The Top 10 Things to Do in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Bruneis largest mosque
Brunei's largest mosque | © Adrian Baker / Shutterstock
Sam Bedford

Brunei is known for its mosques, Kampong Ayer and the Sultan’s extravagance. Here are some of the best things to do in Bandar Seri Begawan.

Get lost in the world’s largest floating village

Kampong Ayer ranks as one of the top things to do in Bander Seri Begawan for every type of traveller. The stilted-village on the Brunei River houses more than 13,000 permanent residents. A network of wooden walkways connect houses, shops and mosques linking some 40 separate settlements. Regular water taxis pass from the waterfront into the centuries-old village costing approximately B$1 ($0.66). Alternatively, negotiate a price for a one-hour boat tour which usually ranges between B$20 to B$25 ($13.20 to $16.60 USD) per boat.

Explore Kampong Ayer, Brunei’s famous floating village

1. Snap a Photo of the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque


Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Bandar Seri Begewan, Brunei
© Baiterek Media / Shutterstock

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque holds the title as the largest mosque in central Bandar Seri Begawan. An artificial lagoon surrounds Omar Ali, acting as a reflecting pool giving it a mirror image. Adding to its opulence, a replica of a royal barge sits inside the pool. We recommend visiting on a sunny day to capture the true beauty of this attractive structure.

Stroll along the waterfront and get a picture of Kampong Ayer

Bandar Seri Begawan’s waterfront is a short walk from the gorgeous Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque. Stretching for a few hundred meters, the waterfront offers the best views of Kampong Ayer. Head to the tourist information office for a map and further recommendations. We suggest visiting in the early evening and enjoying a coffee or meal at one of the many riverside restaurants.

Sunset view of Kampong Ayer in Bandar Seri Begawan

3. Visit Brunei’s Largest Mosque


most beautiful mosques in Brunei
© james wk / Shutterstock

Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is a giant. Built in 1994 and inaugurated on the Sultan’s 48th birthday, Brunei spared no expense in its grandeur. The country’s second national mosque has a whopping 29 golden domes and four towering minarets at 58 metres (190 feet). With a capacity of 5,000, it can host approximately 20% of the city centre’s population at any one time.

4. Grab Local Food at Gadong Night Market


restaurants in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
© cherry-hai / Shutterstock

If you’re looking to taste local street food, check out Gadong Night Market after 4:00pm. Unlike other night markets in southeast Asia, this one in Bandar Seri Begawan feels much more authentic. Because Brunei gets so few tourists, most people here are locals. Stroll through the stalls and you’ll find grilled chicken, fish and kebabs on skewers. Other dishes include stir-fried noodles, nasi katok (fried chicken and steamed rice with a spicy sauce) and fresh fruits. A trip to the Night Market is one of our favourite things to do in Bandar Seri Begawan for foodies.

5. Try to Spot Monkeys at Taman Persiaran Damuan Park

Park, Forest

must visit attractions in bandar seri brunei
© Richard Whitcombe / Shutterstock

Stretching for approximately one kilometre (0.62 miles) along the Brunei River, the park is a favourite spot for local families. Apart from a jogging track and a few sculptures dotted around, dozens of primates live on the river island. When the sun dips, the monkeys come out to play. Travellers might catch a glimpse of the rare proboscis monkeys that are found only in Borneo. This is a favourite for everyone, especially families on a stopover.

Learn about colonial Brunei at the Twelve Roofs House

Sat on a nearby hill to the south of the city, Twelve Roofs House is one of the capital’s oldest structures. Built in 1906, the colonial building was once the home of the British High Commissioner. Today, it’s a small museum honouring the long-standing relationship between Brunei and the United Kingdom. Spend an hour or two here to learn about Brunei’s colonial past.

6. Hit the Shops

Shopping Mall

top 10 things to do in Brunei
© hkhtt hj / Shutterstock

Regional tourists often head to Brunei for shopping. Compared to neighbouring countries, the cost of electronics and designer goods tends to be lower. If you need to get a new camera or handbag, it’s probably much cheaper in Bandar Seri Begawan compared to Malaysia and Indonesia. We recommend either The Mall or Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Complex.

7. Tamu Kianggeh Market


top things to do bandar seri begawan
© Surie / Shutterstock

What could be a better way to get a glimpse into the Bruneian way of life than by visiting the local wet market? Tamu Kianggeh sits near the river with vendors selling locally grown fruit, vegetables and fish. Some sell handicraft and souvenirs too. But be ready to try out your bargaining skills.

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article