10 Best Things To Do In Manado, Indonesia

things to do in manado
Kaycie Gayle
Kaycie Gayle 
| 4 min read

Manado is the capital of the North Sulawesi province. It is surrounded by mountains along the Bay of Manado. It is one of the most tolerant and peaceful cities in Indonesia. Different structures, in this town, express the influences and beliefs that shaped its present culture. This town may be lesser known compared to the more famous destinations such as Bali, but it certainly has an alluring beauty waiting to be discovered. Give this destination a chance to explore its man-made marvels and natural wonders. There are literally so many things to discover in this amazing city. Here are some of the best things to do in Manado, Indonesia.

1. Explore Bunaken National Park

Bunaken Marine Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sakurai Midori used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Bunaken National Park is a marine park, located in the Indonesian scuba circuit. It boasts crystal clear waters and an impressive array of coral and fishlife. Sea adventures you can take part in here include snorkeling, diving, and dolphin whale watching. You can also get off the beaten track by exploring by bike, to see the jungles and quaint villages. Bunaken National Park can be reached through the port of Manado by riding a speedboat for about 30 minutes.

Bunaken Island Resort

Address: Bunaken Island Dive Sites, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Website: Bunaken Island Resort

Price: 50,000 IDR (4USD)

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2. Have a water adventure at Citraland Waterpark Manado

Munsu Water Park
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Uri Tours used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Citraland Waterpark Manado boasts of its interesting water recreation facilities. It offers multi-structure pools, exciting water slides, and rides for children and adults. Lifeguard officers are stationed on its pool and slide area facilities to oversee the safety of all visitors. The waterpark also has gazebo and camping facilities for families and groups who want to stay and enjoy a picnic. Snacks are available at its two in-house cafes that serve a variety of foods and beverages at affordable prices.

CitraLand Waterpark Manado

Address: CitraLand City of Blessings, Jl. Royal Mansion 2, Winangun Satu, Kec. Malalayang, Kota Manado, Sulawesi Utara, Indonesia

Website: CitraLand Waterpark Manado

Opening hours: Fri: 11am - 7pm; Sat & Sun: 10am - 7pm (closed from Mon - Thu)

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3. Go diving at Manado Tua Island

Manado Bay Manado Tua Island view from Tanawangko
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sakurai Midori used under CC BY 3.0

Manado Tua Island is an inactive volcanic cone island located in the Bunaken Marine Park. On your visit, you can explore its blue water and enjoy diving to see large schools of fish and bigger marine species. Meanwhile, for those that do not dive, you can go snorkeling and marvel at its stunning coral gardens. To get fantastic views of the islands and Manado Bay, you can hike up Manado Tua. If the weather is good, you can also see, from here, the smoking Gunung Soputan volcano.

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4. Shop at Manado Town Square

Manado town square
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Netaholic13 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Manado Town Square is the biggest mall in Kota Manado. It houses restaurants, cafes, two movie theaters, and boutiques. It offers a remarkable view of the ocean and some parts of the island, making it a good hangout place for family and friends. With tons of shopping and food choices, it has become the ultimate shopping destination in Manado. This mall can get too crowded as locals, people from neighboring towns and tourists, come here to shop.

Manado Town Square

Address: Jl. Piere Tendean, Sulawesi Utara 95114, Indonesia

Website: Manado Town Square

Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)

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5. Capture the view from Soekarno Bridge

Soekarno bridge sunset
Source: Photo by Flickr user Christian Gloor used under CC BY 2.0

Soekarno Bridge connects Jalan Boulevard I and Boulevard II. This long bridge was initially named Nyiur Melambai Bridge, but it was eventually changed to Soekarno Bridge. Its construction was started in October 2003, but was abandoned for 12 years and later completed in 2015. Since it was opened to the public, traffic congestion was prevented, and access to tourist attractions was enabled. Aside from the vehicles passing, visitors pull over to look at the scenery and take pictures of the city accompanied by the view of the Gulf of Manado.

Soekarno Bridge

Address: Jl. Boulevard II, Kota Manado, Sulawesi Utara, Indonesia

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6. Admire the Christ Blessing statue

Jesus Blesses in Manado
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user JuneAugust used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This statue was built in 2010 and it took three years to complete. The sculpture stands on top of a hill and it’s mounted on a pedestal at an angle of 20 degrees, hence creating the effect of a statue soaring in the air. It can be admired from a distance as it is visible from anywhere in the town. It also serves as an excellent reference point for tourists. The monument looks particularly impressive in the evening when its lights are activated.

Christ Blessing

Address: Winangun Satu, Malalayang, Manado City, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

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7. Marvel at the architecture of Ban Hin Kiong Temple

Ban Hin Kiong entrance
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sakurai Midori used under CC BY 2.5

This more than three-century-old temple is located in the heart of Manado’s Chinatown. It was built during the Qing Dynasty in East Indonesia. It is mostly frequented by tourists because of its stunning architecture and interesting history. Annual events are held at this temple every Chinese New Year, and Goan Siao or Cap Go Meh. The temple is strategically located and can be easily reached by public transport.

Ban Hin Kiong Temple

Address: Jl. D. I. Panjaitan, Calaca, Kec. Wenang, Kota Manado, Sulawesi Utara, Indonesia

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8. Have a romantic sunset dinner at Mapia Restaurant

Mapia Restaurant
Source: Pixabay

Located inside Manado Resort, this restaurant offers sea views and old Manado-Bunaken-Siladen scenery. The restaurant serves local cuisines as well as international dishes. Some of their best sellers include carbonara pasta, grilled fish, and sambal. Vegetarian dishes are also available, such as soup, vegetable curry, and fried tofu. For dessert, their decadent split banana is a must-try. The restaurant also has a bar that offers a variety of snacks, juices, wines, and other alcoholic beverages. The best time to visit this restaurant is at sunset to enjoy a romantic sunset dinner.

Mapia Restaurant

Address: Jl. Raya Tanawangko Kalasey I - Dusun II, Kec. Pineleng - Kab. Minahasa, Kalasey Satu, Manando, Kabupaten Minahasa, Sulawesi Utara 95361, Indonesia

Website: Mapia Restaurant

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9. Learn about the past of North Sulawesi

North Sulawesi State Museum
Source: Pixabay

Museum Negeri Sulawesi Utara is a three-floor state museum that features a traditional house of Minahasa architecture. It houses 2,810 artifacts that were gathered from the districts and municipalities in North Sulawesi. Its collection categories range from ethnography, archeology, history, numismatics, philology, ceramology, and arts. Some of the exhibited items are relics of the national hero and miniature traditional houses of North Sulawesi. It also displays weaving equipment made of wood, and a plant that describes the process of making traditional pottery in Minahasa.

North Sulawesi State Museum

Address: Jl. W.R. Supratman No.72, Lawangirung, Kec. Wenang, Kota Manado, Sulawesi Utara 95123, Indonesia

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

Price: 2 IDR (0.0002 USD)

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10. Enjoy watching 2D and 3D movies

Mega Mall XXI
Source: Pixabay

Mega Mall XXI offers quality 2D and 3D movies for film lovers in the Manado area. The cinema is complemented by XXI Cafe, which offers varied and appetizing menus for viewers. It has 6 studios and can accommodate 963 viewers. Featuring the latest films, it offers movie watching at an affordable price. The spacious theater observes strict rules in hygiene to ensure an organized and comfortable ambiance.

Mega Mall XXI

Address: Mega Mall, Jl. Piere Tendean, Sulawesi Utara, Indonesia

Website: Mega Mall XXI

Price: 35,000 IDR (2.25 USD)

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A must-visit destination

The town of Manado is rich in culture and history that dates back over a thousand years. This, coupled with the vibrant local life, makes the city a must-visit destination for everyone. Book a ticket, pack your bags and go now to discover the beauty of this north-northeastern arm of Celebes Island.

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Kaycie is a content writer that specializes in the travel industry. She writes regular blogs and articles for various websites. She is into local tourism and slow travel.

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