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Revision as of 07:45, 23 March 2013
Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, is on the northern part of Sumatra.
Medan is the third largest city in Indonesia after Jakarta and Surabaya. With a population of about 2 million people it is the largest city outside of Java. There is no single ethnic group forming a majority; the largest ethnic groups are the Chinese, Javanese, Toba-Batak, Minangkabau, Mandailing Batak, Karo Batak, Southern Indians, and Northern Indians, and there are many more ethnic minorities.
Each ethnic group contributes to thousands of tasty, mouth-watering dishes found in every corner of Medan. They offer to locals and tourists alike dozens of food streets and hawker centres to suit their appetite at any time of the day. From the sweet Javanese cuisine, to delicious Batak grilled pork, to hot Padang dishes, from savoury Chinese noodles, to spicy Indian curry, this varied cuisine is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is obvious why the locals are so into food. The city itself is quite well known for "food-tourism", especially amongst other Indonesians.
It's interesting to contrast the old, Dutch style green areas, with parks, lawns, and huge old Dutch houses (now turned into government offices or commercial business) and the hundreds and hundreds of newer, shoddy shophouses sprawled together by the hundreds in the commercial areas along with a few modern style malls.
Look out for the motor becaks! A sort of motorized rickshaw, they are a common sight throughout Medan, spewing black smoke everywhere.
Overall, Medan isn't really a tourist destination, but it's a convenient stepping stone to other places like the 'weekend getaway' Berastagi, the island of Penang, Malaysia and, of course the ever popular, beautiful crater lake Lake Toba.
Medan's Polonia International Airport and Belawan sea port are both visa-free and visa-on-arrival points.
For more visa information, see the Indonesia page.
Medan's international airport is known as Polonia International Airport (IATA: MES) and is located about 15 minutes from the city. It handles both domestic and regional international flights. Domestic departure taxes from Medan is Rp 35,000, while international departure tax is Rp 75,000.
Medan is currently in the process of finalising the new Kuala Namu International Airport, but when this might actually happen is still uncertain. Be prepared though as this new airport is a long way from the middle of the city and taxi transfers will be much more expensive.
Getting there: A Taxi into town sets you back around Rp 40,000, unless you walk past the taxis in front of the terminal and proceed towards the exit. There are more taxis towards the exit, and if you bargain well, you can get a taxi for only Rp 20,000 (Although this is not easy to do as the road is quite bumpy and you are likely to get run down walking along the exit road, strongly suggest you negotiate with the taxi drivers at the terminal). Metered taxis exist if you want to walk outside airport. There is a Petronas Gas Station just across the road in the left side of the exit. Usually, some Blue Bird taxis are parked there. These taxis always use meter and possibly more cheaper than taxis in airport. If you know the public bus number for your destination, it is Rp 3,500 per person, but those unfamiliar with the Indonesian language are encouraged to get taxis for their first transportation.
There are direct international flights to/from Penang (for only around US$70 return), Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Ipoh in Malaysia, Singapore, and Bangkok. There are a few international flights which serve Medan: Silkair, Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, Firefly, Valuair and Tiger Airways. The first two are regular airlines, while the rest are budgest airlines.
Silkair, Valuair and Tiger Airways fly the popular Singapore-Medan route. Kuala Lumpur-Medan route is served by both Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia and Firefly. Air Asia and Firefly also connect Medan to many other cities in Malaysia, including the popular Medan-Penang route.
- Firefly Airlines  from/to Penang and Subang near Kuala Lumpur
- AirAsia (www.airasia.com) from Kuala Lumpur
- Garuda Indonesia  from/to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines)
- Indonesia AirAsia LCC  from/to Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hong Kong
- Kartika Airlines  from/to Penang (CLOSED)
- Lion Air  from/to Penang
- Malaysia Airlines  from/to Penang (by Firefly) and Kuala Lumpur
- SilkAir  (operated by Singapore Airlines) from/to Singapore
- Mandala Airlines  (operated by Tiger Airways) from/to Singapore
- Sriwijaya Air  from/to Penang
- Valuair LCC  from/to Singapore
For destinations within Indonesia, there are some regional airlines and LCC that serve Medan to other cities.
- Batavia Air  from/to Jakarta, Padang and Batam
- Citilink LCC  (operated by Garuda Indonesia) from/to Jakarta
- Garuda Indonesia  from/to Banda Aceh and Jakarta
- Indonesia AirAsia LCC  from/to Bandung and Surabaya
- Kartika Airlines  from/to Batam
- Lion Air  from/to Pekanbaru, Jakarta and Banda Aceh
- Merpati Nusantara Airlines  from/to Meulaboh, Sabang, Nias, Sibolga and Sinabang
- PT Mandala Airlines  from/to Jakarta
- Riau Airlines  from/to Pekanbaru
- Sriwijaya Air  from/to Banda Aceh, Padang, Pekanbaru, Batam and Jakarta
- Susi Air  from/to Kutacane, Silangit, Aek Godang, Simeulue, Blang Pidie and Meulaboh
The central station for all larger buses in Medan is Amplas Station Central (not located in the center of the city though). This is where a lot of the smaller minivans go as well, and where travellers need to go to make connecting buses to further cities. Many of the large air-conditioned buses perform overnight routes.
Larger, non air-conditioned buses and large luxury buses (often Mercedes) that are air-conditioned (some have toilets on board, though they are squatting toilets that are difficult to use when the buses are moving, given driving habits and road conditions throughout Sumatra).
As an example of prices from August 2005, expect to pay around Rp 50,000-80,000 for an 8-10 hr overnight luxury bus (without toilet saves about Rp 10,000+) trip, as in to Duri, Bukit Lawang, or Lake Toba (Danau Toba). Such buses provide a small snack and sometimes have televisions on board. While seats are very comfortable by Sumatran standards, all rides are swervy/bumpy and drivers often play stereos quite loud during the entire trip (unless a movie is available). Also, many buses have smoking sections in the back, and sometimes, smoking occurs in the front of the non-smoking section by the driver if the driver is so inclined. Earplugs are good accessories. Furthermore, while the large luxury buses have ample stowage above seats, keep valuables safe while you sleep.
Medan is not located by the sea but nearby Belawan is a major port with domestic and international boat and ferry services. Belawan is listed as a visa-free and visa-on-arrival entry point (see the Get in section of the Indonesia page).
To/from other parts of Indonesia: Pelni  boats link Belawan with various ports in Sumatra and other Indonesian islands. The comfortable MV Kelud departs from Belawan every Tuesday. The full sailing schedule is on www.pelni.com .
Medan is connected by rail to other conurbations on the eastern coast of Sumatra, such as Tanjungbalai, Rantauprapat, Siantar and Binjai. Executive, business and economy class trains are available, but if your budget allows, take the better class trains, which are faster and more comfortable. Tickets cost between Rp 9,000 (economy) to Rp 70,000 (executive). Update : As of December 2012, the fares for executive class tickets from Medan to Rantau Prapat are varies. Rp 100,000 on Tuesday and Wednesday, Rp 115,000 on Thursday, Friday and Monday, and Rp 130,000 on Saturday and Sunday.
Medan city is swamped by becaks and taxis (the preferable choice to get around). There is also a form of public transport known as the angkot (small minivan).
Also known as trishaws or pedicabs. You have to be good negotiator if you want to ride on becaks, with price ranging between Rp 5,000-10,000 depending on the destination (near or far).
Very few becak drivers speak more than a few words of English, but a map and lots of pointing will get you to the right place, even if it takes twice as long as you thought.
As you can get a hotel taxi for Rp 35,000 to almost anywhere in Medan, paying more than Rp 15,000 for a longer ride is probably not a good idea. Local taxis are now Rp 30,000 to almost anywhere. They will not bargain much with visitors.
Try to pick taxi from a reliable place such in front of malls, shopping centres or airport. Many taxi drivers will resist the use of a meter and want to bargain. Taxis with meters may put them on, but then say there is a minimum charge, Rp 20,000-Rp 25,000 - the metered fare will usually be far lower.
Try to avoid the use of taxis other than Bluebird or Express and always use the meter as they are the two most reliable taxi companies in Medan, this is a general rule that applies throughout the regions of Indonesia where either of these two taxi companies are available.
- Express Taxi ☎ +62 61 455 2211. White color taxis (usually Toyota Vios), they can usually be found around Medan, especially around central city and mostly use meter. Call in advance and they will come in time too (minimum fee by call is Rp 25,000).
- Blue Bird Taxi  ☎ +62 61 846 1234. Blue color taxis, the newest taxi company to start operate in Medan. Friendly drivers and always use meter. Minimum fee by call is Rp 20,000.
If you must engage in bargaining a non-metered journey then a taxi cost anywhere in central Medan should be Rp 20,000 or less. However drivers may ask for Rp 25,000. Higher fares are only justifiable for longer distances, such as to Pinang Baris bus station, about 10 km, which should cost no more than Rp 50,000.
Public transport is not reliable, though they have fixed price from one destination to other destinations.
Small minivans (called sudako or angkot by locals) have painted numbers (1 to 267 in Medan) that signify their routes, which even locals don't have memorized. If you speak Indonesian, just ask where people are standing by the roadsides which "bus" number corresponds to your location and what the price is in advance. When a van with the appropriate number approaches, flag them down as they don't make scheduled stops (just drive along a given route and drop off passengers when told or pick up new passengers when flagged). If you are a westerner, be sure to confirm the price before getting in. This type of transportation should only be braved by those with a point-to-point knowledge of Medan and a working knowledge of Indonesian so they know where to tell the driver to stop, unless you have a local friend who can take you around. Standard fee is now Rp 3,000/trip.
One easy route is Minibus #3 from the great mosque (at the side of yuki mall) to the Medan Mall, which is Rp 2,000.
Being a part of Indonesia, all locals will be able to speak Bahasa Indonesia. However, the ethnic Chinese can often be heard speaking a localised variant of Hokkien known as Medan Hokkien, which is almost identical to Penang Hokkien spoken across the Strait of Malacca.
Medan has a very high level of education and many younger people speak English very well. I have found quite a few older people, those over 50 or 60 also speak English and some even Dutch. If you find yourself stuck just tell the person you need someone who speaks English to help and there will be someone there in a matter of minutes. Speaking English well is a highly regarded skill by the locals so anyone who does so is well known and can be found quickly.
Bahasa Indonesia is also a simple language to learn so get yourself a phrase book and learn a few simple phrases, you will feel more clever as well and the more you try to speak it the quicker you will pick up the basics, its easy and fun and the locals will really appreciate your efforts although they will laugh loudly with you too.
Maimoon Palace (1880-1890)
Many tourists choose to use Medan as a quick thru-point to travel elsewhere in Sumatra, but the city offers a glimpse of a large Indonesian city still unfrequented by western tourists, and shouldn't be quickly dismissed. However, Medan is more chaotic and has a bit more litter than Jakarta or Denpasar and open sewers abound. Furthermore, not as many people speak English in Medan as in other large Indonesian cities, but even a short list of useful expressions goes a long way, and Sumaterans are still unjaded by westerners.
Medan hosts a great lot of very nice Art Déco buildings from the Dutch colonial era, like the Old City Hall, the Post office, the Great Mosque and many business buildings in and around Jl. Ahmad Yani. Some of them are in horrible shape, but most of them maintain their old splendour.
- Maimoon Palace
- Vihara Borobudur (Buddhist Temple)
- Vihara Gunung Timur (Chinese Temple)
- Mesjid Raya Mosque
- Merdeka Walk (5 mins from Kesawan Square)
- Tondi Gallery (Contemporary Arts Exhibitions by local artists)
- Annai Velangkanni (Catholic Shrine with Tamil Hindu-style architecture)
- Shri Mariamman (Tamil Hindu Temple)
- Vihara Maha Maitreya (Buddhist Temple, The Biggest Temple in Southeast Asia)
- HillPark GreenHill City  - the latest theme park 1 hour from Medan on the way to Berastagi.
- Pantai Cermin Themepark - the first and only water theme park in North Sumatra, which located in Cermin Beach, Serdang Bedagai. The theme park is organized by Malaysia Investor and Local Government. Open on Mon, Wed, Thur and Fri (11.00 - 18.00) Sat, Sun and public holiday (09.00 - 18.00). Closed on Tuesday, except public holiday. With admission fee: Mon, Wed, Thur and Fri ->adult Rp 40,000,-child Rp 20.000,- (below 1,1 metre) and Sat, Sun and public holiday-adult Rp 60,000-child Rp 40,000,- (below 1,1 metre). Swimming, sun bathing and kayaking. To go there; rental car, private car or take mini bus (sudako) at Jalan. MT. Haryono (in front of Medan Mall) and stop at Perbaungan city. Then take a machine trishaw to the beach.
Although Sumatera does not have the same international reputation as Bali or Thailand for massage, it still forms a significant part of local culture. In rural areas, there will usually be a massuese available for low cost, if you ask around, while Medan itself offers true 'spa' facilities, which are highly recommended for anyone seeking a spa experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city at a fraction of the cost elsewhere in the world.
- Quan Spa , located on the 17th floor of the JW Marriott has full 5 star hotel spa facilities, with a one hour massage from Rp 250,000++ for 1 hour massage, more for more elaborate rituals. This is of course a very expensive fee in Indonesia.
- Zengarden , located in the heart of Medan (Jalan S Parman No 22 / 272). The prices range from Rp 129.000 NETT - Rp 149.000 NETT for 90 / 120 minutes treatments. Skillful, clean and very affordable by local standard, Zengarden is one of the most valued premium family spa in town. Reservation is recommended. Email email@example.com or call +62614519306.
- Eucalypt's Spa There are two branches of Eucalyptus Spa in the city, one at the Travellers Suite hotel, prices here are lower, at Rp 120,000++ for 1 hour.
- De'Spa located in Jl. Malaka no.136, Phone +62614148416, is a perfect haven for enjoying a traditional indonesian spa, The price will vary, depending on the type of treatment, The prices range from Rp 100.000,- to Rp 350.000,-.
- Cambridge City Square, located downtown, linked to both Grand Swiss BelHotel and Cambridge apartments. This is the latest and newest shopping mall in Medan. Although it is only less than a quarter of the size of Sun Plaza, it houses many restaurants and cafes. There are also several boutiques which sell knock-off "branded" stuffs.
- Sun Plaza, located downtown in the Central Business District area, just at the border of Little India, surrounded by major international banks. This is the major and largest high-end shopping mall in Medan. Plenty of food choices from western to eastern. There is a huge supermarket, Hypermart, which stocks almost anything, just like Carrefour. Has more luxurious goods than other malls in town, however many of them are knock-off branded products. The products can range from C to AAA grades. It is highly advisable to bargain. Some good buys include Mont Blanc pens which can be purchased for just IDR 100,000 to 200,000 per piece. It comes complete with gift box and warranty card.
- Medan Fair Plaza, city center. Has a big Carrefour supermarket, so if you need something you will be able to find them in Carrefour. Slightly cheaper than Sun Plaza. Has a branch of Matahari, the mid-market Indonesian department store.
- Grand Palladium Mall, good restaurants outside, underneath Aryaduta hotel, similar to Medan Fair Plaza, however Medan Fair Plaza is a better 'destination' if you are not in the location already. Hypermarket on the basement. No international brands for clothing, shoes and accessories.
- Medan Mall, Jl. MT Haryono. 10AM-10PM daily. A must go place for tourists where you can find almost everything from fine jewelery, clothing, food, and groceries. The adjacent Olympia mall is a wholesale market. There is also wet market extended located just behind the Central Pasar that operating in the morning time only, and a dry market that operates only in the evening.
- Thamrin Plaza, Jl. Thamrin. 10AM-22PM daily. A smaller mall with large Matahari Department store, Timezone arcade and top-floor food court. There's a wholesale market beside Thamrin Plaza called Pasar Rame that opens from 9AM-5PM daily.
- Carrefour stores stock food as well as electronics and clothing. The clothing section includes many namebrands at very low prices (ex: Diesel t-shirts for Rp 15,000. Many western food items can be found as well, at fairly competitive prices. These supermarkets cater to the middle/upper classes and are one of the few stores in Medan that accept credit cards. Recent addition to the Medan supermarket scene, more sophisticated than some more established outlets.
- Medan Home Dairy , ☎ +62 813 9703 3540. They have European style best natural yogurt in Indonesia. Located at TASBI Complex. They are producing many kinds of Goat's and Cow's milk Cheeses, as well. For the Goat's milk products they are using fresh, pasteurised (twice) organic goat's milk
- Macan Yaohan Supermarkets, there are 13 branches located around Medan for your grocery shopping. Find more information and locations at 
- Pasar Petisah, central market, sells vast array of meat, fish, fruit and vegetables
- Toko Mr. Ben, provides imported western food such as frozen New Zealand beef and lamb at reasonable prices,. It is a small, Chinese-owned shop.
- Bolu Meranti, Jl. Kruing, Petisah. The home-made roll cakes with variety of tastes, such as cheese, blueberry, mocca. The most famous roll cakes in town.
- Bika Ambon & Marquisa,Jl. Majapahit, on Petisah area. With numbers of shops along the street there, you can do the selection.
- Lotte Mart (formerly known as Makro), (on the road towards Pinang Baris bus station). A branch of the international cash & carry. Membership may be required.
- Dried fruits with sugar at Pasar Rame, a famous morning till afternoon market, beside Thamrin Plaza.
- Dewi Plaza Bakery, Jl.Lampung No.8B. One of the best cakeshop in Medan, ☎ +62 61 7344272, +62 61 77701323.
- Zuki Bakery, Jl.S.Parman No.103. Bika Ambon, Spekoek, Prunes, Role Cake(Bolu Gulung), Breads. Famous on fresh self-made everyday and additional Syrup self-made such as Marquisa syrup, Terong Belanda syrup, Kietnah Syrup.
- Masindo Jewellery, Gwangju street No.30, ☎ +62 61 4519101. Established 1927 and located in the centre of the city. Various jewellery including necklace, bangle, bracelet, earrings, men and women rings, pendant in 24K gold which are structured by pearl and diversity of gemstones. Designed by an expert designer. A branch known as D'On Jewellery specialises in diamonds.
- Hels, Jl Sei Batang Serangan 39/54, ☎ +62 61 4573166, (firstname.lastname@example.org). Complete design services in graphics and fashion. From Rp10,000-120,000.
- TauKo Medan, Jl. Sei Batang Serangan, ☎ +62 61 4573166, , (email@example.com). Merchandise including t-shirts, from Rp 65,000.
- Tondi Gallery, Jl Keladi Buntu No. 6. (close to Jl Sriwijaya and Dharma Agung University). Contemporary arts by local, national and international artists. Open Mon-Sat 10AM-5PM, Sundays 12 noon-5PM.
- Koki Sunda, ☎ +62 61 4533282, . ,as the name implies, serves tasty Sundanese food and beverages such as Nasi Liwet and Es Delima. Located at the heart of the city at the corner of S.Parman and Hasanuddin makes it a place hard to miss if you travel around the city. Its reasonably priced and wide array selection of delicious food is well known to both the locals and visitors alike. Koki Sunda now opens in Tanjung Morawa and Pekan Baru.
- Blu Apple Frozen Yoghurt. If you want to eat a tasty but healthy icecream without the fat and calories, visit one of their two branches in Medan, at Sun-Plaza or Cambridge Square.
- Merdeka Walk, A complex of restaurants and food stalls with a variety of Asian and western food. It is a landmark of Medan and quite a happening place at night.
- Havana Kafe, is the first ever Cuban restaurant in Medan. This restaurant located in Jalan Sei Bingei 11/13 Medan City. For Telp. no. 061 4512456. website : [www.havanakafe.com]
- Roland's German Restaurant . The only German restaurant in Medan Located at the main entrance to TASBI Complex. ☎ +62 61 821-4379. For Moslem, it not be allowed
- Gelato Bar , Italian gelato dessert and many popular pasta dishes are available. Its good place to hang out and relax. ☎ +62 61 4533166
- Apek's Coffee House Jl Hindu, Kesawan. Historic coffee house with excellent Lintong Coffee served up by 79-year old Apek. This place was set up by Apek's father in 1922. Serves roti srikaya (kaya toast). Contains stalls with Indian roti cane bread with goat curry and martabaq and Malay soto soup. Outside are Malay fried rice and Chinese kwetiau noodles. Piece of Medan history
- Kesawan Square, Ahmad Yani St, (before Merdeka Walk). Open 6PM-1AM everyday. Numerous vendors provide various kinds of cuisine, the majority of which are Chinese. Each vendor has "halal" or "non halal" label on their stand. However, the toilet facilities provided in the area are abysmal.
- Mansyur Avenue, used to be a hang-out place for USU students, the avenue has developed in recent years into one of the hottest hangout place in town, lining with new cafe and restaurants which serves great food with student price.
- Tip Top Restaurant, used to be THE restaurant in Medan, this unique restaurant can trace its history back to the Dutch colonisation. Located in Ahmad Yani St, the food has a nostalgic taste clinging on every bite, such as the ox-tongue sandwich and the bitter-ballen, but the best experience you could have here is watching the buzz of Kesawan Square from your rattan chair on the verandah.
- Selat Panjang , Sumatra and Semarang Sts, this is where some of the oldest Chinese eateries in Medan serve their reknown cuisines, such as mie pangsit tiong-sim (noodle served with stuffed dumplings), kwetiau goreng (wok-fried Chinese rice-fettuccine), pokpiah (Singapore-style vegetable-stuffed dumpling) and many more. If you want to eat halal, of course you should beware of the pork content in the dishes, but you could always ask for a no-pork version of the dish and a different wok to cook your food in.
- Mie Aceh Titi Bobrok, has been dubbed by one of the Indonesian lifestyle magazines as the most popular local dish in Medan. A simple dish of noodle served with chili sauce and crab, rumour has it that the secret ingredient which make the Aceh-style noodle irresitistible is a dash of Acehnese marijuana, which is the commonest drug that could be imported illegally from the region. But that, of course, only heightened the mystery and the notoriety of the delicious mie Aceh.
- Ondo Batak Grill, is a unique Batak restaurant where you can find the gems of Batak dishes, without all the germs. Cafe-like ambience with non-stop jazz music. Serves a reasonably-tasting saksang (a pork dish cooked in pork blood), panggang (Batak/Karo-style chopped roast-pork) and arsik (Batak-style fish dish). Don't forget to taste the hot pora-pora (a dish of sauteed papaya and cassava leaves cooked in coconut gravy and rawit chili).
- Garuda, never forget to visit the famous local Padang restaurant. Well known for its rendang (Padang-style beef dish cooked slowly in coconut gravy and chili) and ayam pop (Padang-style chicken dish cooked in coconut gravy), Garuda also mantain its status as one of the first local restaurant who expands itself by franchising.
- Lontong Sayur Kak Lin, serving tasty and cheap lontong sayur (rice cakes in hot vegetables curry), this humble eatery in Cik Di Tiro Street is not much to look at for the uniniatiated. But judging from the crowd that line in queue to buy their breakfast and lunch here, you can be sure that you have met the darling of Medan local dish.
- Cahaya Baru Indian Restaurant, the North-Indian restaurant is one of Medan's best kept secrets, which recently has been featured in Kompas as the only restaurant in Medan which serves a wide range of authentic North-Indian cuisine. Visit the restaurant in Cik Di Tiro Street for its endless choices of delicious vegetarian and curry dish!
- Pagaruyung Alley, located at Medan's "little india" or refered as "kampung keling" by locals. They offer, of course, Indian and Indonesian cuisine. Begin their business when the sun sets till 2AM. They are well known for satay (chicken, lamb, liver, intestine, etc.), fried rice and martbak telur (egg pancake topped with diced potatoes, and onions, often served with curry).
- Spoutnik Cafe, Jl Tengah No. 33 (behind Pelangi Internet). Gado-gado special, a traditional mixed vegetable salad).
- Bollywood Food Centre (Medan, near Sun Plaza), Jl. Muara Takus No 7, ☎ +62 61 453694. This is nice place for real, homely Indian food.
- Kwetiau Kerang, Jl. S Parman no 22.
Durian is one of the most famous fruits of both Medan and North Sumatra. Get the best price and taste when the season comes, which on July and December. North Sumatra has a lot of durian fields like; Sibolangit, Brastagi, Langkat, Sidikalang, Siborong-borong, Tarutung, Sibolga, Nias, Padang Sidempuan, Lima Puluh and Perbaungan. Get Medan durian at Jalan Sumatera, Jalan Semarang, Jalan Adam Malik, Ucok Durian, and more. Price start from Rp 5000-50,000 each depending on size and season.
There are several clubs, pubs and karaoke joints to visit at night in Medan.
- Shoots Bar, Jl. Kapt. Patimura No.423, ☎ (061) 4531884. Modern Sports Bar/Live band venue catering to locals and expats alike. Drinks are reasonably priced for the area and staff are very good.
Clubs, pubs and karaoke
- Capital Building This is the entertainment complex located in the heart of the city in Medan, close to the Post Office at Jalan Putri Hijau.
- Taipan- Silver service chinese restaurant, with excellent interior decor
- Snook Pool Bar
- Classical - exclusive KTV Karaoke room
- Entrance Pub, Karaoke and Bistro, these all in one entertainment venue host parties with local celebrities and international DJs. A popular place for expatriate and the local 'elite', located at the first floor of Grand Aston City Hall Hotel.
- Millennium Three (M3) Discotheque, located at Thamrin Plaza 8th floor
- Kristal Discotheque , Perisai Plaza
- Iguana Discotheque , Medan Baru Plaza
- Jet Plane KTV , Plaza Medan Fair
- Equator KTV & Pub , Hongkong Plaza
- F1 Discotheque, located at Jalan Wazir / Jalan Kolonel Sugiono
- Stroom Bistro, located at Jalan Listrik
- Elite (previously known as M-City), located at Jalan Gatot Subroto
- Retro pub, Capital Building
- Vintage Wine shop , ☎ +62 61 4577750. Located at Grand Angkasa Hotel Lobby at Shopping Arcade. Enjoy the jazzy environment with a glass or a bottle of wine chosen from the wine rack displaying more than 200 choices.
- Shoot Pool Lounge & Sports Bar, Jl. Kapten Pattimura 423, ☎ +62 61 453 1884. A pool bar with big screen playing sports channel (football games on the weekends) accompanied by regular live bands and DJ performance. It was expanded and renovated in June 2008 and introduced a more spacious and more relaxing venue. It also has a large collection of wine from all over the world.
- The Tavern, (in the Hotel Dana Toba complex). Was once one of the most popular going out pubs for expats in the city, but now is a little run down and attracts a sleazier crowd . It features live music from local bands. It's fairly small, fairly popular and is crowded on the weekends with groups of friends, couples, and some rather friendly girls hanging out
- Corner Cafe Raya, Jl. Sipisopiso, (next to Mesjid Raya - The Grand Mosque). The warm and friendly place to hang out, in the mornings and afternoons, with a delicious mixture of Western and Indonesian food. In the evening a great cheap place to drink beers, as it is open 24hr. Lots of English spoken.
- MC&P, otherwise known as The Medan Club, this is now the go to place for the expats of Medan. Beer is relatively cheap and food is passable, but the company and the source of local info is the reason to come here. Located on Jl Kartini, behind the Governors office, just down from Sun Plaza.
- Sky Club, Jl.Kumango 1A (near Kesawan Sq and Merdeka Walk), this friendly Karaoke Bar has good cold beer, Chinese style food and friendly service. You can participate in the singing, request to watch satellite news or sports, talk to the locals or just sit and relax in this friendly atmosphere.
- H.o.M.E Family Karaoke, Jl. Pattimura, ☎ +62 61 4536567.
- Inul Vizta Family Karaoke, Jl. Multatuli.
- Karaoke Keluarga (K2) Family Karaoke, Kompleks Multatuli, ☎ +62 61 4575055. 11AM-2PM.
- Happy Puppy Family Karaoke.
- NAV Family Karaoke. NAV has 2 locations in Medan: Jl. Raden Saleh & Jl.Palang Merah
- Gumagaba Youth Hostel, Jl SM Raja 21 Simpang Amplas, ☎ +62 813 9611 5221, . Good place to spend the nights if you have to catch an early departure from the nearby AMPLAS Bus Terminal. Rp 40,000/night.
- Hotel Zakia, ☎ +62 61 7322413. Budget accommodation next to the Grand Mosque. Rooms range from Rp 55,000-120,000 including a breakfast. It is reasonably clean and central.
- Hotel Residence, . ☎ +62 61 7760 0980. Budget accommodation next to the Grand Mosque. Rooms range from Rp 60,000-120,000 . It is reasonably clean and central. Unmarried couples are not allowed to sleep in the same room.
- Wisma Ronna's, Jalan SM Raja No. 34 C Medan (4 doors to the Grand Mosque), ☎ +62 813 7598 9056. Plywood walls surround a large double bed and private bathroom and the most dirty rooms in the area. From Rp 40,000.
- Wisma Wahana Daya Pertiwi. (a short walk from the railway station on M. Yamin St). Owned by the railway company, clean, decent, cheap. Superior rooms Rp 135,000/night, suites Rp 250,000. Restaurant (Permata DSM) is acceptable.
- Sultan Homestay, JL.Sisingamangaraja no.66 (50 m from the Grand Mosque Al-Mashun), ☎ 061-7363311, . Clean, friendly people, good information. Located in the heart of travellers' area. The place changed the name to Sultan Homestay (Aug 2012), still very friendly and clean. Standar room from Rp 70,000 include breakfast and wifi.
- Blue Angel (Ponduk Wisata Angel), Jl. Sisingamangaraja 70. Very popular budget backpacker place with a cafe attached. Address Jl. Sisingamangaraja 70. Free wifi in the lobby/restaurant. Rooms small, basic, clean. Windows and door handles provide doubtful security, better not leave valuables in your room- (it actually not clean and not safe at all and at this place,they threat backpackers as money walking) - (confirmed that the place is not clean anymore and the owner developed a tendency to overcharge tourists - aug 2012) Twin room Rp 90,000.
- Antares Hotel, Jl S.M Raja 84 (on same street and near Hotel Garuda Plaza and Hotel Sumatera), ☎ +62 61 732 4000. Discounts on weekends. Breakfast buffet included in the price. SatTV with HBO, Star Sports, Discovey Channel, CNN. A/C. Clean, but room doors not properly noise-proofed, so you will hear anything and anyone walking the corridor on their way from the elevator. Bring ear plugs if you are a light sleeper. There is a children pool on the 3rd floor. Rooms from Rp 229,000 (about US$25).
- Hotel Citi International Sun Yat Sen, Jl. Sun Yat Sen No.77, ☎ +62 61 736 3479, . Clean, no-frill & modern hotel with wifi in rooms and cafe. One of the highest buildings, please try the Sky Cafe at Floor 17. Current rate is at Rp 275,000 (around US$29) for Superior Room, credit cards accepted.
- Hotel Citi International Palang Merah, Jl. Palang Merah No.112A,, ☎ +62 61 455 4787., . Business hotel fairly close to the airport. Standard Room is Rp 250,000 (around US$24) per night..
- Danau Toba . 3 star hotel, in need of room refurbishment, large swimming pool and many mosquitos. US$40/night. Popular music venue Tavern.
- Grand Angkasa Hotel . Close to the airport but not convenient for city centre shopping. The night club Soccer is in the basement. From US$89.
- Hermes Palace Hotel Medan, Jl. Pemuda No 22, ☎ +62 61 4515 777 (fax: +62 62 4515 999), . Hermes Palace Hotel Medan provides standard and deluxe room with air-conditioning, cable TV and internet connection. Facilities and services include Chinese seafood restaurant, fitness center, room service and city tours.
- Mikie Holiday Resot & Hotel, Jalan Raya Medan Brastagi, ☎ +62 62 891650, +62 62 891 6551. Swimming pool, wifi hotspot restaurant, Star Theater, function rooms and funland, a theme park. Hot water pool, trampoline. The rooms aim for minimalist design and a zen-like atmosphere.call info about berastagi 085297589379
- Novotel Soechi , 4 star hotel in the city centre, attached to a mall. From US$70/night. Has a pub (3rd floor) and karaoke club and wifi on 8th floor for Rp 75,000/day.
- Garuda Plaza Hotel, Jl Sisingamangaraja 18 (Medan), ☎ +62 61 736 1234, . checkin: 10AM; checkout: 12 noon. 250 rooms in the city centre, 10 min from Polonia airport. Free wifi in public areas, rooms, meeting facilities. Rp 350.000,-. (3.34.42N,98.41.10E)
- Grand Aston City Hall Hotel and Serviced Residence, Jl. Balai Kota No. 1 (across Merdeka Walk), . The building is in the national archive of historic places and was recently restored.
- The Aryaduta Hotel Medan, Jl. Maulana Lubis No 8, . 5 star hotel opened in 2007 located in near business and government district, adjacent to Grand Palladium Mall. 15 minutes drive away from the airport. Resort style swimming pool, Pool Cafe, the Lounge and the Kitchen restaurant.
- J W Marriott, Jl Putri Hijau No. 10, . from jw mariott hotel we organize taxi to everywhere.mobile phone:0852 9758 9379,0813 75944019.
- Grand Swiss-Belhotel Medan, Jalan S.Parman No.1, ☎ +62 61 4576 999, . 5 star hotel with 240 guest rooms in the CBD and close to Polonia international Airport. Adjacent to the Cambridge condominium and city square. Rooftop dining at the " Edge Restaurant" or chill out while listening to live music at the " View Music Lounge & Bar" on the 26th floor.get out,you can do traveling to berastagi,like visit sipiso piso,karonese traditional house,gundaling spectaculer view,sibayak sinabung volcano.
- Australia Honorary Consulate, Jl. R. A. Kartini No. 32, ☎ +62 61 415-7810, +62 61 455-4520, +62 61 455-4504.
- Royal Danish Honorary Consulate, Jl. Hang Jebat No. 2, ☎ +62 61 415-3020, +62 61 453-8028.
- Finland Honorary Consulate, Jl. Hang Jebat No. 2, ☎ +62 61 415-3020.
- India Honorary Consulate, Jl. Uskup Agung A. Sugiopranoto No. 19, ☎ +62 61 455-6452, 453-1308.
- Japan Consulate General, Wisma BII, 5th Floor, Jl. Diponegoro No. 18, ☎ +62 61 457-5193.
- Malaysia Consulate General, Jl. Diponegoro No. 43, ☎ +62 61 453-1342, +62 61 453-5271, +62 61 452-3992.
- Royal Netherlands Honorary Consulate, Jl. Monginsidi No. 45-T/39, ☎ +62 61 453-6130, +62 61 456-9853.
- Royal Norway Consulate General, Jl. Ir. Juanda I No. 24-O/38, ☎ +62 61 457-0012.
- Royal Thai Honorary Consulate, Jl. Cut Meutia No. 6, ☎ +62 61 415-2425.
- Sri Lanka Honorary Consulate, Jl Putri Hijau Dalam 4 FG, ☎ +62 61 4144777.
- Sweden Honorary Consulate, Jl. Hang Jebat No. 2, ☎ +62 61 415-3020.
- United States of America Consulate, Jl. Walikota No. 13, ☎ +62 61 2956.400.
- Berastagi - popular mountain resort for weekend getaways, for Medan locals. About 1.5 hours drive from Medan. Check out other references to Berastagi, which is pronounced Brestagi by the locals. It's a really beautiful place. You can hike the two nearby volcanoes, Sinabung and Sibayak.
- Kabanjahe - the capital of the Karo Regency. You can observe and experience the life of Karo people by visiting the villages around Kabanjahe. Kabanjahe is also a convinient post to climb Mount Sinabung. If you wish to spend the nights in the villages of Karo people, go to Gumagaba Youth Hostel located on Jalan SM Raja Simpang Amplas, Medan to find more information. They will be glad to help you. Your contact is David Gintings.
- Bukit Lawang - A 3 hour journey from Medan, the latter half of the journey being a rather bumpy and pot-holed ride. A little village on the edge of Gunung Leuser National Park that was once home to an Orang-utan rehabilitation center. The rehabilitation program is no longer running, however regular feeding sessions take places at the feeding platforms. Jungle treks can be arranged or you can just relax by the river.
- Lake Toba - one of biggest fresh water lakes in the world. Formed by volcanic eruption. Has a large island, Samosir, in the middle. Danau Toba is an absolute must see, its a really magnificent place full of Batak culture on the shores of a mesmerizing lake. The food is wonderful, accommodation is cheap and the climate is totally perfect, it seems to be 25'c 24 x 7. Rent a scooter and explore Samosir, you won't want to go home.
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