Top 10 reasons to visit Bandung, Indonesia (the Paris of Java!)

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Top 10 reasons to visit bandung, indonesia (the Paris of Java!)

There’s nothing more exciting for travellers than finding out about a fascinating destination we have never come across before. And Bandung in Indonesia was definitely one of those destinations for me! As someone who has only visited Bali in Indonesia so far, Bandung had not been on my radar. However, this made the process of searching every detail about the city more exciting! Here are the top 10 reasons to visit Bandung and how it could be your (and my!) next dream destination.


1) Natural Beauty

Bandung is surrounded by picturesque landscapes, including lush green tea plantations, volcanic mountains and beautiful waterfalls.

Visitors can explore places like Tangkuban Perahu, Kawah Putih and Dusun Bambu, which offer spectacular views and opportunities for outdoor activities.

Whether it’s trekking through the rainforest to dip your toes in the breathtaking Maribaya waterfall, walking across the live crater of the Tangkuban Perahu volcano, hiking up Mount Pasigit to the mouth of the Pawon Caves or simply taking a relaxing boat ride along the lake at Situ Bagendit, Bandung has a wide variety of beautiful natural phenomenas to suit every type of nature lover.

Top tours you can take to explore Bandung:

Sunrise over he green rolling hills of Bandung

2) Adventure and sports activities

Bandung offers various activities for adventure seekers and outdoorsy travellers. It’s one of the main reasons to visit Bandung for adrenaline junkie travellers in particular!

You can go hiking in the surrounding mountains, paragliding in the scenic Puncak area or visit the Trans Studio Bandung (one of the largest indoor theme parks in Southeast Asia!).

Dormant volcano crater
Kawah Putih

3) Wellness and Relaxation

As well as offering lots of adventure activities and natural landscapes to explore, Bandung offers an equally relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

It’s home to several hot springs and wellness retreats where visitors can indulge in spa treatments, soak in mineral-rich hot springs, enjoy rejuvenating yoga and take part in meditation sessions.

Sunrise over Pangalengan in Bandung with rolling hills in the background
Sunrise over Pangalengan in Bandung

4) lovely weather

Bandung’s higher elevation contributes to a cooler climate compared to other parts of Indonesia.

The moderate temperatures make it a pleasant escape from the heat and humidity of other regions. Which also makes it perfect for taking part in sports activities and longer days adventuring in Bandung’s nature spots.

People at Kawah Putih Lake in Ciwidey in Bandung
Kawah Putih Lake in Ciwidey

5) Cultural Heritage

One of the most awesome reasons to visit Bandung is its cultural diversity!

Visitors can experience Sundanese culture through traditional music, dance performances and local cuisine. Places like Saung Angklung Udjo provide a platform to appreciate traditional Indonesian arts and music.

Bandung is considered a major and culturally significant hub in Indonesia, not only is it the third largest city in the country by population, but its history can be dated all the way back to the 7th century!

Artefacts such as a throne and ancient weapons have been found at Situs Karangkamulyan from one of Indonesia’s earliest Kingdoms, the Galuh Kingdom. Other fascinating archeological finds can be also be found on display in Bandung’s Museum Geologi, including ancient human remains found in the Pawon Caves in Mount Pasigit.

Other significant cultural influences include that of Dutch colonies that settled in Indonesia in the 1800s, using the rich landscape to plant tea.

Tea has since become a traditional and popular drink in Bandung and the plantations within the West Java province that Bandung lies in are a wonderful reminder of its rich historical and cultural heritage.

Traditional dancers in Bandung, performing wearing traditional costumes with crowns and yellow scarves
Photo credit

6) Unique Architecture

Bandung’s architectural heritage is a testament to its rich history and the diverse influences that have shaped its development over time.

The city’s architecture showcases a blend of different influences, including indigenous Indonesian styles such as Tropical Modernism, which is a style that emphasises integration with the natural environment and open spaces, Dutch colonial architecture and Art Deco.

In the early 20th century, Bandung became a centre for Indonesian architects who sought to create a distinct architectural identity. This movement, known as the ‘New Indies Style’, combined local craftsmanship with modernist styles.

One of Bandung’s most celebrated buildings is the Gedung Merdeka (also known as the Merdeka Building or the Independence Building), which was the venue for the historic Asian-African Conference held in 1955.

It reflects a blend of Indonesian and Western architectural influences designed to symbolise the spirit of independence and cooperation.

Ancient Gedung Sat building in Bandung
Ancient Gedung Sat building in Bandung

7) Shopping Experience

Bandung is a shopping haven, with numerous factory outlets, fashion boutiques and local markets!

Street markets (and shopping!) are a big part of Bandung culture and have been for centuries within the area for locals but in recent decades amongst tourists looking for a bargain.

The traditional street markets are great for travellers looking to take home authentic local products made with traditional craftsmanship such as hand-carved Indonesian puppets, bamboo instruments like the Angklung, vibrant textiles and fashion products.

If you’d rather stay central to the shopping scene, the Padma Hotel Bandung is a beautiful five star hotel set against a luscious hillside only minutes away from Bandung’s vibrant city centre and a fantastic stay option whilst travelling through Indonesia.

Clothes shop in Bandung
Photo credit

8) Culinary Delights

Bandung is renowned for its delicious food offerings! From traditional Sundanese dishes to fusion cuisine, visitors can enjoy a wide variety of culinary delights.

If you’re vegan like me, check out vegan restaurants in Bandung on HappyCow, which offer lots of veganised versions of Indonesian classics such as Soto Bandung (beef and daikon soup), Bakso (Indonesian meat balls) and Batagor (Indonesian dumplings with vegetables and peanut sauce).

Traditional Indonesian steamed sweet and savoury dumplings in a bamboo food basket
Steamed sweet and savoury dumplings

9) Art and Design

Art and design have become integral to Bandung’s identity, contributing to its cultural and creative identity.

Bandung is known for its talented fashion designers, graphic artists and craftsmen. The city has a thriving art and design scene, with numerous galleries, creative spaces and design studios.

Top galleries, include: Selasar Sunaryo Art Space, Lawangwangi Creative Space, Roemah Seni Sarasvati and NuArt Sculpture Park. These galleries often host exhibitions, art installations, and events that provide platforms for local and international artists to showcase their works – which I highly recommend!

Bandung is also known for its vibrant street art scene. Walls across the city are adorned with colourful murals, graffiti and art installations.

The Jalan Braga area, in particular, is renowned for its street art displays, with artists transforming blank walls into vibrant canvases.

Street art festivals and events like the Bandung Street Art Festival further contribute to the city’s urban art scene too and great fun for visitors to take part in!

Wooden wayang golek or rod puppets
Photo credit

10) Wildlife

While Bandung is primarily known for its urban attractions and cultural experiences, there are some great opportunities to encounter wildlife in and around the city.

The sprawling Indonesian islands are home to a whole myriad of wildlife that includes indigenous birds, primates and other native creatures only found in Indonesia.

What I will say though is please do NOT visit any animal attractions whilst in Bandung, especially Bandung Zoo.

The zoo home to almost 2,000 animals that are kept in tiny, barren enclosures. Peta are currently trying to have the zoo closed down due to the ongoing animal cruelty there.

Instead, explore the most popular wildlife trails near Bandung. All Trails have hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers.

Macaque monkey resting on a branch in a forest


As you can see there are many, many reasons to visit Bandung! But if you’re looking for a unique travelling experience combining some of the best in Indonesian history, culture and extraordinary natural phenomenas, Bandung is the place to be!

Have you ever visited Bandung or other regions of Indonesia? 😄

Quick FYI guys – this post was sponsored by Traveloka. As always all opinions are my own and I would only recommend services and products I would use myself. This posts also contains affiliate links where I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!