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Surabaya [1] is the capital of East Java and the 2nd largest city in Indonesia.


The name of Surabaya comes from the Javanese words Suro, meaning shark and Boyo, meaning crocodile. With over 3 million people, unpretentious Surabaya may be the second-largest city in Indonesia, but it's a little lacking in sights. However, many people come here on business, and Surabaya is also a gateway city for Mount Bromo and Bali. The city's attractions tend to be more apparent to those who make it their home rather than to short-term visitors.


Very tropical and you need to wear casual, light clothes: t-shirts, shorts, sandals or shoes. During the rainy season (November-April), be prepared for occasional flash floods and traffic jams, although it's not as bad as Jakarta.


The national language Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian) is the medium of government, commerce and education. Many locals also speak the regional language, Javanese (sometimes with a local dialect.) There is a surprising amount of English visible in Surabaya on advertising and signs and English is the most widely understood foreign language.

Get In

By plane

Surabaya's Juanda Airport (SUB) is one of the busiest in the country, with very frequent flights to Jakarta and other major Indonesian destinations, as well as some direct international flights to destinations including Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Bandar Seri Begawan. A new, fairly spiffy terminal opened in 2006, with all the facilities you'd expect (ATMs, car rental, etc), and international and domestic flights now depart from the same building.

Officially, you're supposed to buy fixed-fare taxi coupons from the "Prima Taxi" stand for the 18 km trip into town, around US$5-10 depending on your exact destination. In practice you may be able to get a driver dropping off passengers to pick you up. If you're going further away (eg. Mount Bromo), it'll be cheaper to a rent a car with a driver instead. There is a sketchy and infrequent Airport Bus service to the Bungurasih bus station on the southern outskirts of the city.

Malaysia Airlines (+60 378433000) - flies daily to Surabaya. [2]

AirAsia - flies daily to Surabaya. [3]

There is a large waiting room on the top of the airport terminal (accessible directly from outside), it could be very useful if your flight is delayed or if you have to wait here for one night.

By train

Surabaya has two main stations, Surabaya Pasar Turi and Surabaya Gubeng. Seats in eksekutif (first class) and bisnis (second class) for any intercity journey can be reserved up to 30 days in advance at any major railway station in Java.

Stasiun Pasar Turi

Trains using the northern main line from Gambir Station in Jakarta take at least ten hours to arrive at Pasar Turi, while trains using the southern main line take no less than 15. Air-conditioned trains are available on both routes, though. The Argo Bromo Anggrek, Sembrani and Gumarang trains use the northern line, while the Bima uses the south line. All these trains have air-conditioned eksekutif accommodations.

Stasiun Gubeng

Trains from Bandung and Yogyakarta use the Gubeng station. The Argo Wilis travels at daytime, allowing passengers to enjoy the scenery in the western part of the route. The Sancaka travels to Yogyakarta via Solo twice a day and takes approximately 6 hours. Railway connections to Bali are made by the twice-a-day Mutiara Timur express to Banyuwangi, transferring to buses before the ferry crossing to Gilimanuk. Don't forget to buy salak bali.

Slow and packed local economy-class trains from Malang arrive at Kota station (also known as Semut) and passing through Gubeng station as they come in from the south. The recently revived Malang Ekspres service is a more comfortable alternative, offering seat reservations.

By boat

By bus

Surabaya has frequent bus connections from all parts of East Java and from major cities in other parts of Java and beyond. The main bus terminal is at Bungurasih, about 10 km south of the city. There are frequent shuttle buses from Malang and Probolinggo (for Mount Bromo), so just turn up. Long-haul bus journeys are best booked in advance.

To Denpasar in Bali, expect to pay around RP 120,000 by eksekutif night bus, including the ferry trip between Banyuwangi and Gilimanuk, mineral water and a meal. Buses depart from Bungurasih bus terminal in Surabaya, and arrive in Gubeng bus terminal in Denpasar. Duration: 10 hours.

By minibus

Another option is to go by minibus (known in Indonesia as travel). A number of companies run door-to-door minibus services from and to major destinations in Java, including Malang and Yogyakarta. These services are both more convenient and more expensive than public buses. Seats can be booked in advance through company offices, and also through many hotels and travel agents.

Get around

By taxi

Taxis are plentiful on the streets of Surabaya. Some taxis are not renowned for their reliability so stick to the well known firms: Blue Bird Group, Silver and Express. Always insist on a metered fare. Figure on Rp 20,000 for a cross-town trip and Rp 70,000 to the airport. Flag-fall is around Rp 4,000, but drivers will expect a minimum fare of Rp 10,000 for short trips. For longer trips, pay the fare shown on the meter rounded up to the nearest multiple of Rp 1,000. Drivers will appreciate a tip of a few thousand rupiah.

A trip from Stasiun Gubeng to Pasar Turi should cost around RP 20,000.

By train

Commuter city trains are extremely limited, serving some parts of Surabaya and Sidoarjo.

Train Stations in Surabaya

By bus

This is a large populous city and buses are usually crowded. There are two class of bus: standard buses which are usually very full and patas buses (supposed to be first class, but it is still... a bus.)

By minibus

Bemos in East Java are sometimes called Angkot or Mikrolet. They are plentiful in Surabaya and can be hailed fairly randomly.

Angguna (Angkutan Serba Guna or multi purpose transport) are basically non-airconditioned, non metred (bargain the price) taxis. This makes them cheaper than taxis but they are often in a poor state of repair.

By becak

Becak is a traditional transportation in Surabaya but they are rarely used by visitors as they are not allowed on major streets.

By car

Another option to discover Surabaya is by car and there are many car rental companies.




Surabaya boasts some of South-East Asia's largest shopping malls. Try to shopp between 1st May and 30th June when the Surabaya big sale is on. Discounts up to 50% at this time.








Surabaya is famous for rujak cingur, a local salad with sauce and cingur (slices of cooked cow nose). Try also the sate kelopo, satay with coconut rasp which you can find in Jalan Walikota Mustajab.

Surabaya is home to a huge number of restaurants - this is an eating culture.



Fast food

Ice cream and pastry


In addition, since the tap water is unsafe to drink, make sure you order your drinks or soft drinks that come in sealed bottles. One drinking water brand that is pretty well known here is Cheers, the official drinking water of Surabaya approved by the city government.





Stay Safe

As with any big city, never let your guard down, because big cities such as Surabaya have a reputation among Indonesians for a high crime rate. That said, Surabaya has few real dangers for visitors apart from the perils of crossing the very busy roads (the secret is to raise an arm while crossing, and to progress with a predictable speed and bearing, allowing the traffic to flow around you). Don't walk on the streets, especially at night, if you can avoid it since you won't have anything to sightsee and the air pollution is fairly high. Be polite to the people, since Surabayans tend to swear easily. Do not easily trust people you have just met, even if they look friendly.

Stay Healthy

Hospitals with 24 hours emergency rooms (ER):


By phone

The international code for Indonesia is +62. Local Surabaya phone numbers will start +62 31 xxx xxxx or +62 31 xxxx xxxx for the CDMA provider or +62 8xx xxxx xxxx for the GSM provider. There are four main telecommunication providers in Surabaya: Telkom, Telkomsel, Indosat, and XL.

To make an international call from Surabaya, dial the access code 001 (for Indosat), 007 (for Telkom/Telkomsel), or 008 (for Indosat), followed by the country code, area code and party's number. Recently the providers have started offering cheaper rates for calls using Internet telephony routes. The access codes for this cheaper service are 01016 for Indosat provider and 01017 for Telkom and Telkomsel provider.

By net

If you have your own laptop, it may run free WLAN networks at many malls. Ask at the information desk for access codes. Free hotspots are also available on most restaurants and cafes. Several hotels also provide free hotspot on their lobby. Internet cafes are available in many parts of the city with a price of Rp 4,000 - Rp 5,000 per hour. However, most of them only have dial-up capabilities. Most of the internet cafes can be found around universities, and in most shopping malls.

Tourism Information office

Jalan Wisata Menanggal, Tel: + 62 31 8531815, 8531820.


Police stations


Get Out

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 [24].

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

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