Indonesia’s third-largest city and the capital of North Sumatra, Medan is a place with real character. Home to residents from all over the country, it is a melting pot of diverse cultures, religions and cuisines. It booms with commerce, sizzles with heat and shines with modernity, while retaining an essence of colonial Dutch charm.CHECK AVAILABILITY
The juxtaposition of flashy shopping malls against classic Dutch architecture gives the city a unique quality that can’t be found elsewhere. Medan is particularly popular for its food, attracting tourists and citizens alike with its blend of Padang, Javanese, and local dishes. You’ll also find some of the most unique fruit choices in the world here.
Learn about the area’s wildlife in the natural history museum and get a glimpse of 19th Century life at the Tjong A Fie Mansion. Built in 1895 by the Chinese businessman as a gift for his wife, the mansion is an amalgamation of Chinese, Malay and Art Deco styles, with an open-air courtyard in the middle. Maimun Palace, built by the sultan of Deli, is also worth a visit. The interior design combines elements of Malay, Islamic and Indian architecture with Spanish and Italian furniture. You can even dress up in traditional Malay costume for a memorable photo!
See more of local life as you wander the streets of the city. Some paths lead to lively markets laden with freshly picked produce, and others to quiet Taoist or Hindu temples where you can enjoy a moment of stillness. Explore Maha Vihara Maitreya – the largest Buddhist temple in Indonesia – and sit down to a delicious vegetarian meal at the temple’s restaurant, or visit the Great Mosque of Medan, considered to be the most beautiful mosque in North Sumatra.
You can get around the city by minibus, becak or taxi, but only use the bus if you can speak a bit of Indonesian, so you don’t miss your stop. For becaks or taxis, make sure you agree on a price with the driver before you go, unless the taxi is metered.