The story goes that Surabaya's name derives from the Javanese words Suro, meaning shark, and Boyo, meaning crocodile. With over 3 million people, Surabaya is the second-largest city in Indonesia. While many people come for business, Surabaya is also a gateway city for Mount Bromo and Bali. The city's tree-lined streets and renovated pavements will impress those newly arrived from other cities in the archipelago, though in general the city's attractions tend to be more apparent to those who make it their home rather than to short-term visitors. Put in the effort here, and you'll have an authentic, fascinating, unique experience of an Asia that once was: get it while it lasts.
Very tropical and you need to wear casual, light clothes: T-shirts, shorts, sandals or shoes. Temperatures vary little through the year, with daytime highs around 32-34°C, falling at night to 22-26°C. During the rainy season (November–April) be prepared for occasional flash floods and traffic jams, although it's not as bad as Jakarta.
Being simultaneously one of the most ancient and significant trading ports in Indonesia, a post Dutch-colonial city (the Dutch knew it as Soerabaja), and having passed through brief Japanese control during WWII, Surabaya has a complex and patchwork heritage. It's not unusual to meet Surabaya locals with heritage from other parts of Indonesia, all parts of south-eastern China, the Middle East or Europe. Surabaya is also the only place in Indonesia with a synagogue.
The national language, Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian), is the medium of government, commerce and education. Many locals also speak the regional language, Javanese (sometimes with a local accent). However, there are significant communities speaking Arabic, Cantonese (the language of Guangdong), Hokkien (the language of Fujian) and Mandarin (the now-standard spoken language of China). Most of this variety is centered in the north of the city, closer to the historic maritime center of business. There is also a surprising amount of English visible in Surabaya on advertising and signs.
While the Chinese were the first to record the area in the 13th century under the name 重迦廬 (zhonggala; apparently after the then-current local kingdom Jungala), local Chinese now know the city as 泗水 (sishui), while some further afield call it by a transliterated name 苏腊巴亚 (sulabaya).
Surabaya's Juanda Airport (SUB IATA) is the second busiest in the country after Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta, with very frequent flights to Jakarta and other major Indonesian destinations, as well as some direct international flights to destinations including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Guangzhou and Bandar Seri Begawan.
The airport has two terminals. Terminal 2, on the south side of the airport, opened in 2014 and serves Garuda, Air Asia, and all foreign carriers. Terminal 1, on the north side of the airport, opened in 2006 and serves most other domestic carriers. A free shuttle bus operates between the two terminals; allow at least 30 minutes for the transfer.
Officially, you're supposed to buy fixed-fare taxi coupons from the "Prima Taxi" stand for the 18 km trip into town, around US$7–10 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 (e.g. Mount Bromo), it'll be cheaper to a rent a car with a driver instead.
There is an Airport Bus service operated by DAMRI (same company as in Jakarta), which goes to the Bungurasih bus station. Buses stop in front of the terminal, are air-conditioned and reasonably comfortable; a ticket costs Rp 25,000 (8/2015). The bus terminal, however, is hectic and is only slightly closer to the city center than the airport - going there makes sense only if you continue by bus to another city (e.g. Malang, Probolinggo), or do not mind continuing in a local bus.
AirAsia flies daily to Surabaya.
There is a large waiting room on the top of the airport terminal (accessible directly from outside). It could be very useful if your flight is delayed or if you have to wait here for one night.
An airport charge of Rp 150,000 is levied upon passengers departing on international flights, Rp 40,000 for domestic flights.
Surabaya has two main stations, Surabaya Pasar Turi and Surabaya Gubeng. Seats in eksekutif (first class) and bisnis (second class) for any intercity journey can be reserved from 90 days in advance up to 24 hours before departure at any major railway station in Java through e-kiosks serve by yourself. It same with online reserved by minimarket attendant of Alfamart and Indomart and the payment in minimarket can be done by cash also without any additional fee. On the last 24 hours before departure, the ticket is only availabe in the ticket counter at departure station. Senior citizens ages 60 and above are eligible for a 20% discount when the ticket is bought in this time bracket.
Stasiun Pasar Turi
Trains using the northern main line from Gambir Station in Jakarta take at least ten hours to arrive at Pasar Turi, while trains using the southern main line take 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-con eksekutif accommodations.
- To Jakarta Gambir: the very good Argo Bromo Anggrek departs twice a day, at 08:00 (Pagi) and 8PM (Malam). Arrival 18:37 / 06:37, Rp 265,000 during the week in eksekutif, no bisnis. Prices raise during the week end and the public holidays (usually Rp 380,000). The air-con is extremely cold so bring some warm clothes. Also, the television is usually very loud during the whole trip. Possible to order meals: Rp 18,000 for a nasi goreng, Rp 3,000 for a hot tea.
- To Jakarta Kota:
- 05:30: Gumarang, from Rp 170,000 to Rp 320,000 in eksekutif, from Rp 104,000 to Rp 175,000 in bisnis; arrival 06:17.
- 06:30: Sembrani, from Rp 170,000 to Rp 320,000 in eksekutif, no bisnis; arrival 06:23.
- To Semarang:
- 08:00: Argo Bromo Anggrek Siang
- 14:00: Rajawali, Rp 150,000 in eksekutif; arrival 19:09
- 17:30: Gumarang
- 18:30: Sembrani
- 20:00: Argo Bromo Anggrek Malam
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 via Solo twice a day and takes approximately 6 hours. Railway connections to Bali are made by the twice-a-day Mutiara Timur express to Banyuwangi, transferring to buses before the ferry crossing to Gilimanuk. Don't forget to buy salak bali.
- To Jakarta Gambir: Train Bima at 6PM, from Rp 180,000 to Rp 320,000 in eksekutif, no bisnis; arrival 6:20AM.
- To Bandung:
- 07:30: Argo Willis, from Rp 200,000 to Rp 320,000 in eksekutif, no bisnis; arrival 19:56.
- 16:00: Mutiara Selatan, from Rp 96,000 to Rp 130,000 in bisnis, no eksekutif; arrival 06:15.
- 18:00: Turangga, from Rp 180,000 to Rp 320,000 in eksekutif, no bisnis; arrival 07:10.
- To Bandung Kiaracondong: Train Pasundan at 06:00, from Rp 33,000 to Rp 43,000 in ekonomi only; arrival 22:18.
- To Yogyakarta:
- 08:15: Train Sancaka Pagi, from Rp 230,000 to Rp 315,000 in eksekutif, from Rp 75,000 to Rp 160,000 in bisnis arrival 12.57.
- 15:35: Train Sancaka Sore, from Rp 230,000 to Rp 315,000 in eksekutif, from Rp 75,000 to Rp 160,000 in bisnis; arrival 21:11.
Slow and packed local economy-class trains from Malang arrive at Kota station (also known as Semut) and passing through Gubeng station as they come in from the south.
- PT Angkutan Sungai Danau dan Penyeberangan(ASDP): daily ferry service from Ujung Kamal, Madura to Tanjung Perak, Surabaya.
- PT Pelayaran Nasional Indonesia (PELNI) : passenger ships from many major port cities throughout Indonesia to Tanjung Perak.
Surabaya has frequent bus connections from all parts of East Java and from major cities in other parts of Java and beyond. The main bus terminal is at Bungurasih, about 10 km south of the city. There are frequent shuttle buses from Malang (Rp 20,000 for air conditioned, less for "ekonomi") and Probolinggo (for Mount Bromo), so just turn up. Long-haul bus journeys are best booked in advance.
Note: The names "Purabaya Terminal" and "Bungurasih Terminal" are used interchangeably to refer to Surabaya's main bus terminal. "Purabaya" is the correct name but it is sometimes called "Bungurasih" because it is located in Bungurasih.
There are many people inside the terminal trying to solicit passengers to the bus of the company from which they get a commission, and they are especially bothersome to the foreigners. If you follow them to the bus, you are likely to get offered an inflated (Rp 200,000 or even more to Bali) price, even though there's an official price list (you can see it at the exit to the platform). Ticket offices do not guarantee you to be safe from overcharging - most of them are private, and there's no price posted on the window, so shop around. It may make sense to bargain if the price is certainly too high. Prices may be slightly higher during high demand periods like weekends and public holidays.
To Denpasar in Bali, fair price is Rp 100,000-120,000 by eksekutif night bus, including the ferry trip between Banyuwangi and Gilimanuk, mineral water and a meal. Buses depart from Bungurasih bus terminal in Surabaya, and arrive in Gubeng bus terminal in Denpasar. Duration: 10-12 hr.
A ticket to Jakarta should cost Rp 130,000-150,000 in eksekutif bus - however the trip may be extremely tedious. The road is one of the busiest in Indonesia - despite that, much of it has only one lane in each direction, and there are lots of slow heavy trucks. There will be 3 or 4 rest stops on the way (20–30 minutes each), and at least some traffic jams near Jakarta, so even in an express bus what was advertised as 13–14 hours journey could easily turn into 18 or even 20.
Another option is to go by minibus (known in Indonesia as travel). A number of companies run door-to-door minibus services from and to major destinations in Java, including Malang and Yogyakarta. These services are both more convenient and more expensive than public buses. Seats can be booked in advance through company offices, and also through many hotels and travel agents.
Taxis are plentiful on the streets of Surabaya. Some taxis are not renowned for their reliability so stick to the well known firms: Blue Bird Group ☎+62 31 3721234, Orenz Taxi ☎ +62 31 8799999, Silver and Express. Always insist on a metered fare. Figure on Rp 20,000 for a cross-town trip and Rp 70,000 to the airport. Drivers will expect a minimum fare of Rp 15,000 for short trips and for longer trips, pay the fare shown on the meter rounded up to the nearest multiple of Rp 1,000. Drivers will appreciate a tip of a few thousand rupiah. Blue Bird has increased its minimum payment to 25,000, but it's still the most reliable taxi company.
Since the fuel price hike in November 2014, there are some taxi operators that still use the old tariff, such as Zebra Nusantara Taxi which uses gas for its taxi, so the Zebra operator never increases the taxi tariff if the gas price is not increased yet. Zebra still uses the old flag-fall tariff Rp 5,500 for the first kilometer. The cheapest tariff among taxi operators. Zebra Taxi has been a public company for about 10 years and reliable enough. ☎ +62 31 8416666.
A trip from Stasiun Gubeng to Pasar Keputran should cost around Rp 20,000.
Commuter city trains are extremely limited, serving some parts of Surabaya and Sidoarjo.
Train Stations in Surabaya
- Wonokromo Station ☎ +62 31 8410694
- Gubeng Station ☎ +62 31 5033115
- Pasar Turi Station ☎ +62 31 5345014
- Semut Station ☎ +62 31 3521465
This is a large populous city and buses are usually crowded. There are two class of bus: standard buses which are usually very full and patas buses (supposed to be first class, but it is still... a bus.)
Bemos in East Java are sometimes called Angkot or Mikrolet. They are plentiful in Surabaya and can be hailed fairly randomly.
Angguna (Angkutan Serba Guna or multi-purpose transport) are basically non-airconditioned, non-metered (bargain the price) taxis. This makes them cheaper than taxis but they are often in a poor state of repair.
Becak (cycle rickshaw) are a traditional form of transportation in Surabaya. Surprisingly, they are still visible everywhere in the city, unlike throughout most of Southeast Asia where they have nearly vanished already. Expect to pay around Rp 5,000 for a short-hop, or Rp 10,000 for a few blocks, Rp 20,000 for a multi-block haul. Drivers may not want to go a long way, and if it's stinking hot have a heart and pay them some more money. Note that some of them have sun and rain covers, though these can be a bit low at times. Also, they can vary quite a bit in width: if you are 'big boned' you might need one to yourself.
Another option to discover Surabaya is by car and there are many car rental companies.
- Museum Kesehatan dr. Adhyatma, MPH (Dr. Adhyatma Health Museum), Indrapura 17, ☏ , fax: . A museum built in the 1990s oriented towards the history of human health and sanitation.
- Museum Negeri Mpu Tantular Formerly the Stedelijk Historisch Museum Surabaya (Urban Historical Museum Surabaya) established by G.H. Von Faber in 1933. The largest museum in East Java, convering geology, biology, ethnography, archaeology, history, numismatics, philology, ceramics, fine arts and technology. Named after Mpu Tantular, a 14th-century Majapahit-era poet. Address: Raya Buduran (Barat Jembatan Layang), Sidoarjo 61252. Phone/Fax: 031 805-6688. museum-mputantular.com.
- Museum Rudi Isbandi (Modern and contemporary art museum), ☏ . Holdings collected from 1952 to 2009. Opened in 2009, and named after collector Rudi Isbandi. Address: Karangwismo I/10, Surabaya.
- Museum TNI AL Loka Jala Çrana (Loka Jaya Çrana Navy Museum), Candradimuka Kompleks Pendidikan TNI AL Bumimoro, Surabaya., ☏ . Monday-Thursday: 08:00 a.m.-14:00 p.m. Friday: 08:00 a.m.-15:00 p.m. Closed on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays. Established in 1969, the museum contains various displays related to the Indonesian Navy since the revolution era, including ships and amphibious tanks and a planetarium.
- Gereja Kelahiran Santa Perawan Maria. The oldest church in Surabaya. Beautiful glass panels and serene surroundings.
- Grahadi. The colonial-era residence of the Governor of East Java. You can watch Reog dance, a vigorous traditional dance at the nearby 'Balai Pemuda' (Youth Hall- one historical building in Surabaya) every Sunday at 08:30.
- G-Walk located in west Surabaya (CitraLand). There are many food stalls and bazaars at night where you can find a lot of good food. It gets very crowded at night and it's a place for a lot of young people to hang out. A new food market opened in 2011 and close to G-Walk you'll also find some bars. G-Walk is located between Pakuwon Super Mall and Ciputra Golf.
- Hok An Kiong Chinese Temple (Klenteng Jalan Coklat). Excellent example of an older Chinese Southeast Asian temple, built in the early 19th century. Numerous old wooden carvings and statues from around the region. Just ask a bicycle to bring you to "Jalan Coklat" (Chocolate street) and you'll see a bright red temple building. Afterwards, walk westward then north through some of the city's numerous examples of old colonial commercial architecture.
- House of Sampoerna. Situated in "old Surabaya"‚ this stately Dutch colonial-style compound was built in 1862 and is now a preserved historical site. Cited as the top tourist destination in Surabaya, the complex offers a museum, an art gallery, a cafe as well as souvenir shops. It also provides a City Sightseeing bus for free with a tour guide speaking English. Check out the timing for the museum's main attraction: hundreds of girls hand-rolling Indonesia's most prestigious cigarette, Dji Sam Soe, using traditional equipment: they do it at an unbelievable speed.
- Kya-Kya Kembang Jepun is now defunct. 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 atmosphere.
- Loop located in west Surabaya (Graha Famili). There are many food stalls and bazaars at night where you can find a lot of good food. It gets very crowded at night and it's a place for a lot of young people to hang out.
- Masjid Al Akbar Surabaya A huge mosque which some say is the biggest mosque in SE Asia, The mosque has a tower which is equipped with an elevator, so that visitors can see Surabaya from top of the tower, 65 m (195 ft) above ground level.
- Masjid Cheng Hoo, a small but impressively detailed modern mosque, built circa 2001 and named after Zheng He, the Chinese Muslim (of distant Turmenistani-heritage!) admiral who led the Ming Dynasty treasure fleets on their seven voyages through the South China Sea to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and East Africa. Beautiful Chinese architecture, and a large outdoor model of one of the ancient Chinese treasure vessels. About 10 minutes walk from Surabaya City Hall, or 5 minutes by "becak".
- Monumen Jalasveva Jayamahe A monument on Surabaya's seafront dedicated to the service of the Indonesian Navy.
- Monumen Kapal Selam KRI Pasopati (410), A Soviet-built submarine display which served in the Indonesian Navy since 1962. Launched in 1952, and since her decommissioning in 1990 has been preserved as a monument. The body/hull was slightly cut for stairs & door for easier public entrance & viewing. Beside the monument there is a building where a short film about the history of the submarine can be viewed. It is located beside the river next to Delta Plaza. You also can see the Suroboyo monument near the river.
- Pasar Ampel A large Arab market selling carpets and all sorts of other goodies. At the end of the main narrow lane is the mosque and grave of one of the nine Muslim saints of Java, Sunan Ampel.
- Pasar Keputran Apparently a small local food market.
- Surabaya Cathedral (Katedral Hati Kudus Yesus), seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Surabaya, established on 15 February 1928 as the Apostolic Prefecture of Surabaya from the Apostolic Vicariate of Batavia, promoted on 16 October 1941 as Apostolic Vicariate of Surabaya, promoted on 3 January 1961 as the Diocese of Surabaya, and renamed as such 22 August 1973. The local area apparently includes 150,457 (4.4%) Catholics.
- Surabaya Zoo (Kebun Binatang/Bonbin), 3 km south of the city centre (near Joyoboyo bus terminal). Was one of the largest and best in Southeast Asia, until mismanagement of the zoo led to death and suffering of its animal collection. You also can see the Suroboyo monument near the zoo entrance.
- The Red Bridge (Jembatan Merah), This red bridge plays a big role in Surabaya's history, but it is not the bridge that is the charm of this attraction, but the Dutch colonial era commercial area which lies in northern part of the city surrounding this bridge. The area is also known as Old Surabaya. See one of the best preserved Dutch colonial quarters in Indonesia.
- The Suramadu Bridge (Jembatan Suramadu), also known as the Surabaya-Madura Bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge which connects Surabaya on the island of Java and the town of Bangkalan on the island of Madura. The bridge has been open for the public since 2009.
- Kenjeran Beach (Pantai Kenjeran), is a beach with black sand.
- Tugu Pahlawan (Heroes monument), Jalan Pahlawan, Kel. Alun-Alun Contong, Kec. Bubutan, Jawa Timur 60175. A monument dedicated to the fallen heroes of Surabaya during the Independence war of 1945-49. Attached to the monument area is a museum called Museum Sepuluh Nopember containing an exhibit of the struggle for independence. There are uniforms, pictures, dioramas and a large collection of WWII era weapons (pistols, rifles, machine guns and a mortar). Most of the information is available in indonesian+english. Rp 5000.
- Swim and have fun with water in Ciputra Waterpark, a great place for swimming. It has a wave pool, slides, and more. This waterpark is located in the CitraLand complex. It is usually crowded on Saturdays, Sundays and other holidays. The waterpark is open until 20:00.
- Enjoy the local arts at Balai Pemuda, an art center in the heart of Surabaya, near the City Hall. You can watch the Reog Dance and other art performances. The big event is Festival Seni Surabaya (FSS), held every year in June. During the Dutch Colonial era, this building was a club called Simpangsche Societeit.
- Get around the Old Town area (around Kembang Jepun to the port) and enjoy the view of nice colonial buildings.
- Surabaya has several golf courses. Try to golf in Bukit Darmo Golf. This golf course is located in the elite housing area in West Surabaya. This course has 18 holes, designed by Jack Nicklaus II. Another alternative is Yani Golf. This course is built in hilly terrain and is the oldest course in town with the crypt of the last Dutch Governor on it. Otherwise, you can try Graha Famili golf course (18 holes), inside Graha Famili real estate site, near the Bukit Darmo Golf. Also Ciputra Golf found within Citraland Estate. For beginners, try Pakuwon Golf instead within Pakuwon Estate - an 18-hole par 3 course; the 'back nine' are quite challenging. There's also excellent Taman Dayu golf located about an hour drive south, towards Malang. There you also find the very nice course of Fina Golf. Another 9-hole Par 3 course can be found on the estate of Semen Gresik in the town of the same name. Generally golf in Surabaya is both great and cheap if you compare with most other countries.
- Watch movies in 21 Group cinemas, a nice cinema. 21 Cinemas have air-conditioners and nice seats. You can identify if a cinema is part of Group 21 from the last name, like Empire 21 or Tunjungan 21. And now there are also XXI which is still the same group of 21. The XXI cinema is available at SUTOS (Surabaya Town Square) and Tunjungan Plaza. The XXI cinemas are more expensive than 21 Cinema. This is where you can see the schedule of the cinemas .
Surabaya boasts some of South-East Asia's largest shopping malls. Try to shop between 1 May and 30 June when the Surabaya big sale is on. Discounts are up to 50% at this time.
- Tunjungan Plaza (TP), Jl Basuki Rahmat. Anchored by SOGO, Matahari, and Hero. The largest in central Surabaya, with four interconnected buildings (TP 1 - TP 4) selling everything. Good selection of restaurants on the top floors and the basement. Enjoy yourself at Stingers, a game area near the food court, or Timezone, a popular arcade.
- Galaxy Mall (GM), Jl Dharmahusada Indah Timur (Middle East Ring Road). Anchored by SOGO, Centro, Ranch Market 99, Cinema XXI and more than 400 shops selling well known brands such as Mango, Guess Marks ans Spencer, LaSenza, Next, Nine West, The Body Shop, L'Occitane, Mothercare and many more. There are two Food Courts, one completely dedicated to the best local Indonesian food and an International Food Court plus The Dining Town which gathers many fine-dining restaurants on one exclusive floor. The largest mall in the eastern part of Surabaya, with two interconnected buildings lavishly finished throughout with marble floors and stainless steel finishes.
- Supermal Pakuwon Indah (SPI) and Pakuwon Trade Center (PTC), Jl Puncak Indah Lontar (Middle West Ring Road). Anchored by Matahari, Hypermart, ACE, and Index. The largest in the western part of Surabaya. SPI contains the exclusive part of the mall and PTC is the less exclusive part. PTC has an area that sells pets.
- Surabaya Town Square (Sutos), Jl Adityawarman. Anchored by Foodmart. A shopping mall with the largest cinema studio in Surabaya. Open until midnight.
- Grand City Mall, Jl Gubeng Pojok. Next to Grand City Convention and Exhibition Hall. The luxurious mall in Surabaya.
- Lenmarc Mall, Jl Bukit Darmo Boulevard. Full glass façade and the first golf-view mall in Surabaya.
- Ciputra World Mall, Jl. Mayjen Sungkono. The longest escalator in Surabaya.
- Family Outlet, Jl. Raya Darmo Permai Selatan No. 11. Babies', boys', girls', men's, and women's clothing are available. Open 10:00-21:00.
- The Square, Jl Sumatra. At Big Box Complex. Men's, women's and children's apparel, featuring many branded items at discount prices. Open till 22:00
- Pasar Atom & Pasar Atom Mall, Jl Bunguran. Anchored by Hartani. A large, indoor Chinese and local market, selling foods, clothes, jewellery, catering to Chinese locals. You can bargain the prices here. Loads of DVDs (5k each) of movies made everywhere. Excellent food court (begins to open around 12:00), featuring excellent vegetarian cuisine among at least 40 other choices.
- City of Tomorrow (Cito), Jl Raya Jendral Ahmad Yani. Anchored by Matahari and Hypermart.
- Plaza Surabaya (Delta Plaza), Jl Pemuda. Anchored by Matahari and Superindo. One of the oldest shopping malls in town. Beside Delta Plaza is the Monkasel (Monumen Kapal Selam) or the Submarine Monument.
- Royal Plaza, Jl Raya Jendral Ahmad Yani. Anchored by Matahari, Hypermart, ACE and Index. Another medium size shopping mall in Surabaya.
- BG Junction, Jl Bubutan. Anchored by Carrefour (be warned: dismal cheese selection, long queues) and Cahaya. A variety of jewellery stores so if you want to buy jewellery you definitely have to go to this place. The food court is terrible unless you would like yet another "special" Indonesian dish (check out Pasar Atom's, instead).
- ITC, Jl Gembong. Anchored by Carrefour.
- Golden City Mall, Jl Abdul Wahab Siamin. Anchored by Carrefour.
- Maspion Square, Jl Margorejo Indah. Anchored by Giant. A shopping mall situated in Southern Surabaya.
- Jembatan Merah Plaza (JMP).
- Pusat Grosir Surabaya (PGS).
- Darmo Trade Center (DTC).
- Kapas Krampung Plaza (Kaza).
- Royal Square (due to open in 2010).
- World Trade Center (WTC), off Jl Pemuda. Despite its name, the building is actually more famous as the place to shop for mobile phones. Beware of pickpockets. Locals often refer to it as 'World Telephone Center'.
- HI-TECH Mall (THR Mall), Jl Kusuma Bangsa. The ultimate place to shop for computers, software and computer peripherals.
- Plasa Marina, Jl Margorejo Indah. a shopping area for computers, software, and cellphones.
- Empire Palace, Jl Blauran. A place specialising in weddings and jewellery.
- Roode Brug Soerabaia, Jl Pucang Anom Timur 70. Heritage souvenirs specialist. Reference books about old Surabaya, miniatures of Suramadu Bridge and KRI Pasopati Submarine which is done with a high level of detail. Heritage buildings on T-shirts such as the lindeteves-stokvis & Haven Kantoor building. You can enquire about a special heritage tour to Surabaya old kampong and heritage building.
- Cak Cuk Surabaya, Jl Mayjen Sungkono 35, Putat Gede, Sukomanunggal, ☏ . Eclectic souvenir shop with the theme of Surabaya on many of its products.
- Pasar Genteng, Jl Genteng Besar. Around this market you'll find shops selling bandeng asap (smoked milk fish) and kerupuk (local chips). Also known as the largest electronic spare part market in Indonesia (level 2 and above).
- Pasar Ampel A large colourful Arab Market, and a definite highlight of the city. You are able to find unique food here. An excellent place to shop for hats, imported dates, perfumes, water pipes and tobacco, a Quran for that special someone, etc. Dress reasonably conservatively and be friendly. Most people are very warm and it is perfectly safe in the day time, but you can meet the odd person who is less than warmly welcoming to westerners. It is probably best not to amble down too many alleys here at night.
Surabaya is famous for rujak cingur, a local salad with sauce and cingur (slices of cooked cow nose). Try also the sate kelopo, satay with coconut rasp which you can find in Jalan Walikota Mustajab.
Surabaya is home to a huge number of restaurants - this is an eating culture.
Don't forget to try pecel, gado-gado, semanggi, bakso, es cendol, es campur, es teler, and es kacang ijo (mung bean milk).
Kue lapis Surabaya is the local variety of a cake that's made throughout large parts of Indonesia and Malaysia.
- Kafe Bromo, Sheraton Surabaya Hotel & Towers, Jl. Embong Malang 25-31, ☏ . Offers delicious all day dining in a relaxed setting with a view that gives to pool.
- Lung Yuan Chinese Restaurant, Sheraton Surabaya Hotel & Towers, Jl. Embong Malang 25-31, ☏ . The menu features fresh seafood, premium fish and various Cantonese dishes. Has a private room suitable for a business meeting or family gathering.
- Tradewinds Restaurant, Jl. Raya Kupang Baru 17A, ☏ , email@example.com.
- Qua-Li. Specialized in authentic Singaporean and Hong Kong cuisines conveniently and inexpensively, Qua-Li tenants are located at East Coast Center, Supermal Pakuwon Indah, Tunjungan Plaza, Galaxy Mall and many other shopping centers.
- JW Marriott Hotel. International buffet, French, Tang Palace Chinese and Japanese themed restaurants.
- Angus House, World Trade Centre & HR. Muhammad. Premium quality steak.
- Peking Duck, Tunjungan Plaza 4. Crispy Peking duck.
- Sea Master, Mayjend Sungkono. Fresh seafood.
- Boncafe, Mayjend Sungkono. Popular steakhouse next to the Sea Master restaurant.
- Trattoria Valentino, Jl. Bukit Darmo Golf R-12 (next to the golf club), ☏ . Italian owned restaurant, wood fried pizza, hand made pastas. Family style, good prices. Italian, English and Indonesian speakers.
- Surabaya Suki, Jl Raya Gubeng 34, ☏ . Popular steam boat restaurant. Also serves a variety of Chinese, Thai and other Asian cuisines. Try "Thai Singkong" dessert. Also serves Hong Kong style Dim Sum all day and night.
- Portofino, Shangri-la Hotel, Mayjend Sungkono. Great Italian food, can be pricey.
- Capital, Lenmarc Mall. There are no other restaurants serving complete original Western dishes except here in Capital, located in Lenmarc Mall.
- Crystal Jade Chinese Restaurant, Lenmarc Mall. Cooked by chefs from Singapore and China.
- Food courts, in all the main shopping malls offer a variety of Indonesian, Western Chinese and Japanese dishes at reasonable prices. The shopping malls also have good variety of small restaurants.
- Ahimsa Restaurant, Kusuma Bangsa 80, ☏ . Open from 7AM-10PM daily. Best known vegetarian restaurant in stylish decor. Pan Asian, Chinese and Indonesian cuisine.
- American Grill, Tunjungan Plaza 3 Lower Ground Floor. All you can eat American-style salads, soups, hot appetisers, desserts, steak, seafood, chicken and salad.
- 1 Domicile Kitchen and Lounge, Jalan Sumatra No.35, ☏ (031) 5016900 , firstname.lastname@example.org. 11 AM - 1 AM or 11 AM - 2 AM (on Saturday). A modern and chic kitchen, serving "new-age" cuisine and pastry prepared from high quality materials. Unique design through parts of the building, VIP Room available by reservation. Open for brunch until late night for supper and cocktails.
- Kahyangan Resto, Citraland. Authentic à la carte Indonesian cuisines accompanied with an Oriental touch are served here at precise prices.
- Soto Ayam Ambengan, Jl. Ambengan. Serves soto, a yellow soup with chicken meat, noodle and cabbage. The soup is yellow because of the turmeric and other spices.
- Hary Hary Restaurant, Jl. Musi 47. Special Indonesian grilled fresh fish and prawn in Dutch colonial house with cozy and classy atmosphere. Many other heritage recipes like tahu tek-tek,nasi goreng,sate kelapa, etc.
- Puri Garden, 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.
- Bakwan Dempo, Jl Dempo, Bakwan and fried or braised stuffed intestines.
- Bakwan Gili, Ps Atum, Authentic Bakwan.
- Bakwan Kapasari, Mayjend Sungkono. Serving meatballs (called bakwan), soup, tofu (called tahu), siomay and more since 1930s.
- Nasi Uduk Kebon Kacang, Jl HR Muhammad, Jl. Ahmad Yani. Serving nasi uduk, Indonesian version of nasi lemak.
- Bakwan Dempo 19, Jl. HR Muhammad 46. Try Bakwan campur, meatballs (bakwan) with siomay, tahu.
- Depot You Yuen, Jl Undaan Kulon 87. Local vegetarian cuisine. Indonesian speakers only.
- Ayam Bakar Prima Rasa, Jl.Kusuma Bangsa 3a, Jl.Raya Manyar Kertoajo 78, Jl.Raya Kupang Indah 1a, Jl. Indonesian food, especially grilled chicken (ayam bakar). BBQ fish (gurame bakar) with nice soy sauce, fresh fried fish (gurame goreng) looks like it is flying when served.
- Ikan Bakar Cianjur, Mayjend Sungkono, Jl. Manyar Kertoarjo V. Try the ikan pesmol, fried fish with delicious local sauce or Nila Goreng, fried Nila fish with sambal or 'hot sauce'.
- Ayam Goreng Kertajaya, Jl Pemuda (opposite Bonnet Supermarket and to Jl Jaksa Agung Suprapto.
- Kartika Pujasera, Jl. Diponegoro. Pujasera is the abbreviation of 'Pusat Jajan Serba Ada' or if translated in English, 'complete snack Centre'. Here you can order various local food, ranging from semanggi, bakso, pecel, tahu tek, mie kluntung, gado-gado, lontong balap, bakwan kotak, to bebek goreng.
- Rawon Setan, Jl. Embong Malang, (opposite JW Marriott Hotel). Open 24 hr a day. Favourite among the locals.
- Sate Klopo Ondomohen Jl. Walikota Mustajab. Local minced beef satay mixed with shredded coconut. One of Surabaya Cuisine
- Leko Jl. HR Muhammad. Serves Indonesian cuisines and specialises in beef ribs presented in a special spices.
- A&W, 3 food court. TP SuperMall
- McDonald's, 3 food court. TP Galaxy Mall, Surabaya Plaza, and almost any other mall/plaza
- KFC, Jl. Basuki Rachmat 16-18 (Gelael Supermarket). Also in many larger malls.
- Burger Bunder, Jl. Gayungsari Barat 125. The original recipe Surabaya burger.
Ice cream and pastry
- Jasmine Ice Cream and Pastries, Grand City Mall lt 2-38, Jl. Gubeng Pojok no. 1, Galaxy Mall Lt 2 - 315. ☎ +62 31 594 7452, ☎ +62 31 7099-1431
- 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. ☎ +62 31 843 2545. Galaxi, Jl. Dharmahusada Indah Timur No.37 Lt.2.☎ +62 31 593 7159. Plaza Tunjungan 4 - Jl. Embong Malang 7-21, ☎ +62 31 535 5081. Pakuwon Supermall, Perumahan Pakuwon Indah, ☎ +62 31 739 0331. Golden City Mall, Jl H. Abdul Wahab Siamin 2- 8.☎ +62 31 565 3386. Baskin and Robbins. Ice cream parlour.
- Es Krim Zangrandi, Jl Yos Sudarso. The oldest ice cream stall in town. Located in downtown area, at Jl. Yos Sudarso, near the Balai Pemuda.
- Turin Italian Es Krim, Jl Embong Kenongo.
- Amore, Jl Raya Kertajaya Indah.
- Cocofrio Ice Cream, Jl Dharmawangsa 113-A-B
- 15 Palms (Pub and Sports Bar), Taman Gapura, Blok H 1 (Citraland). 4:30PM-12midnight.
- 360 Royal Plaza, Jl.Ahmad Yani.
- Big Box Cafe, Jl.Sumatra. Under renovation but still open. Seems to have some other names, like 'Lava Lounge' and 'Box Entertainment Complex'. Basically an outdoor bar/restaurant with couches/stools, some decent western food and juice, alcohol and regular live music.
- Blowfish Kitchen & Bar@MEX One Stop Entertainment, Jl.Pregolan, Tegalsari.
- The Capital Restaurant & Lounge, Lenmarc Mall G-12, ☏ . 10:00-02:00. Californian Fusion, Tex-Mex and Asian food. Wide range of beverages including CO2 cocktails and jelly noodles. Special liquors have lower price rates during special hours. $$$$.
- Citilites Skyclub & Bistro (Java Paragon Hotel), Jl. Mayjend Sungkono 101-103, ☏ . 18:00-23:00. On the 21st floor with a good view of the city lights. Regional and international beverages, snacks and pastries. Cozy and stylish. $$$$.
- Colors Pub & Resto, Jl. Sumatra 81. Popular and very, very loud nightclub.
- Coyote Top Ten Bar, at Plaza Tunjungan
- The D Club, Jl. Mayjend Sungkono 83, ☏ . 12:00-23:00. Comfortable place to enjoy wine, and premium cigars from Indonesia, Cuba, Honduras and Nicaragua.
- D'esperados, (Shangri la Hotel), Jl. Mayjend Sungkono.
- Foreplay Eclectic Lounge, Sutos, Jl.Adityawarman No 55.
- Ice Club, Lenmarc Mall. Drinking of spirits in a club environment.
- Kantor Discotheque, Jl Semut Kali. Very nice place to hang out and drink at decent price.
- Kowloon Palace Discotheque, at Delta Plaza or known as Plaza Surabaya building. Very nice place to hang out and chill out.
- Lava Lounge, Jl. Sumatra 40 (near the Japanese consulate office), ☏ . 16:00-13:00, midnight on Fri/Sat. Cheap beer, great outdoor setting. Nice regulars that are expats and Indonesian. Arak Bali (an Indonesian vodka-like spirit), cocktails, coffee, tenderloin steak, nachos.
- Lido, off Jl Mayjen Sungkono. Expat-oriented bar.
- Tavern, at the Hyatt Regency.
- The Penthouse, East Plaza, Ngagel.
- Vertical Six, (V-Six at J.W. Marriott Hotel), Jl. Embong Malang.
The tap water is unsafe to drink, make sure you order your drinks or soft drinks that come in sealed bottles. One drinking water brand that is pretty well known here is Cheers, the official drinking water of Surabaya approved by the city government.
- Merdeka, Jl. Bongkaran No. 6 (near station Kota), ☏ , . Check-out: 14pm. From Rp 120,000.
- Family Guest House, Jl. Gubeng Kertajaya 8C No. 15 (find Bank International Indonesia at Kertajaya Main St), ☏ . Check-in: 10:00, check-out: 13:00. Clean room and familiar service. Serves good coffee, hot chocolatte, and tea all day long. Free 24 hr internet connection through wifi. Rp 300,000.
- Green House Homestay, Unimas Garden Regency H 23 Waru Sidoarjo (nearby Surabaya West), ☏ , , . Air-con, cable TV, free WiFi, bath, breakfast. Rp 100,000-200,000.
- Puri Kencana, Jl. Kalimantan. Worn rooms with air-con and cold water including decent Indonesian breakfast. USD 10-15.
- Kassanda. Hot water bath rooms, without breakfast. from USD 19.
- Soerabaya Place Homestay, Jl. Jaksa Agung Suparapto (near City Hall), ☏ . Clean, quiet and friendly. Hot water, WiFi in rooms. Tea, coffee available in the morning, hot water all day. No breakfast included, but menu available. Refrigerator available. Rp 175,000-200,000.
- Pavillijoen Hotel, Jl. Pasar Genteng 94 (near Tunjungan Plaza-SOGO), ☏ . A classic old Dutch colonial era hotel. Mostly for backpackers and family stays. Single, double, or triple spacious rooms. Only fan, but not so hot due to the high ceilings. Breakfast with hot tea. At night, this street becomes a night market where you can find cheap goods and food. Rp 120,000-185,000.
- Sparkling Backpacker Hotel (nearby train station, central), ☏ . Air-con, WiFi. No dorm, only private rooms. Rp 115,000-225,000.
- Singgasana Hotel Surabaya, Gunungsari Street, Surabaya 60224, Indonesia, ☏ . 120 rooms and 4 self-contained villas, all have cable TV, Internet and telephone, mini-bar, private toilet, bath and shower. Airport/city transfers and car rental, business centre, currency exchange, banquet and meeting venues, swimming pool and spa. From US$73.
- TS Suites, ☏ . 126 rooms of 2 CEO Suites, 5 family suites of 2 bedrooms and 119 Executive Suites.
- Puri Darmo Service Residence. Darmo. A variety of restaurants, business organisations, banks, shopping malls, entertainment and international schools are provided in the Darmo commercial area. The Central Business District of Surabaya (Jalan Basuki Rachmat) is a short drive away and access to other regions of the city is easy with the major toll roads and highway nearby.
- Ibis Rajawali. Good discounts online for advance bookings.
- Sahid Convenient for Gubeng Railway Station, but maintenance of rooms can be spotty. Around US$30–35 including breakfast.
- Weta International Welcoming and modern hotel in a central location. Around US$30 including breakfast.
- Mercure Grand Mirama. Located in the city centre.
- Equator. Nice bungalows, on cobblestone roads, some with attached garages.
- Novotel. Nice resort hotel with outdoor hallways. Pool with abundant plants and waterslide. From US$50.
- Garden Palace, (Next to Surabaya Plaza), DIM SUM, Japanese & Chinese food.
- Hotel Tunjungan, Located next to Tunjungan Plaza. Convenient to mall and mall's food court.
- Surabaya Plaza Hotel. Conventional business hotel close to Surabaya Plaza.
- Sheraton Surabaya Hotel & Towers, ☏ . Embong Malang 25 - 31. (Next Tunjungan Plaza)
- Majapahit Hotel, ☏ . 65 Jalan Tunjungan. Opulent colonial-era boutique hotel. Built by the Sarkies brothers in 1910, whose other hotels include the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, the Eastern & Oriental in Penang and the Strand Hotel in Yangon. Good service and staff. From US$70, although local travel agents may get better prices.
- Shangri-La Hotel Surabaya, ☏ . Close to golf courses in Darmo area. Pool with abundant plants and waterslide. From US$80.
- Hotel Bumi Surabaya (Previously known as Hyatt Regency). Conventional business hotel. Indonesian President stays here.
As with any big city, never let your guard down, because big cities such as Surabaya have a reputation among Indonesians for a mid crime rate. That said, Surabaya has few real dangers for visitors apart from the perils of crossing the very busy roads (the secret is to raise an arm while crossing, and to progress with a predictable speed and bearing, allowing the traffic to flow around you). Don't walk on the streets, especially at night other than the CBD area, if you can avoid it since you won't have anything to sightsee. Bring along your face mask if you travel by foot during rush hour since the traffic will be chaos and the air pollution is bad. (Around 16:30 to 18:30) Be polite to the people, since Surabayans tend to swear easily which is very common. Do not easily trust people you have just met, even if they look friendly.
Avoid drinking tap water. Bottled water is available in most places. One of the trusted brands is Cheers, the official drinking water of Sparkling Surabaya.
Surabaya has hospitals with 24 hr emergency rooms Unit Gawat Darurat (UDG) (ER)
- RSUD Dr. Soetomo, Jl. Prof. Moestopo 6-8. ☎ +62 31 5340061.
- RSUD Haji, Jl. Manyar Kertoadi. ☎ +62 31 5947760.
- RS Darmo, Jl. Raya Darmo. Unit Gawat Darurat. ☎ +62 31 5676253.
- RS Mitra Keluarga, Jl. Satelit Indah II Darmo Satelit. ☎ +62 31 7345333. (Worst hospital for emergency, doctors chat with med reps before seeing patients, very unprofessional)
- RS William Booth, Jl. Diponegoro 34. ☎ +62 31 5678917.
- RS Vincentius. A. Paulo, Jl. Diponegoro 51. ☎ +62 31 5677562 hunting 
- Rumah Sakit PHC Surabaya,Jl. Prapat Kurung Selatan No. 1 Tanjung Perak Surabaya. ☎ +62 31 3294801 - 3. (Fax +62 31 3294804) UGD 24 hr ☎ +62 31 3294118. (email@example.com')
- RS Adi Husada Kapasari, Jl. Kapasari 97-101 ☎ +62 31 3764 555 (Fax:+61 31 3764 666 firstname.lastname@example.org)
- RS Adi Husada, Jl. Undaan Wetan No. 40 - 44. 
- RS Surabaya Internasional (Ramsay Health Care), formerly HCoS, Jl. Nginden Intan Barat No. 1-6. ☎ +62 31 5993211. (Fax:+62 31 5993214). http://www.ramsayhealth.co.id/
- Siloam Hospital, Jl Gubeng Raya 70. ☎ +62 31 5031333, +62 31 5031821, +62 31 5038211
- RS Husada Utama, Jl. Mayjen Prof. Dr. Moestopo 31-33-35. ☎ +62 31 5017975
The international code for Indonesia is +62. Local Surabaya phone numbers will start +62 31 xxx xxxx or +62 31 xxxx xxxx for the CDMA provider or +62 8xx xxxx xxxx for the GSM provider.
There are four main telecommunication providers in Surabaya: Telkom, Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL.
To make an international call from Surabaya, dial the access code 001 (for Indosat), 007 (for Telkom/Telkomsel), or 008 (for Indosat), followed by the country code, area code and party's number. Recently the providers have started offering cheaper rates for calls using Internet telephony routes (VOIP). The access codes for this cheaper service are 01016 for Indosat provider and 01017 for Telkom and Telkomsel provider.
If you have your own laptop, it may run free wifi networks at many malls. Ask at the information desk for access codes. Free hotspots are also available in most restaurants and cafes. Several hotels also provide free hotspots in their lobby. All major hotels provide internet access in one or more ways; simply ask them about this when you make your booking.
Alternatively, if you have a compatible 3G mobile phone and a laptop, tethering to your PC is the quickest way to gain internet access although speeds might not impress. Note that prepaid SIM cards can be purchased very easily and cheaply, and that service activation is completed on the user's phone very quickly. Once activated, recharge with credits as necessary. Internet access is usually available at this stage; refer to your phone's user manual for tethering instructions. Operators will usually offer internet packets that offer cheaper access fees-instructions to access these services are available in the booklet that comes with your SIM card (i.e. XL's services are accessible by dialing *123#). BlackBerry Internet Service is readily available and can be registered similarly on the prepaid SIM.
Internet cafes are available in many parts of the city with a price of Rp 4,000-Rp 5,000 per hour. However, most of them only have dial-up capabilities. Most of the internet cafes can be found around universities, and in most shopping malls.
Internet speeds in Surabaya are rarely fast, regardless of your connection. They are usually sufficient to make decent Skype voice calls, although HD video calling may not be possible. Temporarily disabling software updates (Windows Update, security software updates, Adobe Updater, etc.) may help maximise access speeds.
Tourism information office
- Jl Wisata Menanggal, . ☎ +62 31 8531815, +62 31 8531820.
- TIC Balai Pemuda, Jl Pemuda Surabaya, ☎ +62 31 5340444
- Ambulance ☎ 118.
- Police ☎ 110.
- East Java Police HQ: Jl. Ahmad Yani. ☎ +62 31 8280748.
- Surabaya Police HQ: Jl. Sikatan 1. ☎ +62 31 3523927.
- East Surabaya, Jl. Sidodadi. ☎ +62 31 5341053, +62 31 3711052.
- North Surabaya, Jl. Raden Saleh. ☎ +62 31 5688099, +62 31 5341053.
- South Surabaya, Jl. Dukuh Kupang Barat 16. ☎ +62 31 3711052, +62 31 5670641.
- Tanjung Perak, Jl. Kalianget 1. ☎ +62 31 3293023, +62 31 62 31 3293023.
- Czech Republic, Wisma Dharmala Lt. 2 Room 5, Jl. Panglima Sudirman No, 101-103, ☏ , fax: .
- Denmark, Jl. Sambas No 10, ☏ .
- France, Jl. Darmokali No 10, ☏ , .
- Germany, Jl. Dr. Wahidin 29, ☏ .
- Hungary, Hotel JW Marriott Lt. 3, Jl. Embong Malang, ☏ .
- Japan, Jl. Sumatera 93, ☏ .
- The Netherlands, Jl. Untung Suropati No. 1, ☏ , .
- Philippines, Jl. Kaliwaron 128, ☏ .
- Sweden, Jl. Sambas No. 10, East Java, ☏ .
- United Kingdom, c/o Lamipak Primula Indonesia 26, Jl. Sawunggaling, Gilang-Taman, Sidoarjo, ☏ , .
- United States, Jl. Citra Raya Niaga No. 2, ☏ , fax: .
- Taman Safari II is the second and probably biggest Taman Safari in terms of acreage in Indonesia, located in the foothills of Prigen. This park runs of the most successful Javan tiger conservation programs in Asia. This park is not like an ordinary zoo. You must drive through the park in your own car or in the sightseeing bus provided within the park, passing an interesting and amusing collection of local and international animals clustered within areas themed according to their original habitat - Americas, Asia, Africa and Indonesia. There's also a food court, mechanical and animal rides, petting zoo and animal shows. The park is usually crowded on weekends and public holidays. However, it is mostly deserted during weekdays.
- Mount Bromo is a popular 4 hour trip from Surabaya.
- Tretes and Trawas are 2 hrs away. Pleasant villas among hills. Good food. There are many roasted corn stalls at night.
- Malang and Batu are 2 hrs away. Malang (height: just over 400 m) is a coolish very busy city with some nostalgic charming houses and boulevards preserved from colonial period. Hotels, recreation areas, villas such as picnics and sports clubs are widely available. Bantu (height: around 1,000 m) is a hill resort around 30 mins by car to the west of Malang. Higher again (around 2,000 m), just beyond Batu to the north on the slopes of Mt Arjuna, is the well-known hill resort of Selecta.
- Wisata Bahari Lamongan (WBL) is 1 hr away.
- Trowulan is believed to be the capital of the Majapahit Empire that reached its golden age in the 14th century. If you love culture and history, this is definitely a place worth visiting. There are few remains of the Majapahit Empire, such as the Ancient Pool (Kolam Segaran), Tikus Temple, Brahu Temple, Bajang Ratu temple, museum and more. Here you can also see a sacred graveyard where people from other places around the area in Java often visit for a pilgrimage.