When talking about Bandung, as a local myself, I can tell that there are two types of travellers who come to my hometown. The first one is the shopaholic who looks for the best bargain in town, while the others are those who are more interested in the beauty of nature. Here I’m going to dive into both, as well as the incredible food on offer, a guide you through the perfect 3-day Bandung Itinerary – one of the more off-the-beaten-track places to visit in Indonesia.
The city was nicknamed Parijs van Java back in the Dutch colonial era since they started opening some luxurious hotels, restaurants, cafes, as well as European boutiques in the early 1900s. The name itself literally means ‘Javanese Paris’, which gives you a hint towards what European city Bandung resembles!
Other than that, the current capital city of West Java province is also known as the flower city due to the establishment of tea plantations around the mountainous area of the city. This nickname sometimes also describes the stereotype of people from Bandung that are famous for their good looks, and who am I to argue?!
No matter which type of traveler you are, there’s one thing that unites all in the city that hosted the first Asian-African Conference in 1955. Even among local Indonesians, what’s significant about Bandung is one thing: the variety of mouthwatering street food on offer, which has to be some of the best in the world. A foodie paradise and the perfect place to try all the best Indonesian food on offer.
3 Day Bandung Itinerary
The Natural Beauty of Bandung
As a local in Bandung, I’m going to share an ideal 3-day Bandung itinerary for those interested in enjoying the beauty of nature in Bandung and its surroundings.
Due to the higher altitude in the area, Bandung has become a popular destination for Jakartans for a short getaway during the weekend. Therefore, it’s not shocking news to find that traffic in Bandung can be unbearable during the holidays. The best time to visit Bandung is during the weekdays, as it gives you more time to explore as the traffic will be relatively better than at weekends.
Getting to Bandung Indonesia
Located southeast of Jakarta, it is relatively easy to get to Bandung from the capital city of Indonesia. There are some options for the public transportations that you can take from Jakarta, such as the bus or train.
The train is probably the best option to save time since there is construction going in and around the Jakarta to Bandung area. Normally, it takes around 4 hours to get to Bandung from Jakarta.
If you want to enjoy the best of Bandung’s natural beauty in 3 days, it’s best to take the earliest train/bus from Jakarta on a Friday, so that you will arrive in the city before noon.
Where to Stay in Bandung
The area around Bandung station is known for not only affordable accommodations, but the location is the best place to stay for easy access to the main sights of the city.
If you’re not on a super tight budget and want both comfort and historic vibes, you can also opt for the high-end and historical accommodations around Jalan Asia Afrika, either Hotel Prama Grand Preanger or Hotel Bidakara Grand Savoy Hommann.
The reason why these two hotels are recommended among travelers is that they have strong historic ties. Both are two of the oldest hotels in Bandung, as they have been operated since the Dutch colonial era. The architecture still has a strong influence from the era, and this is where all the guests for the Asia-Africa Conference stayed in 1955.
To name a few, there were some notable figures like Soekarno (the first president of Indonesia), Ho Chi Minh (former president of Vietnam, whose capital city is named after him as well), and Josip Broz Tito who stayed at Savoy Hommann during the conference. While you might not get villas as fancy as these Bali Airbnbs, renting an apartment on Airbnb is a great alternative to hotels and hostels.
How to Get Around Bandung
Nowadays, it is quite easy to get around Bandung without the fear of getting scammed, thanks to the online cab platforms like Grab or Gojek that you can install through app store on your phone.
In case you don’t know, Uber has stopped their operations in Southeast Asia, Indonesia included. So you can only rely on either Grab or Gojek to hail cabs or motor taxi online.
Other than that, you can also rent a motorbike for around IDR 70,000 to IDR 100,000 (around $5 to $7) per day. If you prefer to rent a car instead, this will cost you around IDR 350,000 (around $25) during the weekdays or up to IDR 500,000 (around $35) for the weekend.
Bandung itinerary blog – day by day breakdown
When it comes to natural beauty in Bandung, most of them are located outside the city. It takes at least around an hour to get to each location from the city center. The most efficient way to get around is, of course, to rent the vehicles on your own, but it’s also doable if you opt to take a taxi for the journey.
Day 1 – Ciwidey (White Crater and Rancaupas)
White Crater, or Kawah Putih in local Indonesian language, is a crater lake that is one of two craters that make up the volcano Mount Patuha. Located around 50km from the city center, it takes around 1.5 hours to get there from the city center. Say, if you arrive in Bandung at around 10AM, you can go straight to the White Crater and arrive at around 12PM.
The entry ticket to get to White Crater is IDR 20,000 (around $1.5) for the local visitors and IDR 50,000 (around $3,5) for the international tourists.
From the White Crater, exactly across the street to the area, there is an area called Rancaupas that is designed as an outdoor tourist spot. This is where people go camping, and they also have a wild deer conservation in the area where you can enter for IDR 10,000 (around 75 cents).
If you’re interested to feed the deer, you can also buy some carrot for IDR 5,000 (around 40 cents) to give them treats. Take notes that there is a reason why they say deer are the dogs of the jungle. Their behavior is dog-like, so cuddly and all. Watch the antlers though!
From Rancaupas, head south to Situ Patenggang, the lake located around 20 minutes from Rancaupas area where you can take the boat to get around the lake while enjoying the scenery of tea plantations. This lake is believed as the place where Ki Santang and Dewi Rengganis, the two lovebirds in local Sundanese folklore, met after separated for years.
In the center of the lake, there’s a big stone called “Batu Cinta”, which means the stone of love, where rumor has it that it is the point where the two lovebirds met once upon a time.
Due to the story about Ki Santang and Dewi Rengganis, from one generation to the next, they believe that Situ Patenggang is the place where two people in love could bond. Many even claim that they ended up being in a relationship with someone with whom they went to the lake.
What to Eat on Day 1
Once you arrive in Bandung to explore Ciwidey from the city center, make a stop in Lontong Kari Kebon Karet for lunch. It is a rice cake served with curry and vegetable that has been known as one of Bandung delicacies since a long time ago.
A portion of lontong kari won’t cost you more than IDR 25,000 (around $1.5) and it will be good enough to boost your energy before going off to Ciwidey.
For early dinner in Ciwidey, you can also have it in Pinisi Resto that is located in the same area as Situ Patenggang. There you can chill for a bit while enjoying the evening vibes with a chance to see the sunset around the tea plantations in its surroundings.
To avoid the traffic in the after office hour jam, you can head back to Bandung at around 7PM so you can enjoy the lovely weather on the way back to the hotel.
When the weather got too chill, stop by the nearest food stall along the way and get yourself a cup of bandrek, a local Sundanese beverage that is made of ginger essence, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Day 2 – Pangalengan and Malabar Tea Plantation
It is hard to avoid the name of Karel Albert Rudolf Bosscha when you visit Bandung, as there are some legacies he has left behind in the city. Who is this Karel Albert Rudolf Bosscha and why does he matter to Bandung?
The late K.A.R. Bosscha was a Dutch businessman who undertook the management of Malabar Estate in Pangalengan until his death. Apart from his business, he was also a philanthropist whose participation have a huge impact for the science development in Bandung. To name a few, there is Bosscha Observatory, the oldest modern observatory in Bandung that is eventually named after him.
He also took part in the development of Cancer Center in Bandung, as well as the infamous Bandung Institute of Technology. So, now that you are in Bandung, why don’t you make a stop to some of his legacies?
Start early from the city center, as it may take around 2 hours to get to Malabar Tea Plantation in Pangalengan. Once you get there, you can either stroll around tea plantations or do some of our recommendations.
The late Bosscha remained unmarried until he died, and he lived alone in the house located not so far from Malabar tea plantation. You can visit the house for free, although it also runs by donation in case you want to donate for the wellbeing of the house. There will also be a security in charge who could assist you in case you have any question related to the house or even anything about the late Bosscha himself.
Not just his house, as he was also buried around the tea plantation and you can visit his tomb in the same area. And pretty much like the house, you can visit it for free although it is highly encouraged to donate for the wellbeing of the site.
If you don’t get too comfortable to explore the area, you may be able to finish the whole itinerary at around 2, where you can head back to Bandung. You probably want to take a break at the hotel for a bit, or just to take a shower before you explore the inner city of Bandung at night.
If you stay in the city center, your next destination is not that far as we are going to stroll around the Alun-Alun Kota Bandung, or the City Square in Jalan Asia-Afrika. There, you can enjoy the night vibes of the most historical area in the city. You can check out the big mosque not so far from the city square, as well as walk through the Merdeka building before you enjoy your dinner around Braga area.
What to Eat on Day 2
As you start early and the option for restaurants around Pangalengan are not as many as around Ciwidey, be sure to have your breakfast first at your hotel before you hit the road to the southern part of Bandung.
If you stay around the station or in the city center area, stop by Hong Sin Restaurant in Jalan Banceuy No. 110. A restaurant that opens at around 7 in the morning, where you can have a bowl of bubur ayam, or chicken rice congee for a nice breakfast to start the day.
On the way to Pangalengan, you can also prepare some snack to enjoy in the nearest minimarket so you can have something to eat around the tea plantations as well. Just keep in mind not to litter in the area. There’s nothing fancy at Rumah Makan Tangek, a small restaurant not so far from Malabar tea plantation area. However, they are one of the most decent restaurants in the area that serve Sundanese traditional meals.
In the restaurant, not only can you enjoy the traditional meals, but you can also pick the spot where you can have your lunch while enjoying the view of Mount Puntang behind the restaurant. Since this is going to be your last night in Bandung, treat yourself a little bit extra today and head over to Braga Permai, a resto around Braga street that has been well-known since Dutch Colonial era.
It was once the most elite restaurant where the members of the Dutch kingdom and the Governor General of the then-Dutch East Indies came to eat in Parijs van Java. Overtime, the recipes and the service of the colonial period is still maintained until this very day.
You might be on budget during this travel, but you can always have the experience at least once when you’re in Bandung.
Day 3 – Last Day in Bandung: Stone Garden GeoPark Citatah
If you plan to leave Bandung later in the evening, the best thing you can do is to tick Stone Garden Geopark out of your list.
Start early today, and head to the western part of Bandung to explore Stone Garden Geopark, the ancient seamount that has been there for more than 27 million years. The place where some geologists discovered fossils of ancient coral in Pawon Caves.
The site was never opened for public until 4 years ago, so it is relatively new and even most of the locals have never been there. It takes around an hour from the city center, some people say that it looks a bit like Machu Picchu in Peru. Some people also enjoy the hammock experience for the ‘gram at Pawon Caves.
Either way, you’ll find is fascinating with the view. Bonus point if you’re also interested in geology.
They also provide gazebos at some spot for those of you who want to chill around there while enjoying the view. Unless you want to enter the Pawon Caves, the entry ticket is only IDR 6,000 (around $0.3). If you’re interested to visit the caves, there’s an additional fee for IDR 100,000 (around $7).
What to Eat on Day 3
As you make a visit to Padalarang area in the western part of Bandung, don’t miss your chance to try Kupat Tahu Padalarang, another rice cake served with vegetable salad and tofu.
Stop by Kupat Tahu Padalarang 99 at Jalan Raya Padalarang No. 539, and have some for the breakfast on the way to Stone Garden from the city center. Energize yourself with some carbo, and enjoy!
As you may finish exploring Stone Garden in the afternoon, you can have your lunch on the way to your next destination.
So, 3 days in Bandung have been wrapped up in the itinerary where you can enjoy the mythological side of Bandung, as well as the historical and the geological beauty of nature in the city. Which one are you going to like best? You decide, and have a good stay in my hometown!
Thanks to Marya from The Beau Traveller for this great guest post about Bandung. Once a flight attendant, it didn’t exactly teach her how to travel light. Now that she only flies as a passenger, she always chooses to check in a 15kg bag at the minimum, filled with beautiful clothes makeup and travel accessories! Check out her blog here for more travel adventures or follow on Facebook or Instagram