Bandung may not be as popular as other cities in Indonesia for most international tourists, with visitors often mistaking it for Badung, a regency in Bali.
This is a sad oversight as the capital city of West Java has so much to offer travellers. Here are just a few reasons why you should consider visiting Bandung when you're in Indonesia!
Despite being landlocked and it may take around six hours to get to the nearest sea from the city, there are so many things to do for nature lovers in Bandung.
Dubbed as kota kembang, or the city of flowers in Indonesian, Bandung’s nickname originated during the Dutch colonial era. At the time, the city's natural landscape was favoured by the Dutch as their holiday getaway to help them relax.
If archaeology is something you're interested in, don't forget to stop by Stone Garden Geopark. This site was once the ancient seamount where geologists discovered fossils of ancient corals aged over 27 million years.
If you're traveling from Jakarta, there are a few options for transportation that can get you to Bandung. You can spend around a 2-hour drive from the capital city. Or else, you can also opt to travel by train, which will take around 4 hours to get to the city.
There are many places to visit in the city if you're into architecture. The city was once called "the nation's laboratory of colonial architecture" as there are a lot of architectural styles you can find in the city, from the Dutch, Indische Style, (an assimilation of Dutch and local architecture) to neoclassic architectural styles.
Start with Gedung Sate, the symbol of the city and West Java province, then head to Villa Isola to experience its signature art deco style for yourself. Jalan Braga in the central of Bandung is not only known as a promenade street with lots of chic cafes and bars, it's also where some colonial buildings are located. Some favourites include the famous Gedung Merdeka as the Asian-African Conference venue, and a colonial house situated between bars and cafes on the famous street.
Bandung was the host of the Asian-African Conference in 1955 and Gedung Merdeka, the site of the conference, is one of the major attractions in Bandung. The Bandung Principles came out as the result of the conference, and they later become the foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War.
Indonesia's founding father, Soekarno, spent his 20s in Bandung as he went to Technische Hoogeschool te Bandoeng (currently known as Bandung Institute of Technology). He was imprisoned around Banceuy after getting arrested by the Dutch colonial authorities in Yogyakarta.
You can now visit both the jail and Landraad courthouse, currently known as Gedung Indonesia Menggugat (Indonesia Accuses Building), where the trial was taken in 1930.
If it's not enough to convince you to visit Bandung, don't miss Taman Hutan Raya Juanda (Juanda Forest Park) to visit Japanese and Dutch Cave, the two caves previously used as bunkers by both Japanese and Dutch during the pre-Independence era.
Bandung is well-known for its factory outlets and so much more! During the colonial era, Bandung was sometimes called "Parijs van Java" as the city was known for its fashion. The fashion industry increased rapidly in the 1900s, and today as there are plenty of factory outlets and shopping malls where you can enjoy your fashion shopping spree!
Prior to the pandemic, there were regular flights to Bandung from other major cities in Indonesia and direct international flights from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. As a result, Bandung often became their choice for a weekend shopping getaway for visitors from the neighbouring countries!
Planning a trip to Bandung? Stay at The Papandayan in the city centre.
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Last Updated 9 October 2023