How to travel from Medan to Lake Toba, Indonesia

The distance between Medan and Lake Toba is around 188km (117 miles) and the quickest way to get there is to drive and then take a ferry which takes around 3h 20m.

3 routes found

We've found 3 different ways to get from Medan to Lake Toba by train, car, ferry and bus. The recommended routes, which include information on duration, ticket price, and level of difficulty, can be found below.

👋 Also check out Lake TobaMedan if you're planning a return trip.

1
train
+
car
+
ferry
+

Train, Car and Ferry

Take the train to Siantar then drive to Ajibata then take a ferry to Ambarita.

  • Duration5h 20m
  • Departsonce daily
  • Typical cost
    IDR 239,645($16)
Operated by

Multiple operators

💰 Cheapest
2
bus
+
ferry
+

Bus and Ferry

Take the bus to Parapat then take a ferry to Ambarita.

  • Duration5h 45m
  • Departs4 times a day
  • Typical cost
    IDR 179,735($12)
Operated by

Multiple operators

🚀 Fastest
3
car
+
ferry
+

Car and Ferry

Drive to Ajibata then take a ferry to Ambarita.

  • Duration3h 20m
  • Departs4 times a day
  • Typical cost
    IDR 179,735($12)
Operated by

Multiple operators

Frequently asked questionsabout travel between Medan and Lake Toba

There are several options for getting from Medan to Lake Toba by train, car, ferry and bus. The cheapest option is to take the bus and then take a ferry which costs around IDR 179,735 ($12) and will take around 5h 45m. If you need to get there more quickly, you can drive and then take a ferry and arrive in approximately 3h 20m, though it is a bit more costly at approximately IDR 179,735 ($12).

The distance between Medan and Lake Toba is around 188km (117 miles). In a direct line (as the crow flies), the distance is 1,318km (819 miles)

It takes around 5h 20m to get from Medan and Lake Toba by train, car and ferry.

The quickest way to get from Medan to Lake Toba is to drive and then take a ferry which takes around 3h 20m and will set you back approx IDR 179,735 ($12).

The cheapest way to travel between Medan and Lake Toba is to take the bus and then take a ferry which will typically cost around IDR 179,735 ($12) for a standard one-way ticket.

Train travel

There is no train service that runs between Medan and Lake Toba. We recommend that you drive to Ajibata then take a ferry to Ambarita. instead which will take 3h 20m.

Bus travel

Sorry, looks like there is no bus service that runs between Medan and Lake Toba. We recommend that you drive to Ajibata then take a ferry to Ambarita. instead which will take 3h 20m.

Flights and Airlines

It doesn't look like you can fly directly from Medan to Lake Toba. We recommend that you take the train to Siantar then drive to Ajibata then take a ferry to Ambarita. instead which will take 5h 20m.

The closest major airport to Lake Toba is Silangit Airport (DTB) (DTB) which is approximately 40km (25 miles) from Lake Toba. Kualanamu International Airport (KNO) (KNO) and Ferdinand Lumban Tobing Airport (FLZ) (FLZ) are also nearby and might be a better alternative airport depending on where you are flying from.

Drive yourself

No, its not really possible or feasible to drive from Medan to Lake Toba. We recommend that you take the train to Siantar then drive to Ajibata then take a ferry to Ambarita. instead which will take 5h 20m.

If you don't have a car, the easiest way to get from Medan to Lake Toba is to take the train, then drive and then take a ferry which takes, on average, 5h 20m and will usually cost around IDR 239,645 ($16).

How do I get from Medan to Lake Toba

Compare travel optionsbetween Medan and Lake Toba

Transport options from Medan to Lake Toba
Transport optionDurationCostFrequencyDistance
Train, Car and Ferry
5h 20m
IDR 239,645($16)
once daily194km (121 miles)
Bus and Ferry
5h 45m
IDR 179,735($12)
4 times a day188km (117 miles)
Car and Ferry
3h 20m
IDR 179,735($12)
4 times a day190km (118 miles)

Top Carriersoperating between Medan and Lake Toba

Train operators

Ferry operators

Airports near Lake Toba

The following major airports near Lake Toba offer regular flights to various popular destinations within Indonesia and internationally.

DTB
Silangit Airport (DTB)
Domestic Airport
Distance
40km (25 miles) from Lake Toba
KNO
Kualanamu International Airport (KNO)
International Airport
Distance
114km (71 miles) from Lake Toba
FLZ
Ferdinand Lumban Tobing Airport (FLZ)
Domestic Airport
Distance
117km (73 miles) from Lake Toba