Welcome to Johor Bahru, a vibrant city located in the southern part of Malaysia. With a plethora of activities, attractions, and places to visit, it is no wonder that Johor Bahru is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
Whether you are looking for family-friendly activities, cultural experiences, or simply want to unwind and relax, Johor Bahru has something for everyone. In this article, we will take you on a journey through the city, highlighting the best things to do and see during your visit.
- Discover the various activities, attractions, and places to visit in Johor Bahru.
- Explore the hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path experiences in the city.
- Visit the must-see tourist spots and iconic landmarks in Johor Bahru.
- Find the best family-friendly activities and child-friendly attractions in the city.
- Immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of Johor Bahru by visiting historical sites and cultural attractions.
- Unwind and relax in the city’s parks and outdoor experiences.
- Get practical advice and travel tips for planning your trip to Johor Bahru.
Exploring Johor Bahru’s Hidden Gems
While Johor Bahru welcomes many visitors to its popular attractions and landmarks, the city also holds hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Here are some of our favourite underrated spots:
1. The Istana Besar
Often overshadowed by the more famous Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque nearby, The Istana Besar is a hidden gem that is well worth visiting. Built in 1866, this beautiful palace was once the residence of the Sultan of Johor and has since been converted into a museum. Visitors can admire the intricate architecture and learn about the history of the Johor Sultanate.
2. Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple
This charming temple is one of the oldest structures in Johor Bahru, dating back to 1875. It combines traditional Chinese architectural elements with unique Malay and European influences. Visitors can explore the intricate murals and carvings that adorn the temple’s walls and ceilings.
3. Danga Bay
While not exactly a hidden gem, Danga Bay is often overlooked by visitors in favour of more famous attractions. This waterfront development boasts a wide range of activities, including a theme park, restaurants, and a night market. Visitors can also take a scenic stroll along the bay and enjoy the sea breeze.
Don’t miss out on these lesser-known experiences in Johor Bahru. They offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture and are sure to surprise and delight visitors.
Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Johor Bahru
If you’re planning a trip to Johor Bahru and wondering what to see and do, we’ve got you covered with our must-visit tourist spots in the city. From iconic landmarks to popular attractions, these are the places that will make your trip unforgettable.
Johor Bahru City Square
Johor Bahru City Square is a massive shopping complex in the heart of the city. It features a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. For a unique experience, check out the rooftop garden, where you can relax and take in the stunning views of the city.
Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque
The Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque is one of the most striking landmarks in Johor Bahru. Built in 1900, it is a beautiful example of Islamic architecture and features stunning stained glass windows, intricate carvings, and a large central dome. Visitors are welcome to enter the mosque and explore its interior, but be sure to follow the dress code and remove your shoes before entering.
Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru
Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru, also known as Johor Bahru City Square, is a public square located in the heart of the city. It is a popular gathering place for locals and tourists, and features a large fountain as its centerpiece. Visitors can take a stroll around the square and admire the beautiful architecture of the surrounding buildings.
Legoland Malaysia Resort
If you’re visiting Johor Bahru with kids or are a fan of Lego, a visit to Legoland Malaysia Resort is a must. The resort features a variety of rides and attractions, including roller coasters, water rides, and a mini-land with Lego replicas of famous landmarks from around Asia. There is also a water park and a hotel on-site, making it a great destination for a family vacation.
Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple
The Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple, also known as the Johor Bahru Tua Pek Kong Temple, is a historic temple located in downtown Johor Bahru. It was built in the mid-19th century by Chinese immigrants and is dedicated to the deity Tua Pek Kong. The temple features intricate carvings and ornate decorations, including a large dragon sculpture on the roof. Visitors are welcome to enter the temple and explore its interior.
These are just a few of the must-visit tourist spots in Johor Bahru. Whether you’re interested in shopping, cultural experiences, or family-friendly attractions, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Best Things to Do in Johor Bahru for Families
If you’re travelling to Johor Bahru with children, rest assured that there are plenty of family-friendly activities to keep them entertained. From amusement parks to indoor playgrounds, here are our top recommendations:
- Legoland Malaysia Resort: A must-visit for Lego lovers, this amusement park features more than 70 rides, shows, and attractions, including the world’s first Legoland water park. Kids can also participate in building workshops and explore miniature replicas of famous Asian landmarks.
- Angry Birds Activity Park: Based on the popular mobile game, this indoor playground offers various interactive games and attractions, including a trampoline park, laser tag, and obstacle courses. Kids can also meet their favourite Angry Birds characters and enjoy live shows.
- Thomas Town: Featuring rides and attractions inspired by the beloved Thomas & Friends TV show, this indoor theme park is perfect for young kids. Highlights include a Thomas train ride, a 4D cinema, and a variety of play areas and interactive exhibits.
- Johor Zoo: Spanning over 5 hectares, this animal park is home to more than 100 species of animals, including tigers, elephants, and orangutans. Visitors can also watch animal shows and participate in feeding sessions.
- Danga Bay: Located by the waterfront, this recreational area offers various activities for families, including horse riding, go-karting, and a Ferris wheel. There are also food stalls and souvenir shops.
These are just a few of the many family-friendly attractions available in Johor Bahru. Make sure to also check out indoor playgrounds such as Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park and Little Play Loft, as well as outdoor spaces like Taman Merdeka and Hutan Bandar Recreation Park.
Exploring Johor Bahru’s Cultural Heritage
Johor Bahru is a city rich in cultural heritage, offering visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the traditions and history of Malaysia. From historical sites to cultural experiences, there are countless ways to explore the city’s heritage.
Historical Sites in Johor Bahru
One of the best ways to discover Johor Bahru’s cultural heritage is by visiting its various historical sites. The Sultan Abu Bakar Royal Palace Museum, located in the heart of the city, showcases the rich and vibrant history of the Malay Sultanate. Visitors can admire the intricate architecture and explore the many exhibits on display. The Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum is also a must-visit, providing an insight into the Chinese community’s contributions to the city’s development.
Other historical sites worth exploring in Johor Bahru include the Istana Besar, also known as the Grand Palace, which was once the home of the Johor Sultanate and is now open to the public for tours. The Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple offers a glimpse into the city’s Chinese spiritual beliefs and practices, while the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, known for its stunning glasswork, is another popular attraction for visitors.
Cultural Experiences in Johor Bahru
Aside from historical sites, Johor Bahru offers a range of cultural experiences for visitors to enjoy. The Johor Bahru Cultural Centre provides a fascinating insight into traditional Malay culture, offering workshops on traditional dances, music, and crafts. The Pasar Karat Night Market is another great way to experience the city’s local culture, where visitors can shop for traditional clothing and handicrafts while enjoying traditional street food.
For a more immersive experience, visitors can also participate in a homestay program with a local Malay family. This allows visitors to experience first-hand the lifestyle and traditions of the Malay people, including trying traditional Malaysian cuisine and participating in cultural activities.
Overall, Johor Bahru is a city full of rich cultural heritage, offering visitors a unique opportunity to experience the traditions and history of Malaysia. Whether you’re exploring historical sites or participating in cultural experiences, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.
Unwind and Relax in Johor Bahru’s Nature
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, Johor Bahru has plenty of options for reconnecting with nature. From lush parks to outdoor adventures, here are some of the best ways to unwind and relax in Johor Bahru’s natural surroundings.
Explore Johor Bahru’s Parks
Johor Bahru is home to several parks that offer a welcome respite from the city’s busy streets. The Hutan Bandar MPJBT is a popular destination for those seeking a peaceful stroll amidst lush greenery, with options for picnics or cycling along the park’s designated paths. Alternatively, the Taman Merdeka is a family-friendly park that features a playground, paddle boats, and an impressive fountain display.
|Hutan Bandar MPJBT
|Jalan Tasek, Johor Bahru
|Picnic areas, cycling paths
|Jalan Kebun Teh, Johor Bahru
|Playground, paddle boats, fountain display
Go on an Outdoor Adventure
If you’re looking for a more adventurous way to connect with nature, there are plenty of options for outdoor activities in Johor Bahru. Head to the Gunung Pulai Recreational Forest for a hike through a lush rainforest, or venture to the Tiram Indoor Water Park for a day of water slides and aquatic fun. The Johor Bahru Golf Club is also a great option for those seeking a round of golf amidst picturesque surroundings.
|Gunung Pulai Recreational Forest
|Hiking, rainforest trekking
|Tiram Indoor Water Park
|Water slides, wave pools, thrill rides
|Johor Bahru Golf Club
|Jalan Larkin, Johor Bahru
|18-hole golf course, scenic views
Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll through a park or an adrenaline-fueled adventure, Johor Bahru’s natural surroundings offer something for everyone. Take the time to unwind and soak in the city’s natural beauty during your visit.
The Best Travel Sites in Johor Bahru
When visiting a new city, it’s essential to have access to helpful travel sites that provide information on local attractions, events, and accommodations. In Johor Bahru, visitors can find a variety of travel sites that offer excellent resources for exploring the city’s diverse offerings. Here are some of the best travel sites to visit:
|Johor Bahru Tourist Information Centre
|Jalan Tun Abdul Razak, Wadihana, 80300 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
|The Johor Bahru Tourist Information Centre is conveniently located in the city center and offers a wealth of information on local attractions, accommodations, and events. Here, visitors can pick up brochures, maps, and other resources to help plan their trip.
|Johor Bahru City Square
|Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
|Johor Bahru City Square is a popular shopping mall that also features a tourist information center. Here, visitors can find information on local attractions, dining options, and accommodations, as well as purchase tickets for various tours and activities.
|KSL City Mall
|33, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
|KSL City Mall is another popular shopping destination that also has a tourist information center. Here, visitors can find information on local tours, attractions, and accommodations, as well as purchase tickets for various activities and events.
In addition to these travel sites, visitors can also check out the official Visit Johor website for comprehensive information on local attractions, events, and accommodations. This website features helpful travel guides and itineraries, as well as a useful directory of hotels, restaurants, and other establishments in the area.
The Best Places to Stay in Johor Bahru
When planning a trip to Johor Bahru, finding the right accommodation is crucial to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Fortunately, the city offers a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference.
For those seeking luxury and comfort, Johor Bahru has numerous high-end hotels to choose from. These hotels offer top-notch amenities such as spas, swimming pools, and fine dining restaurants. Some of the most popular luxury hotels in the city include the DoubleTree by Hilton, Renaissance Johor Bahru Hotel, and The Westin Desaru Coast Resort.
Mid-range hotels are also abundant in Johor Bahru, offering a balance between comfort and affordability. These hotels provide cosy rooms, standard amenities, and occasionally a restaurant. Some of the top mid-range hotels in the city include Hotel Granada Johor Bahru, KSL Hotel & Resort, and Holiday Villa Johor Bahru City Centre.
Guesthouses and Budget Accommodations
For budget-conscious travellers, there are many guesthouses and budget accommodations available in Johor Bahru. These accommodations provide basic amenities such as a bed, shower, and free Wi-Fi. Hostels are also available for backpackers who prefer to stay in shared rooms. Some of the best guesthouses and budget accommodations in the city include The Seed, The Ardens Hotel, and Yew Hotel.
Service apartments are perfect for travellers who stay longer in the city and desire for a more homely feeling. These apartments come with fully equipped kitchens, living rooms, and separate bedrooms, making them an excellent option for families or groups. Some of the most popular service apartments in Johor Bahru include Teega Suites Puteri Harbour, Somerset Medini Iskandar Puteri, and Citadines Medini Nusajaya.
Regardless of your budget or travel needs, Johor Bahru has a suitable accommodation option for you. We recommend choosing one that is centrally located to ensure easy access to the city’s attractions and activities.
The Best Places to Eat in Johor Bahru
If you’re a food lover, Johor Bahru has a lot to offer. You can find a wide variety of local and international cuisine, ranging from street food to fine dining. Here are some of the best places to eat in the city:
Located in the heart of the city, Restoran Todak is a popular seafood restaurant that offers a unique dining experience. The restaurant serves a variety of fresh seafood dishes, including crabs, prawns, and lobsters. You can select your seafood from the restaurant’s tanks and have it cooked to your liking. The restaurant is known for its affordable prices and lively atmosphere.
If you’re looking for a stylish and trendy place to dine, Downtown Cafe is the perfect choice. The cafe is located in a beautiful heritage building and serves a variety of international cuisine, including Italian, Mexican, and American. The cafe also has a bar that serves a wide range of drinks. The ambiance is perfect for a romantic dinner or a night out with friends.
If you want to try some local Malay food, Warung Selera is the perfect place. The restaurant serves a variety of traditional Malay dishes, including nasi lemak, mee rebus, and laksa. The food is affordable and delicious, and the restaurant has a cozy and casual atmosphere.
If you’re a fan of street food, Pasar Karat is the place to be. Located in the heart of the city, Pasar Karat is a night market that offers a wide variety of street food. You can find everything from satay and grilled seafood to local desserts and snacks. The market is open on weekends and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
These are just a few of the many great places to eat in Johor Bahru. Whether you’re looking for local or international cuisine, fine dining or street food, the city has something to offer for every taste and budget.
Exploring Johor Bahru’s Nightlife
If you’re looking for a vibrant nightlife scene, Johor Bahru won’t disappoint. Whether you prefer laid-back bars or lively clubs, the city has plenty of options to choose from.
Bars: For a more relaxed atmosphere, check out some of Johor Bahru’s popular bars. One of the most highly recommended spots is The Replacement – Lodge & Kitchen, a cozy bar and restaurant that serves up delicious cocktails and tasty Malaysian dishes.
Clubs: For those who want to dance the night away, Johor Bahru has several clubs to offer. One of the most popular is The Ice Cream Factory, which features a variety of music genres and a lively atmosphere. Another great option is Club Trove, known for its impressive sound system and energetic crowds.
Live Music: If you’re a fan of live music, check out The Canteen at Ramada by Wyndham Meridin Johor Bahru. This cool venue hosts local musicians and offers a great range of drinks and snacks. Another option is The Grindhouse, a bar and live music venue that features a variety of genres and a trendy, industrial-style atmosphere.
Useful Tips for Enjoying Johor Bahru’s Nightlife
– Dress codes: Some bars and clubs have dress codes, so it’s important to check in advance before heading out.
– Safety: As with any nightlife scene, it’s important to stay safe and aware of your surroundings. Stick to well-lit areas and avoid leaving drinks unattended.
– Transportation: Consider how you’ll be getting home from your night out. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Grab are widely available in Johor Bahru, or you can opt for a hotel within walking distance of your chosen venue.
Planning Your Trip to Johor Bahru
Now that you have a good idea of the various things to do, places to visit, and experiences to enjoy in Johor Bahru, it’s time to start planning your trip. Here are some useful tips and essential information to help you make the most of your visit to this vibrant Malaysian city.
Travel Documents and Visa Requirements
If you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, you do not need a visa to enter Malaysia for stays up to 90 days. However, you will need a valid passport with at least six months’ validity from the date of your arrival. It’s always a good idea to check the latest visa requirements before you travel.
Getting There and Getting Around
The easiest way to reach Johor Bahru is by flying into Senai International Airport, which is located about 30 minutes’ drive from the city. Alternatively, you can fly into Singapore’s Changi Airport, which is just across the causeway from Johor Bahru. Once you arrive, you can travel around the city by taxi, bus, or rental car. Walking is also an option for shorter distances.
When to Go
Johor Bahru enjoys a tropical climate, with high temperatures and high humidity year-round. The best time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from March to October. However, if you prefer cooler weather and don’t mind occasional rain, you can visit during the monsoon season, which runs from November to February.
What to Pack
When packing for your trip to Johor Bahru, it’s important to bring lightweight, comfortable clothing that will keep you cool in the tropical heat. Don’t forget to pack plenty of sun protection, including hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses. You may also want to bring insect repellent and a mosquito net if you’re sensitive to mosquito bites.
Health and Safety
It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor about any necessary vaccinations or health precautions before you travel. As with any destination, it’s important to take precautions to ensure your safety while you’re in Johor Bahru. Be aware of your surroundings, avoid carrying large sums of cash or valuables, and take precautions to avoid petty theft and scams.
With its diverse attractions, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, Johor Bahru is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Malaysia. By following these tips and essential information, you can make the most of your visit and enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer.
Q: What are some popular tourist spots in Johor Bahru?
A: Some popular tourist spots in Johor Bahru include Legoland Malaysia, Johor Bahru City Square, and the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque.
Q: Are there any hidden gems in Johor Bahru?
A: Yes, Johor Bahru has some hidden gems that are off the beaten path, such as Danga Bay, Hutan Bandar Recreation Park, and Bukit Serene Palace.
Q: What are some family-friendly activities in Johor Bahru?
A: Families can enjoy activities like visiting Angry Birds Activity Park, exploring the Johor Zoo, and spending a day at Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park.
Q: Are there any cultural attractions in Johor Bahru?
A: Yes, Johor Bahru has several cultural attractions, including the Royal Abu Bakar Museum, Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple, and the Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple.
Q: Where can visitors unwind and relax in Johor Bahru’s nature?
A: Visitors can unwind and relax in nature at places like Puteri Harbour Family Theme Park, Johor Bahru City Garden, and the Taman Merdeka recreational park.
Q: Where can tourists find travel information in Johor Bahru?
A: Tourists can find travel information at the Johor Bahru Tourist Information Centre and the Johor Bahru Visitor Centre.
Q: What are some recommended places to stay in Johor Bahru?
A: Some recommended places to stay in Johor Bahru include Hotel Jen Puteri Harbour, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Johor Bahru, and Thistle Johor Bahru.
Q: Where are the best places to eat in Johor Bahru?
A: The best places to eat in Johor Bahru include Restoran Singgah Selalu, Restoran Hua Mui, and Meldrum’s Cafe.
Q: What is the nightlife like in Johor Bahru?
A: Johor Bahru offers a vibrant nightlife scene with popular bars like The Ice Cream Bar, Kilang Bateri, and The Replacement – Lodge & Kitchen.
Q: What travel tips can you provide for visiting Johor Bahru?
A: Some travel tips for visiting Johor Bahru include carrying local currency, respecting the local customs and culture, and being cautious of your belongings in crowded areas.