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City of Medan
Kota Medan
From top, left to right: Medan Central Business District, Great Mosque of Medan, Maimun Palace, Sun Plaza, Tjong A Fie Mansion, Medan Old City Hall Building, Tirtanadi Water Tower, Sri Mariamman Temple and London Sumatra building in Kesawan
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; 98.67389Coordinates: 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]
 • Chairman of City's Council of RepresentativesHasyim Huang Kien-Lim (PDI-P)
 • Vice Chairmen of City's Council of RepresentativesIhwan Ritonga (Gerindra), Rajuddin Sagala (Prosperous Justice Party) and HT Bahrumsyah (National Mandate Party)
 • City265.10 km2 (102.36 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)
 (2020 Census)
 • City2,435,252 (4th)
 • Density9,186/km2 (23,790/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 groupsBatak, Javanese, Chinese, Malay, Indian
 • ReligionIslam
Time zoneUTC+7 (IWST)
Area code(+62) 61
Vehicle registrationBK
Nominal GDP[5]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[6]

Medan (Indonesian pronunciation: [meˈdan] (listen); English: /mədɑːn/) is the capital and largest city of the Indonesian province of North Sumatra,[7] as well as a regional hub and financial centre of Sumatra. According to the National Development Planning Agency, Medan is one of the four main central cities of Indonesia, alongside Jakarta, Surabaya, and Makassar.[8][9] As of the 2020 Census, Medan has a population of 2,435,252 within its city limits,[10][11] and over 3.4 million in its built-up urban area, making it the fourth largest urban area in Indonesia.[12] 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.[13] Medan is a multicultural metropolis and a busy trading city bordered by the Strait of Malacca, making it one of the major economic cities in Indonesia. A gateway to the western part of Indonesia, Medan is supported by the Port of Belawan and Kualanamu International Airport, both of which are connected to the city centre via toll roads and railways.

The city was founded by Guru Patimpus, a Karonese man who named the area of swampy land at the confluence of Deli River and Babura river Kampung Medan Putri. It later became a part of the Deli Sultanate which was established in 1632. In the late 19th century, colonial Dutch seeking new plantation areas chose Medan and Deli as the newest plantation hubs with Deli Company. They set up tobacco plantations, transforming Medan into a trade hub within several years, and earning Medan the nickname Het Land Dollar, meaning "the land of the money." The city was well known due to the importance of tobacco as an export to Europe and the West. The rapid development of Medan came with the Deli Railway, which was established for shipping tobacco, rubber, tea, timber, palm oil, and sugar from Medan to the Port of Belawan, and then exported around the world. Medan was the capital of the State of East Sumatra before it became the provincial capital of North Sumatra. Medan was dubbed Parijs van Sumatra due to the city's resemblance to Paris.[citation needed].

Medan is a financial, trading, and economic center not only for North Sumatra province but for the whole Sumatra Island. For many foreign investors, Medan is not only rich in culture and history but also presents itself as a dynamic economic hub of the world. As the robust capital of North Sumatra, Medan offers a large pool of human capital and talent, lower operational costs, a strategic location close to Singapore and Malaysia, and diverse natural resources. The city is known as a trading hub for palm oil export. In North Sumatra, there are approximately 4 million acres of palm oil plantations. Medan is one of the progressive markets in trading. About 60% of the economy in North Sumatra is backed by trading, agriculture, and processing industries.[14]


According to the diary of a Portuguese merchant in the early 16th century, the name of Medan was derived from Tamil word Maidhan, also known as Maidhāṉam (Tamil: மைதானம்), that means Ground, adopted from Malay language. One of the Karo-Indonesia dictionaries 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. These rivers are Sei Deli, Sei Babura, Sei Sikambing, Sei Denai, Sei Putih, Sei Percut and Muara Belawan.

Aru Kingdom

Main article: Aru Kingdom

The area in and around Medan city, Deli and Langkat Regency was the location of ancient Kingdom of Aru (Haru). The kingdom was established by the Karo people and flourished between 13th to 16th century.[15] Several archaeological sites around Medan are connected to the Kingdom of Aru, including Kota Rentang in Hamparan Perak area, Deli Serdang Regency,[16] the Kota Cina archaeological site in Medan Marelan,[17] and Benteng Putri Hijau, a fort ruin in Deli Tua, Namorambe, Deli Serdang Regency.[18]

Founding of Medan

Guru Patimpus statue in Medan, the founder of the city
Guru Patimpus statue in Medan, the founder of the city

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 Pemena follower. Following the history of trombo and Hamparan Perak (XII Kuta), Guru Patimpus studied Islam from Datuk Kota Bangun. At the time, Guru Patimpus and his people wanted to meet Datuk. Not only did they want to meet him, they also wanted to compete with him for "power." Whenever Guru Patimpus went to Kota Bangun, he always passes Pulo Brayan. In Pulo Brayan, Guru Patimpus fell in love with the Princess of Pulo Brayan. Eventually, he married the princess and had two sons, Kolok and Kecik. The married couple then turned the forest area in confluence between Deli River and Babura River into a small village, naming it Kampung Medan (lit. Medan Village). The day has been marked as the date of Medan's anniversary, 1 July 1590.[citation needed]

In his days, Guru Patimpus is known to be a forward-thinking person. This was proved by sending their children to study and read the Qur'an to Datuk Kota Bangun and then sent them to Aceh to deepen their knowledge on Islam.

In the early days, the natives called the area as the Land of Deli (Indonesian: Tanah Deli), it starts from Ular River to the Wampu River in Langkat while the Deli Sultanate in power at the time of his territory does not cover the area between the two rivers.

Statement confirming that the Kampung Medan is a description H. Muhammad Said quoting through the book Deli: In Woord en Beeld written by N. ten Cate. The statement said that early Kampung Medan was a fortress which was composed of two layers of roundabout-shaped walls at a confluence between two rivers namely Deli and Babura rivers. The Administrateur house is located across the river from the Kampung Medan. The location of Kampung Medan is in the modern-day location of the Wisma Benteng building now and the Administrateur house is in present-day PTP IX Deli Tobacco building.

Deli Sultanate

Main article: Deli Sultanate

In the 16th century there was a kingdom called Aru, with its center located where Deli Tua is now (south of Medan). In 1612, the Acehnese Sultan Iskandar Muda defeated Aru. The Acehnese appointed Hisyamsudin (later he changed his name to Tuanku Gocah Pahlawan), titled as Laksamana Kuda Bintan as their representative in this kingdom of East Sumatra. In 1632 Aceh established the Deli Sultanate (Jawi: کسلطانن دلي) and Gocah Pahlawan became the first king. Gocah Pahlawan opens a new land in Sungai Lalang and Percut. As the Mayor and Deputy of Sultan of Aceh as well as by utilizing the large size of Aceh Empire, Gocah Pahlawan managed to expand his territory, thereby covering Percut Sei Tuan and Medan Deli district now. He also founded the villages of Gunung Barus, Sampali, Kota Bangun, Pulo Brayan, Kota Jawa, Kota Rengas and Sigara-gara. He died in 1669 and was followed by his son Tuangku Panglima Perunggit who moved the center of the kingdom to Labuhan Deli, which then proclaimed the independence of Deli Sultanate from Aceh Sultanate in 1669, with its capital in Medan Labuhan, approximately 15 km from the city center now.

During the reign of the third king, Tuanku Panglima Padrap (ruled 1698–1728), the kingdom was moved to Pulo Brayan due to floods. The fourth king, "Tuanku Panglima Pasutan" (ruled between 1728 and 1761) organized the kingdom in four tribes, each led by a Datuk (a Malay title for high ranking persons). During the time of the fifth king, "Tuanku Panglima Gandar Wahib" (ruled 1761–1805) the Datuks increased their power.

Sultan Amaluddin, the sixth sultan leaving the Great Mosque on his coronation day, in February 1925
Sultan Amaluddin, the sixth sultan leaving the Great Mosque on his coronation day, in February 1925
Crowd in front of the Maimun Palace, the Sultan of Deli's palace, 1925
Crowd in front of the Maimun Palace, the Sultan of Deli's palace, 1925

The sixth ruler was "Sultan Amaluddin Mengedar Alam" (ruled 1805–1850). During his years the Siak Sultanate became a stronger influence in Deli than the Acehnese Sultanate, and the ruler was given the title: Sultan. The seventh ruler was "Sultan Osman Perkasa Alam" (ruled 1850 to 1858), during his leadership the Deli Sultanate became autonomous.

The eighth ruler, "Sultan Mahmud Al Rasyid Perkasa Alam" (ruled 1858–1873) started the relationship with the Dutch, a relationship that became rather intimate. The next ruler was "Sultan Ma'mun Al Rashid Perkasa Alamyah", who ruled from 1873 to 1924 when the tobacco trade expanded. He moved the kingdom to Medan and finished the construction of the Maimun Palace in 1888. He also built the grand mosque of Al Ma'shun which is commonly known as Great Mosque of Medan now in 1907. He became known as the builder of early Medan in cooperation with the Dutch and Tjong Yong Hian and Tjong A Fie, two Chinese businessmen brothers and also Kapitans who built a large plantation business in Deli. They all brought Medan-Deli as new development area including business centers such as banks, offices, plantation areas, housing, railroad and a port. The tenth "Sultan Amaluddin Al Sani Perkasa Alamsyah" (ruled 1924–1945) expanded harbors, with commerce increased during his 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.

The Sultanate of Deli still exists until this day, even though the administrative powers has been replaced with elected Mayors. The current sultan is Sultan Mahmud Lamanjiji Perkasa Alam, the 14th sultan, (ruled since 2005). At age eight, he became the youngest Sultan of Deli ever crowned.

Dutch East Indies era

Sultan Ma
Sultan Ma'mun, ninth Sultan of Deli Sultanate, during his reign, Medan was openly cooperated with colonial
Tjong A Fie
Tjong A Fie, one of Kapitan in Medan, philanthropist and contributor to Medan early development
Jacob Nienhuys
Jacob Nienhuys,
founder of tobacco producer, Deli Company, who bring major development of Medan
An aerial view of Port of Belawan, 1920s
An aerial view of Port of Belawan, 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.

This resulted in an increase in cruise ships carrying predominantly white Europeans coming to Dutch East Indies as tourists for a tour of the region, including Medan as the largest tobacco plantation in Dutch East Indies at that time. To accommodate the tourists, it was deemed necessary to have European-class hotels. Therefore, in 1898, a Dutch businessman named Aeint Herman de Boer built Hotel de Boer in the northwest of the Esplanade (now Lapangan Merdeka Medan).

Kesawan Road, circa 1900
Kesawan Road, circa 1900

Exports were very dependent on British shipping in 1890 when Sabang 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.[citation needed]

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 although it was not a daily publication. 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 affluent lifestyles. Medan became known as the Paris of Sumatra (lit. Parijs van Sumatra (Dutch)). Up until 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.

Tobacco plantations

Medan did not develop rapidly until the 1860s, when the Dutch authorities began to release new land for tobacco plantations. Jacob Nienhuys, Van der Falk, and Elliot, who were Dutch tobacco merchants, pioneered the opening of the tobacco plantation in Deli. Nienhuys' previous tobacco business in Java moved to Deli after an invitation by an Arab from Surabaya named Said Abdullah Bilsagih, brother-in-law of the Deli Sultan Mahmud Perkasa Alam. Initially, Nienhuys cultivated tobacco on 4,000 hectares of land in Tanjong Spassi, near Labuhan, owned by the Sultan of Deli. In March 1864, Nienhuys sent samples of his crop of tobacco to Rotterdam, Netherlands to test its quality. Apparently, the tobacco leaves were considered high quality for cigar materials. Hence Deli's name rose as a producer of the best cigar wrappers for Europeans.

Coat of arms of Medan during colonial era, adopted in 1886, showing tobacco plant as the charge
Coat of arms of Medan during colonial era, adopted in 1886, showing tobacco plant as the charge
Coolies working in the seedbeds on a tobacco plantation in Medan, c. 1900s
Coolies working in the seedbeds on a tobacco plantation in Medan, c. 1900s

The tobacco treaty was signed by the Sultan of Deli and the Dutch in 1865. After two years, Nienhuys along with Jannsen, P.W. Clemen, and Cremer founded the company De Deli Maatschappij abbreviated Deli Mij in Labuhan. In 1869, Nienhuys moved the head office of Deli Mij to Kampung Medan. The new office was built on the confluence of Deli and Babura river, precisely at the office of PTPN II (ex PTPN IX) now. With the transfer of the office, Medan quickly became the center of government activity and trade, as well as area with the most dominant development in western Indonesia. The rapid development of the economy transformed Deli into a major trading center nicknamed het land dollar aka the land of the money. Then, they opened up new plantations in the Martubung and Sunggal areas in 1869, as well in Sungai Beras and Klumpang in 1875, bringing the total to 22 plantation companies in the year 1874. Given the activities of the tobacco trade was already very broad and growing, Kampung Medan became increasingly crowded and then developed with a name that is known as the Medan-Deli.

The development of Medan-Deli as a trading center was followed by it becoming a center of government. In 1879, Capital Assistant of Deli Resident moved from Labuhan to Medan. On 1 March 1887, the capital of the Resident of East Sumatra also moved from Bengkalis to Medan Deli Sultanate Palace which was originally located in Kampung Bahari (Labuhan) and Pulo Brayan also moved with the completion of Maimoon Palace on 18 May 1891, and thus the Capital of Deli officially moved to Medan.

Growth of Medan-Deli

Crossroad of Canton and Hakka street in Medan's Chinatown, 1930
Crossroad of Canton and Hakka street in Medan's Chinatown, 1930
An aerial view of Medan, 1920. Visible from the photo are the railway station, the Esplanade (now Merdeka Walk), City Hall, the Javasche Bank (now Bank Indonesia), post office, Hotel de Boer and office of the Deli Maatschappij
An aerial view of Medan, 1920. Visible from the photo are the railway station, the Esplanade (now Merdeka Walk), City Hall, the Javasche Bank (now Bank Indonesia), post office, Hotel de Boer and office of the Deli Maatschappij

In 1915, the Residency of East Sumatra enhanced its status to Gubernermen. In 1918 the city of Medan officially became Gemeente (Municipal) with Mayor Baron Daniël Mackay. Based on the "Acte van Schenking" (Grant Deed) No. 97 Notary J.M. de-Hondt Junior, dated 30 November 1918, the Sultan of Deli handed over the land of Medan-Deli to the Gemeente, thus officially becoming the region under the direct rule of the Dutch East Indies. In the early days of this township, Medan still consisted of four villages, namely Kampung Kesawan, Kampung Sungai Rengas, Kampung Petisah Hulu and Kampung Petisah Hilir.

In 1918, there were 43,826 residents of Medan, made up of 409 Europeans, 35,009 Native Indonesians, 8,269 Chinese and 139 East foreigners such as Indians.

Since then, the Medan developed more rapidly. Various facilities were built. Some of these include the Office of Experiment Stations named AVROS in Kampung Baru (1919), now RISPA, the railway of Pangkalan Brandan – Besitang (1919), Tirtanadi Water Tower (1908), American Consulate (1919), Teacher school on Jl. H.M. Yamin now (1923), Mingguan Soematra (1924), Pool Association Medan (1924), Central Market (Grote Markt), St. Elizabeth Hospital, Eye Hospital and Kebun Bunga Sports field (1929).

Since the beginning, Medan has been positioned at the center of trade. Being chosen as the capital of Deli, Medan also developed into a center of government. Until now, excluding one of the areas of the city, also serves as the capital of North Sumatra province.[clarification needed]

Japanese occupation and post independence era

British East Indian troops land in East Sumatra to help the Dutch end the Japanese occupation in Medan.
British East Indian troops land in East Sumatra to help the Dutch end the Japanese occupation in Medan.
A biscuit factory in Medan in the late 1950s
A biscuit factory in Medan in the late 1950s

In 1942, the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies, arriving in Sumatra by February. Sumatra was placed under the command of the 25th Army, based in Singapore.[19] The Japanese troops who landed in the Tanjung Tiram, Asahan and entered Medan by bicycles that they bought from the people around them by bartering. They have the motto that they help the Asians because they are the elder brothers of the Asians, so they are very welcomed upon arrival.

The transfer of Dutch colonial to the Japanese was very chaotic, the natives took this opportunity to take revenge against the Dutch. This situation was immediately brought under control by the Japanese army by deploying its troops named Kempetai. With the entry of Japan in Medan, the situation immediately changed, especially the civil government which in the Dutch era was called gemeentebestuur, the Japanese changed to Medan Sico (Municipal Government). The one who served in the civilian government at the Medan municipal level at that time until the end of Japanese rule was named Hoyasakhi. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, Sumatra came under the authority of the South East Asia Command headed by British Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten. On 17 August, Sukarno proclaimed Indonesia independence in Jakarta, and appointed Muhammad Hasan as governor of Sumatra. However, news of the proclamation was only announced by Hasan in Medan on 30 September. After allied troops landed in October, clashes with armed Republicans led to the Battle of Medan.[20][21]

In December 1947, the Dutch established the State of East Sumatra with Medan as its capital in the area they controlled following the Operation Product against the republicans. This became part of the United States of Indonesia, but was dissolved into the unitary republic of Indonesia in 1950.[22]

The city development remained stagnant until the 1970s, when big developments, especially palm oil and rubber plantation company headquarters, making Medan the busiest city outside Java. The big migration program brought a lot of Javanese and the Batak people began to settle in the city as many people from Java and rural part of the province sought jobs.

In 1998, 4 to 8 May 1998 riots occurred in Medan due to 1997 Asian financial crisis. They began when demonstrations around many campuses for nearly two months between students clashing with security officials that resulted in the death of a student. The next day, the mobs became bigger, targeting and attacking the business and trading sector that lead into a racial riot, with many shops and vehicles burned and looted at several roads around the city which is majority owned by Chinese residents. As a result, a curfew was imposed for more than two weeks until peace returned.[citation needed]

On 5 September 2005, Mandala Airlines Flight 091 crashed right a minute after takeoff from old Polonia International Airport from Medan to Jakarta. The aircraft stalled and 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, an additional 49 civilians on the ground were killed.[23] This flight accident led to planning by moving to newly built airport in Deli Serdang that completed in 2012, named as Kualanamu International Airport. The moving to the new airport relaxed height restriction laws in the city. Currently many under constructed apartment, condominium, office building, and others which passed 100 meters and above, bring the sign of current rapid development of Medan.


Medan is in the northeastern part of Sumatra island, in North Sumatra province. Medan itself is a semi-enclave within Deli Serdang Regency, as Medan is bordered by Deli Serdang in south, east, and west, while Medan borders with Strait of Malacca in the north.

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.[24] Its elevation varies between 2.5 and 37.5 m (8 ft 2 in and 123 ft 0 in) 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 km (31 to 43 mi) from the city).


Under the Köppen climate classification, Medan features a tropical rainforest climate (Af) with no real dry season.[25] Medan does have noticeably wetter and drier months, with its driest month (January) on average seeing about one third of the precipitation of its wettest month (October). Temperatures in the city average approximately 27 °C (81 °F) throughout the course of the year. Annual precipitation in the Medan is around 2,200 mm (87 in).

Climate data for Medan (Polonia), elevation: 27 m or 89 ft, 1977-1994
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 35
Average high °C (°F) 31.6
Daily mean °C (°F) 25.5
Average low °C (°F) 22.2
Record low °C (°F) 18.3
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 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: World Meteorological Organization[26] and Worldwide Bioclimatic Classification System (daily mean and record temperature)[27]
Source 2: WeatherOnline (sun, 2010–2019)[28]

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).


The old and former Medan City Hall building
The old and former Medan City Hall building


Medan was governed by Mayor Dr. H. Abdillah Ak, MBA in 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 from his position and the Governor then appointed Rahudman Harahap as a replacement. Because Rahudman wanted to be a candidate in the 2010 mayor election, he too resigned from the office. Left with no choice, Syamsul Arifin himself became the acting mayor. In the 2010 mayor election, Rahudman Harahap won the election. However, Rahudman was then arrested due to corruption which resulted in his deputy Dzulmi Eldin officially becoming the acting mayor.[29] In February 2016, Dzulmi won the election and became the mayor for five years (2016–2021).[30] Currently, Medan is led by Bobby Nasution as a mayor and Aulia Rachman as a vice mayor.[31]

Administrative divisions

District divisions of Medan
District divisions of Medan

Medan is divided into 21 districts (Indonesian: kecamatan), tabulated below with their areas and populations at the 2010 Census,[32][33][34][35] and the 2020 Census.[11] The table also includes the number of administrative villages (urban kelurahan) in each district, and its postal codes.

Name Area
in km2
Medan Tuntungan 20.68 80,942 97,249 9 20134-20141
Medan Johor 14.58 123,851 151,756 6 20142-20146
Medan Amplas 11.19 113,143 129,726 7 20147-20149,
20219 & 20229
Medan Denai 9.05 141,395 169,643 6 20226-20228
Medan Area 5.52 96,544 117,029 12 20211-20217
Medan Kota 5.27 72,580 84,666 12 20211-20219
Medan Maimun 2.98 39,581 49,231 6 20151-20159
Medan Polonia 9.01 52,794 59,915 5 20152-20157
Medan Baru 5.84 39,516 36,522 6 20153-20156
Medan Selayang 12.81 98,317 103,176 6 20131-20133
Medan Sunggal 15.44 112,744 129,063 6 20121-20128
Medan Helvetia 13.16 144,257 164,910 7 20123-20126
Medan Petisah 6.82 61,749 71,844 7 20112-20119
Medan Barat 5.33 70,771 88,602 6 20111-20117
Medan Timur 7.76 108,633 116,985 11 20231-20239
Medan Perjuangan 4.09 93,328 103,813 9 20232-20237
Medan Tembung 7.99 133,579 146,534 7 20221-20225
Medan Deli 20.84 166,793 189,321 6 20241-20244
Medan Labuhan 36.67 111,173 133,765 6 20251-20254,
20524 & 20525
Medan Marelan 23.82 140,414 182,515 5 20250-20256
Medan Kota Belawan 26.25 95,506 108,987 6 20411-20415
Totals 265.10 2,097,610 2,435,252 151

The city is centralised around Medan Petisah, Medan Baru, Medan Polonia, Medan Maimun, Medan Kota, and Medan Barat (West Medan) which act as the city centers. Medan Labuhan is one of the largest districts by area (together with Medan Belawan and Medan Marelan) and lies on 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.

The 21 districts are sub-divided into 151 neighborhoods or urban villages (kelurahan).


The city is Indonesia's fourth most populous after Jakarta, Surabaya and Bandung, as well as Indonesia's largest city outside Java island. The population within the city's borders has risen from 568,000 in 1968[36] fourfold to 2.1 million in 2010, and rose again to 2,435,252 at the 2020 Census. Much more of the population lies outside its city limits, especially in Deli Serdang Regency. The official Metropolitan area (Wilayah Metropolitan Medan) was inhabited by 4,220,439 people in 2010, but had risen to 4,744,323 in 2020.

in km2
Medan (City) 265.10 2,097,610 2,435,252 9,186 [37]
Binjai (City) 90.23 246,154 279,302 3,095 [37]
Deli Serdang Regency 2,241.68 1,790,431 1,931,441 862 [37]
Karo Regency (part) 234.96 86,244 98,328 418 [37]
Greater Medan 2,831.97 4,220,439 4,744,323 1,675 [37]

The four districts of Karo Regency within the metropolitan area are Merdaka, Berastagi, Dolat Rayat and Barusjahe.

Ethnicities and languages

Batak (including Mandailing and Karo people) and Javanese are the major ethnic groups in Medan, along with Chinese, Minangkabau and Malay populations and smaller groups of Acehnese, Indians, Nias, and Sundanese people. Medan also has foreign residents from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Middle East and other Asian countries.[38]

Women representatives of Minang, Batak-Karo, Malay, Chinese, Javanese and Indian are giving a floral tribute to the pilots of the first commercial flight from Holland to Batavia via Medan in front of the townhall in Medan, 1924
Women representatives of Minang, Batak-Karo, Malay, Chinese, Javanese and Indian are giving a floral tribute to the pilots of the first commercial flight from Holland to Batavia via Medan in front of the townhall in Medan, 1924
Ethnicities of Medan[38]
Ethnic group Percentage
An Indian, local Malay, and Batak seller in Kesawan Chinatown area, taken around the 1940s
An Indian, local Malay, and Batak seller in Kesawan Chinatown area, taken around the 1940s

The city has diverse communities, reflected by its history. The Bataks are one of the major ethnic groups in Medan; with there being three Batak subethnicities residing in the city including the Toba, Karo and Mandailing Bataks. The Karo people are the natives in Medan. Meanwhile, the Toba people were employed by the Dutch as workers in oil palm plantations. Lastly, the Mandailing people came in masses after the independence era to find better jobs. The Bataks reside throughout the city, while the Karo people reside around southern areas such as Padang Bulan, Medan Johor and Tuntungan. Toba Batak people reside in Marindal and Amplas; a large number also live in nearby city-centers such as the Medan Perjuangan district, while the Mandailing people mostly reside in Medan Tembung. Bataknese language are very diversified, main Batak language in Medan are Batak and Karo languages.

In addition, there is a large ethnic Javanese community, largely made up of the descendants of people transported from Java in the last 19th century to be employed as contract workers at various plantations in North Sumatra. They are usually known as Pujakesuma (Indonesian: Putra Jawa Kelahiran Sumatera, English: Sumatra-born Javanese). Their presence in Medan can be marked from various Javanese toponymies in Medan, such as Tanjungsari, Sarirejo, Sidodadi, Sidorejo, etc. (mostly in East Medan and Medan Tembung area), mostly of them are speaking Javanese with its local variation. The Malays are also natives of Medan, already living in outskirt areas such as Belawan and Labuhan since the Aru era as fishermen. They came to the city after Deli Sultanate new palace was established in the 18th century. Over time, the Malays spread throughout the city with the biggest concentration of people living in Medan Maimun, Kota Matsum, Labuhan and Belawan, many of them are speaking Malay.

A highly visible component of city population is the large number of Chinese whom migrated from southern China to Deli in the 16th century with mass migration occurring in the last 19th and early 20th century for those seeking employment as planters and coolies. Now, Medan is home of the largest Chinese community on Sumatra island; they are active in business and trading activities which contribute greatly to the city economy. Unlike the Java-born Chinese, most Chinese people in Medan speak fluent Hokkien, a dialect originating from Fujian, a province in southern part of China. They also made its own variation of Hokkien that are called as Medan Hokkien, with borrowed many local words. Many also speak Mandarin, Teochew, and Cantonese, depending on the language of their ancestors. The Chinese reside throughout the city, but the majority live around the city centre. The city also hosts a sizable community of Indian Indonesian, mostly are Tamil descendants, commonly known as Madrasis or Tamilan. A well-known Tamil neighbourhood is Kampung Madras, which is located in the city center and is heralded as one of the busiest parts of the city, other small Indian ethnics are also presence such as Punjabi, Malayali and Telugu, the main language among Indians in Medan are Tamil and English, beside Bahasa Indonesia, some of them are also fluent in Punjabi, Malayalam and Telugu.

Minangkabaus is also known as the merchants, peddlers, and artisans, in addition to white collar workers such as doctors, lawyers, and journalists. Minangkabau restaurants, known as Padang Restaurant, scattered throughout the city. The Minang people came to Medan in the mid-19th century. In 1960s to 1980s, the number of Minangkabau people migrating to Medan surged, and formed 8.6% of the population in the city. The Minangkabaus living around Medan Denai and Medan Maimun area, most of them are speaking Minangkabau[39] Acehnese are other minority ethnicities in Medan. A significant number of Aceh people mostly came after the conflict that happened in Aceh in the late 1970s when they sought sanctuary. Today, they are known working as merchants such as grocery store operators and can be found in Mie Aceh restaurants around Setia Budi and Ring Road/Sunggal areas, mostly Aceh people are speaking Acehnese, Gayonese are also exist among them.

Even though many languages are exist in Medan, mostly of them are communicate each other with own slang, called as Bahasa Medan or Dialek Medan (Medanese slang) that made from Bahasa Indonesia with various words taken from its respective ethnics, mainly from Malay language, the sounds of Medanese slang are quite loud and harsh that sometimes offends their listeners.


Religion of Medan – 2019 Census[40]
Religion Percent

The majority of Medan's inhabitants are Muslim, comprising approximately 66 percent of the total population. There is a large significant Christian population around 25 percent including Catholic, with various denominations including the Batak Christian Protestant Church, Methodist and Lutheran. Around 9 percent are followed Buddhists, and there are smaller numbers of Hindus, Confucianism and Sikhism are also exist in the city. Medan host diversified house of worships includes mosque, church, cathedral, buddhist temple (vihara/wat), hindu temple (koil/pura), taoist temple, and gurdwaras.

Islam are mostly followed by the Malay, Minangkabau, Javanese, Mandailing-Angkola and Achehnese people, while the Bataknese are majority following Christianity. There are also Bataknese that are following the traditional religion such as Pemena and Parmalim. Buddhism are major religion for the Chinese, while small community of them are following Confucianism and Christian. Meanwhile Hinduism are mostly followed by the Indians.


The Bank Indonesia building in Medan. The tall building behind is the Grand Aston hotel.
The Bank Indonesia building in Medan. The tall building behind is the Grand Aston hotel.

Medan is one of the largest metropolitan cities in Indonesia and became the center of growth in the province of North Sumatra. The city is an important commercial and economic hub of Indonesia. Locals, as well as many foreigners have set up their business to take advantage of its dynamism and boost its economy. Medan's economy was mainly based on tobacco, rubber, tea, palm and coffee culture and production, but growing manufacturing sector such as automotive, production of machinery, tiles, paper and pulp, etc., also currently contribute to the city's economy.

bird view of Belawan Container Terminal
bird view of Belawan Container Terminal

With the enactment of Government Regulation No 28/2008, this metropolitan area has been recognised as one of the Indonesian National Strategic Regions (Indonesian: Kawasan Strategis Nasional or KSN). Since then, Medan City has continued to support a large portion of regional trade and logistic flow across the municipalities within this particular KSN as well as across most of the western part of Indonesia (RTR Metropolitan Mebidangro, 2012). Currently, Medan is the centre point for crop trading for different commodities produced in the region such as rubber, palm oil, cinnamon, tobacco, tea, and coffee, a great portion of which have been exported to Europe, North America, and Middle East. In the global context, Medan’s geographical advantages have also played important parts within a triangle alliance with Malaysia and Thailand (known as the Indonesia–Malaysia–Thailand Growth Triangle or IMT-GT), that enables mutual partnerships in tourism, commerce, culture, health, and education among the three countries.[41]

Medan is one of the most industrialized city in Sumatra, consisting of many small, medium and large-scale enterprises. Because of its location and its proximity to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, it functions strategically as the main gateway for trading of goods and financial services on domestic, regional and international levels in the western region of Indonesia. Many international companies maintain offices in the city, namely Asian Agri,[42] London Sumatra,[43] Musim Mas,[44] Philips Lighting, Toba Pulp Lestari, Marriott, ABB Group and DBS Bank, etc.

Medan is one of Indonesia's most promising property markets outside Java, and several high-value developments have transformed its property market – and skyline. Many of the country's big property developers are building condominiums, hotels, office towers and shopping malls in the city. Medan is also known as the "City of Million Shophouses", as the majority of the population work in the trade sector, opening shops nearing their houses. In recent years, the city has undergone rapid development, which made the residential property prices in Medan trend upward.[45] Lamudi, a worldwide real estate portal, recognized Medan as one among six cities in Asia to feature and preserve several colonial architectural sites, while accompanying its growth as a metropolitan city.[46]

Downtown Medan in January 2019


Medan is inhabited by many different ethnic groups. Malay people are the natives of the Medan area, and have deep roots in Medan. They began ruling there during the Deli Sultanate until now. The empire has many lands and property of heritage in Medan, such a palace, a mosque, and park. The Dutch bringing a big contributor to the city development, include during Dutch East Indies era, many historical buildings are made by Dutch and Peranakan architecture along Jalan Kesawan and Pemuda. The arrival of Minangkabaus, Bataks, Javanese, Chinese and Indian people bringing more colours to the culture of Medan, especially cuisine.

In addition to food culture, the migrants also brought the story-writing culture which in the 1930s-1940s was known as Roman Medan. The romance novels by Medan writers usually tell the story of the life of the people in Deli (Medan and its surroundings). Several romance novel writers who grew up in Medan, including Hamka, Joesoef Souyb, Tamar Djaja, Matu Mona, and A. Damhoeri.[47]


The North Sumatra Museum
The North Sumatra Museum

The North Sumatra Museum is located approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) to the south from the center of the city, which is in Jalan HM. Joni 15 Medan. The Minister of Education and Culture, Dr. Daoed Joesoef opened the museum in April 1982. It is mainly centered around North Sumatran ethnic groups and artifacts.

The Bukit Barisan Museum is a military museum opened by Brigade General Leo Lopulisa on 21 June 1971. The museum is located at 8 Jalan H. Zainul Arifin. It houses several historic weapons include weapons that were used in the struggle for independence and the revolt in North Sumatra during 1958. Motives/ painting of the revolt against the Netherlands were presented.[48]

The Rahmat International Wildlife Museum & Gallery, or the Rahmat Gallery, opened in 1999 and is considered the city's preeminent taxidermy collection. It is located on Jalan Letjen S. Parman No.309.[49]


Soto Medan
Soto Medan
Several Bika Ambon
Several Bika Ambon
Food stall seller in Jalan Selatpanjang, Medan
Food stall seller in Jalan Selatpanjang, Medan

Because of its multiculturality, Medan has a wide variety of cuisines ranging from local, western, east and southern Asian, and middle eastern cuisine. The city also hosts a lot of cafes, restaurants, food centers and street vendors with varying price points.

Nelayan, a famous restaurant in Medan, serves halal-Chinese seafood and dim sum. Garuda and Uda Sayang are the most popular Minangkabau restaurant in Medan which serves nasi padang and gulai, meanwhile Sate Afrizal Amir is one of the best sate padang in Medan. Cahaya Baru is an Indian restaurant located on Kampung Madras with chapati and tandoori as its most recommended food. The most visited Batak restaurant are OnDo Batak grill and Tesalonika known best for their babi panggang (grilled pork) and saksang.

This city is known as "the culinary heaven of Indonesia," as Medan is prominent for its street hawkers which offers a great variety of cheap local delicacies. Medan has several well-known culinary spots such as Jalan Selat Panjang and Jalan Semarang for Chinese food, Jalan Pagaruyung for Indian and Malay food and Jalan Padang Bulan for Batak food.

Merdeka Walk is the first tensile structure (alfresco outdoor concept) in Indonesia, filled with a variety of cafés and restaurants. Durian is a popular fruit in Indonesia and nowhere more so than in Medan. This thorny fruit, with its distinctive taste and smell, is available all over the city. Ucok Durian along Jalan Iskandar Muda is the most known durian stall in the city.

Soto Medan is a savoury stew made with various meats (including innards) that are fried beforehand, and coconut milk. It is usually served with rice and a piece of potato croquette (perkedel).

Bika Ambon is a famous local dessert. Made from ingredients such as tapioca flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and coconut milk. Bika Ambon are generally sold in pandan flavour, although other flavors such as banana, durian, cheese, and chocolate are also available. Bika Ambon Zulaikha is the most known bika ambon seller which has several branches in the city.

Babi Panggang Karo, often abbreviated as BPK, is grilled pork with its blood curd being used as a dipping sauces. It is usually served with plain rice and sambal andaliman, a spicy condiment made from local Sichuan peppers. The Chinese equivalent of grilled pork are called as Cha Sio (叉烧)

Tau Kua He Ci (豆干虾炸), also known as Lap Choi (腊菜), is local Chinese version of Rojak (often pronounced ru-jak), but made with fried prawn, vegetables and tofu with chilli sauce. Its other name also called as[clarification needed].

Teng-Teng (丁丁) is a candy made with peanuts.

Dried fruits and many unique cuisines can be found in Pasar Rame, which operates every day from morning to the afternoon, located just beside Thamrin Plaza.[50]

Bolu Meranti is the most famous homemade Swiss roll in Medan, which are frequently bought by local tourists as a souvenir. The Medanese dried anchovies also is one of a "must" souvenirs from Medan, could be bought from Pusat Pasar (Central Market).


Tirtanadi Water Tower, one of the main icon of Medan, built in 1908
Tirtanadi Water Tower, one of the main icon of Medan, built in 1908


Main article: List of colonial buildings in Medan

See also: List of tallest buildings in Medan

The peranakan Tjong A Fie Mansion
The peranakan Tjong A Fie Mansion

There are many old buildings in Medan that still retain their Dutch architecture. These include the old City Hall, the Medan Post Office, Inna Dharma Deli Hotel, Titi Gantung (a bridge over the railway), The London Sumatra building, the Tjong A Fie Mansion, AVROS, Warenhuis, and The Tirtanadi Water Tower, mostly located around the old town Kesawan.

There are several historic places such as Maimoon Palace 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 built in 1906 in the Moroccan style by the Dutch architect A.J. Dingemans.[51] 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.

Gunung Timur Temple or locally known as Tông-Yuk-Kuàng in Hokkien, is a city's oldest Taoism temple, located on Jalan Hang Tuah. Medan has a Buddhist temple named as Maha Vihara Maitreya, and there is also a Buddhist centre nearby named as Maha Karuna Buddhist Centre (MKBC) this temple complex known as one of the biggest non-historical Buddhist temple in Indonesia, both situated around Cemara Asri housing complex. Medan Cathedral is the oldest church in the city, was built by the Dutch and Indian community nearby, and the church was named as Indische Kerk back then, located on the old town along Jalan Pemuda. Sri Mariamman Temple is the first Hindu temple in Medan built around 1881 by The Tamil peoples in the city, located on Jalan Zainul Arifin, The city's Little India or more known as Kampung Madras, the temple has unique south Indian architecture with hundred Hindu deity statues around the building.

Since 2005, a Catholic church named Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni was built with an Indo-Mogul style, devoted to Mary; the particular Saint knows its origin with an apparition in the 17th century in Tamil Nadu, India. The temple has two stories and a small tower of seven storeys, it is situated on Jalan Sakura III, besides outer ring road on Jalan TB Simatupang.[citation needed]

Shopping centre

Sun Plaza front view
Sun Plaza front view
DeliPark Mall
DeliPark Mall

Medan is one of the major shopping centres of Indonesia, along with Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya.

Medan also has several modern shopping malls:

Theme parks

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


Medan is connected by road, air, rail and sea.


Main article: Kualanamu International Airport

Kualanamu International Airport

The new Kualanamu International Airport (KNO) was opened to the public on 25 July 2013. 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). It is the first airport in Indonesia which has direct rail links to the city. The airport is the hub for Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia AirAsia, Lion Air, Susi Air and Wings Air.[53] The new airport is a replacement for the Polonia Airport. Unlike the old Polonia Airport which was located in the heart of the city, this new airport is approximately 39 km (24 mi) from downtown. The airport has direct domestic flights to many major cities in Sumatra and Java. There are also international flights to Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, etc. An airport train known as Kualanamu Airport Rail Link Services connects the airport to city center. The train runs from Medan Main Station beside the Merdeka Square at Jalan Balai Kota from 4:00 a.m. to 08:00 p.m, and from the airport from 5:25 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. It is the fastest way to reach the airport from the city, taking 30 minutes. Alternate modes of transport from the airport into the city may take longer (30 to 47 minutes).


Main article: Belawan

The new Bandar Deli port in Belawan
The new Bandar Deli port in Belawan

The Port of Belawan (Pelabuhan Belawan) is the main seaport in Medan. Located in the northeast coast of Sumatra, Belawan is situated 12 mi (19 km) north of Medan city and serves as a port, which is the terminus of a railway that crosses the channel south of the island by bridge.[54]

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.[55]

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

The Amplas toll plaza
The Amplas toll plaza

Medan is connected by the Trans-Sumatran Highway, the main road across Sumatra, and the Belawan-Medan-Tanjung Morawa Toll Road, also known as the Belmera Toll Road, connecting Belawan, Medan and Tanjung Morawa. Currently toll roads have been connected the city to the airport, Binjai, and Tebing Tinggi.


See also: Medan Station

Sri Lelawangsa commuter rail departing from Medan station
Sri Lelawangsa commuter rail departing from Medan station
Railink Airport train in Medan station
Railink Airport train in Medan station

Railway lines 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, Tanjungbalai, and Rantau Prapat. An elevated railway is already constructed and is now on operations over several rail lines around Medan to avoid level crossings and reduce traffic congestion.[56]

Long-distance trains from the Medan Station are:

The Kualanamu Airport Railink Services train is an airport express train connecting from Medan Station (City Railway Station – CRS) to Kualanamu International Airport Station (Airport Railink Station – ARS), operated 18 hours (from 5 am to 11 pm) with 30-minute distances. An elevated railway is already constructed and is now on operations to make this airport rail service 15-minute distances. The CRS provides with a city check-in services for selected airlines.

Public transport

One of the endangered features of Medan are the motorized rickshaws known as a becak motor (bentor) or becak mesin, although bicycle rickshaws are also available. Becaks are found almost everywhere. Unlike the Javanese rickshaws, the driver sits on the right side of the vehicle, and can take its passenger anywhere in the city. The fare to ride a becak is relatively cheap and is usually negotiated beforehand. Ride sharing services Gojek and Grab are available and widely used for public transportation.

There are also more public transport like taxis, but minibuses known as sudako or angkutan kota (angkot) are used more often by the locals. Angkots can be found easily in medium-to-high congested roads. Angkots follow their own route numbers, usually printed or painted on the vehicle itself. The routes are not explicitly listed or written, but are usually spread in a word-of-mouth basis by the locals.

TransMebidang and Trans Metro Deli are two bus rapid transit system in Medan and its nearby urban areas that has several active corridors:

Corridor Origin–Destination
1 Medan – Binjai
2 Medan – Lubuk Pakam
The Trans Metro Deli Bus
The Trans Metro Deli Bus
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 Post Office

Medan serves several radio and TV channels, and is also home to newspapers in local and foreign languages such as Indonesian, English, Chinese, Batak, Malay and others.

Television channels

Medan has a bunch of television stations; there are public and private national networks as well as local channels. Local stations including the public TVRI Sumatera Utara (a regional station serving North Sumatra, which headquartered in the city) and; as well as local variation of


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


Several national and local newspapers are available in the city, with Mimbar Umum as the oldest one. Major newspapers based in Medan include Waspada, Analisa, Jurnal Medan, Berita Sore, Harian Global, Harian Medan Bisnis, Posmetro Medan, Sinar Indonesia Baru, and Tribun Medan. There are also some national Mandarin 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 newspapers like The Jakarta Post are also distributed in the city.

Aplaus Magazine is one of the magazines from the city, published monthly and focuses on food, travel, inspiration. The magazine is the pioneer of a local magazine that specializes in the discussion of urban lifestyle. First published in 2005, Aplaus Magazine is managed by Analisa daily.


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; 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 Jalan Plaju 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 is used mostly for football matches, and serves as a home stadium for PSMS Medan.


St. Elisabeth Hospital
St. Elisabeth Hospital
Murni Teguh Hospital
Murni Teguh Hospital

Medan has more than 30 registered hospitals. Three of them are public and the rest are private:


The State University of Medan, a postgraduate campus
The State University of Medan, a postgraduate campus

As the largest city outside of Java island, Medan provides more than 827 registered elementary schools, 337 middle Schools and 288 high schools, including state-owned, private, religious, and international schools. Medan also has 72 registered universities,[57] academies, polytechnics, and colleges such as:

Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

Several knowns schools in Medan such as:

Medan was previously the site of the Medan Japanese International School or Medan Japanese School (メダン日本人学校, Indonesian: Sekolah Internasional Jepang, Medan), an overseas school for Japanese children.[59] It was affiliated with the Japanese Consulate General in Medan, and occupied a 481.88 m2 (5,186.9 sq ft) building on a 1,880 m2 (20,200 sq ft) property.[59] It originated as a supplementary school in the consulate's library that opened in April 1972 (Showa 49). A committee to establish a new day school was created in 1978 (Showa 54), and in January 1979 (Showa 55) the school remodeled an existing building for this purpose. The school opened in April 1979.[60] It closed in March 1998.[61]

Universities and Colleges

International relations


Medan host several consulates and general consulates from foreign countries,[64]such as:

Twin towns – sister cities

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

Medan is twinned with:[80]


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