Bandung is a small town full of beauties! Don’t get me started. I love this city so much, I start thinking that I wanna settle down and live here. Bandung has so many great parks, fresh air, friendly people, historical value, and is a great place to hang out for your weekend gataway.
So, as a former resident of Bandung, I would like to officially recommend the best tourist attractions in Bandung, which are free! Yep! You only have to see it for yourself, and make a small contributions (maybe around 1-2 USD) to certain places. I know that when traveling, not all people could indulge themselves in luxury destinations, because we’re not that deep-pocketed. So if you’re looking for some free-entry tourist attractions, take a look at these places, they are all awesome!
1. Bandung City Hall (Alun-Alun)
This is the pride of every Bandung residents to have. Thanks to the current mayor, Ridwan Kamil, he is an architect and loves to transform the spare space in the city into beautiful parks. Bandung City Hall is like the centerpiece of this city. This 1,200 meter square green space is designed with synthetic grass and completed with various facilities such as playground, flower garden, and even WiFi for public. I personally like to go at around 3-4 PM. The air is so fresh, not too humid, and perfect to chill while people-watching the kids playing balls, some teenagers are chatting, and some others are simply reading books or taking photographs. If you looking for more peace, try visiting early in the morning.
Photo from: Pikiran Rakyat website (https://www.pikiran-rakyat.com/bandung-raya/2016/12/20/galeri-foto-alun-alun-ini-bikin-anda-kembali-ke-tahun-70-sampai-2000-388333)
2. Cikapundung Terrace (Teras Cikapundung)This is one of the most recent public space near my university, called Cikapundung Terrace. If you see the river before it’s transformed, you won’t even believe it. It is dirty, slum, and the water is brown-ish and full of garbage. Thankfully, now it is beautifully developed with urban and ecology concept, providing amphitheater, water fountain, fish pond, and the iconic red bridge that people always take selfies on. Although the river water is still brown-ish, but it’s been a great improvement. What’s more, we could also rent a rubber boat here and swing across the canal. If you hate morning’s heat, try coming at night. They have dancing water fountain and a little plaza consists of food stalls and benches.
Photo from: Info Bandung website (https://www.infobdg.com/v2/tempat-selfie-nyentrik-di-kota-bandung/)
3. Vanda Park (Taman Vanda)
Speaking of dancing water fountain, here is another park you should check out: Vanda Park in Merdeka Road. It’s easy to find, just look for a park with bright lighting water fountain in the center. It’s a really cool hang out place with friends and you don’t have to pay a penny. Win-Win!
Photo from: Iaman Makam website (https://tamanmakambandung.com/places/1044/taman-vanda)
4. Braga Street
You never go to Bandung if you haven’t gotten to Braga Street. Yeeees, this one is my favorite! It’s a small street with an old-school and warm nuance that will definitely make you fall in love. Chic cafes, vibrant restaurants (with live music), night bars, and street artisans with their beautiful paintings all around us. I so often visit this street, as often as thrice a week, just because I love it too much. Nothing particular to do, just watch some football games, sit around in the side bench, or sip a coffee from surrounding coffee shops. It also has great backpacker hostel called Chez Bon., if you’re ever interested to stay at the heart of Bandung. PS: I cannot find any photo that best represents the beauty of this street. This photo does not do justice, you have to take a look by yourself!
Photo from: Asia Travel website (https://www.asiatravel.com/en-us/hotels/indonesia/bandung/favehotel_braga/index.html)
5. Patenggang Lake (Situ Patenggang)
The next free best tourist attraction that you should visit: Patenggang Lake (or Situ Patenggang as they call it). This lake is located 1600 meters above sea level, which is why they have this magical mist effect early in the morning or when it is after rain. The landscape is so beautiful. The contrast between the blue sky and the transparent water of the lake gives so much tranquility. I feel so at ease just being here. Oh, and they rent a paddling boat for USD 1 if you wanna go around the small island in the middle. Patenggang Lake is quite far from the central Bandung, approximately 2 hours away. But I assure you, it’s worth the trip.
6. Asia Africa Museum
Do you know that I decided to study in Bandung after I visited this beautiful museum? Asia-Africa Museum is a historical building wherein they held the first Asia-African Conference. It is now still one of the most iconic building across Bandung. Every weekends, they are open for any traveler to peak inside and feel the taste of being the country representative at that time. You have to feel the nationalism and the pride, and see all these countries flags lining up for a greater purpose (Sorry I’m a student of International Relations so I had a thing with countries’ flags). We only need to pay for a voluntary contribution for the safety guards. I definitely choose this museum over any malls. What about you?
Photo from: Viva.co.id website (https://log.viva.co.id/news/read/792032-liburan-ke-museum-asia-afrika-di-bandung)
7. Al Irsyad Mosque
A little bit to the Western side of Bandung, here is Al Irsyad Mosque, which is located in Kota Baru Parahyangan complex. This mosque has unique shape of a cube, instead of a regular dome. The building is so modern and chic, as the designer is none other than the Mayor himself, Ridwan Kamil. This is one of his early project as an architect. Al Irsyad Mosque is so futuristic yet so serene and quiet, you could almost hear a drop of a needle. I think more than their architecture niche, it is even a greater place to say your prayer.
Photo from: Panduanwisata website (https://bandung.panduanwisata.id/menikmati-wisata-reliji-di-masjid-al-irsyad-bandung/)
8. Puncak Bintang (Peak of Star)
This is another one of Bandung’s hidden gem. The location is quite remote, approximately one hour away from the city center since we will be going through small bumpy road. But, the vibe of Puncak Bintang is truly peaceful. Usually, people come to Puncak Bintang at around 3-4 AM. We could oversee the city lights of Bandung. And it is so so quiet, you could go to a contemplation with yourself. Almost like meditating, actually. The weather is quite cold, make sure you wear some thick coat. But when the sun rises, you could have fun and walk around in the pine forest. It feels so magical and beautiful! And you only need to pay USD 1 to get in 😉
9. Cihampelas Terrace (Teras Cihampelas)
Cihampelas Terrace is the newest addition in the iconic Cihampelas Street of Bandung. This one-way road used to be extremely crowded, especially on weekends, since there are many pedestrians and factory outlets in left and right side of the road. There are dozens of shops selling souvenirs, T-shirts a la Bandung, cafes, and even pick-up cars which sell shoes from their trunks. The mayor then builds Cihampelas Skywalk to relocate all the street vendors to a hanging garden, so that it could reduce congestion on the road. Now, it is more convenient to walk around, sight-seeing, without the constant worry of getting hit by a vehicle.
Photo from: Geotimes website (https://geotimes.co.id/ridwan-kamil-dan-sesat-pikir-proyek-skywalk-cihampelas/)
Yeah, those are my 9 best recommendations of free tourist attractions in Bandung! I’m sure if you visit at least half of them, you will understand why this city is loved by so many people. It’s a small city with a humble environment. If I have a spare holiday for a day or two, I’d always choose to come back to Bandung. Enjoy it, this town is marvelous!
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