If you’re planning a weekend break from Singapore you’ll find lots of things to do in and around Batam. It’s an easy place to get to. The island is a short 40-minute speed boat ride from Singapore, and you can do all the things you could do in Singapore in Batam for a fraction of the price.
To help you plan your itinerary in Batam we created a list of 15 top things to do in and around Batam. We also included some multi-day trips you can do from Batam (like visiting one of the best tropical islands in Asia). Let’s start this list with some of the most popular things to do on the island.
5 Essential List of Things to Do in and Around Batam
1: Try Watersports
Watersports are one of the obvious highlights of Batam. While the facilities at Sentosa Beach Resort are undoubtedly good, it can’t compete with the low prices of wakeboarding and water skiing in Batam. One of the places to visit in Batam for watersports is the Batam Cable Ski Park. The park offers canoeing, jet skiing and snorkeling. Name it and they probably have it! Another recommended place to visit is Batam View Beach Resort.
2: Enjoy the Seafood
Food has to be included in any list of what to do in Batam. The harbor-front town offers fresh and marvelous seafood delicacies for a third of the price in Singapore. Three of the best seafood restaurants in town include Sei Enam Seafood, the best restaurant in Batam according to TripAdvisor, Rezeki Seafood Restaurant and Harbour Bay Seafood.
At Sei Enam we recommend the chili crab fix. Rezeki Seafood is famous for the black pepper crab and best calamari in town. Meanwhile Harbour Bay Seafood Restaurant has nice food and a lively atmosphere.
3: Grab a Massage
A massage at a luxury spa in Singapore will set you back a couple of hundred dollars. In Batam that figure is closer to a couple of dollars, so you might as well treat yourself. A good recommendation for a massage is Isabella Massage House. This is another one of those places you have to visit while you’re in Batam. The massages are a bit expensive, but after getting pampered and relaxed, you’d know why. We created a nice 3 Day 2 Night guide to Batam here.
4: Visit Bintan and Galang Islands
While you could do each of these top three things to do in Batam separately, you could easily combine them. If you have the money the private resorts on Bintan and Galang islands offer you a luxurious getaway without spending money like you would if you stayed at Marina Bay Sands. The Sanchaya, Banyan Tree Bintan and Angsana are just a few of the luxurious resorts that you can put on your Batam ‘to do’ list.
5: Explore the Anambas Islands
This place might take some time to reach, as the island is quite far from Batam, but putting this on your list of things to do in Batam is a must. Why? Well, the Anambas Islands were named as CNN’s Asia’s Best Tropical Island in 2013. The islands have great dive spots with endangered and protected species of turtles and sandy beaches lined with coconut trees. These islands are definitely a dream come true for any explorer.
Interesting Things to do In and Around Batam
6: Try Diving and Snorkeling
If you plan to get your dive certification then the islands surrounding Batam are a good place to visit. The most famous dive spots are around Abang Island, Petong Island, Hantu Island, and Labun Island. Visibility in the water is normally very high, so you can see far, and there is a lot to see. Recommended if you want to start diving.
7: Relax at Nongsa Beach
Of course we had to include a beach in the list of things to do in Batam. Nongsa Beach is one of the best beaches around Batam. The beach is a nice place to enjoy sunset dinners and spas, and has a quieter feel compared to the rest of the island. It’s a nice place to get some downtime if you feel like you need it.
8: Visit the Malls
One of the most popular things to do in Batam is to visit the shopping malls! Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is the biggest in the city. You can also try the BCs Mall or the Mega Mall Batam Center. While groceries are cheaper in Indonesia, the price of branded clothing is more or less the same as Singapore. For ideas on what to do in the malls, especially if you have family, you can check this blog post on Mad Psych Mum.
9: Enjoy the Nightlife
If you’re a night owl and prefer to be up and about at night, you won’t have a shortage of places to go to in Batam! The Nagoya Entertainment District, or NED as expats in the area call it, is full of pubs, bars and nightclubs. Drinks are cheap compared to Singapore and you can get cocktails for less than $5.
10: Play a Round of Golf
There are seven golf courses on Batam. These are Batam Hills Golf Resort, Padang Golf Sukajadi, Indah Puri Golf Resort, Southlinks Golf and Country Club, Tamarin Santana Golf Club, Tering Bay Golf and Country Club, and the Palm Springs Golf and Beach Resort. Each of the seven courses are maintained to international standards and have amenities such as bars and restaurants. Sukajadi is probably the best course around Batam.
11: Discover Pulau Penyengat
If you want to try something a bit different you can visit Penyengat Island. The island is small. You can circle it in about two hours. But with so much history – there’s a mosque (Masjid Kuning) that was strengthened with eggshells – and a lot of friendly locals, you might want to find spare some time to tick this off your things to do in Batam list.
12: Tua Pek Kong Temple and Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya Temples
Visiting temples will not be at the top of your ‘to do’ list while in Batam, but it can be interesting none the less. The Maha Vihara Duta Maitreya is the biggest temple in Southeast Asia, with a land area of 4.5 hectares. Tua Pek Kong Temple is the oldest Buddhist temple on the island of Batam. You can see the Chinese influence of the architecture of the temple.
13: Abang Island
Abang Island is a popular spot with divers. The island is famous for its underwater coral gardens and is regularly referred to as offering the best dive spots around Batam. If you enjoy diving and snorkeling you should definitely visit. The best time to visit the island for diving is between April and August, when the waves are smaller and the current is calmer.
14: Sunset at Barelang Bridge
The Barelang Bridge is a local landmark around Batam. The bridge connects Batam to Galang Island. Galang. Many people add a visit to Barelang Bridge to their Batam itinerary. It’s an interesting place to see and if you are a photographer you can get a good photo here, but I think you need to be a bit of a bridge person or an engineer to really appreciate it.
15: Visit the Stilt Houses of Batam
In old Batam many of the houses were built above water on stilts. You can still find some of these stilt houses in the older parts of the city and the villages that surround it. One of the most well known villages for this type of architecture is the fishing village called Tanjung Uma.
I hope this article gave you some ideas for things to do in and around Batam and places to visit a bit further away. If you’re looking for a more organised guide there are lots of great articles to help you arrange your itinerary and cover what to expect when you arrive by Singaporean bloggers. For example there’s this one by Winsome Life, Going Places and Fiona Seah among others.
Have you ever visited Batam? What did you think about the island and what’s your favorite thing to do here? Share your thoughts in the comments below.