Top 15 Things To Do In Medan, Indonesia

things to do in medan indonesia
| 6 min read

Nesting in the majestic province of North Sumatra in Indonesia, Medan is a beautiful city with a vibrant culture, rich heritage, and fascinating traditions. It is a bustling metropolis with skyscraping buildings and modern attractions. Two of the most popular landmarks you will find in the heart of the city are the octagonal Great Mosque of Medan and the stunning Mainum Palace. While in the city, you should check out the iconic Hakka merchant’s house called Tjong A Fie Mansion. Also, you might want to see the breathtaking 19th-century Masjid Raya Al-Mashun and take lots of souvenir pictures of it. You can not end your Medan adventure without visiting the enchanting Graha Maria Annai Velankanni. For a more in-depth guide, here is a list of fantastic things to do in Medan, Indonesia. Feel free to browse below.

1. Visit the stunning Istana Maimun

One of the most visited landmarks in Medan is Istana Maimun. Maimun Palace in English, Istana Maimun is an istana of the royal sultanate of the city. It is also a marvelous estate built in 1887 to 1891 by Sultan Ma'mun Al Rashid Perkasa Alamyah. It gained popularity not only because of its heritage significance but also because of its intrinsic design. It houses a total of 30 rooms and function halls. It is an architectural wonder with influences coming from the Malay cultural heritages and Indian architecture with its furniture and ornamental pieces coming from as far as the western countries like Spain and Italy.

Istana Maimun

Address: Jalan Sultan Ma'moen Al Rasyid No.66, A U R, Kec. Medan Maimun, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20151, Indonesia

Opening hours: Sat - Thu: 8am - 5pm; Fri: 8am - 12pm, 2pm - 5pm

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2. Tour the Museum of North Sumatra

Tampak depan Gedung Arca Museum Nasional
Source: Photo by user Denny eR Ge used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are fascinated by the culture and heritage of the foreign cities you visit, you should not end your Medan adventure without learning a thing or two about its history in the Museum of North Sumatra. Locally called the Gedung Arca Museum, it is a charming museum that houses exhibits, galleries, and artifacts with great significance to the city’s culture and heritage. Some of its fascinating collections include arts and crafts from North Sumatran’s ethnic tribes. It even covers some Indonesian culture in its highlights.

Museum of North Sumatra

Address: Jl. HM. Joni No.51, Teladan Bar., Kec. Medan Kota, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20217, Indonesia

Opening hours: Tue - Thu: 8am - 4pm; Fri - Sun: 8am - 3:30pm (closed on Mon)

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3. Marvel at Mesjid Raya Al Mashun

Medan is a city of rich culture and vibrant heritage. It boasts marvelous landmarks and heritage. One testament to its grandiose is the Mesjid Raya Al Mashun in Sisingamangaraja. The Mesjid Raya Al Mashun is a majestic mosque that was constructed in the early 1900s. It boasts an enchanting architecture from the Indian, Middle Eastern, and Spanish influences. Be sure to visit this architectural wonder when you visit Medan and take as many souvenir pictures as you can as it is a beauty like no other.

Mesjid Raya Al Mashun

Address: Sisingamangaraja No.61, Mesjid, Kec. Medan Kota, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20156, Indonesia

Website: Mesjid Raya Al Mashun

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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4. Pay a visit to Vihara Maha Maitreya

Do you enjoy museum visits and checking out marvelous landmarks? If so, you might want to include the majestic Vihara Maha Maitreya in your itinerary. It is a fascinating Buddhist temple and a popular tourist attraction in Medan. It prides itself as the largest Buddhist temple in all the lands of Indonesia. Called the Vihara Cemara Asri by the locals, this gorgeous place offers he Maitreyani Family Class which aims to strengthen the bonds between family ties as the modern world progresses and causes gaps between one another.

Vihara Maha Maitreya

Address: Komplek Perumahan Cemara Asri No. 8, Jalan Cemara Boulevard Utara, Medan Estate, Percut Sei Tuan, Medan Estate, Kec. Percut Sei Tuan, Kabupaten Deli Serdang, Sumatera Utara 20371, Indonesia

Website: Vihara Maha Maitreya

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5. Enjoy cocktails at Cafe Raya

Cocktails :)
Source: Photo by user Michael Shehan Ob... used under CC BY 2.0

Got nothing to do one weekend night in Medan? If so, bust out your Saturday night outfit, invite some friends and enjoy a casual night out in Cafe Raya. Serving creative cocktails and premium drinks, you will not notice how time flies by as the moon hits its apex in this delightful cafe and bar. It exudes a friendly atmosphere that is not too stiff. Plus, the menu has lots of choices for everyone from Western cuisines to local favorites.

Cafe Raya

Address: Jl. Sipiso Piso, Mesjid, Kec. Medan Kota, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20212, Indonesia

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6. Explore Tjong A Fie Mansion

Nesting in Medan, North Sumatra, Tjong A fie Mansion is a stunning two-story home of a certain Mr. Tjong A fie. He was a rich merchant who acquired vast lands in the city through his plantation businesses. The Tjong A fie Mansion bills itself as the historical jewel of Medan. In total, it houses 35 rooms and function halls. When you visit Medan, be sure to explore this 18th-century mansion and take lots of souvenir pictures.

Tjong A Fie Mansion

Address: Jl. Jend. Ahmad Yani No.105, Kesawan, Kec. Medan Bar., Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20111, Indonesia

Website: Tjong A Fie Mansion

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

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7. Head to Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni

things to do in medan indonesia | head to graha maria annai velangkanni
Source: instagram

Known in English as the Our Lady of Good Health Church, Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni opened its doors to the public in 2005. It features a stunning Indo-Mogul architectural style. It’s a church devoted to the 17th-century Marian apparition in Velangkanni. Lots of tourists visit this sacred church to say a few prayers of thanks and wishes of good health.

Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni

Address: Jl. Sakura III No.7-10, Tj. Selamat, Kec. Medan Tuntungan, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20135, Indonesia

Website: Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni

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8. Taste local food along Merdeka Walk

Kantor Pos Medan
Source: Photo by Flickr user Kardoman Tumangger used under CC BY 2.0

If you want to immerse yourself in the city’s eats, there’s one place in Medan where you can do such - the Merdeka Walk. It is a bustling area with lots of food stalls that offer delicious local food as well as other foreign specialties. This place is a paradise for food lovers and curious tourists. You can choose from a plethora of stalls serving various local dishes from Satay to Rendang to Rawon, Siomay, Nasi Uduk, and more.

Merdeka Walk

Address: Jl. Balai Kota, Kesawan, Kec. Medan Bar., Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20231, Indonesia

Website: Merdeka Walk

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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9. Relish delicious soups at Soto Kesawan

Soto Kesawan is a charming eatery located in Ahmad Yani, Kesawan. It is simple, relaxed, and features a cool and airy ambiance with lots of natural light. Its most popular dishes are the soup dishes that patrons love. Its flavorful soup and fresh ingredients are enough reason to drive all the way to this restaurant. The food is affordable in Soto Kesawan, the place has a friendly vibe, and the staff is warm, hospitable, and is always pleased to be of assistance.

Soto Kesawan

Address: JL. Ahmad Yani, Kesawan, Kec. Medan Bar., Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20231, Indonesia

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 2pm (closed on Sun)

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10. Visit the exceptional Kampung Keling

things to do in medan indonesia | visit the exceptional kampung keling
Source: instagram

Presently known as Kampung Madras, Kampung Keling is a bustling Little India area in Medan. It is an Indian version of the city’s Chinatown. You will find here lots of retail products, herbal drugs, authentic Indian food, and other offerings. You will also see here fascinating structures and temples with great significance to the Indian community. Visit this place to immerse yourself in a vibrant culture and make friends with friendly locals.

Kampung Keling

Address: Medan, Indonesia

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11. Tour the historic Medan Post Office

things to do in medan indonesia | tour the historic medan post office
Source: instagram

Found in the heart of Medan, nesting in a historic building, the Medan Post Office is a marvelous landmark in the city, and it is considered one of the most iconic heritage sites in it. It opened its doors to the public in the early 1900s. Its design influence was from the Burgelijke Openbare Werken. It is a masterpiece by Ir. Snuyf. The Medan Post Office is located close to other interesting landmarks in the city such as the Maimoon Palace, the Grand Mosque, the Old City Hall Medan, the Tjong A Fie Mansion, the Immanuel Church, and more.

Medan Post Office

Address: Jl. Melati Raya No.10, Helvetia, Kec. Medan Helvetia, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20124, Indonesia

Website: Medan Post Office

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12. Check out the exhibits at Rahmat International Wildlife Museum & Gallery

Primate Taxidermy, Rahmat International Wildlife Museum and Gallery
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pratyeka used under CC BY-SA 3.0

If you are on an exciting vacation to Medan with your family, you can not end your adventure without taking your kids to the lovely Rahmat International Wildlife Museum & Gallery in Parman No. 309. It features exhibits and galleries that represent wildlife. They feature rooms that look like real-life terrariums. They have a Night Safari room and a section which displays insects and their skeletons. This fascinating museum is guaranteed affordable and educational.

Rahmat International Wildlife Museum & Gallery

Address: Jl. S. Parman No.309, Petisah Hulu, Kec. Medan Baru, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20152, Indonesia

Website: Rahmat International Wildlife Museum & Gallery

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)

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13. Shop at Centre Point Mall

If you’re on the last day of your Medan adventure and you are done seeing all the marvelous landmarks and sights, you might like to spend your last day shopping to your heart’s content, gorging on more delicious food, and pampering yourself in spa and wellness centers at the Centre Point Mall. It is a vast shopping mall with lots of global brands as well as local brands. It also has a plethora of excellent restaurants. Other than those, it has spas, salons, and other pampering facilities. This is a place that has everything that life has to offer.

Centre Point Mall

Address: Jl. Jawa No.8, Gg. Buntu, Kec. Medan Tim., Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20232, Indonesia

Website: Centre Point Mall

Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)

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14. Savor delectable food at the heritage Tip Top Restaurant

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Need a quick break from all the museum visits and city tours? If so, pause for a while and refuel your lost energy at the Tip Top restaurant. It is a charming restaurant with rustic interiors and a friendly ambiance. Originally a bakery in the early 1900s, Tip Top restaurant has expanded its product line and includes delicious dishes in their menu. Aside from their mouthwatering desserts, be sure to try some of their specialty food such as Bistik Udang, Hazuren Salad, Hot Plate Daging Lembu, and a lot more.

Tip Top Restaurant

Address: Jl. Jend. Ahmad Yani No.92 A-B, Kesawan, Kec. Medan Bar., Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20212, Indonesia

Website: Tip Top Restaurant

Opening hours: 8am - 10:30pm (daily)

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15. Enjoy sweet treats in H&CO

things to do in medan indonesia | enjoy sweet treats in h&co
Source: instagram

Before going back to your hometown, you might like to bag home some treats and sweets in H&CO. It bills itself as the master of gourmet gifts in Medan. They sell flavorful and fresh food that will surely make your hearts cry happy tears. Not only that, but their products are also ideal gift items. You might want to buy some Caramelized Almond Chocolate, Gianduja Hazelnut, Almond Rocher, Red Velvet Cake, Dark Chocolate Cake slices, and other sweet treats.


Address: Jl. R. A. Kartini No.8B/14, Madras Hulu, Kec. Medan Polonia, Kota Medan, Sumatera Utara 20152, Indonesia

Website: H&CO

Opening hours: 10am - 9pm (daily)

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A marvelous metropolis

Medan is a marvelous metropolis that offers a balance of modern attractions and iconic heritage sites. It is a city with a rich heritage and a vibrant culture. If you like city walks and immersing yourself in the culture of the places you visit, you will surely enjoy Medan. If you are planning a trip to Medan, this article of the best things to do in this gorgeous Indonesian city might be of great help when you’re planning your itinerary. May you have a fantastic vacation experience ahead.

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Nicole, a writer and traveler, also identifies herself as a free spirit with a wild heart. She is dedicated to telling authentic stories in a relatable manner. Nicole also enjoys exploring new,...Read more

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