Home » Practical Information » Expat Living Outside Jakarta

Expat Living in Medan, North Sumatra

Housing | Schooling | Dining Out | Recreation | Religious Services | Shopping |Medical Care | Consular Offices | Links

An article written by an expat who lives in Medan - Strange Encounters in Medan by a Singaporean

Medan is the largest city in North Sumatra, and the third largest city in the country with a population of approximately 2.45 million (2023).


There are some high rise apartment buildings in Medan, but most expats live in houses in major housing complexes. The housing areas that are popular with expats include: Setia Budi, Bumi Asri, and Cemara Asri complexes.

The majority of expatriates in Medan live in either the Taman Setia Budi (Tasbi) area or in one of the complexes near the old airport Polonia. Royal Sumatra is another popular new complex with large houses and scenic green areas. Citra Garden is also a well run complex. Both have good access to Medan Independent School.


Medan Independent SchoolMedan Independent School
Jl. Jamin Ginting Km. 10 / Jl. Tali Air No. 5
Medan 20141 North Sumatra
Tel. +62 (61) 836-1816, +62 (61) 836-6175, +62 (821) 68414813
Email admissions@mismedan.org
Website www.mismedan.org
Facebook page Instagram page

Enrollment: <100 Students
Levels: Preschool through to Senior High

Located in a beautifully scenic campus outside the hustle and bustle of the city center, MIS was originally founded in 1969 to provide a holistic education to the children of the US and UK Consulates. In a green, peaceful, and stimulating environment, students are challenged through our high academic standards and also learn to build strong character. The MIS student profile is central to all of our teaching and learning and students learn on a daily basis to be inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective individuals with the constant support and guidance of highly qualified and experienced teachers, all of whom are qualified to teach in their home countries. The majority of our teachers also hold Master’s degrees in their fields and have an average of over ten years’ experience each. Class sizes are kept small to ensure every child gets the focused attention they deserve and the school has less than one hundred students in total from Preschool to Senior High.

With our full-size football field, swimming pool, and gym, our students also have access to the best sporting and health facilities in Medan. These facilities are also freely open to parents, families, and friends on the weekends when MIS becomes a hub for the local and international community. Our library, Medan’s largest collection of English language books, is also second to none and classrooms are fully equipped with the latest resources from overseas. Transportation is available from various locations around Medan. Medan Independent School (formerly Medan International School), is Medan’s only WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) accredited school and offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP), Middle Years Program (MYP), and the Diploma Program (DP). MIS is also the only school in Medan to be a member of the East Asian Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS).

Our wonderful little school is best experienced in person. We encourage you to contact us on 061 8361816 to schedule a visit and see Medan’s True International School for yourself.

Singapore Indonesia School (SIS Medan)
Jl. Abdullah Lubis No. 14, Medan
Sumatera Utara 20153
Tel. (+62 61) 414 3308 / 49

Royal Sumatra Complex
Jl. Letjen Jamin Ginting Km. 8,5 Medan
Tel. (+62 61) 836 2880


Dining Out - Places to Eat

Western Restaurants

Healy Mac's irish pub and restaurant in Center Point - popular bar/restaurant.
Medan Club & Pub on Jalan Kartini. Good food, decent prices.
O’Flaherty’s, Jl. Padang Golf (Favourite hangout for Caucasian expats on Friday nights)
The Traders, Jl. Kapt.Patimura No. 423, Tel. 4531881
Music Café, Medan Mall 4th storey
Trattoria near the Indian consulate has good Italian food.
Bakerzin, Jl. Teungku Daud No. 9 Medan. (061) 451-9021
Roland's German Restaurant - Jl. Setia Budi No. 262, Medan - (061) 821-4379
Prime's Steak, JW.Marriot Hotel
Havana Cuban Kafe, Jl. Sei Bingei No,11/13, Medan - (061) 4521456
Bel Mondo, Jl. KH. Zainal Arifin No. 122 B - Medan - (061) 451-745
Harbour9 Dining & Bar, Forum 9 Building, Jl. Listrik No. 9, Medan

Japanese Food

Grand Angkasa Hotel
Itcho Sun Plaza
Sushi Tei, Jl. Teuku Daud No. 6/12. Medan 20152. Tel. +62 61 4515236 & Sun Plaza
Wasabi Nami, Capital Building Lt.6, Jl. Putri Hijau No.1A, Medan  061-4555757
Takigawa, Jl. A. Rifai No. 4, Medan. 061-4147976

Indian Food

Cahaya Baru - Jl. Teuku Cik Ditiro No.12 / 16, Medan Polania
Bollywood - Jl. Muara Takus No. 7 Madras Hulu, Polonia Medan

Chinese Food

Asian Delight Jl. Asia
Jl Pemuda
Jl. Pegadaian
Jumbo Seafood, Jl. Putri Hijau No.8ABCD, Tel. 4525653
Merak Jingga, Jl. P.Merak Jingga No.7, Tel. 4562505
Nelayan, Jl. Gudang No.39, Tel. 6613081
Ria, Jl. Letjend.Haryono MT No.11-15, Tel. 4575666
Sheraton Seafood, Jl. Orion No.95-103, Tel. 4526244
Warisan, Jl. Pemuda No.34-36, Tel. 4519454
Wisma Benteng, Jl. Kapt.Maulana Lubis No.6, Tel. 4513000
Rumah Makan 83, Jl. A.Yani No. 83
Duck King, Cambridge Mall -
Crystal Jade, Angkasa Hotel
Jade Restaurant, JW.Marriot Hotel

Thai Food

Sawasdee Thai Restaurant. Jl. Multatuli Raya no 36-37 blok FF Tel. 061-4570268
Jittlada, Cambridge Mall.

Nice Cafes to Hangout

Roemah Kopi Wak Nur, next to Trattoria (same owner)
Kok Tung, Sun Plaza
QQ Cafe, Sun Plaza
Coffee Box, Sun Plaza
Starbucks, Sun Plz and Cambridge
Opal Cafe

Indonesia Food

Warisan Tempoe Doeloe, Jl. Abdullah Lubis
Desa Desa, Jl.Setiabudi

Roadside Stalls (warung)

Semarang. Jl. Semarang
Selat Panjang. Jl. Selat Panjang

What are special regional food dishes from Medan?

Bika Ambon, Jl. Mojopahit
Marquisa, Jl. Mojopahit
Jambu Klutuk, Pasar Ramai
Asinan Mangga Pasar Ramai
Teri Pasar Sambu
Bolu Gulung, Jl. Meranti
Durian (found everywhere in season), meranti cake, jambu tenteng, markisa and terung belanda

More information for foodies can be found at www.makanmana.net they provide reliable reviews.


Movie Theaters:
Cinema21 at Sun Plaza
Cinema21 at Thamrin Plaza
Cinema 21 Hermes Place Shopping Mall

Bukit Lawang Orang Utan in the wild (Not sure whether still around after the great flood)
Brastagi Mikie Holiday Fun Land & Sitongging Waterfall
Lake Toba Samosir Island, TukTuk Island, Marina Island
Gudang Garam Beach, Klang Putih, Pantai Cermin
Sun Plaza Ice Skating
Crocodile Farm

Graha Helvetia Komp. Graha Helvetia
Setia Budi Komp. Setia Budi
Tanjung Morawa

Health Clubs:
Clark Hatch Grand Angkasa Hotel
Emerald Gardenia Hotel
Best Western Hotel
Novotel Soechi Hotel
Polonia Hotel
Tiara Hotel
Celebrity, Sun Plaza
MyLife Gym, Cambridge Mall

Religious Services

Wesley Methodist Chuch
Jl. Sultan Agung No. 9
Medan Petisah, North Sumatera 20111
Tel.(+ 62-61) 455-4742
Email wesleymcmedan@gmail.com
Facebook page

Services in English are held on .

International Church Medan
Lippo Plaza Medan, Level 03-01
Jl. Imam Bonjol No. 6
Medan Polonia 20112
Tel. 0813.6295.9694
Website www.icmedan.com
Facebook page Instgram page

English services are held on Sundays at 9:00 am, 10:30 am, 12:00 pm and 4:00 pm.


Shopping Centers

Cambridge attached to Swissbell Hotel
Plaza Medan Fair CarreFour, Matahari
Sun Plaza Sogo, Ace Hardware Shop, Gramedia, Pirated DVD, VCD and computer software, Gift shops
Medan Mall Matahari
Thamrin Plaza Matahari
Ramayana Plaza


The two Brastagi Supermarkets are the go-to supermarkets for most expats - main location Jl. Gatot Subroto No. 288.
Makro, Jl. Gatot Subroto (requires membership card for entry)
Smarco supermarket on Ring Road is also very popular and has a reasonably priced bottle shop with imported spirits and wines.
Sogo Sun Plaza

Mr. Ben's, Jl. Muara Takus, a tiny grocery store, but full of imported goods. It has been long voted as the favourite place for expats to shop.

Macan Yaohan - located at Medan Mall, P. Brayan, Merak Jingga, Iskandar Muda, Aksara, Sukaramai, and Katamso

Specialty Shops

Sports and Music Equipment, Jl Ahmad Yani (Kesawan Square)
Window Curtains, Jl Pemiagaan (Near to Kesawan Square)
Men’s Tailor, Jl Pemuda Baru
Aquarium Fish, Jl Thamrin

Chinese Delicacies - Bird Nest, Dried Sea Cucumber, Dried Scallops, Shark Fins, Abalone
Toko Terang, Jl Semarang No 82, Tel. 4572362


Medical Care

Most popular with expats:
RS Siloam Dhirga Surya, Jalan Imam Bonjol No. 6, Medan Petisah, Medan
RS Columbia Asia - Jl. Listrik No.6, Tel. 456-6368

Other medical facilities:
RS St. Elisabeth - Jl. H.Misbah No.7, Tel. 414-4737
Martha Friska Hospital, Jl. Multatuli, Komplek Taman Multatuli Indah No.1 Medan. (061) 4149666
Sumatera Eye Center, Jl Sultan Iskandar Muda 278 Medan, (061) 4525058

Consular Offices / Cultural Centers

American Consulate
Jl. Walikota No. 13
Medan, North Sumatra
Tel. 061-415-2200
Sean Stein, U.S. Consul for Sumatra

Netherlands Consulate
Jalan Cakrawati No. 12
Desa Aur - Medan Maimun
Medan 20151
Tel. +62-61-414 6306 / 455 7078

Other Sites with Information on Medan

Medan, Sumatran & Indonesian News for Expats - Facebook page

Our thanks to Bin Hee Jum for his help in researching and compiling the information for this page and to Ines Lim and Gerald Donovan of Medan Independent School for their extensive updates!

We are seeking additional information on the expatriate community in Medan. If you have information on community organizations, lifestyle, religious gatherings, etc. please share that information with us so that we can have it available for newcomers.

Last updated June 26, 2024