Looking for a stress-free weekend but have no time to travel? Head over to Johor Bahru in Malaysia for a quick weekend getaway! Well known for its good food and cheap prices, it’s no wonder many Singaporeans flee across the causeway for a mini break. In this travel guide, we show you the awesome things you can do in Johor Bahru (JB) that will turn your weekend getaway into an awesome minimoon adventure!
Before we get started on the things to do, here are our recommendations on the best places to stay at in Johor Bahru!
p.s. A short disclaimer that some of our links below are affiliate links – which come at no cost to you if you decide to click and purchase. But if you do book through our site, we get a small commission which keeps our site running and allow us to create content for you – for free! That being said, we only recommend picks that we ourselves would use. Thank you for your support! For more information on our disclosure policy, please click here.
Best Places to Stay in Johor Bahru:
1. Relish the Hollywood “It Couple” lifestyle at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast
Featuring music-inspired rooms, restaurants, lounges, and other facilities, you can eat, sleep, and chill like A-list celebrities at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast. There are 365 rooms and suites within the resort, each one equipped with luxurious Sleep Like a RockⓇ bedding, signature Rock SpaⓇ toiletries, and premium amenities like a 55” LED TV and Bose soundbar. True to its name, this hotel also offers unique music amenities through The Sound of Your Stay®.
One of the highlights at Hard Rock Hotel Desaru Coast is probably their Retune Package. This 3D2N stay includes complimentary daily breakfast, one time dinner and spa treatments for 2 adults. The 60-min spa treatment in the famous Rock SpaⓇ combines the musical beats and vibrations to infuse energy and vigor into your muscles while you receive a relaxing massage. ‘Music to your ears’ are the words that perfectly sum up the minimoon getaway experience here.
2. Enjoy a relaxing Staycation at DoubleTree by Hilton
As one of the top hotels in Johor Bahru, DoubleTree by Hilton provides you one of the best staycations you can imagine. Apart from their luxurious rooms and fine dining options, the staff here show warm hospitality to their guests. You can enjoy working out at the 24-hour gym, hang out by the pool, soak it up in the jacuzzi or simply relax in their steam room. There is no weekend that could get better than this! Rooms are available from S$136/night.
DoubleTree by Hilton has wedded over 180 couples at their location, weekends every often being booked out. What did they do right to get couples raving to get married here? We headed down to find out exactly why couples are flocking here for their wedding in Johor Bahru and here’s what we walked away with Top Reasons to get married at DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Bahru
Double Tree by Hilton
No. 12 Jalan Ngee Heng, 80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Related read: DoubleTree by Hilton – Here’s the Reason why couples are flocking here for their wedding in Johor Bahru
Click here for rates via Booking.com or Agoda >
3. Experience an amazing romantic staycation at Renaissance Johor Bahru
Renaissance Johor Bahru is one of the most popular hotels for luxury and romantic staycation. Here, you are free to enjoy everything from elegant hotel structure, high-quality facilities, and great service from polite staffs. Also, upon enjoying luxury and comfort from the hotel’s exceptional amenities, Renaissance Johor Bahru guaranteed the best price for you to enjoy modern rooms while discovering the city’s rich culture. Do also note that this hotel has an extraordinary location allowing you to enjoy beautiful tourists attractions and JB Premium Outlets. It will take 30 minutes only from the hotel!
Renaissance Johor Bahru
Address: 11, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya 2, 11, 2, Jalan Permas 9/12, Bandar Baru Permas Jaya, 81750 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Click here for rates via Booking.com or Agoda >
Top 14 Things to do on your Johor Bahru Honeymoon
1. Become a hip cafe hopper
Coffee, brunch, churros – nothing could beat starting a morning with these. Lately, JB has become the home of many hip and stylish cafes. Here, you can have a relaxing morning sipping a hot cappuccino at just a fraction of the price! The Replacement, Bev C, and Chaiwalla and Co. Container Cafe have been the talk of the town, so be sure to check them out when you get there. SHOUT has one of the best cafe hopping guides here.
2. Pamper yourself endlessly with a couple spa retreat
If you stay at DoubleTree by Hilton, you can enjoy a relaxing massage offered by their partner Bangkok Spa. Aside from the fact that it’s just 10-minute drive away, there’s also a free transport provided for the convenience of the guests. Also, the price is another jaw-dropping factor as the price for their one-hour traditional massage only costs S$17!
Moreover, for other spa options, you can head straight to Walea Spa & Retreat wherein you can enjoy a couple massage that starts from S$100 for an hour session. After that, you can also try Kaki Kaki Reflexology, this place is highly recommended for tourists who are looking for a way of treating a certain part of the body such as spinal, neck, and shoulders. They have a special offer where the couples can enjoy a 30-minute back massage for $30, or one hour foot and back massage for $50.
3. Get a complete Korean make-over!
There is no better place to get a makeover. Hair, nails, makeup – everything at JB is a fraction of the price in Singapore. You can get your hair done at KStyle Salon, opened by Mr. David Oh who graduated from a beauty high school in Korea and has 10 years of experience. Wash, cut and blow services start from RM80 (S$27) for ladies and RM70 (S$24) for guys. Note to book a slot beforehand as they can get quite busy!
Then for your nails and makeup, nail salons are aplenty in City Square Mall and KSL. You can get a classic manicure and pedicure for under S$20. In City Square, there are tons of makeup houses like Etude House, Tony Moly, and Nature Republic. Head over to level 2 and grab some cute Korean makeup to complete your look. And for your clothes, in Komtar JBCC, head over to shop at local brands like Padini wherein you can find stylish items at cheap prices!
4. Feast on delicious local cuisine for breakfast
In Johor Bahru, many delicious local foods will have you salivating across the causeway just thinking about them. A famous mention includes Kam Long Curry Fish Head situated just five minutes away from City Square mall (at the causeway). Beware that the lunch crowd here gets very heavy and so we recommend coming here for breakfast instead. Dishes starts from RM18 (S$3.7) for an individual serving, but that of course, is not enough. Read Miss Tam Chiak’s full review here.
Furthermore, other famous mentions include the Shoon Huat Bak Kut Teh at Taman Sentosa. The sweet herbal charm of the dish will melt your hearts. If you are the type to not go out of your way for food, you can try Soon Soon Heng Bak Kut Teh strategically located opposite KSL Shopping Complex – the teochew bak kut teh here is delish. For more kickass local foods, check out The Smart Local’s guide here.
Kam Long Curry Fish Head
74, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Tel: +6016-752-8382, +6016-796-2228. +6016-205-1610 Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 8am to 4:30pm
Shoon Huat Bak Kut Teh
11, Jalan Sutera 1, Taman Sentosa, 80150 Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Tel: +6019 – 778 0709 Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 8:00am – 8:00pm; Monday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Soon Soon Heng Bak Kut Teh
43, Jalan Serigala, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Opening Hours: Daily: 8:00am – 8:00pm
5. Take a romantic stroll at Danga Bay
Even Johor Bahru has their own premier waterfront! Offering you tons of activities with luxury and glam, here you can find higher-end retail outlets and fine dining restaurants. It’s considered to be the best beach, and also the biggest recreation park in Johor Bahru. After a nice day at the beach, you can chill out at Danga City Mall where you can find leisure and entertainment options. If you would like to stay here, check out Tunes Hotel Danga Bay, where rooms start from just S$50/night.
Skudai, 80200, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
How to get there: Take a taxi from the Johor Bahru city centre for about RM4-5. If you prefer to head there on foot, follow the pedestrian path from the city centre along the straits for about 2km.
6. Shop till you drop at the Premium outlet stores
Shopaholics, be sure to watch out for these malls – City Square, Komtar JBCC, and KSL City Mall. For more ‘atas’ finds, head over to Johor Premium Outlets where you can get these luxuries for a fraction of the price. Nice restaurants and cafes are also available for you to rest those tired feet after your shopping!
Johor Bahru City Square
Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Darul Ta’zim, 80000 Johor Bahru, Malaysia Phone: +60 7-226 3668
Opening Hours: 10AM–10PM
Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
KSL City Mall
33, Jalan Seladang, Taman Abad, 80250 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Johor Premium Outlets
Indahpura, 81000 Kulai, Johor, Malaysia
7. Stock up on literally everything and anything you can find
Whether cosmetics, essentials or food, everything can be stocked up in Johor Bahru! For cosmetics and essentials, there’s Sephora, Watsons and more. For food and household products, you have Daiso and Eco-shop, where you get everything for just RM2 (that’s $0.70!)! Eco-shop has over 75 stores in Malaysia, but the closest is at Desaru in Johor Bahru, approximately around one-hour drive from customs.
Address: 83, 85, 87 (Ground & 1st Floor), Jalan Jelutong 1, Taman Desaru Utama, 81930 Bandar Penawar, Johor
How to get there: Use the newly built Eastern Dispersal Link(EDL) Expressway which is easily accessible from the customs on Jalan Pasir Pelangi. From here, follow signs towards ‘Desaru’ for another 60 km. It is recommended that you use a GPS to get to this location.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8.30am – 6.00pm | Saturday from 8.30am -12.30pm
8. Combat the heat with cool desserts
Congratulations on escaping Singapore for the weekend! But one thing you can not escape from is the hot and humid weather. For a true escape from that, try out the cool desserts that would have you chilling in no time. Be sure to check out famous mentions like Big Bowl Ice, Coconut Ice cream from Sangkaya and H-Two O Ice Cream! For even more desserts, check out The Smart Local’s guide to everything cool in Johor Bahru.
9. Get your adrenaline running with Paintball or LaserTag
If you are looking for some action, Johor Bahru can be a great place for you! Since it is the second largest city in Malaysia, sporty and adventurous couples can expect different indoor and outdoor activities. For paintball lovers, you can go to Skudai Parade Shopping Complex or Danga City Mall to enjoy indoor paintball fields. But if you want to play in an outdoor paintball field, you may go to Kraftangan Johore Larkin and Jalan Harmonium.
Moreover, when it comes to laser tag, every tourist should go straight to Laser Battle, a company that provides laser tag equipment design, products, development, and other areas related to the entertainment industry.
Skudai Parade Shopping Complex
Address: Skudai Parade, Jalan Bertingkat Skudai, Skudai, 81300 Skudai, Malaysia
Contact: +60 7-558 8996
Opening hours: 10AM–10PM
Danga City Mall
Address: Malaysia, Johor, Johor Bahru, L4-20, Jalan Tun Abdul RazakDanga City Mall 80000
Contact: +60 7-221 5006
Opening hours: 10AM–10PM
Kraftangan Malaysia Cawangan Johor
Address: Lot PTB 20002 Jalan Cenderasari Off Jalan Datin Halimah, 80350 Larkin Johor Bahru, 80350 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Contact: +60 7-235 0433
Opening hours: 8am to 5pm (Closed during Saturday and Sunday)
Laser BattleAddress: Lot MS-11, Johor Bahru City Square, 108, Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia Phone:+60 7-207 0197
Contact:+60 7-207 0197
10. Stuff your faces with fresh and delicious seafood
When it comes to seafood restaurants, tourists in Johor Bahru should eat at i-Shell out. Here, you can enjoy eating your favorite seafood at an affordable price. They will cook and poor every ingredient on the table in front of you, no plates! But they put plastic sheets on top of the tables before starting cooking. The seafood you may enjoy includes bamboo clams, lobsters, prawns, vegetables, otah, and jug of lime juice. For more seafood adventure, click here to see other seafood restaurants in Johor Bahru.
Address: Kilang Bateri Jalan Tampoi
How to get there: By car – Kilang Bateri is approximately fifteen minutes away from CIQ. It is around the area of Angsana Plaza. By taxi – It was around RM23 from the usual taxi counter outside CIQ. Grabcar – it only costs around RM9 instead.
Contact: +60 7-232 5121
Opening hours: 12:00 noon to 12 midnight
11. Buy coconut buns and banana cakes from Hiap Joo Bakery and biscuit factory
Hiap Joo Bakery is known as the oldest yet the best traditional bakery that offers fresh malt-flavored bread. You may also buy aromatic banana cakes for very reasonable prices. Until today, they still use wood fire for baking their popular bread and cakes to ensure the good quality of every product. Visit their shop to taste their light and spongy cakes with no artificial flavorings.
Hiap Joo Bakery
Address: 13, Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Contact: +60 7-223 1703
Opening hours: 7:30AM–5:30PM
12. Unleash your inner child at Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park
Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park is the best place for people who love thrilling activities. Here, you can enjoy the suspension adventure rope course. Then after enjoying the excitement in Adventure Park, you can spend your day by experiencing the feature of traditional theme parks. You can play as long as you can, or try doing your favorite activities from your childhood! No one will stop you in expressing your inner-child while you enjoy colorful decorations and variety of jaw-dropping waterslides that are perfect for a honeymoon splash.
Austin Heights Water & Adventure Park
Address: No. 71, Jalan Austin Heights 8/1, Taman Mount Austin, 81100 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
Contact: +6019 716 3183 / +607 360 3000
13. Trek for an exciting adventure at Pulai Waterfall
After enjoying trekking activities in Mount Pulai, you’ll pass by water streams where you will see a small waterfall. If you continue walking, you will not only meet animals such as monkeys, lizards, and wild birds, but you will also see the magnificent Pulai waterfall through the gate of the mountain. You can also enjoy the beautiful scenery with soothing sounds of the jungle and water.
14. Take day trips out to Desaru, Legoland or Hello Kitty Town
If you are thinking to extend your trip out of Johor Bahru, you may go to Legoland Malaysia Resort, also known as the first international theme park opened in Asia. You can enjoy playing with slides, rides, and other attractions for all ages. If you want another option, you may also have a two day and one night trip to Desaru where you can surely bond happily with your loved one. You will also have an access to delicious buffet from breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner. Furthermore, you may also relieve the little kid in you with Hello Sanrio Hello Kitty Town or The Little Big Club wherein you will surely have a fun and interesting trip.
Click here for tickets to Legoland Malaysia or Hello Kitty Town >
If you need any help/services, email us at [email protected]. We’d be happy to help!
This post was brought to you by The Wedding Vow. Big thanks to Kevin Then Photography for the featured image.
All opinions remain writer’s own. For more information, kindly refer to our copyright & disclosure policy.