Home » Practical Information » Expat Living Outside Jakarta

Expat Living in Surabaya, East Java

Expat Organizations | Housing | Recreation | Utilities | Shopping | Medical Care
Schools | Language Courses | Dining Out | Sightseeing | Consular Offices

Surabaya is the second largest city in Indonesia (after Jakarta) and has long been a major hub for trading. The population is about 3.044 million (2023).

Expat Organizations

  • Expatriate Women's Association of Surabaya (EWAS)
  • Church Services in Surabaya
  • Women's International Club (WIC)
  • Filipino Community in Indonesia [FILCOMIN] Contact Honorary Consul of the Philippines
    Mr. Carmelito J. Sagrado
    Jl. Kaliwaron 128, Surabaya
    Telp. +62 31 5946748
  • Paiton Golf Society - Social Golf tournament is held every month
  • Rotary Club
  • Eurocham networking cocktail - held once every 2 - 4 months, usually in Shangri-La.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous - Surabaya Meetings
  • Netherlands Business Support Office
    Indonesia MNC Tower Surabaya
    Jl. Taman Ais Nasution No. 21, Suite 8B, 8th Floor
    Surabaya 60271
    Tel. (62-31) 9924-9967
    Email info@nbsoindonesia.com
    Mr. Mario Lauw, Chief Representative
    Mr. Andika Saragih, Deputy Representative

Surabaya Cricket Club

Plays each month during the dry season, on Sunday mornings at the Surabaya International School field, in Citra Raya. The Club was formed in 2004, and plays on Sunday mornings each month, during the dry season, at the Surabaya International School field in Citra Raya. The games usually consist of two 25-over innings, and the emphasis is on participation and sportsmanship. The Club was represented in the Bali 6's last year. Visitors are welcome and challenge matches can be arranged (possibly in conjunction with cheap golf on some of Indonesia's best courses). Tel. 0812-1786928 sanyogsrivastava@yahoo.com

Surabaya Expat Football Club

A great group of guys to socialize and play football with every Wed in SIS gymnasium and every Sat at SIS sports field. They had a 10 yr anniversary in May 2009! Anyone new to Surabaya who likes football should get in touch with these guys. A mixed bunch of all nationalities.

Surabaya Rhinos Inline Hockey Team


Housing Options that are popular with expatriates:

  • Graha Residen, Jl. Darmo Harapan I, (031) 732-9945. Housing complex for short term and long term rentals.
  • Regency Puri Darmo, Jl. Raya Kupang Baru No. 17A, (031) 732-6066
  • Various real estate developments: Satelit townhouses, Graha Family, Bukit Darmo Golf, and Citraland


For adults:

Like most major cities in Indonesia, plenty of golf courses and driving ranges are available both in and outside the city. Those in/near Surabaya include:
  • Bukit Darmo Golf Resort
  • Yani Golf Club - Jl. Mastrib Gunungsari
  • Ciputra Golf Club
  • Finna Golf & Country Club Resort
  • Taman Dayu Club - Jl. Raya Surabaya-Malang Km. 48 m
  • Pakuwon Golf & Family Club - Vila Bukit Regensi Pakuwon Indah
  • Golf Graha Famili & Country Club - Jl. Raya Golf Graha Famili
  • Paiton Golf Society
  • Surabaya Hash House Harriers meet every Sunday.
  • Men's indoor soccer club meets on Wednesdays in Puri Darmo
  • Women's netball meets on Tuesday evenings at Puri Darmo
  • Indo Dive Seafaris located at K/14 Maisonnett. CitraRaya. (031-740-9135) Full dive center offering PADI dive courses from beginner to instructor level. Cafe attached to dive center.
  • Tennis Lessons - A PTR-certified tennis coach offers great-and-affordable private or group tennis lessons for avid players from beginners to tournament level around the Surabaya and Malang areas!  Whether you need a tennis lesson or just a hitting partner to play with, please contact John at 0888-535-2229 to schedule an appointment or email champion.tennismanagement@yahoo.com.
  • Surabaya International Ballroom Dance Academy (SIBDA) is a Latin Dance Academy offering classes in Chacha, Rumba, Jive and Samba, led by Hadi Tjahjono, a London trained, professionally certified dance instructor (ISTD). While attending classes with your partner is ideal, it is not a requirement; you'll have a great time learning whether you are beginner or intermediate, attend alone or with partner.  If you are interested in learning for competitions or events, I recommend private lessons. SIBDA is located in Jl. Bintoro, right at the heart of the city.  For schedules and further inquiries, please contact SIBDA via whatsapp at 0816-5415-836.

For children

  • Surabaya Zoo, Jl. Setail 1, Wonokromo (beside Joyoboyo bus station)
  • Ciputra Waterpark at Citraland is excellent, well laid out, spotlessly clean and well policed by lifeguards, etc.
  • Taman Safari, one hours drive from Surabaya
  • Various playgroups organized according to age group
  • Pakuwon Supermal and Cartoon Kingdom Family Entertainment Centre. Something for the whole family to do and a great place for the kids to play and run around, whatever the weather!


  • Water bills are delivered to your home and you are expected to provide payment on the spot in cash. If you are unable to do so or there is no one at home when the bill is delivered, you will be given the address of where you are to make the payment to. In some serviced apartments, water bill has been incorporated in your rent, please check with your landlord if you are staying in one.
  • Phone bills are no longer delivered to your home but still must be paid by the 20th of each month. You can check your phone bill at telkom.co.id
  • Electricity bills are also not delivered to your home. Check with any PLN office for due dates as different areas have different due dates. You can check your electricity bill at www.pln.co.id
  • Payment of most utilities can be made at the local Telkom office, PLN office, at your bank (ATM, mobile banking, internet banking, etc.) or autodebit by credit cards. Check with each bank whether they provide such service.
  • Power outages sometimes occur during the raining season.



  • Hokky in Plaza Graha Family (favorite local destination for fresh fruits and imported items)
  • Papaya (specialty foods, caters to expatriates), Jl. Raya Darmo Permai Selatan 3
  • Ranch Market (wide selections of fresh fruits, poultry, seafood and meats of various cuts as well as imported items) located at Galaxy Mall (closes at 10 pm) and ICBC Center, beside Tunjungan Plaza I (open 10am-10pm)
  • Carrefour in several locations around the city, including Jl. Raya A. Yani No. 260 (close to the airport); 3rd floor of Golden City Mall; and Jl. Raya Dukuh Kupang No. 126. Most Carrefour stores are open from 1000-2200.
  • Hero Supermarket in Tunjungan Plaza I and Lenmarc Mall
  • Giant Hypermart on Jl. Mayjend Sungkono No. 133-135
  • Surabaya Town Square (also known as Sutos) - a mall with state-of-the-art cinema and many restaurants & cafes serving cuisines from all over the world. There are also pub and nightclub that cater to socialites.
  • Libby's Brownies located at Jl. Raya Gubeng, near Plaza Surabaya.


  • Mirota, Jl. Sulawesi No. 24, 567-6926

Shopping Malls and Department Stores

  • Sogo Department Store, located inside Tunjungan Plaza IV
  • Tunjungan Plaza I-IV
  • Supermal
  • Pakuwon Trade Center
  • Lenmarc Mall at Jl. Bukit Darmo Boulevard
  • Grand City Mall at Jl. Gubeng Pojok
  • Ciputra World at Jl. Mayjend Sungkono
  • Pasar Atum, a mall that has been opened since the 70s, selling anything from garments to kitchenwares.
  • Plaza Surabaya or Delta Plaza
  • Galaxy Mall
  • Ace Hardware, located at Tunjungan Plaza I, Galaxy Mall, Lenmarc Mall, and Supermal.
  • Many tailors can be found in Pasar Atum and in the Shangri-La Hotel
  • Nike Warehouse Center Jl. Diponegoro 152, Surabaya beside Mahameru Restaurant

Sports Items

Sporting goods may be found in specialty stores in the malls. Visit also Veenu Sports in Darmo Park.

Medical Care

Hospitals generally preferred by expatriates:

  • International Hospital
  • Dr. Soetomo, Jl. Professor Dr. Moestopo No. 6-8, (031) 534-0061
  • Rumah Sakit Darmo, Jl. Raya Darmo No. 90, (031) 567-7562
  • Mitra Keluarga, Jl. Satelit Indah II, (031) 734-5955
  • RKZ (Catholic hospital), Jl. Diponegoro No. 51, (031) 567-7562

Schools in Surabaya


Sekolah Ciputra Surabaya
Puri Widya Kencana, CitraLand
Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia
Tel. +62 31 2100-1716
What'sApp 62 8133-9998995
Email info-sc@sekolahciputra.sch.id
Website www.sekolahciputra.sch.id
Instagram icon

Student Population: 1,300
Executive Director: Mr. Martin Blackburn

An International Baccalaureate Continuum School offering the IB Primary Years Programme (PYP), IB Middle Years Programme (MYP) and IB Diploma Programme (DP).

Sekolah Ciputra is the only school in Surabaya authorised to teach all three of the highly respected International Baccalaureate Programmes. The IB PYP commences in Play Group and continues through the end of Elementary School (Grade 6). The IB MYP covers the first four years of High School, Grades 7-10, providing excellent preparation for the IB DP in Grades 11 and 12. Sekolah Ciputra is also a fully accredited member of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) as well as a member of the East Asian Regional Council of Schools, (EARCOS)

Programmes are taught in English by qualified and experienced native English speaking expatriate teachers and bi-lingual Indonesian teachers. The curriculum is broad and balanced, supporting the growth of the developing child, encompassing social, physical, ethical, emotional and cultural needs in addition to strong academic development.

Specialist facilities that support the teaching programmes include 4 computer laboratories, 3 learning resource centres, a music and recording suite, ballet room, drama rooms, art and technology rooms, science laboratories, a double full sized gymnasium, outside covered basketball court, and shared football fields and an athletics oval. All classrooms are air-conditioned, have Smartboards and WiFi throughout the school. Ciputra Hall provides a state of the art auditorium for school assemblies, events and productions. Seating for 710 with specialist music and drama suites.

Our students have the opportunity to enter leading universities locally and overseas. Currently we have former students studying in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan and China.

Sekolah Ciputra is fully licensed by the Indonesian Government as an SPK school with an "A" Accreditation in all five levels.

Surabaya European School

Surabaya European School
at Pakuwon Golf and Family Club
Villa Bukit Regency, Pakuwon Indah
Surabaya 60123 East Java
Tel. (62-31) 739-1751
Fax +62 (0)31 739-1754
HP +62 (0)816-527463
Email info@surabayaeuropeanschool.com
Website www.surabayaeuropeanschool.com
Facebook page Instagram page

Levels - Montessori to year 11, British Curriculum School
Enrollment 130 (and growing steadily)
School Principal - Nick Rowdene

We are the only school in Surabaya that combines Montessori education for students from ages 3-6, the Cambridge curriculum and the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for junior school, and the Cambridge International Key Stage 3 and IGCSE education for secondary school students. The combination of inquiry-based learning and internationally-recognised, rigorous academic standards offered by these programmes provides an excellent framework for our students’ personal and academic development.

Our well-qualified and experienced teaching team is made up of expatriate native English speakers and bilingual Indonesian nationals. SES graduates go on to study A levels, IB Diploma, High School Diploma and Advanced Placement (AP) courses in the USA, Australia, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia or their home country institutions. Many of these students continue their University studies in the same countries. Our alumni have transitioned to UWCSEA, Phillips Academy in Andover, USA and prominent schools in Australia.

Our school is housed in the attractive Pakuwon Indah Residential Estate in West Surabaya. The surroundings provide a natural and safe environment for students’ learning. All our classrooms are air-conditioned and well resourced, with a science laboratory and primary and secondary computer suites. The campus, with a gymnasium, swimming pool, dance studio, table tennis facilities, a football field, tennis courts and play areas enables students to enjoy the benefits of active, outdoor learning.

Surabaya European School is a certified Cambridge school and also meets the requirements of the Indonesian government for SPK (Satuan Pendidikan Kerjasama).

SURABAYA MONTESSORI SCHOOL (Preschool and Kindergarten)

at Pakuwon Golf and Family Club
Villa Bukit Regency, Pakuwon Indah
Surabaya 60123 East Java
Tel. (62-31) 739-1752
Fax +62 (0)31 739-1754
HP +62 (0)816-527463
Email info@surabayaeuropeanschool.com
Website www.surabayaeuropeanschool.com

Caters to both the Surabaya international and Indonesian community and is run by certified Montessori teachers.

Surabaya Intercultural School
Citra Raya International Village, Lakarsantri
Tromol Pos 2/SBDK
Surabaya 60225

Singapore National Academy (SNA)
Jl. Raya Pepelegi
Pondok Maspion IV Block G-H 1-6

SpinS Interactional School
Jl. Karangan PDAM no 24
Wiyung, Surabaya 60228

Bambini Child Care & Preschool
Villa Sentra Raya A2-1
Citraland, Surabaya

Language Courses

Learning Mandarin

Private Mandarin tuition is available from Gina in the West Surabaya area. One-to-one and small groups are possible and tuition can be held at your home, office or at the tutor’s residence. Gina specializes in teaching children and young adults and provides valuable support to younger learners of Mandarin at the schools in the area. For more information, please call: 081-553788111 or email: mygina1004@hotmail.com

Dining Out

Social life evolves around hotels. Popular places are:

  • Antica Osteria Italian Restaurant, Jl Sriwijaya No 22, 031 7778 8866 (booking recommended)
  • Tune, Jl HR Muhammad (in front of Puri Matahari), 031 732 6741 (fusion food)
  • Domicile Italian Restaurant, Jl Sumatra, 031 501 6900
  • Golden Saffron Indian Restaurant, Lenmarc Mall, Jl Bukit Darmo Boulevard, 031 5116 2987
  • Portofino in the Shangri-La hotel
  • Desperados in the Shangri-La (night club with foreign bands)
  • Primavera in Hyatt Hotel
  • Tavern (night club)
  • La Rucola (previously Trattoria) Italian Restaurant, Jl. Dr. Sutomo 51, (031) 567-8557 (reservations recommended, especially on weekends).
  • Casa Fontana Ristorante Italiano, Jl. Imam Bonjol 119, (031) 567-7679 (Reservation recommended, especially on weekends).
  • Dream of Kahyangan: judged to have the best Indonesian food in Surabaya - Jl Citraraya, Citraland; (031) 7411999
  • Dewa Ndaru: similar to Dream of Kahyangan for fabulous Indonesian food – Jl Mayjen Sungkono; (031) 5651888
  • Citrus Lee: western fusion food, great for getting your steak fix - Jl. Kutai No. 12, Surabaya (031) 561-5192
  • Jamoo – the buffet breakfast at the Shangri La Hotel is a regular event for most expats but the buffet lunch is also popular and relatively cheap: Shangri La Hotel, Jl Mayjen Sungkono, Surabaya (031) 5661550
  • Vis a Vis French Restaurant at the JW Marriott: excellent French food . Jl. Embong Malang No. 85-89 JW, Surabaya - (031) 545-8888
  • Platinum Grill: fusion food in a great setting overlooking the Graha Famili Golf Course: Graha Famili Blok S, Surabaya West – (031)-7388990
  • Ambrosia – another fusion restaurant in the Graha Famili area with good quality food in a pleasant setting: Jl. Raya Dian Istana, Dian Istana, (031) 752 6800.
  • Sitara Indian Restaurant: the only Indian restaurant at present in Surabaya: Jl. Gajah Mada No. 1, Surabaya - 031-5667353.
  • De Soematra 1910: set in a house built in 1910 and beautifully restored with lots of antiques and photos, the food is just as beautiful: Jl Sumatera 75, Surabaya,  (031) 5010-666
  • Citylites Restaurant and Bar: top floor of the Java Paragon Hotel with fabulous views north over Surabaya and Madura; expensive for what you get but the view …: Jl Mayjen Sungkono opposite the Shangri La Hotel – (031) 562 1234
  • The Loop – an area near the Pakuwon Supermal in West Surabaya with a wide range of restaurants and cafes. Jl Bukit Darmo Boulevard, Pakuwon
  • G Walk – a strip of warungs, restaurants and cafes of all sorts. G-Walk, CitraLand, West Surabaya
  • SUTOS – Surabaya Town Square: many restaurants catering for all tastes, eastern and Western – Jl Mayjen Sungkono

Sightseeing in Surabaya

  • House of Sampoerna: Museum, Café, Cigarette Factory and Surabaya Bus Tours - Taman Sampoerna 6, Surabaya
  • Masjid Al Akbar: largest mosque in Surabaya; take the lift to the top of the minaret for a view of Surabaya and its surroundings – Jl Gayungsari, Pagesangan
  • Arab quarter and Masjid Ampel: oldest mosque in Surabaya with a “souk” leading up to it – Jl Ampel Suci 45 or Jl Ampel Masjid 53
  • Hong Tiek Hian Chinese Temple: oldest Chinese temple in Surabaya – Jl Dukuh, Surabaya
  • Cheng Hoo Mosque: unique Chinese style mosque – Jl Gading, Surabaya
  • Four Faced Buddha statue and Chinese temple by the sea: Jl Sukolilo 100 Surabaya
  • Suramadu Bridge: joining Surabaya and Madura Island; especially colourful at night with an interesting light display
  • Lapindo Mud Flow: environmental devastation at the southern end of the Gempol Toll Road

Of special interest are the Chinese and Arab quarters and the old Surabaya harbor is very picturesque. The Arab Quarters of Surabaya and its Grand Mosque and Mausoleum of the Saint King Raden Rahmat is an interesting site to visit as well.

Sightseeing Outside Surabaya

Malang - nice colonial-type city (2 hours drive south of Surabaya).

Mount Bromo - (4-5 hours from Surabaya)

The nearest beach is located approximately 3 hours drive away. It is located on a small island (Pulau Ketapang) near Probolingo. If you continue eastward for another two hours there is another nice beach, Pasar Putih.

Pulau Sempu (on the south coast directly below Malang) - It's a small uninhabited Island, which has a little lake with a white sandy beach on it. Beautiful place. It is about a 3-hour drive from Surabaya.

Tretes: two waterfalls to see. Nice for walking and horseback riding. About one hour from Surabaya on the way to Malang.

Trowulan & Brass Village: visit the ruins of the Majapahit era over several sites but all relatively close to each other. There is a museum that includes archaeological digs. Nearby is the Brass Village where you can buy all sorts of brass objects - about 2 hours south west of Surabaya, past Mojokerto

Bull races on Madura: held from about July through to October – something you must  definitely experience at least once while you are here – about an hour across the Suramadu bridge north of Surabaya

Ijen Mountain: walk up with the sulfur miners and look down into the lake filled caldera – about 5 hours south east of Surabaya

Batu: enjoy a cooler climate just two hours south of Surabaya, quite close to Malang. Make sure you stop for some martabak at the Rumah Makan Cairo -delicious

Experience Authentic Java: the awesome scenery, the distinctive culture, the fascinating history, the fine historical remains, and the welcoming Javanese people. Authentic Java Tours is led by an English-speaking expat, Graeme Steel, who has a thorough knowledge of Java, having lived on the island for 24 years. With his outstanding network of local contacts and proficiency in the Indonesian language, he enjoys sharing his knowledge of authentic Java with others. Graeme has written numerous articles on Java for magazines including Island Life, Jakarta Java Kini, Kem Chick's World > Pipe and other media. He is a contributor to the most recent edition of the Rough Guide to Indonesia, and his photographs of Indonesia have been published in a number of publications.

Our tours take you to the real Java beyond the obvious tourist spots. Explore at first hand the local culture and the hidden beauty of Java. Benefit from Graeme's authoritative and intelligent commentary en route, and see places that many have not. Travel on your own, with family, friends, or in small like-minded groups that are as discerning as you are: people curious about and interested in engaging with authentic local culture.

Consular Offices & Cultural Agency

Some countries maintain consulates in Surabaya.

If there isn't a consulate for your country in Bali, check your embassy's website for the nearest consular office.

Institut Francaise de Indonesie
Kompleks AJBS
Jl. Ratna No. 14  Blok C2
Ngagel, Surabaya 60246
Tel. (62-031) 503-5035
Website www.ifi-id.com

Our grateful thanks to Erik Hoekstra and Stefaan Vancolen for their extensive research to put together this information for intending expat residents of Surabaya and to Hendro Kiantoro for sharing some much needed updates with the community!

If you have additional information to contribute on Surabaya living, please contact us and we'll be happy to incorporate it!

Last udpated Kamiaru 2. 2024