About Medan

The city of Medan is the capital of North Sumatra and the fourth largest city in Indonesia (after Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung). With a population of two million, it is the largest city outside of Java. Tourists can expect a diversity of cultures in this city, as almost every ethnicity in the country is represented in this place: Acehnese, Batak, Chinese, Indians, Javanese, Malay and Minang, however, there is no ethnic group that is considered a majority.

10 Interesting Facts about Medan Indonesia:

Toba Lake is one of the most famous holiday destinations on the island of Sumatra. There is an island in the middle of Toba Lake which called the island of Samosir. Toba Lake is categorized as one of the Most Beautiful Lake in Indonesia.

Medan  is located in North Sumatra Province with Medan as the capital city. It has been popular that the majority of the population of Medan City is Batak tribe. However, to know more about Medan, you should read these following facts.

  1. Medan people is not always originated of Batak tribe

While the characteristics of Medan people can also be seen from the clan, however Medan people not necessarily originated from the Batak tribe. There are various kinds of people in Medan, such as: Tionghoa, Tamil, Javanese, Malay, Karo, Aceh, Nias, and Minang. It could be concluded that the people of Medan basically is not just Batak people. The stereotype that says Medan is Batak could not be proven. (Read also:  Indigenous Tribes of Indonesia)

  1. The people in Medan like to speak loudly

It has been famous that Medan people like to speak loudly. Their characteristic as the powerful and strong person creates the strong intonation while they are speaking. They have the popular strong accents while having conversations. . Some people might think the people of Medan are arguing while having a normal conversation. They are identically known as having the strong stubborn.

  1. Medan Basically is a multi ethnic City

The stereotype that reveal almost of Medan people are Christians and originated from Batak tribe is totally wrong. Medan city is a multiethnic city.  Medan has a wide variety of ethnics with the majority of ethnic such as Javanese, Batak, Tionghoa, and Minangkabau. The ethnic diversity in Medan could be seen from the number of mosques, churches and Chinese temples scattered throughout the city. There is also an area in around Jl. Zainul Arifin that known as Kampung Keling, which is a residential area of ​​Indian descent.

  1. The original people of Medan comes from Melayu and Karo

Many people assume that Medan’s original inhabitants are Batak people. In fact, there are historical buildings that prove that the building belongs to the Malay kingdom in Medan. Maimun Palace is one of the most famous buildings. Why is Malay forgotten in Medan? Malay tribe basically is the largest tribal society in Sumatra. Because of the domination character of Batak people in Medan, they form an acculturation.

  1. The third big city in Indonesia

Medan today has grown into one of the most attention-grabbing cities, especially in terms of development. It was made this city as the third largest metropolis after Jakarta and Surabaya. Although Medan has been becoming an urban city, the city still saves a lot of local wisdom that makes it more interesting to visit.  You can explore various exotic tourism places, make the tongue re-precision by eating local foods, or find a handsome/pretty mate.

  1. The Language of Medan is not Batak

Medan language is not a hobo language. Language of Medan is unique because of cultural diversity. There is an acculturation that creates a new language. Medan people are famous for his high accent. In Indonesian language, it is called “Dialek Medan” or the Medan accent. The language of Medan is actually one of the “Malay Dialects” that has been formed for hundreds of years ago. It has been mixed with languages ​​such as Batak (Karo, Toba and Mandailing) and languages ​​brought by immigrants like Minang, Aceh and Melayu Pesisir.

  1. You could easily find Bentor (motor rickshaw) in Medan

In Medan, it is really famous in the use of motor rickshaw as the public transportation. It is called Bentor that the short of Becak Motor. It used Pedicab with motor vehicle that is designed like a regular pedicab, that is why it is called Becak Motor. Bentor transportation is the most accessible transportation in North Sumatra. It is also cheap and fast. Bentor can be found almost in all streets in the city of Medan. (Read also: Indonesian Traditional Transportation )

  1. Durian Medan that is produced in all seasons

In Medan, there are a lot of durian sellers. They sell by bicycles, rickshaws, pick-ups, open roadside stalls, durian trucks, even selling online to travel to destinations such as durian pancake and durian tupperware (peeled peanuts tupperwarecontainer).

Almost of durian comes from Sidikalang and Bahorok. Does durian Sidikalang & Bahorok bear fruit every day, every week, and every month without knowing the durian season? The answer is obviously not.  The durians that are sold actually not only produced from Sidikalang and Bahorok, but also from the nearest cities in North Sumatra such as Simalungun, Pematang Siantar and Sibolga.

  1. Medan is called the city of Melayu Deli

The whole city of Medan was once the territory of Malay Kingdom Deli. The Malay Kingdom Deli area covers the whole of Medan City and Tebing Tinggi City, part of Deli Serdang Regency and Serdang Bedagai Regency.

But now most people if hearing the “City of Medan” must have come directly to mind is the Batak tribe. There is nothing wrong with this assumption, because at the moment there are very few Malays who live in Medan City Center, and even then they do not live in groups, they are left to spread and merge with other groups. However, the people call Medan as the city of Melayu Deli up to now.

  1. Announced as the most unsafe city of Indonesia in 2013

From the 2013 poll of the Indonesia Research Center (IRC) shows that the majority of residents in Medan are not able to realize a sense of security for its citizens. The score was minus 3.2 percent, as the number of people who claimed to be insecure was higher, compared to those who felt safe (51.6 percent to 48.4 percent). It is because the crime in Medan at that time was raised rapidly. However, the most unsafe city today has moved to Jakarta as the capital city of Indonesia.

Those are the facts of Medan. Besides Bali, you could also choose Medan as one of your travel destination. You know that Sumatra is one of big island in Indonesia that has much of tourism spots to visit.  In Medan, you could also try some of Delicious Traditional Foods in North Sumatra.


When it comes to your mind what should you do when you are in Medan so the answer is culinary hopping. Yes, Medan is the city of culinary. But, besides the culinary itself there are many things you can enjoy when you are in one of the biggest cities in Indonesia, one of them is visiting historical places.


Medan is also well-known as a mixed cultural city. There are many different cultures that you can find out here. Here are some most-visited cultural places in Medan.

  1. Masjid Raya Al-Mashun Medan (Raya Al-Mashun Mosque of Medan)

Raya Al-Mashun Mosque or better known as Raya Mosque is an iconic mosque that was established when Sultan Maimun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alam was in his heyday. It took 3 years to build the mosque starting from 1906 – 1909. Raya Mosque is in the same area with Maimun Castle (we explain it later) and adopted more than one architectural style. They are including Spanish, Indian, Middle East and Malay styles definitely. It is octagonal and has several wings in the north, east, south, and west. This iconic mosque is one of the historical witnesses of the greatness of Malay tribes possessed by Deli Sultanate (Medan City). This is not only a place to pray but also a place to dig into Deli Sultanate history.


  1. Rumah Tjong A Fie (Tjong A Fie Mansion)

Tjong A Fie Mansion was a palm plantation, sugar factory, and railway magnate and was an immigrant from Guangdong, China. His famous mansion takes place at Jenderal Ahmad Yani Street or Kesawan Street, not far from Kesawan Street you can see a huge gate with chinese characters. There are two lion statues right in front of the entrance welcoming visitors. The chinese culture is well-described in this mansion where two red lanterns hang from a ceiling nearby the entrance and a large empty room in the middle of the mansion. For people who want to visit, it costs IDR 35,000 per each to get into the mansion including ticket, one drink and tour guide fee. It opens everyday at 09.00 am – 12.00 pm and 02.00 pm – 05.00 pm.


  1. Istana Maimun (Maimun Castle)

Maimun castle is one of the icons Deli Sultanate heritage in Medan. This Malay-patterned castle was built in 1888 and finished in 1891 when Sultan Mahmud Al Rasyid was in control. The attractiveness of this castle is that even it is quite old but the architecture remains solid and affected by many different cultures especially moslem. The influence of the architectural style is similar with Raya Mosque coming from Malay, Spanish, Indian, Italian, and as well as Middle East. There are three main parts inside the castle namely main building, right-wing building, and left-wing building. Yellow is the main colour dominating the castle and is a right place to get to know more about Deli Sultanate history and to see its relics. For visit, it opens at 08.00 am – 05.00 pm and costs IDR 8,000 per person.


  1. Gedung London Sumatra (London Sumatra Tower)

When talking about historical places in Medan, London Sumatra Tower is not exceptional. Located in strategist area, this tower is very accessible for visitors surrounded by other historical places such Kantor Post Medan (post office of Medan) and Bank Indonesia . Built in 1906 by the owner of rubber plantation, Harrison & Crossfield Company (H&C) centered in London, this tower was fuctioned as a trade office. The name of the tower was changed to Juliana Building for the sake of Dutch Princess Juliana after it had been taken over by Dutch Government. All facilities still exist and and are well-operated, one of them is its elevator with art deco decoration. The ownership of the building went to Indonesia when Indonesia got the independence day in 1945. It is free for visitors.

Read more at: http://www.indonesia-holidays.com/sumatra/medan.htm?cid=ch:OTH:001