2 Days in Brunei (2024)

Go on a whirlwind adventure in Brunei’s serene and captivating realm, a hidden gem nestled on the island of Borneo. If you are pressed for time yet eager to experience the cultural richness and natural splendor this nation offers, this guide to 2 Days in Brunei for Busy Travelers is tailored just for you.

In this short but immersive journey, we’ll unveil the highlights, cultural treasures, and must-visit spots that will make your brief stay in Brunei a memorable and fulfilling escapade. Brunei has surprises in store for even the most time-conscious travelers, from majestic mosques to lush rainforests. Let’s make the most of every moment in this enchanting land.

“When is Brunei?” asked my friend. Brunei is a small nation located on the island of Borneo. It is renowned for the Jame’Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque. Initially, I had planned to celebrate my birthday on the Malaysian side of Borneo. However, I found myself in Brunei instead due to a booking error. Despite the mix-up, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Brunei and would encourage everyone to explore this petite yet fascinating island in Southeast Asia.

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About Brunei

Brunei, officially known as the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, is a small yet culturally rich country on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Surrounded by the Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah, Brunei shares the island with Indonesia. Governed as an absolute monarchy under the rule of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Brunei is renowned for its opulent mosques, well-preserved Islamic architecture, and a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.

Despite its small size, Brunei boasts a wealth of natural wonders, including dense rainforests, pristine beaches, and diverse wildlife. The country is also known for its commitment to preserving its cultural heritage and maintaining a peaceful coexistence with its diverse population.

While oil and natural gas resources have played a significant role in Brunei’s economic development, the nation has successfully maintained a high standard of living for its citizens. Visitors to Brunei can immerse themselves in the vibrant local culture, explore historical landmarks, and witness the Islamic traditions that contribute to the unique tapestry of this Southeast Asian jewel.

Best Time to Visit Brunei

The ideal time to explore Brunei is typically from January to May, when the weather is more favorable, with less rainfall and milder temperatures. During this period, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities and explore the attractions comfortably. Notably, the peak season, marked by increased tourist activity, falls between June and September. Travelers planning a visit during these months should be prepared for higher demand for accommodations and potentially warmer weather. Regardless of the chosen timeframe, Brunei offers a unique and enriching experience, combining cultural richness, natural beauty, and a serene atmosphere for busy travelers seeking a short yet fulfilling adventure.

Panoramic image

How to Get to Brunei?

By Air – Traveling to Brunei is convenient, with frequent flights between Kuala Lumpur and Brunei. AirAsia, a budget-friendly airline, offers affordable flight options, allowing travelers to secure return tickets for as low as AUD 84.45. It’s important to note that this cost excludes the flight tickets between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney. With accessible and reasonably priced air travel options, visiting Brunei becomes more feasible for those seeking a short and budget-friendly getaway.

Local Transportation in Brunei

Efficient public transport is crucial for a smooth travel experience, especially for budget-conscious backpackers like myself. However, during my travels in Brunei, I observed that the public transport system in the country was not as robust as I had hoped. While this might pose a challenge for those relying on affordable and frequent transportation options, it also opens up opportunities for alternative modes of exploration. Exploring Brunei may require a bit more planning and consideration for transportation. However, with the right approach, travelers can still navigate the country effectively and enjoy its unique experiences.


Brunei’s public transport system primarily relies on buses, with services commencing at 11 AM. Interestingly, the country is renowned for its affordability in car ownership, resulting in a high rate of car ownership among the locals. Although the bus schedule may not align with the convenience travelers are accustomed to, I discovered a route map for Brunei’s public transport online.

Regrettably, the bus routes did not suit my travel itinerary during this visit, but I am considering exploring this option during my next venture in Brunei. Despite the limited public transport, the prevalence of affordable cars provides an alternative means for locals and visitors to navigate the picturesque landscapes of Brunei.

While the below bus route map may not be beneficial for those needing to reach the airport before 11 AM, it is noteworthy that bus fares in Brunei are incredibly economical, priced at just Brunei $1 per person. Despite the limited early morning options, the affordability of bus transportation can be a practical choice for budget-conscious travelers exploring the charming attractions of Brunei.

Brunei Public Transport Map
Bus network


Exploring Brunei’s transportation options reveals the taxi system as an alternative, albeit with its challenges. The cost of a taxi from the city to the airport ranges from Brunei $15-20. However, the taxi fleet is limited, with only around 50 taxis available, making securing one challenging. To address this, the government has introduced a mobile application called DART. It’s important to note that activating the app requires a PIN sent to a registered phone number. While the app may pose difficulties for those with non-local phone numbers, the friendly locals are usually willing to assist. It’s worth mentioning that taxi transactions are conducted exclusively in cash.

Dart app
DART application

If other transportation options prove challenging, booking a taxi online emerges as a viable alternative. It’s important to note that this option requires booking, with reservations made at least 24 hours before the desired time. While local transportation poses some challenges, the city’s compact size allows for easy exploration on foot. Many shops and key sightseeing destinations are nearby, facilitating convenient and enjoyable walks around the city.

Things To Do in Brunei

Before delving into the details, it’s essential to acknowledge that Brunei is a small country with limited attractions. However, the available activities can be broadly categorized into two main aspects: scuba diving and sightseeing. Whether you’re drawn to the underwater wonders or prefer exploring the cultural and scenic facets of the country, Brunei offers a unique blend of experiences for visitors.

Gallery image of Brunei

Scuba Diving

Brunei boasts several captivating wreck sites, making it an ideal destination for enthusiasts of wreck diving. To gain more insights into the intriguing underwater world of Brunei, refer to my comprehensive guide on scuba diving in Brunei. Keep in mind that specific wreck sites necessitate an Advanced level PADI scuba diver certification. However, with my open-water scuba diver certification, I explored the fascinating dolphin wreck, which provided a fulfilling diving experience.

Scuba diving in Brunei

Scuba Diving Provider Details

  • Provider name: Oceanic Quest
  • Cost: Brunei $100 + $40 + $50
  • Contact details:

Oceanic Quest Sdn Bhd

  • PADI 5 Star Center (S 22803)
  • Oceanic Quest Travel and Tour Company
  • No. 6 & 6A, Simpang 46, Jalan Perusahaan,
  • Serasa, Muara BT1928
  • Negara Brunei Darussalam
  • Tel: +6732771190
  • Mobile: +6738933110
  • Website:
The dive centre owner Steven
Owner of the dive centre

Famous Buildings and Sight-seeing Places

Brunei is adorned with numerous mosques and magnificent structures, each surpassing the other in beauty. Some noteworthy landmarks include:

  • Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque – Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is a magnificent Islamic architectural marvel located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei. Completed in 1958, the mosque is named after Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei, and is one of the most iconic landmarks in the country. The mosque’s design blends Mughal and Malay architectural styles, creating a stunning visual spectacle. The mosque serves not only as a place of worship but also as a symbol of Brunei’s Islamic heritage and cultural identity. Visitors to Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque are welcome to admire its architectural beauty, explore the peaceful surroundings, and experience the spiritual atmosphere that pervades this sacred site.
  • Istana Nurul Iman – Istana Nurul Iman is the official residence of the Sultan of Brunei, located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city. It is one of the largest residential palaces in the world, covering an extensive area on the banks of the Brunei River. “Istana Nurul Iman” translates to “Palace of the Light of Faith.” While the palace’s interior is not regularly open to the public, visitors can appreciate the exterior’s grandeur from designated viewpoints. The palace stands as a symbol of Brunei’s royal heritage and commitment to preserving its cultural identity.
  • Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque – Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the reign of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the current Sultan of Brunei. Construction began in 1988 and was completed in 1992. The mosque is located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital city of Brunei. It is situated on a scenic site overlooking the Brunei River. While primarily a place of worship, Jame’ Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is open to the public, allowing visitors to admire its architecture and cultural significance. Visitors are required to dress modestly, with appropriate attire provided at the mosque.
Palace in Brunei
  • Brunei History Centre – The Brunei History Centre, also known as Pusat Sejarah Brunei, is a government agency in Brunei responsible for documenting, researching, and disseminating information about the history of Brunei. The center is crucial in preserving Brunei’s historical records, artifacts, and cultural heritage. Visitors interested in Brunei’s history and culture may find the center to be a valuable resource.
  • Billionth Barrel Monument – The Billionth Barrel Monument is a monument erected to mark the achievement of reaching the production milestone of one billion barrels of oil in Brunei. This landmark symbolizes the importance of the oil and gas industry to Brunei’s economy and development.
  • Tasek Merimbun – Tasek Merimbun is a captivating natural attraction in Brunei, offering visitors a serene escape into the heart of nature. Situated in the Tutong District of Brunei, encompassing the serene Merimbun Lake, Tasek Merimbun is renowned for its diverse flora and fauna, including various species of birds, insects, and aquatic life.
  • Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum – The Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum is a captivating testament to the nation’s maritime heritage, offering visitors a glimpse into its seafaring history. The museum showcases Brunei’s rich maritime history, highlighting its prowess in navigation, trade, and seafaring adventures. Visitors can expect an engaging and enlightening journey through Brunei’s maritime past, complemented by knowledgeable guides and informative displays.
  • Pantai Seri Kenangan – Pantai Seri Kenangan, often called Seri Kenangan Beach, is a picturesque coastal retreat in Brunei that beckons travelers seeking tranquility and natural beauty. Pantai Seri Kenangan is renowned for its breathtaking sunset views, painting the sky in warm hues as the sun dips below the horizon.
  • Mercu Dirgahayu 60 – Mercu Dirgahayu 60, also known as the Independence Monument, is a prominent landmark in Brunei commemorating the nation’s journey to independence. Erected to celebrate the 60th birthday of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, the monument holds profound historical and cultural importance.

Exploring these sites offers a glimpse into Brunei’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Ulu Temburong National Park

Ulu Temburong National Park is a pristine rainforest reserve in Brunei’s Temburong District. It is known for its rich biodiversity, lush tropical vegetation, and the opportunity it provides for visitors to experience the wonders of a primary rainforest ecosystem.

Visitors to the park can engage in activities such as jungle trekking, bird watching, and experiencing the unique flora and fauna. The journey to the park is an adventure involving river travel and immersion in the natural beauty of Brunei.

2 Days in Brunei

I spent just two days in Brunei, and surprisingly, it was enough to explore this compact nation. Here’s the itinerary I followed:

Brunei Itinerary
2 Days in Brunei in a Glimpse

Day 1 – Sight-Seeing

Spend your first-day sightseeing and exploring the local attractions.

  • Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque
  • Istana Nurul Iman
  • Jame Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
  • Brunei History Centre
  • Billionth Barrel Monument
  • Tasek Merimbun
  • Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum
  • Pantai Seri Kenangan
  • Mercu Dirgahayu 60

Day 2 – Scuba Dive or Ulu Temburong National Park

Embark on an exhilarating adventure on your second day in Brunei by delving into the mesmerizing underwater world. Discover the beauty of Brunei’s submerged realm, featuring captivating wrecks and vibrant reefs that beckon scuba enthusiasts. I strongly recommend embracing the unique scuba diving experience to witness the underwater wonders, immersing yourself in the rich marine life that graces Brunei’s coastal waters. Unveil the hidden treasures beneath the surface and create unforgettable memories as you explore the captivating realms of the deep during your second day in this enchanting destination.

If you are not into scuba diving, head to Ulu Temburong National Park. Access to Ulu Temburong National Park involves a journey by boat and longboat, followed by a climb up the Canopy Walkway or a trek through the forest. The park is in the remote and relatively undeveloped Temburong District, making it a unique and ecologically important area.

What to Wear in Brunei?

Respect Brunei’s Islamic culture by dressing modestly throughout your visit. It is recommended to adhere to their cultural norms and avoid wearing revealing or short clothing, especially when entering mosques. While some locals may don shorts or dresses, I opted for jeans and t-shirts to ensure cultural sensitivity. Embrace the local customs, cover yourself appropriately, and respect Brunei’s traditions by choosing attire that aligns with their cultural expectations, particularly when visiting religious sites like mosques.

Where to Stay in Brunei?

As a budget-conscious traveler, I opted for affordable accommodation at EZ Lodgings. The two-night stay for two people cost AUD 89.20. While the hostel wasn’t luxurious, I’ve encountered worse during my travels. Its proximity to a shopping center and various restaurants was convenient.

Accommodation corridor

Although relatively neat, the room shared toilets and a kitchen among guests, which weren’t in pristine condition. Despite these shared facilities, the overall experience was satisfactory for a budget stay, providing a practical base for exploring Brunei on a cost-effective budget.

If you love a comfortable and luxurious stay, consider staying at Radisson Hotel Brunei Darussalam, Garden Sentral Hotel, Parkview Hotel, and The Empire Brunei.


What to Eat in Brunei?

How often do you find yourself craving Indian cuisine while on a trip? The yearning for familiar flavors is a constant during extended travels. I firmly believe that good food enhances the overall travel experience. Thus, my ritual involves documenting Indian restaurants in every country I visit.

Brunei, not a top tourist destination, left me uncertain about its culinary offerings. Surprisingly, I discovered many Indian restaurants, and locals particularly enjoyed dishes like dosa. This was a delightful revelation for someone like me, constantly on the move and longing for Indian flavors.

During my brief stay, I managed to try two of them. Tandoor, conveniently within walking distance from Mall Gadong, offered slightly pricier but delicious food, complemented by friendly staff. Maharani, situated a bit farther from the city, provided a more affordable dining experience with a dhaba ambiance and flavorful dishes cooked by a Calcutta native. The Malai Kebab at Maharani is a must-try for chicken lovers. These experiences left me eager to explore more of Brunei’s diverse Indian culinary offerings.

Tandoor Indian Restaurant

One notable Indian restaurant I tried in Brunei was Tandoor, conveniently located within walking distance from Mall Gadong. While the prices were slightly higher, the delectable taste made it worth the expense. The staff’s friendliness added to the positive experience. The overall cost for two people was around Brunei $50, making it a reasonable choice for those looking to savor authentic Indian flavors in Brunei.

  • Address: Unit Number 3 & 4 First Floor (I-Mart Upstairs) Bangunan Majid Mohamad Spg. 235-7, Jln. Pasar Baharu Kg. Kiarong BE1318 Negara Brunei Darussalam, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.
Tandoor restaurant in Brunei
Tandoor restaurant

Maharani Indian Restaurant

Maharani, another Indian restaurant I explored in Brunei, offers a unique dhaba ambiance and is a bit farther from the city. However, the reasonable prices and fresh and flavorful food make it an excellent choice. The cook hails from Calcutta, adding an authentic touch to the dishes. One highly recommended option is their Malai Kebab, especially for chicken enthusiasts. With an affordable cost of around Brunei $24 for two people, Maharani is an appealing option for those seeking a taste of Indian cuisine in Brunei.

  • Address: Simpang 812, Kampong Tanah Jambu, Jalan Muara, Muara BU1129, Brunei.

How Much Does It Cost for 2 Days in Brunei?

During my two-day trip to Brunei, I managed to keep my expenses in check. The significant costs included accommodation, transportation, food, and sightseeing. I opted for a budget-friendly hostel, EZ Lodgings, which cost AUD 89.20 for two nights for two people. Transportation expenses were minimal, as I explored the city mainly on foot due to limited public transport options.

Food costs were reasonable, with two Indian restaurant visits. Tandoor, near Mall Gadong, amounted to around Brunei $50 for two people, offering delicious albeit slightly pricier options. Maharani, a more affordable choice farther from the city, costs approximately Brunei $24 for two people.

Overall, my two-day budget-friendly exploration of Brunei allowed me to enjoy the essentials without breaking the bank.

  • Flights between KL and Brunei – AUD 84.45 (Brunei $79)
  • Accommodation – AUD 89.20 (Brunei $83.46)
  • Food – Brunei $75
  • Scuba diving – Brunei $190
  • Taxi – Brunei $50
  • VISA – Brunei $20
  • Miscellaneous – Brunei $100

Total expenses = Brunei $597.46.

Closing Notes

Brunei left a positive impression on me during my short visit. While it might not be a primary destination for a dedicated trip, it serves as an excellent pit stop while exploring Southeast Asia. The country offers valuable insights into Islamic culture, making it a unique addition to any travel itinerary. Despite its small size, Brunei boasts beautiful mosques, historic sites, and welcoming locals. I recommend including Brunei in your travel plans, especially if you seek a culturally enriching regional experience.

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