Bandung is the capital city of West Java province, and the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. Nicknamed Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) by the Dutch for its resemblance to Paris and European atmosphere back at the colonial times, it is locally called as Kota Kembang, literally meaning the Flowery City because Bandung had a lot of flowers in the colonial era and republic era up to the early 1960s.
A city sitting in a former lake with an altitude of 768 m above sea level, the surroundings of lush and beautiful Parahyangan mountains makes the climate cooler than most major cities in Indonesia. If you are into the city situation, look for its universities to study, apparel products to try on, and wonderful places for gastronomic adventure. Bandung has become a very popular weekend getaway for Jakartans due to its close proximity, especially during holiday periods, where the city is crowded with cars coming from the capital city.
Administratively, the city of Bandung (Kota Bandung) is divided in 30 districts (kecamatan). However, for this travel guide the city has been divided in the following five districts, that are more useful for travellers.
|Central Bandung |
Bandung's city centre, with at its heart the Alun-alun lawn square. The district includes part of the historic Great Post Road (Jalan Asia Afrika), along which Bandung was established, and the main railway station.
|North Bandung |
Colonial era villas, government buildings, and the ITB university complex along Jalan Dago that runs from the city centre up to the hills. This is the centre for factory outlets, restaurants, and cafés with city view.
|Northwest Bandung |
Ample opportunities for shopping, from the Jalan Cihampelas 'jeans street' to the extensive Paris Van Java shopping mall. Northwest Bandung also includes the main road into the mountains of Lembang, and the airport.
|South Bandung |
Vast residential areas on Bandung's southern plain. A highlight for travellers is Trans Studio Mall, housing one of the biggest indoor theme parks in the world.
|East Bandung |
More residential areas. Saung Angklung Udjo, a cultural centre with traditional Sundanese music performances, is in this district. Many hotels and restaurants are located here along the street of Jalan Riau and Jalan Supratman.
The Greater Bandung Metropolitan Area (Bandung Raya) has a population of more than 8 million, and extends well beyond the city of Bandung. The city of Cimahi in the west is Bandung's largest suburb. For travellers, the surroundings of Lembang in the north and Ciwidey in the south are among the highlights of Greater Bandung.
Although the oldest written reference to the city dates back to 1488, there were numerous archaeological finds of "Java Man" that lived on the banks of Cikapundung river and the shores of Bandung's Great Lake.
In the 17th-18th century, the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) created small plantations in Bandung, with a road to Batavia (today's Jakarta) completed in 1786. In 1809, Louis Bonaparte, the ruler of the Netherlands and its colonies, ordered the Dutch Indies Governor H.W. Daendels to improve Java's defenses against the threat of the English, who occupied the nearby Malay peninsula. Daendels responded by building the Great Post Road (De Groote Postweg) that stretched about 1000 km between the west and the east coasts of Java. Because north coast was in the form of impassable swamps and marshes at the time, the road was diverted through Bandung along what is now Jalan Asia-Afrika.
Daendels liked Bandung's strategic location so much that he ordered the capital to be moved there. Military barracks were built and Bupati Wiranatakusumah II, the chief administrator of that area, built his dalem (palace), Masjid Agung (The Grand Mosque) and pendopo (meeting place) in the classical Javan alun-alun (city square) near a pair of holy city wells (Sumur Bandung) and facing the mystical mountain of Tangkuban Perahu (near Lembang).
Powered by its cinchona (for malaria drug quinine), tea, and coffee plantations, Bandung prospered and developed into an exclusive European style resort with hotels, cafes, and shops. Many of Bandung landmarks, including the Preanger and Savoy Homann hotels, as well as the shopping street of Jalan Braga, are still available today. The Concordia Society building, now Gedung Merdeka, was built with a large ball room as a club for rich Europeans to spend their weekends.
In 1880, the first major railroad between Jakarta to Bandung opened, boosting small industries and bringing in Chinese workers. The first of Bandung universities, the Technische Hogeschool (TH) was established on July 3, 1920. One of its alumni members is President Soekarno himself. That university is now known as the Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB)
In 1942, after Japanese soldiers landed in coastal areas of Java, the Dutch retreated from Jakarta to Bandung, but were driven out from there as well and surrendered soon after. After the end of the war, first the British and later the Dutch came back trying to reestablish the pre-war colonial situation, but in 1946, during the struggle for Indonesian independence, the city of Bandung was burned down by retreating forces of the TRI, because they would not comply with the order given by the British forces to move out of Bandung to the south (Bandung Sea of Fire/Bandung Lautan Api). For the TRI this act was a sign of refusal to surrender. Over 200,000 people fled the city during the incident.
In 1955, the Asia Africa Conference (Konferensi Asia Afrika) was held in Bandung, paving the way for the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961. The Indonesian parliament was located in Bandung from 1955 to 1966, but was moved back to Jakarta in 1966.
Today's Bandung is a sprawling city of 2.7 million people and suffers from many of the same problems as other Indonesian cities. Traffic is congested, old buildings have been torn down, and once idyllic residences have turned into business premises, fortunately the facades are still same.
There are main roads that roughly split the city into three parts, the north, the central, and the south. The Pasupati overpass splits the north and the central. Dago or H Juanda and Merdeka are the main roads from north to south. The Jenderal Sudirman, Asia Afrika, Kosambi and Jenderal Ahmad Yani cuts the central and the south. If you enter using the toll road, you will start from the outskirts first and then make your way into the city center.
Road in bahasa Indonesia is translated into Jalan and abbreviated into Jl.; this applies to all kind of road from small road to major road. You will see a lot of Jl. in front of the road name in this guide. Very small road that cannot by passed by car is called Gang and abbreviated into Gg.
- 1 Bandung Tourism office (Dinas Kebudayaan dan Pariwisata Kota Bandung), Jl. Ahmad Yani No. 227, ☏ . M-F 07:30-15:30.
How to speak prokem like a Sunda
The everyday speech of Bandungite (Sundanese) is liberally laced with slang (prokem) expressions. Like any slang, words come in and out of fashion with bewildering rapidity, but some features can be distinguished:
A short glossary of common Bandungite expressions:
Bandung is in the central highlands of Parahyangan. It can be reached from Jakarta via the toll road or by train. Many buses and minivans connect Jakarta and Bandung. An alternative to the toll road is the winding road via the Puncak mountain pass. The route through Puncak is quite scenic but on weekends and public holidays the traffic is congested.
Bandung's 1 Husein Sastranegara Airport (BDO IATA) has a difficult location among the mountains and relatively limited services with narrow-body airplanes. The airport is in Northwest Bandung, about 4 km from the city centre. Four of Indonesia's major airlines are present at Bandung Airport, offering connections to 8 destinations including Surabaya (East Java), Medan (Sumatra), Makassar (Sulawesi) and Bali. There are no flights to Jakarta, as the distance between the cities is only 125 km. International flights no longer operate from this airport.
No metered taxis are available in Bandung Airport. The official airport taxi (a monopoly) doesn't use a meter and will only drive with a taxi ticket (the ticket showing the amount you have to pay to the driver) which can be bought at the taxi booth near the international arrival exit gate for a minimum of Rp40,000. Most hotels provide free airport transfer services.
Online hailing service can be ordered at the airport:
- Grab Bike, bike taxi.
- Grab Car Airport BDO, not the same as Grab Car or Grab Taxi. The Grab Car Airport price is about 3 times greater than the regular Grab Car and about 2 times greater than that of Grab Taxi.
Taxis and Go cars can drop off passengers, but are not allowed to pick up anyone. Grab can but the drivers asked for Rp80k for a Rp25k fare. Better to walk to the main road (an easy 300m walk) where you'll find honest blue bird drivers.
Jakarta's Soekarno Hatta International Airport airport is 3 hours away (plus any, often significant, traffic jams) from Bandung. A number of companies offer direct shuttle bus services to Bandung, including a convenient Primajasa coach service; see the 'By bus' section for details.
Majalengka's Kertajati Airport is 2½ hours away from Bandung through Cipali toll road. DAMRI Bus at Kebun Kawung Bandung departs at 02:00 to Kertajati Airport and from Kertajati Airport to Bandung departs at 07:00 with headway every 2 hours. The tariff is Rp 75,000, whereas to Cirebon Rp 40,000, to Kuningan Rp 50,000 and to Cikarang Rp 60,000. There are also micro buses to Cirebon, Cikarang, Kuningan, Indramayu, Purwakarta, Sumedang, and Majalengka.
All domestic airlines will be moved gradually from Husein Sastranegara Airport, except flights among cities in Java. Only Air Asia and Lion Air operate in Kertajati Airport.
Bus services connect Bandung and smaller surrounding cities. Several long-route buses are also available from major big cities. The most convenient way is the air-conditioned bus with the express or non-stop tag. The main bus terminals in Bandung are 2 Leuwi Panjang in South Bandung, serving buses from the west (Greater Jakarta, Bogor Raya (from Bogor: frequent direct buses till 21:00 from Baranangsiang Terminal, Rp 65,000, 4-5 hours depends on traffic) and Banten including the port of Merak) and 3 Cicaheum in East Bandung, serving buses from the east (Cirebon, Garut, East Parahyangan, and destinations in Central and East Java and Bali). Many buses on routes between Jakarta and destinations to the east pass via Bandung, but usually they do not stop at Bandung's terminals. However, many of them allow passengers to get off or on at the Cileunyi toll gate just east of the city.
By shuttle bus
With 7-10 seater minivans leaving every few minutes, the shuttle bus market between Jakarta and Bandung is fiercely competitive. Roughly speaking, services can be categorised as either door to door in a chartered car or van that takes your group exactly where you want to go, for around US$50–75, or point to point from its pools to another, for under US$10. Many companies offer both.
- 4848 Taxi, Jl Prapatan 34, Jakarta, ☏ , . The service is great, reliable and safe. Price: approx. US$25/car (4 persons). One destination only in a small area in Jakarta, so you have to ask which area in Jakarta they serve.
- Arnes Shuttle. Hourly from Superindo Pancoran Statue, in the hook of North-East intersection from 04:00 to 21:00, except from 09:00 to 15:00, when they run every two hours.
- Jakarta, ☏ , .
- Bandung at Balubur Town Square (Baltos), ☏ , , . Passengers can 'transit' at Baltos, RS Hermina, BTC and Rest Area of Pasteur Toll Gate and take Arnes Shuttle to Jatinangor, a place with many big universities, every 15 minutes for additional Rp20,000 from 05:30 to 18:00 and then every 30 minutes from 18:30 to 23:00, except for Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, when it runs every 30 minutes.
- Jatinangor at Jl. Raya Jatinangor 190 Desa Cikeruh (next to Bank Tabungan Negara, before Sayang intersection, if coming from Sumedang), ☏ , , .
- DayTrans, ☏ , , (Bandug - Cihampelas and Pasteur). Jakarta (Blora, Sarinah, Fatmawati, Karet, Mall Senayan City, FX Plaza, Meruya-Intercon, Kebon Jeruk-Binus, Grogol, Atrium Plaza, Hotel Acacia, Cempaka Putih Pulomas, Tebet/Pancoran and Jatiwaringin). They have the best pilot seats amongst all shuttle providers. between Rp90,000 to Rp110,000 per passenger depends on seat location..
- Baraya, ☏ , . The ticket fee is Rp85,000 per passenger for a shared ride with abundant routes.
- Primajasa Bus, ☏ (Bandung), (Jakarta). They provide a direct shuttle service from Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport to Batununggal, with no stop at Bandung Super Mall or anywhere else along the route anymore. The trip takes approx. 3 hr and the cost is Rp115,000. Schedule: once every half hour from 0:30-16:00 and the rest is every hour. Their buses feature a smoking room and toilet at the back. Primajasa also has shuttle minibuses from Soekarno-Hatta airport to Jalan Diponegoro (Gedung Sate) near intersection with Jalan Cisangkuy with cost Rp155,000. Mention whether you want a bus or minibus when you contact them.
- Silver Bird Van (Taxi Blue Bird Group), Jl. Mampang Prapatan Raya 60, South Jakarta, ☏ . Rp750,000 door to door, plus toll fee Rp50,000.
- X-Trans, Jl. Blora 1 AB, Central Jakarta, ☏ . approx. US$55/car maximum 10 persons for point-to-point charter. Rp100,000 per passenger.
- CitiTrans, ☏ . 7 or 10-person (depends on the point) shuttles with separate seats.
- Jakarta. (Fatmawati, Bintaro, Sudirman, Kelapa Gading, Pasar Pagi, Central Park)
- Bandung. Dipati Ukur, Cihampelas Walk, Pasteur.
Due to competition, all shuttles now only have 2 prices, for 8-11 seats Rp80,000 (Star Shuttle) to Rp85,000 (Baraya) and for 6-7 seats Rp90,000 to Rp110,000 in a minibus.
By rented car with driver
A door-to-door travel with cars, mostly sedans instead of a minibus, runs between Bogor and Bandung and limited to 3 passengers per car. The tariff is Rp150,000 per passenger (excluding toll road fees). The route mostly goes through Puncak or Cipularang Toll Road.
- MPX Travel Bogor Bandung, Jalan Renawijaya No. 9 Kav. 2, Vila Duta, Baranangsiang, Bogor, West Java 16143, ☏ .
Flood in Bandung
Despite of their location at higher altitudes than most big cities in Indonesia, Bandung experiences more and more flood every year due to lack of proper drainage system, combined with frequent heavy rain. Should that happen during your visit to the city, then it's best to be informed through phone applications (e.g. Waze and Google Maps), and not to drive a car.
Bandung is two hours away from Jakarta by car if the traffic conditions are favourable, but because of traffic congestion if often takes longer. However, thanks to the Jakarta-Bandung toll road (via Cikampek) travelling by road is usually faster than by train. However during the rainy season, parts of the road may be closed because of landslides, and bewildering because of possible high winds or blinding fog and downpours. While most cars would exit the system at Pasteur, the first exit to Bandung with excellent connections to Lembang, it is very congested during the weekends so it is highly encouraged to enter the city at the less congested toll road exits on the southern side of the city instead: try Baros/Cimahi,Pasir Koja, Kopo, Moh. Toha, and Buah Batu.
One alternative route is by the slower, but enjoyable, route via the Puncak area. If you travel by car using this route, be sure to stop at the Puncak Pass, the tip of the highland just on the outskirts of Jakarta, for a view of tea plantation and fresh air. There are plenty of good restaurants and hotels out there.
Indonesia's first high-speed railway (kereta cepat) links Jakarta-Halim to Bandung's shiny new Tegalluar station, some 19 km southeast of the city center, in as little as 30 minutes.
State operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia also offers frequent services between Jakarta and Bandung with Argo Parahyangan, as well as other towns on the southern rail route, but on these regular trains even the fastest services takes two-and-a-half to three hours from Jakarta. The time passes so quickly during the journey because of the comfortable trains, scenic mountains, and paddy fields you could find along the way. There are 2 classes for each train journey: Executive class, Rp200,000 per ticket for air conditioning, reclining seats, and a footrest; Economy Premium class, Rp150,000. Booking at least 24 hours in advance is a must and can be made through travel booking services such as Traveloka, PegiPegi, etc. and through the minimarkets such as Alfamart and Indomaret. Under 24 hours until 10 minutes before departure, tickets only can be bought in the departure station. But if you have a KAI Access application, the ticket can be bought up to 1 minute before departure.
The state operator offers its newest class - The Priority Class - on Argo Parahyangan that runs only twice a day in each direction. It has 28 luxury seats in a single car with onboard-entertainment on every seat, wireless connection and toilets for the disabled person. Costs Rp 290,000 and must be booked in advance at least one week before the desired journey due to the high demand for the service. Argo Parahyangan Excellence train is the fastest train, taking only 2 hours 50 minutes from Gambir Station to Bandung Station. It departs from Gambir Station at 17:12 and in the other direction from Bandung Station at 04:30 and travels non-stop between the two cities.
If you do travel by train, get off at the Bandung railway station in Central Bandung. It is right in the city centre and offers excellent transport connections to the city's places of interest. The station has two faces — the old entrance (south of the tracks) and the newer entrance (north). Taxis are outside the north entrance, there are AA and Blue Bird taxi, AA taxi whose fare is about 15 per cent higher than Blue Bird. Although their cars are generally in better condition than those of Blue Bird. Angkot can be found at a small terminal about 100 from the south entrance and also in the front of the north entrance.
A new high-speed railway from Jakarta will open in October 2023, reducing travel time to just 40 minutes.
- 4 Bandung railway station (Stasiun Bandung), Kebon Kawung Street. Also known as Hall station (Stasiun Hall).
Some tips on using angkot:
Travelling around in Bandung can be quite complex and frustrating, especially to newcomers, because there is no mass rapid transit system. Locals travel using small public minibuses, known as angkot from angkutan = transport and kota = city.
This option has only origin and destination names on top, sometimes with a description of which street they pass if there is more than one angkot route for a certain origin-destination route.
Although there is an official price for angkot from Organda (the local regulator of these private city transport), it is usually based on how far you travel. It's better to ask the driver or kernet (driver assistance) about the price to go to a location. To ask for an angkot to stop and pick you up, just raise your hand. When you're inside and want to stop, just ask the kernet to stop or say 'kiri' (kee-ree) or simply 'stop'. It used to be easy to find a bell that you could press to stop, but not anymore. Most angkot fares usually about Rp3,000-5,000. For very short distances below 1½ km, Rp2,000 is enough, while for taking an angkot into the suburbs the price may be slightly higher.
The official angkot routes are listed on Bandung's City Government website. Using phone maps is sufficient, but the maps from Project Kiri has clearer explanation to get you to somewhere in Bandung i.e. which angkot you should take.
Some angkot have the same destination, but different routes, such as Angkot No. 01, which runs from Cicaheum to Kebon Kelapa via Trans Studio Mall, whereas Angkot No. 02 goes through Jalan Aceh.
If you don't know which angkot routes to take, you're much better off taking a taxi. Metered taxis may take you out of your way to get more money or run the meter first before you enter the taxi, in case of phone orders. The fare for trips within the city is usually Rp25,000-75,000. At most big streets, taxis can be hailed at malls and big hotels, but as in most cases, ordering by phone is the safest bet, although there is usually a minimum payment for phone orders.
Allow plenty of time for the journey, as traffic congestion is common, especially in weekends. Short trips of under 10 km may take over an hour in the rush hour and in weekends.
Almost all taxis in Bandung require a minimum payment of Rp25,000 except for Blue Bird, which requires none. Besides the flagfall for the first kilometers, the tariff for next kilometers is Rp4,500 and waiting time is Rp45,000/hour (is also charge when the taxi trap in traffic jam or stop behind the red light).
List of taxi companies in Bandung:
- AA, ☏ . Flawless vehicles with non-smoking drivers, maybe better than BlueBird, and they use a high tariff with flagfall of Rp7,000 for the first kilometer, just like Blue Bird. Minimum payment is Rp25,000 and minimum payment of phone order: Rp30,000.
- Bandung Raya, ☏ .
- Blue Bird, ☏ . Good reputation and reliable; this is the premium taxi company in Indonesia. Call centre staff can speak English. Most hotels will gladly call the taxi to pick you up. Rp35,000 minimum payment for phone order. Use application (including order by phone) and GPS, the nearest taxi within 1 km radius from the passengers will pick up in 5 minutes.
- Centris Taxi, ☏ .
- Gemah Ripah, ☏ . Second choice after Blue Bird: Rp25,000 minimum payment, but no additional charge for phone orders. Their taxis frequently arrive about 5 to 10 minutes before the time you requested on the phone and run the argometer while the taxi is waiting for passengers.
- Kota Kembang, ☏ . Old vehicles, a last resort, mainly for orders by phone.
- Putra, ☏ . Old vehicles, a last resort, mainly for orders by phone.
By online ride hailing apps
Online taxis such as GrabCar and GoCar (from Gojek) are abundant and they can pick you up in less than 10 minutes after booking. Available 24 hours, mainly in Dago area and Trans Studio Mall area. They also offer services for a ride to outer Bandung areas (up to 70 kilometres). Waiting time typically costs around Rp40,000/hour or less depending on the negotiation with the driver. The service is needed in outside Bandung area due to the difficulty to get online taxis, except in Central Lembang area.
InDriver has also available in Bandung. You can expect 20 percent lower tariff than GrabCar and GoCar tariff, because InDriver does not apply a 20% fee as Grab and Gojek do. (If you ride a motorbike with InDriver, the charges will be stated as 'Motor' on your receipt.)
There are a number of bus companies but they don't cover the whole city due to many narrow streets in Bandung. City buses, called Damri, usually cover long routes across the city from end-to-end; for example, from the north to the south (Dago or Setiabudi to Leuwi Panjang Central Terminal) and from the west to the east (from Cibeureum to Cicaheum and then to Cibiru). The intersection of north-south routes and east-west routes is Alun-alun Central Park and intersection of Astana Anyar and Asia Afrika. Most buses can be stopped anywhere, not just at the bus stops. The ticket price for all routes in the city is Rp2,000 for without air-con and Rp3,500 with air-con.
Another alternative is Trans Metro Bandung (Bandung's equivalent of Transjakarta in Jakarta), which uses smaller buses and has its own dedicated bus stops/shelters. There are 5 corridors:
- Cibiru - Cibereum
- Cicaheum - Cibereum
- Cicaheum - Sarijadi
- Antapani - Leuwi Panjang
- Antapani - Stasiun Hall
The ticket costs Rp4,000 for general public and Rp2,000 for students. A Rp1,000 discount is only applied by using electronic cash such as BRIZZI (from BRI) and TapCash (from BNI).
Damri buses also serve outer Bandung to areas such as Alun-alun Central Park Bandung to Ciburuy (near Padalarang), Dago to Leuwi Panjang Central Terminal, and Elang to Jatinangor. All buses have air-con.
Using a car is probably the easiest and the most convenient way to travel around Bandung and surrounds, but daily severe traffic jams should be considered. If you don't have a valid driving licence, then you can also rent a car with a chauffeur, which is very common for western travellers. Perhaps it is even better to rent a car from Jakarta. Rental cars are available from numerous outlets, including major international brands. Renting a car is about Rp500,000 per day (12 hr), or Rp600,000 (12 hr) excluding gasoline, parking and toll for travel outside Bandung, such as to the Tangkuban Perahu volcanic area.
While it is generally required to travel by car, especially to the outskirt mountains, the horrendous weekend and rush hour traffic jams can put your trip up to an hour behind schedule, so be sure to plan ahead by starting early and look for alternate routes! The major roads that are often crowded are the roads leading up to Lembang (Jalan Sukajadi), Dago, Cihampelas, and the corridor from Pasteur toll exit to Pasupati overpass that connects these streets. On the weekends, especially long holidays, hoards of cars from Jakarta head over to this part of the city for a getaway, resulting in even uglier drive times. Many streets, especially the small ones, typically go one-way but sometimes poorly indicated!
A local rule requires that every car must have a trash bin and the law is strictly implemented. Failure to obey this rule could result in paying Rp250,000 on the spot or via an ATM or bank payment. Police are also stricter in enforcing seatbelt laws in Bandung than in the other cities, so everyone in a front seat should make sure to wear one.
Motorcycle rental is relatively new in Bandung, so the rental price is higher than in Bali and these services are still limited due to relatively high motorcycle thefts in Bandung, so the rentals usually provide some extra locks for added safety. The rental tariff is Rp50,000-55,000 for 12 hours in weekdays/weekend or Rp75,000-85,000 for 24 hours in weekdays, Rp80,000-90,000 for 24 hours in weekend or Rp450,000-500,000 for a week.
For renting, domestic tourists have to have at least 3 of driving license, electronic identity card, family card, tax identity (NPWP), or passport. Foreign tourists must have international driving license and passport.
There are two types of motorcycle taxis (or ojek) in Bandung, conventional ojek, where ojek drivers flock/stay at certain place, wait for passengers and sometimes the tariff isn't fixed. Unlike online ojek/ride-hailing apps such as Grab or GoJek, where the fare is stated in advance and usually much cheaper than conventional ojek.
Bandung has nice pavements, newly-renovated as of 2018, with tactile paving or truncated domes for the visually impaired, from Dago/Jalan Ir. H. Juanda area to the south and along Jalan Riau/R.E. Martadinata. Spaces in Bandung are quite abundant, with the biggest one at The Grand Mosque of Bandung (Masjid Raya Bandung) in Central Bandung, with synthetic grass.
- Individual listings can be found in Bandung's district articles
With Bandung being one of the main cities of the Dutch East Indies, many colonial buildings were built in the city in the second half of the 19th century, and especially the first half of the 20th century. Most of the colonial buildings can be found in the city centre, as well as in the Dago area where extensive expansions of the city took place in the early 20th century.
A key architectural style used in the Dutch East Indies in the 19th century was the Indies Empire style. A key example of this style in Bandung is Gedung Pakuan in Central Bandung, built in the 1860s as the new residence of the resident of the residency of Parahyangan, as its capital was moved from Cianjur to Bandung. The most famous colonial buildings of Bandung are however not those with classical styles, but those with modernist architecture. The city has one of the world's largest number of buildings in Art Deco style. The key architects of this period (mainly 1920-1940) include C.P.W. (Wolff) Schoemaker, A.F. (Albert) Aalbers, and Henri Maclaine Pont. All of them were known for combining modernist European architecture (including Art Deco) with style elements from Indonesian cultures.
Born in Central Java in 1882 and educated in the Netherlands, Wolff Schoemaker has been renowned as the father of Bandung Art Deco architectural style. He is famous for adapting modern European architecture to the tropical surroundings. This blending of ancient decorative elements and modern architectural features has made him the best Indonesian architect of his time. He later became a professor at the Bandung Institute of Technology in North Bandung. Among his students was Soekarno, the first president of the Republic of Indonesia. Schoemaker was a very productive architect, with dozens of buildings in Bandung being designed by him. Some of his most famous buildings include the Gedung Merdeka, Grand Hotel Preanger, the Bandung Cathedral, New Majestic cinema building (all in Central Bandung), Villa Isola, the Pasteur Institute (both in Northwest Bandung) and the Kologdam Building (East Bandung).
Albert Aalbers's main claim to fame was the DENIS Bank building, based on which he also received the contract to design the new building of Bandung's grand old hotel, the Savoy Homann. Shortly thereafter, he designed the renovation of one of Schoemaker's works, the Gedung Merdeka. These three buildings are all in Central Bandung. The most famous buildings designed by Henri Maclaine Pont are the main buildings of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) in North Bandung.
The most well-known colonial buildings that were not designed by these three architects are government buildings of the Dutch East Indies, which were designed by the Government Buildings Service (Landsgebouwendienst). The main example of this is the Gedung Sate in North Bandung, built in the 1920s for Department of Public Works of the Dutch East Indies and now used by West Java's provincial government.
There are various museums in the city. Right in the city centre, there is the Museum of the Asian-African Conference in the Gedung Merdeka. The building was the location of the 1955 Bandung Conference (the first meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement), and the museum tells the history of this conference, that was attended by among others presidents Soekarno (Indonesia), Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt), and Tito (Yugoslavia), and prime minister Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam).
Other well-known museums in Bandung include the Geological Museum (with 250,000 rocks, a mineral collection, and 60,000 fossils) and the Postal Museum (covering the postal history of Indonesia and the Dutch East Indies), both in North Bandung. Lesser-known museums include Museum Barli (paintings and vintage toys) in Northwest Bandung, Museum Mandala Wangsit Siliwangi (weapons, and the history of Bandung in the War of Independence) in Central Bandung, and the Sri Baduga Museum (archeological and geological exhibitions on West Java province) in South Bandung.
Apart from the colonial buildings and museums, the key sights of Bandung's city centre are the Alun-alun central lawn square, and the adjoining Grand Mosque. The provincial mosque was initially built in the 19th century, but it has been renovated and expanded many times, so most original elements are no longer visible. The latest major renovation took place in 2003, when also the two iconic minarets (81 metres high each) were added. During weekends, one of the minarets is open to visitors, and from the top you will have a great view across the city. Nearby is also the Kilometre Zero monument, which indicates the location of Bandung's establishment (at the location where the Great Post Road crosses the Cikapundung river).
In the Dago area in the North of the city, there are various natural sights, of which the main one is the Djuanda Forest Park, a conservation area and botanical garden in the mountains. Within the park there are also two man-made caves that were important locations during the Second World War and Indonesian War of Independence (among others for shelter and ammunition storage).
- Individual listings can be found in Bandung's district articles
There are many activities that you can do in the city or outside the city. As Bandung highland is surrounded by a string of mountains, activities in the outskirts of the city are centred about the mountain resorts, adventure activities and outdoor sports. In the city, you can have savor the culinary diversity (see the Eat section), shop at the cheap outlets and distros (see the Buy section) or just hang around.
Every Sunday is Car-Free Day along Jalan Dago from Cikapayang to the north to Simpang-Siliwangi 06:00-10:00. Come as early as possible, because it can become hectic, as it is only a small street.
Every Sunday you can find a Sunday Market in Gasibu, which is located to the north of Gedung Sate. You can find a variety of food and handicrafts for an affordable price.
- Ram Fighting. Villages around Bandung host ram fights on alternate Sundays. It's a big event for locals who turn out in their hundreds to watch 5-minute bouts between prize fighter male sheep. Tournaments are held in purpose-built rings in outlying villages. Best to hire a motorbike/guide in Bandung who knows when and where the next tournament is on. Ram fighting is not a blood sport but animal lovers may be upset at the sight of the fights, which are organized and refereed rather like boxing matches.
- Puncrut-Lembang walking trail. Begins at Puncrut, Jl. Kiputih, North Bandung. For beginners or who save the stamina, it is better to go to Ledeng first and continue to Lembang by angkot and ask people to go down to Puncrut.
- The Tangkuban Perahu volcano is about 20 km north of Bandung, near Lembang.
- The Kawah Putih (White Crater) lake is about 40 km south of Bandung, near Ciwidey.
- Ranca upas is a camping ground in a protected area where campers can interact with and observe deer from up close
- Individual listings can be found in Bandung's district articles
Shopping for clothing and accessories is one of the main reasons that, every weekend, many people from Greater Jakarta visit Bandung. Many items are less expensive than in Jakarta. There are shopping malls scattered across the city. Many of them have a combination of Indonesian and international shops, cafés, and restaurants, and most of them also have a family karaoke venue (KTV) and a cinema. The largest and most modern shopping malls in Bandung are the Trans Studio Mall (South Bandung) and Paris Van Java (Northwest Bandung). A few malls are known for their cheap clothing, including the BTC Fashion Mall in Northwest Bandung, and the Pasar Baru Trade Centre in the city centre (which is a favourite for Malaysian tourists).
Denim (jeans) stores can be found along Jalan Cihampelas in Northwest Bandung. These became very popular in the 1990s with unique facades built to attract people. Some of the stores also sell factory outlet garments, but the quality is rather inferior to factory outlets in Jl Setiabudhi, Jl Dago and Jl Riau. The new 450 m (1,480 ft) skywalk over the north part of Jl Cihampelas offers good views of the surrounding area. It has an elevator and small booths that sell food and accessories.
On the other side of the city, in Cibaduyut (South Bandung), leather shoes and other leather products are produced and sold in numerous stores. It is paradise for those who like long boots, which can be made to order at relatively cheap prices. They take between three and seven days to be ready.
Local handicrafts and souvenirs
Angklung is a Sundanese musical instrument. They are sold in handicraft shops in shopping malls, souvenir shops, and the dedicated Saung Angklung Udjo angklung centre in East Bandung. Wayang golek are Sundanese puppets. Unlike the Javanese wayang puppets, the Sundanese wayang golek are made from wood. There are various shops that sell them across the city, of which the main is the Cupumanik centre in Central Bandung.
Factory outlet stores
Fashion items for some of the world's top brands are made in Indonesia. Even slight defects such as a missing or incorrectly-inserted button are enough for the item to be rejected, or there might have production overruns that need to be discarded. These unwanted items are sold with sisa export tags, because they were made for export. Some of are Grade A (best quality, overrun product) or Grade B (export quality, slight defect) quality. Don't be surprised to see Made in Korea or Made in Singapore on the tags! While you will still see a bag priced at $65 for sale at New York City, they will sell for only Rp45,000 ($5), a dramatically small fraction of the listed price in the destination market! Enjoy bargain hunting but make a careful inspection yourself. Check for below-standard or damaged items and counterfeit branded products. The shops often have a wide range of modern contemporary styles and accessories.
Most factory outlet stores are concentrated in North Bandung (specifically Jl Riau and Jl Dago) and Northwest Bandung (Jl Cihampelas and Jl Setiabudhi). Bandung's most well-known factory outlet store, Rumah Mode, can be found in Jl Setiabudhi in the Northwest.
The phenomenon of distros ('distribution outlets') began in Bandung in the 1990s. Originally, indie bands and record labels started selling their merchandise (CDs but also clothing, stickers, etc.) in their own shops. There are more than 300 distros in Bandung that sell stylish products made by local designers and the phenomenon extends well beyond the original indie music scene. One thing that makes distros stand out from the factory outlet stores is that distros sell products from individual designers and young entrepreneurs, while factory outlet products come from a garment factory. Many of the designers that started distros have become famous, launching country-wide clothing brands, and therefore price levels have increased. Distros can be found throughout the city, but many of the most famous among them are concentrated in and around Jalan Trunojoyo in North Bandung.
- Dago 34, Jl Dago no.34. Located in the heart of Dago.
- Warung Internasional, Jl Dago, near Dago 34.
- Taurus, located near the alun-alun, it's easy to find.
- Individual listings can be found in Bandung's district articles
|This page uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:|
|Budget||up to Rp50,000|
Bandung is a heaven for food lovers who enjoy new experiences. There is a huge variety of places to eat, ranging from thousands of travelling hawkers and warung food stalls to high-end restaurants. Prices vary equally, but are generally lower than in Jakarta. A good meal from a warung or simple restaurant is likely to cost less than Rp30,000, but in high-end restaurants and in luxurious hotels you can easily spend 10 times this.
Budget eateries, including street food, are abundant throughout the city. Most of the higher-end restaurants can be found in the city centre and towards the north of the city, mainly in the Dago area. In addition, there is a huge range of restaurants (from cheap fastfood to high-end international cuisine) in the shopping malls, with the Paris Van Java mall in Northwest Bandung and the Trans Studio Mall in South Bandung standing out.
Although vegetarian restaurants are not common, many Indonesian (and Sundanese) dishes are vegetarian. It is therefore relatively easy to find vegetarian food, such as lotek (spicy vegetable salad) and dishes with tahu (tofu) and tempe. Be aware, however, that many dishes are served with sambal (chili sauce) that may contain terasi (shrimp paste), or with krupuk udang (shrimp crackers).
Your culinary tour in Bandung does not end at the restaurants and cafés. There are plenty of bakeries in the city where exotic pastries entices you to bring one home — a legacy of the Dutch colonial time. Some of them have a high popularity, that you may have to be in a queue even before the shop opens!
Street food in Bandung can be found everywhere throughout the city. Travelling vendors carrying a basket roam through the neighbourhoods selling pre-prepared food. Kaki lima food stalls (mobile kitchens) may also travel around, or stand on the same street corner every day. The same applies to warung, which are slightly less mobile stalls that often have some shelter and a few tables and plastic stools. Some of the warung, that are being rebuilt at the same location every day, have grown to become very popular establishments with hundreds of guests per day (for example, the Bebek Ali Borromeus food stall in North Bandung). In general, the number of customers is a good indication of the level of hygiene of the place, with busy warung being probably safe.
Popular street food options include Sate (satay skewers), Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng (fried rice and fried noodles), and Ayam Goreng (fried chicken, served with chilli sauce and rice). Specifically for breakfast, popular options are bubur ayam (chicken porridge), kupat tahu (rice dumplings, tofu, and bean sprouts with peanut sauce) and Lotek (vegetable salad with peanut sauce).
Many temporary food stalls can be found along Jalan Cisangkuy from Diponegoro intersection down to Jalan Citarum. Every Sunday morning till noon the street food stalls can also be found behind of Gedung Sate.
The local cuisine is Sundanese food, as covered in the guide on the wider Parahyangan region. An example of a local delicacy is bakso tahu (also known as siomay), a steamed meat with or without tofu. It is served with peanut paste, sweet soy sauce and a lime. It is suitable for a snack to eat at anytime. In almost all streets you can find somebody selling this food with a wheeled stall (gerobak). Batagor is similar to bakso tahu/siomay but it is fried instead of being steamed. Basreng is a spicy snack made from fried meatballs, with the addition of the spicy and savory seasonings suitable for you. Soto Bandung is a soup with beef meat, soy beans and some vegetables. Lotek is a mixed boiled vegetables, served with peanut paste and some chillies, similar to gado gado. The hotter the better. Laksa Bandung is the famous old traditional dish. This dish is kind of chicken soup using coconut milk with turmeric for the stock, and in side it contains sliced rice cake (cooked inside a banana leaf), bean sprout, vermicelli, shredded chicken and for the finishing is garnished with holly basil and Oncom Bandung the traditional fermented soy bean cake.
Throughout the city, cuisines from other regions of Indonesia can be found, with Padang restaurants from West Sumatra especially ubiquitous, as well as local food from Jakarta and Central Java. The Chinese Indonesian minority operates a large number of Chinese restaurants, and also Japanese food (mainly sushi and ramen) is common. Western-style restaurants (such as steak houses and pancake places) are also common, although the quality varies. The better Western restaurants can be found in the major shopping malls and in the Dago area.
- Individual listings can be found in Bandung's district articles
Alcohol is usually not served in most restaurants and cafés. However, there are many upscale bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, as well as various nightclubs. Many bars also serve imported beers and spirits, but prices are high. The most popular nightlife areas among expats and tourists is the Dago area in North Bandung, but there are also various bars and lounge clubs in the city centre. Among the most popular nightlife venues are the Amnesia and Southbank clubs in Central Bandung, Golden Monkey in North Bandung, and Sobber's Bar in Northwest Bandung. Karaoke (KTV) venues are ubiquitous. Note that some karaoke bars (mainly in a few streets and alleys near the central Alun-alun square, and along Jalan Setiabudhi towards Lembang) are in fact brothels. Regular KTV venues can be recognised by being branded 'family karaoke'. The most well-known chains include NAV, Inul Vizta, and Happy Puppy.
Cafés and coffee houses
Similar in other big cities like Jakarta and Surabaya, coffee houses are a popular place to hang out and also are always packed after working hours or on the weekends. Most coffee places in Bandung are amping up their appearances as well to attract many more customers.
- Individual listings can be found in Bandung's district articles
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Budget||Less than Rp400,000|
|Splurge||More than Rp800,000|
Bandung has a vast range of accommodation, being an important destination for domestic business travellers, a citytrip destination mainly for Indonesians, Singaporeans, and Malaysians, and foremost the main place for people from Greater Jakarta to go for a weekend break. Occupancy rates are therefore high during weekends, and especially long weekends and holidays, and so are accommodation prices. Broadly speaking, most accommodations are in the central and northern parts of the city. All major domestic (favehotel, Santika, Aston) and many international (ibis, Novotel, Holiday In, Hilton, Sheraton) hotel chains are present with one or more hotels in the city.
Central Bandung is home to the city's grand old hotels, the Savoy Homann and the Grand Preanger, but also a very wide range of business hotels of various price and quality levels. Business hotels can also be found in abundance around the Pasteur toll gate in Northwest Bandung. Many tourist-oriented hotels, including some luxurious hotels such as the Sheraton, can be found in the Dago area, including the northern hillsides. In the Ciumbeleuit and Setiabudhi areas of Northwest Bandung there is also a growing number of hotels, including the large and luxurious Padma Hotel with spectacular hill views. More to the north, the mountain town of Lembang also has many accommodation options, including private villas.
The extensive residential areas of East and South Bandung have fewer accommodation options, although there are still various budget hotels. A notable exception is the Trans Studio complex in South Bandung, which in addition to the large indoor theme park and high-end shopping mall also include Asia's largest Ibis hotel, and a very luxurious hotel that brands itself as 'the first hotel with 6 stars in the country'.
The emergency phone number for police is 110, while the fire brigade can be reached via (022)113. There are numerous police stations in the city, with the largest ones being the provincial police headquarters (Polda) in East Bandung, and the city police headquarters (Polrestabes) in Central Bandung. There are 28 local police stations (Polsek) scattered throughout the city.
Tap water in Bandung is not potable, although it is generally fine for a bath or a toothbrush session. Bottled water (generally known as 'aqua' after the most common brand) is cheap. Check if the tamper proof seal is intact.
There are numerous hospitals and health clinics in Bandung. Although the standards of healthcare remain below what most visitors would be accustomed to in their home country, some of Bandung's major hospitals have among the highest standards of the country. Hospitals with 24-hour emergency units can be found throughout the city (see the district articles for listings of the major hospitals). In any case, it is advisable to have insurance coverage for emergency medical evacuation as a precaution. If a medical evacuation is required then patients are normally moved to Singapore.
The emergency phone number for ambulances is (022)118. However, the service level of both the phone number and the ambulance services is highly variable. Rather than waiting for an ambulance to come, it is usually quicker to hail a taxi to bring you to the nearest hospital.
The telephone area code of Bandung is 022.
- Austrian Honorary Consulate, Jl. Padasaluyu Utara II, No. 3, ☏ , fax: .
- Royal Netherlands Honorary Consulate, Jl. Dayang Sumbi No. 3, ☏ , fax: .
- France Consular Agency, Jl. Purnawarman No. 32, ☏ , fax: .
- Hungary Honorary Consulate, Jl. Padasaluyu Utara II No. 3, ☏ , fax: .
- Poland Honorary Consulate, Jl. Bukit Pakar Utara No. 75, ☏ .
There are various cities, towns, and mountainous areas surrounding Bandung, that are suitable for day trips.
- Cimahi — Bandung's largest suburb, known as the 'city of soldiers' for its many military institutions, as well as a large Dutch war cemetery.
- Lembang — mountain town just north of Bandung, at the base of the Tangkuban Perahu volcano, and home to Indonesia's only observatory.
- Ciater — at the other side of the Tangkuban Perahu volcano, a small town known for its volcanic hot spring resorts.
- Ciwidey — an area of tea and strawberry plantations south of Bandung, with the Kawah Putih crater lake as its highlight. Via the Soroja (Soreang Pasirkoja) Toll Road, the drive to Kawah Putih lasts about one and half hours.
- Garut — about one and half hours from Bandung to the southeast, resort town surrounded by several volcanoes.
- Bogor Raya — mountainous area west of Bandung, with among others the Mount Gede Pangrango National Park and the city of Bogor.
- East Parahyangan — the southeast of the province, about 4-6 hours from Bandung, including Pangandaran beach at the Indian Ocean coast.
- North Coast of West Java — the northern plains of the province, including the port city of Cirebon at the Java Sea coast, about 2-3 hours from Bandung.
|Routes through Bandung|
|Anyer ← Cimahi ←||W E||→ Sumedang → Panarukan|