Travel Info

Padang (Indonesian pronunciation: [ˈpadaŋ]) is the capital and largest city of the Indonesian province of West Sumatra.[4] It had a population of 833,562 at the 2010 Census[5] and 909,040 at the 2020 Census;[6] the official estimate as at mid 2022 was 919,145 – comprising 461,712 males and 457,433 females.[3] It is the 16th most populous city in Indonesia and the most populous city on the west coast of Sumatra.[7] The Padang metropolitan area is the third most populous metropolitan area in Sumatra with a population of over 1.4 million.[8] Padang is widely known for its Minangkabau culturecuisine, and sunset beaches.

The city had historically been a trading center since the pre-colonial era, trading in pepper and gold. The Dutch made contact with the city in the mid 17th century, eventually constructing a fortress and taking over control of the city from the Pagaruyung Kingdom. Save for several interruptions of British rule, Padang remained part of the Dutch East Indies as one of its major cities until Indonesian independence.[9] In 1906, Padang along with Palembang became the first populated places in Sumatra to achieve city status (gemeente)


Padang has been a trade centre since the 16th century, having been controlled by the Pagaruyung Kingdom and the Aceh Sultanate.[10] During the 16th and 17th centuries pepper was cultivated and traded with India, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. In 1663 the city came under the authority of the Dutch and a trading post was built in 1680. The city came under the British Empire twice, firstly from 1781 to 1784 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, and again from 1795 to 1819 during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1819 the city was transferred back to the Netherlands. Up to circa 1780 the most important trade product was gold originating from gold mines in the region. When the mines were exhausted, the focus turned to other products such as coffee, salts and textiles.

In 1797 Padang was inundated by a tsunami with an estimated flow depth of 5–10 metres, following an earthquake, estimated to be 8.5–8.7 Mw, which occurred off the coast. The shaking caused considerable damage and the deaths of two people, while the tsunami resulted in several houses being washed away and several deaths at the village of Air Manis. Boats moored in the Arau river ended up on dry land, including a 200-ton sailing ship which was deposited about 1 kilometre upstream. In 1833 another tsunami inundated Padang with an estimated flow depth of 3–4 metres as a result of an earthquake, estimated to be 8.6–8.9 Mw, which occurred off Bengkulu. The shaking caused considerable damage in Padang, and due to the tsunami boats moored in the Arau river broke their anchors and were scattered.

The population of Padang in 1920 was 28,754, the second largest city in Sumatra behind Palembang.[12] At the time of independence in the 1940s the city had around 50,000 inhabitants. Coffee was still important, but copra was also a major item produced by farmers in its hinterland. The population growth since then has been partly a result of growth in the area of the city, but largely is a result of the migration to major cities seen in so many developing nations. From 1950 the Ombilin coal field developed with Padang as its outlet port. This was seen by some observers as reflecting the economic and political colonisation of Indonesia.

On 30 September 2009, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit about 50 kilometres off the coast of Padang. There were more than 1,100 fatalities, 313 of which occurred within Padang.



Public Transport

The TransPadang bus rapid transit service was developed used Jakarta’s TransJakarta system as a model, but without a dedicated lane and comfortable shelters. Today Trans Padang runs only from Lubuk Buaya to Pasar Raya, a distance of 18 km, with a fleet of 10 large buses (capacity 60) and 15 medium buses (capacity 40). Daily passengers number 7,000, an increase from the initial ridership of 4,000. The load factor is 128% in the morning and evening rush hours.


The city is served by the newly opened Minangkabau International Airport (PDG) in Ketaping, Padang Pariaman. It replaces the old Tabing Airport, which is currently used as a military base. There is one terminal building for both international and domestic flights. The airport has 4 aerobridges, 17 check-in counters, 5 baggage conveyors, and 9 ticket sales counters.[30] In late 2013, the runway was lengthened by 250 metres so that it could accommodate Boeing 747 and Airbus A340 planes. There is also a connection from the airport to the city center with a train service.[31] A terminal expansion (Phase II) has been announced with the rendering already released on the Angkasa Pura 2 website.


Padang is a common transit point for surfers travelling to Batu Islands and Mentawai Islands, and for tourists visiting the West Sumatran highlands. Padang beach (known as Taplau or Tapi Lauik) which located from Samudra Street until Puruih, is known for its sunsets and food stalls. Kuranji River flows in Padang and on top area of the river at Batu Busuk, Lambung Bukit sub-district is suitable for white water activities. Bungus bay, to the south of Padang, is suitable for swimming and boating. There are some offshore islands near Bungus, such as Sikuai island and Pagang island.

Currently, Regional Development Planning Board (Bappeda) of Padang has established development plans “Padang Old City” in Kampung Pondok, South Padang district as a tourist area.[27] Mayor of Padang has been designate 73 historic buildings as cultural heritage of Padang.


There are many old buildings in Padang that still retain their Dutch and Chinese architecture. The old city of Padang, located next to Muaro Harbor at Arau River, which formerly functioned as the city’s main commercial avenue. The old city was the former business district of Padang, there are many important buildings such as Padang City Hall, De Javaschebank (present-day Bank Indonesia), Nederlandsch Spaarbank, Geo Wehry & Co, Escompto Maatschappij Office, warehouses, and merchant houses.

There are several historic places such as Adityawarman Museum which specialises in the history and culture of the local Minangkabau ethnic group, and the main exhibits are housed within a Rumah Gadang style building. Grand Mosque of West Sumatra, a new modern large mosque that is built with Minangkabau architecture. The Mosque is located on Jalan Khatib Sulaiman, city centre of Padang. Ganting Grand Mosque, the oldest mosque in Padang and one of the oldest in Indonesia, is a popular tourist attraction. Muhammadan Mosque, founded by Indian merchant, is also located in the city centre. St. Leo Monastery features a mixture of traditional Minang architecture on its bell tower roofing and Dutch architecture on the church building, is one of the oldest churches in Padang. Along the beachside road, just down from the Tourist Information office is a Buddhist Temple, Vihara Buddha Warman, opened in 2006 for the large Chinese Buddhist community.