Top things to do

Top ChoiceRuins in Jambi

Muara Jambi

This scattering of ruined and partially restored temples is the most important Hindu-Buddhist site in Sumatra. The temples are believed to mark the location of the ancient city of Jambi, capital of the kingdom of...

Top ChoiceIsland in Tanjung Pinang

Pulau Penyenget

Pulau Penyenget, reached by frequent boats (7000Rp) from the Tanjung Pinang pier, was once the capital of the Riau rajahs. The ruins of the old palace of Rajah Ali and the tombs and graveyards of Rajah Jaafar and...

Top ChoiceMosque in Banda Aceh

Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman

Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman

With its brilliant-white walls, ebony-black domes and towering minaret, this 19th-century mosque is a dazzling sight. The best time to visit is during Friday-afternoon prayers, when the entire building and...

Top ChoiceFort in Bengkulu

Fort Marlborough

Set on a hill overlooking the Indian Ocean, the star-shaped Benteng Marlborough, a former British fort, became the seat of British power in Bengkulu after 1719, when it replaced nearby Fort York. Despite its...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Gunung Sitoli

Museum Pusaka Nias

This superb museum, housed inside several traditional-style buildings, offers an in-depth introduction to the indigenous culture of Nias. The displays run the gamut from jewellery worn by noblemen, weapons,...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Banda Aceh

Tsunami Museum

A visit to this beautifully designed, hard-hitting museum commences with a walk through a dark, dripping tunnel that symbolises the 2004 tsunami waves. This is followed by a powerful set of images of the...

Top ChoicePub in Padang

Bat & Arrow

Overlooking the river in the colonial quarter, this sprawling, graffiti-splattered 'ruin pub' feels a bit like a bombed-out building, but instead is Padang's top traveller hang-out. The beer garden fills up...

Top ChoiceItalian in Iboih

Bixio Cafe

Who would have thought Sumatra’s best Italian food was hiding in a remote corner of Pulau Weh? Sit by the lapping waves and dig into Luca and Eva’s wonderful freshly made pastas and gnocchi with fresh traditional...

Top ChoiceRooftop Bar in Pekanbaru

Sky Garden & Lounge

Escape Pekanbaru's grind and head up to the top of Sumatra's tallest building to enjoy a cold beer or cocktail with 360-degree city views. Its outdoor bar has a luxurious feel with contemporary furniture and palm...

Top ChoiceIndonesian in Sungai Penuh

Korintji Heritage

Set up as a social enterprise to empower locals, this fantastic new cafe in Sungai Penuh is set inside an atmospheric bamboo building overlooking the town and valley. As well as tasty Indonesian dishes,...

Top ChoiceVolcano in Berastagi

Gunung Sibayak

Famous for its steamy sulphurous fumaroles, Gunung Sibayak (2094m) is one of Indonesia’s most accessible volcanoes. Getting to the summit for sunrise is a popular time to go, but you'll have to take private...

Top ChoiceVolcano in Kerinci Seblat National Park

Gunung Kerinci

Dominating the northern end of Kerinci Seblat National Park is Gunung Kerinci (3805m), Southeast Asia’s tallest volcano and one of Sumatra’s most active. On clear days the summit offers fantastic views of Danau...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Trikora

Museum Bahari Bintan

This fascinating maritime museum is a surprising find along this sleepy coastal road. Housed within a building shaped like a ship, it has an unlikely setting in the middle of an Islamic study centre, which...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Medan

Museum of North Sumatra

Housed in a striking traditional building, this museum has a well-presented collection ranging from early North Sumatran civilisations and the Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic periods to the Dutch colonial era....

Top ChoiceIndonesian in Danau Maninjau

Waterfront Zalino

This restaurant with a great lakeside location showcases some local seafood specialities, such as udang (freshwater lake shrimp), freshwater lobster and grilled catfish. As well as cold beer it also serves a...

Top ChoiceIndonesian in Danau Toba

Maruba

Overlooking the lake, Maruba is well worth seeking out for its peerless Batak dishes cooked by the talented proprietor. Barbecue fish, freshwater lobster, na neura (raw fish marinated with candlenut, lime juice...

Top ChoiceSeafood in Gunung Sitoli

Rapi Seafood

This nondescript place in central Gunung Sitoli is responsible for some of the best and freshest seafood we’ve ever had in Sumatra. Choose your dinner, then have it grilled, with sweet and spicy sauce if you...

Top ChoiceInternational in Danau Toba

Jenny’s Restaurant

Jenny’s has long been a standout on the northern edge of Tuk Tuk, with all kinds of breakfasts, noodles, curries and rice dishes. But the one dish that really shines is the lake fish grilled on charcoal right in...

Top ChoiceSeafood in Bengkulu

Marola

At this classic, locally famous seafood joint by the beach, near central Bengkulu, you can choose from ultra-fresh giant prawns, squid and fish, then pay by weight, and pick from an array of sauces you’d like...

Top ChoiceIndonesian in Padang

Sari Raso

Pick from a multitude of spicy dishes at this classic Padang chain, housed within a classy art deco colonial building. Do not miss the beef rendang; it's as good as it gets.