7 Interesting Things to do in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Planning a trip to Indonesia? Before finalizing on Bali, mull over North Sumatra which is a rapidly growing tourist hub now. The district is naturally beautiful and scenically captivating and the panorama is totally refreshing. With a few activities, amazing spots to stay, and flavorful delicacies to munch on, what more do you need for a vacation? Things to do and see in North Sumatra can certainly elevate your holiday mood.

In view of attracting more tourists, things to do and see in North Sumatra are on an upward movement. If the reports are to be believed the local government is making every effort possible to embellish the places therein. And not surprisingly center of all the attractions is Lake Toba in North Sumatra. When planning things to do and see in North Sumatra, the charming Lake Toba provides much the desired respite to tourists.

Things to do and see around in North Sumatra can include a long list in the itinerary. Hence, we shall trim them down to the best of the lot.

Thanks a lot, Dian Ratri @ninno_dian for the photos and videos.

An Outline of the Location

  • Famous family location for sightseeing, leisure activities, and exploration.
  • Lake Toba is the largest lake in Indonesia, and the surrounding areas are popular picnic spots.
  • The picturesque location of Sibea-Bea hills along with the fascinating winding roads.
  • Generally, the food, accommodation, and local sightseeing are inexpensive.
  • Shopping: Batak wood carvings, Batak clothing known as Ulos, and antique works.
  • Better to avoid the rainy season.
  • The local currency is the Indonesian rupiah.
  • Hygiene in the area is optimal.
  • And the food is delightful, and a bit spicy unless specified. Also, Halal food is available.

The area surrounding the second largest Crater Lake in the world surely offers a great many things to do and see in North Sumatra. Formed by a massive volcanic eruption centuries ago, Lake Toba is a bewitching sight. It is also one of the deepest lakes in the world.

Huta Siallagan Traditional Village

Strolling through this ancient and traditional village that still survives after centuries is an amazing experience. Situated on Samosir Island, visiting Huta Siallagan, is one of the best things to do and see in North Sumatra. Belonging to the Toba Batak tribe that prevails in the Lake Toba region, the village stands tall with the rich tale of history.

Main attractions in the village include:

  • The narrow entrance to the fort village
  • Eight traditional Batak Toba houses
  • Stone court seats from the ancient times
  • Tomb of king Siallagan and his descendants
  • The Batak museum
  • Opportunity to interact with Batak people and explore their traditions, music, culture, and food

Tuktuk Siadong Village and Lumban Suhi-Suhi Village

Even as the Tobo Lake is amassing attraction and popularity, the places surrounding the Lake also are prospering in multiple ways. Tuktuk Village is one such gorgeous place that is in the limelight. Tuktuk is more prominent among others as it offers you many choices.

Brimming with mesmerizing panorama, and water sports like diving, swimming, fishing, canoeing, you will never be bored here. And yes, decent, and affordable restaurants and hotels are available too.

Suhi-Suhi is famous for the traditional and handmade works by the locals. Along with heart-touching memories, you can buy amazing wood carvings and handmade fabrics as souvenirs to take back.

Tele Pandang Tower

Tele Pandang Tower has been in operation from the late 1980s. overlooking the Lake Tobo in Samosir Regency, the hilltop destination is famous mostly because of the grand view it offers. The large area covered by the lake and the hills surrounding the area offer a great view. No better spot than Tele Pandang Tower to get a complete view of this amazing location.

At the same, the spot itself, being on hilltop offers its own delight. Cold clime, foggy atmosphere, cloud-touching experience add excellent vibe to the visit.

Alluring waterfalls

Among the things to do and see in North Sumatra, waterfalls can top your list. Samosir Island is known for many such enchanting nature-boons.

  • 120-meter tall Sipiso-Piso Waterfall impresses everyone.
  • Binangalom Waterfall is chosen as a family picnic spot to relax and unwind.
  • Efrata Waterfall in the village of Sosor Dolok.

These are the main waterfalls where tourists spend hours together. Cool and clear waters tempt you to take a dip. And why not? Following the instructions and guidelines, visitors do take a plunge. After a tiring day's wandering, people end up at Efrata Waterfall to cool down.

Boating and Kayaking

Among the activities surrounding the Lake Toba are boating and kayaking. In groups or solo you can set out in the lake. Just feeling the stillness and being enchanted by the splendid view around, you can float in the water.

Befriending the locals can help you get a seat in their fishing boat. And that will be an added bonus that can leave lasting memories.

Bike ride around the island is another exhilarating experience. If you are excited by rides, do not hesitate to hire a motorbike. In most cases, your hotel or resort will arrange it for you.

Toba Lake Legend Park

the legend of the formation of Lake Toba is associated to Aloera Beach. The beach is now an attractive but small tourist park. With sculptures of tribal people, large goldfish, buffalo, and resting places, it is a lovely resting place. In the beach adjacent to the park, you can engage in leisure activities.

Tasty Food

Mie Gomak or a noodles preparation is scrumptious and popular in the region. Since the place around the Lake Toba is mostly occupied by Batak people, their traditional food entices you to taste.

Besides that, durian fruit is also commonly available in the region. There are special markets and outlets to sell these fruits.

Of course, you cannot miss the local coffee flavors and cakes available at local shops.

Before concluding, take a note on how to reach

By Air

Sisingamangaraja XII International Airport is sixty-five kilometers away. Alternatively, Kualanamu International Airport is also an option.

By Land

From the main cities in the country there are public buses or private transportation facility available to reach the Island.

By Water                                        

Even from Singapore or Malaysia you can avail the ferry service. There are five seaports in Sumatra. Entry by water is permitted through Medan, Padang, Dumai, Banda Aceh, and Sibolga.



A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers

20 thoughts on “7 Interesting Things to do in North Sumatra, Indonesia

  • July 4, 2022 at 10:43 am

    Beautiful place. Landscape is looking similar to that of India!

  • July 4, 2022 at 4:39 pm

    Well portrayed. Usually we think about only Bali in Indonesia.

  • July 7, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    Oh wow. I’ve heard that Indonesia is a beautiful place, but I never imagined it was that gorgeous. Those views are amazing.

  • July 7, 2022 at 7:53 pm

    Is swimming allowed at the water fall area? That would be such an amazing spot to spend a day relaxing and enjoying the water.

  • July 7, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    I alsways wanted to visit Sumatra when we were living in Singapore but never got there in the end. It looks so incredible especially the waterfalls.

  • July 7, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    Those are some beautiful waterfalls! Thank you for these ideas!

  • July 7, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    What an incredible place to explore…lots of interesting places and activities indeed. Looks incredible!

  • July 8, 2022 at 12:13 am

    Those do sound interesting. I’d love to go and see the waterfalls they must be beautiful.

  • July 8, 2022 at 3:23 am

    I am getting serious travel envy here. North Sumatra looks next level. Wonderful waterfalls and a good tip about avoiding the rainy season x

  • July 8, 2022 at 7:25 am

    I’d love to visit Indonesia once in my lifetime. It looks beautiful and fun. Thanks for sharing!

  • July 8, 2022 at 7:47 am

    I think a trip to Indonesia would be nice. It’s certainly unlike anywhere else I’ve been so far. I like to travel to see new places.

  • July 8, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    a good list of a lot of places which are unheard of…love the waterfalls

  • July 9, 2022 at 11:51 am

    North Sumatra looks absolutely beautiful with its untouched beauty and scenic views. I would love to visit its villages and meet the locals

  • July 10, 2022 at 12:09 am

    Thank you for sharing these tips on how to get to these places! Each of them look really interesting to explore.

  • July 18, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    Sangat indah dan masih banyak lagi tempat yang indah untuk dikunjungi di Indonesia

  • August 7, 2022 at 3:55 am

    Salam dari Bali Bang. Ternyata indah sekali ya di Sumatra Utara. Indonesia memang kaya dengan keindahan alam. saya suka dengan suasana alam dan pedesaan seperti di sumatra utara. semoga daya bisa liburan kesana

  • January 11, 2023 at 10:13 am

    These tips were amazing when I was study in the INFOSEC I’m very smart student in learning and doing something practically. Every student wants to be better but those who wants kindly read out and get the idea of becoming.


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