Malang is a city located in East Java, about 90km south of the capital Surabaya. Today, Malang is a great stopover if you want to find your way to trekking the Bromo volcano. However, this city is well worth your time to visit. With a population of around 1 million people, the atmosphere here is much quieter than Jakarta or Bandung. In addition, due to the location in the mountains, the temperature is much more comfortable.
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So, is Malang worth visiting, how to visit Malang, what to do in Malang and how to plan a budget trip to Malang for the first-time perfectly? Let’s check out our Malang travel blog (Malang blog) with the fullest Malang travel guide (Malang guide) from how to get to Malang, best places to visit, best time to come, what to eat as well as top things to do in Malang to help you maximize your trip as follows!
Overview of Malang and why you should visit (#malang travel blog)
Malang is a city in the province of East Java, Indonesia, the second largest city in the province. During the Dutch colonial period, it was a popular destination for Europeans. The village of Jodipan is a slum and the people here are urged by the Government to move elsewhere because living conditions are too poor. However, a group of students from University of Muhammadiyah Malang visited and decided to completely change the appearance of Jodipan to attract tourists, from which the village began to be revived.
Malang is the second largest city in East Java province, Indonesia. It has an ancient history dating back to the Mataram Kingdom. People in East Java sometimes call it the “Paris of East Java”.
Malang is known for its very own beautiful beaches in Indonesia. There are many visitors visit Malang during the holidays. Besides the Malang temple, it also attracts many international tourists as well as domestic tourists. Here are the famous tourist attractions in Malang city, Indonesia
Below are 10 reasons you should spend your next vacation in Malang
1. There is a fresh, cool atmosphere.
2. Not too crowded and noisy.
3. Bring on yourself a quiet and peaceful beauty.
4. The scenery of mountains, forests and mountains is concentrated in Malang.
5. Villages with idyllic and quiet lives.
6. Immerse yourself in the blue beaches with fine sand.
7. Attractive and interesting places to visit.
8. As a bridge to learn and explore nearby places.
9. Traditional markets with a variety of essential items.
10. Rich culinary background with savory dishes to enjoy.
When to come (#malang blog)
Malang has two main seasons.
- Dry season: From April to October.
- Rainy season: From November to March next year.
If you depart during the dry season months, the weather is sure to be extremely dry. The golden and warm sunshine will make your discovery journey more convenient. However, at such a favorable time, tourists will flock here a lot. Therefore, you have to jostle and suffer the crowd. In addition, tourist services in the peak season also increase prices “dizzy”. So, please prepare carefully your spirit and fully equipped with tools to have the most convenient trip!
If you go to Malang in the rainy season months. Unforeseen rains can hinder your fun. That is why before going to Malang, you need to carefully check the weather. At the same time, you should also bring items to prevent rain such as umbrellas, raincoats, etc. The only advantage in the gloomy weather in Malang in the rainy season. It is the tourism services that will have good tourism stimulus programs. If you go at this time, you will be able to save quite a bit of money.
How to get to Malang? (#malang guide)
Malang owns a small airport, which you can fly to from Bali or other cities in Java. The northern area of Surabaya also has a slightly larger airport.
You can easily reach Malang by train, departing from Yogyakarta (takes 8 hours) and from Surabaya (takes about 3.5 hours).
If you coming back from Bromo Volcano? Take a bus from Probolinggo to Malang. Same with Surabaya and Yogyakarta.
How to get to Malang from Ho Chi Minh to City? (#malang guide)
The flight from Tan Son Nhat airport to Surabaya airport
We booked a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Juanda International Airport (Surabaya) of Scoot Airline, the flight departed from 5:20am to 8:25pm and transited at Changi Airport (Singapore) for 12 hours. The next morning, the flight departed from Singapore at 8:20am to Surabaya 9:35pm (GMT+7).
The time I went was June 2022, I needed basic procedures such as: round-trip airfare, hotel booking information, certificate of vaccination from 2 doses, TravelCare insurance.
Entry: Surabaya Airport is quite small and the number of tourists at the time I went was not much, so the entry was quite fast and simple.
Coach and Gojek from Surabaya to Malang city
After completing the immigration procedures, we went straight out of the airport gate avoiding the pull of traditional taxis in the airport to catch Gojek, in front of the airport gate were the military barracks, I felt very safe to wait for Gojek.
Gojek is an application platform that originates from Indonesia, so when you come to this country, using the application is very popular and the price is so cheap, the application will automatically switch to the country when you step off the plane and use it immediately. Besides, Grab is also an application that can be used when coming to Indonesia. For ride-hailing, we prioritize using Gojek and ordering food, Grab seems to have more options.
From Juanda Airport (Surabaya) we booked Gojek to Terminal Purabaya Bungurasih bus station (about 10km). The first Gojek trip was the beginning of the very friendly and enthusiastic meetings and talks from the good Indonesia people we met along the way.
At Terminal Purabaya Bungurasih bus station, we temporarily ate bread brought from Vietnam, waiting for the bus to leave at 3:20pm of KALISARI bus company to Terminal Arjosari Malang with a distance of about 100km.
In Vietnam, on traveloka.com, I changed Country & Language to Indonesia (English), so I can search for means of transportation, bus ticket information, operating hours of bus operators in the destination in Indonesia very convenient and flexible payment. KALISARI is a clean 45-seat car that gives you a very comfortable experience when going through the roads with green trees, watching the Gunung Arjuna mountain through the village of Lawang.
The bus arrived at Terminal Arjosari Malang at 4:50pm, we continued to take Gojek to the hotel booked on Booking.
Note that when catching Gojek, there will be specified rules to be picked up and dropped off at the bus stations (terminals), you remember the marked points to pick up the car.
Where to stay in Malang? (#malang travel guide)
Because Malang is often overlooked by tourists, you don’t need to worry about running out of hotels or hostels. However, finding out where to stay before going is a wise choice because hotels will not be everywhere in the city.
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
Victoria Boutique Residence Hotel: The hotel we booked is Victoria Boutique Residence (Agoda, Booking), the hotel is very clean with heated water, note for this area because it will be cool at night and not all hotels have water heater. After checking in, the receptionists also support us to contact to rent a motorbike delivered at the hotel with a full fuel tank for IDR 100,000 / day (rent for 1 day), the rental price here is listed so it cannot be negotiated anymore.
Telkomsel Service Office (GraPARI)
Address: Jl. A. Yani No.11, Blimbing, Kec. Blimbing, Kota Malang, Jawa Timur 65125, Indonesia.
- HARRIS Hotel and Conventions Malang (Agoda, Booking)
- Whiz Prime Hotel Basuki Rahmat Malang (Agoda, Booking)
- Swiss-Belinn Malang (Agoda, Booking)
- The 1O1 Malang OJ (Agoda, Booking)
- Grand Mercure Malang Mirama (Agoda, Booking)
- Grand Cakra Hotel Malang (Agoda, Booking)
- Ibis Styles Malang (Agoda, Booking)
- Hotel Tugu Malang – CHSE Certified (Agoda, Booking)
- Ibis Styles Malang (Agoda, Booking)
- Hotel Aria Gajayana (Agoda, Booking)
Buy 4G SIM card (#malang travel blog)
The sim shop is only 1.5km from the hotel I booked, very close and convenient.
From the moment we flew from Vietnam to the hotel in Malang, we used free WiFi from everywhere such as the airport, bus station, hotel until the first morning in Malang, we bought a 4G SIM card. We bought a SIM and used our passport to register a SIM at the Telkomsel Service Office (GraPARI) store, a popular chain of SIM stores like Viettel, Mobiphone… in Vietnam for 40,000 IDR, only using the Internet without calling and 10,000 IDR SIM registration fee. In addition, for more convenience, people can pre-purchase a SIM in Vietnam on Klook and receive it at the airport.
- 3G/4G Prepaid SIM Card (Delivery to Hotel) for Bali
- 4G SIM Card Bali (DPS) Airport Pick Up for Indonesia from XL/Telkomsel (On-Site Activation)
PT. Sumber Arto Santoso (Bank)
Address: Jl. Jenderal Basuki Rahmat No.84A, Klojen, Kec. Klojen, Kota Malang, Jawa Timur 65111, Indonesia.
Most of the people on the groups talk about being cheated, doing magic tricks to exchange money at exchangers in Indonesia, but we see that as long as you go to the money exchange counters with the Authorized Money Exchange sign, they can exchange money with invoice papers are clear and very professional. Don’t be greedy for places with good rates and lose money. It’s best to exchange it to USD in Vietnam first and a little IDR, then to Indonesia to exchange from USD -> IDR, the exchange rate will be better.
What to eat in Malang? (#malang travel blog)
A lucky thing for us when wondering about choosing a random local restaurant in Malang is that we have booked Erdys Kitchen – Penanggungan on Grab which is very delicious, highly recommend you if coming to Malang to order food here. We tried almost all the dishes at the restaurant for our meals, the best ones being fried rice “Nasi Goreng Udang Ayam” and Fried Noodles “Bakmi”.
Restaurant Bakso president
Address: Jl. Batanghari No.5, Rampal Celaket, Kec. Klojen, Kota Malang, Jawa Timur 65111, Indonesia.
The friends at the hotel introduced us to “Bakso President”, a street restaurant near the train line that specializes in selling beef and meatball dishes. This is also one of the most prominent dishes in Indonesia.
An important note when ordering food in Indonesia is that they will not give eating utensils when ordering through food ordering apps because Indonesians use their hands to pick up food, fortunately we brought our eating utensils. At restaurants, taxes and service fees will be quite high, depending on the restaurant.
What to do and where to go in Malang?
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park
Address: XXH2+7X4, Ranupani, East Java, Indonesia
The national park is one of the best places to visit that you should not miss when coming to Malang. It is located in the eastern region of Java island with many natural beauty. Coming to Bromo Tengger Semeru, you will have a journey through about 50 rivers and 5 volcanoes about 1,200m high. Overall, this park has a total area of about 5,000 hectares. If you are a person who is passionate about conquering and interested in beautiful landscapes, let come to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park!
If you like unspoiled places without the hustle and bustle of the city. Head to the southern part of Malang in East Java to find the island of Sempu. Sempu Island has a painting-like beauty with many stunning scenery. This is also the ideal place for you to find a lot of interesting and exciting experiences. Specifically, such as jungle exploration, swimming, camping on the beach, etc.
Malang City Square
In addition to the name Malang City Square, this place is also known as “Alun-Alun Kota Malang”. Malang City Square is one of the most favorite places of domestic and foreign tourists when coming to Malang. Coming here, you can easily relax with friends or family in a spacious space. The most prominent feature in Malang City Square is a fountain. This fountain is designed to stand out with hundreds of pigeons. It is because of this beauty that when coming to Malang City Square, you will feel like you are traveling in some European spot. Take some time to visit Malang City Square to relax!
Address: Jl. Wisnuwardhana, Ronggowuni, Tumpang, Kec. Tumpang, Kabupaten Malang, Jawa Timur 65156, Indonesia
Hours: 7:30 AM–4 PM
Coming to Jajaghu is an attractive religious tourist destination in Malang that you should not miss. Jajaghu or Jago is a temple built between 1275 and 1300. According to legend, this Jajaghu temple was built to bury King Wisnu Wardhana – the fourth king of Singosari kingdom. If you’re interested in the subject of history, head to Jajaghu Temple for the most interesting information!
Address: XPF5+QCX, Jalan Raya, Panggung, Kidal, Tumpang, Malang Regency, East Java 65156, Indonesia
Hours: 8 AM–5 PM
Kidal is a temple belonging to the village of the same name in Tumpang district. You can travel about 24km from Malang to the East to find it. Coming to Kidal Temple, you will admire a fairly large architectural work. Architecture is one of the interesting things at Kidal Temple that has attracted tourists to come here. In addition, the historical value and artifacts at the temple is also another attraction. Before going to the temple, please prepare a neat outfit to visit!
Jami Great Mosque
Address: Jl. Merdeka Barat No.3, Kauman, Kec. Klojen, Kota Malang, Jawa Timur 65119, Indonesia
Coming to a country with the dominant Muslim religion, you cannot ignore the mosques here. One of the most famous mosques in Malang is the Jami Great (The Great Mosque of Malang). Jami Great is the mosque with the largest area and the most prominent building architecture in Malang. Here, you will find a lot of historical value and peaceful scenes in this ancient place of worship. Don’t forget to dress politely to come here!
Coban Pelangi Falls
Address: Dusun Ngadas, Ngadas, Poncokusumo, Malang Regency, East Java 65157, Indonesia
Hours: 8 AM–4 PM
Coban Pelangi is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Indonesia in general and Malang in particular. To reach this Coban Pelangi waterfall, you will have to travel to the East of Malang about 32km. After a long way, you will be able to find a year-round waterfall that is always filled with cool air. The water at Coban Pelangi waterfall is also extremely clean and cool. Remember to bring a bathing suit to enjoy a dip in this water village!
Goa China Beach
In addition to waterfalls, Malang also has blue beaches in the same smooth sand. And Goa China Beach is one of the ideal places that we is talking about. At Goa China beach, you will be able to indulge in water sports activities. The most special is diving to see marine life, windsurfing, boating, swimming, etc. Do not miss the best scenery in Goa China, which is to admire the brilliant sunset. This is one of the moments that I remember the most when he comes to Goa China!
Balekambang is a beach area with the most built structures. The coastline in Balekambang also extends to the southern part of East Java. Despite being in a remote rural area, Balekambang always attracts a lot of visitors every weekend. Come here, in addition to be immersed in the clear and cool blue water. You can also admire the exquisite and unique architecture. Choose the prettiest outfits to “make” some cute photo shoots here!
This colorful neighboring village is definitely number 1 on the list of must-visit places in Malang. From the houses to the bridge, they are all dressed in bright, colorful paints. Although there are few tourists walking around here, the rhythm of local people’s life still flows calmly. That means you’ll be able to get a glimpse of life in Jodipan.
The day we were in Malang, it rained erratically, so we chose to walk around the Jodipan rainbow village.
Before entering the village, there will be a motorbike parking spot for the surrounding households, you must park your motorbike and walk inside to visit. When entering you will need to buy a ticket and the ticket price has been clearly posted on the notice board.
Jodipan used to be a slum. The people here were called by the government to move elsewhere because living conditions were too poor until a group of students from Muhammadiyah Malang University visited and decided to completely change the appearance of Jodipan. The village has just been revived and attracts tourists as it is today.
After receiving funding from a local paint distributor, the student group called on about 30 local painters and artists to join the campaign.
Jodipan is one of the villages showing the diverse cultural values of Indonesia. Built with help and support from the local community and government. This spectacular makeover has brought hope and optimism to the people of Jodipan.
Alun Alun Malang
This large park is one of the ideal tourist spots to relax and meet the locals in Malang. Maybe they just want to chat with you to practice their English or take a picture. Especially on weekends, this place is very crowded and bustling. In addition, here you can also admire the church and mosque around.
Traditional market or night markets
If you want to buy souvenirs then you should not coming here. This is a local market that sells everything you can think of, from food to tools. Because this market is still unexplored by tourists, the prices are extremely cheap. It’s an ideal place to feel the local culture, isn’t it?
There are a few traditional markets in Malang that you can visit. The most popular are Oro-oro Dowo and Pasar Besar (big market), where you can buy fresh farm produce and seafood with the locals. If you like to explore food, you can visit Jalan Kyai Tamin night market, enjoy local delicacies, buy souvenirs…
It is a road you should definitely walk through when passing through this city. It is a wide street with classical buildings in colonial architecture standing solemnly like sentries, giving the street a quiet beauty and you feel like you are lost in Europe.
The area around Malang
In Malang you will find a lot of tea plantations and temples that you can visit on a tour or on your own by scooter. If you want, you can also visit the orphanage for 1 or 2 days organized by Kampong Tourist hotel. And of course, the tourist attraction in the Malang region is the majestic “Bromo volcano”.
One of the most wonderful activities in Malang that tourists enjoy, that is diving under the clear blue sea water in search of abundant marine life. Coming to the beaches in Malang, do not forget to experience scuba diving to explore the ocean. With this activity, you’ll be able to learn about the diverse underwater world of marine life!
Relax on the long sandy beaches
In addition to diving underwater, you can also relax on the fine white sand beach. The bright yellow sun will help you have an extremely attractive tan. If you come at sunset time, it will definitely be much more attractive. Because at this time, the sunset on the beach will help you have the most comfortable moments. Don’t forget to bring attractive swimsuits for memorable frames!
Explore the jungle
Malang is an area surrounded by forests. Therefore, you should not ignore the activities of discovery and conquest. Trying this experience, you not only admire the green natural scenery. But you can also find an extremely diverse system of organisms. Take a jungle adventure in Malang if you have the time!
If you want to combine one more experience in your jungle adventure. Then conquering the waterfalls in Malang is a great combination. After crossing the forests and crossing the streams. You will find a majestic waterfall that is flowing from above. In addition to being immersed in the cool waterfall water. Don’t forget to capture magical moments at this waterfall. You should bring a dry set of clothes to change into when going to the waterfall!
Camp on beaches or in jungles
Camping overnight on the beaches or in the deep forests, definitely an experience that you should not miss in your journey to discover Malang. Trying this experience, you may have to prepare a lot of things. But if you go with friends, it’s a lot easier to do. In return for your hard work, you will be able to see the starry sky in a quiet space. Let’s organize a BBQ party to enjoy while looking at the sky, watching the clouds, watching the stars!
In Malang, there are quite a few villages with different minority ethnic groups. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to visit Malang, do not forget to visit the villages. Here, you will be able to learn about the daily life of the indigenous people. In addition, you can also make new friends and experience their exciting daily activities. If their village sells souvenir products, remember to buy to support!
One of the experiences that you cannot miss in any travel. That is to enjoy the unique traditional cuisine of that place. And Malang is a tourist destination you cannot ignore to enjoy the special dishes. Most of the ingredients used to make these dishes are made from fresh produce. In addition, the chef also uses spices only found in Malang to seasoning. Therefore, the food in Malang has a very different color compared to neighboring provinces. Find the markets to enjoy.
Shopping at flea markets
In addition to eating, shopping is also an essential need in Malang. Coming to the flea markets or night markets in Malang, do not miss shopping. It sells products from clothes to daily necessities. Prices in Malang are also very affordable so you don’t have to pay much. But if you want, you can also bargain a good price with sellers!
Some tips and notes before you go
- The journey to Malang will be extended by many journeys. Therefore, you should plan and book tickets in advance. For example, if you book in advance or “hunt” for cheap tickets, you will save on travel costs.
- When booking a hotel, you can refer to websites specializing in booking accommodation such as: Agoda, Booking, Airbnb, etc. because these websites often have extremely attractive promotions and deals.
- Rent a hotel in an area close to the center or close to attractions so you don’t have to travel much.
- Instead of going to Malang in the peak season with the crowd and high prices “towering”. You can refer to going in the low season with incentives.
- If you travel with only 1 to 2 people, renting a motorbike to move around will be more economical than taking a taxi or other means.
- If you go in a large group, you should hire a car service with a driver to visit many places to save money.
- Going on group tours will cost less than private tours.
- You can refer to roadside eateries, shops or warungs with delectable local dishes instead of eating at luxury restaurants.
- People in the East Java region more than 80% of the population are Muslim: They do not eat pork because they consider pork to be an unclean meat for the body. Most of the dishes here I see using chicken and beef mainly.
- Driving in the left lane: Please be careful when driving against Vietnam, at first, you are not used to driving on the left side of the road, but I believe this will be quite an interesting experience.
- Prepare a universal socket: Indonesia uses a voltage of 230V, quite suitable for most devices like in Vietnam. However, Indonesia uses power sockets mainly for round plugs, so you need to bring a plug adapter to use when traveling here.
- Bring personal eating utensils: Because most people here will use their hands to eat.
- Do not drink alcohol or beer in public places.
- Do not do intimate actions such as: Hugging, kissing, holding hands, etc. on the street.
- Dress modestly and politely
- Do not look or physically touch Muslim women.
- When visiting temples, mosques, you should dress dignified and not joking.
- You should not go out on the street for too long at night.
- Do not use stimulants, banned substances when coming to Malang because this is prohibited.
- Comply with the regulations of Malang.
- Store your belongings and money carefully in public places.
- When you book a hotel, you should check to see what services and amenities they have to prepare for suitable luggage.
- Do not forget to bring sunscreen, jacket, hat… to limit ultraviolet rays to the lowest level.
- If you go in the rainy season, umbrellas, raincoats, quick-drying clothes, etc. are essential items for you.
- When participating in experiential tours, you should contact the tour operator to get the best support from the tour guide.
- Exchange money in Vietnam first to avoid being exchanged at a higher rate than in Malang.
We hope that our sharing will help people get closer to Jodipan-Malang, although the lives of the people here are still difficult, they always carry in them a strong vitality like the way the colors do. This place is shining and shining every day.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Malang you can refer to
- 2D1N Bromo and Ijen Crater Private Hiking Tour from Malang
- 2D1N Bromo Sunrise Tour from Malang
- Mount Bromo Sunrise & Madakaripura Waterfall Private Tour from Malang
- Tumpak Sewu and Goa Tetes Waterfall Trekking Experience from Malang
- Bromo Panorama Non Sunrise Private Tour from Malang
- Tumpak Sewu Waterfall & Goa Tetes Cave from Malang
- Wonosari Colonial Tea Plantation and Jodipan Colorful Village Tour
- Photoshoot in Malang By Viufinder
- Adventure Trail Trip to Wonosari Tea Plantation
- Cycling Adventure in Pujon Batu Malang
- Cycling and Village Tour in Malang
- Batik Making Class in Malang
- Mount Bromo Sunrise Tour from Surabaya or Malang
- Mount Bromo Camping 2D1N Tour from Malang
Find out more top things to do in Malang here.