Note: I updated this review in April 2021 (I removed Entrance nightclub).

I spent a few nights in Medan, on weekdays. I had the opportunity to try a few clubs there. Most weren't too busy but I imagine it is more lively on weekends.

If you need to book a hotel in Medan, I recommend Grand Delta Hotel, which belongs to the Delta Spa group.

As you would expect, Medan is far from being a party town. It is more conservative than many other Indonesian cities and there are also very few tourists. Most foreigners living there are Singaporean and Malaysian businessmen with a small community of English teachers.

The police is active in controlling nightlife activities, in particular when it comes to drugs or spas. Last February, the Lee Garden club was shut down after ecstasy pills were found. In spite of this, recreative drugs seemed to be common in clubs such as Tobasa, XXX3 or Retrospective. I strongly recommend you not to take anything illegal as you have no idea where you could end up if you get caught.

In spite of being Indonesia's third-largest city, the number of decent clubs in Medan is incredibly low. To do a top 5 of the best nightlife in Medan, I had to include some underground clubs that most people wouldn't feel comfortable visiting. For this reason, if you are a "normal" clubber, I would only recommend trying the first two venues listed below:

1) Retrospective

If you are ready to spend a little money, a decent club to try is Retrospective, in Capital Building. Also nicknamed "Retro", it is located not far from the city center.

Nearby landmarks include the train station, the Marriott Hotel, and the Grand City Hall Hotel. Also in the vicinity is the Merdeka Walk, a string of restaurants which is one of the most lively areas in town in the evening. I would recommend going there for a food-court-type dinner.

Retrospective is a bar, nightclub, and live music venue. The best events are almost exclusively on Fridays and Saturdays: You have a "big" performance once a week, either from a local celebrity band/singer, or from a special guest DJ. Guest DJs are usually coming from Jakarta, but they also had foreign ones. They seem to love female DJs and sexy dancers.

Check their events on their Instagram page: Retrospective. There is also a high-end KTV in Capital Building and SoHo lounge on the 2nd Floor.

Capital Building 6th Floor
Jalan Putri Hijau No. 1A, Medan, Indonesia
Phone number: +62 (0) 61 4555 933 or +62 (0) 81375213828

Social House
SoHo Lounge Medan
Social House Medan (SoHo) is the trendy place in Medan for hanging out. It is in the same building as Retrospective. DJs or Live Music occasionally.

Jalan Putri Hijau No.1A Capital Building 2nd Floor
Instagram: Soho Capital
Phone number: +62 (0) 61 4555677

Prime Bar
Prime Bar is the live music venue of the JW Marriott Hotel. They also serve good steaks (probably one of the best Western restaurants in town).

JW Marriott Hotel Medan
Jalan Putri Hijau No. 10  Medan  20111  Indonesia
Website: Prime Bar
For reservation : +62 61 4100 6500
Prime Bar in Marriott

4) Urban Club
Located on Jalan Imam Bonjol, in Hotel Danau Toba, it replaces Tobasa Club which closed down a few years ago. It is a small space, quite basic, with a small crowd of regulars. They have live music, dancers and DJs.

Instagram: Urban Club

Other venues I didn't visit:
- Cello Sky Pool Bar in De Paris Hotel

Do you know about partying in Medan? If so, please don't hesitate to share your tips about Medan nightlife in the comment section below. Thanks in advance!

3 comments to '' Medan Nightlife: Top 5 Nightclubs & Bars "

  1. I guess they don't have much competition at Entrance...but the charges are rediculous: 300k door fee (you get a Radler or coke for free...NO long drink included), small water 50k.
    Haven't seen prices like that since going out in Paris and London.
    Most people come for the Karaoke I guess (which I didn't try but have heard Jakarta style things about it).

  2. ...and after having been ripped off at an almost empty Entrance (on a Saturday night) went on to Retro...thank god! It changed my picture of Medan! Packed with a rather young but seriously partying mixed crowd; and that is something you'll have a hard time finding even in Jakarta - especially after Stadium was closed. MUCH more reasonably priced too.

  3. Level 02 is a nice rooftop bar as well for pre-drinks... You should check it out...