About Medan

Medan has been dubbed by the Dutch as “Parijs van Soematra” because of its resemblance to Paris during the era of the Dutch occupation. Lake Toba with Samosir Island in the middle of the lake become the most powerful magnet for tourists to visit the capital of the North Sumatra Province.

Getting Around

Kuala Namu International Airport (KNO) is the second largest airport after Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta and has direct domestic flights to many major cities in Indonesia and also international flights to Penang, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jeddah, etc.
The Port of Belawan is the main seaport in Medan. There are ferry services to Penang, Langkawi, also some Indonesian cities, such as Batam, Jakarta and Surabaya.
Railroad tracks connect Medan to Binjai, Tanjungpura, port of Belawan, Tebing Tinggi, Pematang Siantar and also other cities.
Medan is also connected by Trans-Sumatran Highway, the main road across Sumatra and The Belawan-Medan-Tanjung Morawa Toll Road or known as Belmera Toll Road. A number of public buses also have routes to Medan from various cities, such as Jakarta. Medan-Jakarta journey can takes more than 48 hours by bus.

12 Best Vacation Places in Medan and Surroundings

Medan is identical with Lake Toba. See the diversity of cultures that exist in the area and various ethnic groups with different cultures.

Hillpark Sibolangit

Hillpark Sibolangit

This theme park located in the mountainous region with cool air and beautiful scenery. There are three themes in Hillpark Sibolangit, the Lost City, Toon Town and Heritage. There are variety of rides such as roller coasters and amphitheatere.

Great Mosque of Medan

Great Mosque of Medan

Located in the heart of Medan, the mosque is also known as Masjid Raya Al Mashun and aged more than 100 years since it was built in 1906. The mosque has adopted building styles of Moroccan, European, Malay, and the Middle East.

Graha Santa Maria Annai Velangkanni

Graha Santa Maria Annai Velangkanni

This church is almost like a hindu temple. This unique place of worship is open to all people and the building is so magnificent. Right next to the main building, there is a small Maria chapel filled with flowers.

Tjong A Fie Mansion

Tjong A Fie Mansion

You will feel like going to the past when you enter this famous historical house in Medan. See the chinese gate with unique ornaments, with architectural style from Malay, European, and Chinese that blend nicely.

Sipiso-piso Waterfall

Sipiso-piso Waterfall

Sipiso-piso Waterfall in Tongging is one of the highest waterfalls in Indonesia. The sun light through the water often creates a rainbow which adds to its beauty, on top of the charming view of Lake Toba.

Mount Sibayak

Mount Sibayak

This mountain is located in Berastagi, near Medan. The green mountain atmosphere, amazing scenery and fresh air are the elements that attract visitors. From the top, you can see a beautiful sunrise over the city of Medan.

Telaga Dwi Warna Sibolangit Waterfall

Telaga Dwi Warna Sibolangit Waterfall

This 100-meter high waterfall is very unique compared with others. This waterfall has two colors: beautiful white and light blue. To reach this waterfall, you have to walk through the forest that surrounds the waterfalls.

Lake Toba

Lake Toba

The largest volcanic lake in the world with a breathtaking natural scenery and fresh clean air. Popular activities in the area of Lake Toba are swimming, culinary tour, boating around the lake, mountain climbing.

Samosir Island

Samosir Island

This small island is located in the middle of Lake Toba and accessible by ferry or boat. Here, you can walk around the beautiful natural scenery, do historical tour, cultural tour and Batak tribe cultural tour, and hot spring.

Gundaling Hill

Gundaling Hill

Gundaling Hill is located at the edge of Berastagi town, at an altitude of over 1,500 meters above sea level. This attractive destination is similar to the element of Puncak, West Java, with a beautiful natural scenery and cool air.

Sigura-gura Waterfall

Sigura-gura Waterfall

This is the highest waterfall in Indonesia with a height of 250 meters and located near Lake Toba. The tremendous height makes a loud sound when the water falls to the bottom and produces a magnificent natural scenery.

Lumbini Nature Park

Lumbini Nature Park

This Berastagi tourist destination has the highest and most beautiful pagoda in Indonesia. This bright golden pagoda looks beautiful on the hill. Besides that, there is also a very beautiful spacious natural garden.

Tips for Planning Your Holiday to Medan

What things that you can do in Medan?

  • Weekend trip to Lake Toba and Samosir Island
  • Visit the traditional village of Jangga where you can witness ulos in the making
  • See the crocodile farm in Asam Kumbang
  • Visit Tahura National Park or fruit market in Berastagi
  • Stop by Sipiso-piso Waterfall
  • Go to Maimoon Palace and The Great Mosque of Medan
  • Visit to the biggest Buddhist temple in Indonesia Maha Maitreya Temple and Marian Shrine of Annai Velangkanni
  • Watch precious heritage place of Tjong A Fie’s Mansion
  • Visit The North Sumatra Museum
  • Hang out at Merdeka Walk

What food should you try in Medan?

  • Bika Ambon, lemang, durian, durian pancake, bolu meranti cake and passion fruit syrup

What should you know about transportation in Medan?

  • From Kuala Namu International Airport, you can take train to the city center. It’s the fastest way to get to the city and takes only around 25 minutes
  • Try the motorized rickshaw or called as becak motor (bentor) to get around the city like locals
  • Besides bentor, you can also try to ride on horse carriages called “sado” in certain places
  • Taxis, car rental and minibuses, known as sudako or angkot are available too
  • To visit Lake Toba or Samosir Island, you can take the bus from Medan to Parapat
  • There is annual Lake Toba Festival on September, where many traditional ceremonies are performed in respect to ancestors of local citizens
  • Bargain when you want to shop in traditional markets.
  • Make sure you keep an eye on your belongings though as pickpockets are common