22 Fun Things To Do In JB For Your Next Mini Vacation

mount pulai and spring labs johor bahru
(Credit: Heiswayi Nrird / Unsplash, Spring Labs at Iskandar Malaysia / Facebook)

It feels like forever ago, but the borders to the land of cheap thrills have finally reopened! While shopping and eating might be on the forefront of your mind when it comes to things to do in Johor Bahru (JB), there’s a slew of other exciting and offbeat activities with the plethora of attractions available. From theme parks, hiking trails, and aesthetic cafes to affordable spas, read on for our recommendations on the best places to go in JB for your next mini-vacation!

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What do I need to prepare for a trip to JB?

red passport on a world map with a camera and film
(Credit: alskar)

  • Passport

While a trip to JB can feel like a journey from East to West without the need for air travel, it is a must to bring along your passport and ensure that it has at least six months of validity to get across the causeway.

  • Vaccination certificate

An extra document you’ll need is your vaccination certificate – which can be downloaded from HealthHub. We recommend printing a hard copy of it just in case. You will also need to verify your vaccination status on the MySafeTravel app. Do this at least five working days in advance as it takes time to be verified.

  • Download MySejahtera app

Before heading to JB, download the MySejahtera app (the equivalent of the TraceTogether app) and fill in your travel and vaccination details under “traveller”. While this app is no longer needed to enter establishments, it is still compulsory to download it and fill in the pre-departure form.

How to travel to JB from Singapore?

bird's eye view of the causeway from singapore to johor bahru
(Credit: Afifi Zulkifle / Unsplash)

  • By public bus

cross border bus fare details from singapore to malaysia
(Credit: Causeway Link / Facebook)

Cross border bus services have returned as of 1 May 2022! It has been one of the most common ways to travel to JB from Singapore as it is one of the cheapest options. Refer to the table above for the available cross border bus services and their fares. 

You can also take the following SBS Transit bus services to get to JB:

  • 950 – from Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange to JB Sentral Terminal
  • 160 – from Jurong East to Johor Bahru
  • 170 – from Queen Street Terminal to JB Larkin Terminal
  • 170X – from Kranji MRT Station to JB Sentral
  • By train (KTM Shuttle Tebrau) – currently unavailable

Those who want to avoid crowds and queues can consider the KTM Shuttle Tebrau, also known as the Singapore – Malaysia VTL train. It costs $10 for a return trip, and only takes five minutes per trip. Simply book your tickets in advance online and head down to the Woodlands Train Checkpoint to board the train. 

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great shopee sale gss 2022 6.6 7.7
great shopee sale gss 2022 6.6 7.7
great shopee sale gss 2022 6.6 7.7

The KTM shuttle service is currently unavailable but is expected to resume its operations in May 2022. 

  • By car or taxi 

You can also drive across the causeway (do have all the necessary documents ready to be stamped!) but do be prepared for potential traffic jams. Alternatively, get a taxi at the Queen Street taxi terminal to get to JB.

Things to do in JB – theme parks and recreational parks

1. Explore mini cities and landmarks at Legoland

legoland entrance things to do in jb
(Credit: travelsg)

Legoland isn’t one of the most popular theme parks in Malaysia without good reason! Marvel at the lego reconstructions of Asian monuments and cities at Miniland like Angkor Wat and even Singapore. Thrill-seekers can go on The Dragon — a roller coaster which takes the thrilling experience to another level with its VR technology. Those who prefer to chill out can enjoy the panoramic overview of the park from the 60m-tall Observation Tower instead.

With eight themed areas, an adjacent water park and an aquarium for you to explore, there are tons of things to do in one of JB’s largest theme parks. A day trip here is certainly not enough – if you’re looking for family-friendly things to do in Johor Bahru, Legoland is an attraction at Johor Bahru that’s not to be missed! To skip the queue, get your Legoland E-ticket (available on Kings Travel SG) online in advance.

Address: 7, Persiaran Medini Utara 3, 79100 Nusajaya, Johor
Opening Hours:
Fri – Mon: 10am – 6pm
Tue: 10am – 5pm
Thu: 10am – 5pm

2. Get pumped at Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park

high elements obstacles at austin heights water & adventure park things to do in jb
(Credit: Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park / Facebook)

Hands up if you’re an adrenaline junkie who loves outdoor activities! The Austin Height Water & Adventure Park is one of the best attractions to explore when you’re at JB. It is a three-in-one park with a water park, sports and leisure park, as well as an adventure park. Get ready for thrilling water rides that’ll make you scream your lungs out such as the Supersurf and G-force Alley. You can also challenge yourself to walk on ropes at the Pnotta Bridge at the Adventure Park, as well as ziplines! 

Whether it is with a large group of friends or your fam bam, the experience of challenging yourselves to high element obstacles will be a great bonding opportunity. This has got to be one of the best places to go for thrill-seeking things to do in JB! To stretch your savings, purchase your Austin Height Water & Adventure Park E-Ticket (available on travelsg) in advance.

Address: 71 Jalan Austin Heights, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours:
Water Park: Daily, 10am – 7pm
Adventure Park: Daily, 10am – 6pm
Sports & Leisure Park:
Mon – Fri: 1pm – 9pm
Sat – Sun: 10am – 10pm

3. Bring your kids to Fanpekka

ball pit at fanpekka
(Credit: FANPEKKA / Facebook)

Fanpekka is a Finnish conceptual theme park that introduces an educational twist to traditional theme parks. Designed based on the Finnish concept of ‘learning by playing’, the activities within Fanpekka emphasise life skills such as problem-solving, innovation and communication.

Wondering what are some things to do in this JB theme park? Well, kids can look forward to building a house from plastic blocks, creating handicraft work with art supplies or participating in role-playing and dress-up activities. Of course, there’s also a gigantic ball pit in the middle of the park for some old fashioned fun. Who said learning had to be boring? Mark this as one of the places to go in JB in your itinerary!

Address: AEON Mall Tebrau City, 1 Jalan Desa Tebrau, Level 2, 81100 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours:
Sun – Thu: 10am – 10pm
Fri – Sat: 10am – 11pm

4. Battle it out at Laser Battle

woman holding a laser battle gun
(Credit: Laser Battle Johor / Facebook)

Going to JB with your squad? Spend your afternoon at Laser Battle Johor Bahru – the largest laser tag centre in Asia that spans 5000 square feet. Here, you can enjoy things to do such as laser tag games with more than 55 game modes with tactical and interactive options. There’s also a host of arenas that you can explore, such as Egyptian-themed and science lab-themed options. You’ll be in awe of their quality equipment as well as impressive sound and lighting effects that elevate the gaming experience that both kiddos and adults will enjoy.

Johor Bahru City Square, Lot MS-11, 108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening hours:
Wed – Sun: 2pm – 6pm

5. Enjoy sea views and sunsets at Danga Bay Park

night view of danga bay world theme park things to do in jb
(Credit: Sham Hardy / Flickr)

Just 10 minutes away from the checkpoint, Danga Bay certainly lives up to its name as the largest recreational park in Malaysia. With a night theme park (Danga World Theme Park), a free public pool and seafood restaurants with beautiful oceanfront views, there’s something for the entire family at Danga Bay.

We love the Danga World Theme Park that comes alive at sunset. Indulge in the carnivalesque vibes of the park and have a go at the rides and games. Although you won’t find any intense, high-speed roller coasters here, your kids are bound to enjoy the milder, child-friendly rides such as the merry-go-round and pirate ship.

Address: Jalan Bertingkat Skudai, Danga Bay, 80200 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours:
Danga World Theme Park
Daily, 7pm – 12am  

Things to do in JB – sightseeing attractions 

6. Hike up Gunung Pulai

landscape view of mount pulai at johor bahru
(Credit: Cik Bak / Shutterstock)

Bring your adventurous little ones on a hiking trip up Gunung Pulai, a 700m high peak that’s about an hour’s drive away from the JB city centre. A round trip along this hike is approximately 10km but don’t be daunted by the distance! The route is paved and there are rest stops along the way. It’s suitable and safe for children and novice hikers, although fitter and more adventurous families can opt to trek the unpaved trail that takes you through the jungle. 

Be sure to prepare yourself with hiking essentials for a safe, comfortable hike too. After sweating it out, stop by the cafes in Kampung Pulai to refuel and mingle with the friendly locals.

Address: Gunung Pulai Recreational Forest, 81000 Kulai Johor Bahru

7. Bask in nature at Hutan Bandar

lake at hutan bandar
(Credit: Azmeen Afandi / Wikicommons)

Nature lovers, rejoice! Hutan Bandar (“city forest”) is a hidden respite from the hustle of city life. Take a relaxing stroll among the lush greenery in the park or work off calories with a jog along its many trails. With seven scenic lakes, children’s playgrounds and a bevvy of beautiful wildlife, Hutan Bandar is the perfect place to go in JB to kick back, relax and immerse yourself in the wonders of nature.

Address: Jalan Tasek Utara, Kolam Ayer, 80100 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Daily, 7am – 11pm

8. Picnic at Taman Merdeka

taman merdeka park things to do in jb
(Credit: Chongkian / Wikicommons)

JB might be known as a commercial hub, but there are many things for nature lovers to do here as well! For one, Taman Merdeka recreational park is a pleasant place to go in JB for a day out with your family. Its well-maintained landscape also provides a picturesque setting for a cosy family picnic as well as some beautiful family photos.

At night, the lake lights up with a musical light show, complete with pop music and dancing fountains — a nice spectacle to end off a nice day at the park. As the park was established to commemorate Malaysia’s struggle for independence, there are also many plaques about the country’s history erected within it for visitors to read.

Address: Jalan Datin Halimah, 80200 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Daily, 7am – 11am, 4pm – 7pm

9. Watch fireflies at Kota Tinggi Firefly Park

fireflies at kota tinggi firefly park
(Credit: Kota Tinggi Firefly Park / Facebook)

Malls and cafes are aplenty in Singapore, but fireflies are hard to spot on our little red dot. If you’re going to JB, why not plan a trip to Kota Tinggi Firefly Park, where you’ll be charmed by seas of glowing fireflies that resemble a starry night sky. This is one of the best things to do in JB to feel the magic of nature. We reckon it’d be perfect for couples looking for a romantic activity to remember! You can get a wishing lantern or a love lock which you can attach to a fence by the river as a mark of your trip.

Address: Jalan Kota Tinggi, 81900 Kota Tinggi, Johor Bahru
Opening hours: Daily, 1pm – 11pm

Things to do in JB – cultural landmarks 

10. Take a stroll down Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Street

Tan Hiok Nee Heritage Street
(Credit: Rakko Takasaka / Wikicommons)

Rich in heritage and culture, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee boasts a charming mix of vintage shophouses and modern, hipster cafes. Take a walk down memory lane and introduce your kids to traditional delights like herbal tea and Salahuddin’s curry puffs or café hop along the various cafes lining the streets!

Furthermore, there’s also a Chinese Heritage museum that details the vibrant history of the area’s first Chinese traders. Regardless of whether you want to enjoy old-school cuisine or indulge in modern café offerings, make sure you head down with an empty stomach.

Address: Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Varied timings. Check online before heading over. 

Things to do in JB – food & drinks

11. Dine in a glasshouse at Rowan & Parsley Food Atelier

rowan & parsley glasshouse dining atelier things to do in jb
(Credit: ROWAN & PARSLEY food atelier / Facebook)

One of our favourite things to do in JB is to dine like kings and queens without burning a hole in your wallet. For couples seeking a romantic ambience for a lovely date, saunter down to Rowan & Parsley, a glasshouse-esque dining atelier amidst nature. There are multiple spots here where you can snap your #OOTD against instagrammable backgrounds – whether it is the vintage interior or the rustic outside. In terms of food, Rowan & Parsley specialises in smoked BBQ dishes and we highly recommend trying their melt-in-your-mouth pork belly and the smoked aubergine. 

Address: No. 17, Jalan Cenderai 20, Kawasan Perindustrial Kota Putri, 81750 Johor Bahru
Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 10pm

12. Enjoy panoramic views at Sky 26

two girls toasting to beer at sky 26 rooftop bar johor bahru
(Credit: SKY 26, Holiday Villa Johor Bahru / Facebook)

Treat yourself to a tipple or two at Sky 26, a rooftop bar that overlooks the Johor cityscapes. Psst, we recommend heading down at least 15 minutes before sunset so you can settle down and enjoy the breathtaking view. Their cocktails are priced at 26RM ($8.24) which is half of what you’ll usually pay at bars in Singapore. What’s more, Sky 26 also hosts live music performances by their local singers and bands – check out their social media for the schedule if you want to catch them. If you’re looking for things to do for couples in JB or a place to go for with your bestie to unwind, this is it!

Address: Holiday Villa Johor Bahru City Centre, 260 Jalan Dato Sulaiman, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru
Opening hours:
Mon: 6pm – 1am
Tue: 6pm – 2am
Wed – Sun: 6pm – 12am

13. Sip on cocktails at Cabinet 8 by JWC

lady sitting at speakeasy bar at Cabinet 8 by JWC
(Credit: Cabinet 8 by JWC / Facebook)

Cabinet 8 by JWC is one of the highest-rated speakeasy bars in JB that is known for its cocktail and whiskey selection. Those with a sweet tooth can try their Peach No Lada which has a pandan aroma as it is infused with banana leaves. On the other hand, adventurous folks can give their Missing Mary a try. It is a Bloody Mary but with a twist – using ingredients such as tomato juice, sesame oil, and Sichuan peppercorns for a spicy punch. 

Address: 102, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/3, Taman Sutera Utama 81300 Skudai, Johor Bahru
Opening hours: Daily, 6pm – 12am

14. Take aesthetic photos at Bloom by Mokmok

cafe interior at bloom by Mokmok
(Credit: bloom by Mokmok / Facebook)

Cafe-hopping is one of the most popular things to do in JB, whether it’s for couples, friends, or families. There are just so many aesthetic and hipster cafes that you can explore – especially at Mount Austin. One of the standouts for us is bloom by Mokmok, which made waves on the Internet for its rustic interior that’s marked by the sea of flowers cascading down the ceilings. On its menu are affordable mains such as Truffle Unagi Fried Rice priced at 38RM ($12.05) and smoothies at 15RM ($4.75). 

Address: 87, Jalan Mutiara Emas 2A, Taman Mount Austin, Johor Bahru
Opening hours: Daily, 12pm – 10pm

15. Get your banana cake fix at Hiap Joo Bakery

hiap joo bakery
(Credit: Hiap Joo Bakery / Facebook)

Just like how you can’t miss out on Portuguese egg tarts in Macau, it’s mandatory to queue up at Hiap Joo Bakery to bag home some of their banana cakes when in JB. It is one of Johor’s oldest bakeries with over a century-old history that uses the hole-in-a-wall wood-fired oven for its bakes. Apart from banana cakes, their coconut buns sell like hotcakes too and are worth a try!

Address: 13, Jalan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening hours:
Mon – Sat: 7.30am – 5pm

16. Indulge in street food at Meldrum Night Market

meldrum night market things to do in jb
(Credit: Almighty Tabuena / Pexels)

Gone are the days when Pasar malams populated the Singaporean heartlands, hawking cheap goods and piping hot street food. If you miss the familiarity and nostalgia of these night markets, don’t fret. JB is also home to a bustling scene of night markets with many things to do!  However, most Pasar malams only open on certain days of the week so do a quick check online before heading down.

One of the few pasar malams open every night is Meldrum Night Market. Situated just five minutes away from City Square Mall, this small back alley is populated by street hawkers whipping up mouth-watering plates of oyster omelette and satay while promising an authentic local dining experience for your family.

Address: 23 Jalan Meldrum, 80000 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Daily, 1pm – 6.30pm

Things to do in JB – shopping & entertainment

17. Score exciting deals at JB Premium Outlets

jb premium outlets
(Credit: Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi / Flickr)

Ever wanted to get your hands on a pair of branded pumps at half price? Here’s your chance! Enjoy year-long discounts of up to 80% for crowd-favourite brands such as Coach, Versace and Gucci, and take advantage of the favourable exchange rate at the Johor Bahru Premium Outlets. The first of its kind in the region, this shopping complex houses 150 renowned brands throughout its 45 acres space. From Cotton On Kids to Tommy Hilfiger, all shopaholics (and budding ones) will certainly have a field day here with their favourite thing to do in JB. 

Address: Jalan Premium Outlets Indahpura, 81000 Kulai Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm

18. Ice skate at Paradigm Mall

skating rink at blue ice skating rink things to do in jb
(Credit: Blue Ice Skating Rink / Facebook)

Get your skate on at Blue Ice Skating Rink, located in Paradigm Mall. It is one of the largest rinks in Malaysia that covers about 20,000 square feet of ground. Skating rookies and experts alike will be in for a good experience as this rink uses real ice instead of synthetic ice, which allows for less friction and better gliding. 

Apart from ice skating, you can also catch the latest blockbusters at Golden Screen Cinemas for cheap, play games at the arcade, or head to the rock climbing wall at level seven if you’re looking for more things to do in JB! 

Address: Paradigm Mall Johor Bahru, 3F-30, Jalan Bertingkat Skudai, 81200, Johor Bahru
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm

19. Escape to Europe in Little Paris

If there’s one unique thing to do in JB, it’s to experience a slice of European life at a fraction of the cost. Tucked away in Taman Mount Austin, Little Paris is a Parisian-themed enclave with  European-inspired streets lined with fashion stores and bakeries — just like its namesake. At night, the area livens up with a whimsical display of lights and music that’ll make you go oui.

Address: Jalan Jaya Putra 1/1, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru
Opening Hours: Varied timings. Check online before heading over.  

20. Soak in Aussie vibes at Spring Labs

spring labs jb palladium cafe
(Credit: Spring Labs at Iskandar Malaysia / Facebook)

Spring Labs is a lesser-known gem that’s worth a trip down the next time you head to Johor Bahru. It is a retail concept park at JB that brims with quaint Aussie vibes with its colourful containers, cafes, IG-worthy spots and spacious greenery. Wondering what are the things you can do here? For couples, beat the heat at Palladium Cafe, a glasshouse dining house where you can grab coffee and Nyonya kuih. For families with young kids, check out Diggersite, where kids can try their hands at operating small-scale machinery like construction vehicles! 

Address: Jalan Ekoflora 1, Taman Ekoflora, 81100 Johor Bahru
Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 10pm

Things to do in JB – spa & massage

21. Unwind and relax at Family Thai Spa

two people getting a massage at thai family spa
(Credit: Family Thai Spa / Facebook)

After all that walking, loosen those knots with a pampering sesh at Family Thai Spa, where you can enjoy royal treatment without busting your budget. Apart from the Thai-style massages that are available, we also love their garden-themed interior that sets the right ambience for relaxation. One of their most popular rooms is the secret sky garden that’s complete with backdrops of an ocean landscape and fairy lights

You can also book one of their jacuzzi rooms that is priced at 160RM ($50.72) per pax to soak your stress away. Those looking for things to do in JB for couples can also check out their couple packages.

Address: 65 & 65A, Jalan Harmonium 33/1, Taman Desa Tebrau, 81100 Johor Bahru
Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 11pm

22. Release knots and tension at Walea Spa & Retreat

walea spa & retreat jb
(Credit: Walea Spa & Retreat / Facebook)

Another popular spa retreat at Johor Bahru is Walea Spa & Retreat, a private sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle of the city. They offer unique massage treatments such as the Walea Transcendental Massage which includes a body scrub of your choice. It is a stone’s throw away from KSL Resort and Holiday Plaza. If you’re looking to indulge in relaxing things to do in JB such as spas for more than a day trip, be sure to plan your accommodation around them!

Address: 6, Jalan Balau, Taman Melodies, 80250 Johor Bahru
Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 7pm

Have a blast with these exciting things to do in Johor Bahru 

You know what they say — the grass is greener on the other side (of the causeway). Engage in some quality family bonding time over yummy food, exploring attractions, historic streets and exhilarating theme parks. With a bustling entertainment and cultural scene, there isn’t any shortage of things to do in JB with your family, squad, and couples! Yearning for a longer trip? Check out this guide on road trips to Malaysia from Singapore! In addition, gear up for your vacations with the best carry-on luggage and these travel essentials.

This article was updated on 12 May 2022. Additional research done by Liang Shi Nan.

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great shopee sale gss 2022 6.6 7.7
great shopee sale gss 2022 6.6 7.7
great shopee sale gss 2022 6.6 7.7