Photo: PTLD Apung.

Things to see and do

Highlights of Banda Aceh

While Banda Aceh isn’t seen as a tourist destination in and of itself, it’s certainly worth exploring for a day or two while transiting to somewhere else. We see too many people simply getting off the plane and heading straight to Pulau Weh, which is a shame as Banda Aceh is worth a look, albeit a brief one. Make sure you make time in your schedule to take in these sights of Banda Aceh when ... Read more about Highlights of Banda Aceh .

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Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman
Jalan Mohammad Jam

Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman is the grandest and most important mosque to Acehnese people, and survived the 2004 tsunami. This magnificent stark white mosque with black, shining domes was originally built in the 12th century in the time of Sultan Alaidin Mahmudsah and later expanded and improved by subsequent sultans. During 1873 the mosque was used as a base by Acehnese warriors who were ... Read more about Mesjid Raya Baiturrahman .

Museum Tsunami Aceh
Jalan Sultan Iskandar Muda

Museum Tsunami Aceh is easily the prime attraction in Banda Aceh. Built in 2009, it’s a dedication to the some 170,000 Indonesians who lost their lives during the massive 9.3 earthquake and subsequent tsunami on 26 December 2004. After storing your bag at the entrance you walk through a pitch black narrow corridor lined with towering waterfalls, which together with haunting Islamic ... Read more about Museum Tsunami Aceh .

Museum Aceh
Jalan Sultan Alaiddin Mahmudsyah

Museum Aceh is a small cluster of buildings just up the road from the Tsunami Museum. You’ll find here on display a meagre collection of traditional Acehnese artifacts including cooking utensils, farm equipment, weapons and a very special stuffed two-headed buffalo. Perhaps most interesting is the traditional stilted Acehnese house, which gives a fascinating insight into how the people of ... Read more about Museum Aceh .

PTLD Apung
Jalan Harapan

PLTD Apung is a 2,600-tonne offshore diesel-powered electric generating ship that was pushed five kilometres inland by the 2004 tsunami. What’s remarkable is that this enormous ship sits right in the middle of a densely packed residential area. The tsunami hit this place hard, as is evidenced by both the presence of the ship and a smattering of smashed up houses sitting within the confines of ... Read more about PTLD Apung .

Jalan Teuku Umar

Gunongan is a small monument built by Sultan Iskandar Muda in the 17th century for his wife to remind her of her childhood home in Pahang, Malaysia. It’s a square structure meant to represent a hill from Pahang, but to the casual observer it may look more like a blooming flower. The monument can be accessed via a locked door from a passageway that leads to a staircase up to the first floor. ... Read more about Gunongan .

Jalan Sultan Iskandar Muda

Kherkof is a Dutch cemetery with graves dating back to the late 19th century, primarily of soldiers from the Dutch army. A wander through the relatively well maintained cemetery reveals some teasing details of the lives of Dutch soldiers who lived and died in the Dutch East Indies, so long ago, far away from their motherland. The graveyard was hit hard by the 2004 tsunami and many ... Read more about Kherkof .

Lampuuk Beach
15km west of Banda Aceh

Lampuuk is a popular beach spot on the west coast of Sumatra 15 kilometres from Banda Aceh. Along this long stretch of coastline are numerous entry points, all with their own pluses and minuses and all charging 3,000 rupiah to enter. But the best spot is arguably at the far end of the beach where Joel’s Bungalows (T: 0813 7528 7765) lies tucked under a cliff. Joel’s has an expensive cafe ... Read more about Lampuuk Beach .

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Banda Aceh? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

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