Pekanbaru Travel Guide

Pekanbaru is a port city on the central eastern coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. This clean city has a number of interesting attractions should you find yourself here for more than a day.

The port area is where most of the action takes place in Pekanbaru. But the city is also renowned for its wonderfully wide boulevards, and is regarded as one of Indonesia’s cleanest cities. It won the nation’s Adipura (clean city) award in both 2006 and 2007.

There are three interesting markets in Pekanbaru that are great places to absorb the local color of the city. Pasar Pusat Market has a wealth of delicious food for sale, while Pasar Tengah and Pasar Bawah markets are good places to search for local goods and imports such as carpets and ceramics.

Other worthwhile attractions in and around Pekanbaru include the Great Mosque of An-Nur and the Sang Nila Utama Museum, which does a good job presenting the local Malay culture and heritage. The Riau Cultural Park is another interesting museum with some lovely traditional wooden Malay houses next door.

Natural highlights such as Sari Valley Lake, Princess Kaca Mayang Garden, and Alam Mayang Fishing Garden are all nice spots to spend an afternoon. Pekanbaru has developed a reputation as a hub for Malay culture and there are often traditional performances and festivals planned during the dry season.

Getting There & Away

Pekanbaru is a big port city so there is frequent ferry service from other parts of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. From the historic town of Malacca, ferries take about 6 hours. Pekanbaru also has a small airport serviced by AirAsia, Firefly, and Garuda offering flights mainly from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Things to Do

Pekanbaru Attractions

Sang Nila Utama Museum

Some real cultural and artistic gems from malay culture are on display at this pleasant museum.

Princess Kaca Mayang Garden

This urban park is an ideal spot to relax and escape the hustle of the port area.

Riau Cultural Park

Built in traditional malay-riau style, this museum contains historic artifacts from the region as well as a cluster of traditional malay wooden houses.