8 Awesome Things to Do in Johor Bahru
Malaysia is an extremely diverse country with many cultures, different landscapes, beautiful and friendly people and breathtaking beaches. It’s not a surprise why more travelers take a trip to this beautiful, but still, untouched and authentic country.
But, if you’ve ever talked with someone who has been to Malaysia, you will probably hear about the same destinations – Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Georgetown, and Malacca.
What if you want to explore a stunning city that features an authentic culture, modern lifestyle and architecture, breathtaking surrounding nature and lack of tourist crowds? Johor Bahru, a city that lies on the southernmost part of the Malay peninsula, is slowly coming to tourist radars.
Be quick if you still want to experience a true Malay culture that’s not spoiled by mass tourism.
Here’s the list of exciting and authentic things to do in Johor Bahru to get you started.
Destinations in Johor Bahru
1. Walk Around Johor Bahru Old Town
Probably the best way to get a feel of a new place is to deeply explore its oldest part. Johor Bahru Old Town is a tiny and colorful part of the city that holds the most iconic architectural wonders, a variety of street food vendors and countless souvenir shops.
If you’re interested in history, then don’t forget to check the Chinese Heritage Museum, Old Railway Station, and Sultan Ibrahim Mosque. Old Town is a known coffee place where you can get your caffeine levels checked and get ready for the awaiting adventure.
2. Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque
Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque isn’t just another mosque. The combination of Victorian and Middle Eastern architecture makes this building truly majestic. The mosque is located on the top of a tiny hill giving you amazing views over the city and a nice little training.
Did you know that the mosque is built at the beginning of the 20th century, but still looks untouched? If you truly enjoy exploring Johor Bahru on foot, you’ll be happy since the mosque is located on a walking distance from JB Old Town.
3. Pasar Karat
Since Malaysia is mostly a Muslim country, alcohol is overpriced and there are not many places to get a proper buzz. Pasar Karat is the most famous and biggest night market in Johor Bahru that will give you a unique vibe, but don’t expect alcohol and partying. It’s a colorful and vibrant night market filled with street vendors selling traditional clothes, souvenirs, toys, fruit shakes, and snacks.
It’s important to mention that the market opens every day from 7pm. Also, don’t forget to bargain as vendors usually ask for a quite price at the beginning, but are very open to negotiating.
4. Taman Merdeka
If you have some spare time and looking for ways to relax, then visit the massive Taman Merdeka Park. The recreational park spreads over 31 acres of green fields, furnished walkways, tiny rivers and lakes where you can hire pedal boats and explore at your own pace.
The park looks extremely vibrant and diverse, mostly because it was inspired by the war of independence and you can learn a few things from Malay history just by strolling around the park. During weekends, the place usually gets crowded as there are open-air theatre thematic shows.
5. Desaru Beach
If you’re looking for a quick getaway in nature, far away from modern architecture and city’s bustle, check out Desaru Beach. Located just 5 kilometers away from the city, the spot features a long strip of sandy beach, turquoise calm waters, and plenty of watersports activities such as parasailing or boat rides.
There is a variety of relaxed beach bars, seafood restaurants (with extremely fresh and spicy food!), local fishermen villages and cozy resorts.
6. Legoland Malaysia
No matter if you’re an adult or traveling with kids, Legoland Malaysia is still fun. Legoland is one of the most visited attractions in Malaysia, so be prepared to face serious tourist crowds.
What’s intriguing is that there are a few thematic worlds to explore, Miniland and Lego Kingdoms are the most popular. Did you know that Legoland features the most iconic landmarks and attractions of Malaysia built from Lego?
If your creative juices started to flow, don’t forget to enroll in one of many workshops where you can build your own Lego worlds. Don’t forget your swimsuit as there is a huge water park with slides and pools. Legoland is massive, and it’s tough to explore everything in just one day.
7. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple
The Glass Temple is definitely a top place to visit as it’s the only Hindu temple furnished in the colorful glass. Once you step inside the temple, you’ll be greeted by countless statues presenting various important figures and deities.
If you have a chance, visit the temple on a sunny day as the sun reflects on the glass and the whole place radiates in a beautiful way. Did you know that every statue and mosaic inside the temple is hand-made?
8. Angry Birds Theme Park
Angry Birds Theme Park is an ideal activity if you don’t have time to explore Legoland. The whole park features 5 different worlds from the iconic game Angry Birds. You can wander around and try a variety of games and challenging rides, go-kart racing, trampolines, and awesome performances.
It’s a perfect night time activity since the park is open until 10 pm. Our tip, buy tickets in advance since the prices skyrocket at the doors. Also, if you’re traveling with kids under 3, be sure to bring an ID for discounts.
Johor Bahru is the capital of Johor state and bordering city with Singapore. It is an exciting destination that offers a variety of things to do. The city is usually flocked with locals and travelers going to Singapore overland, so you can expect a very nice and authentic experience.
We suggest visiting Johor Bahru as part of this two week Southeast Asia travel itinerary. A route that takes you from Singapore, up the coast of Malaysia to Kuala Lumpur.
What are your favorite things to do in Johor Bahru? Share your thoughts below.