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An unplanned afternoon stroll in Surabaya

heritage buildings surabaya -featured-image

A while ago, I finally had the chance to stay in Surabaya for more than two days, as I usually only stayed there for a night or just for transit. This visit to Surabaya happened as I had a trip to Madura with some fellow bloggers. Then I thought of staying more than just a transit in Surabaya.

I didn’t really have a fix plan on what to do in Surabaya, but then I remember that I haven’t visited the House of Sampoerna. Apparently, it has a tour to visit some of the heritage places in Surabaya, called Surabaya Heritage Track. Sad that apparently, the tour was fully booked as there was a group booking for the tour.

As I don’t have any plans at that time, and I have already booked my Uber, so I just went to House of Sampoerna. House of Sampoerna is located quite near to Jembatan Merah, and I heard that there are many heritage buildings near Jembatan Merah. My plan then changed from joining the Surabaya Heritage Track to just walk to nearby area to see some of the heritage buildings in Surabaya.

A stroll on the afternoon in Surabaya

The route for this walk was unplanned, and I regret that I didn’t install a walking app to track my route. I only used my eyes to see which one is interesting and of course Google Maps haha.

When I walked out from House of Sampoerna, I was curious with the long-and-quite high wall nearby the place. It is of course a prison, as I could see a post station located on top of the corners of the walls. However, it seems abandoned, and it was painted with beautiful murals on most of the walls. So I asked one of the Ibu-ibu on a warong about the prison, and she said that it was actually a prison, but it is not being used anymore. Apparently the name is Penjara Kalisosok. The name ‘Kalisosok’ is used as one of the side is located on Jalan Kalisosok in Surabaya.


Penjara Kalisosok with beautiful murals

A stroll at Jalan Rajawali

I always love when old buildings are being preserved by just using it, instead of destroyed the buildings and change entirely with a new modern building. And usually, some of the government banks are the ones which used the old building for one of their branches. Don’t forget the post office too.


I love this Jalan Rajawali as it has a wide sidewalk


Post office at Jalan Rajawali



Just like when I walked out to the main road, which is Jalan Rajawali. If you love heritage buildings, then you will also love this street. But the most outstanding ones at Jalan Rajawali would be the brown tall building with several canopies at the front side, which is Ibis Surabaya building, and the cigarette building or sometimes is also called the lipstick building, as it has a tower looks like cigarettes or lipstick.


Hotel Ibis Surabaya at Jalan Rajawali

Apparently during the Dutch colonial era, the Ibis building, used to be a canning factory for food and drinks, including the Heineken Beers. Meanwhile the cigarette building was a sugar factory in the past. This building actually has a Dutch name, but as there were not so many people can speak Dutch, that’s why they called it as cigarette or lipstick building.


Cigarette or lipstick building at Jalan Rajawali


Jembatan Merah Plaza behind Taman Jayengrono at the end of Jalan Rajawali

A stroll at Jalan Jembatan Merah and Jalan Veteran

At the end of Jalan Rajawali, I was hesitated, whether I should cross the Jembatan Merah bridge and walk straight to Jalan Kembang Jepun or make a right turn to Jalan Jembatan Merah. Well, I chose the latter, as I could still see some interesting heritage building on this street. Jalan Jembatan Merah is a short street, as it is followed by Jalan Veteran.


Prima Master Bank at Jalan Jembatan Merah

There are a few banks at Jalan Jembatan Merah here, such as Bank Mandiri, Prima Master Bank, and at the end of the street, there’s Maybank at the corner. However, you will also see a very noticeable old building with its two cats-with-the-wings statues in front of the building. It looks abandoned, as the white paint on the façade of the building started to peel off.


One of an unused building at Jalan Jembatan Merah with unique cat with wings statues


PTPN X at Jalan Jembatan Merah


Bank Maybank at one of the corners of Jalan Jembatan merah

While I walked, I noticed a very familiar building on the right side of the street. It’s the Museum Hidup Polrestabes! I was here earlier this year on a contest like amazing race held by one of the budget hotel in Surabaya, called Pop Stasiun Race.


Museum Hidup Polrestabes


I noticed that Jiwasraya loves to use old buildings as its office 🙂


AA Energy at Jalan Veteran


Apparently there’s also Air Mancur office here 🙂

Then near the end of Jalan Veteran, I had to make another decision at the intersection, whether I should walk to the left to Stasiun Kota, or straight to Tugu Pahlawan, or right back to Jalan Rajawali. So I just decided to walk straight to Tugu Pahlawan.

A stroll at Jalan Pahlawan

Well, although I have gone to Tugu Pahlawan before, but I think it’s okay to make another visit again at that time. Apparently Tugu Pahlawan is located just beside the central bank of Indonesia, Bank Indonesia. And since I walked from Jalan Pahlawan, I actually walked at the back side of Tugu Pahlawan, while the entrance is located at the opposite side.


While in Surabaya, I fell in love with so many beautiful small parks, just like this one at Jalan Veteran 🙂


PT Pelni located at Jalan Pahlawan

It was a long walk, and I didn’t realize that this will be the end of my afternoon walk, as not long after that, it was raining! Luckily, I found a minimart just in front of Tugu Pahlawan.

Looking at the map, I didn’t realize that I have walk quite far, well it’s only 2.5 km if calculated the distance on Google Maps!

How to reach Surabaya

If you have fondness with heritage buildings and want to go to Surabaya, there are plenty of ways to reach Surabaya. If you are from Jakarta, the fastest way to reach Surabaya is by plane. There are many flights to Surabaya, and you can check some websites that offers promotion and voucher discount, such as Saleduck, who knows you get a good deal! Other ways to reach Surabaya is by train and bus. It will take longer hours to reach Surabaya, but at least you can take the night train / bus, and you can just sleep throughout the night. This means, you can save your budget, by not staying in a hotel. You can check the train’s schedule to Surabaya in here.

I know there are more areas in Surabaya that has heritage buildings, I think even Jalan Kembang Jepun has heritage buildings too. I also got an information from one of the Uber drivers, that I could check Jalan Tunjungan for more heritage buildings. Yikes, is that a sign that I should visit Surabaya again? 😀

PS: I am not an expert for heritage or old buildings, so if the pictures showing a non-heritage or old buildings, just let me know.


Well, Tugu Pahlawan was the end of my afternoon stroll in Surabaya 🙂


Mixed Up Already




  • Matius Teguh Nugroho

    I think we share a common interest in old buildings and architecture. Not some experts, just love to see them and take pictures of them. A simple walk like yours will be my pleasure in exploring a town or a city.

    Surabaya has been my interest for years. Beside those old buildings, I’m interested in its parks and — shopping malls, lol. I went to Surabaya when I was a student, but it was a study tour, so I didn’t have a chance to explore the city by myself. But, one thing I find it difficult to decide what the best way to reach Surabaya is. Takes too long by train, and “nanggung” if I take the plane.
    Anyway, the wall art you saw at the prison is not a grafitti, it is a mural. Nice post!

    • Timothy W Pawiro

      Hahaha yeah, they have that big mall! I even didn’t walk to all the corners at the mall, so big! And yes true, I love the parks too. Beauty everywhere haha. Oh yes, that’s should be murals, not graffiti. Thanks!

  • Arief Rachman

    Amazing posts. I love old buildings and the history about them. I went to Surabaya last October, but didn’t have the time to do this stuff you did. Will go there when I have the chance

    • Timothy W Pawiro

      Thank you! Yeah, Surabaya still have more areas with old buildings, but I had no time to explore more 🙂

  • BaRT

    Intricate murals and abandoned guard house at Penjara Kalisosok. Colorful corner of white AA Energy Building. And, that abandoned building with golden-cat-with-wings-statues.

    I think Surabaya love to use ‘juxtapose composition’ for its old town.

    Good capture Tim! 🙂

    • Timothy W Pawiro

      Thanks, Bart … Let’s do some photo hunting of old buildings together next time 😉

  • kutukamus

    It’s been decades since the last time I did any wandering around this city. And what a line of nice mural at Kalisosok! 🙂

    • Timothy W Pawiro

      Yes, I love that murals too 🙂

  • ulu

    i love old building! when i was traveling to Surabaya, i brought a map that i copy from a book called Kota Pusaka di Indonesia. The map took me to several old and antique places. Such a wonderful old buildings that Surabaya has. I also joined that bus heritage tour with Sampoerna. After finishing the tour, i strolled down the road from Pabrik Sampoerna until Kawasan Arab (forget the name). Defenitely will go back to Surabaya and explore the heritage buildings many more.

    • Timothy W Pawiro

      Too bad, I didn’t go to Kawasan Arab! Seems it’s quite close to the area where I walked?! 🙁

      I should go back there again someday 🙂

  • mayasitha arifin

    tua tapi cantik yaaaa: ‘)

    • Timothy W Pawiro

      Bener sekali kaakkk 🙂

  • Rifqy Faiza Rahman

    Ah, you explored Surabaya more than me hahaha, 😀

    • Timothy W Pawiro

      Hahaha … then let’s explore more of the city together 😀

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