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Bandung city walking tour

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One of Bandung’s major drawcards is the tremendous collection of early twentieth century colonial architecture. The 1920s and 30s were Bandung’s booming Golden Age when this (then) Europe-style city was dubbed “Parijs van Java” (the Paris of Java) and Topical Art déco architecture was the flavour of the month.

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New buildings were constructed or given major facelifts to follow the style of the day and attract the wealthy planters from the surrounding highland’s tea, rubber, coffee and cinchona (quinine) plantations to party in the streets. Sadly today, much of this former splendour is neglected but the crumbling remnants are peppered with a handful of well renovated examples throughout the town and an architectural treasure hunt makes an interesting half day walk.

Classic lines. Photo taken in or around Bandung city walking tour, Bandung, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Classic lines. Photo: Sally Arnold

Beginning at the Grand Preanger Hotel on Jalan Asia Afrika, formerly De Groote Postweg (Great Post Road) the trans-Java highway of the time. This grand luxury hotel was originally built in the late 19th century and extensively redesigned in 1929 by Indonesian Born Dutch architect, C. P. Wolff Schoemaker, a major contributor to Bandung’s Art déco cityscape. Interestingly, he was assisted in this project by one of his former students, none other than the young Sukarno, who would later become the first President of the Republic of Indonesia. The hotel houses a small museum, worth a quick look. Ask reception staff to escort you and take your time admiring the hotel’s Art déco details as you wander around.

When you exit the hotel, glance across the road to the old Bank Pacific on Jalan Tamblong, built in the 1920s but now abandoned. Continue west along Jalan Asia Afrika to Kilometre Zero, the official centre of Bandung marked with a (steam-driven) steamroller likely used in the road’s construction. Next to this, the office of the newspaper Pikran Rakyart was also designed by C. P. Wolff Schoemaker in the early 1920s—look for the lovely original stained glass on the second floor. Adjacent to the building, an old printing press sits juxtaposed with digital versions of today’s paper for ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,700 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Popular attractions in Bandung

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Bandung.

Best places to stay in Bandung

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Bandung.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Bandung.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Bandung.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Bandung.
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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Bandung? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

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