Discover top things to do in Banda Aceh, and best sightseeing when you are on vacation in Banda Aceh, Aceh, Indonesia. Banda Aceh is a capital of Aceh province, Indonesia, located in the northernmost of Sumatra Island. this city holds a lot of historical and cultural values that based on Islamic Sharia Law. However, the Hindu culture still had influence on Banda Aceh traditional ceremonies. Banda Aceh has interesting tourist objects. For the culture and historical tourist attractions you can visit namely Aceh State Museum, Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Gunongan, Kerkhof Peucut and many other. Banda Aceh has also marine tourist destinations such as Ulee Lheue Beach, Ceureumen Beach and Alue Naga Beach. the marine tourism activities that you can do in that beaches are swimming, fishing and wind surfing.
Banda Aceh had fully recovered from tsunami and earthquake disaster on late December 2004 and brought many international aid such as Red Cross and NGO to helped many victims and recovered Aceh from the disaster. And at this time Aceh is recognized worldwide and inviting many tourist to come. There are many memorial tsunami heritage that still well preserved till now. The tsunami historical object in Banda Aceh that you can visit are Tsunami Museum, Stranded Floating Electricity Vessel PLTD Apung, Boat of Roof, Aceh Thank to The World Monument, Baiturrahim Mosque, Tsunami Mass Burial and many other.
How to get to Banda Aceh
To get to Banda Aceh, there are daily flight from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia served by Air Asia Sdn, Bhd to Sultan Iskandar Muda International Airport in Blang Bintang, Aceh Besar which is located approximately 17 kilometers from the center of Banda Aceh. There are also other international flight served by Malindo and Fire Fly from Penang Malaysia. If you are from Jakarta or Medan, there are domestic flights served by Garuda Indonesia, Citilink, Batik Air and Lion Air with 2 hours 50 minutes flying from Jakarta and 1 hour 5 minutes from Medan to Banda Aceh Airport.
Transport in Banda Aceh
If you need a transport to go for sightseeing in Banda Aceh city or need a pick up and drop off transport from Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport Banda Aceh to many destinations in Aceh such as Ulee Lheue Ferry Port, Lhoknga Surf Beach, Takengon, Singkil or Ketambe, we are Safari Wisata International Company provide you a transport both rental car and pick-up – drop off. You may check below the transportation service you may need with the cost list:
Half Day & One Day Trips
If you only transit or stop over for a while in Banda Aceh and willing to visit some interesting places in Banda Aceh, we provide a day tour or trip according to your need. Please check the trips we offer to you below. You may contact us for inquiries or booking to WhatApp +6285360139141 or Email : firstname.lastname@example.org,
Banda Aceh Tour Packages
Besides the day trips, we also offer the tour packages to explore the beauty of Banda Aceh. Please check out the itinerary below:
As the main gateway to many enchanting tourist destinations in Aceh, Banda Aceh has many points of interest and things to do. You will many amazing & unique culture and interesting places. Here we invited you to see more points of interest, travel guide to Banda Aceh and Best things to do in Banda Aceh city.
Top 34 Most Popular Things to do In Banda Aceh & Popular Best Places to Visit in Banda Aceh, Aceh, Indonesia:
- Visit Baiturrahman Grand Mosque
Baiturrahman Great Mosque is a landmark and religious center in Aceh located in the middle of the city and become one of the most popular place to see. The mosque has beautiful architectures which combine Europe and Middle East Style. The mosque is one of the icons of Aceh region. Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is a symbol of religion, culture, spirit and struggle of Acehnese. The mosque built in 1612 during the reign of Sultan Iskandar Muda. But some people say the mosque built earlier in 1929 by Sultan Alaidin Mahmudsyah. The mosque had caught fire several times by Dutch during colonialism and rebuilt by Dutch in 1879 and completed in 1881 during the reign of Sultan Muhammad Daud Syah which is the last Sultan of Aceh. Nowadays the mosque become a landmark in Banda Aceh. The mosque was also survived from Tsunami and Earthquake in 2004 with little damage. Today the mosque has 7 union shaped domes, 8 minarets and 32 pillars. Now, the mosque has more beautiful sight like Nabawi mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. The expanse of green grass replaced by marble floor with 12 giant electric umbrellas and a pound built in front of yard.
- Visit Tsunami Museum
Aceh Tsunami Museum is the historical tsunami disaster museum in Banda Aceh. The tsunami museum built to commemorate the horrific tsunami disaster on 26th December 2004 and the victims estimated more than 240.000 people. Aceh Tsunami Museum is located on Sultan Iskandar Muda Street, Banda Aceh and open daily from 9.00 to 12 and 14.00 to 16.00. the museum has several sections on the first floor including the main entrance that showing the darkness path with the water flow down the wall reminding of the devastation, videos played room that showing the tsunami disaster. The second floor are the educational, library, simulation room, 4D room and a souvenir shop.
- Visit PLTD Apung Tsunami Monument
PLTD Apung was floating electricity vessel to support electricity to Banda Aceh city and the ship was pushed by the tsunami wave of about 4 kilometers from the Ulee Lheue Beach to the middle of Punge Blang Cut Village. At this time, it becomes the popular tsunami monument. The 63 meter long vessel was capable to produce the power of 10.5 megawatts. The vessel has a weight of 2,600 tons and no one imagines this vessel can move by the tsunami wave about 9 meter high to the middle of village. At this time, the tourist can walk up to the vessel and inside of the vessel has a museum where you can see the history of the boat and the tsunami.
- Visit Stranded Boat on Roof
This Stranded Boat on Roof is the fishing boat that was stuck on house roof during the tsunami disaster on last December 2004. The tsunami wave on December 26, 2004 had carried a 20-ton fishing boat to above Mr. Misbah & Abassiah family house in Lampulo. The ship is 25 meters long and 5,5 meter wide and made by the wood. The ship has save a total of 59 peoples live on a wooden boat when the tsunami happened. Every day, there are the tourists from both domestic and foreign tourist visit this tsunami monument.
- Visit Baiturrahim Mosque
Baiturrahim Mosque is a mosque located close to Cermin beach Ulee Lheue area which is a witness to the power of tsunami destruction in 26th December 2004. The tsunami waves at about more than 10 meters high wave hit the mosque but it still remained standing among the ruin surrounding building. Baiturrahim Mosque was built around 17th century and one of the legacy of Aceh Sultanate.
- Visit Ulee Lheue Tsunami Mass Burial
Uluee Lheue Tsunami Mass Burial or Meuraxa Tsunami Grave yard is the tsunami mass grave located in the former Meuraxa Hospital complex which had been destroyed by the tsunami and earthquake in 2004. The Ulee Lheue Tsunami Mass Grave in every 26th December, the people of Aceh especially the family of victims come to pray. In this graveyard, there are 14,264 tsunami victims buried. The grave is located on Sultan Iskandar Muda Street, Meuraxa District, Banda Aceh. Not so far from Ulee Lheue ferry harbor.
- Visit Aceh State Museum
Aceh State Museum is cultural and Acehnese heritage museum that keep various historical items and antiques. The Museum built resemble a traditional Acehnese house in form of a stilt house a high as 9 feet above the ground. The building is more than 200 meter square. The pillars of this house made from selected types of hardwood with the total 44 pillars. Aceh State Museum is one of the oldest museum in Indonesia established in 1915. Today the museum collects various items such as archaeological items, ethnographic items, old manuscripts, historic painting, traditional household items, kingdom’s item and many others.
- Fishing at Buro Islet
Buro Islet is the very small island about 10 miles from Banda Aceh. This fishing spot is a good spot for angle to catch various kinds of fish such as grouper, trevally and tuna.
- Visit The Cemetery of Syiah Kuala
Syiah Kuala Grave is the tomb of Aceh’s Great Moslem Scholar & Leaders in the Sultan Iskandar Muda era. Syiah Kuala is the popular name of Teungku Syekh Abdurrauf As Singkily, a large-scale Acehnese Iternational Ulama. He was born in Singkil in 1615 and studied for 19 years in Egypt, Mecca and Medina. He died in Banda Aceh in 1693, buried near the estuary (Kuala in Acehnese). It was the name of the place that was sown on him with the nickname “Sheikh in Kuala”.
- Having a Seafood at Lamnyong Seafood Culinary Center
Lamnyong is famous seafood culinary center in Banda Aceh. The most popular dishes is grilled fish. You can choose the reef fish you like such as grouper, snapper and many other. Besides, the squid and shrimp also available. The grilled fish serve with Acehnese traditional sauce and delicious.
- Visit Peucut War Memorial of Kerkhoff (Dutch Cemetery)
Kerkhoff Peutjut Cemetery is a Dutch’s soldier cemetery who died during the Acehnese Peucut War. There was more than 2.200 Dutch soldiers were buried in this grave yard including General Kohler. At this time, the place become a tourist attractions in Banda Aceh especially the Dutch tourists. As we may know, the Acehnese people were very determined against the Dutch colonial. This Kerkhoff is become a historical evidence. This Kerkhoff Dutch Grave is the largest overseas Dutch military cemetery located in Banda Aceh. In Dutch history, the Aceh War was the most bitter war experience more than Napoleon War.
- Visit Sultan Iskandar Muda Tomb
Sultan Iskandar Muda was Aceh’s King of Aceh Darussalam Kingdom who brought Aceh reached its golden age era. Aceh Kingdom was the fifth largest Islamic Kingdom in the world in 16th century ago. Sultan Iskandar Muda was known as a fair king, including to his own family. One of his son named Meurah Pupok was beheaded in front of public because he made serious mistake. The Sultan Iskandar Muda Tomb is located near Krueng Daroy river, close to Governor residence or adjacent to Aceh State Museum.
- Seeing the Thanks to the World Monument
Aceh Thanks to the World Monument is the monument in the form of gratitude from the people of Aceh to the volunteers, NGO, International Institution and the countries who have participated in reconstructed Aceh after the Tsunami and Earthquake disaster in 2004. The monument is located strategically in Blang Padang Square Park precisely in the center of the city and very close to many other tourist destinations such as Seulawah RI 001 Monument, Kerkhoff Peucut and Tsunami Museum. The main of this monument in the form of 5 building resemble waves with the inscription. There are also placards can be found along jogging track with a total of 53 placards made in the shaped of like a half of ship’s body sank. In the placards wrote a message of “Thank You & Peace” with the flag of the countries that help Aceh during the tsunami. The message in the placards wrote in various official language of the countries.
- Visit Seulawah RI 001 Monument
Seulawah RI 001 Monument was the first Indonesia aircraft donate by Acehnese people in struggling against the Dutch and later become forerunner of the Garuda Indonesia Airways. The Monument is located in Blang Padang Square Park close to Tsunami Museum. This monument was erected with the aim of commemorating the resistance of Acehnese people against the Dutch in 1948. This aircraft monument was a Dakota DC-3 type aircraft with the length of 19.66 meters and 28,96 meters wingspan which can fly up to speeds of 346 km/hr. at that time, the RI 001 had a role in transported the weapons and ushering the journey of Indonesia’s first president Mr. Soekarno in raising spirit of the struggle.
- Visit Kandang Meuh Burial Ground
Kandang Meuh Grave is an ancient tomb complex located on Jalan Sultan Alauddin Mahmudsyah No. 12 Banda Aceh. The grave buried the kings who ruled of Sultanate of Aceh Darussalam and their relatives. According to the board, on the left, the tombs included the princess of Raja Anak Bulu Hulu King, Sultan Alaudin Mahmudsyah (1760-1764) and Tuanku Zainal Abidin and other’s Sultan’s families. On the right side, Pocut Rumoh Geudong or Meurah Limpah or Pocut Lamseupeung (Consort of Sultan Alaiddin Ibrahim Mansur Syah), Pocut Sri Banun (daughter of Sultan Alaiddin Ibrahim Mansur Syah), Sultan Alaiddin Ibrahim Mansur Syah (1857-1870), Sultan Alaiddin Jauhar Alam Syah or Sultan Husein (1795-1824), Putro Bineu or Pocut Meurah Di Awan (mother of Sultan Alaiddin Jauhar Alam Syah), Tuanku Prince Husein (Son of Sultan Alaiddin Ibrahim Masur Syah and Commander of Aceh Fleet. Tuanku Zainal Abidin (Commander of the Aceh Darussalam Sultanate during Sultan Alaiddin Ibrahim Mansur Syah and father of the last Sultan of Aceh, Sultan Alaiddin Muhammad Daud Syah.
- Visit Pendopo Governor Complex
Pendopo or Meuligoe is the former Dutch’s governor residence and today it’s the official residence of the Governor of Aceh. This building was built on the remains of the Sultanate of Aceh in 1880. This building was initiated by Lieutenant Karel Van Der Heijen who at that time served as the Dutch Military and Civil Commander in Aceh (1877-1881). This building can still be seen and functioned as the Residence of Governor of Aceh.
- Visit the Grave of King Reubah
According to the history, Raja Reubah was a traveler from Malaya who came to Aceh then married with a cousin of Sultan Iskandar Muda. This historical grave is visited by some Malaysian tourist to see the history of it. The grave is located in Lamlagang Village Banda Aceh.
- Visit Gunongan
Gunongan is mountain miniature with labirins inside built by Sultan Iskandar Muda for his beloved queen named Princess of Putroe Pahang from Pahang, Malaysia. The building is the rectangular building resembling a flower and three-storey with a crown-shaped in the main level. It was built in the 16th century located in Jl. Merapi No. 37 Banda Aceh.
- Visit Putro Phang Park
Putroe Phang Park is a park made for Empress of Sultan Iskandar Muda named Putroe Phang which means Princess of Pahang, who was from Pahang, Malaysia. The park is located at the city center of Banda Aceh.
In this park is often held the Art & Music Weekend Show where you can see a variety of art performances ranging from music to various kinds of dance including the traditional dances.
- Visit Tsunami Education Park
Tsunami Education Park is a tsunami education park built to give the information and tsunami education related to tsunami and earthquake. The park has an area of 4500 square meters located in Punge Blang Cut Village close to PLTD Apung Stranded Ship, Banda Aceh. You can see the tsunami historical records here and photos of the tsunami in Aceh in the last of December 2004.
- Visit Bugis King’s Burial Ground
Bugis King’s Burial is located in front of Aceh State Museum. It reflects the long and best relationship between Aceh Kingdom and Bugis Kings which was from Celebes Island.
- Visit the Grave of King Jalil
Raja Jalil is said to be grandfather to Sultan Iskandar Muda who ruled Aceh Kingdom in 1607-1636 and his father is Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah Al-Qahar who ruled in 1539-1571.
- Visit Alue Naga Beach
Alue Naga is a one kilometer long black sand beach in Banda Aceh. The beach is really calm with a great view. You can see the remains destroyed area surrounding.
- Visit Syiah Kuala Beach
Syaih Kuala Beach is another black sand beach located in the northern part of Banda Aceh. The beach is normally visited by local people and playing with kids in this beach. along the way to this beach you will see a flat area overgrown by mangrove which was the area that destroyed by the tsunami in 2004.
- Having nice Acehnese Traditional Dishes & Curry in Hasan Restaurant or Lem Bakri Restaurant
In Banda Aceh you can have variety of Acehnese Traditional Foods. Acehnese cuisine is always refer to the using herbs. Ayam Tangkap is a popular cuisine in Banda Aceh which is fried chicken with leaf of traditional herbs that produced very nice flavor.
- Visit Ceureumen Beach
Ceureumen or Cermin Beach is the black sand beach in Banda Aceh located in Ulee Lheue area. Many local visitors with family visit this beach during afternoon and crowded during weekend. They come for marine activities such a swimming, sunset sightseeing, and other recreational activities. The beach is located approximately 7 kilometers from Banda Aceh city center
- Visit Aceh Market
Aceh Market was exist since 1965 located on the Perdagangan Street built during Dutch era. At this time the Aceh Market has modern and traditional market where you can get both traditional items or modern items.
- Visit Blang Padang Square
Blang Padang Square is open space and the center for community activities, ceremonies and to relax and exercise. There are the jogging tracks, volley court, basketball court, tennis court and others
- Having Special Culinary at REX
REX is open space restaurant located strategically in the center of Banda Aceh and very close to many tourist attractions in Banda Aceh. The place is also close to various popular hotel. REX is serving variety of foods and beverages usually during night time.
- Visit Baitul Musyahadah Mosque
Baitul Musyahadah Mosque is unique mosque in Banda Aceh with the dome shape of a Traditional Acehnese Hat called Kupiah Meukeutop. The mosque also known as Kupiah Meukeutop Mosque.
- Enjoy the Sunset at Ulee Lheue Beach
Ulee Lheue is one of most visited tourist attractions in Banda Aceh and it also the best place for sunset sightseeing and fun fishing.
- Enjoy the best coffee in Solong Coffee
Almost all of Acehnese people like coffee very much and it becomes the custom of Acehnese in everyday life drinking coffee sometimes more than one times day. Ulee Kareng coffee is one of the most popular coffee in Banda Aceh where you can get it in Solong Coffee. You can have a good coffee in Solong Coffee Shop located in Ulee Kareng, just 13 minutes from Baiturrahman Great Mosque.
- Enjoy Acehnese Special Noodle at Mie Razali
Acehnese Noodles is Acehnese special noodle cooked in Acehnese traditional style and very delicious. You may have a great Acehnese special noodle in Mie Razali.
- Dining at Grand Aceh Culinary
Last things to do in Banda Aceh is dining at Grand Aceh Culinary. Aceh Culinary is the culinary center and one of the best place for dining in Banda Aceh located on Sultan Iskandar Muda Street, Meuraxa District, Banda Aceh which is close to Ulee Lheue Beach. you can have various drink ranging from coffee to milkshake. You can also have various food ranging from rice to noodles. The price is not so expensive and the place is perfect for chill-out with friend or family.
We also has other post related to Aceh Tourism you may check below:
- Things to do in Aceh
- Things to do in Weh Island
- Things to do Banyak Islands
- Things to do in Simeulue
- Things to do in Aceh Besar
Hopefully this post about Most Popular Things to do In Banda Aceh & Banda Aceh Travel Guide can help you to find some activities you can do in Banda Aceh.