"Banda Aceh-What The City can Offer" Top 5 Page for this destination Banda Aceh by Rinjani

Banda Aceh Travel Guide: 128 reviews and 312 photos

One of the Most Beautiful and Historical Cities

The article is published in Aceh World tabloid in September 2006, written by Diella Dachlan. The write up here is taken from the article

In process of rehabilitation and reconstruction in the province, there are many international organizations working in Aceh. Nowadays, the capital city of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) has become one of the most multiculture cities in Indonesia, where different ethnics and nationalities are found here.If you are in town, either for short or long term, the city has many to offer depend on your interest. The following simple city life guide will be hopefully useful for you.

In many spots of the city you can still witness how damage has occured to the houses and previous residential area. Big stranded ship in Pungeh is one of the famous spots that never fail to amaze the visitors. Or, you can go to Lamdingin to see the vessel stucked in a house’s roof. If you are heading to the west coast, you can listen to people’s story how the giant wave washed away buildings`along the coast and took away live of the loved ones. To remember those who lost their live in the devastated day, you can pay a visit to grave mass. Three big mass graves are located in Lambaro, Ulee Lheu (Meuraxa) and Lhonga.

Aceh has interesting historical background from pra-Indonesia independence era. Museum and library are the best place to learn about history of Aceh. You can also visit historical building such as Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in a heart of the city, Tengku Dianjung Mosque (Peulanggahan), House of Cut Nyak Dhien (near Lhonga), Dutch Grave, Kerkoff, Gunongan, Taman Sari, Malahayati Fortress (Krueng Raya near old port) and many other spots. For complete guide, you can contact Tourism Department in Mahmudsyah street.

Food and Coffee Taster

You can challenge yourself to try local cuisine. Acehnese cuisine is unique in taste. Some dishes are quite exotic for foreign tongue. Pliek ‘Uu, vegetable with curry sauce made of fermented coconut, or Peukasam, which sauce is made of fermented durian. The best way to try Acehnese cuisine is going to Acehnese restaurant. Ask the waiter to serve different kind of dishes, usually known as Hidang.
For neutral options, you can try breakfast in stalls. Common option is Nasi Gurih (rice cooked in coconut milk served with variety kind of dishes), Lontong Sayur (rice cake with vegetable cooked in coconut milk) or for lighter option, try local snacks that usually available for breakfast.
In Banda Aceh now there are some new restaurants open. Chinese is the most popular one. Name some known retaurants such as Banda Seafood, Tropicana, and Imperial Kitchen which specialize in Chinese cuisine. Western food is also available in restaurant like Italian cuisine (Pace Bene is now Warung Bene), Country Steak, MC Cafe and Melodia.

Aceh is famous for its coffee. Kedai Kopi (coffee shop) is spread out throughout the city. They are also famous meeting spots to catch up with friends or relax after working hour. Sometimes Kedai Kopi is a place for watching sport, even for watching movie. Coffee and Kedai Kopi become part of daily city life. Ulee Kareng is the most famous spot for coffee. You can try strong black coffee, while women usually go for Acehnese version of Caffe Latte, Sanger, black coffee with thick layer of condensed milk at the bottom. Caswell, a franchised coffee shop also open its branch in Peunayong and soon become well known spot for coffee lover.

Outdoor Lover

Banda Aceh has gorgeous beaches. Lhonga and Lampuuk are the famous beaches in the west coast. But you can also opt for Ujung Batee in Krueng Raya, where the pine trees creating shadow spots along the beach protecting you from the heat. If you plan to go swimming, just be careful. The current is quite strong sometimes. In Lhonga and Lampuuk there are beach guards in the weekend or holidays. But just make sure that you are careful and if it’s possible don’t swim alone.
Surfers can go to Lhonga, Lampuuk or Ujong Batee for surfing. The wave, although is not as dramatic as in Nias island, but good enough for surfing. These areas have strong current and can be dangerous sometimes. In weekend, there are beach guards, but be cautious is needed to be safe.
Diving spot is best find in Sabang. It takes only 45 minute by speed boat from Ulee Lheu. Iboih and Rubiah islands are the most famous diving spots. If you don’t bring your equipment, in Iboih they rent the equipment, as well as arranging the trip. There is also diving operator in Banda Aceh located in Peunayong.
Bikers can explore country side with breathaking landscape. There are bicycle shops in the city, and also there is biking club in the city where you can have company to explore the places.

The city still has many to offer. You can enjoy afternoon walk in the city (try river sidewalk near Keudah station) or renting boat to cruise the river.
There are some hills to explore. Lhok Mata’iie (with entrance point from Ulee Lheu) is one of the beautiful spot for fishing or relaxing. It takes you only an hour walk to reach the other side of the hills. The scenery is breathaking with overlooking to small islands. There are also small islands nearby Banda Aceh such as Pulau Nasi, Pulau Beras, Pulau Batee, etc. The islands are beautiful, but you need to take course of malaria pills before heading to the islands.
You can also head to nearby area such as Saree where you can also visit elephant school and enjoy the fresh air of mountain.

Banda Aceh has beautiful neighboring small town and villages.
For more information, you can also visit my "Aceh" page at:

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:Historical, Sentimental and Complicated
  • Intro Updated Apr 14, 2008
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Reviews (49)

Comments (12)

  • May 19, 2009 at 1:51 AM

    hi rinjani. lovely area despite tsunami, beaches interest me for surfing, also palau aceh for few days, i will come in july, if I like it on islands I can go back and stay a while.I teach english and could help out in village or school, any thoughts? john

  • 850prc's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2009 at 6:23 PM

    Great look at your hometown, Diella. I enjoyed this page a great deal. :)

  • kelnsha's Profile Photo
    Dec 14, 2008 at 2:38 AM

    Useful tips... Thanks for sharing Diella... Have you heard of Pulau Weh?

  • goutammitra's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2008 at 7:29 PM

    A great story on Banda Aceh. Yes Tsunami devastated the land and the great Indonesian people reconstructed the place! I am sure the stranded ship has become a Museum! one of my coleague visited the pace who is on deputation to Jakarta. Great tips.

  • RickinDutch's Profile Photo
    Jul 17, 2008 at 2:41 PM

    What a huge task, cleaning up the devastation left behind. Alaska went thru (on a smaller scale) something similar in 1964. Congratulations on being the spotlight member!

  • Toshioohsako's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2008 at 5:23 AM

    Nice photos. Your color is excellent.

  • Feb 14, 2008 at 7:54 AM

    Hallo Rinjani, I am looking for information about Takengon, Aceh. Do you know about hotel or travel agent there who can arrange accomodation and transportation from Banda Aceh to Takengon? Thanking you!

  • Kid-A's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2008 at 10:28 PM

    Hi Diela, you were the featured VT'er as I logged in this morning. I enjoyed reading about where you live. Greetings from Germany, Brian

  • iaint's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2007 at 5:36 AM

    looks beautiful; happy new year to you too!

  • brewjohnson's Profile Photo
    Nov 30, 2007 at 5:04 PM

    You have some really great information here!!! Thanks for creating such great pages!

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