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Hidden Gem Aceh Tourism 8 Popular Destinations in Sabang

Fox Island

Looking for a Hidden Gem Tourism Destination in Aceh? Travelers can visit Fox Island, the Aceh Museum, and Laut Tawar Lake.

Hidden Gem of Aceh Tourism – Aceh is one of the most popular halal tourist attractions in Indonesia. Aceh is a province nicknamed the Veranda of Mecca, therefore tourist destinations are found almost everywhere.

You can enjoy amazing views, ancient sites, and mosques with beautiful architecture. Need travel destination tips before flying to Aceh? Here are the hidden gems of Aceh tourism that you must visit.

Hidden Gem of Aceh Tourism

1. Rubiah Island

If you visit Teupin Layeu Beach and still want to have fun on a beautiful beach, go to Rubiah Island. Stunning small island with beautiful coral reef patterns. About 15 minutes away by boat.

Before sailing to Rubiah Island, you can rent snorkeling equipment at Teupin Layeu. There is a unique option to cross on a glass bottom boat, which allows you to see the beautiful view before jumping into it.

Location: Pulau Weh, Aceh, Sabang, Pulau Weh 23123 Indonesia

Opening hours: 00:00 - 23:59

2. Baiturrahman Grand Mosque

Next, the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque must be visited as a hidden gem for Aceh tourism. This mosque, which was built during the Aceh Sultanate, was designed by Gerrit Bruins, a Dutch architect. The characteristic of Mughal architecture creates its own impression in the form of a sharp black dome, contrasting with the all-white interior and exterior.

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque functions as a place of prayer as well as a historical landmark. Apart from being a relic from the Aceh Sultanate era, this mosque became an iconic photo spot after the 2004 tsunami disaster, because it was the only building that was still intact after the surrounding area was destroyed. This mosque is an iconic and popular tourist destination in Banda Aceh.

Apart from praying, visitors can take photos of the mosque's magnificent and sophisticated interior and architecture. Local residents enjoy several tourist attractions in the area around the mosque, including Bustanussalatin Park and various typical Acehnese filter coffee shops.

Location: Jl. Moh. Hour No. 1, Kp. Baru, District. Baiturrahman, Banda Aceh City, Aceh

Opening hours: Every day 04.30–22.00

See also:

3. Aceh Tsunami Museum

Museum Aceh Tsunami Strategically located near the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, making it a Hidden Gem tourist destination in Aceh. The museum, which opened in 2009, has a distinctive building that combines modern design with elements of Acehnese culture, such as ground surfaces inspired by traditional stilt houses and paintings of Saman dancers on the walls.

The Aceh Tsunami Museum functions as a center for tsunami education and warnings for tsunami victims. The names of the victims are displayed on the walls. The wavy shape also symbolizes the impact of water. This tall building functions as a shelter if something similar happens again.

If you are interested in history, the Tsunami Museum is one of Aceh's hidden tourist gems that must be visited.

Location: Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda No.3, Sukaramai, Kec. Baiturrahman, Banda Aceh City, Aceh 23116

Opening hours: 09.00–16.00, closed Friday

4. Laut Tawar Lake

Do you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city for a moment? Visit Laut Tawar Lake in the Gayo Highlands. So, this tectovolcanic lake is approximately 17 kilometers long and 3,2 km wide.

hidden freshwater lake gam aceh
Laut Tawar Lake (Source: Native Indonesia)

Tawar Sea is one of the natural tourist attractions in Gayo which really stands out because the air is cool and the views are amazing.

Laut Tawar already offers various facilities, including houses of worship. At the edge there is a wooden pier with beautiful decorations which can be used as a photo spot.

There are also boat rentals and restaurants nearby. Travelers can enjoy a cup of Gayo coffee while admiring the stunning views and cool breeze.

Location: Gayo Highlands, Central Aceh Regency, Aceh

Opening hours: Every day 24 hours

5. Aceh Museum

Apart from the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, the Aceh Museum is one of the oldest tourist attractions in Aceh. Founded in 1915, this museum is perfect for those who like history and culture and want to learn more about Aceh.

The museum's collections include traditional textiles, weapons, artifacts, unique household objects, and traditional agricultural equipment. Aceh Museum is located approximately 700 meters from the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque and is easily accessible. Suitable for those of you who don't want to travel far from Banda Aceh.

Location: Jl. Sultan Mahmudsyah No.10, Peuniti, Kec. Baiturrahman, Banda Aceh City, Aceh 23116

Opening hours: 09.00–12.00, 14.00–16.00, closed Friday

6. Weh Island

So, Weh Island must be one of the hidden gems of Aceh tourism for lovers of beach views. Weh Island, also known as Sabang Island, is one of the most remote islands in Indonesia, with a 0 kilometer monument marking its location.

Babussalam Grand Mosque is located on Pulau Weh. This mosque is famous for its amazing decoration, especially the calligraphy art painted directly on the wall near the pulpit.

Weh Island has several beautiful beaches which are home to coral reefs and various species. These historical remains include the remains of a fort in a high area near Anoi Itam Beach.

As the name suggests, Anoi Itam Beach has black sand. You can go down the wooden pier and take photos in the gazebos set up along the beach.

Location: In Sukakarya District, Sabang City, Aceh Province.

Opening hours: Monday – Thursday 10.00 to 16.00, Friday – Sunday, 08.00 to 14.30

7. Ketambe Nature Tourism

Ketambe Regency is famous for its natural tourist attractions which directly border the Gunung Leuser National Park. You can feel the natural forest atmosphere, complete with the sounds of birds.

If you're lucky, you might see orangutans in their natural environment in the treetops! It is not surprising that Ketambe has become a place for animal research.

White water rafting is a must-do experience for outdoor sports fans visiting Ketambe. The Alas River is a tough white water rafting destination, with fast currents, rock formations and two meter rapids.

The white water rafting terrain on the Alas River is classified as middle class (3 to 4), making it suitable for individuals who like a challenge.

Location: Lawe Beringin Village, Ketambe, Jl. Kutacane, Lawe Mengkudu, Aceh

Opening hours: Every day 08.00–20.00

Let's read about other destinations:

8. Teupin Layeu Beach

Furthermore, Teupin Layeu Beach, located in Iboih Sabang Village, is a snorkeling paradise which is still considered Aceh's hidden tourism gem. This beach has beautiful water with clearly visible coral formations, and the sand is clean and white.

Travela can rent snorkeling equipment or boats from local residents who rent them out to tourists. This beach has various complete facilities, ranging from accommodation, food vendors, coffee shops, to houses of worship.

If you are on holiday or arriving on a Friday, you must wait until Friday prayer time is over before renting a boat or snorkeling equipment.

So, when it's time for Friday prayers, Travela can join the local community at the mosque for congregational worship before continuing the exciting holiday activities.

Location: Krueng Raya, Sukakarya, Sabang City, Aceh 24416

Opening hours: Every day 08.00–18.00

How are you interested in going on holiday to Banda Aceh? Above are recommendations for hidden gems for Aceh tourism, add them to your bucket list!


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