Go beyond your typical JB day trip to KSL and City Square while sticking to a friendly budget!

First published: 5 July 2022

Many of us head to Johor Bahru (JB) for one of two reasons: to shop or to cafe-hop. After all, cheap shopping steals are all there is to JB right? — Not exactly.

Pasar Karat JB Bazaar Outside KSL - Johor Day Trip

It’s true that prices are cheaper across the Causeway, but there’s so much more to do, eat and shop in JB than just visiting shopping malls or aesthetic cafes.

Apart from your familiar hot spots, this adventurous itinerary will show you how to zhng your JB day trip with panoramic skyline views, a bustling night market, and an exciting pop-up theme park.

Plus, you don’t have to spend much to enjoy these cool experiences at all!

JB Day Pre-trip Essentials

Friends together at Skyscape - Johor Day Trip

Before anything, you might want to secure some things for a hassle-free experience.

Connectivity: We booked a 4G eSIM Card, just enough for one day (~S$2.60 for 600MB/day via Klook)

Activities: Purchase your tickets in advance to skip the queues — we bought our tickets to Skyscape online (also via Klook)

*Pro-tip: Enter code <THETRAVELINTERNKLOOK> or click here to get 5% OFF Klook activities, usable up to 5x. New users get 10% OFF their first purchase! T&C’s apply.

Cash: Cards are accepted in malls and cafes, but not at traditional stalls like Salahuddin or the night market. Hence, we recommend changing cash for the trip. For bigger ticket items in shopping malls, use multi-currency cards like YouTrip or Revolut to avoid lousy exchange rates.

Transportation: We have a dedicated section for getting around JB later on, but you might want to download Grab as it may be the cheaper option for groups. For instance, the bus to KSL from Customs costs RM2/pax but a Grab that can take four people costs RM5.

If you’re exploring regions beyond JB, you might want to take a look at Klook’s All-in-One Value Pack for Malaysia. It’ll give you discount vouchers for activities, SIM cards, airport transfers, etc. You can save up to ~S$94 when you use all the vouchers included in the pack!

Budget Breakdown for JB Day Trip

Group photo -  Johor Day Trip

Transport: S$7.20
Activities: S$26.30
Miscellaneous: S$28.80
Total: S$62.30

(detailed breakdown for 1 pax here)

Getting to and around Johor Bahru (JB)

Johor Train - Johor Day Trip

There are three options to get to Johor Bahru via public transport:
1) Train from Woodlands Train Checkpoint (S$5 to JB and RM5 to SG)
2) Bus 160/170 from Opposite Kranji MRT Station, or Bus 170X from Kranji Station (S$1.25/one-way journey)
3) Grab Bus from various locations like Changi Airport, Expo MRT, Marsiling MRT and more (from S$3 to S$11 per person)

The train ride is a more comfortable option at only S$5/one-way trip (S$5 to JB and RM5 to SG), without having to squeeze compared to the bus.

*Pro-tip: Pre-book your train tickets at least two weeks in advance as seats get sold out quickly.

Meanwhile, public buses offer the flexibility of time without having to rush for your ride. At Kranji Station, all three buses to JB arrive every 15-20 minutes (depending on road conditions). Or book a bus on the Grab app to secure a seat and ride in comfort!

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You’ll have to alight at the Woodlands Checkpoint for immigration, before continuing your journey across the Causeway to Malaysia’s checkpoint.

Opposite kranji mrt bus stop - JOhor Day Trip

When travelling around Johor for a day trip, Grab is an affordable and convenient option even for those on a budget. From Customs, a ride to KSL Mall costs about RM5, while further places like the Euro Fun Park cost only RM24.

To book a Grab, you’ll need to buy data for your day trip. Check out prices for data roaming with your service provider. Or, book an eSIM (~S$2.60) via Klook.

9AM: Breakfast at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee

A short 15-minute walk from Customs, you’ll find the heritage street of Jalan Tan Hiok Nee. With various old-school eats and plenty of aesthetic cafes, Tan Hiok Nee is home to both the “old” and the “new” where trends and tradition co-exist.

Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory

People queueing at Hiap Joo Bakery - Johor Day Trip

Be prepared to queue.

When visiting the Hiap Joo Bakery & Biscuit Factory, you’ll probably find yourself in a long snaking line with people eager to get their hands on their delicious, fragrant banana cake.

Banana cake from Hiap Joo Bakery in Johor Bahru - JB Day Trip

Photo credit: @cathxerica.foodescapades via Instagram

While Hiap Joo Bakery does export its banana cakes to Singapore, the cheaper prices and joy of savouring these cakes fresh out of the oven are worth the trip down. Each box comes with 10 slices of cake, just enough to bring some home to your family!

Cost: RM12/box (~S$3.50)
Opening hours: 7:30AM – 4:30PM (Mon – Sat), 7:30AM – 11AM
How to get there: 15min walk from JB CIQ Checkpoint (Google Maps)

Restoran Hua Mui

Restoran Hua Mui Entrance - Johor Day Trip

Another great breakfast place to visit before cafes open at 10AM is the open-air eatery, Restoran Hua Mui.

Their signature Hainanese Chicken Chop (RM18.90) is what most people go here for, while their toasts and sandwiches are also available if you’re looking for something lighter.

Friends having breakfast at Restoran Hua Mui - Things to do in JB

We tried some interesting drinks that you won’t encounter much in Singapore, like the Kopi Gu You — coffee with butter (RM3.80) and the Three Layer Milk Tea, also known as the Milk Kopi (RM6.90).

Opening hours: 8AM – 5PM
How to get there: 1min walk from Hiap Joo Bakery (Google Maps)

Salahuddin Bakery

Salahuddin bakery pastries - Johor Day Trip

Salahuddin Bakery is one of JB’s oldest eateries and feels much like a living museum. Since opening back in 1937, they have retained their rustic and antique decor with Peranakan tiles, complete with old-school signages and calendars.

Salahuddin Bakery Oven - Johor Day Trip

Traditional bakes and pastries sold here include bread, cakes, and curry puffs — all baked in an old wood-fired oven. We tried the Karipap Ayam (RM3.50) and Sugar Puff (RM2), which is a good try if you like flaky and crumbly pastries!

Opening hours: 9AM – 4:30PM (Mon – Thu), 9AM – 4PM (Sat), 10AM – 4PM (Sun), closed on Fri
How to get there: 2min walk from Restoran Hua Mui (Google Maps)

Girl posing at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee street art - JB Day Trip

Photo credit: @beverlyb via Instagram

Before the midday sun hits, take a stroll around Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and its nearby streets. You’ll find vibrant street art and olden architecture that make for good outdoor photo spots!

There are several interesting murals and painted pillars along Jalan Trus and Jalan Ibrahim as well. We saw a large dugong on the side of a building along Jalan Ibrahim! Let us know in the comments if you spot any, and where 🕵️

12PM: Cafe-hopping

The Replacement Cafe - Things to do in JB

Trust us when we say that Jalan Tan Hiok Nee has plenty of cafes — we saw about 10 cafes within a short 15-minute walk around the neighbourhood.

The well-known ones here are The Replacement – Lodge & Kitchen, Chaiwalla & Co. Container Cafe and Flowers in the Window. But here are a few more to check out:

Bev C’afe

Friends at Bev C'afe - Things to do in JB

With rustic, woody interiors, Bev C’afe is relatively small but cosy. According to their menu, they serve what they like to eat! We found unique creations such as the Jackfruit Cheesecake (RM10) and Leicha Cake (RM16).

Food items at Bev C'afe - Things to do in JB

The Jackfruit Cheesecake is an interesting try, albeit a little tiny. The strong scent of jackfruit didn’t overpower the taste of the cake — overall, it produced a delicious but balanced flavour. The Citrus Honey Lemon Soda (RM14) also paired well with it and makes for a refreshing finish.

The cafe is located on the second floor, above the Bev C concept store.

Opening hours: 10AM – 6PM, closed on Wed
How to get there: 1min walk from Salahuddin Bakery (Google Maps)

Offee Cafe

Interior of Offee Cafe - Things to do in JB

Recommended by the staff at a now-defunct gallery nearby, Offee Cafe boasts a sleek, white modern interior.

One can probably guess what it’s known for — yes, coffee! ☕️ They serve interesting creations including the Coconut Latte (RM12) and Oat Latte (RM12).

 Friends drinking coffee at Offee Cafe - Johor Day Trip

While I’m more of a tea person, coffee lovers Shai and Bren gave the cafe and its coffee an 8/10 for its taste and ambience.

Opening hours: 8AM – 10PM
How to get there: 1min walk from Bev C’afe (Google Maps)

Bonus: Principle Cafe by T.A.M. (Jalan Trus)

Principle Cafe by T.A.M. at Jalan Trus - JB Day Trip

Special mention goes to Principle Cafe at Jalan Trus. It’s a 10-minute walk from Bev C’afe and Offee Cafe, but only a stone’s throw from our next stop in this JB itinerary.

The menu is pretty extensive, serving up breakfast items, pizzas, pastas, and a variety of cakes and tarts. We tried their Hojicha Terrine Tart (RM13) which had an intense hojicha taste and was ✨not too sweet ✨.

Hojicha Terrine Tart and coffee at Principle Cafe at Jalan Trus - JB Day Trip

Not gonna lie — prices are slightly higher than average, but worth it for the quality of its dishes and all-around zen vibes. Plus, you can now pre-purchase dining vouchers via Klook to save up to 20% off your bill!

Opening hours: 8:30AM – 6PM
How to get there: 11min walk from Offee Cafe (Google Maps)

2PM: Panoramic Skyline Views at Skyscape

Girl overlooking scenery at Skyscape -  Johor Day Trip

Skyscape is most famous for the glass-floored sky bridge located on the 33rd floor.

At 149m above ground, the translucent glass floor may be challenging for people with acrophobia (fear of heights) — although Bren took it alright! Here, we enjoyed a panoramic overview of Johor Bahru and the Causeway bridge.

Friends looking at scenery at Skyscape - Things to do in Johor Bahru

Skyscape also offers complimentary activities included in your ticket, like virtual reality games, access to the observation deck, and the TikTok-famous LED tunnel amongst others.

We pre-booked our Skyscape adventure through Klook, so that all we had to do was have our QR code scanned at the entrance.

Cost: ~S$10.40/pax, RM5 (~S$1.50) for shoe covers (paid on site)
Opening hours: 9:30AM – 5:30PM, last entry at 4PM
How to get there: 5min walk from Principle Cafe (Google Maps)

3PM: Shop Near KSL City Mall

KSL City Mall is no stranger to most Singaporeans; it’s easily accessible via Grab or by a feeder bus at Customs. You’re guaranteed to have something to do here as they have many establishments like KTVs, massage parlours, and shopping options.

But other than shopping inside the mall, step outside and you’ll find new interesting places to explore.

Avery-Day Convenience Concept Store

Avery Day Convenience Store Entrance - Things to do in Johor Bahru

For all snack-lovers like myself, this unique convenience concept store could most probably make for your dream snack heaven 😍

Located outside KSL City Mall at the CBTL entrance, Avery Day sells snacks from various countries: Thailand, Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan… you name it. We recognised some familiar snacks but bought those that are less commonly found in SG.

Yoghurt Bottles - Things to do in Johor Bahru

For example, this Taiwanese yoghurt drink (RM9.90) caught our eyes as it came in the shape of a milk bottle. We can’t remember the last time we drank from milk bottles but we decided to try it once again that day.

It did feel weird drinking from a teat, but the yoghurt was tangy and refreshing.

Snacks at Avery Day - Things to do in Johor Bahru

Hot snacks like fried chicken, fries, and nuggets are also available. After you’ve done your shopping, you can enjoy your snacks at the outdoor sitting area on the second floor!

Opening hours: 9AM – 12AM
How to get there: 8min taxi/Grab ride from Skyscape (Google Maps)

Pasar Karat

Pasar Karat Night Market - Johor Day Trip

Take a step out of Avery Day and join the crowds at Pasar Karat. It’s a night market that stretches a few hundred metres down the street and will probably take a good 30 minutes to walk down the entire lane.

Pasar Karat JB Bazaar Chendol - Things to do in Johor Bahru

There were many stalls selling local delights such as fried carrot cake, Assam laksa, BBQ skewers, chendol (iced green jelly dessert) — we were absolutely spoilt for choice. We had a great dinner snacking on a little bit of everything.

Some stalls also sold everyday items like nail cutters, fire starters, and water bottles that make for good souvenirs to bring home.

Entrance fee: Free
Opening hours: 6PM – 2AM, closed on Mon
How to get there: 15min taxi/Grab ride from Avery Day (Google Maps)

7PM: Pop-up theme park at Euro Fun Park

Euro Fun Park Entrance -  Johor Day Trip

To end off the night with a bang, visit Euro Fun Park, a pop-up theme park!

The rides here are pretty thrilling — I dare say they’re better than your typical neighbourhood fairs. Our top choices were definitely the Vortex and Space Flyer.

Space Flyer Euro Fun Park - Johor Bahru Day Trip

The Vortex takes you cartwheeling high up into the air while you spin around endlessly for a fun yet dizzy experience. The Space Flyer takes the usual spinning chair carnival ride but goes up high to 30m in height.

Euro Fun Park Ferris Wheel - Things to do in Johor Bahru

Rides are paid in tokens (RM2 each). For instance, the Vortex requires 15 tokens while the Space Flyer requires 10 tokens.

Entrance fee: RM5 (excl. cost of rides)
Opening hours: 7PM – 12AM

*Note: The theme park occasionally shifts around to different locations in Malaysia. Check their website for updates before you go!

Planning your budget JB day trip

Outside Offee Cafe - Things to do in Johor Bahru

A day trip to JB can be lighter on the pocket if you plan ahead! That means pre-booking activities that you want to do, having your multi-currency cards ready, and planning which transportation to use. That way, you’ll have more money for the fun stuff like shopping and cafe-hopping!

And don’t forget to check out Klook’s Great JB Getaway Page for special deals on food and activity bookings!

*Pro-tip: Enter code <THETRAVELINTERNKLOOK> or click here to get 5% OFF Klook activities, usable up to 5x. New users get 10% OFF their first purchase! T&C’s apply.

Kam Long Fish Head Soup - JB Itinerary

Save on cafe-hopping with discounted dining vouchers or skip the queue for popular food spots like Kam Long Ah Zai Curry Fish Head 💁🏻‍♀️ There are options for the Signature Curry Fish Head or Fish Tail (meat only), in S/M/L portions that serve up to six pax!

Johor Bahru Streets - Things to do in JB

I’ve been guilty of sticking to shopping malls on my usual visits to Johor Bahru (thank the weather 🥵), but this day trip to JB got me wanting to explore more of the city’s not-so-hidden gems that I’ve long overlooked.

One such area is Taman Mount Austin, a 20 to 30-minute drive from the JB City Centre. Aside from aesthetic cafes, there are interesting activity centres and craft workshops where you can tuft your own rugs or try your hand at decoden. Check out our 3D2N JB Itinerary for more things to do on a weekend trip!

PSA: Klook drops promo codes for 10% off JB hotels every Wednesday — remember to snag this for more savings on your next JB trip 👀

Read also: 12 Best JB Hotels Near Sentral, Mt Austin Other Popular Areas Best for Shopping, Cafe-hopping

What else do you usually do on a day trip to JB? Let us know in the comments below and we might include it in the itinerary!


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1 COMMENT

  1. Thanks for an interesting write up.
    Amlooking into cafe hopping for my next trip.
    Another reason I go JB for is body massage, paying MYR 132 for 2 hours, and using WISE card get good exchange rates too.

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