City of Medan
Kota Medan
Regional transcription(s)
 • Jawiميدن
 • Batakᯔᯩᯑᯉ᯲
 • Hanzi棉蘭
 • Tamilமேடான்
From top, left to right:
Flag of Medan
Coat of arms of Medan
Parijs van Sumatra (Dutch)[1][2]
Bekerja sama dan sama-sama bekerja
(Working together and everybody work)
Location within North Sumatra
Location within North Sumatra
Interactive map of Medan
Medan is located in Sumatra
Location in Sumatra and Indonesia
Medan is located in Indonesia
Medan (Indonesia)
Coordinates: 03°35′22″N 98°40′26″E / 3.58944°N 98.67389°E / 3.58944; 98.67389
Country Indonesia
Province North Sumatra
Founded1 July 1590
 • MayorBobby Nasution
 • Vice MayorAulia Rachman [id]
 • City and provincial capital281.99 km2 (108.88 sq mi)
 • Urban
478 km2 (185 sq mi)
 • Metro
2,831.97 km2 (1,093.43 sq mi)
2.5–37.5 m (8–123 ft)
 (2023 estimate [3])
 • City and provincial capital2,474,166
 • Density8,800/km2 (23,000/sq mi)
 • Urban3,632,000 (4th)
 • Urban density7,598/km2 (19,680/sq mi)
 • Metro4,744,323 (5th)
 • Metro density1,675/km2 (4,340/sq mi)
 • Ethnic groups
 • ReligionIslam
Time zoneUTC+7 (IWST)
Area code(+62) 61
Vehicle registrationBK
Nominal GDP[6]2019
 - TotalRp 241.5 trillion (4th)
US$17.1 billion
US$56.1 billion (PPP)
 - Per capitaRp 105,908 thousand (13th)
US$24,620 (PPP)
 - GrowthIncrease 6.0%
HDI (2019)Increase 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.

1886 coat of arms of Medan, showing a tobacco plant as the charge
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
Sultan Amaluddin leaving the Great Mosque on his coronation day
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.

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)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
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 days 9.7 6.3 8.0 9.3 12.2 8.9 10.5 12.4 16.7 17.8 15.2 13.1 140.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 129.6 141.0 153.1 131.2 134.8 157.9 153.9 143.9 123.1 116.3 104.8 98.1 1,587.7
Source 1: Meteomanz[30]
Source 2: Worldwide Bioclimatic Classification System (extremes)[31]WeatherOnline (sun, 2010–2019)[32]


The former Medan City Hall


Medan 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

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 25.16 80,942 97,249 100,132 9 20134-20141
12.71.11 Medan Johor 16.73 123,851 151,756 154,868 6 20142-20146
12.71.09 Medan Amplas 10.65 113,143 129,726 131,770 7 20147-20149,
20219 & 20229
12.71.04 Medan Denai 9.37 141,395 169,643 171,896 6 20226-20228
12.71.10 Medan Area 4.24 96,544 117,029 118,057 12 20211-20217
12.71.01 Medan Kota 5.75 72,580 84,666 84,778 12 20211-20219
12.71.15 Medan Maimun 3.02 39,581 49,231 49,708 6 20151-20159
12.71.16 Medan Polonia 8.77 52,794 59,915 60,679 5 20152-20157
12.71.17 Medan Baru 5.43 39,516 36,522 36,191 6 20153-20156
12.71.21 Medan Selayang 16.45 98,317 103,176 104,144 6 20131-20133
12.71.02 Medan Sunggal 13.26 112,744 129,063 133,273 6 20121-20128
12.71.03 Medan Helvetia 13.05 144,257 164,910 168,292 7 20123-20126
12.71.19 Medan Petisah 5.28 61,749 71,844 72,432 7 20112-20119
12.71.05 Medan Barat 6.34 70,771 88,602 89,248 6 20111-20117
12.71.20 Medan Timur 8.89 108,633 116,985 117,035 11 20231-20239
12.71.18 Medan Perjuangan 4.54 93,328 103,813 105,317 9 20232-20237
12.71.14 Medan Tembung 7.85 133,579 146,534 149,274 7 20221-20225
12.71.06 Medan Deli 18.83 166,793 189,321 191,743 6 20241-20244
12.71.13 Medan Labuhan 35.09 111,173 133,765 135,622 6 20251-20254,
20524 & 20525
12.71.12 Medan Marelan 30.03 140,414 182,515 189,469 5 20250-20256
12.71.08 Medan Kota Belawan 33.27 95,506 108,987 110,238 6 20411-20415
Totals 281.99 2,097,610 2,435,252 2,474,166 151

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) 281.99 2,097,610 2,435,252 2,474,166 8,774 [38]
Binjai (City) 90.45 246,154 291,842 303,272 3,353 [38]
Deli Serdang Regency 2,497.72 1,790,431 1,931,441 2,018,164 808 [38]
Karo Regency (part) 234.96 86,244 98,328 101,798 433 [38]
Greater Medan 3,105.12 4,220,439 4,756,863 4,897,400 1,577 [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
Ethnicities of Medan[39]
Ethnic group Percentage
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]
Religion Percent

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

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

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.



See also: List of tallest buildings in Medan and List of colonial buildings in Medan

The Tjong A Fie Mansion
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

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]



Main article: Kualanamu International Airport

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.


Main article: Belawan

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.


See also: Medan Station

Sri Lelawangsa commuter rail departing from Medan station
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

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[edit]

Corridor Origin–Destination
1 Medan – Binjai
2 Medan – Lubuk Pakam

Trans Metro Deli[edit]

Corridor Origin–Destination
1 Pinang Baris – Lapangan Merdeka
2 Amplas – Lapangan Merdeka
3 Belawan – Lapangan Merdeka
4 Medan Tuntungan – Lapangan Merdeka
5 Tembung – 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:


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
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

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

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Indonesia

Medan is twinned with:[77]


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  71. ^ "Norwegian consulate in Medan". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Norway). Retrieved 30 August 2022.
  72. ^ "Poland Honorary Consulate in Medan". Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Poland). Retrieved 30 August 2022.
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