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13 Best Things To Do In Malang, Indonesia {2019 Travel Guide}

Written by:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last updated:
October 15, 2019
Travel stories
So you're thinking of visiting the vibrant city of Malang in Java. Well, check out our guide on the best things to do in Malang for a little inspiration...
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 Malang, Indonesia
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Malang is located on the island of Java in Indonesia. Malang was probably one of our favourite places in Indonesia and Java. It’s absolutely bursting with amazing things to do and I highly recommend that you include it on your Java itinerary. 

So let's look at the best things to do in Malang alongside some extra information to help plan your trip. 

When is the best time to visit Malang 

It’s best to visit Malang during the dry season which runs in august, September and October. The most popular time for tourists to visit is August, which is when Brad and I visited. However, we can’t say it was overly busy. We didn’t run into that many tourists at all. 

How long do you need in Malang

Brad and I spent 3 nights in Malang and that was enough to see all the best tourist attractions in Malang. One of those days (mornings) was dedicated to a Bromo Sunrise tour, so that left two full days to see all the other sites. A lot of things to do in Malang require the use of a moped to get around, or Grab! 

If you wanted to take things slower, you could stretch it out to 4 nights. But I wouldn’t do any less as you’ll not want to miss any of these awesome things to do in Malang. 

Okay, now for the part you came for, a list of what to do in Malang and the best places to visit in Malang. Brad and I did all these things (apart from 2, but I’ll explain why below). 

Top things to do in Malang

1. Explore the amazing Rainbow village- Jodipan

This was one of my personal favourite things to do in Malang. Basically Jodipan was a slum area of the city and it was kind of falling to bits. So, the university students came up with the idea to paint the town in different colours of the rainbow to attract tourism. The money from the very tiny entrance fee of 3,000 is given to the people who live there. 

Actually there are 2 entrance points of the Rainbow village, and each is a 3,000 entrance, but in exchange for your tiny donation, you get a free key handmade keyring which is super cute.

As you walk through the rainbow village you can take great pics against the colorful backdrop, buy something at the little shops that have cropped up or head up to the yellow bridge for an awesome view. 

Also, this is a really popular spot for drones, because come on! The drone captures all the amazing photos from above and it’s legal to drone here (For now at least) and free...again for now. 

This was probably the most touristy area in all of Java, but we still had a lot of the village to ourselves. Touristy in Malang is not the same as touristy in Bali! 

Definitely one of the more unique things to do in Malang, and the project was done to increase tourism, and that’s exactly what it’s achieved. 

jodpian java
rainbow village

2. Explore the Blue village

Okay so the “Blue” village is located right next to the rainbow village and it’s another great place to explore. It’s the same concept as above, but this village is like a miniature version of that blue village that’s in Morocco (I haven’t been, but I’ve seen the photos). 

It’s a lot quieter than the Rainbow village, so you really may be the only one wandering around. The entrance price is the same too. 

You can see both these places from the train ride on the way into Malang, I didn’t as I was daydreaming, but I’ve heard you can. 

blue village malang

3. Visit Coban putri

Word of warning, you’re going to see me talk about a lot of waterfalls in Malang, and that’s because waterfall chasing is one of the most popular things to do here. 

So first things first, Coban Putri (Coban means waterfall). This waterfall isn’t all that amazing, but it’s actually quite a romantic spot. It’s quite famous for it’s nest that you can stand in with your loved one for an epic photo with a great backdrop. It’s about 10,000 for a photo. We didn’t do the photo. 

But you can drive the whole way up to the waterfall, and you can “climb” the waterfall too. But it’s only 5,000 entrance and 3,000 to park your moped. 

This waterfall is around 40 minutes from Malang city centre but a trip here can be combined with many other waterfalls in the area. 

4. Be amazed by Sempul waterfall

Brad will tell you that this is one of his favourite things to do in Malang, and maybe all of Indonesia. I would agree. 

This is an EPIC waterfall and it is regarded as one of the best in Indonesia. You always wonder whether a photo of a place will live up to the reality, well this waterfall totally does. 

It’s also an epic photo spot as when the weather is right you can see the volcano in the background too. 

Now this is a 2 hour drive from Malang city centre, but it’s worth the drive. The drive itself is quite scenic and fairly straight. 

When you visit there are actually two viewpoints, located at opposite ends of each other. We went to the more “official” entrance, but it was a little busy.

The views were epic however ,and if you want to walk down underneath the waterfall, then you do so from here. It’s 20,000 entrance and it’s 15,000 to walk down. The walk is a little sketchy, but according to the guides it should take around 30 minutes (each way I presume!) 

When we were at the first spot, we looked across and seen like another platform so decided to try and find it. We drove around to the other side and came across a little house area that provided entrance to the waterfall too. It was also 20,000 and I actually preferred this side. 

There was NO ONE there. Just Brad and I and we flew our drone and got some epic shots (be careful with interference for your drone signal- they have been lost here). 

This is definitely one of the best things to do in Malang and if you don't want to drive it, you can easily rent a Grab driver to take you there and back. 

Word of warning, it’s getting more attention so more popular, so visit now before it’s overrun with mass tourism :P 

sekumal waterfall
waterfall java

5. Visit the quiet Kidal temple

If you’ve gone as far as Sempul waterfall, on your way back with a slight detour you can visit Kidal Temple. This was on our list of things to do, but I ran out of time and patience on the back of a moped. But it does look pretty cool and according to the reviews it’s pretty quiet so you’d get some cool shots. 

6. Admire the beautiful Batu flower garden 

Batu Flower Garden is beautiful, but a novelty sight. Actually it’s the hidden waterfall which I will talk about below that makes it worth visiting. But the garden itself is very well maintained, colorful and there are lots of typical photo opportunities available. entrance is 20,000 and other activities such as ziplining, will cost extra.

batu flower garden
hobbit houses malang

7. Discover the secret waterfall next to Batu flower garden 

We found this waterfall by accident. We were actually looking for a completely different one but ended up following signs to this waterfall. I don’t even have a name for it,but I have marked it on a map. 

But as you walk past the Batu flower garden you’ll see signs for a waterfall and you’ll have a lot of guys asking if you want to pay for a moped to take you there..which is fine, (10,000 and 25,000 back) but it doesn’t take you the full way, you’ll still have to walk through mud and water. 

Anyway, it’s about a 45 minute walk through water, streams and some mud and basically I wasn’t prepared for that style of walk. We did it anyway, we made it and we were the only ones here at this really cool waterfall. 

It was worth the adventure, but we couldn’t actually get our drone to find GPS signal there so we couldn’t fly it properly. It might have been to do with the secluded location. 

secret waterfall batu
walkto secret waterfall

8. Another awesome Coban rondo waterfall

This is a pretty cool waterfall that’s located up high and it’s pretty powerful! To get there you need to pay entrance into a national park type area. 

This entrance will give you access to the waterfall, camping area, if you're that way inclined and other things in the park. Entrance is 50,000. 

waterfall in java

9. Get lost in Taman labirin

This is located in the same park as the above waterfall, all you need to do is follow the signs. It’s included in the ticket price and it’s basically a hedge maze and it's just a bit of fun! If you’re with a friend, challenge each other to see who gets there first!

10. Explore unique tea fields

If you haven’t already explored tea fields in Bandung, Malang is also home to some. They are located in the same region of the waterfalls I’ve spoken about just above, but Brad and I didn’t visit. 

Simply because we had already seen teafields. But they do look beautiful and to get to these ones you do a walk to them, or a moped ride. Make sure you visit there on a sunny day. 

11. Take a Mount Bromo Tour [the best thing to do in Java!]

This is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Malang, even though it’s technically not in Malang, it’s the closest and most convenient point in Indonesia to take a Mount Bromo tour.

I’ve done a whole guide on organising a Mount Bromo Tour that you can check out. But I’ll give you the overview here. 

You’ll want to do a sunrise tour because OMG, it’s the most amazing sunrise I’ve ever done in my lfie.10000%. It looks like a painting it’s that perfect. Anyway, because it’s sunrise, you’ll be starting your morning at around 12-1am. I know it’s early, bt trust me it’s worth it and you can sleep after. 

Brad and I went with a tour company we found through our hotel Whizz Prime, and honestly there is a lack of information in the city, so it was a good shout. Plus we had a fantastic time. 

We could even afford a private tour as it wasn’t a rip off, so Brad and I got picked up by our guide early in the morning and we headed in our jeep to Bromo! 

Price: 650,000 for group sunrise tour ad 750,000 per person for private sunrise tour.

You can book an online tour here for ease (for a very similar price with great reviews).

Other things to note if you haven't read my other post: 

  • You can rent coats up there (Warm warm ones) for 30,000 a piece which is perfect 
  • You can buy hot tea and coffee for 5,000 and sit around the little fires they have going to stay warm 
  • Kong Hill is a great sunset spot but it gets crowded so climb up the sand dune bits for an even better view. Go head for a seat at least 45 minutes before sunrise. 
  • You can buy hats too for around 30,000- they’re a decent investment actually, ours was great quality 
  • A tour will take you to other spots including walking up the crater and teletubbies hill. The crater is worth a walk, but don’t ride the donkeys. 
  • If you want more information then check my guide. 

This is Mr Johns whattsup number, who owns the tour company we used to book the tour! They’re offices are located in the city centre of Malang, and they pick you up and drop you off. 

Don't forget if you want to book a tour to Mount Bromo from Malang online, then this is the one for you!

mount bromo

12. Walk around Malang City 

Malang is a fairly busy city, but’s worth going for a wander. There are some cool coffee shops, places to eat and it’s actually well known for its street art.

Can’t say that Brad and I went looking for it, because it isn’t something we personally love, but I know art lovers would like it, so I included that on this list of things to do in Malang. 

13. Try local Indonesia food

I love Indonesian food and Malang is a great place to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try new foods. Basically because there is less western options.

Opt for Nasi and Mei Goreng, or some form of Ayam Goreng, Fried bananas are good and so is soup. Ask for no spice if you don’t like spice...or can’t handle it..like brad and I. 

Head out for food in the evening as the city lights makes getting food one of the best things to do in Malang at night, especially since there isn’t a party scene.

Oh and it’s dirt cheap. Cheap as chips! 

How to get to Malang

Getting to Malang is super easy and you’ve got a few options. 

You can fly! Malang airport is fairly cheap to fly to from other Indonesia cities, such as Bali, or Jogjakarta. We use Skyscanner to find the best flights. We flew from Malang to Bali for only 30 something pounds. 

You can also get the train. The train network on the island of Java is awesome, and the trains are super clean, convenient and cheap. It’s easy to get the train from Jogjakarta to Malang, or even Bandung to Malang. 

ranbow city malagn

Getting around Malang

I can’t speak for the public transport, as we don’t tend to use it. When in Malang however, the best things to do are located outside the main city. This means you’ll need transport. You can either use “Grab” an app like Uber which is cheap and convenient and drive from place to place. 

OR you can rent out a moped. We rented a moped from our hotel, which was a lot easier than trying to find somewhere to rent from as Malang isn’t that touristy. It cost us 80,000 a day for the moped with two helmets which was reasonable. 

Only rent a moped if you’re confident, as the drives to some of the great places can take up to 2 hours each way. 

Where to stay in Malang

When Brad and I stayed in Malang we opted for city centre accommodation. We stayed in Whizz Prime and I can recommend it. It was well priced the rooms were clean, they had room service, a swimming pool, breakfast included and we were able to organise tours and bike with the reception. 

It’s also close to some decent restaurants, so isn’t in a bad location. 

Below I’ve suggested 3 Malang hotels including where we stayed to help inspire your stay. 

Whiz Prime: City centre, chain restaurant with good wifi, beds and good breakfast. Book it here. 

Swiss-Belinn Malang: Close to Malang square, modern, clean and high rated WiFi. Book it here. 

Hotel Tugu Malang: Highly rated, luxurious, beautiful pool and great location. Book it here. 

Other useful posts for planning your trip to Indonesia

Below I’ve listed some other guides that you might find useful for planning your Indonesia adventures. 

So there you have it, my guide to the best things to do in Malang, Indonesia. I hope you’ve found this post useful and if you have any other suggestions to add to the list of Malang attractions, then please just comment below. 

Happy travels! 

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