Malang is the second largest city in Indonesia’s East Java province, and area known for its national parks and nearby Mount Bromo – one of the country’s premiere trekking destinations. Top things to see and do in Malang include seeing the city’s Dutch colonial buildings, ancient temples, beaches, and trekking on the nearby Mount Penanjakan and Mount Bromo.
Malang sits 90 km south of Surabaya, the capital and largest city of East Java (Jawa Timur). Surabaya was once the biggest city in the Dutch West Indies and the center of trade comparable to the economic importance of Hong Kong. Nearby Malang was also a Dutch colony. Nowadays the city is a popular stop-over point for tourists heading to Mount Seremu or Mount Bromo.
The main street in Malang is Ijen Boulevard, a beautiful shaded street lined with Dutch colonial buildings and flowering trees.
Visitors in Malang can see the old Dutch reform Church, Gereja Katerdral Jun, built by the Dutch in 1905 in Neo-Gothic style. Another religious building to check out is Candi Badut, an 8th century Shivaite temple. It is the oldest temple in East Java and features a garden complex surrounding it.
Ten kilometers north of the city is the beautiful Singhasari Temple dating back to the 13th century. It is a Hindu-Buddhist site built by the Singhasari, a famous Javanese medieval kingdom (1222–1292).
A visit to the nearby bathing pools at Ken Dedes is also a popular stop. It is believed that Ken Dedes were once the private bathing pools of the royal court of the Singhasari dynasty.
For tea lovers, the Kebun The Wonsosari tea estate maybe just the thing to get out of the city and experience the verdant landscape and fresh air of this serene tea estate. Visitors will get to learn about the tea process, from start to finish, then of course, sample the goods and buy tea to take back home with them.
The beaches near Malang (about a 2-hour drive) are also a great way to unwind. The most popular are the Balekambang beaches, which include Balekambang beach, Ngliyep beach, Goa Cina Beach and Sendang Biru beach. The waves here are quite strong, so this is not the ideal beach for swimming, however the water views are beautiful and there is a small island to visit that is connected to the beach by a bridge.
One of the top things to see and do in Malang is to experience the outdoors. Mount Bromo stands at 2,320 meters and the area surrounding it is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Indonesia. We love this article by Walk Fly Pinoy about their other-worldly experience hiking Mount Bromo, especially their incredible photos of the Tengger Sand Sea and the smoking volcano.
If you’re looking to spend one or two nights in Malang and don’t want to blow through your budget, book a room at Everyday Smart Hotel, a two-star hotel near the center of town (See now). It’s just 25 minutes from the airport and has free Wi-Fi, 24/7 front desk concierge, buffet breakfast, and onsite laundry facilities.
Have you ever been to Malang or Mount Bromo? Tell us about it in a comment below!