Best of Bandung Travel Guide
If you’re looking for somewhere in Indonesia that’s rich in culture, full of culinary delights, and great for shopping, then Bandung might be the perfect place for you to escape to. Nestled between three mountains and surrounded by volcanoes and tea plantations, this city is sometimes called the Paris of Java because of its lovely, cool weather and colonial architecture (but it might have something to do with the great coffee, too). Here are our Bandung recommendations and travel tips.
Things to do
One of the most popular things to do in the city is shop; there are a ton of clothing factory outlets in Bandung, and in recent years, a whole crop of stores selling stylish, locally designed products has popped up. When you’ve had enough of shopping, there’s no shortage of other things to do in the surrounding area, no matter what you’re interested in. Rent a car and take a day trip south of the city to Kawah Putih, a striking turquoise lake hidden inside in a crater. On the way back, check out one of the tea plantations in the area or stop at Situ Patenggang, a scenic lake where you can relax and rent a paddleboat. Another popular day trip will take you two hours north of Bandung, where you’ll find Tangkuban Perahu, an active volcano! Don’t miss Sari Ater if you’re in this area; it’s an amazing hot springs resort that will really make you feel like you’re on vacation. If museums are more your thing, make sure to check out the Museum Geologi Bandung. It’s often overlooked, but it’s home to some of Indonesia’s most prized geographical artifacts.
You’ll want to spend a couple of nights here, and luckily there are tons of great places to stay, from affordable Airbnb rentals to luxury hotels. It’s a good idea to find somewhere in the centre of town, close to the train station, unless you want to be constantly taking taxis! One nice option is the Hyatt Regency Bandung, a 5 star hotel that has a ton of great restaurants onsite and is conveniently located right next to a shopping center. We stayed here for almost a week, and when we were not on a fun shopping spree, we just stayed at the hotel, relaxing by the pool and at night we went for dinner in the hotel’s cafe or Chinese restaurant. It’s a good idea to book online the hotel to make sure you get the kind of room you want, as some have kitchenettes and private terraces.
You won’t ever have to worry about going hungry in the Paris of Java; it’s an absolute heaven for food enthusiasts who love trying new things. There’s an endless amount of variety, from street food to fine dining, and many of the restaurants in town are constantly churning out new creations. Head to the north part of the city if you want to try one of the newer, trendier restaurants, like the Hummingbird, Lawangwangi Creative Space or Tahu Lembang (they ave really great tofu!). Or if you’re after something authentic, go to Sate Kardjan. It’s a simple but amazing place that’s open 24 hours a day, and it’s home to the best lamb satay in the city. Check out Mangokok Manis on Jeans Street if you’re in the mood for something sweet after dinner — you can build your own sundae from the bottom up!