city and capital of North Sulawesi Province, Indonesia

Manado is the largest and capital city in, and main gateway to Northern Sulawesi (Sulawesi Utara), Indonesia.

Understand edit

Bird's eye view of Manado and the bay.

The capital of the province, the former stronghold of the Dutch (called Menado during Dutch colonial times), and the cultural centre of the Minahasa people, for a long time Manado prospered through trade with the nearby Philippines, and the spice trade with the rest of the world. Alas, the bombings of World War II, and the suppression of a local insurgency in the 1950s flattened most of Manado's older buildings. While by Indonesian standards still relatively prosperous, most visitors will be rather less impressed and head straight to the islands and reefs of nearby Bunaken. Unlike much of the rest of predominantly-Muslim Indonesia, Protestant Christianity is the dominant religion in Manado.

Weather edit

Mostly sunny throughout the year, the wet season usually starts from September until March or April. During its hottest days, it can reach up to 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). In the highlands of Tomohon, Tondano, Kawangkoan, it is cooler but sunny nonetheless.

Get in edit

Manado is quite far from the rest of Indonesia, and most visitors arrive by plane.

By plane edit

  • 1 Sam Ratulangi International Airport (Bandara Internasional Sam Ratulangi, MDC IATA), Jalan A.A. Maramis, Manado 95258, Provinsi Sulawesi Utara, Indonesia, +62 431 814 320, . 24h. An airy, modern facility last expanded in 2001. The airport fields some international flights to Singapore (Scoot, 3 hr) with visa on arrival possible, but Air Asia no longer operates. Philippines Airlines flies to and from Davao city.    

If you want to make a call in the airport, please have your cellphone ready, don't count on the public phone.

There are also frequent flights to Jakarta (Garuda, Lion Air 3 hr, from Rp 600,000) and Makassar (1½ hr). Other flights include Surabaya (east Java), Balikpapan (Kalimantan), Denpasar (Bali), Ternate (North Maluku), and Sorong (Papua).

A taxi from the airport to central Manado takes about 30 minutes and costs Rp 120,000 (bargaining may be necessary). There are also frequent mikrolets leaving from Terminal Paal 2 [paal doo-ah] costing Rp 2,300 that take about the same amount of time.

Departure tax from Manado is Rp 100,000 for international flights and Rp 30,000 for domestic flights. The terminal has an internet cafe in the public area, and the standard array of restaurants (KFC, Es Teler 77) and gift shops inside, but note that there is nothing once past immigration.

Get around edit

The main ways of getting around are ojek/ompreng, moped taxis that can be a bit scary, or with Mikrolets (mikros), the blue minibuses that you jump on just standing by the street. They all have a certain route, and within a day one should figure out how it works.

By taxi edit

There are several taxi operators here: Bluebird, Taxi Kokapura, Trust, Celebrity.

  • Bluebird, +62 431 861 234. The most reliable one in Manado, the blue taxi; Bluebird is the most trusted taxi operator in Jakarta and other cities in Indonesia.

By Angkot (Angkutan Kota) edit

Also known as mikrolets or bemos. Angkot is the typical Indonesia's cheapest way of transportation inside the city. Most of cities in Indonesia have this Angkot, along with Manado. Angkot is a minibus of 8-10 passengers. The cost is charged on per trip basis, which is Rp 4,000 (as of October 2018).

Compared to angkots in other cities in Indonesia that have side-facing seats, the ones in Manado are fitted with all front-facing seats. Manadonese are known for being picky, and would only take the good-looking and full music angkots.

By rental car edit

  • Manado Rental Car, +62 852 4022 0620, +62 431 892 979. around Rp 500,000 per day, including driver and fuel, or self drive approximately Rp 300,000 per day.
  • CV. Sinar Berkat Rent a Car Manado, +62 818 834 726, +62 431 8876, . It has been operating since 1995, has various types of car. Reservation can be made through email or by phone. The service includes pick up and drop at the airport.

By ojek edit

Ojek is motorcab taxi (pronounced 'O - jack'). Ojek is also a typical cheap land transportation in Indonesian cities. In Manado, ojek rate is not fixed, and depends on the distance and is by negotiation. For a very short distance of approximately one kilometre, it will be around Rp 4,000.

By transportation-sharing app edit

Transportation sharing app like Grab and Go-Jek are already a commonplace in Manado. You can even take it to go to Tomohon (give the driver a little bit extra, considering the worst case that the driver needs to go back to Manado without passenger).

See edit

  • 1 Ban Hin Kiong, D.I. Panjaitan Street, Manado. The oldest Chinese temple built in Manado during the Qing Dynasty era in China (1644–1911). It is a house of worship for the Tridharma followers from Manado and the region. This Temple is located at D.I. Panjaitan Street in Manado, which is the centre of the city's China Town. There are some shrines and temples, homes and interesting shops run by Chinese. The temple is easily reached by public transport, by mikrolet or taxis. Visitors can also rent a car or motorcycle to tour China Town.    
  • 2 Bukit Kasih (45 km (28 mi) south of Manado. 5 km (3.1 mi) from Kawangkoan.). One of popular tourist destinations in North Sulawesi. Go to the top of the Hill by climbing 2435 stairs to see an amazing view of nature. There are many natural hot springs around this area. Get your feet relax. Nearby, you can visit Watu Pinabetengan, an animism site.  
  • Modoinding. Agro-tourism place, where all kind of vegetables and spices come from, to supply the demands of east part of Indonesia, the area is about 900 to 1,200 metres (3,000 to 3,900 feet) above sea level. The place is cool and you will find Modoinding valley with Moat Lake with Bukit Doa on the east, very beautiful place. There is also Ambang National Park where you can see Golden Owl as favourite for bird watching activity. About 180 km (110 mi) from Manado. You also able to stay in the community house, traditional Minahasan wooden house for Rp 200,000 a night for the small house with western toilet and shower.

Do edit

  • Day trip to Bunaken: Manado is famous throughout the region for its diving areas. Bunaken is one of the well-known national marine park in Indonesia. 30 minutes boat ride. See its Wikivoyage article for more information.
  • Day trip to Tangkoko Nature Reserve: home of tarsiers and macaques, about 50 km (31 mi) from Manado. 1-2 hours ride. See its Wikivoyage article for more information.

Buy edit

  • 1 Manado Town Square (locally abrreviated 'Mantos'), Jl. Piere Tendean Boulevard, Kota Manado, Sulawesi Utara 95114. 10:00 to 22:00. Opened in 2006, the biggest shopping centre in Manado. You can find various western stuff here.  
  • 2 Mega Trade Centre Manado (locally abrreviated 'MTC'), Kawasan Megamas, Jl. Piere Tendean Boulevard, Manado 95111, +62 431 881 9368, fax: +62 431 881 9369. 10:00 to 22:00. The shopping place for electronics and bulk purchase. Similar to Mangga Dua ITC in Jakarta or Makassar Trade Centre.
  • 3 Megamall Manado, Jl.Piere Tendean Boulevard, Kawasan Megamas, Manado, +62 431 879 889, fax: +62 431 879 823. Shopping centre with two blocks, connected by a bridge.  
  • Manado Inter Money Changer, In front of Bahu Mall, next to Bank Tabungan Negara (BTN), Jl. W. Monginsidi No:62 Bahu Link: III Manado, +62 431 866 676, +62 431 866 677.

Eat edit

A yummy-looking bowl of tinutuan (it doesn't taste that bad, honest)

Manadonese food is famous throughout Indonesia for two things: the Minahasa eat absolutely anything, and the flavour of choice is very spicy. Sugar is used little if at all, with flavour added through lemon and herbs. Being Christian, the Minahasa also often marinate meat in alcohol and favour pork. More exotic protein options include cats, forest rats, fruit bats, and dogs, the last of which is the obligatory centrepiece of any wedding ceremony or Christmas feast. Classic dishes include:

  • ikan mas bakar rica, grilled spicy fish cooked in traditional style, using a piece of coconut shell as a way of cooking. Grilled together with chilli, that poured in the fish while cooking.
  • ikan mas goreng, fish fried till the soft bone is crunchy.
  • ayam rica-rica, grilled chicken topped with a fiery red chilli-and-onion paste
  • ikan mas woku balanga, fish simmered in herbs
  • babi tore, fried pork until crunched with a lot of chilli
  • perkedel milu, corn fritters
  • tinutuan (or bubur manado), a goopy porridge of rice, pumpkin, noodles and random vegetables; doesn't look very attractive, but it can be tasty and, for once, not spicy.
  • miedal, very similar to tinutuan (same sauce), but using noodles instead of rice.
  • biapong, a Chinese-style bun dumpling, what is called 'bao' in Chinese, is called biapong here. Different fillings are available.

Dutch settlement here has also brought in a few surprising influences, notably:

  • brenebon (bruine bonesoep), a rich red kidney bean soup, comes in two versions, savoury (as a side dish) and sweet (for desserts).
  • klappertaart, a western-style coconut cake.

Budget edit

  • Fresh grilled fish is served every morning in a small warung near the harbour dock to Bunaken. The place is very basic, but don't mind the look. Just ask around for warung ikan bakar and hope someone helps you.
  • 1 RM. Wakeke, Jl. Wakeke No.1, Wenang Utara, +62 856 5743 9697. 06:00 to 13:30. Try Miedal and Tinutuan. Start from Rp 21,000.
  • 2 Rahang Tuna Om Iker, Marina Plaza, Depan Hash Inn, North Wenang, +62 821 8766 5811. 08:00 to 22:00. Offering Rahang tuna (grilled Tuna jaw). It is served with Sambal dabu-dabu (spicy condiment commonly found in Manado cuisine). Start from Rp 45,000.
  • 3 Nasi Kuning Selamat Pagi Kampung Kodo, Jl. Sudirman 2 No.25 Kp Kodo, +62 852 1516 1974. 24 hours. Nasi kuning manado (Manado yellow rice dish) is consist of yellow rice with cakalang pampis (skipjack tuna-like floss) wrapped in woka palm leaf. Start from Rp 25,000.

Mid-range edit

  • Bambuden Seafood Restaurant @Sario, Jl. Pemuda No:2 Sario Manado, +62 431 852 459, +62 431 864 096, +62 431 919 7772. Well-known locally for grilled and fried fish, and also offers a variety of seafood dishes.
  • Kawan Baru Restaurant and Cafe, Mega Mas Boulevard, +62 431 879 490, +62 431 879 491. Indonesian food.
  • Raja Oci, Jln Sudirman no 85, +62 431 863 946. Seafood restaurant with 'Oci' as speciality fish.
  • Raja Sate BBQ & Asian Resto, Jalan Boulevard (near Mega Mall), +62 431 332 7380, +62 431 846 679. Asian cuisine, with an emphasis on satays and barbequed seafood.
  • Warong Rica Rica, +62 431 879 490. A seafood restaurant at Bahu Mall Bay street cafe. Local seafood with panoramic sea views.
  • Pizza Hut, Mega Mall, +62 431 842 732. The usual pizza from a well-known chain.
  • Rm. Rasa Laut (海的味道), Jln. Boulevard 2, Singdulang 2 (Near Jabatan Soekarno), toll-free: +62 878 1060 6600. 09:00 to 23:30. Very good place for seafood like wild lobster, crabs, shellfish, and barbecued fishes, with a lower price than some other places. Beach front and with a wonderful view of the sunset, Bunaken and Manado Tua islands. $3.

Drink edit

These two kind of drinks are made from Palm trees:

  • saguer,
  • cap tikus

Please drink responsibly, some locals have a bad habit of drinking irresponsibly. A major crime problem in town is caused by drunkards.

There are also some coffee shops.

  • Excelso, Mega Mall. Good place for coffee and light snacks.

Sleep edit

Manado is Sulawesi's other bustling centre of business and tourism. And with demand to match, the prices here are higher than elsewhere in Sulawesi. However, if you are willing to pay up, luxury options that you haven't seen since Makassar are available here.

Budget edit

  • Hotel Ahlan, Jl. Sudirman. Stuffy, unappealing, dilapidated. Double room w/out air-con and with stuffy shared bathroom, but cheap. Rp 50,000.
  • Metropolitan Inn, Jln. Arie Lasut No. 69, +62 431 845 433. Located on the quiet side of the river, this popular place has good-value single rooms at Rp 120,000 (outside bathroom) and doubles Rp 180,000 (inside bathroom), both include breakfast. Wi-Fi is available in the lobby, Rp 10,000 one-time fee for the duration of your stay. Rp 120,000 to 180,000.
  • Rex Hotel, Jl. Sugiono 3, +62 431 51 136. Very basic room. Staff can help you arranging transport to Gorontalo or Pulau Bunaken. Rp 55,000 for single room with shared bathroom, Rp 137,000 double w/AC and private bathroom.
  • Sinar Berkat Stay, +62 818 834 726, +62 817 012 1270, . Located in the city centre where suitable for budget or backpacked travellers that need to lay back and enjoy the city. The rooms have a bed, air-con and bathroom. US$15-20.

Mid-range edit

  • Hotel Central, Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 33, +62 431 851 234. Opened in 2004, the sheen of newness is fading fast, but the rooms are clean and functional with air-con and hot water. Rp 195,000 to 215,000.
  • Hotel Minahasa, Jl. Sam Ratulangi. A nice family-run place on Sam Ratulangi. They are used to tourists, as well as being the main place that academics in the area stay in, so you are apt to meet someone who could really fill you in on the local scene. The drawback is the monotonous breakfasts.
  • Hotel Regina. Big rooms with AC, TV, and bathrooms with hot water. The best option on this street of Lonely Planet recommended cheapies. Rp 198,000.
  • Hotel Wisata, Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 7, +62 431 860 908. Another popular business hotel. All rooms have AC, hot shower, and TV, the difference in room quality is really a matter of the size of the room, the date of the furniture and the size of the bed. Rp 215,000 to 315,000.
  • Villa Wantik, Jl. Raya Manado - Tanawangko km. 21., . Homestay with nice views.

Splurge edit

  • 1 Aston Manado City Hotel (Aston Manado), Jl. Jend Sudirman No. 128 (City centre), +62 431 888 8989. Enjoy a beautiful hotel in the very heart of Manado that combines exceptional service and attention to detail to ensure a most memorable stay. The delightful Aston Manado City Hotel offers over 100 rooms and suite with dramatic views of the city skyline. Experience the best restaurants, entertainment, and shopping, as well as the city’s fines attraction, all within easy walking of the hotel.  
  • Hotel Gran Central Manado, Jl.Sudirman No.45 (Located in the centre of the city), +62 431 878 888. In the centre of the city with 65 rooms priced from Rp 350,000.
  • 2 Sintesa Peninsula Hotel, Jl. Jend. Sudirman, Gunung Wenang, +62 431 855 008. In the heart of the city. Featuring 150 spacious and modern superior rooms, studios, corner suites, deluxe suites, sintesa suites and a presidential suite.  
  • Hotel Sedona, Desa Tateli, +62 431 825 888. Was perhaps a 5-star resort 20 years ago. It is 20 minutes drive from Manado city. Some rooms feature view of the sea, others the garden. While it has been through a downward phase, it is under new management and is very nice. They provide good access to Bunakin via a 30 minute boat ride. It is up to 3-4 stars now, and with more business, looks like it will continue to improve.
  • Hotel Santika Manado (Located in Tongkaina village just across the Bunaken Sea Garden), +62 431 858 222. Often cited as the only resort facing Bunaken island, offers a wide range of accommodation options ranging from deluxe, bungalow and suite, all over looking the beautiful sea.
  • 3 Hotel Aryaduta Manado (former 'Ritzy Hotel'), Jln. Piere Tendean Bulevar, +62 431 855 5554. Offer rooms equipped with air-conditioning, TV with cable channels, coffee/tea maker, and internet access. Some of its facilities and services include the Cakrawala Coffee Shop, a swimming pool, the lobby lounge, massage and room services. from USD114.95.  
  • Grand Puri (Gran Puri), Jl. Sam Ratulangi No. 458, +62 431 822 888, . Shabby, tired and out of the way.
  • Quality Hotel, Jl. Piere Tendean No. 88 - 89, +62 431 888 3888, . A short walk from the Mega Mall with restaurant and bar services, wonderful staff and rooms. from US$40 per night.
  • Mapia Resort & Spa. Located on Kalasey beach, 30 minutes from the airport. Boutique resort in a beautiful tropical garden resort with Indonesian / Italian cuisine. Diving operated by Celebes Divers as on the sister location Onong Resort on Siladen Island. Both resorts have 24/7 electrical power and all cottages are air-conditioned.
  • Tasik Ria Resort & Spa Manado, Jl. Raya Trans Sulawesi (30 minutes drive south of Manado), +62 431 823 444. Boutique resort with 34 rooms in a peaceful and scenic palm fringed backdrop, ideal for divers & non-divers, families and adventure seekers. US$109-145.

Connect edit

Mobile edit

There are three main providers of GSM cellular services in Manado: Telkomsel, Indosat/Satelindo, and XL (Axiata co). As per November 2010, Telkomsel provides EDGE, 3G WCDMA, 3.5G HSDPA. Indosat only GPRS, EDGE. XL up to 3G. High bandwidth cell service mainly works in the downtown area of Manado. All three carry Blackberry services.

Prepaid GSM SIM cards and CDMA RUIM cards can be cheaply purchased (approx US$1) at almost every supermarket along with their reload vouchers, ranging from Rp 5,000 to Rp 100,000.

Internet cafe edit

If you want to go online cheaply then go to Ocean internet cafe, at the 3rd floor of Samudera minimarket located in the Megamas shopping centre area on the Manado boulevard. The rate is approximately Rp 5,000 hourly, and the bandwidth speed is good. It is open from 10:00 to 22:00.

Consulates edit

Go next edit

  • Bunaken National Park — a diver's paradise. Many small bungalows are available on this small but beautiful island.
  • Tangkoko Nature Reserve near Bitung — home of the big-eyed Tarsius monkey (the smallest monkey in the world).
  • Tomohon — a small city, surrounded by three active volcanoes: Mount Lokon, Mount Mahawu, and Mount Masarang. 45 minutes from Manado, Tomohon is a very nice place to stay for its cold climate (around 20 degrees Celsius).
  • Gorontalo to watch whale sharks, and then a boat ride to the Togian Islands.
  • Ambon — the centre of Maluku (what used to be the Spice Islands).
  • Ternate — a volcanic island with a vibrant city, beautiful lakes, several snorkelling spots, fortress, and sultanate sites. 1 hr by plane.
This city travel guide to Manado is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.