The city of Medan is the center of business and tourism in Sumatra. Many people come from all over the place, making the city became the busiest and the most visited city in the island. Tourism in Medan became very attractive to tourists as it has great potential.

On the previous article, we have already discussed about the brief history of the city and how it affected the culture of the people. Many tourism objects regarding it were also explained. Now, it is the time to explore other tourism destinations in Medan.


Nature Exploration

Even if Medan is such a busy business city, the city never loses its nature’s beauty. There are many objects in the city that offers a wonderful panorama and even nature adventure for tourists who visit it. The most famous one is Lake Toba, the largest volcanic lake in the world. Lake Toba has beautiful panorama to see.

People could also do many things there including swimming, canoeing, or just walking around to explore the environment. In the middle of the lake, there is an island named Samosir Island. This island was formed also due to volcanic activity. On the island, you can do some trekking to the hill and also visit two other smaller lakes; Sididhoni dan Aek Natonang. Various kinds of accommodations are available around the lake and on the island.

Lake Toba (Source: Flickr. Credit: Syahrani Umbran)
Lake Toba
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Syahrani Umbran)

Some water of Lake Toba flows to a river called Asahan River. This river has high water debit that creates dynamic currents and rapids. This river is perfect for advanced white-water rafting as the track has the grades of difficulty ranging from Grade III to Grade VI. Asahan River is sometimes used for international rafting competition.

Still at the area of Lake Toba, there are two wonderful waterfalls; Sipiso-piso and Sigura-gura Waterfall. Both waterfalls are located in the middle of pristine environment, surrounded with thick forest and cliff hills. Sigura-gura Waterfall is the tallest waterfall in Indonesia and it has rapid rivers underneath it. Sipiso-piso Waterfall is tall as well and is very interesting for tourists.

Sipiso-piso Waterfall (Source: Flickr. Credit: Timothy WP)
Sipiso-piso Waterfall
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Timothy WP)

Other unique waterfall in Medan is Dwi Warna Sibolangit Waterfall. The name means “Two Colors of Sibolangit”. The waterfall is named that way because it has two colors of water. The first waterfall has warm water with white color. The other water is cold and blue-colored. The waterfall is located in the middle of a forest in Sibolangit. With refreshing environment, you could also have a camping there.

If you like hiking, then you can visit Mount Sibayak on Tanah Karo. This active stratovolcano is also popular by the name Mount Raja. It is considered as the most favorite place in Medan to watch sunrise. With the height of 2,212 meters above the sea level, it also the nicest place to see the city of Medan from above.

Besides Sibayak, there is also Mount Sinabung which is also an active volcano on Tanah Karo regency. It slightly higher than Sibayak with 2,460 meters height above the sea level. This mount is more challenging to climb as it is more active than Mount Sibayak.

The Summit of Mount Sibayak (Source: Flickr. Credit: DocBudie)
The Summit of Mount Sibayak
(Source: Flickr. Credit: DocBudie)

Wildlife Animal

Besides enjoying the beauty of natural environment in Medan, you could visit several beautiful places where you can also encounter certain species of animal. Bukit Lawang is the site to encounter the endangered species of orangutan.

Located inside the area of Leuser National Park, you could do some trekking on a wild tropical rainforest of Sumatra and see the life of orangutan on their natural habitat. Tourists can also feed them with the guidance from assigned instructors.

Asam Lawang Wildlife Sanctuary for Crocodile is also a great destination to visit in Medan. This wildlife sanctuary is the largest crocodile sanctuary in Indonesia. It accommodates about 2700 crocodiles with the oldest one reaching the age of 89 years. Some crocodiles are tamed so you could pat touch them and take a photo with them.

Other rare species to observe in Medan is the Sumatran Elephant on Tangkahan, an ecotourism destination in Medan. There, not only you could pat these giant cuties, but you can even ride them to the jungle deep (with assistance from trained instructor for sure). On Tangkahan, you could also float down to the river and soak yourself in a natural hot spring. Comfortable bungalows and restaurants are also provided to accommodate tourists.

Riding Elephant on the River (Source: Flickr. Credit: Gorka Nelson Artano)
Riding Elephant on the River
(Source: Flickr. Credit: Gorka Nelson Artano)

Recreational Park

After you feel enough with history, culture, and nature, it is time to have a modern entertainment to conclude your tour in Medan. Take your family to Mikie Holiday Resort and Funland. It is a wide area of resort integrated with a wonderful theme park.

At this tourism area, you will have everything you need for family vacation; play land for children, rooms to stay, restaurants, and much more. Other theme park that you can take your family to is Hillpark Sibolangit, the largest theme park in Medan. The park is divided into three sections where each section has its own theme.


Eating Up

In Medan, there are many things you can eat. With strong cultural history, Medan surely has plenty of local culinary that you can taste. Some of them are Mie Gomak, Saksang, Sambal Tuktuk, Na Niura, and much more. You can get these foods from humble food stands along the way, on culinary center, or in a fancy restaurant.

The best place to explore culinary in Medan is on Merdeka Walk, a night culinary market located on Jalan Balai Kota. The market covers the area of 6,600 square meters. It could occupy about 30 food vendors and 700 visitors at the same time. The menus are ranging, not only with local Indonesian culinary, but also any kinds of culinary from all over the world.

Other food to taste in Medan is Durian, a tropical fruit that could only grow on several places in South East Asia. The fruit has strong smell and taste, but is very popular in Indonesia. In Medan, the price of Durian is very cheap and the amount of it is abundant.

Durian from Medan (Source: Flickr. Credit: gourmetpigs)
Durian from Medan
(Source: Flickr. Credit: gourmetpigs)

Before you leave the city of Medan, make sure to buy Bika Ambon and Marquise Syrup to bring home. Bika Ambon is a delicious cake made of rice flour. That and Marquise Syrup are two most popular local products of Medan that tourists like to buy to bring home.



Besides Bika Ambon and Marquise Syrup, you also need to buy several souvenirs to bring home. Try going to Jalan Ahmad Yani where there are a long line of antique shops. There, you can find many antique goods from many places in Indonesia such as Batak, Aceh, Java, and Minang. Other place for souvenir shopping is Medan’s Chinatown at Jalan Sutomo. At this location, you can find various items including toiletries, accessories, key chains, and much more.


Medan is a very busy city. But it is still much enjoyable. The city is the perfect destination to those who wish for exotic nature exploration but not too secluded from the modern world. No wonder that Medan became one of the most visited tourism city in Indonesia.