Sumatra Museums and Art Galleries
Some of the most visited museums on Sumatra can be found within the Jambi, Lampung, Medan, Padang and Palembang areas. Located within the capital city of Medan, the Museum of North Sumatra is especially noteworthy and contains a fairly extensive and interesting collection of artefacts and cultural relics, which originate from throughout this particular region.
The Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo is to be found within the village of Simanindo and in the Danau Toba area of North Sumatra, lying directly to the south of Medan, being near to Manduamas, Pangaribuan and Tuk Tuk. Gunung Sitoli (Gunungsitoli), on the north-easterly coastline of the island of Pulau Nias, is where you will discover the ever-popular Museum Pusaka Nias (Nias Heritage Foundation).
Museum of North Sumatra
Address: Jalan HM Joni 51, Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia, ID
Tel: +62 061 771 6792
Special highlights within the Museum of North Sumatra include some impressive stone carvings from the westerly island of Pulau Nias, weaponry used during the war of independence, and some truly pre-historic gems. This large and spacious museum was founded in the early part of 1982 and is a good place to learn about some local history. Look out for the Buddhist statues and the 8th-century Arabic gravestones.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 08:30 to 12:00, 13:30 to 17:00
Bukit Barisan Military Museum
Address: Jalan H Zainal Arifin 8, Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia, ID
Standing close to the Hotel Danau Toba International and just a quick stroll from the Parisada Hindu Dharma Temple, the Bukit Barisan Military Museum is home to a small, but fascinating array of Second World War memorabilia. The exhibits include old weaponry, uniforms and photographs, and also relate to both the Sumatran rebellion in 1958, and the War of Independence.
Open hours: Monday to Thursday, Saturday - 08:00 to 13:00
Admission: charge by donations
Museum Pusaka Nias (Nias Heritage Foundation)
Address: Gunung Sitoli, Pulau Nias, Sumatra, Indonesia, ID
Housing a vast collection of woodcarvings, ceremonial items and stone carvings, which celebrate the heritage of Pulau Nias and now number in excess of 6,000 objects, the Museum Pusaka Nias is surrounded by a beautiful landscaped garden. The garden is particularly fragrant, being heavily planted with herbs, and features some scale models, showing traditional Niassan architecture at its very best.
Open hours: Tuesday to Saturday - 08:00 to 12:00, 13:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00
Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo
Address: Simanindo, Danau Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia, ID
This old building is quite traditional in style and was formerly a private house, being the residence of none other than wealthy Batak king Rajah Simalungun, along with his 14 wives and countless children. Visitors to the Museum Huta Bolon Simanindo often find the brass cooking utensils and Batak carvings very appealing, as well as the Chinese and Dutch ceramics, the various weapons, and the paintings and sculptures. Each morning at 10:30 (except for Sundays), visitors are treated to a display of authentic Batak dancing.
Open hours: daily - 10:00 to 17:00
Museum Negeri Banda Aceh
Address: Jalan Alauddin Mahmudsyah 12, Banda Aceh, Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia, ID
The provincial capital of Banda Aceh is where you will find the Museum Negeri Banda Aceh and its multitude of regional treasures. Highlights are in good supply and range from antiquities and household furnishings, to Acehese weaponry displays, extravagant ceremonial costumes, beautiful golden jewellery and stylish calligraphy. Of interest is the Rumah Aceh building next door, which is held together with just pegs and cord - no nails or screws whatsoever.
Open hours: Tuesday to Thursday - 08:30 to 16:00, Friday and Saturday - 08:30 to 12:00
Address: Jalan Diponegoro, Padang, Indonesia, ID
Situated within Padang (West Sumatra), the Adityawarman Museum is close to the Hotel Inna Muara and the city's mosque. The Adityawarman Museum is an insightful attraction, being filled with information about the city's long and colourful past - both good and bad. There are also some antiquities, valuable local relics and objects of significant cultural interest.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 08:00 to 16:00
Museum Negeri Propinsi Jambi
Address: Corner of Prof Dr Sri Sudewi and Jalan Urip Sumoharjo, Telanaipura, Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia, ID
The Museum Negeri Propinsi Jambi is one of the few attractions worth seeing in the Sumatran provincial capital of Jambi, in the Telanaipura area. Here you can enjoy a selection of traditional costumes and Indonesian handicrafts, together with some historical artefacts.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 15:00
Museum Sumatera Selatan
Address: Jalan Sriwijaya 1, Palembang, Sumatra, Indonesia, ID
Home to a large collection of artefacts dating from the Sriwijayan period, the Museum Sumatera Selatan is located in Palembang, being around 5 km / 3 miles from the town centre and on the main road leading to the Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport. Other highlights include a variety of megalithic carvings originating from around the Paseman Highlands, such as the famed elephant stone known as the 'batu gajah'.
Open hours: Sunday to Thursday - 08:00 to 16:00, Friday - 08:00 to 11:00
Lampung Provincial Museum
Address: Jalan Teuku Umar, Lampung, Sumatra, Indonesia, ID
Sitting some 5 km / 3 miles to the north of Tanjungkarang (Tanjung Karang) and within the Lampung region, the Lampung Provincial Museum contains a mixture of Neolithic objects and stuffed animals. The best way to get here is to catch an inexpensive grey 'opelet' (minibus) from the town centre.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:00 to 16:30