Medan: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

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Medan: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

The city of Medan, located in North Sumatra, Indonesia, has become a popular destination among travelers in recent years. With its rich culture, delicious food, and stunning scenery, it’s no wonder that people have a lot of questions about this fascinating city. In this post, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Medan, so you can plan your trip with confidence.

What is the Best Time to Visit Medan?

The best time to visit Medan is during the dry season, which runs from May to September. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, with fewer chances of rainfall. It’s important to note that during this period, the city can get quite busy as it’s peak travel season.

What are the Must-See Attractions in Medan?

Medan has plenty of attractions to offer visitors. Among the most popular ones are:

  • Istana Maimun – a grand palace featuring mix of Middle Eastern, Indian, and Spanish architecture
  • Mesjid Raya Medan – one of the grandest mosques in Indonesia
  • Great Mosque of Medan – a historic mosque with a unique mix of Malay, Middle Eastern, and Spanish architecture
  • Tjong A Fie Mansion – the former home of a prominent Chinese tycoon that is now a museum
  • Bukit Lawang – a nature reserve featuring orangutan-covered forests and scenic river views

What are the Best Dishes to Try in Medan?

Medan is famous for its culinary scene, and there are many delicious dishes to try. Among the most popular ones are:

  • Soto Medan – a soup made of beef broth, noodles, and vegetables
  • Nasi Padang – a dish with steamed rice served with various side dishes, such as rendang beef, spicy chicken, and more
  • Kwetiau Goreng – a stir-fried rice noodle dish
  • Mie Aceh – a spicy noodle dish typical in the Aceh area of Indonesia but also popular in Medan
  • Bika Ambon – a sweet and sticky cake made of coconut milk and tapioca flour

How to Get Around Medan?

Getting around Medan is relatively easy as it has a well-developed transportation system. While taxis are abundant in the city, they are not always metered, so negotiating the fare beforehand is necessary. Another option is to use ride-sharing apps, such as Gojek and Grab, which are popular in Indonesia. Many travelers also choose to rent a car or motorbike to explore the city on their own.

Is Medan Safe?

Like any other city, Medan has its fair share of crime, but it’s generally safe for visitors. However, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions, such as avoiding unlit areas, not carrying too much cash or valuables, and being cautious when using public transportation. It’s always a good idea to ask the locals or your hotel staff for recommendations on safe areas to visit and to exercise common sense when exploring the city.

What Language is Spoken in Medan?

The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, and it’s widely spoken in Medan. However, English is also commonly understood in tourist areas and among younger generations. It’s always a good idea to learn a few basic Indonesian phrases to help you navigate the city and build rapport with the locals.

What is the Currency Used in Medan?

The official currency of Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Many businesses in Medan do not accept credit cards, so it’s essential to have cash on hand. Money changers are readily available in the city, but it’s essential to choose reputable ones to avoid getting scammed.


Medan is a beautiful city that offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and adventure. With this guide, we hope that we have answered some of your most pressing questions about the city, so you can plan your trip with confidence. Whether you’re looking for stunning architecture, delicious food, or an opportunity to immerse yourself in Indonesian culture, Medan has it all.

Insider’s Guide to Medan: A Journey to the Hidden Treasures of Indonesia

Medan is the capital city of the North Sumatra province in Indonesia and boasts a rich history, vibrant culture, and indulgent cuisine. With bustling bazaars, ornate temples, colonial architecture, and lush greenery, Medan has much to offer beyond the popular tourist haunts. This insider’s guide to Medan will take you on an immersive journey of some hidden gems, delightful dining spots, memorable cultural experiences, intriguing local history, and off-the-beaten-path adventures that will make your time in Medan unforgettable.

Hidden Gems

Beyond the usual tourist spots, Medan has many hidden gems. For instance, head to the Rahmat International Wildlife Museum & Gallery, home to over 400 stuffed animals from all over the world, including rare and endangered species. Another hidden gem is the Istana Maimun, a lavish palace that was built in the late 1800s and restored in the 1950s. The palace was once home to the Sultanate of Deli and is now open to the public as a museum.

Dining Spots

For foodies, Medan is a paradise with a unique blend of Malay, Indian, Chinese, and Western cuisine. Try the city’s signature dish, lontong medan, which is a delicious medley of rice cakes, vegetables, and beef in a spicy coconut curry sauce. Some of the best places to try this dish are Rumah Makan Sederhana, Bihun Bebek Kumango, and Soto Kesawan. For street food lovers, make sure to visit Jalan Selat Panjang, where you can sample various local dishes from food carts and stalls.

Cultural Experiences

Medan is a city steeped in tradition and culture, and there are several experiences that you should not miss. Visit the famous Masjid Raya Medan, a grand mosque that blends Islamic and European architecture and can accommodate up to 9,000 worshipers. You can also witness the city’s vibrant Chinese culture at the Vihara Gunung Timur and the Tjong A Fie Mansion, both of which highlight the Chinese community’s significance in Medan’s history. Finally, immerse yourself in the local art and music scene by attending a traditional Batak music performance or visiting the Balai Seni Rupa Medan, which exhibits contemporary and traditional art pieces from local artists.

Local History

Medan has a rich and fascinating history worth discovering. The Toba Batak Museum is an excellent place to start, where you can learn about the region’s heritage and culture. You might also want to visit the Tjong A Fie Mansion, formerly the residence of a Chinese merchant, which has now been converted into a museum showcasing the life and legacy of Tjong A Fie and the Chinese community’s role in shaping Medan. Another spot to explore is the Maimun Palace, a symbol of Medan’s royal history.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Suggestions

To venture off-the-beaten-path in Medan, visit Danau Linting, an enchanting lake surrounded by lush greenery and stunning natural beauty. Or head to the Sipiso-Piso Waterfall, a 120-meter high waterfall set amidst the lush Sumatran jungle. You can also take a day trip to the nearby Berastagi region, famous for its scenic mountains, picturesque fruit markets, and traditional Karo Batak villages.

In conclusion, Medan is a city with a delightful mix of history, culture, tradition, and mouth-watering cuisine. This insider’s guide shows you the hidden treasures and the local hotspots that Medan has to offer, which are not easy to find for the average tourist. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, head to Medan, and immerse yourself in Indonesia’s enchanting and vibrant culture.

Medan: Answers to Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!