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Surabaya [1] is the capital of East Java, Indonesia.


With over 3 million people, Surabaya may be the second-largest city in Indonesia, but it's a little lacking in sights. However, many people come here on business and Surabaya is also a gateway city for Mount Bromo and the island of Bali.

As with any big city, never let your guard down, because big cities such as Surabaya have a high criminal rate. Don't walk on the streets, especially at night, if you can avoid it since you won't have anything to sightsee and the air pollution is fairly high. Be polite to the people, since Surabayans tend to swear easily. Do not easily trust people you have just met, even if they look friendly.

During the rainy season, be prepared for the floods and the traffic jams, even though it's not as bad as Jakarta.

To call elderly people, use 'Pak'(short for 'Bapak') for men and 'Bu' (short for 'Ibu') for women. To call young adult people, use 'Mas' for men and 'Mbak' for women. To call children, use 'Dik' (short for 'Adik') for both gender. 'Permisi' is excuse me, 'Terima Kasih'/'Makasih' is thank you, and 'Maaf' is sorry.

Get in

By plane

Surabaya's Juanda Airport (SUB) is one of the busiest in the country, with very frequent flights to Jakarta and other major Indonesian destinations, as well as some direct international flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hongkong, Taipei, and Bandar Seri Begawan. There are separate terminals for domestic and international flights, neither of which will win any awards, but they're fairly functional with the amenities you'd expect (ATMs, car rental, etc). A new terminal building is under construction.

Officially, you're supposed to buy fixed-fare taxi coupons from the "Prima Taxi" stand for the 18 km trip into town, around US$5-10 depending on your exact destination. In practice you may be able to get a driver dropping off passengers to pick you up. If you're going further away (eg. Mount Bromo), it'll be cheaper to a rent a car with a driver instead. There is a sketchy and infrequent Airport Bus service to the Bungurasih bus station on the southern outskirts of the city.

By train

Surabaya has two main stations, Surabaya Pasar Turi and Surabaya Gubeng. Trains using the northern main line from Jakarta takes at least nine hours to arrive at Pasar Turi, while trains using the southern main line takes no less than 15. Air-conditioned trains are available on both routes, though. The Argo Bromo Anggrek, Sembrani and Gumarang trains use the northern line, while the Bima uses the south line. All these trains have air-conditioned eksekutif accommodations.

Trains from Bandung and Yogyakarta use the Gubeng station. The Argo Wilis travels at daytime, allowing passengers to enjoy the scenery in the western part of the route. The Sancaka travels to Yogyakarta and took apporximately 6 hours. Railway connections to Bali is made by the Mutiara Timur express to Banyuwangi, transferring to buses before the ferry crossing to Gilimanuk. Don't forget to buy salak bali .

By sea

  • PT Angkutan Sungai Danau dan Penyeberangan/PT ASDP: daily ferry service from Ujung Kamal, Madura to Tanjung Perak, Surabaya.
  • PT Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia/PT Pelni: passenger ships from Makassar to Tanjung Perak, Surabaya. Other routes are available. Website: PT Pelni.

Get around

Taxis, buses, and other have yellow vehicle number plates.

By taxi

Taxis are plentiful on the streets of Surabaya. Some taxis are not renowned for its reliability and honesty, get the well known taxis eg. Blue Bird Group, Silver and Express and insist on the meter. Figure on Rp 20,000 for a cross-town trip and Rp 70,000 to the airport.

By train

Commuter city trains is extremely limited, serving some parts of Surabaya and Sidoarjo.

By bus

It is not recommended to travel in Surabaya by bus, since it's always so crowded and there are many pickpocket and beggars.

Other transportation

'Becak' is a traditional transpotation in Surabaya, but you'll probably won't use it, since 'becak' aren't allowed in major streets. 'Angkot'(Angkutan Kota) or 'Mikrolet' is a public transportation that use cars that are modified and painted. But it's hard to get around with this transportation, because their route is a bit confusing. And there are pickpockets too.


  • Grahadi. The colonial-era residence of the Governor of East Java.
  • Surabaya Zoo (Kebun Binatang), 3 km south of the city (near Joyoboyo bus terminal). One of the largest and best in South-East Asia.
  • House of Sampoerna, [2].
  • Tugu Pahlawan A monument dedicated to the fallen heroes of Surabaya during the Independence war of 1945-49.
  • Kya-Kya Kembang Jepun At night the Kembang Jepun area in chinatown is transformed into a street bazaar of food stalls. An interesting show of indo-chinese culture and atmospher.
  • Monumen Jalasveva Jayamahe A monument in Surabaya's seafront dedicated to the service of The Indonesian Navy.
  • Monumen Kapal Selam A submarine monument next to Delta Plaza.


  • Ciputra Waterpark A great place for swimming, it has wave pool and such.


Surabaya boasts some of South-East Asia's largest shopping malls.

  • Plaza Surabaya (Delta Plaza), Jl Pemuda. One of the oldest shopping malls in town. Beside Delta Plaza is the Monkasel(Monumen Kapal Selam) or the Submarine Monument.
  • Galaxy Mall. The largest one in East Surabaya. Galaxy Mall 2 is under construction at time being and scheduled to be finished next year.
  • Supermall Pakuwon Indah (SPI) and Pakuwon Trade Center (PTC). The largest one in West Surabaya. SPI contains the exclusive part of the mall and PTC for the less exclusive part. PTC has an area that sells pets.
  • Tunjungan Plaza (TP), Jl Basuki Rahmat. The largest in Surabaya, with four interconnected buildings (TP 1 - TP 4) selling everything. Good selection of restaurants on the top floors and the basement.
  • Maspion Square. A shopping mall situated in Southern Surabaya where Giant Hypermarket is the anchor tenant.
  • World Trade Center (WTC), off Jl Pemuda. Despite its name, the building is actually more famous as the place to shop for cellphones. Beware of pickpockets. For locals, WTC is often referred as 'World Telephone Center'.
  • THR Mall, Jl Kusuma Bangsa. The ultimate place to shop for computers, software, and computer peripherals.
  • Pasar Atum. A large, indoor Chinese market, catering to Chinese locals. You usually can bargain the prices here.
  • Plaza Marina


  • Puri Garden, Tunjungan Plaza 4F and Plaza Surabaya 1F. Tasty selection of Indonesian food with dishes for Rp 10,000-20,000. Try puri kuali asam, an Indonesian twist on the spicy Thai tom yam kung soup.
  • Peking Duck, Tunjungan Plaza 4. Crispy peking duck.
  • Sea Master, Mayjend Sungkono. Fresh seafood.
  • Surabaya Suki, Jalan Raya Gubeng 34. Popular steam boat hang out. Also serves a variety of Chinese,Thai and asian cuisines. Try "Thai Singkong" dessert. Also serve Hong Kong style Dim Sum in the afternoon.
  • Depot You Yuen, Jl Undaan Kulon 87. Inexpensive, local vegetarian cuisine. Indonesian speakers only.
  • Portofino, Shangri-la Hotel, Mayjend Sungkono. Great Italian Food, can be pricey.

Ice Cream and Pastry

  • Ibu Hasan, Jl. Manyar Rejo 8, Surabaya. Tel.: (62)(31) 594 8710. Jl. Kutai 25 A, Surabaya. Tel.: (62)(31) 709 9975. Website: Ibu Hasan. Local bakery chain.
  • Baskin and Robbins, JL. Komp Ruko Mangga Dua Blok A.9 No. 10. Tel.: (62)(31) 843 2545. Galaxi, Jl. Dharmahusada Indah Timur No.37 Lt.2. Tel.: (62)(31) 593 7159. Plaza Tunjungan 4 - Jl. Embong Malang 7-21, Tel.: (62)(31) 535 5081. Pakuwon Supermall, Perumahan Pakuwon Indah, Tel.: (62)(31) 739 0331. Golden City Mall, Jl. H. Abdul Wahab Siamin 2- 8. Tel.: (62)(31) 565 3386. Website: Baskin and Robbins. Ice cream parlor.


  • Desperados at the Shangri La Hotel.
  • Tavern at the Hyatt Regency.
  • Lido expat-oriented bar off Jl Mayjen Sungkono
  • Colors popular and very, very loud nightclub
  • Redboxx great nightclub at Supermall Pakuwon Indah


The cheapest way to stay is to buy hotel vouchers from local travel agents, such as Haryono Travel or Pasopati. In 2003, a standard room at Shangri-La cost $80/night (through Haryono Travel), a garden view room at Mandarin Oriental Majapahit cost $100/night (through Haryono Travel) and a standard room at Novotel cost $50/night. (U.S. dollars.)


  • Puri Kencana, Jl Kalimantan. Worn rooms with air-con and cold water for $10-15 including decent Indonesian breakfast.


  • Ibis Rajawali **
  • Inna Simpang **
  • Narita **
  • Sahid **
  • Santika **
  • Somerset Puri Darmo (Somerset Surabaya Hotel & Service Residence) **
  • Weta International **


  • Hyatt Regency **** Conventional business hotel. Indonesian President stays here.
  • JW Marriott ****
  • Mandarin Oriental Majapahit [3] *****, 65 Jalan Tunjungan, tel. +62-31-5459002. Opulent colonial-era luxury.
  • Shangri-La Hotel Surabaya [4] ***** tel. +62-31-5661550 Close to golf courses in Darmo area. Pool with abundant plants and waterslide.
  • Sheraton **** Conventional business hotel, connected to Tunjungan Plaza.
  • Equator **** Nice bungalows, on cobblestone roads, some with attached garages.
  • Garden Palace ***
  • Hilton International ****
  • Novotel **** Nice resort hotel with outdoor hallways. Pool with abundant plants and waterslide.
  • Tunjungan ***
  • Surabaya Plaza Hotel *** Conventional business hotel, close to Surabaya Plaza.

Get out

  • Mount Bromo is a popular two-day trip from Surabaya.
  • Tretes and Trawas is one hour away. Pleasant villas among hills. Good eats. There are many roasted corn stalls at night.
  • Malang and Batu is two hours away. Recreation, such as picnics and clubs.


Tourism Information office: Jl. Wisata Menanggal, Tel.: (62)(31) 853 1815, (62)(31) 853 1820


  • Ambulance: 118.
  • Police: 110.
  • East Java Police HQ: Jl. Ahmad Yani, Tel.: (62)(31) 8280748.
  • Surabaya Police HQ: Jl. Sikatan 1. Tel.: (62)(31) 3523927.
  • Surabaya Police stations:
    • East Surabaya, Jl. Sidodadi. Tel.: (62)(31)5341053, (62)(31) 3711052.
    • North Surabaya, Jl. Raden Saleh. Tel.: (62)(31)5688099, (62)(31) 5341053.
    • South Surabaya, Jl. Dukuh Kupang Barat 16. Tel.: (62)(31) 3711052, (62)(31) 5670641.
    • Tanjung Perak, Jl. Kalianget 1. Tel.: (62)(31) 3293023, (62)(31) 3293023.

List hospitals with 24 hours emergency room (ER):

  • RSUD Dr. Soetomo, Jl. Prof. Moestopo 6-8. Tel.: (62)(31) 5340061.
  • RSUD Haji, Jl. Manyar Kertoadi. Tel.: (62)(31) 5947760.
  • RS Darmo, Jl. Raya Darmo. Tel.: (62)(31) 5676253.
  • RS Griya Husada, Jl. Bubutan 93. Tel.: (62)(31) 5340828.
  • RS Mitra Keluarga, Jl. Satelit Indah II Darmo Satelit. Tel.: (62)(31) 7345333.
  • RS William Booth, Jl. Diponegoro 34. Tel.: (62)(31) 5678917.
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