Being the fourth most populous city in Indonesia, there is an ample amount of conceivable items available when shopping in Medan, such as arts and crafts, souvenirs, clothes, batiks, food delicacies and woodcarvings. The availability of goods in Medan is excellent, and the best part is that most items are tagged at reasonable prices. You can even use your haggling skills when negotiating for price. The great shopping opportunities in Medan are among the best reasons to visit the place.
When shopping in Medan, the products worth buying are perhaps the local food products. Pastry fans, cake enthusiasts and sweets lovers can visit local cake and pastry shops. Visit the street of Jalan Mojopahit, lined with various food shops selling bika ambon, a yeast cake that has sponge-like texture similar to honeycomb as well as kueh lapis, a layered cake with prunes. The popular Swiss rolls bolu gulung, that comes with different fillings and flavors like cheese, vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, mocha and chocolate. Two famous brands of Swiss rolls in Medan are located in Meranti and C&F, with each cost about Rp 50, 000.
Besides the local cakes, another Medan must-buy are dried fruits in Pasar Rome, a popular market next to Thamrin Plaza, kacang sihobuk martabe which are authentic peanuts coming from Sihobuk Village, terong belanda juice which comes from Karo Highland, emping crackers, which are krupuk made from melinjo nuts and Durian Medan, a unique durian specie that grows in Medan. It is slightly cheaper than Durian Jakarta.
Visit Batak and Tapanuli handicrafts with their unique hand-made products. There are thick cotton handmade cloth for stoles, headdress and sarongs. In addition, statues, wall decors and wood carved panels from Nias and Samosir are available with its primitive style. Other products are accessories made from buffalo horn, boar tusks and seashells.
Medan has plenty of shopping facilities just like other big cities. For a more specialist items, you can visit Jalan Yani lined with antique shops selling all kinds of Javanese, Minang, Acehneses and Batak antiquities. For clothes, try ‘Monza’, as what the locals call or Monginsidi Plaza. Most vendors sell Indonesian sized garments. Observe how the local people maintain themselves well dressed. If you do buy something, don’t forget to haggle. The Chinatown in Medan, located in Jalan Sutomo is a one-stop street of practically all items, from toiletries to heavy machineries. Practice caution with your valuables since pickpockets are common.
Several modern malls are present in the city center including Sun Plaza, Medan Fair Plaza and Grand Palladium Mall. These malls have good restaurants, supermarket and various shops for clothing. Older malls include Medan Mall, which is a must-go place for anything, from jewelry, food, clothing and groceries. Just adjacent to Medan Mall is Olympia Mall. Thamrin Plaza is smaller than other malls but still complete with a department store, top-floor food court and arcade.
Shopping in Medan is one of the most exciting and fun-filled activities that you should not miss. The must-buy items and must-go places listed above are only a few among the many that you can discover in the city. Fortunately, prices are reasonable and won’t break your wallet.