Have a couple of days off from work? Maybe you’re thinking about a quick road trip to slow things down, far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
You may or may not be aware that there are many interesting places in Johor Bahru.
Conveniently nestled between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, an array of activities and attractions can be found right here.
Since it’s roughly less than an hour’s drive away, if you live in Singapore, you may have acquaintances who often drop by the historical city of Johor to escape their fast-paced lives in the Lion City.
JB is where Legoland Malaysia can be found, however, there’s so much more to experience. If you haven’t yet properly explored JB, this list is here to help you along while you’re in the state. Here are 10 Johor Bahru tourist attractions that you may or may not have heard of yet.
1) Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque
If you're into old architectural landmarks, then the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque (named after the well-respected Sultan Abu Bakar) should definitely be on your checklist. It bears the mark of Victorian-inspired aesthetics with a unique blend of Arabian and Western styles.
Constructed between 1892 and 1900, the site features elegant minarets and can accommodate 2,000 worshippers. Muslims, as well as non-Muslims, are welcome to enter (be sure to dress respectfully). Head on over to the south entrance facing the sea for an Instagram-worthy shot of the beautiful mosque and its magnificent backdrop.
Address: Jalan Gertak Merah, Masjid Sultan Abu Bakar, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor. Tel: 07-223 4935
2) Sultan Ibrahim Building
The Sultan Ibrahim Building has stood strong as an iconic landmark for decades. Overlooking Johor Bahru’s city centre atop Bukit Timbalan, it was constructed between 1936 and 1940. With intricate Malay and colonial architecture, this spot cost about 2 million ringgit to develop in total.
The Sultan Ibrahim Building once held the title of being Malaysia’s tallest building and, during the Second World War, the Japanese army actually occupied the landmark and turned it into a fortress while they planned their attack on Singapore.
In more recent times, it has served as the state secretariat building and Chief Minister's office. Now, it’s a historical landmark and a place of interest that you can drop by if you’re in the area.
Address: Jalan Bukit Timbalan, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
Tel: +607 – 222 3591
Operating Hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Closed on: Weekends & Public Holidays
3) Crown archway at Istana Bukit Serene
If you’re a nature lover, how about a relaxing stopover filled with greenery?
The Crown Archway features fountains, pleasant scenery and lighting amid a park-like experience.
The site was originally built to mark the coronation of Sultan Iskandar on 23rd March 2015 and was presented by the Johor Sultan as a gift to the people. This is why it is situated just outside his official residence.
With land that stretches outward, large arches can be seen. There’s even a replica of the Johor Ruler’s Crown placed on the arch near the entrance of Istana Bukit Serene. The arches themselves represent elephant tusks (which relates to the processions of the sultans).
What makes this area even more popular, however, is Istana Bukit Serene – the official palace of the Sultan of Johor. While the gardens are open to the public, the palace is not. You can still take photos of the high tower which is covered in traditional motifs and intricate carvings.
Address: Jalan Straits View, Bukit Serene, 80200 Johor Bahru, Johor Darul Ta’zim.
4) Johor Bahru Chinese Heritage Museum
JB is home to a range of historical attractions for visitors to explore. The Chinese Heritage Museum offers an interesting look at the Chinese community through the various periods of Johor’s winding past. You can find this 4-storey shop lot along Jalan Ibrahim.
Artefacts, manuscripts, musical instruments, old coins and a host of informational exhibits can be found here. These depict Chinese migration to the state and includes cultural aspects of their lives.
Address: 42, Jalan Ibrahim, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
Tel: 07-224 9633
Operating Hours: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
5) Kwong Siew Heritage Gallery (Museum)
At Kwong Siew Heritage Gallery, history buffs can take a look at details of traditional life from the region’s past through the vivid imagery of creative art.
Established in 1878 as the headquarters for the Kwong Siew Clan Association, this building now holds some of the most intriguing artefacts related to the time of Chinese immigration of labourers and settlers to the area.
Other items include costumes from Chinese opera, tools, jewellery, old photos and even opium pipes. Get ready for a fascinating experience!
Address: No. 24 Jalan Siu Nam, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor Malaysia.
Tel: 07-223 3682
Operating Hours: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm, off on Monday
6) Pasir Gudang Kite Museum
The Pasir Gudang Kite Museum located on Bukit Layang-Layang (which translates to Kite Hill), serves as an attraction that retains and celebrates the cultural significance of kites. The museum has been open to the public since February 2002. It’s a unique landmark and the first of its kind.
It is dedicated to the traditional form of Malay kite known as the ‘wau’. You can expect to see an enormous collection of beautiful kites in various colours. There’s also a working windmill that actually works to generate electricity which, in turn, is used by the museum on a daily basis! Entrance fees are RM2 for adults, RM1 for children and RM3 for foreigners.
Address: Kompleks Pusat Bandar, 81700 Pasir Gudang, Johor, Malaysia.
Tel: 07 251 3720
Operating Hours: Monday - Sunday (9.00 pm – 5.00 pm)
7) Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk
Just up at the southern end of Wong Ah Fook Road, about 400 meters south from JB City Square, you can find the Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk. It’s been transformed into a bustling cultural and heritage street with food from ‘Kopitiams’, interesting accessories and hints of colonial architecture that you can expect to be as fascinating as they are beautiful.
One of the most popular activities to do while you're here is to go Cafe Hopping. There’s a vast array of eateries throughout the area, many of which purportedly serve incredible specialities.
Towards Jalan Bukit Timbalan, there’s the iconic White House(Used to be Red) cafe, featuring an ensemble of local delights. Look out for Yong Lock Huang and a bowl of old school Hakka yong tau foo. 24 Drums cafe serves signature dishes like wanton mee, laksa and hor fun.
Looking for desserts? Hiap Joo Bakery (known for its banana cake) and Biscuit Factory are two of the most popular spots for yummy goodies. Both of them serve freshly baked pastries, buns, cookies and special desserts for customers.
Address: Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Walk.
8) Medan Selera Meldrum Walk
If you're on the prowl for some good old-fashioned hawker stalls to satisfy your hunger, then head on over to Medan Selera Meldrum Walk. It’s a pedestrianised street nestled between Ji Siu Koon and Ji Stesyen which features a selection of pushcart stalls, eateries and shops, many of which specialise in Chinese, Malay and Indian cuisine.
Many of the spots open from the late afternoon onwards so bring your appetite with you!
A melting pot of sights, sounds and smells awaits. At Medan Selera Meldrum Walk, you can look forward to an authentic eating experience among the locals in Johor Bahru.
Address: 23 Jalan Meldrum, Bandar Johor Bahru, Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
Operating Hours: Daily, 5 pm – 12 Midnight
9) Pasar Karat
While Pasar Karat (now called Bazar JB) is known nationwide for being one of the most diverse after-dinner spots, it’s surprising that many people still have probably not heard of this food gem.
Situated in the heart of the city centre just off the end of Jalan Trus, Bazar JB occupies much of what makes up the main heritage zone and its surroundings. It opens daily from around 7 pm until 1 am and is especially active on weekends.
Many things can be found here, including vendors that sell random items such as clothes, shoes, accessories and collectables. Local street food stalls offer Malaysian snacks for those looking to grab a bite to eat and it’s considered one of the more prominent shopping havens in JB.
Address: 26, 20, Jalan Segget, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor
Tel: 07 251 3720
Operating Hours: Friday - Sunday (7.00 am – 11.00 pm)
This list would probably not be complete if we left out one of the most popular theme park landmarks in JB to date. Legoland, the Lego theme park that features a wide selection of rides, attractions and activities. This Johor Bahru tourist spot can make for a great family holiday in Johor and, while many people may have already visited this enormous attraction multiple times, some may not have heard of the surrounding attractions that can be found not too far from Legoland.
The Puteri Harbour Theme Park is just a few minutes away and is home to two kids’ attractions situated in Nusajaya, Johor. Puteri Harbour is a four-storey indoor park (spanning over 60,000 square feet) that houses both Sanrio Hello Kitty Town and Thomas Town, as well as a host of dining and entertainment options.
As the name suggests, Hello Kitty Town follows a ‘Hello Kitty and friends’ theme while Thomas Town Johor brings you the Thomas & Friends® characters who join kids through multiple fun rides.
Other familiar faces include Bob the Builder, Barney & Friends and Pingu. The theme park complex is filled with an assortment of rides, games, live performances and other interactive activities suitable for keeping your kids entertained throughout the day.
Address: No 7, Jalan Legoland, Bandar Medini, 79250 Nusajaya, Johor.
Tel: 07-597 8888
Operating Hours: Open daily 10 am – 6 pm
As you can see, JB has a pretty large list of things to do and see and, if you’d like to spend a few nights here unwinding while you’re in the area, Artsy Guesthouse has you covered!
Here, cosiness and convenience are on offer all at the same time. Book your stay now or get in touch through the following channels:
Google Site: artsy-guesthouse-johor-bahru.business.site