A few hours drive from Jakarta is the highland city of Bandung. It’s a a university city. There are lots of students and fresh graduates who want to socialize, are interested in art and fashion and like a good night out. The emerging fashion houses, coffee shops, online businesses and a thousand other things in between that give the city a lively edge. Combine that with the beautiful surroundings and you will find lots of things to do in Bandung.
During my last visit to Bandung with the #TripOfWonders team, I had the opportunity to explore a tiny bit of the city (PS: Yes, I will be back and explore more in the future. Just wait for it). To help you plan your trip to the city we’ve shortlisted the best things to do in Bandung. Here are several spots that I would recommend you check out if you visit Bandung in the future.
The 5 Best Things to do in Bandung
1. Spend an Hour at the Bandung Geology Museum
Singapore has amazing museums and it would be great if Indonesia had more… Which is why I’m happy to place the Bandung Geology Museum at the top of the list of things to do in Bandung. The Museum has interesting exhibitions, reconstructed skeletons of Wooly Mammoths and even the bones of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. If you have a family with young kids then the Bandung Geology Museum is a must.
2. Cycle Off Road At The Lodge Maribaya
The Lodge Maribaya is an outdoor adventure theme park with zipline bikes, where you cycle on a cable strung between two posts over the forest, a Sky Tree, hot air balloon rides and a lot more besides. It’s like a massive playground for kids of any age. There’s a funky lodge onsite where you can stay. Check out their Instagram feed to for more information about the park.
3. Treat Yourself at a Boutique Shop
One of the best things to do in Bandung is shopping. There are lots of great stores and up and coming fashion designers established around the city. I would like to suggest a store called Widely Project. The store promotes fashion lines from young Indonesian designers. It is a great place to go to find stylish, well-designed clothing. Here’s a link to their Instagram feed. For cheaper clothing check out the Heritage Factory Outlet and the Rumah Mode Factory Outlet.
4. Enjoy the Cafes
There are tons of Coffee Shops in Bandung. Cireng Armor Coffee on Tahura, Taman Hutan Raya, is one of the best places to go for a coffee in Bandung. The coffee shop serves typical Sundanese snack (you have to try the Cireng with Rujak sauce) and delicious coffee. There is an outdoor garden set in the middle of pine trees, which gives the coffee shop a relaxing ambiance. Do come early as it gets busy from 11 am onwards.
Of course Cireng Armor is not the only coffee shop in the city. Some other nice cafes include Lawangwangi, has an Art Gallery a Café and a design space that showcases exhibitions by local designers, Warkop Modjok (Pinus Raya street, Isola, Sukasari, Kota Bandung), Jack Runner Roastery (Ciumbuleuit No.42, Hegarmanah, Cidadap, Kota Bandung), Blue Doors (Gandapura No.61, Kota Bandung) and Lacamera Coffee (Naripan No.79, Kb. Pisang, Sumur Bandung, Kota Bandung).
5. Stay Overnight at a Unique Hotel
A visit to Bandung would not be complete without an overnight stay at an amazing hotel. Luckily there are plenty to choose from that fit almost every budget. Top of the list are the Kamojang Green Hotel & Resort and Sapulidi Sawah Cafe Resort & Gallery, which are both based around natural lakes. Vila Air Natural Resort meanwhile offers an equally relaxing experience in a luxurious setting.
6. Visit Kawah Putih
The turquoise and slightly white-ish volcanic lake of Kawah Putih Bandung is one of the best things to do in Bandung. The volcanic lake is just outside of the city. It’s normally pretty busy, especially over the weekends, but you can find some private spots. To get a bit of privacy walk along the path with the Kawah Putih Lake on your right hand hand side.
Ideas for Things to do in Bandung
7. Explore Dusun Bambu
Dusun Bambu is an open planned shopping complex set in a forest with a park, shops, restaurants and apartments. I visited Burangrang, which is the largest restaurant in the complex. The food and drinks here were really tasty. On top of that the venue was fun, with an interesting interior and exterior design. The site is on the outskirts of Bandung in Lembang. Don’t miss to walk around the area when you come to the complex.
8. Have an Adventure at Tebing Gunung Hawu
Tebing Gunung Hawu is a limestone hill in Padalarang, West Bandung. There are several limestone peaks between gaping chasms, where slack lines and even a hammock are setup for you to practice on and relax. With a beautiful view this is one of the best things do in Bandung for lovers of the great outdoors.
9. Eat Some Delicious Food
There are few better things to do in Bandung than eat a meal at a restaurant with a view. My favourite restaurant is Lisung Boutique Restaurant. The restaurant overlooks Bandung with panoramic views over the city. It’s the kind of place that you want to visit with a group of friends or big families. The atmosphere is always lively and the food and drinks are tasty and reasonably priced. Make sure to visit in the late afternoon or early evening for views of the twinkling lights of Bandung.
Another of my favourites is ‘The Restaurant.’ The name is a bit pretentious, but the food is really tasty. The chef offers Western and Asian dishes, which can be ordered from the menu. They also run themed buffets evenings, like the Ribs Buffet Dinner. It’s well worth a visit.
10. Taman Wisata Maribaya
Taman Wisata Maribaya is a park on the outskirts of Bandung. It’s a nice place to escape the city with your family. There are paths crossing through the forest, bridges over waterfalls and plenty of green open space. It’s the perfect for people who like long treks through the countryside.
11. Take the Bandros Bus Tour
The Bandros Bus (the name comes from a traditional Sundanese snack) is a double decker tour bus that was launched by the mayor of Bandung in 2014. The vintage style double decker bus are modelled on the open top tour buses you find in London. The bus stops at hotels and tourist attractions around the city. Tickets cost Rp 25,000 per person and the bus can hold up to 30 passengers.
12. Eiger Flagship Store
The Eiger Flagship Store on Jl. Setiabudhi is a fun place to spend a few hours. The store was founded in 1993 and specialises in outdoor adventure equipment. While the owners would like you to shop, there are plenty of other activities to do around the store. Top of the list is the huge climbing wall. There are also slack lines setup where you can practice your balance.
13. Be a Cowboy at De’Ranch, Lembang
De’Ranch Lembang is a family friendly Western themed ranch on the outskirts of Bandung. Visitors have the chance to dress up as cowboys and engage in cowboy themed activities like riding horses. As you’d expect, this is more of a destination for domestic tourists than visitors from outside the country. Still, it’s a fun place to visit if you’re looking for something a bit different.
14. Watch a Performance of Saung Angklung Udjo
Saung Angkling Udjo is a performance venue, handicraft centre and instrument workshop focused on the Saung, a Sundanese instrument. The instrument workshop is one of the nice things to do in Bandung with young kids. If you have the chance attend one of the evening performances. The performance by the kids band is really impressive.
15. Spend a Day at Trans Studio Bandung
Trans Studio Bandung is a family focused indoor theme park for families with young kids and even teenagers. There are roller coasters, waltzers and other fun rides to try. The Studio is part of a larger site that includes a five story shopping centre with cinema and a luxury 5 star hotel.
There are tons more interesting things to do in Bandung that you can explore. Honestly I feel like I have only scratched the surface of the city and I know I need to return to explore. I hope this article gives you some ideas and inspiration for your stay in the city. I know you’ll enjoy yourself!
Have you ever visited bandung? What was your favourite thing to do in the city? Share your thoughts with other travellers in the comments below.