from budget-friendly guesthouses and mid-range hotels to luxury options. Food prices can vary depending on the type of restaurant or eatery you choose, with local street food being more affordable compared to upscale restaurants. Transportation costs, such as taxi fares or public transportation, are generally reasonable and affordable.

Shopping in Surabaya can be a mix of budget-friendly options in traditional markets and modern shopping malls. You can find a wide range of products at different price points, from local handicrafts to international brands.

Overall, while Surabaya is relatively affordable compared to other major cities, the cost of living can still vary depending on your preferences and lifestyle choices. It is advisable to plan your budget accordingly and be mindful of your spending to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Surabaya.

Best Time to Travel

The best time to travel to Surabaya, Indonesia, is during the dry season, which generally falls between May and September. During this period, the weather is typically sunny and pleasant, with lower chances of rainfall. The temperatures are also more moderate, making it comfortable for outdoor activities and exploration.

Avoiding the rainy season, which occurs from October to April, is recommended as it can bring heavy rainfall and higher humidity. However, it’s important to note that Surabaya experiences a tropical climate, so even during the dry season, occasional rain showers may still occur.

It’s also worth considering local events and festivals when planning your visit to Surabaya. For example, the Surabaya Carnival, held in June, is a vibrant celebration featuring parades, cultural performances, and food stalls. Additionally, the Surabaya Great Sale, typically held in July, offers great deals and discounts for shopping enthusiasts.

Ultimately, the best time to travel to Surabaya depends on your preferences and the activities you wish to engage in. Consider your preferred weather conditions, local events, and personal interests when planning your trip to make the most of your visit to Surabaya.

Date Ideas and Activities

Surabaya offers a range of date ideas, activities, and experiences for couples. Here are some ideas that you can enjoy with your partner:

  • Explore Suramadu Bridge: Take a romantic stroll or bike ride on the iconic Suramadu Bridge, which connects Surabaya with the island of Madura. Enjoy breathtaking views of the cityscape and the Madura Strait.
  • Visit Taman Bungkul: This park offers a relaxing ambiance and is perfect for a picnic or leisurely walk. Enjoy the lush greenery, serene lake, and various food stalls.
  • Take a boat ride on the Kalimas River: Experience the charm of Surabaya’s historic Kalimas River by taking a boat ride. Admire the colorful boats, traditional houses, and bustling activities along the riverbanks.
  • Discover the House of Sampoerna: Explore this unique museum and art gallery housed in a Dutch colonial-style building. Learn about the history of Indonesia’s renowned clove cigarette industry and enjoy traditional performances.
  • Enjoy the nightlife at Tunjungan Street: Indulge in a vibrant nightlife experience by visiting the bustling Tunjungan Street. Discover trendy bars, live music venues, and entertainment options.
  • Visit the Surabaya Zoo: Spend a day at the Surabaya Zoo, one of the largest zoos in Southeast Asia. Get up close to various animal species, enjoy animal shows, and take a leisurely walk in the beautiful surroundings.
  • Explore the Submarine Monument: Visit the unique Submarine Monument, which showcases a retired Indonesian navy submarine. Take a tour inside and learn about the country’s maritime history.
  • Discover the Surabaya Old Town: Wander through the charming streets of Surabaya’s Old Town and explore its colonial architecture, street art, and vibrant markets.
  • Shop at Pasar Atom: Explore Pasar Atom, a bustling traditional market, and shop for local products, souvenirs, clothing, and traditional Indonesian snacks.
  • Try local culinary delights: Experience a culinary adventure in Surabaya by trying local specialties such as rawon, lontong kupang, and rujak cingur. Visit local food stalls and restaurants to savor the authentic flavors of Surabaya.
  • Enjoy a traditional dance performance: Attend a traditional Javanese dance performance and be captivated by the graceful movements and colorful costumes.
  • Take a cooking class: Learn to cook traditional Indonesian dishes together in a cooking class. Enjoy the experience of preparing and tasting authentic local cuisine.

From exploring iconic landmarks and enjoying nature to immersing in the vibrant culinary scene and cultural performances, there are plenty of opportunities to create memorable moments together in this bright Indonesian city.

Fun and Interesting Facts

From its heroic past to its dynamic present, Surabaya offers a unique blend of tradition, modernity, and exciting experiences for visitors and residents alike. Here are some fun and interesting facts about Surabaya:

  • City of Heroes: Surabaya is often referred to as the “City of Heroes” due to its significant role in Indonesia’s struggle for independence.
  • Second-largest city: Surabaya is the second-largest city in Indonesia, after Jakarta, both in terms of population and area.
  • Land of Diversity: Surabaya is known for its diverse ethnic and cultural communities, including Javanese, Chinese, Arab, and Madurese, among others.
  • Iconic Heroes Monument: The Heroes Monument (Tugu Pahlawan) in Surabaya commemorates the Battle of Surabaya, a significant event during Indonesia’s independence struggle.
  • Vibrant Nightlife: Surabaya offers a vibrant nightlife scene with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues that come alive after sunset.
  • Hosts the Biggest Shopping Mall: The city is home to Tunjungan Plaza, one of the largest shopping malls in Southeast Asia, offering a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
  • Unique Street Art: Surabaya is known for its vibrant street art scene, with colorful murals adorning the walls of buildings throughout the city.
  • Cultural Festivals: Surabaya hosts various cultural festivals throughout the year, including the Surabaya Carnival Night, Festival of Lights, and Chinese New Year celebrations.
  • Diverse Culinary Scene: Surabaya is a paradise for food lovers, with a diverse culinary scene offering a wide range of local and international cuisines.
  • Iconic Bridge: The Suramadu Bridge, connecting Surabaya with the island of Madura, is the longest bridge in Indonesia and a major landmark of the city.
  • Historical Landmarks: Surabaya is home to several historical landmarks, including the House of Sampoerna, the Cheng Hoo Mosque, and the Surabaya Submarine Monument.
  • Center for Education: Surabaya is a prominent center for education in Indonesia, with several prestigious universities and educational institutions.


Surabaya is a captivating city that beautifully blends tradition and modernity. As the second-largest city in Indonesia, it boasts a valuable history, diverse culture, and vibrant atmosphere. From its iconic landmarks and historical monuments to its lively shopping districts, Surabaya offers a range of experiences for visitors. The city’s culinary scene is renowned for its delicious local delicacies, while its dynamic nightlife and street art scene add to its unique charm. Surabaya is also a hub for education and commerce, contributing to its thriving economy. Whether exploring its museums, strolling through its parks, or immersing oneself in its cultural festivals, Surabaya is a destination that promises an enriching and memorable experience for travelers.