Tuban is famous for its unique batik, locally known as Batik Gedog. Typical motifs are sea animals in dark colours such as blue and purple. There is a traditional Chinese temple named Klenteng by the beach, which is visited by many local tourists from Surabaya and environs, especially when Imlek, the Chinese New Year is celebrated.
Tuban is known as the "City of a Thousand Caves" since there are so many caves in the area, containing both stalagtites and stalagmites. Famous caves such as Goa Akbar and Goa Maharani (which contains sophisticated pre-formed statues believed to be natural by young and old) are located near the city. Besides, there are many recreational sites worth visiting, such as Goa Ngerong, a natural swimming pool called Pemandian Alam Bektiharjo, a waterfall named Air Terjun Nglirip, and the beach and pier for young couples, Pantai Boom.
Tuban is also well-known for its beverage tuak, strong palm wine taken from the Aren tree (called uwit bogor) served in large bamboo mugs called centak. Historically, the Tubanese used tuak as a strategic weapon against the colonial invaders, who were unable to fight when inebriated. Its non-alcoholic variety named Legen is drunk by women and children. Tuak and a kind of gin named arak are also served at traditional dance parties known as Tayuban or Sindiran, at which heavily made-up and padded female entertainers called Waranggono sing satirical songs and dance with paying males till the break of dawn, accompanied by a small gamelan orchestra. The dance movements are a vulgarised version of the Central Javanese palatial dance style known as Srimpi. One of the most notable of these entertainers, Nyi Sumini, was selected as one of five representatives to perform at Jakarta's Taman Mini Indonesia Indah park. One of Indonesia's most famous and prolific pop bands, Koes Plus, hailed from Tuban.
The most luxurious hotel in town, the Hotel Mustika was burnt to the ground when riots broke out after one of the candidates accused his opponents of having framed the outcome of the local elections to decide who would become the next regent or Bupati. The first female candidate in Tuban's history, Haeny Relawati, won and the instigator of the riots has been imprisoned.


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