Johor Bahru Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia)

Johor Bahru struggles a little on the tourist attractions front and never lives up to the hype and quality of nearby Singapore. In recent years, the city has managed to shed much of its previous tired border town image by investing time and money, planting many tropical trees and flowers, and repaving its public plazas.

There are one or two interesting mosques, although non-Muslims are often not allowed entry, while tourists cannot enter these grounds full stop. Luckily, there is a theme park in town, along with Rumah Limas, which displays old wooden buildings from the various Johor districts.

Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque (Masjid Negeri Sultan Abu Bakar)

Address: Jalan Abu Bakar, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 07 223 4935
The Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque enjoys an elevated hilltop position within the Selat Johor area of the city, overlooking the Straits. This grand building is a quad-minaret state mosque built in the latter part of the 19th century and displays both Moorish and Victorian architectural styles. Despite being one of the top attractions, non-Muslims are forbidden to enter the 2,000-seat mosque.
Open hours: Saturday to Thursday - 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: free

Danga World Theme Park

Address: Jalan Skudai, Danga Bay, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 07 235 2333
More of an attraction for young kids than a family theme park as such, the Danga World Theme Park is to be found just a short distance to the west and serves as a distraction from the busy city. It has around 20 rides, including a pirate ship, a merry-go-round, a Ferris wheel and the like. Danga World is also home to the Danga World Petting Zoo, which is known for its animal shows, tigers, tamarin monkeys, exotic birds and reptiles.
Open hours: daily - 15:00 to midnight
Admission: charge

Rumah Limas

Address: Jalan Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
The Rumah Limas is a complex of wooden Malay houses that represent Johor's eight districts and can be found by the edge of the Skudai Highway. Among them are Rumah Johor Bahru and Rumah Kota Tinggi, both of which are surrounded by spacious lawns. The Rumah Utama stages cultural shows of the various districts, plus local cuisine can be enjoyed outside the houses. Also onsite is an orchid garden and spa therapy.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge

Johor Bahru Zoo

Address: Jalan Gertak Merah, Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
Tel: +60 07 224 9960
Located near the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque is this somewhat rundown zoo. Although not a patch on Singapore's zoo, it is a good stress-reliever for those with impatient kids. There are a decent variety of animals here, including big cats and gorillas, along with some pleasant tracks. Johor Zoo is one of Malaysia's oldest zoos and also features a pond with boat rentals, as well as a children's playground.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 18:00
Admission: charge, discount for children under 13 years, children under three years free

Taman Merdeka

Address: Johor Bahru, Malaysia, MY
Taman Merdeka is a charming public park situated not far to the east of Istana Bukit Serene. A large lake resides in the centre, while further highlights include a number of pavilions, rock sculptures, ornate bridges and monuments. Also onsite is a Malay buffet restaurant to the north, although on a sunny day, the area really does lend itself to a picnic.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free