15 Best Things To Do In Johor Bahru Malaysia

Johor Bahru - Image Image Source: wikipedia.org

Located in the southernmost part of Malaysia, Johor Bahru was also called as Tanjung Puteri or Iskandar Puteri. Contrary to popular belief, Johor Bahru houses plenty of activities beyond its legacy of shopping. From aesthetic mosques to petting ostriches, the city has plenty to offer all who visit. If you are planning your trip to Johor Bahru, here are 15 things you should check out: 

1. Be in Awe of Splendour at the Istana Besar

Standing tall as an ode to brilliant architecture, Istana Besar is the the palace built by Sultan Abu Bakar. Constructed in 1866, the palace has a beautiful view overlooking the straits of Johor. Be sure to visit the Royal museum located inside the palace for a detailed history into the lifestyle of the royal family. The palace architecture is inspired by an Anglo-Malay style, with an artful dome of Malay design and a distinctive blue roof – indicatively of the Anglo influence. 

2. Let your kids make merry at the Angry Birds Theme Park

Located surprising within the famous Komplex Tun Abdul Razak mall in Johor Bahru, this theme park is at its unique best. A big hit with the children, this theme park is designed after the famous mobile game – Angry Birds. With plenty of eateries within the grounds (right near the entrance), the theme park visit can very easily be a whole day event. Get kids to try the many activities within the park such as the foam pit, the trampoline, and the exciting egg hunt. 

3. Glance upon splendid architecture at Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple

Built in 1922, Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman temple is one of the oldest Hindu temples in Johor. A true display of Malaysian architectural prowess, this temple is unlike any other - earning it a Guinness world record. The temple’s key attraction is its reflective glass body which makes up 90% of the surface of the temple. The interior is covered with colourful mosaics, statues and murals, making it a beautiful picture backdrop. The temple is primarily open for religious activities but also permits tourists at specific hours.

4. Enrich yourself with culture at Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque

The sun setting over the horizon with skyline of Johor Bahru on one side and the Straits of Johor on the other – this is the sight you will be rewarded with when visiting the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque. Known to be one of the oldest and most beautiful mosques in Malaysia, it can accommodate over 2000 worshippers at a time. The architecture – a mix of Victorian and Malaysian styles – is a sight for sore eyes. Listed as a protected heritage site by the Department of Museums and Antiquities, head over here to be culturally enriched. 

5. Be one with the animals at Johor Zoo

Initially operated as a private safari park for the royal family, Johor Zoo is one of the first zoos to open in Asia. From the mighty prides of lions to our distant relatives - the gorillas, this zoo is home to hundreds of species of animals. First opened to the public in 1962, the zoo is located very close to another landmark in the city -  the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque. Apart from animal-watching, the zoo also offers activities like paddle boating, horse back riding, or even feeding the animals. 

6. Escape from the concrete life at Gunung Pulai Forest Reserve

If adventure is your calling, then the Gunung Pulai Forest Reserve is an ideal retreat for you. With beautiful trails for walking and cycling, this reserve is a hiker’s paradise. Although the entire length of the trails is only 10km, the picturesque view and the magical rainforest sounds, make up for the short distance. Being 700m above sea level, the reserve remains at a pleasant climate throughout. Cut off from concrete buildings and civilization, it is the perfect escape for adventure lovers. 

7. Pet a majestic bird at Desaru Ostrich Farm

Has it been a dream to be within petting distance of a majestic bird like Ostrich? Then look no further than the Desaru Ostrich Farm as it gives you this very experience. With over two hundred ostriches in the farm, visitors can take pictures and even ride these powerful birds for a fee. There is also a well-stocked souvenir shop, where you can buy ornaments made from ostrich eggs, beaks, bones and even leather. If you are in the mood for an adventurous tasting, the inhouse restaurant also offers ostrich meat, done a few different ways. 

8. Eat to your heart’s content at Meldrum Night Market

A must-visit for all foodies, the Meldrum night market is just a short distance away from JB Sentral. Hidden away in a back alley behind two famous food streets - Jalan Wong Ah Fook and Jalan Meldrum, this market has a variety of culinary treats for all who visit. From Singapore delights like Char Kway Teoh to the Malay version of pancakes (Apam Balik), this market offers street food at its best. If ambience and fancy seating is not a matter of prime importance for you, then head on here for the best food experience! 

9. Get into dangerous encounters at the Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm

If you are looking for a kick of adrenalin from close encounters with dangerous animals, then look no further. Teluk Sengat Crocodile Farm allows the visitors to touch crocodiles with their bare hands. A conservatory and tourist centre in one – the farm also gives visitors the chance to observe baby crocodiles, watch and feed in the hundreds of more crocodiles they have. Also head to their restaurant to try some herbal concoctions aimed at relieving cold and other ailments. If you do visit, don’t forget to see the legendary 130-year-old toothless crocodile. 

10. Explore ancient tradition at Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple

Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple - Image Image Source: wikimedia.org

One of the oldest structures in Johor Bahru, this Chinese temple stands out against the modern skyscrapers that make up the city’s skyline. Still open as a place of worship as well as a tourist spot, the temple is said to be built in the 19th century.  The temple stands testament as a symbol of unity among five Chinese dialect groups - Teochew, Hoklo (Hokkien), Cantonese, Hakka and Hainan. Although it has been renovated to make it more structurally sound, the cultural aura of the temple has been preserved. 

11. Appreciate the beauty of Istana Bukit Serene 

Also known as Laman Mahkota, the Istana Bukit Serenr is the official residence of the Sultan of Johor. It is regarded as one of the most famous landmarks in Johor with a majestic palace within. Although entry to the palace isn’t allowed, visitors an still take photographs with the artistic palace in the backdrop. The garden in front of the palace hosts many events and celebrations by the royal family. The most distinct feature is the ornate and artfully carved crown that is placed before the palace as a gift from the Sultan to his people. 

12. Bathe yourself in luxury at Princess Cove Johor Bahru

If experiencing the royal life is on your bucket list then there is no better place to go than Princess Cove. The many hotels, offices and malls here are the most aesthetically pleasing built right against the marina, meant for the lifestyle of royals. From fine dining experiences to shopping at the most expensive boutiques, the line-up of luxury is endless here. 

13. Feast like a king at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee

Named after one of the founding fathers of Johor Bahru, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee is a road in the more established segment of the city. It highlights numerous food and retro bistros and old-fashioned shops. With its unique architectural design, it highlights old pilgrim structures which you can't miss against the modernity of the rest of the city. Don’t forget to try the famous food trail with authentic Malaysian cuisine, open air karaoke, and play Chinese chess right on the road! 

14. Eat authentically at Jalan Wong Ah Fook

Yet another one for the foodie in you - Jalan Wong Ah Fook is one of the busiest one way roads in Johor Bahru bustling with the most delicious street foods. From Malaysian finger foods to spicy Singapore noodles, from satays to western pasta, this street is all about satisfying your food cravings. Located within a 10-minute walk from the city square, this street can be combined with city square shopping, making it the ultimate gratification day.

15. Wake your inner shopaholic at Johor Premium Outlets

Draw out the shopaholic in you at Johor Premium Outlets. As the principal premium-brand outlet in Southeast Asia, you'll be able to discover extravagant brands at affordable prices. As big as more 30 football fields consolidated, Johor Premium Outlets houses 130 designer stores from Calvin Klein to Burberry. Rebates are throughout the entire year, in some cases going as high as 90%! Add some food to your shopping experience, in the many restaurants and cafes available here right from Baskin Robins to Starbucks and from Piizza hut to Subway. 

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Must see places in Johor Bahru ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Johor Bahru and point of interests to visit.

  1. Legoland Malaysia

    #1 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Legoland Malaysia

    Tags: Outdoors, Amusement Park, Theme Park, Entertainment

    Address: 7, Jalan Legoland, Bandar Medini, 79250 Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia

    Timings: 10:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    Malaysia’s first international theme park, the Legoland® Malaysia Resort was opened in the year 2012 and has since then attracted thousands of visitors. A fun filled family holiday destinati...Read more

  2. Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru

    #2 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru

    Tags: Outdoors, Cafe, Restaurant, Entertainment

    Address: 80100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Dataran Bandaraya Johor Bahru is the main city square of Johor Bahru.  The square was built in January 1994 following the declaration of Johor Bahru as a city. Surrounded by many boutiques, resta...Read more

  3. Danga Bay

    #3 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Danga Bay

    Tags: Waterfront, Park, Walking Area, Restaurant

    Address: Skudai, 80200, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Danga Bay is considered to be the biggest recreational park in Johor Bahru. It offers a lot of activities with a touch of luxury and glamour! It houses high end retail outlets, designer boutiques and ...Read more

  4. Sanrio Hello Kitty Town

    #4 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Sanrio Hello Kitty Town

    Tags: Theme Park

    Address: Persiaran Puteri Selatan, 79100 Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia

    Timings: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Sanrio Hello Kitty Town is a Hello Kitty style interactive theme park in Iskandar Puteri. Decorated in a prominent pink theme, the Sanrio Hello Kitty Town represents the home of Hello Kitty where you ...Read more

  5. Ksl City Mall

    #5 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Ksl City Mall

    Tags: Hotel, Entertainment, Mall, Shopping Center

    Address: 33, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

    Timings: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    KSL City & Hotel is an integrated development which comprises of 500 retail outlets, 868 hotel rooms, 602 condominiums and 2800 car parks. It houses popular brands such as: ST3P BODY GLOVE Guardi...Read more

  6. Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple

    #6 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Tourist Center, Architecture

    Address: No.22 Lorong Satu, Tebrau, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

    Timings: 07:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    A popular tourist attraction of Johor Bahru, the Arulmigu Sri Rajakaliamman Glass Temple is a sight to behold! The oldest temple in Tebrau, the temple has been listed in the Malaysian Book of Records....Read more

  7. Jalan Wong Ah Fook

    #7 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Jalan Wong Ah Fook

    Tags: Cafe, Restaurant, Entertainment, Shopping Center

    Address: 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    One of the busiest main streets in Johor Bahru, Jalan Wong Ah Fook is a must visit while in town. Lining this street are many shops, cafes, restaurants and food stalls. If you are a foodie, do stroll ...Read more

  8. Johor Zoo

    #8 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Johor Zoo

    Tags: Outdoors, Wildlife Park, Zoo

    Address: Jalan Gertak Merah, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

    Timings: 09:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Established in the year 1928 by the late Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar. Johor Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the country. Head over to the Johor zoo with your family and engage in ac...Read more

  9. Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque

    #9 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque

    Tags: Mosque, Religious Site, Historical Site, Architecture

    Address: Jalan Gertak Merah, Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

    Overlooking the Straits of Johor and the neighbouring Singapore, the magnificent Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque is one of the most beautiful old mosques in Malaysia. Boasting of Victorian Architecture, the m...Read more

  10. Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple

    #10 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple, Museum, Historical Site

    Address: Lot 653, Jalan Trus, 80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia

    Timings: 07:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Located downtown, the Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple is a quaint place of worship. Although there are no records to confirm when exactly the temple was built, an old plaque on the temple wall states t...Read more

  11. Angry Birds Activity Park

    #11 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Angry Birds Activity Park

    Tags: Outdoors, Park, Entertainment

    Address: Level 3, KOMTAR JBCC, Johor Bahru City Centre, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor

    Timings: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    A fun place to visit, the Angry Birds Activity Park has a lot of interesting games and zones designed around the popular game of Angry Birds. The state of the art activity park offers a wide variety o...Read more

  12. Dinosaurs Alive Water Park

    #12 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Dinosaurs Alive Water Park

    Tags: Amusement Park, Park, Water Park

    Address: 7th Floor KSL Hotel & Resort, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

    A fun place for kids, the Dinosaurs Alive Water Park is situated with the KSL Hotel and Resort premises. Having a quirky swimming pool, life size replicas of Dinosaurs can be found strategically place...Read more

  13. Walea Spa And Retreat

    #13 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Walea Spa And Retreat

    Tags: Leisure, Spa

    Address: 6 Jalan Balau, Taman Melodies, Johor Bahru80250, Malaysia

    Timings: 11:00 am - 07:00 pm Details

    To rejuvenate your senses, head over to the Walea Spa & Retreat. Trained professionals, lovely ambience, specialized spa treatments and a soothing experience awaits you.

  14. Chinese Heritage Museum

    #14 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Chinese Heritage Museum

    Tags: Museum, History Museum

    Address: 42 Jalan Ibrahim, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Chinese Heritage Museum tells the history of the Chinese community in Johor Bahru. Museum’s collection includes documents, photos, old coins, porcelain, musical instruments and other artefac...Read more

  15. Spa Manja

    #15 of 103 Things To Do in Johor Bahru
    Spa Manja

    Tags: Leisure, Spa

    Address: 162, Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, JOHOR, Malaysia

    Timings: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm Details

    Discover an oasis of calm and serenity at Spa Manja. Treat your body, mind and soul with bliss and peace. Services include: Pampering foot spa Full body Javanese massage Body scrubs Facials Signature...Read more

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