Bandung Travel Guide, West Java

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Bandung is all about being a popular weekend destination for locals and for travelers as side excursions, as it is located just a drive away from Jakarta.

The food here is cheap and delicious, and there are many cheap fashion shops like factory outlets as well as other tourist attractions. The whole place has evolved in the tourism industry, and you can be sure to find many things to do and buy here.

Where is it

Bandung is in West Java, Indonesia and being a capital there it is the third largest city after Jakarta and Surabaya.

Map of Bandung, Java, Indonesia

 

Map of Bandung, Java, Indonesia

 

Why go?

Well known as a shopping haven, locals and travelers alike will go to Bandung for a good bargain and lots of shopping.

What to see

Though many only come to Bandung for the main reason of shopping, there are a few tourist attractions and exciting places that are worth a visit. In recent years, Bandung has also emerged as a young and vibrant city, boasting chic and hip cafes, restaurants, and places to stay.

Villa Isola – built by an Italian millionaire and perched at the northern part of Bandung, overlooking a breathtaking view of the city to the south.
Gedung Merdeka – another architectural wonder built for the rich previously and then made famous for hosting the first Asian-African conference.
Gedung Sate – built and used by Dutch companies, it is popular for its satay food decoration. It has 6 ornaments symbolizing 6 million guldens. Now it is used as the office of West Java governor. Luckily, the place is open to the public, and don’t forget to have a good chill and drink on the top floor while overlooking the city.

Kawah Putih, Bandung, Java, Indonesia

Kawah Putih, Bandung, Java. Photo by firmatography

Kawah Putih – a sulphuric lake it comes from a volcano.
Tangkuban Perahu – another amazing crater from a volcano in Indonesia
Lembang Park and Zoo – a park and zoo concept.
Wot Batu – an open-space art installation created by Sunaryo, a famous artist from Bandung.

What to do

Rest and recreation at Dusun Bambu – Dusun Bambu, known as a family leisure park, is located at the foot of a mountain.
Enjoy the musical performance at Saung Angklung Udjo – This traditional musical performance is one of the best ways to explore Indonesian culture.
Shop in factory outlets
Catch a sunset at The Valley – The food is good too, so enjoy your meal while watching the sunset over Bandung city.
Eat dinner at Kampung Daun – come here for the relaxing ambiance with bamboo huts, streams, and a waterfall
Swing on a hammock in Tebing Gunung Hawu – get a hold of a hammock operator and swing from one between the rocks overlooking the cliff.
Travel Around the World in The Great Asia Afrika – a family recreation place.
Live Out Your Childhood Dreams in Dago Dream Park – an amusement park in the upper Dago area.

Saung Angklung Udjo at Bandung, Indonesia

Saung Angklung Udjo at Bandung, Indonesiaa

Where to Shop

Bandung is mostly famous for clothing, factory outlets for many designer products, denim jeans, and electronics.

Here is the list of recommended shopping places in Bandung:

Alun-alun – the center of the city with many shopping malls
Rumah Mode Factory Outlet
Paris Van Java
Pasar Baru Trade Center
Pasar Dago
Bandung Electronic Malls
Factory outlets in Jalan Riau and Jalan Dago
Trans Studio Complex for the mini theme park, hotel, and mall
Dago District for food, shopping, and with nice hangout area
For traditional batik go to Jalan Sumbawa Batik Komar

Dusun Bambu, Bandung. Photo by Prabowo Restuaji

Where to stay

Stays here range from high-end to mid-range hotels to hostels, B&Bs, and budget hotels or hostels. Being a fairly popular travel destination for locals and foreigners, Bandung does not lack choices of place to stay. Most people like to stay in the center of Bandung for easy access to shopping and food, but if you are looking for a relaxing and tranquil getaway, some beautiful retreats with quicker access to tourist spots are a little up north.

Best Accommodations in Bandung

Agoda.com * is a good choice as they have the most extensive hotel listings in Asia with great deals.
Booking.com * is a favorite of many because it offers cancellation allowing flexibility.

Most people like to stay in the center of Bandung for easy access to shopping and food, but if you are looking for a relaxing and tranquil getaway, some beautiful retreats with quicker access to tourist spots are a little up north. Here are a few of the best accommodations that we recommend to a stay in Bandung:

Luxury (from 150 USD)

Mid-range (50 – 150 USD)

Budget (below 50 USD)

Ciwidey, Bandung, Indonesia

Ciwidey, Bandung, Indonesia

What to Eat


Much of the food found in Bandung is Sundanese in origin. Although you may find similar dishes across Indonesia, the Bandung varieties are usually unique in their own right, even if they can’t claim to be the original version of the dish.

Top Places to Eat in Bandung

Cibadak and Sudirman Street Day and Night Market

Cibadak and Sudirman Street are two legendary streets for foodies who happen to be in Bandung for an overnight stay. Local vendors sell delicious good-looking dishes along the street, which are only open at night. But now the local government has seen the potential of the place and is building an open-air foodcourt that will operate from noon. This is so that they can also cater to foodies who are unable to spend the night in Bandung. When this place opens, it will be filled with the finest food vendors in Bandung, selling snacks, heavy dishes, and beverages. The variety of foods ranges from Western, Asian, Indonesian, and Sundanese or Bandung’s signature dishes. 

It will be hard to find an empty table during packed times (usually on Friday and Saturday nights), so you might need to wait a little bit. It is important to note that some tenants are serving non-halal food, which is strictly outlawed for Muslims (contains pork or alcohol), as Cibadak and Sudirman area is populated with non-muslim residents. The place manager attaches the Halal logo to eligible tenants and ensures they are visible to Muslim visitors. Pay a visit to this food court if you have little time to find and try all the famous dishes in Bandung. 

Mercusuar Cafe & Resto

This Bandung’s new hidden gem might look like a castle, but it is actually a restaurant. The developer used a medieval castle as a theme of the restaurant to make it iconic and introduce European architectural design. Though this is not the first time a castle-shaped building has been brought to Bandung, the idea is surprisingly well-received by Bandung residents, and other residents living around Bandung. They feel excited to come to take pictures in front of the castle towers and act like Hogwarts students in Harry Potter”s movie.

Furthermore, they can enjoy the picturesque view of Bandung from above since the restaurant is located in Dago Pakar, upper Bandung area. When they are done taking pictures, they can come down to the first floor to order food and drinks and eat. The food price is around IDR 25.000 to IDR 110.000, while the drinks are IDR 18.000 to IDR 40.000, which is pretty reasonable considering the spacious area and fancy building. The fee to go up to the castle is the one that takes more of your money; IDR 20.000 for weekdays and IDR 25.000 for weekends. But why not spend some of your money on a unique experience? 

bandung city
Bandung City. Photo by Zaenal Arifin on Unsplash

How to get there

As Jakarta to Bandung is a popular route, you may find many options to get there.

Train

Jakarta to Bandung
You may take a train from Jakarta to Bandung via many trains and times as this is a very popular route. Here is more information on the train from Jakarta to Bandung. There are also trains from the other side of Java towards Bandung, mainly places like Yogyakarta or Purwokerto.

Bus

You may also take the many buses from Jakarta to Bandung, again with many choices of operators and time due to its high demand. But the most convenient and comfortable bus is the non-stop air-conditioned bus (express bus). The main bus terminal in Bandung is Leuwipanjang, with buses from Jakarta, Bogor, and surrounding. In contrast, the other bus terminal Cicaheum has buses from Cirebon, Banjarm Pangandaran, and even the Bali islands.

Flight

If you want to fly into Bandung, the international airport is Husein Sastranegara with several airlines serving this route for international flights like Air Asia, Batavia Air, Garuda Indonesia, Silk Air, and also domestic flights like Lion Air or Merpati Nusantara Airlines. Bandung Indonesia airport is close to the city center with taxi fixed at 43000Rp.

Tangkuban Perahu, Bandung
Tangkuban Perahu, Bandung. Photo by sxpistols sxpstls on Unsplash

Car

If you would brave the traffic in Jakarta or probably coming from elsewhere, you may drive from Jakarta to Bandung in just 2 hours. Just take note of the possibility of floods during the rainy season and heavy traffic jams during weekends. You may take a further alternative route via Puncak and Cianjur if you have the time and have a pit stop at the highland for a view of the tea plantation before continuing. Here you may also check out Bogor and the Taman Safari Indonesia.

Taxi

If you do not want to drive but still take the car, it is possible to hire a taxi to take you there, be it with meters or a fixed price but beware of being overcharged or scammed. Check out transports in Indonesia for proper tips on choosing the right taxi and how to get around generally.

Where to go nearby

Kawah Putih
2 hours from Bandung city center, the lake is a stunningly beautiful setting from a movie. Being the highland it is also cooling but beware of sunburn too cause regardless, it can still be pretty sunny. This is a sulphuric lake as it is from a volcano. The entire area can be explored in 30 minutes.

Tangkuban Perahu
About 1.5 hours from Bandung, it is yet another crater from the volcano of Indonesia that is worth the visit for the sheer awe of the view from the top.

Photo credits from top: Burmesedays, sektrodua, nomilknocry, No Dust and firmatography

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