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Bandung [1] is the capital city of West Java, and the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. Nicknamed Parijs van Java (Paris of Java) by the Dutch for its resemblance to Paris and European atmosphere back at the colonial times. Bandung also earned another nickname as Kota Kembang, literally meaning the Flower City since Bandung used to have a lot of flowers.

Located at the altitude of 768m with the surroundings of lush and beautiful Parahyangan mountains makes the climate mild and pleasant. The city has been well known for the universities, apparel products and a great place for gastronomic adventure. Nowadays, Bandung has become a very popular weekend escape for Jakartans, who would crowd the city on weekends and national holidays.


Although the oldest written reference to the city dates back to 1488, there were numerous archaeological finds of Australopithecus (Java Man) living on the banks of Cikapundung river and the shores of the Great Lake of Bandung.

In the 17th-18th century, the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) created small plantations in Bandung, with a road to Batavia (today's Jakarta) completed in 1786. In 1809, Louis Bonaparte, the ruler of the Netherlands and its colonies, ordered the Dutch Indies Governor H.W. Daendels to improve Java's defenses against the threat of the English, who occupied the nearby Malay peninsula. Daendels responded by building the Great Post Road (De Groote Postweg), stretched about 1000 km between the west and the east coasts of Java. As much of the north coast was impassable swamp and marsh at the time, the road was diverted through Bandung along what is now Jalan Asia-Afrika.

Daendels liked Bandung's strategic location so much that he ordered the capital to be moved there. Military barracks were built and Bupati Wiranatakusumah II, the chief administrator of that area, built his dalem (palace), Masjid Agung (the grand mosque) and pendopo (meeting place) in the classical Javan alun-alun (city square) near a pair of holy city wells (Sumur Bandung) and facing the mystical mountain of Tangkuban Perahu.

Powered by its cinchona (for malaria drug quinine), tea, and coffee plantations, Bandung prospered and developed into an exclusive European style resort with hotels, cafes and shops. Many of Bandung's landmarks, including the Preanger and Savoy Homann hotels as well as the shopping street of Jalan Braga, date to this time. The Concordia Society, now Gedung Merdeka, was built with a large ball room as a club for rich Europeans for their weekends.

In 1880, the first major railroad between Jakarta to Bandung was opened, boosting light industry and bringing in Chinese workers. The first of Bandung's universities, the Technische Hogeschool (TH) was established on July 3, 1920. Now known as the Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), one of TH's alumni was the independence leader and first president Soekarno.

In 1942, after Japanese soldiers landed in coastal areas of Java, the Dutch retreated from Jakarta to Bandung, but were driven out from there as well and surrendered soon after. After the end of the war, the Dutch returned with a vengeance and on March 24, 1946, during the struggle for Indonesian independence, the city of Bandung was burned down by its own residents (Bandung Sea of Fire/Bandung Lautan Api) as a sign of refusal to surrender and over 200,000 people fled the city.

In 1955, the Asia Africa Conference (Konferensi Asia Afrika) was held in Bandung, paving the way for the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961 The Indonesian parliament was held in Bandung from 1955 to 1966, but was moved back to Jakarta in 1966.


Today's Bandung is a sprawling city of 2.7 million people and suffers from many of the same problems as other Indonesian cities. Traffic is congested, old buildings have been torn down and once idyllic residences turned into business premises.

Jalan Asia-Afrika, the former Grote Postweg, remains one of Bandung's main thoroughfares and connects together the alun-alun (city square) with many of the city's colonial landmarks.

Get in

Alone among Indonesia's large cities, Bandung is not by the seaside, but in the central highlands. Direct transport links are thus limited, and the easiest way to go to Bandung is via Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. On the upside, the connections are excellent and the trip up through the Parahyangan mountains is quite scenic.

By plane

Bandung's Hussein Sastranegara (IATA: BDO airport has a difficult location among the mountains and has only limited services with small planes. The airport is located at the end of Pajajaran Street, 4 km from the centre of the city. A metered taxi costs approximately US$1, but most hotels provide a free airport transfer services.

Some airlines serving Bandung:

There are no longer any scheduled services from Jakarta to Bandung, as both Merpati and Deraya have stopped their flights. Charter plane/helicopter service is still available if you really need a zippy connection.

Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport is about 3 hours away (plus any traffic jams). A number of companies offer direct shuttle services; see the next section for details.

By bus

Bus services connect Bandung and smaller surrounding cities. Several long-route buses are also available from major big cities. The most convenient way is the air-conditioned bus with the express or non-stop tag. The main bus terminals in Bandung are Leuwipanjang, serving buses from the west (Bogor, Jakarta, Merak, Pandeglang, Tangerang, Depok, Bekasi, Cikarang, Cibinong and Sukabumi.) and Cicaheum, serving buses from the east (Cirebon, Garut, Tasikmalaya, Banjar, Pangandaran, Indramayu, central Java cities, eastern Java cities and also from Bali Island).

By shuttle bus

With 7-10 seater minivans leaving every few minutes, the shuttle bus market between Jakarta and Bandung is fiercely competitive. Roughly speaking, services can be categorized as either door to door (chartered car or van that takes your group exactly where you want to go, for c. US$50-75) or point to point (from a terminal to another, for under US$10). Many companies offer both.

A select list of larger transportation companies:

By car

Bandung is two hours away from Jakarta by car, thanks to the new Cipularang toll road that completes the inter-city highway between Jakarta and Bandung. It is now faster to travel to Bandung by car than by train from Jakarta.

During the rainy season, parts of the Cipularang toll road may be closed because of landslides. On weekends, traffic jams often occur near the toll gates in the Djunjunan/Terusan Pasteur area.

One alternative route is by the slower, but enjoyable, route from Jakarta - Puncak - Cianjur - Bandung. If you travel by car using this route, then make sure to stop at the Puncak Pass, the tip of the highland just on the outskirts of Jakarta. From here, the view of tea plantation with fresh air can be enjoyed. There are plenty of good restaurants and hotels out there.

There is also a beautiful safari park/zoo in Puncak: Taman Safari Indonesia, Jl. Raya Puncak No.601, Cisarua, Bogor 16750. Tel.: (62)(251) 250 000, Fax.: (62)(251) 250 555. [6].

By train

State operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia [7] offers frequent services between Jakarta and Bandung, as well as connections onward to Surabaya. Evem the fastest services take almost three hours, making this a slower option than the shuttle buses, but the scenery between Jakarta and Bandung is beautiful. The railroad passes mountains and padi terraces. Don't miss this view when traveling by train. Use the AC (air-conditioned) coach if you cannot cope with the tropical heat. Most hotels in Bandung provide free transportation from train station to the hotel.

Train services
Train names Routes Coaches Duration Price Frequency
Argo Gede Gambir (Jakarta) - Bandung EKS 2h45m Rp. 50,000 7 (M-F), 9 (Su/Sa)
Argo Parahyangan Gambir (Jakarta) - Bandung EKS & BIS 3h10m Rp. 50,000 & Rp 30,000 9 (M-F), 11 (Su/Sa)
Argo Wilis Gubeng (Surabaya) - Bandung EKS 13h Rp. 220,000 1
Turangga Gubeng (Surabaya) - Bandung EKS 13h Rp. 240,000 1
Mutiara Selatan Gubeng (Surabaya) - Bandung BIS 12h40m Rp. 120,000 1
Harina Semarang - Bandung EKS 7h10m Rp. 120,000 1
Lodaya Malam Balapan (Solo) - Bandung EKS & BIS 16h Rp. 130,000 & Rp. 80,000 1 (night)
Lodaya Pagi Balapan (Solo) - Bandung EKS & BIS 15h Rp. 150,000 & Rp. 90,000 1 (daytime)
Parahyangan Cirebon Cirebon - Bandung EKS & BIS 4h 6m Rp. 40,000 Mon to Fri (Start March 3)
Pasundan Gubeng (Surabaya) - Bandung EKO 1
Kahuripan Kediri - Bandung EKO 1
Sawunggalih Selatan Kutuarjo - Bandung EKO 1
Serayu Kroya - Bandung EKO 6h 20m 2x daily
Serayu Kota (Jakarta) - Bandung EKO 3h 15m 2x daily
Baraya Geulis Padalarang - Bandung - Cicalengka BIS 1h 22m Rp. 8,000 Daily 10x to PDL; 2x to CLK
KA Cibatu Purwakarta - Bandung EKO 1
KA Cibatu Cibatu - Bandung EKO 1
KA Cianjur Cianjur - Bandung EKO 2
KRD Patas Cicalengka - Bandung EKO 36m 9x daily
KRD Bandung Raya Padalarang - Bandung - Cicalengka EKO 1h 19m 9x daily
  1. EKS = eksekutif (AC), BIS = bisnis (non-AC), EKO = ekonomi
  2. Duration is total duration from end to end station.

Get around

Some tips on using angkot:

There is no uniform color, but each route has the same 2-color scheme, even the same model of minibus (some routes may mix Kijangs and minibusses). There may be custom variations to the vehicles because they are privately-owned.

  • Usually an angkot is a modified ordinary minibus. The 10 seat minibus becomes 18 seats. This is possible by lining passengers side by side. It might be a bit awkward for the first-time users.
  • Don't be nervous about touching other passengers,; the cramped seating often makes it unavoidable. Do be aware that some pickpockets operate on angkots. Be very careful if you see someone acting sick or odd.
  • To stop, just shout 'kiri !!' (pron: kee-ree), translated left in English. It is a request for the driver to pull aside to the left.
  • The most comfortable and safest seat is usually the front-window, next to the driver.
  • Payment is by direct cash only, but preferably in small denominations. An average single trip fare costs Rp2.000 ~ Rp5.000
  • The door is typically removed, so don't be scared if it is missing.

Travelling around in Bandung is quite complex and frustrating, especially to newcomers. There is no mass rapid transit system, metro nor tram in Bandung. Locals travel using small public minibuses, known as angkot from angkutan=transport and kota=city.

By angkot

This city transport has only origin and destination names on top. Sometimes with via description if there are more than one angkot route for a certain origin-destination route. There is no route description anywhere. For locals, it is somewhat amazing that they only memorize where and how the route of each angkot route.

Although there is an official price for angkot from organda (the local organization of these private city transport), sometimes price is based on how far you travel. It's better that you ask the driver or kernet (driver assistance) about the price to go to a location. To ask for an angkot to stop and pick you up, just raise your hand and they will stop. When you're inside and want to stop, just ask the kernet to stop. Or say 'kiri' (key-reey) or simply 'stop' out loud. It was easy to find a bell that you can press to stop but not anymore. Most angkot fare are ranging from 2000-3000 rupiah (about 25 cents USD) depends on the route and distance.

The official angkot routes are listed here [8].

By taxi

If you don't know which angkot routes to take, then you can take a taxi. Officially, taxis use meters, but some taxi drivers may refuse to use meters and will charge you a fixed price instead. Don't be afraid to refuse and walk away, even locals are annoyed by this behaviour. Metered cabbies may also take you the long way to get more money. So be careful when travelling by taxi. The most reliable taxi company (i.e always use the meter, go straight to the destination) in Bandung is Blue Bird.

List of taxi companies in Bandung:

By bus

There are also some bus lines, but they don't cover the whole city. City buses usually cover long routes across the city from end-to-end; for example, from the north to the south and from the west to the east. The city bus is called DAMRI.

By car

Using your own car or renting a car is probably the easiest and the most convenient way to travel around Bandung and surrounds. If you don't have a valid driving licence, then you can also rent a car with a chauffeur, which is very common for western travelers. Perhaps it is even better to rent a car from Jakarta. You can stop for one night in Puncak, Bogor or Sukabumi.

World-wide Car Rental companies are now available in major cities in Indonesia:

For Local Car Rental in Bandung:

Jakarta  : (62) 21 - 4585 1575 Bandung : (62) (22) 204 0505

Jakarta  : (62) 87822421314 Bandung : (62) (22) 95076042

Note that traffic in Bandung is so complex and the city administration likes to make experiments about the traffic. There are lack of traffic signs and directions. Most major roads are one-way, which makes it difficult to turn around if you are lost. Be careful to enter a street that it might be a one-way street from the opposite direction and there is no no-entry sign. Then, there is a police hiding somewhere and at once he will pop up instantly to stop you, which finally you will have to pay him some money.


Architectural Jewels

In the late 18th and early 19th century, as locals called it the bandoeng tempo doeloe (old Bandung) era, there were many buildings built with an art-deco style. The city that had served as a weekend resort for European rich men has made these type of buildings possible. Unfortunately the city administration has a tendency to create a modern look of the city with suspension bridge, banks, malls and commercial areas, instead of preserving old historical buildings. The non-profit organization Bandung Heritage Society [19] has been formed recently to save these jewels forever.

Who is C.P.W. Schoemaker?

Born in Ambarawa (Central Java) in 1882, Schoemaker has been renowned as the father of Bandung Art-Deco architectural style. He is famous for blending modern European architecture, but closely related to the tropical surroundings. This blending of ancient decorative elements and modern architectural features has made him the best Indonesian architect at that time. He later became a professor at the Institute Technology Bandung. Among of his student is ir. Soekarno, the first president of the Republic of Indonesia. He died in 1949 in the city that he loved and buried at the Pandu cemetery, Bandung.

When visiting Bandung, don't forget to visit his residence at Jl. Sawunggaling 2, where its heroic renovation has been awarded by UNESCO.

His artworks include: Gedung Merdeka, Villa Isola, facade of the Grand Preanger Hotel, Cipaganti mosque, Cathedral at Jl. Merdeka, Church at Jl. Wastukencana, the Majestic theater, Gedung PLN, Landmark building at Jl. Braga, etc.

Make sure you see these buildings before they're gone.

Art & Science

Bandung has been the melting point between the local Sundanese culture and the high-end technology developed at the Institute Technology Bandung. There are some interesting places to visit:


There are many activities that you can do in the city or outside the city. As Bandung highland is surrounded by a string of mountains, activities in the outskirt of the city are mainly mountain resorts, adventures and outdoor sports. In the city, you can have culinary activities (see the Eat section) as there are so many food varieties, shopping with many clothing outlets and distros (see the Buy section) or just hanging around.


The ticket prices are based on the days, in which Monday as the cheapest ticket price, and weekends as the most expensive

Outdoor Activities

More about Tangkuban Perahu
Entrance fee is Rp50,000 for foreigners to the park.When you reach Tangkuban Perahu, the first thing you'll see (and most popular) is the main crater (Kawah Ratu). But don't stop there! Many tourists miss this but it's probably the best part of Tangkuban Perahu: Kawah Domas. A 30 min walk from Kawah Ratu, track 1.3km down to Kawah Domas to get upclose and personal with volcanic activity.You will need a guide to walk you down nowadays who charge Rp250,000/hour.the walk down, visiting the Kawah Domas and walking to parkir Kawah Domas which is a parking area down the hill from Kawah ratu is approx 1hr 30mins. It will be more if you indulge in mud massage,egg boiling etc. so walk around Kawah Ratu on your own and only then get a guide.Take note guys selling tourist stuff will hassle you every where and will walk with you all thw way down to Kawah domas and will insist you buy stuff. You can politely them them before the walk down not to follow cos you are not going to buy anything. we were told you need a guide.after finishing you do not need to walk back to Kawah ratu which makes life much easier. The walk do K.Domas looks like hell on earth and it's a must experience - bubbling mud, boiling hot water, and hissing sulphur vapor. You can smell the sulfur, watch the hot water springs very closely or even buy a boiled egg from the hot surface. Don't forget, the hike up is as tiring as the way down so it's best to avoid flip flops!You do not need to walk back up!! You can now walk to Kawan Domas parkir as it is called. the walk to the parking area is much easier than walking back to Kawah ratu cos it is less steep and more flat areas. The walk to parkir Kawah Domas is is approx 900meters. good news us there is motor bike service after 300-400 meters after Kawah Domas. seems the bikes will take you out to parkir Kawah domas for a fee. They also have guides or people who are willing to assist you walking down or even carry you down for a fee!!!

Now there is a better way in my mind how to go Kawah Domas in less pain and w/out guide. after seeing Kawah ratu, go down the mountain to parkir Kawah Domas. walk from here to kawah Domas. Likely no need for guide and the walk is less tiring than the walk down from Kawah ratu. good for the old and weak.

Getting to Tangkuban Perahu
From Bandung Indah Plaza (BIP), take an 'angkot' heading to "CICAHEUM - LEDENG". The angkot will stop you at Terminal Ledeng (IDR 3000). From the terminal, take a mini van or 'Elep' towards Subang and get down at Tangkuban Perahu (IDR 12000). From the entrance of Tangkuban Perahu, it's another 4-5km hike up on a really bad road. I've been told you could hire 'motorcycle cabs' to bring you up though I have not verified that information. If you can ride a motorcycle, it's a lot easier to rent one to get there.


Fashion shopping and its accessories is the main reason for many weekend travellers from Jakarta, because those items are expensive in Jakarta. Starting with denim (jeans) stores along Jln. Cihampelas in the 90s with unique facades to attract people, fashion stores grow rapidly into sisa exports (rejected export products), then factory outlets, now with the new trend is the distro (distribution outlets). Don't expect luxury labels, because you can find them in Jakarta.

Local Handicraft and Souvenirs

Shopping Malls

Factory Outlets

During the quality inspection, some of the products might be rejected, or they may overrun the production quota. These residual products are sold with sisa export tags, because they were made for export, but couldn't pass through. Some of these items have Grade A (best quality, but overrun product) or Grade B (export quality, but do not pass QC) qualities. Don't be surprised to see made in Korea or made in Singapore in their tags. Sometimes you will see the original price, such as USD$65, but they sell it for Rp. 45.000,00 (US$ 4.50).

Enjoy bargain hunting! Take a careful inspection yourself. Check for below-standard/damaged items. Beware also for the fake products with branded name.}}

It was originally meant for export garment (textile) factories that open a store directly in their area so that they can sell with bargain prices. Since it was a big success, many factory outlets without the factory itself were opening in many places in the city, also with bargain price tags. To attract people, they decorated the store with many styles: the colonial style, an old Chinese dynasty, etc. Some stores even have a small food court.

Most of factory outlets are concentrated in Jl. Riau, Jl. Dago (Jl. Ir. H. Juanda) and around Jl.Sukajadi-Jl.Setiabudi area. Some of them are listed below:

Distros (Distribution Outlets)

Distros are a new phenomenon in Bandung where a shop sells stylish products that were made by local designers. They are served as a distribution store, because these local designers do not have their own marketing label yet. The products that are sold are books, indie label records, magazines and also other fashion products and accessories. After their products receive large attention, then they make their own clothing company. Now, there are more than 200 local brand names in Bandung. One thing that makes distros stand out from factory outlet is that distros come from individual designers and young entrepeneurs, while factory outlet products come from a garment factory.

Note that now distros are getting famous in Indonesia. The local branded name with free and independent motivation has been shifted. Be careful when buying in distros as the prices are increasing to a level almost the same as at boutique shops.

Some of Bandung distros: unkl347, Jl. Trunojoyo 4, Invictus,Jl.Pager gunung 13 and Jl.Trunojoyo 6 [26] Ouval Research, Jl. Buah Batu 64, No Label, Jl. Sumatra 24, Blackjack, Jl. Trunojoyo, Screamous, Jl. Trunojoyo, Badger, Jl. Trunojoyo, Airplane,"starseeker","oglea", "Blankwear" Jl. Sultan Agung, Cosmic, Jl. Trunojoyo, Green Light, Bandung Indah Plaza Lt. 2 and Jl. Buah Batu, Temple, Jl. Dipatiukur, Skaters, Bandung Indah Plaza Lt. 2, Jl. Cihampelas and Jl. Raya Lembang, Black ID, Jl. Lombok and Paris Van Java Mall.


Bandung is a heaven for food lovers who enjoy new experiences. There are a lot of varieties, not only local cuisine but international ones. You can find any food you want for any kind of taste. Do note, that most eateries in Bandung focus on creating new variations, not making sure it tastes good.

Everybody has their own favourites. One page is not enough to list all food stalls, food courts, restaurants and cafes in Bandung. Here are some lists that are popular or have a long history.

Local Delicacies

Legendary Eateries

Have been around for years and still famous for their delicious food:

Chic Restaurants

For those who want a breathtaking view, eat in a local Sundanese village or have romantic international cuisine. Don't expect the taste to be half as good as the view and experience though.

Sundanese Restaurants

Sunda is the ethnic name of the local people living in West Java. Sundanese food has some distinctive features than other ethnics. It mainly consists of fried fish, pepes ikan (steamed fish in a banana leaf), raw vegetables and chili pastes. To try these type of foods, there are numerous Sundanese restaurants. Some with famous name has many branches in Bandung and the vicinity. Some of the popular ones are:

Asian Restaurants

Western Restaurants

Mexican Restaurants

Seafood Restaurants

Ice Cream and Pastry

Food in Bandung does not stop at the restaurants/cafes. There are plenty of bakeries in the city that you can buy some pastries. Some of them have high popularities that you must take a queue even before the shop is open in the morning.


Ice cream


As the sale of alcoholic drinks is to be banned at public restaurants (although you can find them in upscale public restaurants), it will be difficult to find liquor, except at bars, night clubs, hotels and 24-hour mini markets. However, drinking fresh icy yogurt or juice is very tempting, especially after spending a day in a hot sun. These are some famous drinking places to try:

For alcoholic drinks you can buy it in these stores:


North Bandung / Dago / Jl. H. Juanda:

Central Bandung:



Cihampelas :


Tourism Promotion Office



Hospitals with 24 hours emergency rooms

Get out

There are some sidetrips to the mountain range surrounding Bandung:

Related Information

A list of contributors is available at the original article on Wikitravel. Additional modifications may have been made by users at TRAVEL.COM [53].

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.

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