- For other places with the same name, see Padang (disambiguation).
Padang, the capital of the province of West Sumatra, is mostly used by tourists as an access point to Bungus Bay, the surfing sites of the Mentawai Islands, the inland hills of Bukittinggi, and the Kerinci Seblat National Park.
The city is very pleasant with a nice promenade along the beach, distinctive Padang architecture and wonderfully friendly people. The city is also the home of the delicious Padang food and the town is stuffed with restaurants and street stalls. The locally available guidebook 'Sozzie Sumatra' can be referred to on arrival for upcoming local events and a current 'what to do' section.
Minangkabau International Airport (Bandara Internasional Minangkabau - BIM) (PDG), located 23 km north-west of Padang, is the main gateway to West Sumatra, with frequent flights to destinations throughout Sumatra and Java (such as Garuda-Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, Lion Air, Citilink, and Wings Air), and to Kuala Lumpur (AirAsia). Direct flights to and from Padang, are available from:
- Kuala Lumpur
From the airport, the cheapest way to get into the city is by Damri (bus) for a fare of Rp 25,000 (2017) per person. Its route passes by the major hotels in Padang. The 1st bus departs the city at 04:30 and the last bus 18:00. the trip takes 45 minutes. Alternatives include taxis or arranged rental cars.
Rail transport to Padang are limited, the only passenger trains running is a service from Pariaman and Padang Panjang several times per day. This connection can be quite useful if traveling from Jakarta overland. The main station is 1 Stasiun Padang, located just off Jl. Dalam Gadung road.
Crazily-decorated angkots run along the two main roads. Prices for a trip are approximately Rp 2,000. You can get taxis from the Minangkabau International Airport to town for less than Rp 50,000 if you speak the language.
If you are obviously foreign, Minang people are well known to be good business people, and are quite skilled at making you pay a few extra thousand rupiah. But don't bother squabbling over 50 cents here or there.
There are several alternatives that you can choose for transportation in Padang, such as bus kota (for city bus transportation), angkutan kota (for transportation in the city), taxi, and car rental. Most public transportation is not very safe and clean by international standards. During rush hour, the buses are overcrowded. Be careful with your valuables, although pickpocketing is very rare.
If you're looking to spend a few days in Padang, car rental is the preferred way to go around. All car rentals include the driver, who can also act as your guide. It's not recommended for tourists to self-drive, because road signs are not followed by the locals and courtesy while driving is virtually nonexistent in Indonesia.
If you need a taxi, Argo, Blue Bird Taxi and Grab Taxi apps can be downloaded for free. Fill the departure and arrival points and Google Maps will show the map and the taxis and also estimate cost in a range. Taxis arrive within 5 minutes after being summoned. Only qualified taxis and qualified drivers can join the apps.
- Jacktour Padang Car Rental, tel. +62 751 445655 , . Padang and Bukittinggi car rental services.
- CV Budi Jaya, Jl. Aur Duri Indah XVI No. 1, ☎ , , . Car rental: Innova, Avanza, Kijang, Panther, Xenia, APV, Altis, tour bus. Rp 275,000 per day (Xenia car and chauffeur).
- Padang Rent Car. They provide cars for rent and tout their experience, cheap price and good service. Contact them +62 8 1166 8389. .
If you are in Padang, Bukittinggi and Payakumbuh, you can download Grab Taxi app for free in your smartphone. Padang is the second city in Indonesia served by Grab Taxi which only qualified taxi operators and qualified taxi drivers are allowed to join Grab Taxi. It safe, monitoring by GPS, no haggle, you choose by yourself which taxi you prefer which is showed in Google Maps, there are estimation cost range and pay same with the (argo)meter. Using taxi is not always more expensive than using a rental car.
- Museum Adityawarman, Jl. Diponegoro (Lapangan Tugu), +62 752 31523, 39587, Daily 08:00-16:00
- Taman Budaya (Cultural Park)
- Pantai Air Manis (Sweet Water Beach). It is most famed for Batu Malin Kundang (Stone of Malin Kundang), a stone shaped like a prostrating man. According to local legend, this stone is Malin Kundang, the ungrateful son who disowned his poor mother after coming home as a rich man from his travels. His mother cursed him into stone, as well as the remains of his ship, which can also be seen near his stone. There is a tidal island from the beach here, with nice clean (by Indonesian standards) water and sand.
- Pantai Padang (Padang Beach). You can ride the bendi (a horse-drawn carriage) along the beach, and stop by the rows of shops to eat some rujak as you watch the waves.
- Sitti Nurbaya Bridge, a beautiful bridge especially at night. Sitti Nurbaya is the eponymous character in a classical literary novel.
- You go down the south of Teluk Bayur, up and through steep hills (don't try to take a bus, there is an [Angkot] that goes all the way).
- Ramayana. World class shopping area with a variety of goods.
Relaxing is the main thing to do here. This is a mainly administrative city. Honestly there isn't too much to do downtown. But if you go uptown, some interesting spots await to be explored. These include Sikuai Island", Lubuk Minturun river' (a 'natural jacuzzi') and Bungus Bay (crystal water river), all in southern Padang.
Pool is a popular sport to play and there are a few places dotted around.
The nightlife is relatively dull because Padang is a minor city and a rather devout Muslim community. Bars are available at Hotel Bumi Minang, but don't expect alcohol.
If you can find your way down to Chinatown and get some kripik Padang (crackers, available in two flavors: spicy and sweet), that could be a good idea, too. In Chinatown, you also can explore the mixture of Minang-Chinese food.
- Pantai Air Manis (Sweet Water Beach) This a very good surf spot fort beginners with a beach break and not to big waves. It is working during low season, too, but waves can be inconsistent.
A few options for renting surfboards along the beach. Price around Rp 50,000/per board/per day Direction: Angkot from the market to the beach, fare Rp 5000, last trip at 17:00.
There are a lot of stores on the side of the road, much like anywhere else in Indonesia. There are two malls, Minang Plaza, which is smaller and better for your more supermarket and basic clothing needs. There is a bit of Western Food at Plaza Andalas in the form of Papa Ron's Pizza.
Shopping at Andalas is a little bit better, but at this point in time, the malls are more downscale, mainly local products and local shops. No big retailers here. Brand names aren't really easy to find. You could find a few surfing items at Andalas plaza - but that's about it.
There is a Gramedia across the road from Andalas Plaza also.
- Ramayana. Shopping district, locally famous. Great bargains can be picked up here.
- Basko Grand Mall. KFC, Pizza Hut, J.CO, Bread Talk, Matahari, Solaria, Foodmart, etc.
Padang is famed throughout Indonesia for spicy Padang food (masakan Padang). Ordering at a Padang restaurant couldn't be easier: just sit down at a table, and watch the dishes pile up. Eat what you like, as you'll only pay for dishes you've actually consumed. Famous dishes include:
- rendang sapi, spicy curried beef cooked until the sauce is dry. The same dish made with buffalo meat is called rendang kerbau. Almost all rendang in Padang is made from water buffalo, since there are many buffaloes and almost no cows available. Also, because three or more hours' cooking time is needed for tender water buffalo meat, it is much easier to avoid overcooking it.
- soto padang, crispy beef in spicy soup
- ayam pop, deep-friend vaguely popcorn-like (hence the name) kernels of chicken
- sate, beef satay in curry sauce, served with ketupat (rice dumplings)
Padang dishes can use rather unusual ingredients though, including internal organs like hearts, lungs and even brains. All Padang dishes are Halal, due to the Islamic roots of Minang people.
Some Westerner-friendly restaurants:
- Nelayan Restaurant, located by the edge of the beach near town, quite popular with the foreign crowd, there are two levels. During the daytime it tends to be relatively empty. By western standards the food is very cheap and the service is quite good.
- Safari. Café serving Western and Indonesian foods. Has a plasma television for watching soccer. Quite a nice little place to go if you long for a steak or a serve of crinkle cut fries.
- Pizza Hut, Lorong Sonny Bungus (Around the corner from Hotel Ank). A home from home amongst the local shacks, this pizza hut has the best chicken dippers in all of West Sumatra.
- Rohana Kudus, Jl. Rohana Kudus No. 74, ☎ . One of the favorite places to buy snacks to bring home as gifts, including the snack the area is famed for, Kripik Balado or Kripik Sanjay.
The only real bars you will find are at the major hotels. This is a very Islamic community and therefore the influence of alcohol is minimal. That being said, beer is for sale at the major supermarkets, Suzuya, etc. Bintang is about all you will find. If you are feeling game, the traditional market could be something you might want to visit, as hard liquor such as Johnny Walker may be available there.
Hard liquor is also available at several warungs (small shops on the side of the road) and it is quite easy to obtain cheap vodka, whisky or rum. The going rate for a 250ml bottle of spirits is Rp 23,000.
The best nightclubs in Padang are Hotel Pangeran Beach, Rocky Hotel, Ambacang hotel (the newest hotel) and Queen.
- Grace Hostel Padang (25118), jalan batang arau 88 B/5,Padang, Indonesia, ☎ . 24. Grace Homestay is a homestay for backpackers the air in Grace Homestay more fresh than the other place because there is a hill Gunung Padang in front of Grace Homestay. There clean and familiar Homestay during you stay in Padang. Rp 100,000.
- [dead link]Havilla Maranatha, Jl. Bandar Pulau Karam No. 10-D, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Homey, have good facilities; Dormitory(backpackers), Single or double room and family room; hot and cold water, hot spot internet,nice lobby, kitchen facilities, international TV channels, Location :City center, near the beach and a shopping center. Rp 85,000 -Rp 270,000..
- Hotel Bintang, Jln. Bandar Pulau Karam 29, ☎ . Check-out: 12:99. Fan room with own bathroom. Free wifi. from Rp 120,000.
- Garuda Hotel, Jl Permindo no 4, ☎ . Check-out: 12:00. Fan single/double rooms with own bathroom. Free breakfast. Rp 145,000/175,000.
- Wisma Mutiara, Jalan Pulau Karam 149. Nice little hotel in the western part of town. It is very clean and a nice breakfast is included. Staff is very helpful and friendly. Doubles Rp 150,000-275,000.
- Brigitte's House, Jl Kampung Sebelah 1, Chinatown (near Sitti Nurbaya Bridge), ☎ . Check-out: 12:00. It has airy dorm beds & private rooms with breakfast included & free WiFi. You can also rent their motorbike for Rp 60,000 per day. Run by Ms Brigitte, a Batak gal & assisted by Mr Julian, the Aussie Indonesian-speaking handyman. Located not far from the Airport Damri bus route to the city & walking distance to Padang beach. From Rp 95,000.
- 1 Natures Inn (Opposite the Tourist Information Centre). Family-run home stay, clean and modern, dorms and double rooms, bed linen provided, shared bathrooms with seat toilets and showers, hot and cold water showers, free WiFi, fans and air-con. prices start at Rp 125,000, Rp 25,000 extra for breakfasts.
- Yani's Homestay Backpacker, Jl Nipah no.1, ☎ (mobile). Check-out: 12:00. Dorm beds. Fan/A/C single/double rooms. Shared bathroom free wifi. dorm bed Rp 80,000 a/c double 160,000.
- New House Padang Guest house, JL Hos Cokroaminotono no 104, ☎ . Check-out: 12:00. 3/4 bed dorm. free wifi. single/double rooms. Rp 120,000 per person.
- Riverside Hostel, JL Batang Arau no 66c, ☎ . Check-out: 12:00. 5-bed dorm and double rooms. Free wifi. Free breakfast. Cable TV. Hot water showers. from Rp 120,000 per person.
Pantai Air Manis
- Adi's guesthouse (Angkot from Padang market to Pantai Air Manis. Rp 5000. Last angkot at 17:00), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Family-run home stay, clean and simple, 2 rooms with bathrooms and fan. Located on the beach, it is a small restaurant and meeting place for the local surfing community. They usually serve fried rice, fried noodles and noodle soup (mix rebus), but if the food is included with your room, you will have the chance to try the wonderful curries of Adi. Adi is very reliable and helpful. Rp 200,000 for one person all included, Rp 300,000 for two. Surfboards are included in the package, but can be rented separately at Rp 50,000 per day (prices in 2013).
Padang lies right on a fault line and is frequently hit by earthquakes. The last one, in September 2009, killed over 1,100 people, and destroyed many buildings.
- Bukittinggi : Rp 20,000, 2 hours.
- Bungus Bay : Rp 10,000, 1 hour.
- Kerinci Seblat National Park - one of the largest in Indonesia
- Mentawai Islands - surfer paradise
- Lake Toba : catch a bus from the A.L.S. bus station (5 km from the city centre) to Parapat overnight, from Rp 120,000 to Rp 200,000. There is one leaving at 14:00.
- Medan : catch an overnight bus from the A.L.S. bus station (5 km from the city centre), from Rp 120,000 to Rp 200,000. There is one leaving at 14:00.