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Kota Medan (Indonesian)
Skyline of Medan, 2013
Skyline of Medan, 2013
Official seal of Medan
Motto: Bekerja sama dan sama-sama bekerja (Collaborate and working together)
Location of Medan in Sumatera Utara province of Indonesia
Location of Medan in Sumatera Utara province of Indonesia
Medan is located in Indonesia
Location of Medan in Sumatera Utara province of Indonesia
Country Indonesia
Province North Sumatra
Founded 1 July 1590
 • Mayor Dzulmi Eldin[1]
 • City 265.10 km2 (102.36 sq mi)
 • Metro 2,739.92 km2 (1,057.89 sq mi)
Elevation 2.5-37.5 m (8-123 ft)
Population (2010)
 • City 2,097,610
 • Density 7,912/km2 (20,490/sq mi)
 • Urban 2,046,973
 • Metro 4,144,583
 • Metro density 1,500/km2 (3,900/sq mi)
Time zone WIB (UTC+7)
Area code(s) +62 61
Website Official Government Website

Medan (Indonesian pronunciation: ; Indonesian: Kota Medan) is the capital of the North Sumatra province in Indonesia. Located on the northern coast, Medan is the fourth largest city in Indonesia behind Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung; and the largest Indonesian city outside Java.[2] The city is bordered by the Deli Serdang Regency to the east, south and west, and the Strait of Malacca to the north.

The city was known as Deli when it was developed by Dutch tobacco commerce after the establishment of the Deli Company. The Deli Railway was established for shipping. Rubber, tea, timber, palm oil, and sugar industries followed.

Medan has been dubbed by the Dutch as Parijs van Soematra because of its resemblance to Paris during the era of the Dutch occupation. While Lamudi a worldwide real estate portal categorized Medan as one of the six cities in Asia which has many old buildings such as Medan Capitol Building (Balai Kota Medan) and Medan Great Mosque accompanied with its metropolitan city, rich of its history and culture.[3]


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
    • Founding of Medan 2.1
    • Deli Sultanate 2.2
    • Dutch East Indies Era 2.3
    • Japanese Occupation and Post independence Era 2.4
  • Geography 3
  • Politics 4
  • Administrative division 5
  • Demography 6
  • Climate 7
  • Culture 8
    • Museum 8.1
    • Cuisine 8.2
  • Tourism 9
    • Landmarks 9.1
    • Shopping 9.2
    • Theme parks 9.3
  • Transportation 10
    • Airport 10.1
    • Seaport 10.2
    • Road and highway 10.3
    • Rail 10.4
    • Public transport 10.5
  • Media 11
  • Sport 12
  • Twin Towns - Sister cities 13
  • Gallery 14
  • References 15
  • Notes 16
  • External links 17


Based on the diary of a Portuguese merchant in the early 16th century, it stated that the name of Medan was actually derived from Medina which is the holiest city in Saudi Arabia, known as Midan (ميدان). However, other sources indicated that the name of Medan actually came from Indian Hindi language word "Maidan" (मैदान) meaning "ground" or "land" . One of the Karo-Indonesia dictionary written by Darwin Prinst SH published in 2002 stated that Medan could also be defined as "recover" or "be better".


In ancient times the city of Medan was known as Kampung Medan (Medan Village). It was a piece of swampy land with an area of approximately 4000 ha. Some of the rivers crossing the city of Medan drain into the Straits of Malacca. The rivers are Sei Deli, Sei Babura, Sei Sikambing, Sei Denai, Sei Putih, Sei Percut and Muara Belawan

Founding of Medan

Medan started as a village called Kampung Medan (Medan Village). Kampung Medan was founded by Guru Patimpus Sembiring Pelawi, a Karonese man who came from the Karo Land. Before he became a Muslim, he was a Perbegu follower. Following the history of "trombo" and Hamparan Perak (XII Kuta), Guru Patimpus studied Islam Religion from Datuk Kota Bangun. At the time, Guru Patimpus and his people wanted to meet Datuk Kota Bangun. Not only did they want to meet Datuk Kota Bangun, they also wanted to compete with him for power. Whenever Guru Patimpus went to Bangun City, he always passed Pulo Brayan. In Pulo Brayan, Guru Patimpus fell in loved with the Princess of Pulo Brayan King. Eventually, he married the princess and had two sons, Kolok and Kecik. After he got married, Guru Patimpus and his wife turned the forest area between Deli and Babura river into a small village and it was called Medan. The date when that happened has been marked as the date of Medan Anniversary. It happened in July, 1st 1590.[4]

Deli Sultanate

In the 16th century there was a kingdom called Aru, with its center located where Deli Tua is now (South of Medan Town). In 1612 the famous Acehnese Sultan Iskandar Muda defeated Aru. The Acehnese appointed Hisyamsudin (later he changed name to Gocah Pahlawan) as their representative in this kingdom of East Sumatra. In 1632 Aceh established the Deli Kingdom (Kesultanan Deli; کسلطانن دلي) and Tuanku Panglima Gocah Pahlawan became the first king. He died in 1669 and was followed by Marhum Kesawan who moved the center of the Kingdom to the location where Medan is now. The third king, Tuanku Panglima Padrap, (ruled 1698-1728) moved the kingdom to Pulo Brayan. The fourth king, Tuanku Panglima Pasutan, (ruled between 1728-1761) moved the kingdom to Labuhan Deli. He organized the kingdom in four tribes, each led by a Datuk (a Malay title for high ranking persons). The fifth king, Tuanku Panglima Gandar Wahib, ruled in the period 1761-1805. During his time the Datuks increased their power.

The sixth ruler was Sultan Amaluddin Mengedar Alam, (ruled 1805-1850). The Siak Kingdom, during his years, became a stronger influence in Deli than the Acehnese Sultanate. The king was given the title Sultan. Sultan Osman Perkasa Alam ruled from 1850 to 1858. During his leadership the Deli sultanate became autonomous. Sultan Mahmud Al Rasyid Perkasa Alam (ruled 1858-1873) started the relationship with the Dutch, a relationship that became rather intimate. Sultan Ma’mun Al Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah ruled from 1873 to 1924 when the tobacco trade expanded. He moved the kingdom to Medan and finished the construction of the Maimoon Palace in 1888. He also built the Grand mosque Al Mahsun (Great Mosque of Medan) in 1907. He became known as the builder. Sultan Amaluddin Al Sani Perkasa Alamsyah (ruled 1924-1945) built harbors and commerce increased during this period. At the declaration of Indonesian Independence the Sultan recognized the sovereignty of the republic and was in return given an important function as administrator of Deli-Malay traditions and culture.

Dutch East Indies Era

Aerial view of Medan in 1931.
Tjong A Fie, a kapitan of Medan and one of contributor to the early development in the city.
Kesawan in the 1920s

The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 meant strongly intensified traffic between Europe and the Far East. The Dutch started the shipping company Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland that quickly expanded to 43 steamships in 1877. The English, however, had already 3,000 ships in those days. A journey from Europe to Indonesia took approximately 40 days. Genoa, Italy became the new transit harbor for passenger ships after the opening of the Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland. The journey was reduced to 23 days and 20 hours to Batavia (Jakarta). The ships also became bigger and more comfortable.

Exports were very dependent on British shipping in 1890 when Sabang (Aceh) became a bunker harbor. Belawan got its harbor in 1923. The shipping company Koninklijke Paketvaart Maatschappij (KPM) was established for the purpose of shipping valuable Deli Company tobacco, which was shipped to Batavia. This cargo was almost as valuable and stringent rules regulated its handling. It was strictly forbidden to stow anything on top of the tobacco and coolies were not even to walk on it when they worked in the hatches.[5]

Cleaning of roads in Medan was, until 1912, done by prisoners. After that free coolies got the job. In 1917 the authorities started to use horse-drawn carts, equipped with brooms for the cleaning. In 1928 the horse-drawn carts were replaced by motorized vehicles. The first newspaper was the ‘Deli Courant’, established in 1885. It did not appear daily. In 1898, Joseph Hallermann, a German, established the daily ‘De Sumatra Post’, which survived until 1939.

There were planters in Medan from many countries: England, the Netherlands, USA, France, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland. Many of them became very rich and led an affluent lifestyle. Medan became known as the Paris of Sumatra. Up till today, the area in downtown where the old airport is located is called Polonia, a name given by a Polish aristocrat who once owned a plantation here. One area of Medan is still called Helvetia (the old name of Switzerland). This name was given by a plantation owner from Switzerland.

Japanese Occupation and Post independence Era

Japanese occupation in Medan.

The Japanese invasion began on 1942 throughout Indonesia. The Japanese troops who landed in Sumatra were XXV soldiers who were based in Shonanto which is currently known as Singapore, they landed on the 11 and 12 March 1942. The force was made up of Guard Division 2nd Empire coupled with the 18th Division led by Lieutenant Nishimura. They landed in four locations: Sabang, Ulele, Kuala Bugak (near Perlak, Aceh now) and Tanjung Tiram (Batubara region now). The Tanjung Tiram troops were the soldiers who went to the city of Medan, they rode bikes that they bought from the locals, and the Japanese troops occupied Medan until 1945.

After the Independence of Indonesia on 17 August 1945, Medan has been become the busiest city outside of Java. In 1947, Medan became the capital of East Sumatra with Tengku Mansur as State Mayor. After the RIS era ended, Medan officially became the capital of North Sumatra.


Medan is in the northeastern part of Sumatra island, in Sumatera Utara province. Medan lies on the banks of the Deli River and Babura River which feed into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Straits of Malacca, it has helped the city grow in significance as a trading port.[6] Its elevation varies between 2.5 - 37.5 metres above sea level. Medan is close to the Barisan Mountains which is located in the southern part of the city and close to volcanoes such as Sibayak Mountain and Sinabung Mountain (located as far as 50 to 70 kilometers from the city).

Located in the central part of Deli Serdang Regency, Medan is surrounded by satellite cities and towns such as Binjai, Lubuk Pakam, Tanjung Morawa, Tembung, Percut Sei Tuan, and Labuhan Deli which help the city become a new urban area in Indonesia which known as 'Mebidang' (Medan, Binjai, Deli Serdang)


London Sumatera Indonesia building on Kesawan street

From 2005 Medan was governed by mayor Dr. H. Abdillah Ak, MBA (appointed for the period 2005-2010). However, Abdillah and his vice mayor were caught by Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission officials in 2008. Syamsul Arifin, the Governor of North Sumatra Province, then appointed Affifudin Lubis to become the acting mayor. In 2009, Affifudin Lubis resigned as mayor and the Governor then appointed Rahudman Harahap as mayor. Because Rahudman wanted to be a candidate in the 2010 mayor election, he too resigned as mayor. Then Syamsul Arifin himself became the acting mayor. In the 2010 mayor election, Rahudman Harahap was elected mayor. After Rahudman was suspected of corruption, his deputy Dzulmi Eldin officially became the acting mayor.[7]

Administrative division

Medan is divided into 21 districts (Indonesian: kecamatan), tabulated below, and sub-divided into 151 villages or communities (kelurahan):[8][9]


The Indian community in Medan.

The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya, and Bandung, as well as Indonesia's largest city outside of Java island. The population has risen from 568,000 in 1968[10] fourfold to 2.1 million in 2010. Much of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang Regency. The official Metropolitan area (Wilayah Metropolitan Medan) contained 4,144,583 inhabitants in 2010. The city's population in 2000 was 33.03% Javanese, 20.93% Batak (consist of Toba, Simalungun, and Pak-pak), 10.65% Chinese, 9.36% Mandailing, 8,6% Minangkabau, 6.59% Malay, 4.10% Karo, and 2,78% Acehnese.[11] Since Indonesian independence, the Javanese and Bataknese have replaced the Chinese as the largest ethnic group in Medan.

Administrative division Area (km²) Population (2010 Census) Population (2014 Est) Population density (/km²)
Medan (City) 265.10 2,109,330 2,185,789 8,245
Binjai (City) 90.24 246,010 256,502 2,842
Deli Serdang Regency 2,384.62 1,789,243 1,865,695 782.3
Greater Medan 2,739.96 4,144,583 4,307,986 1,572.2
Ethnicities of Medan – 2000 Census[12]
ethnic group percent

The city has diverse communities, reflecting its history. The Bataks is one of the major ethnic groups in Medan. In the past the Dutch employed them as workers on oil palm plantations. The Bataks reside throughout the city. The Mandailings also live here in large numbers and work in the most strategic government position. In addition, there is a large ethnic Javanese community, largely made up of the descendants of people transported from Java in the last century to be employed as contract workers at various plantations in North Sumatra. They are usually known as Pujakesuma (Putra Jawa Kelahiran Sumatera/Sumatra-born Javanese). Their presence in Medan can be marked from various Javanese toponymies in Medan, such as Harjosari, Sarirejo, Sidodadi, Sidomulyo, Sidorame, Sidorejo, Sitirejo, Sudirejo, Tanjungrejo, Tanjungsari, Tegalrejo, Tegalsari, etc. (mostly in East Medan and Medan Tembung area). The Malays and Karo peoples are the natives in medan, already living in the city after the founding of Medan. The Malays living spread throughout the city, but they have a big concetration population in Medan Maimun, Medan Kota and Medan Area. meanwhile the Karo people mostly resided around Medan Selayang and Medan Tuntungan area.

A highly visible component of Medan's population is the large number of Chinese, the largest Chinese community on Sumatra Island, who are active in the business and trading sector. Almost all Chinese residents in Medan can speak fluent Hokkien, a dialect originating from Fujian Province in Southern China. Medan also has its own variation of Hokkien, known as Medan Hokkien (棉蘭福建話), the Chinese living spread throughout the city. The Minangkabau also as merchants, peddlers, and artisans, in addition to as white collar, doctor, lawyer, and journalist, minangkabaus living around Medan Denai and Medan Maimun area.[13] The city also host a sizable community of Tamil descendants who are commonly known as Madrasis or Tamilian. A well-known Tamil neighbourhood is Kampung Madras located on the city center, being one of the busiest part of the Medan Town.


Under the Köppen climate classification, Medan features a tropical rainforest climate with no real dry season.[14] Medan does have noticeably wetter and drier months, with its driest month (February) on average seeing about one third of the precipitation of its wettest month (October). Temperatures in the city average approximately 27 degrees Celsius throughout the course of the year. Annual precipitation in the Medan is around 2200 mm.

Climate data for Medan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.6
Average low °C (°F) 22.2
Average rainfall mm (inches) 92
Average rainy days 14 19 13 18 22 15 13 17 24 22 20 19 216
Mean monthly sunshine hours 96 106 111 105 111 144 124 108 78 74 84 84 1,225
Source #1: World Meteorological Organization[15]
Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (sun, 1961–1990)[16][1]


Medan is inhabited by many different ethnic groups, mostly Malay, Batak, Javanese, Padang, and Chinese. Malay people are the natives of the Medan area, and have deep roots in Medan. They began ruling there during the Deli empire (Kesultanan Deli) until now. The empire has many lands and property of heritage in Medan, such as Istana Maimoon, Mesjid Raya Medan, Sultan Deli Pool and many more.

Batak people colour Medan with their hard work and strong character. Many are come from areas in North Sumatera such as, Toba, Sibolga, and Tanah Karo. The Batak have been established in Medan for many years, so sometimes people think they're the Medan natives. But people of Medan respect Batak, as they support Medan to be a competitive city. The Javanese are transmigrants. Many of them were forced to move there by the government during transmigration programs. They represent hard working class and warm people of Medan. Minangkabau and Chinese people are the core of the Medan economy. Both run Medan industries and trading. Minangkabau people run garment, food and retail businesses, while Chinese people run factories and grocery stores. So there are simply harmony and good combination between many potentials of human being.[17]


The North Sumatra Museum is located approximately 4 km to the south from the center of the city, which is in HM. Joni Street 15 Medan. The Minister of Education and Culture Dr. Daoed Joesoef opened north Sumatran museum in April 1982.This museum is open on: Tuesday - Thursday (08.00 - 16.00) Friday - Sunday (08.00 - 15.30) and Closed on: Monday. This museum gives a lot of information about ethnic and cultural which exists in North Sumatra, including history and stories of the museum. Some activities that can be done in this museum are: photographs and studying and learn about culture and the object of the North Sumatran history.

The Bukit Barisan Museum is military museum opened by Brigade General Leo Lopulisa on June 21, 1971. This museum was located in H. Zainul Arifin Street 8, Medan. This military museum kept several historic weapons include the weapon that was utilized in the struggle for independence and the revolt in North Sumatra during 1958. In this museum we could see several motives/ painting of the revolt against the Netherlands.[18]

Rahmat International Wildlife Museum & Gallery or more known as Rahmat Gallery, opened in 1999 and is chiefly the most incredible global taxidermy collection in the city, including mammals, reptiles, and insects collection, located on Jalan Letjen S.Parman no.309[19]


Durian Pancake, originated from Medan.
Bika Ambon.

Because of the multicultural peoples, Medan has wide variety of cuisine, from Malay, Bataknese, Chinese, Indian, Minangkabau, Javanese, Arabs to Western cuisine.

Food in Medan, like most of the food found throughout Sumatra, is hot and spicy. But this city is so big that even if you don’t like spicy food you should still be able to find something to satisfy your appetite.On the colonial main street Jalan Jenderal Ahmad Yani, the famous Café Tip Top in an original building is a lovely spot to sit and nibble on some Dutch style cookies and watch the world go by.

Medan is filled with street vendors offering a great variety of traditional cuisine. While these places may not look fancy, they serve cheap and tasty local food that you can’t find anywhere else in the country. Check out the popular food street of Jalan Selat Panjang which comes alive at night with vendors cooking up a storm for the hungry crowds.

Merdeka Walk, this the first Tensile Structure (Alfresco Outdoor Concept) in Indonesia and the hottest place to hang out in Medan city with many choices of cafes and restaurants.

Durian is popular all over Indonesia and nowhere more so than in Medan. This thorny fruit, with its very distinctive taste and smell, is available cheaply all over the city. Sit with the locals at a street stall and munch on some durian. If the taste is too strong for you, you might want to try a durian pancake instead.

Bika Ambon is a dessert from Indonesia. Made from ingredients such as tapioca flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and coconut milk, Bika Ambon generally sold in pandan flavour, although now available also other flavors like banana, durian, cheese, chocolate.

Snack on dried fruits with sugar which you’ll find in Pasar Rame, a famous market that lasts from morning till afternoon, located beside Thamrin Plaza.[20]


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.


There are many old buildings in Medan that still retain their Dutch architecture. These include the old City Hall, the Central Post Office, Titi Gantung (a bridge over the railway) and The Tirtanadi Water Tower (Menara Air Tirtanadi), which is Medan City's icon

There are several historic places such as Maimoon Palace (ايستان ماءيمون; Istana Maimun) built in years 1887–1891, where the Sultan of Deli still lives (the Sultan no longer holds any official power), The Great Mosque of Medan (مسجد رايا ميدان; Masjid Raya Medan) built in 1906 in the Moroccan style by the Dutch architect A.J. Dingemans,.[21] both location of Maimoon Palace and The Great Mosque are close.The Mosque located on Jalan Sisingamangaraja and The Palace located on Jalan Brigjen Katamso.

Vihara Gunung Timur (東嶽觀; Temple of the Eastern Mountain) is a City's oldest Taoism temple, located on Jalan Hang Tuah no.16. There are another popular Buddhist Temple named as Vihara Maha Maitreya (慈光弥勒佛院; Maha Maitreya Temple), this temple known as one of the biggest buddhist temple in Indonesia. Situated on Cemara Asri, an housing complex near Belmera toll road. Medan Cathedral (Katredal Medan) is the oldest church in the city, was built by the Dutch and Indian community nearby, and the church was named as (Indische Kerk; Gereja Hindia Belanda), located on Jalan Pemuda. Tjong A Fie Mansion (張阿輝 故居; Rumah Tjong A Fie) is most popular Peranakan house in the city, located on Jalan Ahmad Yani/Kesawan (Chinatown) and Sri Mariamman Temple (ஸ்ரீ மாரியம்மன் கோவில்; Kuil Sri Mariamman) is the first Hindu Temple with Dravidian style in Medan built in 1881 by The Tamilians in the city, located on Jalan Zainul Arifin, The City's Little India or more known as Kampung Madras.

Since 2005, a catholic church named Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni (ஆரோக்கிய மாதா சர்ச்; Gereja Velangkanni) built with an Indo-Mogul style, devoted to St.Mary, This particular Saint knows its origin with an apparition in the 17th century in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is an important building, of two stories and a small tower of seven storeys in Indonesian style, that already attracts attention from the main road (it is situated on Jalan. Sakura III, besides Jalan TB Simatupang).[22]


Medan is one of the major shopping destinations of Indonesia, along with Jakarta and Bandung. It has several markets and shopping malls offering a wide range of goods and qualities. Some of the more popular markets for tourists include Pasar Rame (Rame Market) and Pasar Petisah (Petisah Market), which specialize in selling clothing and food; and the Pasar Ikan Lama (Old Fish Market), a marketplace for traditional Islamic wear and souvenirs of Medan. Some other marketplaces in the city are Pasar Beruang, Pasar Hong Kong, Pasar Sambas and Pasar Aksara.

Medan also has some modern malls. the newest and most popular among them are Sun Plaza, Medan Centre Point, Cambridge City Square, Medan Focal Point, Hermes Place Polonia and Plaza Medan Fair. The oldest malls are Thamrin Plaza, Medan Mall, Medan Plaza and Yuki Simpang Raya.

The upcoming malls in medan are Podomoro City Medan, Metrolink Trade Center, Ring Road City Walks, and The Manhattan.

Theme parks

There are some theme parks in the city or outside city, most of them are water park.

  • HillPark GreenHill City [1] - 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.
  • Wonder Water World - latest waterpark in Medan, located on Central Business District (CBD) Polonia.
  • Hairos Water Park - another waterpark near the city, located on jalan Djamin Ginting km.14, Deliserdang.


Medan is well-connected by road, air, rail and sea. There are so many public transport within city and intercity.


Kualanamu International Airport.

The new Kualanamu International Airport (KNO) which was opened to the public on July 25, 2013 is the latest landmark and pride to the people of Medan. The new airport is the second largest airport after Soekarno-Hatta International Airport with a 224,298 m2 (2,414,324 sq ft) passengers terminal and will eventually have a capacity of 50 million passengers (2030) and the first airport which has direct rail to city. The airport is hub for Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia, Lion Air, Susi Air and Wings Air.[23] This new modern airport is a replacement of the old Polonia Airport. Unlike the old Polonia Airport which was located in the heart of the city, this new airport is approx.39 km (24 mi) from downtown. The Airport has direct domestic flights to many major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Pekanbaru, Yogyakarta, Padang, Palembang, Batam, Banda Aceh, etc. There are also some international flights to Penang, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jeddah, etc. Airport Train known as Airport Railink Services (ARS) connects the airport to city center. The train runs from Medan Main Station beside the Merdeka Square at Balai Kota Street at 4:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m and from the airport at 5:25 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. It is the fastest way to reach the airport from the city, taking 30 minutes. The other way from the Airport to the city takes longer (30 to 47 minutes)


The Port of Belawan (Pelabuhan Belawan) is main seaport in Medan, located on northeast coast of Sumatra, Belawan is situated 12 miles (19 km) north of Medan city, which it serves as a port, and is the terminus of a railway that crosses the channel south of the island by bridge.[24]

The port was initially built in 1890, to provide a location where tobacco could be transferred directly between rail lines from the interior and deep-draft ships. The harbor expanded in 1907 with the construction of a new section intended for Chinese and indigenous traders, reserving the existing port for European shipping. In the early twentieth century the port's business expanded, with the growth of major rubber and palm oil plantations in northern Sumatra. In the 1920s several major berthing facilities were built. In 1938, the port was the largest port in the Dutch East Indies, in terms of cargo value. Cargo volumes dropped substantially after Indonesian independence, and did not reach pre-independence levels again until the mid-1960s. A major restructuring in 1985 saw the construction of a container terminal; it almost immediately captured about one-fifth of Indonesia's containerized exports. Major products exported include rubber, palm oil, tea, and coffee.[25]

There are two port terminals, one for Passenger and Ferry Services to Penang and Langkawi and some Indonesian cities such as Batam, Jakarta, and Surabaya. another terminal known as Belawan International Container Terminal (BICT), used for export and importing services, BICT is one of the largest shipping industry port in Indonesia.

Road and highway

Medan connected by Trans-Sumatran Highway, the main road across sumatra, and The Belawan-Medan-Tanjung Morawa Toll Road or known as Belmera Toll Road is the one and only available Toll Road in Medan, connecting Belawan, Medan and Tanjung Morawa, with seven toll gates/plaza. Currently there are some under construction toll road connecting to airport, Binjai City, and Tebing Tinggi.


Commuter train in Medan.

Railroad tracks connect Medan to Binjai and Tanjungpura to the northwest, to port of Belawan to the north, to Tebing Tinggi and Pematang Siantar to the southeast, and also Rantau Prapat among other cities. The largest train station in Medan is Medan Station. There are also smaller stations in Medan, such as Medan Pasar, Pulu Brayan, Titi Papan, and Labuhan, and Belawan. Titi Papan and Pulu Brayan only serve as the stop for freight trains carrying oil palm and petroleum. There are also have express train connecting to another North Sumatra cities such as Tebing Tinggi, Pematang Siantar, Tanjung Balai, and Rantau Prapat.

The Railink train is express train connecting from CRS (City Railway Station) to ARS (Airport Railink Station). Taking the train to the Kuala Namu International Airport is the easiest and fastest way at the moment.

Motorized rickshaw in Medan.

Public transport

One of the unique features of Medan are the motorized rickshaw or called as Becak Motor (Bentor) or Becak Mesin in Indonesian, the becaks are found almost everywhere. Unlike the javanese rickshaw, the driver sits on right side of the ricksaw and unlike traditional becaks, a motorized becak can take its passenger anywhere in the city. The fare of riding a becak is relatively low and is usually negotiated beforehand. There are also more public transport like taxis and minibuses, known as Sudako or Angkutan Kota (Angkot). The angkot can be found easily in medium-to-high congested road and the angkots always use number as route.

Currently there are being constructed of TransMebidang, a Greater Medan bus rapid transit services which will be start operating on 2014-2015.


C.J. Kleingrothe photographed tobacco, coffee, tubber, and palm oil cultivation and infrastructure in Medan when it was part of the Dutch East Indies. The TVRI Medan (state-owned), SindoTV Medan, RTV Medan, and Deli TV (private) are the four local television stations in Medan. Medan also has twelve national television stations: Indosiar, MNCTV, Trans TV, ANTV, Global TV, RCTI, SCTV, TV One, Metro TV, Trans7, NET, and DAAI TV. Several national and local newspapers are running in the city with Harian Mimbar Umum as the oldest one. Other popular newspapers include Harian Waspada, Analisa, Kompas, Jurnal Medan, Berita Sore, Harian Global, Harian Medan Bisnis, Posmetro Medan, Suara Indonesia Baru, and "Tribun Medan". There are also has some mandarin language newspaper such as Harian Indonesia (印尼星洲日报), Guo Ji Ri Bao (国际日报) and Shangbao (印尼商报). English newspaper like The Jakarta Post also distributed in the city.


Football is one of the favorite sports, with five local clubs: PSMS Medan, Medan Jaya, Medan Chiefs, Bintang PSMS and Medan United; and a basketball club named Angsapura Sania. Another locally popular sport is Wushu, with significant growth in recent years as one of the favorite sports in Medan. It has its training center in Plaju Street in heart of town. Medan has recently seen much success in Wushu nationally and internationally. Medan has a multi-purpose stadium named Teladan Stadium. This stadium used mostly for football matches and become a home stadium for PSMS Medan.

Twin Towns - Sister cities

Medan has sister relationships with these cities: [26]



  1. ^
  2. ^ World and Its Peoples: Indonesia and East Timor, Marshall Cavendish Corporation, New York, 2008
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ History of Place History of Medan
  6. ^ Usman Pelly, Sejarah Kota Madya Medan, 1950-1979; Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan R.I., Proyek Inventarisasi dan Dokumentasi Sejarah Nasional, Direktorat Sejarah dan Nilai Tradisional, 1985
  7. ^ KPK Arrests Mandailing Natal Mayor for Alleged Bribery
  8. ^ Info Data Kota Medan
  9. ^ Kondisi Geografis Medan
  10. ^ Ensiklopedi Umum, Penerbitan Jajasan Kanisius, 1973
  11. ^ Leo Suryadinata, Evi Nurvidya Arifin, Aris Ananta, Indonesia's Population: ethnicity and religion in a changing political landscape, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2003
  12. ^ Indonesia's Population: Ethnicity and Religion in a Changing Political Landscape. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. 2003. ISBN 9812302123
  13. ^ Usman Pelly, Urbanisasi dan Adaptasi: Peranan Misi Budaya Minangkabau dan Mandailing, LP3ES, 1994
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ Voy:Medan
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b c d e MEDAN MENJALIN HUBUNGAN KOTA KEMBAR KEEMPAT Retrieved September 10, 2013 Archived 23 April 2007
  27. ^
  28. ^


  1. ^ Station ID for Kualanamu Medan is 96035 Use this station ID to locate the sunshine duration

External links

  • Medan travel guide from Wikivoyage
  • Official Government website (Indonesian)
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