25 Things to Do in Padang, West Sumatra Indonesia – Islands – Landmarks – Food

Known as a trade hub since the 16th century, Padang has grown to become the largest city on the west coast of Sumatra  and act as a capital for the West Sumatra province, Indonesia. It is strategically located in the heart of West Sumatra  and connected to a port, which makes it an excellent transit point for people who want to visit neighboring islands and regions.

There are many backpackers passing through this city, therefore, the number of budget accommodations is quite high.

Padang is also known for its culinary delight, the local food in here is popularly known all over Indonesia for
its unique spicy taste with amazing sauces and broths. In fact, almost every other major city in Indonesia have a Padang Restaurant. 

Padang is also known for the Minangkabau traditional house’s distinctive architectural style, the Rumah Gadang.

There are 3 main ethnic groups native to this area, the Minangkabau, Mentawai, and Nias.

During the 20th century many transmigrants from Java, Batak, Madura, and other regions also come to this place to settle and coexists with the locale.

Due to its location between the two major intercontinental plates and also the Great Sumatran Fault, Padang is extremely prone to earthquake, as is the whole West Sumatra. Last recorded tremors were the 2010 Mentawai Earthquake which occurred with a magnitude of 7.7 Richter scale.

Here are all the things to do in Padang:

Top Tourist Attractions in Padang

There are many interesting spots to visit in Padang. From beautiful beaches to the impressive historical landmark, a trip to Padang will surely bring a whole new experience to every traveler. Here are some of them.

1. Mentawai Islands

This archipelago off the coast of West Sumatra are famously known for their unpredictable currents and strong winds, hence they are very popular among surfers. Wave riding thrill-seekers from all around the globe flocked to Mentawai just to ride the waves and most of them acknowledged it as the ride of their life. The islands themselves are isolated from the outside world until the 20th century so most of the islands still retained its natural image, largely untouched by modern civilization. Since the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the tsunami activity around this area has increased although not as devastating as 2004 one.

2. Air Manis Beach

This beach garnered popularity as the place where Malin Kundang stone is located at. The statue itself is derived from the legend about an insubordinate boy who was so perfidious that he was cursed by his mother. According to the legend, Malin Kundang turned into a stone on this beach after his ship run aground due to his mother’s curse.

You can find the so-called stone in here, resembling a man who was kneeling down and asking for forgiveness. The beach is located about 12 kilometers from Padang and it has an enjoyable natural view. As a result, it’s a super beautiful beach that you ever visit.

3. Teluk Bayur Port

This bustling port was once made famous by a popular song of the same name, sung by Ernie Djohan in the 60’s. Teluk Bayur is the reason Padang became an important transport hub, as the port is known as the largest and busiest port on the western coast of Sumatra. Many international and domestic cruise and cargo ships made their transit here, either heading to or from Indonesia. Here, visitors can enjoy the immersive experience of observing the docking activities of various ships in person.

4. Siti Nurbaya Bridge

The bridge owes its name to the famous woman from Marah Rusli’s novel, Siti Nurbaya. The story is about a modest girl who falls in love with a handsome man named Samsul Bahri and they are about to get married. But Siti’s parents owed a huge debt to a powerful old man who has many wives, Datuk Maringgih. In lieu of payment, Datuk Maringgih planned to take Siti Nurbaya as his wife instead. Knowing this, Siti chose to end her life by drinking poison. Siti Nurbaya bridge presents a natural and wonderful place to do some sightseeing and enjoying the Indies ocean from the hill. There are also a lot of Japanese bunkers and cannon remnants around this area. Then, this bridge came from fiction to a real world.

5. Bung Hatta Nature Reserve

This tropical paradise serves as wildlife preservation and observation. A delight for every botanical enthusiast, visitors could observe 352 species of protected flora and 170 species of protected fauna in this reserve. Take a look at a variety of endemic plants and animals unique to West Sumatra, especially the notorious Rafflesia Arnoldi. Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, governor of British administration, and the botanist Joseph Arnold find this extraordinary flora during their expedition around 1818. The flower’s name is a combination between Raffles and Arnold’s name, as they both found it together. Rafflesia Arnoldi is the biggest flower in the world that releases a putrid smell to attract nearby animals as its victim. The flower could measure up to 1 meter in diameter and usually have a bright red color with brownish or white dots. The foul stench emanating from the flower give rise to its nickname, the corpse flower.

6. Museum Adityawarman

Things to do in Padang Indonesia, this West Sumatra’s official museum of Indonesian culture is located in Padang. The name Adityawarman derives from the king of Malayapura (the kingdom that rules over Minangkabau area) during the 14th century. This historical museum features the Minangkabau cultural heritage and also some Indonesian heritage as well.

The main collection of this museum is categorized into 10 main categories. The main categories are Geology, Biology, Ethnography, Archaeology, History, Heraldry, Philology, Ceramology, Fine Arts, and Technology, and each has their own set of items. The museum building itself is a fine example of the Minangkabau traditional house, the Rumah Gadang. Visitors could learn a lot about the Minangkabau people history in this grand museum.

7. Pagaruyung Palace

As the Royal Palace of the former Pagaruyung Kingdom, the Pagaruyung Palace is the place where royal families of Pagaruyung Kingdom lives until 1833. With a 3-story structure and vernacular architectural style, the palace resembles a larger version of Rumah Gadang. The Palace has been destroyed by fire and rebuilt several times. The original version was built using timber masonry, but now they use the concrete-based building to increase the durability. Visitors can see a lot of antique Minangkabau artifacts and furniture here. Since most of the artifacts have deteriorated through time, the government have restored it and put some replicas to keep the original look. The restoration costs 20 billion rupiahs (about 1,71 million in USD) and took six years to complete.

Padang Impressive Islands and Beaches

Then, things to do in Padang West Sumatra Indonesia is you must visit this heavenly beaches and islands:

  • Pagang Island
  • Padang Taplau Beach
  • Pasumpahan Island
  • Pamutusan Island
  • Bungus Beach
  • Sikuai Island
  • Mandeh Region
  • Sirandah Island
  • Suwarnadwipa Island

Padang’s Natural Spots

Here the natural destinations that you will love to visit in Padang:

  • Lake Maninjau
  • Anai Valley Waterfall
  • Baburai Waterfall
  • Ngungun Saok Waterfall

Padang Amazing Landmarks

You don’t want to miss these great places, tho.

  • Ganting Grand Mosque
  • Christine Hakim Idea Park
  • Frater Huis
  •  St. Leo Chapel

Scuba Diving in Indonesia
- House Reef, private beach

The Awesome Padang Food

Finally, Don’t Forget to try this great tasteful food everybody cannot live without, things to do in Padang Indonesia.

25. Nasi Padang Dishes

What to eat in Padang Indonesia? 

You should definitely try the local dishes when you visit Padang. The cuisine is renowned by everyone in Indonesia for its richness in taste and scrumptious curries. The absolute have-to-try here is the famed rendang beef, ayam pop, and satay. Meanwhile, Rendang is noted as the most tasty food in the world . Since Minang people has a deep Islamic root, almost every food served in Padang are halal. Don’t be surprised if the waiter put all kinds of food on your table, even when you didn’t order it. You only have to pay for what you eat, so just take what you want to eat, and leave the rest.

Let’s go through some places you can spend your night life in Padang;

    1    Brivera Sky Garden & Bistro

Perched on the rooftop of the Basko Grand Mall, Brivera Sky Garden and Bistro is a destination in Padang city for local or tourist to enjoy the panoramic beach view from the top.

This place offer al fresco and indoor dining space, with stylish and modern design with slightly rustic touch.  The restaurant serves both Indonesian and Western cuisine with the selection of mocktails to delightful cocktail.

At night you can enjoy the romantic ambience and live music performance, on certain occasion selection of local dj’s or from Jakarta performing at Brivera Sky Garden.

Brivera Sky Garden & Lounge located in Basko Grand Mall , 4th Floor – Hamka Street No. 2A Padang

    2    Bat & Arrow

The Founder of Bat & Arrow Beer Garden, creatively turning the old warehouse into a bar with industrial style and underground atmosphere. Keeping the ruin pillars and added some ornamental feature with the great warm lighting, transform this ruin warehouse into an atmospheric café.

Tucked away in a tiny street of Chinatown area the city, overlooking the Batang Arau River with a belt of green, this place is the best place to chill out and stargaze, whilst a glass of cold beer wash down your thirst.

A spacious garden will welcome you as you enter the bar, with a mix and match of iron and wooden furniture stylishly set up at the outdoor area.  Not only outdoor area available, you choose the indoor area as well. At Bat & Arrow you can have a good times with your love ones or a group of good friends, some communal table available for a bigger crowd as well.

This is the right place to mingle with your own circle or get a new acquaintance. The staff also known for being super engaging, with the fine rock music on the background make this place into something you should not miss whilst you are in padang. This place is located in Jl. Batang Arau no. 25, Padang

    3    Witz Club

After dark about nightlife in Padang Indonesia, if dance until dawn is something you looking for, Witz Club can pamper your urge. Settled at Hotel Axana, on the prime location of Padang. Witz club is the foremost destination for young party goers community in Padang.

Thus, the party scene in Padang is not as vibrant as any other big city in Indonesia, however the atmosphere and the music blend well together to provide an enjoyable entertainment. When you step into the Witz Club, you will be hit with a sensational lighting effect. The music is great with a mixture of EDM, Hip hop, pop alternative.

You will find an attractive resident DJ’s to guests DJ’s from other city spinning the tunes here with live band performance on special occasion. The party crowd here can congregate around the table, and share a bottle of fancy drink and dance where they are seated, or just let the steam blow at the dance floor. If Party all night long is your things, fly to Bali and have the total excitement, here, you can check the fancy clubs in Bali. Whenever Bali become your next destination, make sure you visit Pecatu or Lovina. 

    4    Bar 1669

If you are looking for a classier venue to sip your favorite cocktail or imbibe yourself with your favorite liquor or wine, Bar 1669, could be your choice. Sheltered in Kyriad Bumi Minang Padang Hotel, and the name of the bar was taken from the founded year of Padang city.  You can have a relaxing night and a live music performing. You will find less people here, accordingly you can enjoy your drink quietly.

Bar 1669, this place is located in Kyriad Bumi Minang Hotel – Jl. Bundo Kanduang No. 20-28, Kp. Pd., Padang Bar., Kota Padang, Sumatera Barat 25118

5    TeeBox Music Room

Teebox Community Center, burst onto the scene in December 2009, is one stop entertainment where you can find a restaurant, karaoke, Billiard and Music room in one Building with a lively atmosphere. This is one of the exciting spot when you.

They ensure to bring the fun experience whilst the guest can savor the delicious food, liquor and good games. Tee box welcomes a wide range of guest, from family to have dinner at the restaurant, party goers and pure pleasure seekers.

Live music perform every night, they present the various music genre. They are not only have alocal band perform on their stage, there are plenty special event with famous singer or Dj perfor here on the special event.

After midnight you will hear the inquisitive thump out variation of electro, dance rock, house, hip hop, progressive from the Music Room. Experience the electrifying vibes with adrenaline –pumping, enthralling beats.

TeeBox Community Center is located in Jl. Diponegoro, no.25 Padang. Economy

    6    Zuri Lounge

Zuri Lounge is located at lobby level of Grand Zuri Hotel Padang. Design in a modern and minimalist concept, created a light thus refreshing ambience. It is a classy place dedicated for those you seek for exclusivity.

The extensive of fine wine and champagne is available here. Enjoy the classic and modern cocktail whilst having a good conversation with your friends or business partner. A soft live music on the background will lit up your night and refresh your mind.

This place is located in Jalan M. Thamrin No. 27, – Alang Laweh, Padang Sel – Kota Padang, Sumatera Barat 25133

    7    Dejavu Terrace

Overlooking the beautiful pool of Kyriad Bumi Minang, Dejavu Terrace is a drinking corner at Kyriad Bumi Minang Hotel. A nice place to unwind after you long day of conference at the hotel, whereas you can enjoy the wide variety of beers, they also have some fruit flavor beer. An extensive alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage also available for the guests. Later at night, enjoy the performance of live music perform at Dejavu Terrace.

Dejavu Terrace is located in Kyriad Bumi Minang – Jl. Bundo Kanduang No. 20-28, Kp. Pd., Padang Bar,  Kota Padang, Sumatera Barat 25118

The nocturnal scene in Padang has just started to grow; thereupon it is incomparable to the night life in Jakarta nor Bali. However if you happen to visit the city and you are into the game at night, there are some few good places you can visit after dark. You can hang out to enjoy your cold beer, listens to a good music, or dance the night away. 

How to Get to Padang

Getting into Padang is quite easy, there are several airlines servicing the flight in and out of here. You may need to transit in Jakarta first, then head to Padang. Also, you may find airlines from Batam, Medan, Bandung, or Nias with Padang flight destination. Then, don’t worry that there also flight right to Padang from Kuala Lumpur.

The Minangkabau International Airport (BIM)is handling all of these flights as the main gateway to West Sumatra. So what are you waiting for? There are so many fun things to do in Padang Indonesia. Time to pack your bags and enjoy the very best of Padang right now!