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City of Medan
Kota Medan
Regional transcription(s)
   Jawi ميدن
   Batak ᯔᯩᯑᯉ᯲
   Hanzi 棉蘭
   Tamil மேடான்
Medan city 2019.jpg
Masjid Raya Al Mashun Medan.jpg
Istana Maimun.jpg
Sun Plaza Medan (Medium).jpg
Rumah tjong a fie medan.jpg
Medan old city hall.jpg
Tirtanadi Water Tower, Medan - panoramio.jpg
Perhimpunan Shri Mariamman (Mariamman Hindu Temple), Medan.jpg
From top, left to right:
City Flag of Medan.svg
Logo Kota Medan (Seal of Medan).svg
Parijs van Sumatra(Dutch) [1] [2]
Bekerja sama dan sama-sama bekerja
(Working together and everybody work)
Lokasi Sumatra Utara Kota Medan.svg
Location within North Sumatra
Interactive map of Medan
Indonesia Sumatra location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Sumatra and Indonesia
Indonesia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Medan (Indonesia)
Coordinates: 03°35′22″N98°40′26″E / 3.58944°N 98.67389°E / 3.58944; 98.67389
CountryFlag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia
Region Sumatra
Province Flag of North Sumatra.svg  North Sumatra
Founded1 July 1590
  Mayor Bobby Nasution
  Vice Mayor Aulia Rachman  [ id ]
   City and provincial capital 265.10 km2 (102.36 sq mi)
478 km2 (185 sq mi)
2,831.97 km2 (1,093.43 sq mi)
2.5–37.5 m (8–123 ft)
 (2023 estimate [3] )
   City and provincial capital 2,494,512 (4th)
3,632,000 (4th)
  Urban density7,598/km2 (19,680/sq mi)
4,744,323 (5th)
  Metro density1,675/km2 (4,340/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Medanese
Demographics [6]
  Ethnic groups
  Religion Islam
Time zone UTC+7 (IWST)
Area code (+62) 61
Vehicle registration BK
Nominal GDP [6] 2019
 - Total Rp 241.5 trillion (4th)
US$17.1 billion
US$56.1 billion (PPP)
 - Per capita Rp 105,908 thousand (13th)
US$24,620 (PPP)
 - GrowthIncrease2.svg 6.0%
HDI (2019)Increase2.svg 0.809 (21st) – very high [7]

Medan ( /mɛˈdɑːn/ meh-DAHN, Indonesian: [mɛˈdan] ) is the capital and largest city of the Indonesian province of North Sumatra. [8] The nearby Strait of Malacca, Port of Belawan, and Kualanamu International Airport make Medan a regional hub and multicultural metropolis, acting as a financial centre for Sumatra and a gateway to the western part of Indonesia. About 60% of the economy in North Sumatra is backed by trading, agriculture, and processing industries, [9] including exports from its 4 million acres of palm oil plantations. The National Development Planning Agency listed Medan as one of the four main central cities in Indonesia, alongside Jakarta, Surabaya, and Makassar. [10] [11]


As of the 2020 Census, Medan had a population of 2,435,252 within its city limits; [12] [13] the official population estimate as of mid 2023 was 2,474,166 - comprising 1,231,673 males and 1,242,493. [3] When the surrounding urban area is included, the population is over 3.4 million, making it the fourth largest urban area in Indonesia. [14] The Medan metropolitan area—which includes neighbouring Binjai, Deli Serdang Regency, and a part of Karo Regency—is the largest metropolitan area outside of Java, with 4,744,323 residents counted in the 2020 Census. [15]

The city was founded at the confluence of the Deli River and the Babura river by a Karonese man named Guru Patimpus. Then called Kampung Medan Putri, it became part of the Deli Sultanate, established in 1632. In the late 19th century, colonial Dutch seeking new plantation areas chose Medan and Deli as plantation hubs to found the Deli Company. Within a few years, the Dutch tobacco trade transformed Medan into an economic hub, earning it the nickname Het Land Dollar ("the land of the money"). The Deli Railway, established to ship tobacco, rubber, tea, timber, palm oil, and sugar from Medan to the Port of Belawan for worldwide export, brought further rapid development to Medan. The city became first the capital of the State of East Sumatra, and then the provincial capital of North Sumatra.


The term medan might be derived from a Batak Karo word madan (ᯔᯑᯉ᯳), which literally means 'healed', 'blessed', or 'recovered'. [16] The term is associated with the historical Karo Batak figure and founder of the city, Guru Patimpus, who was well-known as a "healer" or traditional doctor. The oldest evidence of this term used to refer to the city dates back to c. 13th-15th century era during the reign of Aru, the Karo monarch. [17]

There is also a popular theory that medan is of Malay origin, literally meaning 'field'. The term medan (مدان) in Malay might be derived from Malayalam mythaan-am (മൈതാനം, 'field'), which is cognate to the Tamil word maitāṉ-am (மைதானம், 'ground'). [18]


Medan is located in what was once the Kingdom of Aru, founded by the Karo people and flourishing between the 13th and 16th centuries. [19] A number of archaeological sites survive near Medan, including Kota Rentang, a port settlement in the Hamparan Perak area; [20] Kota Cina, an ancient trading site in Medan Marelan; [21] and Benteng Putri Hijau, a fort ruin in Deli Tua. [22]

In the sixteenth century, Guru Patimpus Sembiring Pelawi, a Karonese man from the Karo Regency, converted from Pemena to Islam. While traveling to study under Datuk Kota Bangun, Guru Patimpus met and married the Princess of Pulo Brayan  [ id ]. Accompanied by their two sons, Kolok and Kecik, the couple founded Medan village between the Deli and Babura Rivers.[ citation needed ]

In 1632, the Aceh Sultanate under Gocah Pahlawan expanded to include Medan. Perunggit succeeded his father in 1669, and declared the Deli Sultanate, including Medan, independent of the Aceh Sultanate.

Coat of Arms of Medan (1886%3F).svg
1886 coat of arms of Medan, showing a tobacco plant as the charge
KITLV - 78321 - Kleingrothe, C.J. - Medan - Coolies working in the seed beds on a tobacco plantation of the Amsterdam Deli Company in Medan, Sumatra - circa 1900.tif
Coolies working in the seedbeds on a tobacco plantation in Medan, c.1900

Starting in the 1860s, Dutch authorities began to release new land for tobacco plantations. Said Abdullah Bilsagih, brother-in-law of the Deli Sultan Mahmud Perkasa Alam, persuaded Dutch tobacco merchant Jacob Nienhuys to move his business from Java to Deli. Dutch merchants Van der Falk and Elliot, and Chinese brothers Tjong Yong Hian and Tjong A Fie, were also pioneers of Deli's tobacco industry. In 1867, Nienhuys, Jannsen, P.W. Clemen, and Cremer founded De Deli Maatschappij; in 1869, they moved its head office from Labuhan Deli to Medan. This made Medan a centre of the tobacco trade, which continued to grow with the 1869 opening of the Suez Canal.

Medan landmarks in 1925
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM De Sultan van Deli Amaluddin Sani Perkasa Alam Shah tijdens het verlaten van de Grote Moskee op de dag van zijn kroning TMnr 60027930.jpg
Sultan Amaluddin leaving the Great Mosque on his coronation day
COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Menigte voor het Istana Maimun het paleis van de Sultan van Deli TMnr 60027931.jpg
Crowd in front of Maimun Palace

Sultan Ma'mun Al Rashid Perkasa Alamyah, who ruled from 1873 to 1924, moved the kingdom's capital to Medan. He became known as the builder of early Medan, finishing the construction of the Maimun Palace in 1888 and building the Great Mosque of Medan in 1907. In 1898, a Dutch businessman named Aeint Herman de Boer built Hotel de Boer to accommodate the cruise ships of European tourists which had begun to visit Medan.

During the 1942 Dutch East Indies campaign, the Japanese entered Medan on bicycles and occupied the city. The handover of power was chaotic, but through the use of the Kempetai, the Japanese were able to hold the city until their surrender in 1945. Following that, Medan came under the authority of the South East Asia Command led by British Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. With the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence on 17 August, Medan became part of the newly-independent Republic of Indonesia, news announced in Medan on 30 September.

British Indian soldiers land in East Sumatra to help the Dutch end the Japanese occupation in Medan. The Allied Occupation of Sumatra SE7515.jpg
British Indian soldiers land in East Sumatra to help the Dutch end the Japanese occupation in Medan.

In October, Allied troops landed in Belawan and marched on Medan. The subsequent conflicts between the Allies and the Indonesian Army became known as the Battle of Medan. [23] [24] The Allies regained control of Medan in April 1946, and in December 1947 the Dutch established the State of East Sumatra with Medan as its capital. This became part of the United States of Indonesia in 1949, and was dissolved into the Republic of Indonesia in 1950. [25]

Medan continued to grow as a centre of commerce during the reign of Amaluddin Al Sani Perkasa Alamsyah  [ id ]. Developments of the 1970s, especially palm oil and rubber plantations, made Medan the busiest city outside Java, with the transmigration program bringing many Javanese and Batak migrants.

In May of 1998, months of student demonstrations in Medan over the 1997 Asian financial crisis turned into riots when a student was killed in a clash with security forces. The next day, the mobs became bigger, and many shops and vehicles in the business district (mostly owned by Chinese residents) were burned and looted. As a result, a curfew was imposed for more than two weeks until peace returned. [26]

On 5 September 2005, Mandala Airlines Flight 091 stalled a minute after taking off from Medan's old Polonia International Airport for a flight to Jakarta. The aircraft crashed into a heavily populated residential area along Djamin Ginting road in Padang Bulan. Of the 117 passengers and crews on board, only 17 survived, and an additional 49 civilians on the ground were killed. [27] As a result, Kualanamu International Airport was built in Deli Serdang to replace the old airport, with construction finished in 2012. After the move to the new airport, height restriction laws in Medan were relaxed.


Medan is in the northeastern part of Sumatra island, in the province of North Sumatra. The city is a semi-enclave within Deli Serdang Regency, bordered by that regency on three sides and by the Strait of Malacca to the north. The natural harbor formed where the Deli and Babura rivers feed into the straits has contributed to Medan's growth as a trading port. [28]

Medan's elevation varies between 2.5 and 37.5 m (8 ft 2 in and 123 ft 0 in) above sea level, with the Barisan Mountains to the south, and volcanoes such as Sibayak Mountain and Sinabung Mountain 50 to 70 km (31 to 43 mi) from the city.[ citation needed ]


Under the Köppen climate classification, Medan features a tropical rainforest climate (Af) with no real dry season. [29] Its driest month (January) on average sees about one-third the precipitation of its wettest month (October), with a total annual precipitation of about 2,200 mm (87 in). Temperatures in the city average approximately 27 °C (81 °F) throughout the year.

Climate data for Medan (Kualanamu International Airport, 2000–2020)
Record high °C (°F)35.0
Mean daily maximum °C (°F)31.2
Daily mean °C (°F)27.3
Mean daily minimum °C (°F)23.4
Record low °C (°F)18.3
Average precipitation mm (inches)120.1
Average precipitation days9.
Mean monthly sunshine hours 129.6141.0153.1131.2134.8157.9153.9143.9123.1116.3104.898.11,587.7
Source 1: Meteomanz [30]
Source 2: Worldwide Bioclimatic Classification System (extremes) [31] WeatherOnline (sun, 2010–2019) [32]


The former Medan City Hall Medan old city hall.jpg
The former Medan City Hall


Medan was governed by Abdillah from 2000 until 2008, when he and his vice mayor were caught by the Corruption Eradication Commission. Syamsul Arifin, the governor of North Sumatra Province, appointed Affifudin Lubis  [ id ] as acting mayor, followed by Rahudman Harahap after Lubis's 2009 resignation. Harahap resigned in order to run for office in the 2010 mayoral election, leaving Arifin himself to become acting mayor. In 2013, Harahap was also arrested for corruption, and his deputy Dzulmi Eldin became acting mayor. [33]

Dzulmi Eldin was elected mayor in 2016, [34] and served until his arrest for corruption in 2019. He was replaced by his vice mayor, Akhyar Nasution, who served until the end of his term in 2021.

The current mayor of Medan is Bobby Nasution, with vice mayor Aulia Rachman  [ id ]. [35]

Administrative divisions

District divisions of Medan Peta Lokasi Kecamatan Kota Medan.svg
District divisions of Medan

Medan is divided into 21 districts (Indonesian : kecamatan), tabulated below with their areas and populations at the 2010 Census, [36] and the 2020 Census, [13] together with the official estimates as of mid-2023. [3] The table also includes the number of urban villages/neighbourhoods (Indonesian : kelurahan) in each district, and their postal codes.

Name of
mid 2023
12.71.07 Medan Tuntungan 25.1680,94297,249100,132920134-20141
12.71.11 Medan Johor 16.73123,851151,756154,868620142-20146
12.71.09 Medan Amplas 10.65113,143129,726131,770720147-20149,
20219 & 20229
12.71.04 Medan Denai 9.37141,395169,643171,896620226-20228
12.71.10 Medan Area 4.2496,544117,029118,0571220211-20217
12.71.01 Medan Kota 5.7572,58084,66684,7781220211-20219
12.71.15 Medan Maimun 3.0239,58149,23149,708620151-20159
12.71.16 Medan Polonia 8.7752,79459,91560,679520152-20157
12.71.17 Medan Baru 5.4339,51636,52236,191620153-20156
12.71.21 Medan Selayang 16.4598,317103,176104,144620131-20133
12.71.02 Medan Sunggal 13.26112,744129,063133,273620121-20128
12.71.03 Medan Helvetia 13.05144,257164,910168,292720123-20126
12.71.19 Medan Petisah 5.2861,74971,84472,432720112-20119
12.71.05 Medan Barat 6.3470,77188,60289,248620111-20117
12.71.20 Medan Timur 8.89108,633116,985117,0351120231-20239
12.71.18 Medan Perjuangan 4.5493,328103,813105,317920232-20237
12.71.14 Medan Tembung 7.85133,579146,534149,274720221-20225
12.71.06 Medan Deli 18.83166,793189,321191,743620241-20244
12.71.13 Medan Labuhan 35.09111,173133,765135,622620251-20254,
20524 & 20525
12.71.12 Medan Marelan 30.03140,414182,515189,469520250-20256
12.71.08 Medan Kota Belawan 33.2795,506108,987110,238620411-20415

The city centre consists of Medan Petisah, Medan Baru, Medan Polonia, Medan Maimun, Medan Kota, and Medan Barat (West Medan). Medan Labuhan is one of the largest districts by area (together with Medan Belawan and Medan Marelan) and lies in the northern part of the city. Medan Tuntungan serves as the gateway to Karo Regency, Medan Helvetia to Binjai City and Langkat, and Medan Amplas to Tebing Tinggi and Pematang Siantar.


Medan is Indonesia's largest city outside Java, and its fourth largest altogether (after Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung). The population more than quadrupled in less than fifty years, growing from 568,000 in 1968 [37] to 2.1 million in 2010. As of 2020, Medan had a population of 2,435,252 and the larger metropolitan area had a population of 4,756,863.

in km2
mid 2023
Medan (City)281.992,097,6102,435,2522,474,1668,774 [38]
Binjai (City)90.45246,154291,842303,2723,353 [38]
Deli Serdang Regency 2,497.721,790,4311,931,4412,018,164808 [38]
Karo Regency (part)234.9686,24498,328101,798433 [38]
Greater Medan3,105.124,220,4394,756,8634,897,4001,577 [38]

Ethnicities and languages

The dominant ethnic groups in Medan are Batak and Javanese, with smaller Malays, Acehnese, Indian, Nias, and Sundanese populations. [39]

Minang, Karo Batak, Malays, Chinese, Javanese and Indian representatives celebrate a milestone 1924 flight with flowers for the pilots COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Vrouwen van de diverse bevolkingsgroepen voor het stadhuis in Medan waar ze een bloemenhulde geven aan de vliegers van de eerste commerciele vlucht Holland-Batavia tijdens een tusenlanding TMnr 60046354.jpg
Minang, Karo Batak, Malays, Chinese, Javanese and Indian representatives celebrate a milestone 1924 flight with flowers for the pilots
Ethnicities of Medan [39]
Ethnic groupPercentage
An Indian, local Malay, and Batak seller in Kesawan Chinatown area, taken around the 1940s COLLECTIE TROPENMUSEUM Eem kar met warong Medan TMnr 10013836.jpg
An Indian, local Malay, and Batak seller in Kesawan Chinatown area, taken around the 1940s

The Bataks in Medan are of three subethnicities. The native Karo mostly live in the southern parts of Medan, including Padang Bulan, Medan Johor and Tuntungan. The Toba, whom the Dutch employed on their oil palm plantations, live in Marindal and Amplas, or in nearby city centres such as the Medan Perjuangan district. Finally, the Mandailing, who migrated to Medan after Indonesian independence in search of job opportunities, mainly live in Medan Tembung. The primary languages spoken by Bataks in Medan are Batak and Karo.

The large Javanese community in Medan is primarily composed of the descendants of people transported from Java in the 19th century to be employed as contract workers at various plantations in North Sumatra. For the most part, they speak the local dialect of Javanese.

The Malays are also natives of Medan, having lived as fishermen in the outskirts of the city since the Aru era. Starting in the 18th century, they began to spread throughout the city, with large numbers living in Medan Maimun, Kota Matsum, Labuhan and Belawan and speaking Malay.

Immigration from southern China to Deli began in the 16th century, and accelerated in the 19th and early 20th centuries as immigrants sought employment as planters and coolies. Medan is home to the largest Chinese population in Sumatra, mostly concentrated around the city centre. Most Chinese people in Medan speak Medan Hokkien, a local dialect, but many also speak Mandarin, Teochew, or Cantonese.

Minangkabau came to Medan since the late of the 19th century. Minangs migration surged from the 1960s to the 1980s, becoming 10.9% of the population and founding Padang restaurants throughout the city. Most Minangkabau people in Medan speak Minangkabau. They are mostly concentrated around the city centre, near Central Market (Pajak Sentral), Kota Matsum and Sukaramai. [40]

Many Acehnese sought sanctuary in Medan after the insurgency in Aceh in the late 1970s. They now own a number of Mie Aceh restaurants around the Setia Budi and Sunggal areas. Most speak Acehnese, and Gayonese is also common.

Medan also has a substantial Tamil Indonesian community. Kampung Madras, a busy area in the city centre, is well-known as a Tamil neighbourhood.

The different linguistic communities in Medan communicate in a slang called Bahasa Medan or Dialek Medan (Medanese slang). This dialect of Indonesian includes loanwords from the various local languages, especially Malay.


Religion of Medan – 2019 Census [41]

Most of Medan's inhabitants are Muslim, accounting for approximately 65 percent of the population. The substantial Christian demographic (about 25 percent of the total population) includes Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans, and the Batak Christian Protestant Church. Buddhists make up about 9 percent of the population, and there are smaller Hindu, Confucian, and Sikh communities. Some Bataknese follow traditional religions such as Pemena and Parmalim.

Gunung Timur Temple, on Jalan Hang Tuah, is Medan's oldest Taoist temple. Maha Vihara Maitreya, on Jalan Cemara Asri, is the largest Buddhist temple in southeast Asia. The city's oldest church, Medan Cathedral, on Jalan Pemuda, was originally built as Indische Kerk by the Dutch and Indian community. Sri Mariamman Temple, on Jalan Zainul Arifin in Kampung Madras, is the city's oldest Hindu temple, built around 1881; it is surrounded by over a hundred statues of various deities. Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni, a Catholic church in an Indo-Mogul style, was built on Jalan Sakura III in 2005, dedicated to a Marian apparition in 17th century Tamil Nadu.


Belawan Container Terminal Terminal Peti Kemas Belawan (preview).jpg
Belawan Container Terminal

The Medan metropolitan area was recognized as an Indonesian National Strategic Region (Indonesian : Kawasan Strategis Nasional) by Government Regulation No 28/2008. As a major commercial and economic hub of Indonesia, Medan is a centre for the production and trade of commodities including cinnamon, tobacco, tea, coffee, rubber, and palm oil. It also has a growing manufacturing sector, producing goods such as cars, machinery, tile, and paper and pulp.

Medan's location makes it the main hub of international trade in western Indonesia, with exports going to Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Its trade and tourism businesses have also become essential to the Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle. [42] Many multinational companies maintain offices in the city, such as Asian Agri, [43] London Sumatra, [44] Musim Mas, [45] Philips Lighting, Toba Pulp Lestari, Marriott, Wilmar, ABB Group and DBS Bank. Rapid development in Medan has resulted in an upward trend in residential property prices. [46]

Medan is one of the major shopping centres of Indonesia, along with Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya. Shopping malls in Medan include:


Food stall seller in Jalan Selatpanjang, Medan Kota Medan Night Stroll107A.jpg
Food stall seller in Jalan Selatpanjang, Medan

Medan is known as "the culinary heaven of Indonesia" for its variety of ethnic cuisines and prominent street hawkers. Prominent restaurants in Medan include Nelayan (halal-Chinese seafood and dim sum), Garuda and Uda Sayang (nasi padang and gulai), Sate Afrizal Amir (sate padang), Cahaya Baru (chapati and tandoori), OnDo Batak grill and Tesalonika (babi panggang (grilled pork) and saksang), Jalan Selat Panjang and Jalan Semarang (Chinese food), Jalan Pagaruyung (Indian and Malay food), and Jalan Padan Bulan (Batak food). Other major culinary destinations in Medan include Merdeka Walk, an outdoor area with a number of restaurants, and Pasar Rame, a daily outdoor market. [47]

The local cuisine in Medan comes from a variety of culinary traditions. Soto Medan is a savoury stew of mixed meats and coconut milk, usually served with rice and perkedel. Bika ambon, a popular local cake, is traditionally flavoured with pandanus, but can also be found in banana, durian, cheese, and chocolate flavours. Babi Panggang Karo, grilled pork dipped in blood curd, may be served with sambal andaliman made from local peppers. Tau Kua He Ci (豆干虾炸) is a local Chinese variant of rojak, made with fried prawn, vegetables, tofu, and chili sauce. Medanese swiss rolls (Bolu Meranti) and dried anchovies are popular souvenirs.



The Tjong A Fie Mansion Skewed Front View, Tjong A Fie Mansion, Medan.jpg
The Tjong A Fie Mansion
The Tjong Yong Hian Mansion Yin Ni Su Bei Mian Lan Mao Rong Yuan Taman Tjong Yong Hian di Medan.jpg
The Tjong Yong Hian Mansion

Many examples of colonial Dutch architecture survive in Medan. Prominent instances include the old City Hall, the Medan Post Office, Inna Dharma Deli Hotel, Titi Gantung bridge, the Lonsum  [ id ] building, the Tjong A Fie Mansion, the A.V.R.O.S. building, the Warenhuis building, and the Tirtanadi Water Tower.

The Sultan of Deli (whose position is now purely ceremonial) still lives in Maimoon Palace, built 1887-1891. The Great Mosque of Medan, built in 1906, was designed in a Moroccan style by the Dutch architect A.J. Dingemans. [48]

Theme parks

Among Medan's tourist attractions are several theme parks and water parks.

HillPark GreenHill City [49]
A relatively new theme park an hour from Medan.
Pantai Cermin Themepark
A water theme park located in Cermin Beach, Serdang Bedagai.
Wonder Water World
A water park in Medan itself, located in Central Business District Polonia.
Hairos Water Park
A water park located near Medan in Deli Serdang.


The North Sumatra Museum Museum Negeri Sumatera Utara Medan.jpg
The North Sumatra Museum

The North Sumatra Museum, located south of the city's centre, was formally opened in April 1982 by Daoed Joesoef  [ id ], Minister of Education and Culture. The museum's collection centres around artefacts of North Sumatran ethnic groups.

The Bukit Barisan Museum is a military museum opened by Brigade General Leo Lopulisa  [ id ] on 21 June 1971. Located at 8 Jalan H. Zainul Arifin, the museum houses a number of historic weapons used in the 1958 revolt in North Sumatra, and displays paintings of the rebellion against the Netherlands. [50]

The Rahmat International Wildlife Museum & Gallery, which opened in 1999, is considered the city's outstanding taxidermy collection. It is located on Jalan Letjen S. Parman No.309. [51]



Kualanamu International Airport KNO Medan apron.JPG
Kualanamu International Airport

The Kualanamu International Airport (KNO) opened on 25 July 2013 as a replacement for the Polonia Airport. Located 39 km (24 mi) from downtown Medan, it is Indonesia's first airport with a direct rail link to the city. The airport has a 224,298 m2 (2,414,324 sq ft) passenger terminal, and serves as a hub for Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia, Lion Air, Susi Air and Wings Air, [52] with direct domestic flights to many major cities in Sumatra, as well as Java-international flights to locations abroad including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, and Sri Lanka.


The Bandar Deli terminal in Belawan Terminal Penumpang Bandar Deli (preview).jpg
The Bandar Deli terminal in Belawan

The Port of Belawan is on the northeast coast of Sumatra, 19 km (12 mi) north of Medan and accessible by a railway across the channel south of the island. [53] Originally built in 1890 for European tobacco exports, the harbour was expanded in 1907 with a new section for Chinese and indigenous traders.

The growth of northern Sumatra's rubber and palm oil plantations in the early twentieth century brought new developments to the port. Several major berthing facilities were built in the 1920s, and by 1938 the port handled the greatest cargo value of any in the Dutch East Indies. Trade volumes dropped substantially after Indonesian independence, but reached pre-independence levels again in 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. [54]

The current port has two terminals. The first, which handles passengers, offers ferry services to cities including Penang, Langkawi, Batam, Jakarta, and Surabaya. The second, Belawan International Container Terminal (BICT), is used for export and import services, and is one of the largest shipping industry ports in Indonesia.


Major roads through Medan include the Trans-Sumatran Highway and the Belmera Toll Road. Other toll roads link the city to the airport, Binjai, and Tebing Tinggi.


Sri Lelawangsa commuter rail departing from Medan station KRD Sri Lelawangsa departing Medan 1.jpg
Sri Lelawangsa commuter rail departing from Medan station
Railink Airport train in Medan station Railink Kuala Namu Medan Layang.jpg
Railink Airport train in Medan station

The largest train station in Medan is Medan Station. The city also has a number of smaller stations, including Medan Pasar, Pulu Brayan, Titi Papan, Labuhan, and Belawan. Of these, Titi Papan and Pulu Brayan serve exclusively freight trains, while the others also serve passenger trains.

Express trains run between Medan and cities including Tebing Tinggi, Pematang Siantar, Tanjungbalai, and Rantau Prapat, and the Kualanamu Airport Railink Services express train runs between Medan Station and Kualanamu International Airport Station. Other rail lines connect Medan to cities such as Binjai and Belawan.

An elevated railway over several rail lines around Medan avoids level crossings and reduces traffic congestion. [55]

Public transport

The Trans Metro Deli Bus Trans Metro Deli KM2.jpeg
The Trans Metro Deli Bus

Both auto rickshaws and cycle rickshaws are widely available in Medan, for a cheap pre-negotiated fare. Ride-sharing services Gojek and Grab are also in widespread use.

While taxis exist, most locals use sudako, Medan's share taxi system. These minibuses follow routes indicated by numbers displayed on the vehicle; route maps are not published, instead typically being spread by word-of-mouth.

Medan and its nearby urban areas have two bus rapid transit systems, Trans Mebidang and Trans Metro Deli, each with several active corridors.

Trans Mebidang

1Medan – Binjai
2Medan – Lubuk Pakam

Trans Metro Deli

1Pinang Baris – Lapangan Merdeka
2Amplas – Lapangan Merdeka
3Belawan – Lapangan Merdeka
4Medan Tuntungan – Lapangan Merdeka
5Tembung – Lapangan Merdeka



Medan's television stations include public and private national networks, as well as local channels. TVRI Sumatera Utara, a public station serving North Sumatra, is headquartered in the city. Channels currently available in Medan include:

  • CNN Indonesia
  • TVRI Sumatera Utara
  • Indosiar
  • Trans TV
  • ANtv
  • GTV
  • RCTI
  • SCTV
  • tvOne
  • Magna TV HD
  • Metro TV
  • Trans7
  • NET. – 43 UHF
  • iNews – 45 UHF
  • DAAI TV – 49 UHF
  • RTV 53 UHF
  • MYTV – 55 UHF
  • Kompas TV – 59 UHF
  • CTV Network – 61 UHF


RRI Medan is the only public radio in Medan. Several local languages are also served on the radio, such as Kardopa Radio (in the Batak language), CityRadio FM and A-Radio FM (in the Chinese language) and Symphony FM (in the Malay language). Other popular stations in Medan include Prambors FM, MNC Trijaya FM, I-Radio, KISS FM, VISI FM, and Delta FM.


Mimbar Umum is Medan's oldest newspaper. Other major newspapers based in Medan include Waspada , Analisa , Jurnal Medan, Berita Sore, Harian Global, Harian Medan Bisnis, Sumut Pos, Posmetro Medan, Sinar Indonesia Baru , and Tribun Medan, as well as national Mandarin language newspapers such as Harian Indonesia (印尼星洲日报), Guo Ji Ri Bao (国际日报) and Shangbao (印尼商报) and English newspapers like The Jakarta Post .


From the 1930s through the 1960s, Medan was the source of a major body of Indonesian literature, known as "Roman Medan". These books usually depicted local life in Medan and surrounding areas of Deli.

Several romance novel writers grew up in Medan, including Hamka, Joesoef Sou'yb  [ id ], Tamar Djaja  [ id ], Matu Mona  [ id ], and A. Damhoeri  [ id ]. [56]


Football is one of the most popular sports in Medan, with five local clubs: Persatuan Sepakbola Medan dan Sekitarnya (known as PSMS Medan), Medan Jaya, Medan Chiefs, Bintang PSMS and Medan United. Teladan Stadium, Medan's multi-purpose stadium, is used primarily for football matches.

Medan also has a Wushu training centre, Jalan Plaju, and a basketball club, Angsapura Sania.


St. Elisabeth Hospital Elisabeth medan.jpg
St. Elisabeth Hospital
Murni Teguh Hospital Murni Teguh Memorial Hospital Building.jpg
Murni Teguh Hospital

Medan has more than 30 registered hospitals, three public and the rest private.


Elementary, middle, and high schools

Medan has more than 827 registered elementary schools, 337 middle schools and 288 high schools, including state-owned, private, religious, and international schools.

Universities and Colleges

The State University of Medan, a postgraduate campus Gedung Pascasarana Universitas Negeri Medan - panoramio.jpg
The State University of Medan, a postgraduate campus

Medan's 72 registered universities, [58] academies, polytechnics, and colleges include:

International relations


Medan hosts several consulates and general consulates from foreign countries, [61] such as:

Twin towns – sister cities

Medan is twinned with: [77]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Sumatra</span> Province of Indonesia

North Sumatra is a province of Indonesia located in the northern part of the island of Sumatra. Its capital and largest city is Medan. It is bordered by Aceh on the northwest and Riau and West Sumatra on the southeast, with two different coastlines located on the Indian Ocean and the Strait of Malacca, and a maritime border with Malaysia to the east. North Sumatra is Indonesia's fourth most populous province after West Java, East Java, and Central Java, and is also the most populous province outside of Java Island. North Sumatra is also the third-largest province in area on the island of Sumatra after South Sumatra and Riau provinces. It covers an area of 72,460.74 km2, which is approximately the same size as Sierra Leone or Scotland or Maine.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jambi</span> Province of Indonesia

Jambi is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the east coast of central Sumatra and stretches to the Barisan Mountains in the west. Its capital and largest city is also called Jambi. It is bordered by the provinces of Riau to the north, West Sumatra to the west, Bengkulu to the southwest, South Sumatra to the south, and shares a maritime border with the Riau Islands to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The province has a land area of 49,026.58 km2, and a sea area of 3,274.95 km2.It's area is comparable to the European country, Slovakia. It had a population of 3,092,265 according to the 2010 census and 3,548,228 according to the 2020 census; the official estimate of population as of mid-2022 was 3,631,136.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nias</span> Island off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia

Nias is an island located off the western coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Nias is also the name of the archipelago of which the island is the centre, but also includes the Batu Islands to the southeast and the small Hinako Islands to the west. Nias Island covers an area of 5,573.27 km2 (2,151.85 sq mi). It is mostly a lowland area rising to around 800 m (2,600 ft) above sea level. There were 756,338 inhabitants on the island at the 2010 Census; at the 2015 Intermediate Census this had risen to 798,506 and the 2020 Census resulted in a total of 880,550. The official estimate as of mid-2023 was 930,294.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kabanjahe</span>

Kabanjahe is a town approximately 90 minutes from Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Kabanjahe is to the south of Berastagi. Kabanjahe is the largest centre in Karo Regency. It has an area of 44.65 km2 and had a population of 73,581 at the 2020 Census. Frequent buses connect the town with Berastagi, and a journey takes about 15 minutes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Binjai</span> City in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Binjai, formally Kota Binjai, is an independent city in the North Sumatra province of Indonesia, bordered by Deli Serdang Regency to the east and Langkat Regency to the west. Binjai is connected to Medan, about 22 km to the east, by the Sumatra highway that goes to Banda Aceh, and effectively forms a part of Greater Medan. The city's population was 181,904 in the 1990 Census, 224,516 in the 2000 Census, 246,154 in the 2010 Census, and 291,842 in the 2020 Census; the official estimate as of mid-2023 was 303,272, comprising 151,627 males and 151,645 females. In mid-2023, a further 49,217 inhabitants lived in Binjai District of Langkat Regency, outside the city limits but immediately north of the city.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gunungsitoli</span> City in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Gunungsitoli is a city located in North Sumatra province, Indonesia, on the Indian Ocean island of Nias, west of Sumatra. Gunungsitoli is the island's only city and is the main hub for the island and surrounding smaller islands. Located on the north-eastern side of Nias island, the city was historically a series of fortifications made by the Dutch colonial administration in the 1600s to defend against frequent raids from Nias tribes, especially those from southern parts of the island. Until 1914, it was the only part of the island that was effectively controlled by the Dutch.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deli Serdang Regency</span> Regency in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Deli Serdang is a regency in the Indonesian province of North Sumatra. It surrounds the city of Medan, and also borders to the west the city of Binjai, which is effectively a bedroom community for Medan. The entire regency lies within the Medan metropolitan area. It occupies an area of 2,497.72 km2. The capital of the district is Lubuk Pakam, which is located approximately 30 km east of Medan. The national census of 2000 recorded 1,573,987 people, but by 2010 the regency's population increased by 13.76% to 1,790,431, and at the 2020 Census the total was 1,931,441. The official estimate as at mid 2023 was 2,018,164. Kualanamu International Airport is located in this regency.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Padangsidempuan</span> City in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Padangsidimpuan is a city in North Sumatra, Indonesia, and the former capital of South Tapanuli Regency, which surrounds the city. It has an area of 159.28 km2 and a population of 178,818 people at the 2000 census, which rose to 191,554 in the 2010 census and 225,105 at the 2020 Census; the official estimate as at mid 2023 was 236,217 - comprising 119,228 males and 116,989 females.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karo Regency</span> Regency in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Karo Regency is a landlocked regency of North Sumatra Province of Indonesia, situated in the Barisan Mountains. The regency, which was established on 7 November 1956, covers an area of 2,127.25 square kilometres (821.34 sq mi) and according to the 2010 census it had a population of 350,479, increasing to 404,998 at the 2020 Census; the official estimate as at mid-2023 was 420,799, comprising 208,600 males and 212,200 females. 60.99% of the regency is forested. Its regency seat is the town of Kabanjahe. The Batak Karo language is spoken in the regency, as well as the Indonesian language. It borders Southeast Aceh Regency in Aceh to the west, Deli Serdang Regency and Langkat Regency to the north, Dairi Regency and Toba Samosir Regency to the south, and Deli Serdang Regency and Simalungun Regency to the east.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tebing Tinggi</span> City in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Tebing Tinggi Deli or more commonly simply Tebing Tinggi is a city near the eastern coast of North Sumatra Province of Indonesia. It has an area of 38.44 km2 and a population at the 2010 Census of 145,180, which grew to 172,838 at the 2020 Census; the official estimate as at mid 2023 was 178,914. Tebing Tinggi is an enclave within Serdang Bedagai Regency, which surrounds it on all sides, and contains a kecamatan (district) bordering the city which is also named Tebing Tinggi.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Langsa</span> City in Sumatra, Indonesia

Langsa, is a city in Aceh, Indonesia. It is located on the island of Sumatra. Apart from a small seacoast to the northeast, it borders Manyak Payed District of Aceh Tamiang Regency to the east and is otherwise surrounded by Birem Bayeun District of Aceh Timur Regency to the north, west and south. The city covers an area of 239.83 square kilometres and had a population of 148,945 at the 2010 Census ; this grew to 185,971 at the 2020 Census, and the official estimate as at mid 2023 was 194,730, comprising 97,579 males and 97,151 females.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Nias Regency</span> Regency in North Sumatra, Indonesia

North Nias Regency is located on Nias Island in the North Sumatra province of Indonesia. The regency was created on 29 October 2008 by dividing several districts that had been part of Nias Regency. It occupies the northern portion of Nias Island and has an area of 1,242.14 square kilometres (479.6 sq mi). At the 2010 census, it had a population of 127,244, and 147,274 at the 2020 census; the official estimate at mid 2023 was 155,873. The regency's administrative capital is Lotu.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pakpak Bharat Regency</span> Regency in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Pakpak Bharat Regency is a landlocked regency in North Sumatra Province of Indonesia. It was created on 25 February 2003 from the southern districts of Dairi Regency. The regency covers an area of 1,365.6 square kilometres and it had a population of 40,481 at the 2010 census and 52,351 at the 2020 Census; the official estimate as at mid 2023 was 55,172 - comprising 27,890 males and 27,282 females. Its seat is the town of Salak. It is the least populated regency in North Sumatra; its population is roughly the same as Greenland, the island with the lowest population density in the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Simalungun Regency</span> Regency in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Simalungun Regency is a regency in North Sumatra Province of Indonesia. Its seat was formerly at Pematangsiantar, but this city was under Law No.15 of 10 March 1986 was separated from the Regency and made into an independent city (kota), although it remains geographically surrounded by the regency, whose new administrative seat is at Raya, while the regency's two most populous districts are Bandar and Siantar. The regency now covers an area of 4,372.5 square kilometres, and at the 2010 census it had a population of 817,720; at the 2020 Census this had risen to 990,246, of whom 497,314 were males and 492,932 were females; the official estimate as at mid 2023 was 1,035,920 - comprising 521,262 males and 514,658 females.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Kalimantan</span> Province of Indonesia

North Kalimantan is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the northernmost of Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. North Kalimantan borders the Malaysian states of Sabah to the north and Sarawak to the west, and by the Indonesian province of East Kalimantan to the south. Tanjung Selor serves as the capital of the province, while Tarakan is the largest city and the financial centre.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Medan Marelan</span> Subdistrict in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Medan Marelan is one of 21 administrative districts (kecamatan) in the city of Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deli River</span> Sumatran river

Deli River is a river located in Sumatra, Indonesia, and courses through Medan before discharging to the Strait of Malacca near the port city of Belawan. It is one of the eight rivers in Medan. The Deli Sultanate was founded on the delta of the river around 1640, and later around the 19th century, this river acted as an artery of trade for the sultanate to other areas.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Medan metropolitan area</span> Metropolitan area in North Sumatra, Indonesia

The Greater Medan metropolitan area, known locally as Mebidangro is a metropolitan area in North Sumatra, Indonesia, which consists of Medan City, Binjai City, Deli Serdang Regency and part of Karo Regency. The metropolitan area was established by a presidential decree in 2011. It is a leading economic centre in western Indonesia, especially for provinces of Aceh, North Sumatra, West Sumatra and Riau. The metropolitan area also serves as a hub for western Indonesia.

Medan Labuhan is the largest of the 21 administrative districts (kecamatan) in the city of Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia.


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