The Ultimate Weekend in Balikpapan, Indonesia: How to Make the Most of 48 Hours

Imagine stepping off the plane into the warm, tropical air of Balikpapan, Indonesia. You’ve got just 48 hours to soak in everything this vibrant city has to offer. From the lush rainforests to the sparkling waters of the Makassar Strait, Balikpapan is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Let’s dive into how you can make the most of your weekend in this enchanting coastal city.

Day 1: Discovering the Heart of Balikpapan

Morning: A Taste of Local Life

Start your day with a visit to the Kebun Sayur traditional market. It’s a bustling hub where locals go about their daily routines. Here, you can sample local delicacies and pick up some tropical fruits for an energizing breakfast. Don’t miss out on trying the pisang goreng (fried bananas) – they’re a real treat!

Afternoon: A Glimpse of History and Nature

Next, head to the Australian War Memorial, a site that pays homage to the soldiers of World War Ii. It’s a poignant reminder of Balikpapan’s historical significance. Afterward, take a short drive to the Wain River Protected Forest. Keep your eyes peeled for exotic wildlife as you trek through this lush sanctuary. If you’re lucky, you might spot an orangutan swinging through the trees!

Evening: Sunset and Seafood

As the day winds down, make your way to Kemala Beach. It’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset while enjoying fresh seafood at one of the beachside restaurants. The grilled fish here is simply divine, and the Ocean View adds a magical touch to your dining experience.

Day 2: Adventure and Relaxation

Morning: Dive into the Deep Blue

Balikpapan’s coastal location makes it ideal for water sports. Start your second day with a scuba diving or snorkeling trip. The clear waters of the Makassar Strait are teeming with marine life. You’ll be mesmerized by the colorful coral reefs and the schools of tropical fish.

Afternoon: Leisure at Its Best

After your underwater adventure, it’s time to relax. Head to the Balikpapan Botanical Garden, a serene oasis in the middle of the city. Stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens or simply find a shady spot to unwind. It’s a slice of paradise that’s perfect for recharging your batteries.

Evening: Culinary Delights and City lights

For your final evening, explore the city’s culinary scene. Try some soto Banjar, a flavorful chicken soup that’s a local favorite. Then, take a leisurely walk along the Balikpapan Superblock – a lively area filled with shops and cafes. It’s the ideal place to pick up souvenirs and enjoy the city’s vibrant nightlife.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to get around Balikpapan?

Renting a scooter or car is convenient for exploring at your own pace. Taxis and ride-hailing apps are also readily available for hassle-free transportation.

Are there any cultural etiquette tips I should be aware of?

Yes, it’s important to be respectful of local customs. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites, and always ask permission before taking photos of people.

What should I pack for a weekend in Balikpapan?

lightweight clothing, sunscreen, and insect repellent are essentials. Don’t forget your swimwear for beach activities and a good pair of walking shoes for exploring.


Your weekend in Balikpapan is bound to be an unforgettable experience. From the rich cultural tapestry to the stunning natural beauty, there’s something for everyone in this Indonesian haven. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, or foodie, Balikpapan offers a unique blend of attractions that will leave you longing to return. So pack your bags, set your out-of-office email, and get ready for a weekend adventure that will tantalize your senses and rejuvenate your spirit.

Remember, it’s not just about ticking off the sights; it’s about immersing yourself in the local culture and creating memories that will last a lifetime. So go ahead, lose yourself in the wonders of Balikpapan, and let the city’s charm work its magic on you.

As you board your flight home, with a camera full of photos and a heart full of memories, you’ll know that this was a weekend well spent. And who knows? You might just find yourself planning your next visit before the plane even touches down.

So, when you’re thinking of a quick getaway that combines adventure, relaxation, and culinary delights, think no further than a weekend in Balikpapan. It’s a destination that’s sure to capture your heart and leave you with stories to tell for years to come.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.