Brunei is a tiny, oil rich Muslim country on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia, and its capital city (Bandar Seri Begawan) only has a population of about 100,000 people.
This entire country is mostly overlooked by tourists, but it’s still a cool place to check out, with its interesting museums and mosques that are open to the public for free.
Here are 8 of my top things to do in Brunei!
Where To Stay In Brunei
Top Things To Do In Brunei & Bandar Seri Begawan
1. Brunei Airport Mosque
This is an easy one. The first thing you see after arriving in Bandar Seri Begawan is the Brunei International Airport Mosque. This is a smaller mosque with a big blue dome and three minarets, right next to the airport doors. It isn’t open to tourists, but you’re welcome to snap some photos from the outside!
2. Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
This mosque is the most famous monument in Brunei, and it’s easily the most photogenic too. The mosque has a huge dome of pure gold, and cost as much as $10 Million USD to build!
Read More: Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
3. Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
This huge mosque is another iconic monument of Bandar Seri Begawan, with its golden domes and 60 meter (200 foot) tall minarets. You can also tour the inside on certain days of the week, and the inside looks just as impressive as the outside.
Read More: Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
4. Royal Regalia Museum
Brunei’s biggest and most popular museum is the Royal Regalia Museum in the city center, where you can see exhibits from the country’s history. It’s free to enter, but sadly they don’t allow phones or cameras inside. Free lockers are provided for storing your stuff.
5. Mangrove River Safari
Take a wildlife sighting cruise on the Brunei River! During a 2 hour boat trip you can see Borneo’s Proboscis monkeys and mangrove forests, and visit a local water village on stilts. Viator has boat tour packages for this starting at 70 Brunei dollars ($52 USD) with pickup included.
Book now: Brunei River Safari
6. Gadong Mall
Also known as “The Mall”, this is one of Bandar Seri Begawan’s prime shopping centers. I wouldn’t say it’s anything spectacular like the malls in Dubai, but it’s a good place to escape the midday heat and look for some good deals on electronics, souvenirs and essentials.
7. Pick Up Some Brunei Swag
As far as tourist destinations go, Bandar Seri Begawan is probably one of the more obscure cities in the world, so be sure to pick up some fridge magnets and other souvenirs! Even the Bruneian Dollar bills look pretty cool.
8. Try Durian Ice Cream
The Dairy Queen in Brunei sells blizzards made out of the notoriously weird smelling Durian fruit. The flavor is incredibly bad. You have to try it, even just to say you did!
More Brunei Travel Tips
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this list of the top things to do in Brunei and Bandar Seri Begawan.
Don’t forget to check out my complete Brunei Travel Guide with tips, info, photos, and more!
Where I Stayed
I stayed at Qing Yun Resthouse Bandar near the BSB riverfront, in a private air-conditioned room for $33 USD per night. Brunei is not the cheapest country to travel, so this was a pretty good deal.
The location was perfect. The hotel was just a 5 minute walk from the famous Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and Royal Regalia Museum. It was also right on top of a shopping complex with lots of restaurants.
Prices may fluctuate from time to time, so just keep an eye out for a good deal.