Johor Bahru Sightseeing: 13 Hidden Gems in & Near JB for the Holidays

Johor Bahru Sightseeing: 13 Cool Hidden Gems in & Near JB to Explore for the School Holidays

In Johor Bahru, you can find everything from delicious food to relaxation spots — without breaking the bank.

The March school holidays in Singapore are finally approaching! This period is a very popular time for Singaporeans to enjoy a quick vacation — and Johor Bahru, Malaysia is often the top choice amongst Singaporeans. 

People from Singapore simply love travelling to Johor Bahru for day trips and overnight stays, for good reason. Things in Johor Bahru are generally much more affordable as compared to Singapore. And within an hour or less, you can easily get to Johor Bahru from Singapore by bus, train or car. 

Beautiful nature, entertainment, delicious food stops, shopping, and more — it truly has everything for a fun-filled short getaway!

Ready for a fun Johor Bahru sightseeing trip this March? Here are some cool hidden gems and wallet-friendly places in and near Johor Bahru to add to your itinerary.

Also read: 15 Best Airbnbs in Johor for Your Next Weekend Getaway

Cool hidden gems & hipster spots in and near Johor Bahru

1. Danga Bay

danga bay johor bahru

Image credit: Tourism Johor | Official Website

Singaporeans with an eye for underrated attractions in Johor Bahru will be delighted by Danga Bay. The large recreational park boasts beautiful beach views, amazing food, family-friendly entertainment, shopping options, and more.

Here, stroll along Danga Beach to enjoy beautiful seaside views and catch the glowing sunset if you’re lucky! You’ll also find lots of amazing seafood restaurants along the beach. 

danga bay johor bahru malaysia

Image credit: Sham Hardy | Flickr

For a romantic date with retro vibes, check out Danga World Theme Park. This park offers a number of fun rides that you can take! Payment is made on a per-ride basis, and the cheapest ride starts from only RM2 (S$0.57). 

And if you decide to head indoors, there are also plenty of shopping and dining options available at the nearby Beletime Danga Bay Mall. It’s a good spot for luxury shopping and dining if you’re planning to spend a little more money. 

By car, you can get to Danga Bay from JB Sentral within 15 minutes.

2. Good Times DIY Tufting and Pottery Studios

pottery tufting

Image credit (L–R): Good Times DIY Studio | Official Website, Good Times DIY Studio | Official Website

Tufting and pottery are wonderful hands-on activities for you to unleash your inner creativity and de-stress by working with your hands. We know that these activities are generally pricey in Singapore. So, for your next Johor Bahru sightseeing trip this March, check out Good Times DIY’s Tufting and Pottery Studios, which both offer tufting and pottery packages at very affordable prices!

Good Times DIY’s tufting studio offers many tufting packages to choose from, such as the 1.5-hour long package that costs RM140 (S$39.76) per person. Likewise, the pottery studio offers a variety of pottery packages, such as the Wheel Throwing Quick Experience which costs RM145 (S$41.18) per person. Good Times DIY has received great reviews, and its prices are difficult to beat. Give it a try!

Note: Make sure to make an advanced booking for your session! Also, if you are doing pottery, the final products will be ready for collection a month later.

3. Hey Decoupage

hey decoupage malaysia

Image credit: Hey Decoupage | Official Website

Art jamming is another fun and relaxing artistic activity — which is also not the most budget-friendly activity to do in Singapore. But no worries; in Johor Bahru, you can enjoy some fantastic art jamming for an affordable price at Hey Decoupage!

Hey Decoupage is located just 15 minutes away from the Causeway, making it a really convenient art jamming spot. Starting from just RM50 (S$14.20), you can enjoy unlimited usage of acrylic paint and painting tools for the perfect art jamming session! 

Additionally, Hey Decoupage also offers Jesmonite workshops and a board games zone, which are worth trying out if you have time.

Note: Advanced bookings are not required to do art jamming; you can simply walk in. However, some workshops at Hey Decoupage do require advanced bookings!

4. September Cafe

September cafe johor bahru

Image credit: September Cafe | Official Instagram Page 

Located in Eco Palladium Mall, September Cafe specialises in cakes and beverages. It used to be known as Tri-Patisserie, but it has since rebranded itself as September Cafe. The cafe stands out for its gorgeous winter aesthetic. You’ll definitely be able to take minimalist, chic pictures here!

Image credit: September Cafe | Official Instagram Page

Menu items are also priced very affordably. Check out September Cafe’s sweet desserts starting from only RM14.50 (S$4.12)! This cafe is about 30 minutes away from Johor Bahru customs by car, so it’s not too difficult to get to. If you’re excited to get some Instagram-worthy shots while enjoying some sweet treats, add September Cafe to your Johor Bahru sightseeing itinerary!

5. Camp5

camp5 Malaysia

Image credit (L–R): Camp5 | Official Website; Camp5 Paradigm | Official Instagram Page

Rock climbing and bouldering at indoor climbing gyms have become extremely popular in Singapore in recent months. It’s an amazing activity to clock in physical exercise and bond with family and friends! However, using climbing gyms in Singapore is a little pricey, with the average entrance fee costing S$15-20. 

On the other hand, it’s a lot more affordable to use climbing gyms in Johor Bahru. Check out Camp5, a climbing gym located conveniently inside Paradigm Mall. Paradigm Mall is Johor Bahru’s largest mall and is less than 30 minutes away from the customs checkpoint!

A one-day adult pass costs RM31.50 (S$8.95) during off-peak hours and RM42 (S$11.93) during peak hours. If you enter the climbing gym before 4pm on weekdays (excluding public holidays), you’ll enjoy off-peak pricing.

Cool places in Johor Bahru for the cutest animal encounters

Playing with adorable animals will make your Johor Bahru sightseeing trip extra fun! Here are some places where you can find lovely animals to spend time with.

6. As Clouds Café

alpaca cafe johor bahru

Image credit: As Clouds Café | Official Facebook Page

Get a dose of cuteness on your Johor Bahru sightseeing trip by visiting As Clouds Café, which is Johor Bahru’s first and only alpaca cafe to date! As Clouds Café houses two resident alpacas that roam freely inside the cafe. 

There is no entry fee. You simply have to order from the cafe menu, and you’ll be given carrots to feed the adorable alpacas! The cafe is about 30 minutes away from Johor Bahru customs by car, so it’s convenient to drop by. However, do be aware that this cafe is extremely popular thanks to its lovable alpacas, and entry is on a walk-in basis — so be prepared to queue to get a seat inside!

7. Corgi’s Talk Cafe

corgi cafe Malaysia

Image credit: Corgi’s Talk Cafe | Official Instagram Page

Corgi enthusiasts always rave about how corgis have a distinct, cute fur colour combination that makes them look like fluffy bread loaves. If you love corgis, make sure to visit Corgi’s Talk Cafe on your Johor Bahru sightseeing trip! Moreover, this cafe also houses a lovely husky that is equally adorable!

Image credits: Corgi’s Talk Cafe | Official Instagram Page

Playing with the doggies is sure to boost your mood. Look at how much personality they have!

Each session at Corgi’s Talk Cafe lasts an hour. Hourly rates start from RM26 (S$7.38) for adults and RM18 (S$5.11) for children, and this includes a free beverage of your choice. You can either walk in or make a reservation to enter the cafe.

Corgi’s Talk Cafe is located in Eco Botanic, which is about 20 minutes away from Tuas Checkpoint by car.

8. Choco Neko

Image credit: Choco Neko | Official Instagram Page

For an a-meow-zing time, cat lovers can visit Choco Neko, which is a cat cafe that houses some really lovely kitties and also boasts a very cosy interior! To play with the adorable cats, you simply need to spend at least RM10 (S$2.84) on the cafe menu, which is not difficult to hit. This makes Choco Neko one of the most affordable cat cafes you can find in Johor Bahru! 

Choco Neko is about 20 minutes away from Johor Bahru customs by car. 

9. Talula Hill Farm Resort

Talula Hill Farm Resort Johor Bahru

Image credit: Talula Hill Farm Resort | Official Website 

Ever thought of quitting your office job to embrace the good old farm days instead? Get a taste of the simple farm life by booking an overnight stay at Talula Hill Farm Resort in Johor Bahru! It’s a great getaway spot for people who love nature, farming, and animals. 

Image credit: Talula Hill Farm Resort | Official Website 

At Talula Hill Farm Resort, you’ll get to try lots of unique experiences. Some highlights include animal feeding, garden exploration, and eating meals made using the resort’s very own fresh produce! The resort is also located near Gunung Lambak, a mountain with climbing trails for adventurous explorers. 

There are different types of rooms available for overnight stays. Bunk Cabin A, which can house four people, starts at a very reasonable RM2,009 (S$570.52) for three nights of stay!

Image credit: Talula Hill Farm Resort | Official Website 

Overall, Talula Hill Farm Resort offers amazing nature-centric experiences that you won’t easily find in Singapore. It’s a lovely place to engage in an unhurried time of family bonding. Book an overnight stay there for an exceptional Johor Bahru sightseeing trip!

Also read: Destinations in Malaysia That Resemble European Attractions

10. The Banana Leaf Kitchen

banana leaf kitchen johor bahru

Image credit: The Banana Leaf Kitchen | Official Instagram Page

Add some spice (literally) to your Johor Bahru sightseeing trip by visiting The Banana Leaf Kitchen! This eatery receives glowing reviews for its delicious and super affordable all-you-can-eat banana leaf buffet. The buffet starts from RM24 (S$6.82) for adults, which is a great money-saving deal that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere!

Located near Legoland Malaysia, The Banana Leaf Kitchen is not the nearest to Johor Bahru customs. But for travellers who have an eye for Indian food or those who wish to stretch their dollar, it’s worth making the effort to head there.

Also read: 12 Best Food Spots in Johor Bahru for the Perfect Gastronomic Adventure

Amazing places in Johor Bahru for wallet-friendly shopping hauls and deals

In Johor Bahru, Malaysia, places with wallet-friendly shopping are always some of the top tourist attractions amongst visiting Singaporeans. Check out some spots in Johor Bahru where you can get the best value for your money!

11. Jalan Jalan Japan

jalan jalan japan

Image credits: Jalan Jalan Japan | Official Instagram Page

Thrifting is a great shopping option for those on a money-saving mission. Jalan Jalan Japan is a Japanese thrift store chain with many outlets globally and also in Malaysia. At Jalan Jalan Japan, you’ll be surrounded by tons of cheap pre-loved items that’ll really help you stretch your dollar. Items on display are well-sorted in true Japanese style, and you might just be able to find Uniqlo products here for a tiny fraction of their retail price!

There are two Jalan Jalan Japan outlets in Johor Bahru: one located in KIP Mall Masai, and the other located in KIP Mall Tampoi

12. Johor Premium Outlets

johor premium outlets

Image credit: Johor Premium Outlets | Official Website

You might’ve heard of Johor Premium Outlets if you frequently travel to Johor Bahru. Johor Premium Outlets deserves a spot in this section as a staple place where you can buy items from designer brands at prices that are much, much lower compared to buying the same items in Singapore retail stores. If you’re interested in goods from pricey designer brands such as Jimmy Choo and Polo Ralph Lauren, Johor Premium Outlets is the place to go. 

13. Aeon Mall Tebrau City

aeon mall johor bahru

Image credit: Dotalim0204 | Wikimedia Commons

Finally, Aeon Mall Tebrau City is a huge mall where you can find a myriad of wallet-friendly food, shopping and entertainment options. The supermarket inside the mall is popular as an affordable stop to check off your grocery shopping list without burning a hole in your wallet! It also carries a wide range of products to choose from. 

At Aeon Mall Tebrau City, you’ll even find a cinema, where you can watch movies for a third (or even less) of the price you’d pay to watch the same movie in Singapore! 

Also read: Top 9 Shopping Malls in Johor Bahru for Your Retail Therapy

So, with these cool places we’ve covered, gear up for some fun Johor Bahru sightseeing this March holiday!

Featured image credit: kokkai via Canva Pro

About Author

Esther Yue
Esther Yue

Esther is an inquisitive girl who enjoys uncovering the depths of life. She loves exploring new places and cultures. While travelling, she never skips the roller coaster rides in the amusement parks. In her natural habitat, you’ll probably catch her with a book and an iced drink, listening to some good music.