Surabaya, the capital city of East Java in Indonesia, is a bustling metropolis known for its vibrant street life, rich history, and modern developments. As the second-largest city in Indonesia, Surabaya offers a diverse range of attractions, from historical landmarks to cultural sites and delicious culinary experiences. Planning an itinerary in Surabaya allows you to explore the city’s unique charm and discover its hidden gems. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the steps of creating a well-structured itinerary to make the most of your time in Surabaya.

Table of Contents

Determine the Duration of Your Trip:

The first step in planning your Surabaya itinerary is to decide how long you will be staying in the city. Surabaya offers a variety of attractions, so the duration of your trip will greatly influence what you can see and do. While a minimum of three to four days is recommended to explore the main highlights, consider extending your stay if you want to delve deeper into the city’s culture and explore nearby destinations.

Research and Prioritize Attractions:

Surabaya has a mix of historical and contemporary attractions that cater to different interests. Research the different attractions in Surabaya, such as the House of Sampoerna, Suramadu National Bridge, Heroes Monument, Surabaya Submarine Monument, Tugu Pahlawan, and the vibrant markets of Pasar Atom and Pasar Genteng. Prioritize the attractions that align with your interests and create a list of must-visit places.

Plan Accommodation:

Once you have identified the attractions you want to visit, it’s time to plan your accommodation. Surabaya offers a range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. Consider staying in the city center, near the Tunjungan Plaza area, for easy access to shopping malls and restaurants. Alternatively, you can opt for accommodations near the historic area of Old Surabaya or the trendy neighborhoods of Darmo and Kertajaya for a different experience.

Create a Day-by-Day Itinerary:

With your accommodation settled, it’s time to create a day-by-day itinerary. Consider the following sample itinerary as a starting point:

Day 1: Explore Surabaya’s Historical Sites:
Begin your Surabaya adventure with a visit to the House of Sampoerna, a museum and cigarette factory that showcases the city’s tobacco history. Continue to the Heroes Monument and Surabaya Submarine Monument to learn about Indonesia’s struggle for independence. Conclude the day by exploring the vibrant markets of Pasar Atom and Pasar Genteng, where you can find a variety of local goods and street food.

Day 2: Discover Cultural Gems:
Start the day with a visit to the Grand Mosque of Surabaya, one of the largest mosques in Indonesia, known for its stunning architecture. Explore the Cheng Hoo Mosque, a unique Chinese-style mosque that represents Surabaya’s multiculturalism. Continue to the Surabaya Museum, which houses a collection of historical artifacts and cultural displays. In the evening, immerse yourself in the traditional arts at the Surabaya Arts Center, where you can watch performances or even participate in workshops.

Day 3: Enjoy Nature and Modern Surabaya:
Embark on a day trip to the Surabaya North Quay, a waterfront area that offers panoramic views of the city skyline and the iconic Suramadu National Bridge. Take a boat ride to the nearby Madura Island and explore its cultural villages and scenic landscapes. Return to Surabaya in the afternoon and visit the trendy area of Darmo and Kertajaya, known for its hip cafes, boutique shops, and vibrant street art.

Day 4: Culinary Exploration and Farewell:
Spend your last day in Surabaya indulging in its culinary delights. Start with a visit to the Pasar Genteng market, where you can sample various local dishes and snacks. Try Surabaya’s signature dishes such as rawon (beef soup), lontong balap (rice cake with bean sprouts), and rujak cingur (a salad with cow snouts). Conclude your Surabaya journey by enjoying a relaxing stroll along Tunjungan Street, shopping at the city’s modern malls, and bidding farewell to the city’s vibrant atmosphere.

Embrace Local Experiences:

While exploring Surabaya, embrace the local experiences and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture. Engage with locals, learn about traditional arts and crafts, or participate in a cooking class to discover the secrets of Indonesian cuisine. Embrace the warmth and friendliness of the Surabayan people and get a taste of their daily lives.

Allow for Flexibility:

While it’s important to have a well-planned itinerary, leave room for flexibility. Surabaya is a dynamic city with hidden gems and unexpected discoveries. Be open to local recommendations, try out new experiences, and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant energy.


Planning an itinerary in Surabaya allows you to uncover the city’s historical treasures, experience its cultural diversity, and savor its culinary delights. By determining the duration of your trip, researching attractions, planning accommodation, creating a day-by-day itinerary, embracing local experiences, and allowing for flexibility, you can make the most of your time in Surabaya and create unforgettable memories in this vibrant Indonesian city. Immerse yourself in Surabaya’s history, explore its cultural sites, indulge in local flavors, and embrace the warm hospitality that makes Surabaya a remarkable destination.

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