Surabaya (Indonesian: suraˈbaja; Javanese: ꦯꦸꦫꦧꦪ, romanized: Suroboyo, formerly written as Soerabaja and Surabaja) is the capital of the Indonesian province of East Java and the second-largest city in the country, after Jakarta. The city has a population of over 3 million within its city limits and over 10 million in the Surabaya metropolitan area, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in Indonesia.[2] Located on northeastern Java on the Madura Strait, it is one of the earliest port cities in Southeast Asia. According to the National Development Planning Agency, Surabaya is one of the four main central cities of Indonesia, alongside Jakarta, Medan, and Makassar.[6][7]

City of Surabaya
Kota Surabaya
Regional transcription(s)
From top, left to right :
Surabaya Central Park, Graha SA Surabaya Building, Sanggar Agung Temple, Suramadu Bridge at night, Surabaya Carnival Park, Museum 10 November, one of the Hindus temple in Surabaya (Pura Jagatnatha Perak), and UNESA Lake.

Kota Pahlawan (City of Heroes)
Sparkling Surabaya
Location within East Java
Interactive map outlining Surabaya
Location in Java and Indonesia
Surabaya (Indonesia)
Coordinates: 7°15′55″S 112°44′33″E
ProvinceEast Java
Establishment31 May 1293
  MayorTri Rismaharini
  Vice MayorWhisnu Sakti Buana
  City350.5 km2 (135.3 sq mi)
2,787 km2 (1,076 sq mi)
5,925 km2 (2,288 sq mi)
5 m (16 ft)
 (2015 estimated[2])
  Density9,900/km2 (26,000/sq mi)
  Urban density4,800/km2 (12,000/sq mi)
  Metro density2,200/km2 (5,700/sq mi)
  Ethnic groups
  Religion[3]Islam 80.13%
Christianity 18.10%
Hinduism 0.26%
Buddhism 1.49%
Confucianism 0.01%
  HDI 0.810 (Very High)[4]
  GDP PPP (City)US$116 billion (2016)[5]
  GDP PPP (Metro)US$354 billion (2016)[5][note 1]
Time zoneUTC+07:00
Postal Code
60xxx, 61xxx
Area code(+62) 31
Vehicle registrationL (for Motor vehicle), SKB (for Rickshaw)
AirportJuanda International Airport
Commuter RailSusi Commuter DMU, Sulam Commuter DMU, Jenggala DMU, KA Lokal Bojonegoro DMU, Kertosono Local Train, Arek Surokerto DMU
Rapid Transit Suroboyo Bus
Surabaya LRT and MRT (planned)

The city was settled in 10th century by Kingdom of Janggala, one of the two Javanese kingdoms that was formed in 1045 when Airlangga abdicated his throne in favour of his two sons. In the late 15th and 16th centuries, Surabaya grew to be a duchy, a major political and military power as well as a port in eastern Java, probably under Majapahit empire.[8] At that time, Surabaya was already a major trading port, owing to its location on the River Brantas delta and on the trade route between Malacca and the Spice Islands via the Java Sea. During the decline of Majapahit, the lord of Surabaya resisted the rise of the Demak Sultanate, and only submitted to its rule in 1530.[9][10] Surabaya became independent after the death of Sultan Trenggana of Demak in 1546.[11][12]

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Surabaya was the largest city in the Dutch East Indies, larger than Batavia (present day Jakarta) and the centre of trading in the nation, which was then a competitor of Shanghai and Hong Kong.[13] The city is known as Kota Pahlawan (city of heroes) due to the importance of the Battle of Surabaya in galvanizing Indonesian and international support for Indonesian independence during the Indonesian National Revolution. Today the city remains one of the important entertainment, financial, industrial, transportational, and commercial hubs of the Indonesian archipelago,[14] arguably second only to Jakarta, and the Port of Tanjung Perak is Indonesia's second-busiest seaport located on northern Surabaya. In 2016, Surabaya received seven consecutive times Adipura Kencana Award from 2010 as number one among 20 cities in Indonesia.[15] Surabaya awarded by a Singaporean Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize as city's special mention.[16]



Surabaya alludes to a prophecy of Jayabaya, a 12th-century psychic king of Kediri Kingdom, foreseeing a fight between a giant white shark and a giant white crocodile taking place in the area,[17] which is sometimes interpreted as foretelling the Mongol invasion of Java, a major conflict between the forces of Kublai Khan, Mongol ruler of China, and those of Raden Wijaya's Majapahit on 31 May 1293,[18][19] which is now considered the date of the city's founding.[20] The two animals are now used as the city's symbol, with the two facing and circling each other, as depicted in a statue appropriately located near the entrance to the city zoo.[21]

Alternate derivations proliferate: from the Javanese sura ing baya, meaning "bravely facing danger";[19] or from the use of surya to refer to the sun. Some people consider Jayabaya's prophecy as being about the great war between native Surabayan people and foreign invaders at the start of the war of independence in 1945. Another story tells of two heroes who fought each other to be the king of the city. The two heroes were named Sura and Baya. These folk etymologies, though embraced enthusiastically by its people and city leaders, are unverifiable.[22]

Early history

The Kingdom of Janggala was one of the two Javanese kingdoms that was formed in 1045 when Airlangga abdicated his throne in favour of his two sons. The earliest historical record of Surabaya was in the 1225 book Zhu fan zhi written by Zhao Rugua, in which it was called Jung-ya-lu.[23] The name Janggala was probably originated from the name "Hujung Galuh" (Old Javanese lit: "Cape Diamond" or "Cape Gemstone"), or "Jung-ya-lu" according to Chinese source. Hujung Galuh was located on the estuarine of Brantas River and today is the part of modern Surabaya city and Sidoarjo Regency.[24] The earliest historical record of Surabaya was in the 1225 book Zhu fan zhi written by Zhao Rugua, in which it was called Jung-ya-lu.[23] The name Janggala was probably originated from the name "Hujung Galuh" (Old Javanese lit: "Cape Diamond" or "Cape Gemstone"), or "Jung-ya-lu" according to Chinese source. Hujung Galuh was located on the estuarine of Mas River, one of tributaries of Brantas River and today is the part of modern Surabaya and Sidoarjo.[25]

By the 14th to 15th centuries, Surabaya seems to be one of Majapahit ports or coastal settlements, together with Tuban, Gresik, and Hujung Galuh (Sidoarjo). Ma Huan documented the early 15th-century visit of Zheng He's treasure ships in his 1433 book Yingya Shenglan: "after traveling south for more than 20 li, the ship reached Sulumayi, whose foreign name is Surabaya. At the estuary, the outflowing water is fresh".[26]Tomé Pires mentioned that a Muslim lord was in power in Surabaya in 1513, though likely still a vassal of the Majapahit.

Ma Huan visited Java during Zheng He's fourth expedition in the 1413, during the reign of Majapahit king Wikramawardhana. He describes his travel to Majapahit capital, first he arrived to the port of Tu-pan (Tuban) where he saw large numbers of Chinese settlers migrated from Guangdong and Chou Chang. Then, he sailed east to thriving new trading town of Ko-erh-hsi (Gresik), Su-pa-erh-ya (Surabaya), and then sailing inland into the river by smaller boat to southwest until reached the Brantas river port of Chang-ku (Changgu). Continuing to travel by land to the southwest, he arrived in Man-che-po-I (Majapahit), where the Javanese king stayed.[27]

Precolonial era

By late 15th century, Islam began to take its root in Surabaya. The settlement of Ampel Denta, located around Ampel Mosque in today Ampel subdistrict, Semampir district, north Surabaya, was established by a charismatic Islamic proselytizer Sunan Ampel.[28]

In the late 15th and 16th centuries, Surabaya grew to be a duchy, a major political and military power in eastern Java. The Portuguese writer Tomé Pires mentioned that a Muslim lord was in power in Surabaya in 1513, though likely still a vassal of the Hindu–Buddhist Majapahit.[9] At that time, Surabaya was already a major trading port,[29] owing to its location on the River Brantas delta and on the trade route between Malacca and the Spice Islands via the Java Sea.[30] During the decline of Majapahit, the lord of Surabaya resisted the rise of the Demak Sultanate, and only submitted to its rule in 1530.[9][10] Surabaya became independent after the death of Sultan Trenggana of Demak in 1546.[11][12]

The Duchy of Surabaya entered a conflict with, and was later captured by, the more powerful Sultanate of Mataram in 1625 under Sultan Agung.[31]:31 It was one of Mataram's fiercest campaigns, in which they had to conquer Surabaya's allies, Sukadana and Madura, and to lay siege to the city before capturing it. With this conquest, Mataram then controlled almost the whole of Java, with the exception of the Sultanate of Banten and the Dutch settlement of Batavia.[31]:31

Colonial era

The expanding Dutch East India Company took the city over from a weakened Mataram in November 1743. In consolidating its rule over Surabaya, and in time, the rest of East Java, the Dutch collaborated with leading regional magnates, including Ngabehi Soero Pernollo (1720–1776), his brother Han Bwee Kong, Kapitein der Chinezen (1727–1778), and the latter's son, Han Chan Piet, Majoor der Chinezen (1759–1827), all from the powerful Han family of Lasem.[32][33]

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Surabaya was the largest city in Dutch East Indies. It became a major trading centre under the Dutch colonial government, and hosted the largest naval base in the colony. Surabaya was also the largest city in the colony serving as the centre of Java's plantation economy, industry and were supported by its natural harbour.[34] In 1920, a census recorded that Batavia had become the largest city. In 1917, a revolt occurred among the soldiers and sailors of Surabaya, led by the Indies Social Democratic Association. The revolt was firmly crushed and the insurgents given harsh sentences.[35]

Independence era

Japan occupied the city in 1942, as part of the occupation of Indonesia, and it was bombed by the Allies in 1944. After the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II, Surabaya was seized by Indonesian nationalists. The young nation soon came into conflict with the British, who had become caretakers of the Dutch colony after the surrender of the Japanese.[36]

The Battle of Surabaya, one of the well-known battles of the Indonesian revolution, started after the Arek-Arek Suroboyo (Teenagers of Surabaya) assassinated the British Brigadier Mallaby on 30 October 1945, near Jembatan Merah (the "Red Bridge"), allegedly with a stray bullet. The Allies gave an ultimatum to the Republicans inside the city to surrender, but they refused. The ensuing battle, which cost thousands of lives, took place on 10 November, which Indonesians subsequently celebrate as Hari Pahlawan (Heroes' Day). The incident of the red-white flag (the Dutch flag at the top of Yamato Hotel's tower that was torn into the Indonesian red-white flag) by Bung Tomo is also recorded as a heroic feat during the struggle of this city.[37]

The city is known as Kota Pahlawan (city of heroes) due to the importance of the Battle of Surabaya in galvanising Indonesian and international support for Indonesian independence during the Indonesian National Revolution.[38]

In June 2011, Surabaya received the Adipura Kencana Award as number one among 20 cities in Indonesia. Surabaya was reported by a Singaporean as being clean and green.[39]



Surabaya is located on the northern coast of East Java province. It is mostly lowlands with a river estuary of Kalimas, one of two branches of the Brantas River. Surabaya city borders Madura Strait in the north and east, Sidoarjo Regency in the south, and Gresik Regency in the west. The regencies surrounding Surabaya are:

Like many other large Indonesian metropolises, many residents reside outside the city limits in a metropolitan area called Gerbangkertosusila.



Under the Köppen climate classification system, Surabaya features a tropical wet and dry climate (Aw), with distinct wet and dry seasons. The city's wet season runs from November through June, while the dry season covers the remaining four months. Unlike a number of cities and regions with a tropical wet and dry climate, average high and low temperatures are very consistent throughout the course of the year, with an average high temperature of around 31 °C and average low temperatures around 23 °C.

Climate data for Surabaya, elevation: 5 m or 16 ft, extremes 1963–1980
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 33.3
Average high °C (°F) 31.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 26.8
Average low °C (°F) 24.1
Record low °C (°F) 21.1
Average rainfall mm (inches) 327
Average rainy days 17 18 19 15 13 11 7 3 4 5 12 23 147
Average relative humidity (%) 66.61 69.1 66.3 67.23 64.87 60.27 60.84 57.87 54.53 56.06 56.13 63.03 61.90
Mean monthly sunshine hours 217 196 217 270 279 300 341 341 330 310 270 248 3,319
Mean daily sunshine hours 7.0 7.0 7.0 9.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 11.0 11.0 10.0 9.0 8.0 9.1
Percent possible sunshine 58 58 58 75 75 83 92 92 92 83 75 62 75
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization;[40] (daily mean);[41] and Worldwide Bioclimatic Classification System (record extreme temperature)[42][43]
Source #2: Weather Atlas (sunshine data)[44]
Wind Speed and Humidity data for Surabaya
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Maximum Wind Speed (km/h) 23 16 16 26 27 29 40 34 34 35 29 21 27.5
Average Wind Speed (km/h) 13.39 12.10 13.30 14.37 20.26 16.87 22.71 22.16 22.8 22.35 18.6 13.55 17.71
Minimum Wind Speed (km/h) 8 10 10 10 3 5 11 11 14 10 11 10 9.42
Maximum Humidity (%) 86 75 83 92 96 77 67 69 64 73 65 79 77.17
Average Humidity (%) 66.61 69.1 66.3 67.23 64.87 60.27 60.84 57.87 54.53 56.06 56.13 63.03 61.9
Minimum Humidity (%) 44 60 59 58 53 47 52 47 46 42 46 53 50.58
Source: Climatevo[45]
Climate data for Surabaya
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average sea temperature °C (°F) 29.0
Mean daily daylight hours 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0 13.0 12.1
Average Ultraviolet index 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11 10 10 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 10.8
Source: Weather Atlas [44]

Urban forest and parks

Surabaya is one of the cleanest and greenest cities in Indonesia.[46] This can be seen by the Urban parks in almost every neighbourhood area which is equipped with fountains.[47] Urban parks in Surabaya include Bungkul Park, Harmoni Park, Pelangi Park, Surya Park, Mundu Park, Undaan Fruit Park, Jayengrono Park,[48] and others. One of the parks in Surabaya, Bungkul Park, in 2013 was awarded the Asian Townscape Award 2013 from the United Nations as the best park in Asia because of its very complete and integrated facilities, starting from the economic area (street food centers), green open area, parks , disability-friendly area, free internet (Wi-Fi), and routine garden maintenance management.[49]

The city of Surabaya is very outstanding in the field of environment.[50] The city has won many awards in the field of environment and city planning both on a national and international scale.[51] The awards that were successfully received by Surabaya included adipura, adipura kencana, adiwiyata, wahyu tata nugraha, and other green awards. The Adipura Cup, which was once received by Surabaya, was in 1980s and 1990s for several times, the Adipura Kencana trophy, the cleanest metropolitan city category in the 1990s and in the period of 2010 to 2017, seven consecutive times, as well as the Adipura trophy. plenary in 2016.[52] The city also received several awards from the central government as one of the major cities with the best air quality in Indonesia.[53] Surabaya in 2012 has won the award "City of the Best Participation in the Asia Pacific" by Citynet for the success of the city government and people's participation in managing the environment. Surabaya has also been awarded the ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City Award or "the city with the best sustainable environmental management in ASEAN" in 2011 and 2014.[54] In 2018, Surabaya won the Lee Kuan Yew City Prize along with Hamburg, Germany; Kazan, Russia; and Tokyo, Japan. This award was obtained because Surabaya is considered to be one of the major cities in the world that is able to maintain and manage villages in the middle of the city with excellent government management and community participation amid the rapidly developing city.[55] Surabaya became the first city in Indonesia to receive this award.[55] This award was received directly by the Mayor Tri Rismaharini in Singapore in July 2018.[55] However, despite all that, on the other hand there are not a few areas in Surabaya that still look less organized, especially in the neighbourhoods of Southern Surabaya and Northern Surabaya.[56][57] This is the concern of the city government to reorganize the environment of the region.[58]


The city has its own local government and legislative body. The mayor and members of representatives are locally elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The city government enjoys greater decentralization of affairs than the provincial body, such as the provision of public schools, public health facilities, and public transportation. Current mayor of the city is Tri Rismaharini, the first female mayor in Surabaya, and has led Surabaya to achieve many regional, national and international awards since her first term as Surabaya Mayor in 2010. In 2012 Surabaya was awarded the "ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City Award". Besides Mayor and Vice Mayor, there is Surabaya Municipal People's Representative Council, which is a legislative body of 50 council members directly elected by the people in legislative elections every five years.[59]

The city administration maintains a central command center since 2016, integrating all civic services including Satpol PP, Bakesbangpol and Linmas, Hygiene and Parks Service, Transportation Agency, Public Works Agency of Highways and Extermination, ambulance and fire services.[60][61] All services can be accessed by dialing 112 number. The city is dubbed as the champion of smart city in Indonesia and won Indonesia Smart City Index (IKCI) in 2015 and 2018.[62] The City of Heroes also received an award at the Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation in the Online Popular City category and Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize in 2018.[63]

Surabaya is divided into 31 kecamatan (districts),[64][65] and 161 kelurahan (subdistricts). The districts are grouped into five areas: Central, North, South, East, and West. The districts are:


Historical population
Source: Various sources

1883–1961 : Surabaya: City of Work[66]
1897 : New International Encyclopedia[67]
1930 : Workers, Unions and Politics: Indonesia in the 1920s and 1930s[68]
1965 : World Population Review[69]
1971–2010 : Statistics Indonesia (BPS)

2015 : (estimated)

Surabaya is the second-most populous city in Indonesia, with 3,457,409 recorded in the chartered city limits (kota) in the 2015 census.[70] With the extended metropolitan development area called Gerbangkertosusila (derived from Gresik-Bangkalan-Mojokerto-Surabaya-Sidoarjo-Lamongan) adding more than 12 million inhabitants in several cities and around 50 districts spread over noncontiguous urban areas including Gresik, Sidoarjo, Mojokerto, and Pasuruan regencies. Though central government of Indonesia recognizes only the metropolitan area (Surabaya, Gresik, and Sidarjo) as Greater Surabaya (Zona Surabaya Raya) with a population of 8,319,229 (2015), making Surabaya now the second-largest metropolitan area in Indonesia.[71] The city is highly urbanized, with industries centralized in the city, and contains slums. As the main education centre, the city is also home for students from around Indonesia.[72]

Surabaya is an old city that has expanded over time, and its population continues to grow at roughly 2.2% per year. In recent years, more people have moved to Surabaya from nearby suburbs and villages in East Java.[73]


Ethnic Javanese people are the majority in Surabaya, with Chinese Indonesians, Indian Indonesians, and ethnic Madurese being significant minorities in the city.[74] Surabaya also has ethnic populations from other parts of Indonesia: Sundanese, Minang, Batak, Banjar, Balinese, and Bugis. Surabaya is one of the major cities in Indonesia that has a major population of Middle East people; there are Arabs, especially the Hadhrami people that originate from the Hadhramaut region in Yemen, Armenian people, and Jews.[75]


Most citizens speak a dialect of East Javanese called Suroboyoan, a subdialect of the Arekan dialect. A stereotype of this dialect concerns equality and directness in speech.[76] The use of register is less strict than the Central Java dialect.[77] The Suroboyoan dialect is a mixture of both Indonesian and Javanese, also with some significant influence from foreign languages such as Madurese, etc., which has formed a special dialect known as Suroboyoan. The Suroboyoan dialect is actively promoted in local media, such as in local TV shows, radio, newspapers, and traditional dramas called Ludruk.[78]


Religions of Surabaya – 2017 Census[79]
religion percent
(incl Orthodox)
(incl Sikhism)
(incl other folk religion)

Although around 65% of citizens in Surabaya adhere to Sunni Islam, other major religions include Christianity (Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodox), of whom the majority are Roman Catholics. The influence of Hinduism is strong in basic Surabayan culture, but only a minority of the population adheres to Hinduism mostly among the ethnic Indian minority.[80] Also, a significant population of Chinese Indonesians adhere to Buddhism and Confucianism, and a small community of Dutch Jews follow Judaism.[81]

The city had an influential role as a major Islamic centre in Java during the Wali Sanga era.[82] The prominent and honored Islamic figure in Surabaya was Sunan Ampel (Raden Rahmat).[82] His tomb is a sacred religious site in the city and is visited by Surabayans and pilgrims from different parts of Indonesia. The largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama, was established in Surabaya on 26 January 1926.[83] Al-Akbar Mosque is the largest mosque in Surabaya and one of the largest mosque in the world.[84]

Christianity as a whole in Surabaya is mainly practised by Chinese Indonesians, as well as native Javanese, Bataks, and Ambonese who attend either a Roman Catholic or Protestant church.[85][86] A minority of Javanese practice at the Gereja Kejawen,[87] a branch of native Christianity. Around 15 churches are in Surabaya; they vary in size. The Church of the Birth of Our Lady, also known as Gereja Kepanjen, was built in 1815 as the first church in Surabaya and is one of the oldest churches in Indonesia.[88] The main Orthodox Church in Indonesia, St Nikolas Church, is also based in Surabaya. The Orthodox Christian Centre Surabaya was opened on 15 October 2008.[89]

Once the major religion in Surabaya and across the archipelago during the Janggala and Majapahit era, Hinduism played a major role on traditional Surabayan culture.[90] Small Hindu communities still exist, most commonly in the eastern sections of the city.[91] Surabaya was the location of the only synagogue in Java,[92] but it rarely obtained a minyan (quorum). The synagogue was demolished in 2013 by unidentified persons while the city council was in the process of registering it as a heritage site.[93] In the years prior to its demolition, it had been the site of a number of anti-Israel protests.[93] A Jewish cemetery exists in the city.[94][95]


Javanese culture in Surabaya has distinctive characteristics compared to other regions, the uniqueness of its characteristics which is more egalitarian and open. Surabaya is known to have several distinctive arts, namely:

  • Ludruk, a cultural drama performance art that tells daily routine of working-class people.[96]
  • Remo Dance, a traditional welcome dance that is generally dedicated to special guests.[97]
  • Kidungan, a poetry musicalization and contains elements of humor.[98]

In addition to the art above, the call culture of arek or rek (a distinctive call from Surabaya) is also a unique characteristic. In addition, in Surabaya also known other distinctive calls, namely Cak for men and Ning for women. In an effort to preserve culture, once a year Cak & Ning Surabaya is selected. Cak & Ning Surabaya and selected finalists are tourism ambassadors and icons of the young generation of the city of Surabaya.[99]

Cak Durasim Festival (FCD) is annually held, which is an art festival to preserve the culture of Surabaya and East Java in general. The Cak Durasim Festival is usually held at Cak Durasim Building, Surabaya.[100] There is also the Surabaya Art Festival (FSS) which raises all kinds of art forms such as theater, dance, music, literary seminars, painting exhibitions. Event organizers usually aside from art groups in Surabaya also come from outside Surabaya. Also enlivened is the screening of movie screens, T-shirt exhibitions and so on. The Surabaya Art Festival is held once a year in June and is usually held at the Youth Hall.

In addition to Javanese culture, as a city that has experienced rapid development, in Surabaya there has also been a mixture of various cultures from Madura, Arabic, Indian, Malay, Chinese, European, etc. Surabaya Cross Culture is an annually art and culture festival show various culture outside Indonesia.[101]


Since the early 1900s, Surabaya has been one of the most important and busiest trading city ports in Asia.[102] Principal exports from the port include sugar, tobacco, and coffee.[103] Its rich history as a trading port has led to a strong financial infrastructure with modern economic institutions such as banks, insurance, and sound export-import companies. The economy is influenced by the recent growth in foreign industries and the completion of the Suramadu Bridge. The high potential and economic activities make the city an attractive destination to foreign investors. The city is home to a large shipyard and numerous specialized naval schools.[104] The Bank of Indonesia has also made plans for Surabaya to be the Islamic financial center of Indonesia.[105][106]


As the provincial capital, Surabaya has a number of offices and business centres; as a metropolitan city, it became the centre of economic, financial, and business activities in East Java and beyond. Also, Surabaya is the second-largest port city in Indonesia after Jakarta. As a trading centre, Surabaya is not only a trade centre for East Java, but also facilitates areas in Central Java, Kalimantan, and Eastern Indonesia. Surabaya's strategic location in almost in the centre of Indonesia and just south of Asia makes it one of the important hubs for trading activities in Southeast Asia.[107] It is currently in the process of building high-rise skyscrapers, including apartments, condominiums, and hotels to attract foreign capital. Surabaya and the surrounding area are undergoing the most rapidly growing and the most advanced economic development in Indonesia. The city is also one of the most important cities in supporting Indonesia's economy.

Most of the population is engaged in services, industry, and trade. Surabaya is a fast growing trading centre. Major industries include shipbuilding, heavy equipment, food processing and agriculture, electronics, home furnishings, and handicrafts. Many major multinational companies are based in Surabaya, such as Sampoerna, Maspion, Wings Group, Unilever Indonesia, Pakuwon Group, Jawa Pos Group, and PAL Indonesia.[108][109]

Business districts

The area between Jalan Basuki Rachmat, Jalan Tunjungan,[110] Jalan Embong Malang, and Jalan Bubutan has grown as a business centre and has turned into one of the main business and trade activities areas in Surabaya. Some of the important buildings in this area include Wisma BRI Surabaya, Hotel Bumi Surabaya, Wisma Dharmala Surabaya, The Peak Residence, Sheraton Hotel, etc.[111][112]

Another cluster around Jalan Mayjend Sungkono, Jalan Adityawarman, Jalan HR Muhammad, and Jalan Bukit Darmo has grown as a new business centre of the city. This area has now grown as one of the most rapidly growing commercial and business centres in East Java, with high-rise buildings. Some of the tallest buildings in Surabaya located in this area, such as Adhiwangsa Apartment, Waterplace Residence, Puri Matahari, Beverly Park Apartment, The Via & The Vue Apartment, Ciputra World Hotel, Puncak Permai Apartment, Rich Palace Hotel, and so forth.[113][114]


Surabaya has plenty of shopping centres like other major cities of Indonesia, ranging from traditional markets to most modern shopping malls. Outlets of local and international brands have presence in modern shopping malls. There were about 100 hectares/one million square meters of retail space in Surabaya by the end of 2016.[115] There are many dedicated markets for electronic goods, gadgets and computer hardware.

Some important shopping malls of the city are:



Architecture in Surabaya is a mixture of colonial, Asian, Javanese, modern, and post-modern influences. There are still many colonial era relics still standing today, such as Hotel Majapahit and Surabaya Post Office. As a relatively old city in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, most colonial buildings in Surabaya were built around the 17th century to early 20th century.[116] These buildings have influence of Dutch or European style in the Middle Ages.[117]

Before the Second World War, there were many shop houses in the old part of the city, mostly of two-storey.[118] These shop houses have influence of European and Chinese traditions. Although some have been dismantled for new construction, there are still many old buildings that are preserved as cultural heritage and city icons, which are around the area of Kembang Jepun Street, Karet Street, Gula Street, Slompretan Street, and Rajawali Street.[119]

After independence of Indonesia, the centre of Surabaya's architectural development was concentrated only in the area of Jembatan Merah, and its surroundings. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, modern and post-modern style buildings were increasingly emerging in Surabaya. Along with the economic development, such buildings continue to grow in Surabaya until now. In the era of 2010s, Surabaya has become a center of skyscrapers and highrises buildings in East Java and central region of Indonesia, such as The Peak Residence – Tunjungan Plaza 6 (215 meters) and One Icon Residence – Tunjungan Plaza 5 (200 meters).[120]

Important landmarks

  • Kebun Binatang Surabaya (Surabaya Zoo) opened in 1916. It was the first in the world to have successfully bred orangutans in captivity.
  • Zheng He (Cheng Ho) Mosque, a recently built mosque, one of the unique mosques with Chinese-style architecture in Indonesia. Dedicated to the Hui Chinese diplomat, Zheng He.[121]
  • Al-Akbar Mosque, the largest mosque in Jawa Timur.[122]
  • Church of the Birth of Our Lady, Surabaya, one of the first churches to be built in Indonesia, and the first one ever built in East Java.[123]
  • Heroes Monument, a 41 metres (135 ft) high monument, is the main symbol of Surabaya and commemorates the heroes of the revolutionary struggle. There is a museum on location as well, exhibiting reminders of the struggle for independence.[124]
  • Museum Nahdlatul Ulama, the resource centre of the culture and history of Nahdlatul Ulama, an independent Islamic religious.[125] organisation.
  • Museum Bank Indonesia, a bank museum occupying the former De Javasche Bank built in 1904.[126]
  • House of Sampoerna, a museum devoted to the history of clove cigarette (kretek) manufacturing in Indonesia, housed in Dutch colonial buildings dating to 1864.[127]
  • Jalesveva Jayamahe Monument, a large, admiral-like statue which commemorates the Indonesian Navy.
  • Monkasel, abbreviated from Monumen Kapal Selam (Submarine Monument)[128] A Soviet-built Whiskey class submarine (named KRI Pasopati (410)), first launched in 1952, served in the Indonesian Navy from 1962 until decommissioned in 1990.[129] After its decommissioning, Pasopati was dismantled and transferred to its present site in 1996. The submarine was reassembled on the current site and opened as a museum and tourist attraction in 1998.
  • Kenjeran Beach, located in the eastern of Surabaya, which also housed Sanggar Agung, a Chinese temple build over the sea.[130]
  • Market of the Chinese Tomb,[131] last resting place of Han Bwee Kong, Kapitein der Chinezen, magnate, mandarin and landlord in Surabaya and East Java, and patriarch of the patrician Han family of Lasem[132]
  • Han Ancestral Hall,[133] a historic house that serves as a memorial temple for the ancestors of the Han family of Lasem[134][135]
  • Tomb of Sunan Ampel[136]
  • Bungkul Park, one of most visited Urban park in Surabaya.[137]
  • Wisma Intiland, a brutalist building in Downtown Surabaya.[138]

Military establishment

The Eastern Fleet is headquartered here. It is one of two fleets in the Indonesian Navy. Its maritime heritage is also represented in a form of KRI Pasopati Submarine Monument, a retired Russian Whiskey class submarine.[139][140]


Transportation in Surabaya is supported by land and sea infrastructure serving local, regional, and international journeys. Air transport is located at Juanda Airport, at Sedati, Sidoarjo. Intracity transport is primarily by motor vehicles, motorcycles and taxis with limited public bus transport available. Surabaya is also a transit city between Jakarta and Bali for ground transportation. Another bus route is between Jakarta and the neighboring island of Madura. In 2018, President Joko Widodo inaugurated final segments of the Trans-Java Toll Road, fully connecting Jakarta and Surabaya with expressways.[141]


Surabaya's Juanda International Airport is a passenger and cargo airport which also serves as Surabaya's Navy Airbase, operated by the TNI-AL (Indonesian Navy) and located just outside Surabaya, on the outskirts of Sidoarjo. This airport has served Surabaya for many years, and currently has 2 terminals, with domestic flights served from Terminal 1 and all international flights and Garuda Indonesia's domestic flights serviced from Terminal 2.


Port of Tanjung Perak is the trading port in East Java and is one of the busiest ports in the country. It is the second largest port of trade, container and passenger in Indonesia after the Port of Tanjung Priok in Jakarta. There is also Teluk Lamong Port Terminal, which is the main buffer terminal of Tanjung Perak Port. The port terminal of Lamong Bay is the first green port in Indonesia and is one of the most sophisticated port terminals in the world where the entire operating system is automated.


The city has three major train stations, being Surabaya Kota (also known as Semut), Pasar Turi, and Gubeng. Surabaya's main train station is Pasar Turi Station. The Argo Bromo Anggrek operated by PT Kereta Api (Indonesia's main rail operator) connects Surabaya from this station to Gambir Station (Jakarta). Both economy and executive class trains are served to and from Surabaya.


The main bus terminal is Terminal Purabaya (located in Bungurasih, Waru, Sidoarjo), the other major terminal is Osowilangon in Tambak.[142]

Public transport

There are various kinds of local transport including: taxi-cabs, Suroboyo Bus, shuttle bus service, city bus, Angguna, Pedicab and Commuter rail. Transportation network companies Go-Jek, and Grab are also available in Surabaya. Surabaya has announced to build LRT and tram ( Light Rail Transit ) system.[143][144]

Suramadu Bridge

The Suramadu Bridge (derived from Surabaya-Madura) connects Surabaya and Madura Island over the Madura Strait. A 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) highway has been proposed to be built from the Suramadu Bridge to Madura International Seaport-City in Pernajuh village, Kocah district, Bangkalan, Madura at a cost of approximately Rp. 60 billion (US$7 billion). This container port was built to ease the burden on Surabaya's overloaded Tanjung Perak Port.[145]


Surabaya is a barometer and center football development in Indonesia. The city has many football clubs and founded in Surabaya. The first club was founded by the youth of Hoogere Burger School (HBS) John Edgar with the Victoria club in 1895.[146][147] Then developed again there were Scorens in Ons Doel (SIOD), Sparta, Rapiditas and Thot Heil Onzer Ribben (THOR). These are the pioneers of football in Surabaya. The clubs then took management under Oost Java Voetbalbond (OJVB) in 1907. Two years later the OJVB changed to Soerabajasche Voetbalbond (SVB). Starting in 1914, SVB was based on the Nederlandsch Indische Voetbalbond (NIVB), created by Dutch football federation (KNVB). The Surabaya Chinese and native people also founded their football clubs by ethnic. Oei Kwie Liem founded Hoa Soerabaja in 1914, while the Bumiputera through R Pamoedji and Paidjo founded the Soerabajasche Indonesische Voetbalbond (SIVB) on June 18, 1927 (now Persebaya), which three years later is a club who co-founded PSSI.[148][147]

In 1950, the working-class people and office men founded Soerabajasche Kantoor Voetbalbond (SKVB).[149][150] Football sector in Indonesia and specifically Surabaya more developed, the football association of Indonesia founded a semiprofessional competition in 1979 which was named the Main Football League (Galatama). A new team emerged from Surabaya, NIAC Partners and the Salim Group Association. Besides Galatama, PSSI also formed a women's soccer competition called the Women's Football League (Galanita). Surabaya also has a women's soccer team which was founded in 1977 and named Puteri Puspita. The clubs from Surabaya are also of gain attention from the rest of the world. Persebaya have competed against European teams including Lokomotiv Moscow, Sturm Grasz, Grasshoppers, Salzburg, Stade de Reims, Ajax Amsterdam, PSV Eindhoven, AC Milan, and lastly are Queens Park Rangers (QPR). Aside from the European team, there are several national teams outside the country competing against Persebaya, there are Yugoslavia Olympics, Malaysia, Mozambique, Uruguay, Thailand, South Korea, and Japanese national team.[150]

NIAC Mitra also competed against Arsenal and won the Aga Khan Gold Cup competition in 1979 in Bangladesh. The achievements of NIAC Mitra in the Galatama competition were listed as champions three times in 1980–1982, 1982/1983, 1987/1988, and were runners-up in 1988/89. However, NIAC Partners officially dissolved and withdrew from the Galatama competition held by PSSI in 1990 because they considered the policies issued by PSSI irrelevant. After being disbanded, the demands of the Surabaya community so that NIAC Partners still existed were channeled when the Jawa Pos party entered and then changed the name of the NIAC Partner to the Surabaya Partner.[151] When the Union competition was merged with Galatama in 1994, the new Persebaya was able to win in 1997 and 2004. Persebaya was listed as the first team capable of winning twice the Indonesian League. Whereas Mitra Surabaya was only able to exist until the 1998/1999 season and Mitra Surabaya re-established again in other city, Tenggarong and not used the name of Surabaya again.[152]

Recently only Persebaya has stable fans and achievements. Persebaya has won the Indonesian Premier Division three times–twice when the division was the first tier and once as the second tier. Fans refer to themselves as Bonek, an abbreviation for Bondo Nekat (which translates as "equipped by bravery"). The city is the home of CLS Knights Indonesia, a basketball club which participated in IBL (Indonesia basketball league) & Asean Basketball League.

Surabaya has a multi-purpose stadium, Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium. The stadium is used mostly for football matches. It is the new home stadium of Persebaya, replacing Gelora 10 November Stadium.[153] It was the venue of a match between Persebaya 1927 against then–English Premier League club Queens Park Rangers, held on 23 July 2012.

Another very popular sport in Surabaya is Badminton. There are immense amounts of badminton schools and clubs in the city that train students of various ages to get to the next level of the Badminton League.[154] There are many children who started out their career from Surabaya and have made it to the national level if not the international level.


Universities and post-secondary institutions

Surabaya has several major universities and institutions, including those with religious or technical specialties (sorted by mainly):

  • State University of Surabaya (UNESA), a major university educating teachers; also with programs in Economics, Technology, and Law.[157]
  • Universitas Kristen Petra, a major and oldest Christian private university in Indonesia, with programs in Economics, Technology, Designs, Technical, Literature and Education. Established in 1961, was the oldest major christian university in Indonesia.[158]
  • Electronic Engineering Polytechnic Institute of Surabaya (PENS-PPNS), a major technical public institution located in Surabaya.[159]
  • Hang Tuah University, a university managed by Yayasan Nala, founded by Indonesian Navy.[160]
  • Universitas Bhayangkara, a university affiliated with Indonesian Police Department of East Java.[161]
  • Institut Sains Terapan dan Teknologi Surabaya, an Public institute specializing in Computer Programming.[162]
  • Universitas Pembangunan Nasional "Veteran" Jawa Timur, an Public institute in Surabaya.[163]
  • Adhi Tama Institute of Technology Surabaya, an institute specializing in Technical Studies.[164]
  • State Islamic University of Sunan Ampel (UINSA), a public university for Islamic studies.[165]
  • University of Surabaya, a private university teaching Pharmacy and Psychology, established in 1968.[166]
  • Wijaya Putra University a Public University established in 1984.[167]
  • Wijaya Kusuma University Surabaya, a university which is the oldest private faculty of medicine in eastern Indonesia. Established in 1981, The Faculty of Medicine was founded in 1986.[168]
  • Widya Mandala Catholic University, a Catholic private university in Surabaya with facilities for Healthcare Studies at a newly opened third campus in the eastern part of the city.[169]
  • Widya Kartika Catholic University, a Catholic private university in Surabaya.[170]
  • Pelita Harapan University, a private university in Indonesia founded in 1994.[171]
  • Ciputra University, a private entrepreneurial-oriented university founded in 2006 by the Ciputra Group.[172]
  • Narotama University (UNNAR), private university in Surabaya.[173]

Primary and secondary schools

International schools include:

Private schools include:

  • Petra Christian School[178]
  • St. Louis Catholic School[179]
  • St. Agnes Catholic School[180]
  • Angelus Custos Catholic School[181]
  • GLORIA Christian School[182]
  • IPH Christian School[183]
  • JAC School


As a metropolitan city, all types of Indonesian cuisine and other international restaurants have a presence.[184] However, as the capital of East Java, cuisines from the rest of the province dominates the culinary culture of the city. East Javanese cuisines include a variety of processed fruits, crispy tempeh, Bakpao telo, Bakso Malang, Rawon, tahu campur lamongan, Cwie noodles, tahu takwa, tahu pong, getuk pisang, pecel madiun, wingko, tape, nasi krawu, otak-otak bandeng, bonggolan, shrimp crackers, shrimp paste or petis, Tempeh Chips, tahu tepo, Nasi lethok, sego tempong, salad soup, pecel rawon, Suwar-suwir, tape proll, gaplek, lodho, goat satay, and pecel tulungagung.[185]

Surabaya is famous for Rawon, Rujak cingur, Semanggi, Lontong Balap, clams satay, mussels, and rice cake.[186]

  • Rujak cingur:[187] a marinated cow snout or lips and noses (cingur), served with boiled vegetables and shrimp crackers. It is then dressed in a sauce made of caramelized fermented shrimp paste (petis), peanuts, chili, and spices. It is usually served with lontong, a boiled rice cake. Rujak cingur is considered traditional food of Surabaya.
  • Rawon: a dark beef soup, served with mung bean sprouts and the ubiquitous sambal. The dark (almost black) color comes from the kluwak (Pangium edule) nuts.[188]
  • Lontong kupang: lontong with small cockles in petis sauce.[189]
  • Semanggi: a salad made of boiled semanggi (M. crenata) leaves that grow in paddy fields. It is dressed in a spicy peanut sauce. It's usually eaten with rice crackers.[190]

Notable people

International relations

Diplomatic Missions

General Consulates


Other diplomatics

Twin towns (sister cities)

Surabaya is twinned with:[219]

See also


  1. Including GDP rest of Gerbangkertosusila


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