Going on a Johor Bahru trip and want to know all the best things to do in Johor Bahru? We have you covered! Below you will find our guide to all the best attractions in Johor Bahru to plan your ultimate trip.
Johor Bahru (or JB) is a popular place to visit in Malaysia thanks to its easy to get to location just across the causeway from Singapore. This means it may be your first destination on your Malaysian holiday. Johor Bahru is also a major city so it’s also easy to visit here from elsewhere in Malaysia with many flights, buses and trains.
You may be wondering, what to do in Johor 2023? If so, I’ve got you covered in this guide!
Or perhaps you are in Singapore and thinking about a Johor Bahru one day trip. It is easy to take a Johor Bahru day trip and below, we also give our suggestions for what to do in Johor Bahru for 1 day, so you’ll know all the things Johor Bahru has in store.
Johor Bahru is quite spread out and there are many attraction places in Johor Bahru surrounds as well as in the city.
Below, you will find our Johor Bahru travel blog with everything you need to know about the best places to visit in Johor Bahru, where to go in JB surrounds as well as the best places to stay for your ultimate holiday in Johor Bahru!!
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- 1 Top 18 Things To Do In Johor Bahru
- 1.1 JB Old Town/Heritage District
- 1.2 Chinese Heritage Museum
- 1.3 Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory
- 1.4 Enjoy a traditional Kopitiam breakfast
- 1.5 Royal Abu Bakar Museum In Istana Besar
- 1.6 Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque
- 1.7 Johor Zoo
- 1.8 Shopping at City Square
- 1.9 Pasar Karat
- 1.10 Church of the Immaculate Conception
- 1.11 Danga Bay
- 1.12 Taman Merdeka
- 1.13 Istana Bukit Serene
- 1.14 Legoland Malaysia
- 1.15 Puteri Harbour
- 1.16 Little Paris
- 1.17 Senibong Cove
- 1.18 Johor Premium Outlets
- 2 Top 3 Best Places To Visit In Johor Bahru Surrounds
- 3 What To Do In JB In One Day
- 4 Fun Things To Do In JB Map
- 5 Best Place To Stay In Johor Bahru
- 6 Final Words
Top 18 Things To Do In Johor Bahru
Here are the best things to do in JB. Read through and select the Johor Bahru attractions that fit your interests and timeframe.
JB Old Town/Heritage District
When planning your Johor Bahru visit, one of the main areas of town to make sure you take in is the Heritage District of Johor Bahru.
You’ll find some of the most interesting attractions at Johor Bahru in the city centre. Here you will find gorgeous century-old buildings which are full of fascinating history.
You can easily walk around this area by yourself to find some of the best known Johor Bahru tourist attractions, and visiting some of the most popular places of interest in Johor Bahru Old Town. You can see 13 buildings of historical interest such as mosques, temples, churches and old buildings. En route, you can also see 31 heritage shops, art galleries and cafes too.
Some interesting places in Johor Bahru Old Town include the High Court Building, Sultan Ibrahim Building, Chinese Heritage Museum (see below), Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Sentral Police Station, Kampung An Fook, Old Johor Bahru Railway Station, Chinese Temple, Gurdwara Sahib, Indian Encalve, Broadway Cinema, Restoran Ya Wang and Jalan Dhoby.
While you stroll around the streets of the Old Town, you’ll enjoy admiring colourful old buildings as well as plenty of bright and colourful murals.
Chinese Heritage Museum
One of the best tourist attractions in Johor Bahru and definitely the best place to go in Johor Bahru to learn about the Chinese settlement in the area is the Chinese Heritage Museum (also called Tiong Hua Museum). At this museum, you will learn about the early days of Chinese settlement in Johor Bahru.
The museum is sprawled across four floors in a building in Jalan Tan Hiok Nee (a great street to explore) and is full of Chinese immigrant history. The museum includes English signage so visitors are able to learn all about this ethnic group including the culture, traditions and the range of skills they brought with them to Johor Bahru.
To enhance your visit, there is also an audio guide available.
It’s not far from JB Sentral and easily walkable if you don’t mind the heat. Otherwise, a Grab taxi here is very cheap.
Entry is RM6 for adults and RM3 for kids/seniors.
Address: 42 Jalan Ibrahim, Johor Bahru
Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory
Where to go in Johor Bahru when you’re hungry? The Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory of course!
This famous bakery has been open for over 80 years and is known for using a charcoal oven to bake its treats which is the traditional way of cooking baked goods in Hainan in China – which is where the original bakery owner was from.
At Hiap Joo Bakery and Biscuit Factory be sure to sample some delicious baked goods such as buns, cakes, biscuits and their signature fluffy banana cake, you’ll understand why this place makes it to the top of the list of things to do Johor Bahru if you love tasty treats!
Be warned that there may be long lines when you visit – but believe me it is well worth the wait as it’s one of the best places to visit in JB.
Address: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru
Enjoy a traditional Kopitiam breakfast
You can’t have a Johor Bahru vacation and not eat an authentic Malaysian Kopitiam breakfast. A Kopitiam breakfast consists of a cup of kopi (coffee), toast spread with kaya butter and soft boiled eggs.
Perhaps the best place in JB to get yourself a traditional Kopitiam breakfast is at Hua Mui’s. The cafe is located in an original 2 storey coffee shop and is still furnished with vintage furniture.
Address: No. 131, Jalan Trus, 80000, Johor Bahru
Royal Abu Bakar Museum In Istana Besar
Another of the interesting places in JB is the Royal Abu Bakar Museum. The museum is located at Istana Besar which is the royal palace and once the home of the Sultan of Johor. The Victorian-style building is stunning and was completed in 1866.
Since 1990, the palace has housed the Royal Abu Bakar Museum which is the best place to go in JB to see what life was like for the royal family. On display, you will see over 60,000 pieces including a range of antiques and heirlooms that once belonged to the royal family.
Address: Grand Palace, Istana Besar Johor, 80500 Johor Bahru
Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque
Located on the top of a hill, overlooking the Straits of Johor, the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque is a stunning building which features a mix of both Victorian-Moorish architecture and traditional Islamic design. The mosque features four minaret towers which are said to look like British clock towers and the interior of the building is mostly white marble. This is definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in JB.
The mosque was built over a period of 8 years from 1892 and can house up to 2000 worshippers at any given time.
Be sure to include the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque on your Johor Bahru sightseeing list.
Entry is free.
Address: Jalan Gertak Merah, Masjid Sultan Abu Bakar, 80000 Johor Bahru
A nice place to visit in Johor Bahru with kids is the Johor Zoo. The Johor Zoo dates back to 1928 and is one of the very first zoos built in Southeast Asia.
While the zoo is not overly big, you will find over a hundred different species of animals including gorillas, flamingos, crocodiles, lions, elephants and more.
In the middle of the zoo is a large lake where you can pedal boats. The zoo also has a playground, food stalls and a range of picnic spots.
Entrance fee is RM2 for adults and RM1 for kids.
Address: Jalan Gertak Merah, Taman Istana, 80000 Johor Bahru
Shopping at City Square
Located in the heart of the city and just a short distance from the customs and immigration checkpoint is City Square, which is a popular place to visit in Johor Bahru, Malaysia for those who want to shop.
Things to do in JC City Square include shopping at one of more than 300 retailers, you can eat at a range of restaurants, or you can opt to see a movie at the cinema complex (a great idea if you’re tired after walking around!), hire a karaoke booth or spend some time at the games arcade. There are plenty of things to do with older kids in this mall if you’re visiting Johor Bahru with teenagers and they need some entertainment.
What is here changes as well. On my last visit, it was nearly Halloween so there were some cool Halloween attractions and rides.
The shopping mall also features a pedestrian bridge which connects to the JB Sentral building.
Address: 106, 108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru
If you’re looking for things to do in Johor Bahru at night then head down to Pasar Karat.
Pasar Karat is a large flea market where you can get yourself some great bargains. Items on offer include a range of second-hand clothes, antiques and other knick-knacks. There’s also a range of street food on offer if you get peckish while browsing!
It’s surprisingly big and had a great vibe when I visited. Walking around here and City Square is very pleasant after the sun goes down. I visited at 7:30pm and more stalls were setting up so go a bit later if possible.
Address: 26, 20, Jalan Segget, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru
Church of the Immaculate Conception
One of the historical places of interest in Johor Bahru, Malaysia is the Church of the Immaculate Conception. This is a Roman Catholic church which was built in 1927 (there was a church built here previously in 1883).
It is a small, picturesque church which features a single steeple with a traditional British colonial style spire on the top.
Address: 9, Jalan Gereja, 80000 Johor Bahru
If you’re looking for things to do in JB for couples or even activities to do in JB for families, a visit to Danga Bay is a good choice. Danga Bay stretches along 25kms of scenic waterfront which faces the Straits of Johor and includes a large recreational park which has a range of attractions, the Danga City Mall and fine dining restaurants.
The fine dining with stunning views across the bay makes it a great romantic place in JB for couples, while the family attractions make it one of the fun places in Johor Bahru for kids. Some of the family-friendly attractions include the Danga World Mini Theme Park which has a range rides including a carousel, ferris wheel and teacups.
Address: Danga Bay, 80200 Johor Bahru
Taman Merdeka is the largest community recreational park which has over 31 acres to explore. It is the perfect place to come for some outdoor activities in Johor Bahru or if you’re looking for stuff to do in Johor Bahru that is outdoors.
The park was inspired by the country’s struggle for independence and features nine lawns, each depicting a chapter in the history of the country’s fight for freedom.
The park features a lake which is great to stroll around. You can also hire some boats to pedal around the lake too. Other things in the park include an open-air theatre, a series of rock sculptures and a musical foundation.
Address: Jln Datin Halimah, 80200 Johor Bahru
Istana Bukit Serene
If you’re still wondering what to see in Johor Bahru, another popular attraction in Johor Bahru Malaysia is the Istana Bukit Serene. This is the official palace of the Sultan of Johor, so you can’t explore the interior of the building, however, the public is welcome to come and explore the gardens of the Istana Bukit Serene, which are beautiful.
The most recognised feature here is the Crown Archway which apparently actually has real jewels built into it. The manicured gardens also include lovely water fountains and the impressive light features make if a great attraction if you’re wondering where to go in JB at night.
The palace was built in an Art Deco style back in 1933 and apparently from its 35-metre high main tower there is a fabulous view of Singapore.
Address: Jalan Straits View, Bukit Serene, 80200 Johor Bahru
If you’re looking for super fun JB things to do with kids you can’t beat a day at Legoland. Legoland is perfect for kids of all ages and certainly one of the Johor Bahru top attractions, particularly for families with little ones and after some fun things to do in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.
At Legoland Malaysia, there are multiple worlds to explore, each with their own themes such as Lego Ninjago World, Miniland and Lego Kingdoms. Each of the worlds has a range of Lego-themed rides and you’ll find all the kids favourites here such as bumper cars, planes, roller coasters and laser quest.
Everyone will love spending time in Miniland where there is a range of well known Malaysian landmarks built from Lego. It’s pretty cool to find places you’ve visited and also just spot the detail in these scenes – amazing.
Legoland also offers plenty of areas where you can build with Lego and don’t miss the Lego workshops either. The workshops are a great place to escape the heat as they are inside completely air-conditioned rooms.
There is also a great Lego-themed water park too. There are plenty of great water slides for all ages as well as the wave pool.
You will need at least a day (maybe even two) to see everything at Legoland and the water park, so you might even want to consider staying on-site at the Legoland Resort.
Address: No 7, Jalan Legoland, Bandar Medini, 79250 Nusajaya, Johor
Once you’ve done the regular sightseeing in Johor Bahru city centre, a nice place to go in Johor Bahru is Puteri Harbour. Puteri Harbour is a long promenade on the seafront which features beautiful harbour views, a range of restaurants on Marina Walk and a shopping mall with retail stores. It’s very close to Legoland Malaysia making this one of the places to see in Johor Bahru a convenient area to stay as well.
Address: Persiaran Puteri Selatan, Kota Iskandar, 79100 Nusajaya, Johor
While you explore Johor Bahru you might be surprised to stumble across the area called Little Paris. Little Paris is basically an area which features a row of gorgeous little shophouses which have exteriors as if they were in the streets of Paris. Here you will find loads of high fashion clothing stores, cafes and bakeries – perfect if you love cute boutiques and are looking for some different Johor Bahru things to do.
Plus if you’re not sure what to do in JB at night – come to Little Paris when all the pretty lights are lit up and you will really think you are walking down a street in Paris.
Address: Jalan Jaya Putra 1/1, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru
This new Johor Bahru attraction was once an old pram farm but you’d hardly know that now. Senibong Cove is one of the newest areas in Johor Bahru which has now been transformed into a major waterfront development. Here you will find a lovely harbour which you can stroll by recreational parks, plenty of restaurants and swimming pools. This is one of my favourite Johor Bahru places to visit in the late afternoon/evening.
Address: 81750 Masai, Johor
Johor Premium Outlets
If you’ve had enough of the regular sights and want to get some shopping done, then these outlets are probably more your idea of the best JB attractions! For Johor Bahru activities that include shopping then head on down to the Johor Premium Outlets. Here you will find over 150 different outlet shops from designer brands such as Bally, Coach, DKNY, Fossil, Nike, Orton and more.
There is also a range of cafes here so you can make a day out of it.
Address: Jalan Premium Outlets Indahpura, 81000 Kulai, Johor
Top 3 Best Places To Visit In Johor Bahru Surrounds
If you are happy to travel a little bit further and you’re still wondering Johor Bahru, where to go? Here are the top 3 places to go in JB surrounds.
Zenxin Organic Park
One of the interesting places to visit near Johor Bahru is Zenxin Organic Park. Run by Zenxin Argi-Organic Food who is the leading producer of organic produce in Malaysia, at Zenxin Organic Park, you can come and visit their farm while learning all about organic farm practices. This is the first park of its kind in Malaysia and is a great way to spend a few hours if you’re looking for Johor Bahru visiting places.
At the Zenxin Organic Park, you can join a tour across the park, where you’re educated on the process of producing organic crops. Other activities at the park including cooking lessons such as making Nasi Ulam, noodles and curry puffs. There is also animal feeding herb growing workshops too.
There is also a restaurant on site where you can taste the park’s delicious products.
Entrance is RM15 for adults and RM12 for kids.
Address: 47A & 47B, Batu 9, Jalan Batu Pahat, Kluang, 86000 Kluang, Johor
If you’re after a short getaway in Johor Bahru to escape the city then head an hour east to the popular Desaru Beach. Featuring 6 kilometres of wide, white sandy beaches with the calm, warm waters of the South China Sea; Desaru Beach is not only one of the most beautiful places in Johor Bahru but also the perfect place for a swim.
As well as being a great swimming spot, there is also a range of watersports on offer such parasailing and banana boat rides. The region also has some affordable seafood restaurants too.
The area around Desaru Beach has a relaxed vibe, with a range of beach resorts, fishing villages and nature-based activities making it the perfect spot to spend either the day or even a few days.
Entrance fee to the public beach is RM4.
Address: L3-26 Aras 3, Bangunan JOTIC, 2 Jalan Ayer Molek, Johor Bahru
Desaru Coast Water Park
What to do in Johor Bahru Malaysia when the weather is hot? Spend the day at Desaru Coast Water Park of course! At this water park, you’ll find a stack of water slides and attractions perfect for kids and adults alike.
Desaru Coast Water Park has the regions very first water coaster – Kraken’s Revenge. This roller coast loops a full 360 degrees and has a 27-metre drop into the water. The park also features one of the largest wave pools in Southeast Asia – which is a whopping three hectares!
For the little ones, there is Kids Ahoy – a fantastic kids’ area with three play areas and 13 different slides. Other water attractions in the park include the relaxing looping river of Penawar, the Wild Whirl, Super Twister, Riptide, and the Tempest slides.
If you’re after activities to do in Johor Bahru to escape the heat, a day at Desaru Coast Water Park offers the perfect solution.
Address: No. 4, Jalan Danau, Desaru Coast, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor
What To Do In JB In One Day
If you are taking a 1 day trip to JB or are considering planning your own Johor Bahru day tour, then the following two options allow you to make the most of your JB one day trip!
1. Visit Legoland Malaysia
If you’re in town with kids just for a day and wondering what to visit in Johor Bahru – Legoland Malaysia is the ideal choice. The kids will have so much fun on all the Lego-themed rides, plus you can also easily visit the Lego-themed water park and the aquarium on the same day too.
2. Explore Johor Bahru
If you prefer to see some of the historical sites on your one day trip to JB, then consider this Johor Bahru city tour itinerary which will allow you to visit your preferred places to go in Johor Bahru.
Start your day by having a traditional Kopitiam breakfast is at Hua Mui’s – which is said to be one of the best places to eat in Johor Bahru. From here take a short 3-minute walk to the Chinese Heritage Museum. On your Johor Bahru tour, be sure to walk via Jalan Tan Hiok Nee which is a lovely heritage street and look out for the colourful buildings and murals on the way.
Before leaving this area, take a short 2-minute walk to Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory for some delicious baked goods. If you’re still full from breakfast get them to take away for later.
From here, take a taxi or walk to the Grand Palace and explore the Royal Abu Bakar Museum. After, walk to the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque. If you are with children, you may prefer to visit the Johor Zoo (close to the mosque) instead of the Museum.
Next, take a 10-minute taxi ride to see the Bukit Serene Palace. From the palace, you could choose to head down to Danga Bay for dinner or another option would be to go back into town for the Pasar Karat or the super trendy Kilang Bateri.
If you are looking for a Johor Bahru one day tour, click here for a list of options.
Fun Things To Do In JB Map
Best Place To Stay In Johor Bahru
When it comes to where to stay in Johor Bahru, there is a great range of hotels in the city centre as well as resorts in the city outskirts. No matter what your budget, your holiday style or who you are travelling with, you’ll easily find a great place to stay.
Below, I’ve listed a few different places to consider including a budget, mid-range and more expensive option.
If you’re visiting Legoland, then staying at the on-site Legoland Resort is highly recommended.
The rooms at Legoland Resort are perfect for families. They come in a range of sizes and choice of themes such as a pirate, kingdom, Ninjago or adventure theme. Families will appreciate how the rooms have two separate sleeping areas – one for adults with a king-sized bed and one for up to three children with a bunk bed, pull-out trundle bed and their own TV.
For hotel guests, there are Lego-themed activities and events throughout the day including meeting a range of Lego characters as well as dance parades and nightly movies. There is also a swimming pool, Lego play area and puzzle activities to unlock secret treasure in your room!
There is even a Lego-themed restaurant with a range of Lego-shaped foods.
The DoubleTree By Hilton is located just minutes from the Causeway, making it ideal for exploring the attractions around both Johor Bahru and Singapore. The Johor Bahru City Square is only 650 metres away while the railway station is 1.5 kilometres away.
Onsite facilities include a stunning outdoor swimming pool on the 13th floor, four restaurants, gym, steam room, spa and wifi. For families staying at the hotel, equipment such as high chairs and cribs are also available upon request.
Each of the hotel’s spacious guest rooms feature air conditioning, TV and tea and coffee making facilities. For families, there are also rooms which have separate living areas as well as rooms which have a kitchenette.
I also love the Holiday Inn Johor Bahru which is close to here. Read my review here.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Baguss Hotel and Serviced Apartments. Only 5 minutes to Pelangi Plaza, the local shopping mall and 10 minutes to the Causeway, this boutique hotel is conveniently situated for easy access to everything.
Each of the hotel rooms feature air conditioning, a TV, wifi, tea and coffee making facilities and a refrigerator. For larger groups, there is also the option of four 3 bedroom apartments which can accommodate up to 6 people. These apartments are like your home away from home including a kitchen and lounge room.
I hope that this Johor travel blog has given you plenty of inspiration and ideas on how best to enjoy your visit to Johor Bahru.
Whether you cross the causeway from Singapore for a day trip to Johor Bahru or come and stay for a few days, you can see from above that there are plenty of things to see in Johor Bahru.
Whether you’re interested in historical attractions or fun family-friendly places to visit, there really is something for everyone in JB.
To get to Johor Bahru from other cities in Malaysia, check out our private taxi service here.
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