Batam is an island and city in Indonesia’s Riau Islands, once a tourist backwater but now experiencing a boom in industry and tourism. It is just 20 kilometres from Singapore, around 40 minutes by speedboat, meaning that most international tourists come from there. Many tourists come for the fun nightlife and the discounted shopping. In fact, in many ways it’s like a cut-price version of Singapore, with many similar attractions and activities on offer.

We’ve already written a guide on the best things to do in Batam, so now we want to share some ideas if you’re visiting. Here’s our 3 Day 2 Night itinerary for Batam. Hope you find it useful.

Batam Itinerary: Day 1

Arriving at the harbour or airport, a private car will pick you up and transfer you to your hotel. Here, you can freshen up, relax, and drop off your things before heading out to explore Batam. We recommend staying in the Ngoya Hill Hotel Batam or the Hotel Baloi Batam. Meanwhile Da Vienna Boutique Hotel and ESKA Hotel are good mid-range options.

Enjoy some retail therapy

A good way to ease yourself in to Batam is by exploring the city’s shopping malls. These are the reason why many people come here from Singapore, as you can find great discounts. A good place to start is Batam’s largest mall, Nagoya Hill. You’ll be able to pick up a great discount on anything you can think of here, from clothes to electronics.

Hit the beach

In the afternoon, check out one of Batam’s beaches, another of the island’s major draws. The most accessible beaches are in the Waterfront area, where you can enjoy a range of water sports. These include fishing, water skiing and jet skiing, as well as things like go-karting and bowling back on dry land. If you fancy something a bit quieter, head to Melur Beach on Galang Island, connected to Batam by the Balerang road bridge. This is pretty and peaceful and one of the few nice beaches not owned by a resort.

Batam Itinerary: Day 2

Having worked up a sweat with all those activities yesterday afternoon, you’ll want to soothe those aching muscles this morning. Bantam is famous for its spas, which, once again, deliver similar quality to Singapore at a reduced cost. The highly rated Majesty Massage and Spa offers a range of massages, hot stone treatments, ear candle therapies and much more.

Visit Batam’s peaceful temples

Batam may be famous for shopping and nightlife, but there’s more to it than that. Now you’re feeling nice and relaxed, you may want to visit some of Batam’s temples and soak up the peaceful atmosphere. The island is home to Buddhist and Hindu temples, many of which are very beautiful. The most famous is probably Tua Pek Kong, a beautiful Buddhist temple in the traditional Chinese style. It’s the oldest Buddhist temple here, but on Batam that’s not saying much – it opened in 1986 and still looks brand new. Unusually for a temple, you can pick up a bite to eat here – there’s cute vegetarian buns on offer to visitors in the shape of animals.

Take in the sunset at Barelang Bridge

After an afternoon tramping round Batam’s temples, you should check out the beautiful sunset at Barelang Bridge. Actually a set of six bridges, this is an engineering marvel and a Batam landmark. It connects the main island with several smaller islands to the south, which were developed as part of Batam’s tourism boom. This is a lovely place to watch the sun go down over Batam and the surrounding islands.

Get your dancing shoes on in Nagoya’s nightclubs

As this is your last night on Batam, you can’t afford to miss the city’s legendary nightlife. The Nagoya area is chock full of bars and clubs where you can dance the night away. Some of the most popular are Brewsky & Co, where you can enjoy a good range of beers, and Jungle Bar, apparently the oldest night spot in Batam.

Batam Itinerary: Day 3

Visit smaller islands around Batam

As today is your last day in Batam, don’t miss the opportunity to visit some of the smaller islands nearby. Bintan has beautiful beaches, good bars and some historic temples. Galang Island, as mentioned above, has pleasant beaches. It also has a unique and interesting history as a former sanctuary for Vietnamese refugees. Another popular spot is Abang Island, which offers fantastic diving – the snorkelling is great, too.

Enjoy fantastic seafood

Another thing not to be missed while you’re still here is a delicious seafood lunch. Indonesia, the world’s largest island chain, is fantastic for seafood, and Batam is no different. There are lots of high-end restaurants where you can find delicious seafood at great prices. Sei Anam is considered the best in many people’s books – be sure to try the chilli crab and the prawns.

Pick up some gifts and souvenirs

Finally, use your remaining time to pick up some last-minute souvenirs. If you’ve already visited Nagoya Hill on your first day, check out Batam City Square (BCS). This is a great place to pick up designer clothes at low prices. You’ll also find electronics stores, bookshops, and delicious Indonesian restaurants.

Final thoughts

The above is just one way you could choose to explore Batam, which is a fantastic tourist destination unique in Indonesia. It’s a duty free zone, which means quality goods are available at low prices. It is very close to Singapore – just 40 minutes by speedboat – and is popular for its shopping and nightlife. There’s much more to the city besides, though, with fantastic seafood, peaceful temples and superb spas.

What do you think about the above itinerary? What things would you suggest people to do in Batam that we have missed?