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Answering the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Medan

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Answering the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Medan

Medan, the capital of North Sumatra, is a bustling city with a rich cultural heritage. It is also known as the culinary capital of Indonesia, offering a wide variety of dishes that will satisfy even the most discerning foodie. If you’re planning a trip to Medan, here are some of the most frequently asked questions you may have, along with their answers.

What Is the Best Time to Visit Medan?

The best time to visit Medan is between June and September. During these months, the weather is generally dry with less rain, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities. However, be prepared for hot and humid weather, as Medan is located near the equator. If you prefer cooler weather, plan your trip from October to February, but be prepared for occasional rainstorms.

What Are the Must-See Attractions in Medan?

Medan has plenty of attractions that will keep you busy during your stay. Some of the must-see attractions include:

  • Istana Maimun (Maimun Palace)
  • Great Mosque of Medan
  • Tjong A Fie Mansion
  • Kesawan Square
  • Medan City Hall
  • Rahmat International Wildlife Museum and Gallery
  • Bukit Lawang

These are just a few of the many attractions that are worth adding to your itinerary.

What Is the Local Cuisine in Medan?

As mentioned earlier, Medan is known as the culinary capital of Indonesia. Some of the must-try local dishes include:

  • Soto Medan (Medan-style soup)
  • Babi Panggang Karo (roast pork with Karo spices)
  • Udang Saus Padang (prawns with Padang-style sauce)
  • Asam Pedas (sour and spicy fish soup)
  • Nasi Padang (steamed rice with various side dishes)

These dishes are available in almost every local restaurant and street food stall.

What Is the Local Currency in Medan, and Where Can I Exchange Money?

The local currency in Medan is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR). You can exchange money at the airport, banks, or money changers. Money changers usually offer a better exchange rate than banks, but make sure to compare rates before exchanging your money. Also, avoid exchanging money with street traders to prevent the possibility of counterfeit money.

What Type of Accommodation Is Available in Medan?

Medan has plenty of accommodation options, including budget-friendly and luxury hotels, guesthouses, and homestays. Popular booking websites such as Booking.com, Agoda, and Airbnb offer a wide range of choices to fit your budget and preferences.

What Is the Local Language in Medan?

The local language in Medan is Bahasa Indonesia. However, some locals speak Medan Hokkien, a Hokkien dialect with Malay and Chinese influences. English is widely spoken in tourist areas, but it’s a good idea to learn a few basic phrases in Bahasa Indonesia to help you communicate with locals.

Is It Safe to Travel to Medan?

Medan is generally safe for tourists. However, like any other city, it’s important to take precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime. Always be aware of your surroundings, avoid walking alone at night, and keep your valuables in a safe place. Take note of any scams or pickpockets that may target tourists, especially in touristic areas.

How Do I Get Around Medan?

Getting around Medan is relatively easy. There are several transport options available, including:

  • Taxis (use reputable taxi companies or ride-hail apps such as Gojek and Grab)
  • Buses (public buses are cheap but crowded)
  • Angkot (mini buses that follow fixed routes)
  • Ojek (motorcycle taxis)
  • Rental car/motorcycle (only recommended if you’re familiar with local driving practices)

Choosing a transport option will depend on your budget, travel plans, and personal preferences.


Medan is a fascinating city with plenty to explore. Whether you’re interested in culture, cuisine, or natural attractions, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. So pack your bags, book your accommodation, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Medan.

Insider’s Guide to Medan: Answering the Most Frequently Asked Questions

Are you planning to visit Indonesia’s Medan anytime soon? If yes, then you have made an excellent choice. Medan, located in Sumatra Island, is known for its stunning landscapes, unique culture, and fascinating history. Here’s an insider’s guide to help you make the best of your trip:

Local Attractions: Hidden Gems

Medan has a diverse range of attractions and landmarks that are worth exploring. Apart from the usual touristy places like Taman Simalem Resort, Bukit Lawang Eco Park, and Lake Toba, there are some lesser-known, hidden gems that only locals know about. One such place is the Maimon Palace, built-in 1888, and is an excellent example of a traditional Malay house. Another unique site worth visiting is the rumah adat Batak, a beautifully preserved traditional Batak house that displays the customs and way of life of the indigenous Batak people.

Dining Spots: Local Cuisine and Culture

Medan is renowned for its delicious food. The city is home to various traditional Batak dishes, such as Saksang, Babi Panggang Karo, and Arsik. To experience the local cuisine and culture, head to Jalan Semarang, where you will find various food stalls and restaurants offering the best of Medan’s local delicacies. Sip a cup of Bataknese Kehang, a coffee brewed with ginger, lemongrass, and cinnamon, and learn about the history of how coffee became an essential element in Batak culture.

Cultural Experiences: Traditions and Customs

Medan has a rich cultural and artistic heritage that is worth experiencing. The city is home to various traditional dances like the Tor-Tor dance performed during weddings, funerals, and other celebrations. Visit the Tjong A Fie Mansion, built-in 1895 for a glimpse into the city’s cultural history. The mansion is now a museum showcasing the famous Tjong A Fie, a Chinese business magnate who played a significant role in Medan’s history and development.

Local History: Captivating Stories

Medan has a fascinating history that goes back several centuries. Take a short trip to the nearby island of Samosir, located in the middle of Lake Toba, and gain insights into the culture of the ancient Batak people. You can also visit the Toba Batak Museum, which displays rare artifacts and antiques from the Batak culture. Another historical site worth visiting is Maimun Palace, which was once home to the Sultanate of Deli.

Off-the-beaten-path Suggestions: Unique Experiences

Apart from the conventional attractions, there are several unique activities that you can indulge in. Explore the Bukit Barisan Mountains via motorbikes or rent a bicycle and cycle through the streets of Medan. Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and enjoy the natural beauty of the Danau Lau Kawar lake, located a few kilometers to the south of Medan. Experience Sumatra’s lush rainforests and intriguing wildlife by taking an overnight jungle trek from Bukit Lawang.


Medan is a beautiful city with so much to offer, from its exotic culture, rich history, and delicious cuisine to hidden gems and unique experiences. This insider’s guide will help you plan the ultimate trip to the city and leave you with unforgettable memories. Come to Medan, explore its wonders, and get lost in its beauty.

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Answering the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Medan

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!