How to reach Lhokseumawe

Sultan Malikussaleh Airport

Foreigners no longer require a travel permit (Surat Jalan) to enter Aceh, but an Indonesian visa is required. Since 6 June 2010, it is possible to get a 30 day Visa-on-Arrival at Banda Aceh Airport. The Embassy in KL can sometimes process the visa in the same day if you complete all the paperwork before noon, though officially this only applies to Malaysian residents( 60 day visa is no longer available at KL, so visa on arrival is the best bet, although you can still get a 60 day visa in 2 days in Penang (Jul ’15).


By bus






There are non-stop night buses, with travel times ranging from 9-13 hours – from Medan to Banda Aceh. Major bus companies such as PMTOH, Pelangi, Kurnia and Pusaka have offices on Jl. Gajah Mada, Medan. Price ranges from Rp 110,000 in a regular-sized-seat bus to Rp 200,000 in a wide-seat bus.

Mini-buses can also take you to Banda Aceh from the Medan area, but journeys are generally longer. Prices are a bit cheaper than the coaches. It is also possible to travel over from Medan to Banda Aceh via Kutacane and Takengon. This will be 20 hr in total.


By plane


Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport, (IATA: BTJ, ICAO: WITT) is named after the twelfth sultan of Aceh, Iskandar Muda.

Airlines fly daily between Banda Aceh and either Medan, a 1 hr trip, or Jakarta, a 2 hr 40 minute trip.

AirAsia, Kuala Lumpur, [1], flights every day at noon

Firefly, Penang, Malaysia’s community airline now flies from Penang to Banda Aceh every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

Garuda Indonesia, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Medan, 3 daily flights from Jakarta and two daily flights from Medan. The Jakarta-Banda Aceh direct flight on Garuda takes 2 hr 40 mins on a Boeing 737, although it is often changed to stopover at Medan without warning. Seasonal to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj season

Lion Air, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Medan. They have two daily flights from Jakarta and one from Medan.

SMAC, BlangPidie, Meulaboh, Simelue, Takengon, Tapaktuan. Flies daily from Medan to Nias Island and Simeulue Island.

Sriwijaya Air, Medan

Susi Air, Meulaboh

By rental van

There are rental minibus available from Medan to major cities in Aceh.



Visa formalities at this airport are similar to those of other Indonesian immigration gateways.

Visa On Arrival (VOA) service is available at Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport.


Airport bus

A bus provides a service from Banda A?eh to the airport, and from the airport to Banda Aceh. Operating hours are 10/11AM-2:30PM, price to the city is Rp 15,000/person.

The bus departing from the airport to Banda A?eh leaves a few minutes after airplanes land. So departure time depends on landing time, more or less. Thus, it’s advised to hurry to catch the bus. It is on your left when you leave the airport building (taxi drivers will tell you there is no airport bus, just keep on walking because the bus is there).

Please note that this bus goes to Banda Aceh City Centre; it does not go to the Bus Station or Ulee-Lhue Harbour. If you want to go to the Bus Station or Ulee-Lhue Harbour, take a becak after being dropped off in the City Centre by the airport bus.


By boat

The closest big (international) ferry terminal is Belawan Port, close to Medan. It receives vessels originating from Batam, Indonesia (a common route when coming from Singapore). The ferry from Penang is no longer operating. From Ulhee-lhee, the port of Banda Aceh you can go to PulauWeh and to Pulau Aceh.


Get around

The main methods of getting around are becak (motorbike taxis) and labi-labi (public minibus). Due to the sudden influx of money post-tsunami, locals have gotten used to overcharging, but now stabilisation has returned. Example becak fares are: Airport – Grand Mosque: Rp 40,000; Bus Terminal – Grand Mosque: Rp 8,000; Grand Mosque – Penayong: Rp 5,000. Inside the city, generally Rp 10,000 should do it. Car rental/taxi from airport to PenayongRp 100.000/car, airport to uleelheue port Rp 140.000/car, and one day car rental for banda Aceh city tour start from Rp 400.000/car (using Avanza, include driver & fuel, cost update 15 April 2015)

One knowledgeable friendly becak driver is Little John, who speaks English and Japanese. He also has the only actual wifibecak in town! Find him on Facebook (Little John Banda Aceh) or phone +62813 6023 1339.

The Malikussaleh International Conference on Multidisciplinary Studies (MICoMS 2019) organized by Institute of Research and Community Service  Universitas Malikussaleh, Lhokseumawe, Aceh.

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