Southeast Asia

15 Best Things to Do & See in Medan, Indonesia

Medan, located in the northern part of Sumatra, is the capital city of North Sumatera Province. It is the fourth largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung and as the largest city in Sumatera. You can reach Medan by riding a plane to the Kuala Namu International Airport and take a direct train to the Medan. The distant is about 40 km. Another transportation is the bus on Amplas Station Central, train and boat on the Belawan harbor.

There are several activities, where to do in Medan, that can be done by the tourist. They can visit some of the natural views as the main attraction in Medan. In addition, Medan is also famous as the city that provides delicious foods so that the culinary trip is a must. Moreover, Medan also consists of many ethnics and communities such as Tamil, Chinese, Batak, Javanese and others. It makes Medan as the city with the high diversity and provides an amazing culture collaboration.

Let’s discover the best things to do in Medan.

1. Have a Nice Lunch with Soto Kesawan

Soto Kesawan

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Soto Kesawan is one of the food charms in Medan. Well, Soto Kesawan is the name of the small shops that offer the Soto Medan, the most favorite dishes in Medan. The Soto Medan is made from shredded chicken or prawns, crunchy bean sprouts, potato cakes that are soaked in coconut milk. If you want to enjoy these dishes, you need to come to the shops before 4 pm since the shops will be closed at that time.

2. Visit the Tjong A Fie Mansion

Tjong A Fie Mansion

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If you come to have lunch in Soto Kesawan, you can go to the Tjong A Fie Mansion that is located close to the Soto Kesawan shops. This mansion is built by Tjong A Fie who is a relative of Cheong Fatt Tze that built Cheng Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang Malaysia. This mansion has been a tourism destination in Medan since the 1900s. This mansion is famous for the decorations and beautiful garden. If you want to really know the history and the meaning of the decorations, you can reserve a guide that will explain to you about the mansion. You may take an hour in order to get around the mansion.

3. Have Nice Meals at Tip Top Restaurant

Tip Top Restaurant

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If you are craving food after visiting Tjing A Fie Mansion, you can come to have meals at Tip Top Restaurants. This restaurant is located across the street from Tjong A Fie Mansion and has been opened since 1934. The Tip Top Restaurant has the colonial-style architecture that makes it look so awesome. In this restaurant, you can enjoy both Indonesia and International food so that you can have a nice meal. It will be so nice to enjoy the food while seeing ancient architecture at the same time.

4. Visit Masjid Raya Al Mashun

Masjid Raya Al Mashun

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For the people who want to visit the religious place, they can go to the Masjid Raya Al Mashun. It is also being known as the Masjid Raya or the main mosque of Medan. The architecture of this mosque is designed by using the Italian marble, the pretty stained glass, and emerald green tiles that make this mosque looks stunning. In addition, the dome is designed with the dark elegant. This mosque welcomes everyone including non-muslim that can visit the mosque outside the payer time with polite clothes.

5. Admire the Istana Maimun

Istana Maimun

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Medan also has one of the royal palaces that is called as the Istana Maimun or Maimun Palace. It belongs to the Sultanate of Deli. Since the palace is turned into a museum, tourists can come into the palace. It has a lot of rooms that show the history of the royal family. For example, the throne room, clothes of the royal family, and galleries of history of the royal family. In addition, you can dress up with the ancient style of the Sultanate and take pictures in the throne room by paying a small fee. It will give you a lot of experience.

6. Visit the Museum of North Sumatera

Museum of North Sumatera

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Another place to learn about history is the Museum of North Sumatera. If you want to know more about the history of North Sumatera province, you need to go there. You will find the galleries that show the North Sumatera history in the different periods through Hindu, Buddhist, Muslims, and Dutch. In addition, you can also find some historical collections such as textiles, sculptures, weapons, and wooden coffins carved.

7. Have A Nice Dinner at Merdeka Walk

Merdeka Walk

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One of the best places to look for food is the Merdeka Walk. Here, you can find different stalls selling that provide different and delicious food. Some of the most recommended foods are soups, noodles, curries, fresh fruit juices, and some desserts. It’s the best place for large group tourists since everyone can choose based on their taste.

8. Have A Nice Dishes in the Garuda Restaurant

Garuda Restaurant

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Another place for enjoying the delicious food in Medan is the Garuda Restaurant. This restaurant provides the quintessential Medan Style food. You can enjoy the most favorite food in here that is Nasi Padang of Padang Rice. The serving way of food is rather unique here since the staff will offer you more than 20 kinds of food. You just need to pay for what you eat. The most recommended food here is Rendang since it is one of the most delicious foods in Indonesia and in the world.

9. Visit the Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni

Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni

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As mentioned previously that Medan is famous for its diversity, you can visit a church that is called Graha Maria Anna Velangkanni or Our Lady of Good Health Church. This is a Catholic church that has been opened since 2005. Even though it’s a catholic church, the architecture looks like Indian temples. That’s what makes this church is so amazing. You can admire the furnishing and the colorful effigies of the church.

10. Visit Kampung Keling

Kampung Keling

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If you want to visit another symbol of diversity in Medan, you can go to the Kampung Keling or Keling Village. This village is a part of the Tamil ethnic in Medan. It will give you the sensation that you are in India. You can find several souvenirs that can be given for your families such as Indian colorful saris and jewelry. If you are craving foods, you can also have a nice meal at Indian restaurants. In this village, you can also visit the Sri Mariamman Temple that is built in 1884 with the ornate carving in the temple roof. This is the only roof temple with that such architecture in Medan. It’s probably one of the best things to see in Medan.

11. Have A Nice Dinner at Cahaya Baru

Cahaya Baru

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If you visit Kampung Keling, you can go to Cahaya Baru restaurants for your dinner. This restaurant provides Indian food such as curries and dhal. For the complete dishes, you can order tali that will come with several compartments and various foods such as rice, curries, and vegetables. This restaurant provides delicious Indian food at a cheap price.

12. Visit the Medan Office

Medan Office

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Since Medan has been colonialized by Dutch for several years, there are a lot of buildings with the influences of the Dutch style. One of them is the building for Medan Post Office. It is located at the center of the city and becomes the trademark of the Medan. This building was built in 1911 and designed by a Dutch architect. Therefore, you will find that the post office building uses the traditional colonial architecture style.

13. Visit and Admire the Vihara Maha Maitreya

Vihara Maha Maitreya

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If you want to visit the Buddhist temple in Medan, you can go to the Vihara Maha Maitreya. This temple is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Indonesia. This temple is used by the Buddhist community in Medan for worshipping. However, the visitor can come to the building to visit and admire the architecture. You can watch the beautiful pools and take a picture in there.

14. The Nightlife at Café Raya

Café Raya

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If you want to drink beer while enjoying the night view of Medan, you can go to Café Raya. This café doesn’t only provide the beer but also some international dishes, Indonesian foods such as fried rice, and others. This café is located at the center of town on Jalan SM Raja. You will enjoy this place in the evening until night.

15. Have A Tour at Rahmat Gallery

Rahmat Gallery

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Are you looking for a unique and quirkiest attraction in Medan? Well, you can go to the Rahmat Gallery and you will find something unusual. This gallery is filled with preserved animals. It will make a great impression on the tourist. In this gallery, you can also learn about the different species in Indonesia.

Well, that’s all about the best places to visit in Medan. This city has its own charm to amaze both locals and foreign tourists.

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