Situated in Jalan Balai Kota, Medan, Merdeka Walk is known as the hottest spot in town. With its huge name plastered at the entrance gate, you can see crowds of people dining, strolling or just lurking at this lively place. This place is an ideal hang out outdoor spot under the bright colorful light adorned on huge trees.
Open from late afternoon until midnight, it is where most happenings in Medan take place with the cafés, restaurants, exhibitions, live entertainment and numerous stalls selling stuff. Apparently, it is the first tensile structure in Indonesia, inspired from the alfresco outdoor dining concept you can see in Singapore. While a look at it is enough to tell anyone that it could be developed into a Vegas-type place, casino and gambling is strongly prohibited in the city.
Merdeka Walk is just 5 minutes away from Kesawan Square. You can easily find this spot as it is beside Lapangan Merdeka and just opposite of the popular Grand Aston Hotel, both popular Medan landmarks. Or, better ride a becak as almost all Medan drivers recognize this place. Historically, this was the place where the Independence of Republic of Indonesia was officially proclaimed on August 27, 1945. As such, this place turned out to be one of the most important historic places in Medan.
As part of the Merdeka Park, Merdeka Walk is basically the sidewalk surrounding the huge park. Upon entrance, you will notice the big old trees surrounding the park. A true cozy place at the heart of the city, you can enjoy the big playground, which is often used for large city events. There is also a monument as well as a long hangout place filled with chairs and tables. Walking along the big old tress, it is a nice and comfortable place to relax your body and mind. You can also sit around and watch different people and the vehicles passing by.
When it comes to food, the place has plenty to offer. While it is not ideally a place for a proper (date-type) dinner, it is ideal for snacking, drinking, hangout and chatting with friends. There are various cafes and restaurants offering different varieties of food. You can see several international food franchises like Pizza Hut and McDonalds and food stalls serving local dishes and traditional Indonesian foods like Nelayan Seafood and The Dimsum Restaurant. Other international cuisines are also offered such as Western foods, Sundanese food, Japanese bento, and Chinese foods. Other small food carts serve BBQ foods, bread, coffee, burger, noodles and other snacks. Not only does the food look and taste good but everything is also relatively cheap.
Merdeka Walk is not only limited as a place for food trips or hangout. With its wide area and numerous shop selections, you can visit a book market on one side and on another side, a game center. Several historical buildings can be seen inside that remain intact and unscathed despite old age, boasting unique ancient architectures from colonial times. It is quite a picturesque sight and one to enjoy when eating out in this place. Another great thing is that the entire Merdeka square provide free wireless Internet connection, hence you can see plenty of people bringing their laptops here.