Pekanbaru is the capital of Riau province in Indonesia. It is a centre of oil production. Pekanbaru has the reputation of being one of the cleanest big cities in Indonesia, and is the third largest city of the island of Sumatra after Medan and Palembang. The city is developing rapidly, but still has much unique architecture with a taste of Malay culture.
- 1 Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport (PKU IATA). Serves frequent domestic flights by all major Indonesian airlines from Jakarta (both Soekarno-Hatta and Halim airports), Medan, and Batam, and to a lesser extent from Bandung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Palembang, and Tanjung Pinang. In addition, the airport receives flights from other cities in the province and surrounding areas, such as Dumai and Jambi. There are also direct international flights from Kuala Lumpur (operated by AirAsia), Malacca (Malindo Air) and Singapore (Scoot).
From inside Indonesia
- From Riau Islands: Several companies operate ferries to Sekupang, Batam. Travel between the Riau Islands and Pekanbaru involves a 3-hr minivan ride and a 3- to 6-hour ferry. Tickets can be purchased at the Sungai Duku port in Pekanbaru for the mini-van and ferry combination ticket. The minivan picks you up at your hotel, picks up the rest of the passengers, and then drives to the ferry dock in Tanjung Buton, about 3½ hours away. Then you wait a bit until the ferry comes. The ferry comes, you pay a Rp1000 terminal fee, and then board the ferry. Pekanbaru-Tanjung Balai ticket cost Rp265,000 in 2011.
No ferries travel from Malacca anymore. You must catch the ferry in Dumai.
- 2 Payung Sekaki Terminal. The main bus station is 7 km west of the town center. Departure times are difficult to ascertain but it seems most long-distance services depart early, before 10:00.
Mini-Bus Dumai to Pekanbaru (July 2019). The Karya Maju Travel Agency is on Jalan Jenderal Sudirman No 160 Dumai (Between the small side streets of gg Kuini depan (Jl Kuini) and Jin Sutomo (Jalan Dr. Sutomo)). This is a door to door service, meaning that the driver will pick you up from and drop you off at your hotel, guesthouse etc. Departure times are 08:00, 10:00, 14:00, 16:00 and 20:00. Cost is Rp120,000 (July 2019). Journey time is 5½ to 6 hours. There are other mini-bus companies, but this company is reported as reliable regarding taking you to where you want to be dropped off.
There are mikrolets (minivan share taxi), buses, ojek (motorcycle taxi), and taxis.
A new mode of transport is the Trans Metro Pekanbaru, a bus rapid transit system like the Transjakarta in Jakarta. Tickets must be bought at the bus stop before riding, and the one-way fare is Rp 4,000. Only part of the system is operational, and other lines are still under construction
The intercity/interprovincial (AKAP) bus terminal is 5km from downtown. From the bus station to town there are many public buses that stop at pre-determined stops. Tickets cost Rp 4,000 and can be purchased inside the bus stop from a ticket agent.
Pekanbaru is not a tourist destination for either Indonesians or foreigners, but does have some interesting buildings and places to visit, including some distinctive buildings constructed by local government:
- Sang Nila Utama Museum, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No.. Museum about culture and heritage in Riau. The one and only museum in Pekanbaru
- Idrus Tintin (MTQ) Building, Jl. Jend. Sudirman. A great building with Malay and modern architecture. One of the city's landmark. Some great events held here from Musabaqah Tilawatil Qur'an (MTQ) to Indonesian Film Festival
- 1 Great Mosque of An-Nur, Jl. Syekh Burhanuddin. The largest mosque in Pekanbaru. One of the city's landmark. This mosque is located just opposite to Great HKBP Church.
- 2 Great Mosque of Pekanbaru, Jl. Masjid Raya (Pasar Bawah). The oldest mosque in Pekanbaru. Built in the 18th century at the time of Siak Sultanate. It was revitalized in 2009, and not much of the original building remained, only some pillars.
- Soeman H.S. County Library, Jl. Jend. Sudirman. The largest library in Sumatra. Great building with Malay-modern architecture.
- Kampung Tionghoa Melayu (Chinatown), Jl. Dr. Leimena / Jalan Karet. The city's little Chinatown. Chinese New Year festival held here
- Labersa Water Park, Jl. Labersa Parit Indah. Water park, golf course, 5-star hotel and convention centre.
- Limbungan Reservoir Park, Rumbai. Popular just to people from other regencies and towns in Riau province.
- Alam Mayang Park, Jl. Harapan Raya. Popular just to people from other regencies and towns in Riau province.
- Play golf, Pekanbaru Golf Course Country Club at Kubang, Simpang Tiga Golf Course at Simpang Tiga, Labersa Golf Course at Labersa and Rumbai Golf Course at Rumbai Chevron Camp.
There are three major malls in Pekanbaru. The two best are Mall SKA and Mall Ciputra Seraya. The older Mall Pekanbaru is not as well appointed as the other two but is still a good mall and offer a decent selection of restaurants. The location of the three malls are locally well known so getting there shouldn't be a problem. There are several other less interesting malls in Pekanbaru, some are closer to an indoor market then a mall and are great places for bargains.
- Mall Pekanbaru, Jl. Jend. Sudirman. Mega Dept. Store, Lucky Mart, Gramedia Book Store, Handphone Centre, Solaria, Bakso Lapangan Tembak, Ikan Bakar Cianjur, KFC, Bread Boutique, MP Night Club.
- Plaza Senapelan, Jl. Teuku Umar. Suzuya Dept. Store, D'cost Seafood Restaurant, A&W.
- Plaza Sukaramai, Jl. Jend. Sudirman. Ramayana Dept. Store, Trade Centre, Market.
- Pasar Bawah (Pasar Wisata/Tourist Market). You can find souvenirs, traditional foods and snacks, traditional products, and import products.
- Mall SKA, Jl. Soekarno Hatta. You can find Matahari Dept. Store, Hypermart, Pizza Hut, A&W, Popeyes, J.CO Donuts and Coffee, BreadTalk, Excelsior, RotiBoy, Solaria, Rice Bowl, KFC, Disc Tarra, Electronic Centre, Billiard Centre.
- Mall Ciputra Seraya, Jl. Riau. You can find Matahari Dept. Store, Food Mart, KFC, Texas Chicken, A&W, Pizza Hut, Solaria, Rice Bowl, J.CO Donuts and Coffee, New Zealand Natural Ice Cream, Bakso Lapangan Tembak, Disc Tarra, Time Zone. Riau21 (a branch of 21 bioskop) is located here.
- Plaza Citra, Jl. Pepaya. Matahari Dept. Store, Mister Bakso, Timezone.
- Metropolitan City (MTC), Jl. HR Subrantas km 12. You can find Giants Hypermarket.Kentucky fried chicken and solaria restaurant.
- Panam Square, Jl. HR Subrantas. Ramayana Dept. Store.
- [dead link] Fiji Tours and Travel, JL. Prof. Moh. Yamin No. 88, ☏ , . You can find cheapest domestic and international air ticket, local car rental and inbound tour.
- Durian at durian stalls along Jl. Sudirman.
- Kedai Kopi Seleraku, Jl. Teuku Umar No.90 C. Famous for Nyonya food, lots of choices. One of the oldest Kedai Kopi in PekanBaru.
- Restoran Taman Anggrek, Jl. Tuanku Tambusai No. (Komp. Taman Anggrek), ☏ , . If your taxi driver can find it, good Chinese and Indonesian food. The chili garlic crab is excellent and if the matriarch is there the service is excellent. There's also Anom Restaurant at Anom Hotel on Jl. Gatot Subroto, they have the same owner. Whatever food you find on Restoran Anom Taman Anggrek, you also can find at Anom Restaurant.
- Koki Sunda, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No.247, ☏ . Sundanese restaurant.
- Minang Soto, Jl. Pattimura, Rumbai. Famous for the Soto Padang. There are two restaurants with a same name in the street. Recommended is the one in a shophouse.
- Pondok Samba Lado Hijau, Jl. Soekarno Hatta No. 88 F, ☏ . The speciality here is fish, infused with Minangkabau/Malay style.
- RM Kota Buana, Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto no. 16, ☏ . Minangkabau restaurant. Famous for their Rendang and Cincang Kambing.
- Apollo Seafood Restaurant, Jl. Jend. A. Yani, ☏ . is one of a number of Chinese restaurants in Pekanbaru, and also has branch on Jl. Jend. Gatot Subroto no. 30-32 Phone +62 761-35234.
- Pondok Gurih, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 202, ☏ . When you enter this restaurant, the staff will hit the gong at the entrance.
- Bumbu Desa, Jl. Jend. Sudirman. Sundanese restaurant.
- Riau Kuring, Jl. Jend. Sudirman no. 405-409. Located behind VanSquare.
- Tenda Biru, Jl. Arifin Ahmad. Famous for Mie Aceh (Aceh Noodles)
- Bebek Goreng H. Slamet, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 201, ☏ .
- Ayam Goreng Suharti, Jl. Riau. Famous for its Javanese fried chicken and Yogyakarta food such as gudeg and sambal krecek.
- Kedai Kopi Kim Teng, Jl. Senapelan. A Chinese kopitiam (coffee shop).
- Bakmi Gila, Jl Gatot Subroto. A new place in town for people who like noodles & spicy food, bakmi gila means crazy noodle.
- Kedai Kopi Gundaling, Jl. Juanda. You can taste the most authentic localized Chinese food in this Chinese kopitiam, especially an original menu from Bagan Siapi-api that cannot be found anywhere else. A specialty named Karipeng contains pork and is non-halal.
Online booking for hotels in Pekanbaru is not available, except for high end hotels as listed below.
- Grand Elite Hotel, ☏ . Grand Elite Hotel Pekanbaru is the first Business Hotel in Pekanbaru. Located in the heart of Pekanbaru's China Town in Komplek Riau Business Center at Jalan Riau in the Tampan District, a well-known entertainment area.
- Premiere Hotel, Jl Jend Sudirman No 389, ☏ . Chic hotel, 4 star, spacious rooms.
- OYO 1729 I-shine Hotel (iShine Hotel), Jl Sudirman No. 158, ☏ . 3-star Boutique business hotel with an ultramodern theme. One of the few Pekanbaru hotels that offer online booking.
- Hotel Aryaduta, Jl. Diponegoro No. 34, ☏ . 5-star. Reasonable rates with special discounts during the weekend. Superior room starts from Rp 550,000 per night (inclusive of a buffet breakfast). The hotel has a nice swimming pool and soccer field.
- [formerly dead link] Jatra Hotel, Jl Tengku Zainal Abidin No.1, ☏ . 4-star hotel. Inside the biggest mall (Mall Pekanbaru), has special services such as Traditional Massage, Sauna and Health club. This Hotel is connected directly to first class entertainment in Pekanbaru, such as Hugo's Cafe, Karaoke club, and KTV. Satisfaction guaranteed.
- Grand Hawaii Hotel Pekanbaru, Jl. Gatot Subroto No. 8, ☏ . Modern hotel featuring an outdoor garden, private balcony and walking distance to Mall Pekanbaru and Pasar Pusat Pekanbaru.
- Hotel Grand Zuri Pekanbaru, Jl. Teuku Umar No.7, ☏ . 4-star hotel directly opposite Mall Pekanbaru and next door to Plaza Senapelan. 24-hour coffee shop, Karaoke Bar, Taurus Health Club and outdoor pool on the 8th Floor.
- Labersa Grand Hotel & Convention Center, Jl. Labersa, Parit Indah. 5-star. Possibly the most luxurious hotel in Pekanbaru. 10 minutes from the airport. This hotel is one compound with Labersa Golf Course and Labersa Water Park.
- Hotel Pangeran Pekanbaru, Jl.Jend. Sudirman No. 371-373, ☏ . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. 4-star. Located near Pizza Hut, opposite Martin Boutique and Durian stalls.
- Mutiara Merdeka Hotel, Jl. Kom. L Yos Sudarso 12-A, ☏ . 4-star.
- Furaya Hotel, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 72, ☏ . One of the more well known hotels in Pekanbaru for Chinese Wedding Receptions. Located near the Pasar Buah Pekanbaru (Pekanbaru Fruit Market).
- Grand Suka Hotel, Jl. Soekarno Hatta Kav. 148, ☏ . 3-star. The only Accord hotel in Pekanbaru.
- Anom Hotel, Jl. Jend. Gatot Subroto No. 1-3, ☏ . The original famous Anom Restaurant is located in this hotel, they have now opened a branch on Taman Anggrek.
- Aziza Hotel, Jl. Tuanku Tambusai. 3-star. A modern Islamic hotel in Pekanbaru.
- 1 Sabrina Hotel, Jl. Tuanku Tambusai, ☏ . Check-in: 06:00, check-out: 12:00. Modern budget hotel for travellers. Includes free WiFi, air con, tv and water Standard Rp 167,000.
- Sabrina Hotel on Jalan Sisingamangaraja (half a block from the Jalan Jenderal Sudirman junction) (July 2019). This Sabrina hotel is in the city center area. Cost for a room is Rp 165,000 (July 2019). What you pay and what you get is rather good value. A good size clean room, air con, TV and good Wi-Fi with hot water showers, and quiet at night. A simple breakfast is also included in the price. English was not spoken, but staff were very helpful.
- Pelangi Hotel, Jl. Jend. Gatot Subroto 39 B, ☏ . Modern budget hotel managed by Grand Zuri.
- Ratu Mayang Garden Hotel, Jl. Jend. Sudirman No. 11, ☏ .
- Amaris Hotel, Jl. K.H Wahid Hasyim No. 30 (4-star.).
- Wisma 81, Jl Jend Sudirman No 420, ☏ . Downsides: Appears to be run by young hooligans. Rooms have insects - flying and crawling. Nousy. No hot water. The room smells like an old smokers club. The internet connects but does not work. On the plus side, western style toilets and a small complimentary bar of soap. Rp 135,000/night.
- Malaysia Consulate, Jl. Jend.Sudirman, ☏ .
- Singapore Consulate, Gedung Surya Dumai, Lantai 4, Jl. Jend. Sudirman no. 395, ☏ .
- Siak Sri Indrapura, a town of old Siak Sultanate. Visit Siak Sultanate Palace and many historial buildings.
- Muara Takus Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple from ancient Srivijaya Kingdom.
- Dumai, a little port and beach town.
- Bagan Siapi-api, a little fishermen's town. Famous for Chinese festivals like "Bakar Tongkang", Chinese New Year and Cap Go Meh.
- West Sumatra, the Land of Minangkabau culture. - Padang, only 6 hours drive, Bukittinggi 4½ hours drive.
- North Sumatra, the Land of Batak culture, lake, waterfalls, mountains, and orangutans.
- Batam Island, beach resort island. Popular to many Singaporeans.
- Bintan Island, beach resort island. Popular to many Singaporeans.
- Kuala Lumpur and Malacca in Malaysia.