Prepare to embark on a journey through Malaysia’s captivating history and vibrant culture as we explore the country’s top museums. From intricate textile artistry to mind-bending illusions, these museums offer a unique window into Malaysia’s past, present, and future.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about the world, these cultural gems promise to leave you spellbound and enlightened.
Join us in unlocking Malaysia’s rich heritage, one museum at a time, and uncover the stories that make this nation truly exceptional. Read on!
The National Museum of Malaysia
Location: Jalan Damansara, Kuala Lumpur 50566
- Daily 9AM-6PM
The National Museum of Malaysia is conveniently located on Jalan Damansara, not too far from the tranquil Perdana Lake Gardens.
The museum itself is a three-story marvel, stretching an impressive 109.7 meters in length and 15.1 meters in width, with a central point that reaches a towering 37.6 meters. Be prepared to take plenty of architectural photos!
Inside, you’ll find four main galleries, each with its own unique vibe.
Gallery A is a captivating journey through Malaysian culture. You’ll see a vibrant tapestry of traditions, from weddings and festivals to the intricate costumes worn during these celebrations.
Gallery B, also known as “Faces of Malaysia,” is a celebration of the diverse races and ethnicities that have come together to make Malaysia the culturally rich nation it is today.
It’s like a colorful mosaic of different communities and their unique contributions to Malaysia’s identity.
When you step into Gallery C, you’ll feel like you entered a natural wonderland. A haven for nature enthusiasts, this gallery has displays that bring Malaysia’s stunning natural beauty to life, from its unique wildlife to the lush rainforests.
Now, Gallery D, that’s a delightful surprise where you’ll encounter an eclectic mix of ceramics, music, and weapons. It’s like a fascinating blend of artistic expression and historical artifacts, showcasing the creativity and craftsmanship of the Malaysian people throughout the ages.
- The museum frequently hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions throughout the year. So, every time you visit, there’s a chance you’ll stumble upon something new and different!
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
Location: 27, Jln Raja, Dataran Merdeka, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact Details: +60 3-2698 3333
- Monday, Wednesday – Sunday 9AM-6PM
Ticket Price: RM5 for 3 years and above
The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is quite the bustling place. This spot is a real magnet for tourists, and here’s why.
First off, it’s owned by ARCH, a Malaysian company known for creating these stunning 3D wooden pictures and models of famous landmarks from all over the world. They’ve got quite a collection of unique gifts and collectibles too!
The gallery itself is housed in this incredible 115-year-old building that used to be the Government Printing Office. It’s a heritage gem, sitting right there on Merdeka Square.
ARCH definitely deserves some kudos for the fantastic job they’ve done in preserving Malaysia’s heritage, especially by giving this historic building a new lease on life.
Now, once you step inside, you’ll spot a tourist information counter. It’s like your one-stop-shop for all the info you need about KL – where to go, what to see, you name it.
But here’s the cool part: you can even sign up for a couple of guided tours right here. There’s the Free Little India Walking Guided Tour, which is a fantastic way to dive into the vibrant culture of that neighborhood.
And then there’s the Free Dataran Merdeka Heritage Guided Tour, which kicks off from the gallery every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 9 am. It’s a 2-hour journey that’s like stepping back in time.
Now, as you wander around, you’ll come across the main galleries. They’re packed with old photos, maps, and loads of historical tidbits about good old KL.
But here’s the star of the show: a massive scale model of Kuala Lumpur, complete with an awesome audio-visual presentation that takes you on a trip through the city’s history.
Oh, and don’t miss the chance to peek into the workshop where ARCH’s master craftsmen and craftswomen work their magic on those precision models. It’s a real behind-the-scenes treat!
Now, the cherry on top is the ground floor. It’s basically a treasure trove of souvenirs. You’ll find a whole bunch of ARCH products and some other nifty keepsakes.
While you’re shopping, take a moment to appreciate the cast iron columns and trusses that were used in building this historic place – they’re a piece of history themselves.
- Kuala Lumpur City Gallery can get quite busy, especially during peak tourist hours. To have a more relaxed and immersive experience, consider visiting early in the day when it opens.
This way, you’ll have more space to explore the exhibits, take your time at the tourist information counter, and perhaps even catch one of the guided tours without the crowds.
Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery
Location: Sasana Kijang, 2, Jalan Dato Onn, Kuala Lumpur, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact Details: +60 3-9179 2784
- Tuesday – Sunday 10AM-5PM
The Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery is quite a remarkable place. This isn’t your typical museum; it’s something on a grand scale.
For years, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had a small Money Museum tucked away within its headquarters. But recently, they decided to take things up a notch by creating a massive Financial Services Resource Centre, complete with a substantial Museum and Art Gallery.
We’re talking a whopping 6,900 square meters of space. This place is, in fact, the largest cultural institution of its kind globally.
Inside, you’ll find a treasure trove of galleries that cover a wide range of topics. There’s one dedicated to Islamic banking, another that delves into the history of BNM, and yet another that’s all about numismatics and economics.
But that’s not all. They’ve got a special gallery just for kids, which is fantastic if you’re visiting with your little ones.
And of course, there are art galleries that host exhibitions designed by Jasper Jacob Associates of London – so you know it’s top-notch.
So, if you’re into finance, history, art, or just curious about the inner workings of a central bank, the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery is a must-visit.
- Don’t be afraid to ask! Local guides often provide valuable insights, stories, and historical context that can make your visit more engaging and informative. Plus, they can help you navigate the extensive galleries, ensuring you don’t miss any highlights.
Islamic Arts Museum
Location: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Jalan Lembah, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact Details: +60 3-2092 7070
- Daily 9:30AM-6PM
|Senior Citizens (Malaysian)||RM10|
|Senior Citizens (Non-Malaysian)||RM20|
The Islamic art collection at this incredible museum is a whole journey. They’ve got these twelve permanent galleries spread across two floors, each a treasure trove of beauty and culture.
You kick things off at the Architecture and Qur’an & Manuscript galleries. It’s like stepping into the heart of Islamic art and design right from the start. The intricate details in the architecture and the beauty of the manuscripts set the tone for what’s to come.
As you move forward, you’ll come across the India, China, and Malay World galleries.
It’s like taking a trip through time and space, paying tribute to Malaysia’s incredibly rich cultural heritage. You’ll find yourself surrounded by the art and influences from these diverse regions.
Now, when you head up to the second floor, it’s all about function and material. Here, they really showcase the mastery of Islamic craftsmanship. You’ll wander through galleries like Arms & Armour, Jewellery, Textile, Woodwork, Coins & Seal, Metalwork, and Ceramics.
Each one is a world of its own, celebrating the creativity and skills of artisans throughout history.
But here’s the cool part: they’ve got these six Lifestyle cases that give you a glimpse of art objects in context. You can explore the worlds of Ottoman, Persian, Spain, India, the Malay world, and Central Asia. It’s like taking a little cultural journey within the galleries themselves.
Now, if you’re lucky enough to catch a special or traveling exhibition, you’ll find those in Special Galleries 1 and 2. They keep things fresh and exciting with these exhibitions, so keep an eye out for what’s on during your visit.
And if you’re a fan of photography, you’ll want to swing by the Open Space Gallery. That’s where they host photography exhibitions. It’s a lovely way to enjoy a different perspective on Islamic art.
So, if you’re in the mood for a cultural adventure that spans continents and centuries, this museum’s Islamic art collection is an absolute must-visit. It’s like taking a mesmerizing journey through the heart and soul of Islamic art and heritage.
- If your schedule allows, plan your visit to the Islamic Arts Museum on a weekday rather than a weekend. The museum tends to be less crowded during weekdays, offering a more serene and immersive experience. You’ll have more space to appreciate the exhibits, take your time exploring, and even have quieter moments to reflect on the stunning art and artifacts. This can make your visit more relaxing and allow you to fully soak in the cultural richness on display.
Royal Malaysian Police Museum
Location: 5, Jalan Perdana, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact Details: +60 3-2272 5689
- Tuesday – Thursday 9AM-5PM
- Friday 10AM-12:30PM, 3PM-6PM
The Royal Malaysian Police Museum is a captivating journey through the history and evolution of the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP).
The museum has found its home since 1997 at No. 5 Jalan Perdana, which used to be the Senior Police Officers’ Mess. This historic building sets the stage for a remarkable exploration of the RMP’s rich history.
Now, let us walk you through the three fascinating galleries they have:
Gallery A: This is where your journey begins. You step into the past and discover how policing was carried out during the early Malay Sultanates.
As you stroll through replicas of old Malacca streets, you’ll get a glimpse of policing during the Portuguese and Dutch colonial periods before arriving at the British era, which laid the foundation for today’s RMP.
Among the treasures here are old police uniforms and intriguing artifacts like ceramic soup tureens used by Straits Settlements police officers in Penang during the 1820s.
Gallery B: This gallery dives into the evolution of police forces in different states throughout Malaya’s history, including the Straits Settlements, Federated Malay States, Unfederated Malay States, Sabah, and Sarawak.
You’ll come across everyday items used by these early police forces, from typewriters to pith helmets.
Models of police vehicles and motorbikes add a touch of nostalgia, but what really stands out is the impressive armoury room filled with police firearms and weapons used by notorious figures from the past, like Communist Terrorists and organized criminals.
Gallery C: The final gallery takes you through the tumultuous period of the Malayan Emergency.
There are also intriguing displays showcasing the RMP’s role in combating organized crime syndicates, drug trafficking, and forgery operations, as well as busting secret societies (triads).
One exhibit even demonstrates the equipment used in the intriguing swearing-in ceremony of secret societies.
Now, the museum’s outdoor exhibitions are equally impressive. They house bulky exhibits like armoured vehicles and patrol boats, each with its own history and role during critical times in Malaysia’s history.
So, if you’re into history and law enforcement or just curious about the journey of the Royal Malaysian Police, this museum is a must-visit.
- The outdoor exhibits provide a hands-on experience of the equipment used during different periods in Malaysia’s history. It’s a unique opportunity to get up close to these artifacts and appreciate their significance in law enforcement and security.
Orang Asli Craft Museum
Location: Orang Asli Crafts Museum, Jabatan Muzium Malaysia, Jalan Damansara, 50566 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact Details: +60 3-2282 6255
- Daily 9AM-5PM
|Senior Citizens and Disabled||RM1|
|Children aged 6-12||RM2|
|Children aged 6 below||Free|
The Orang Asli Craft Museum is truly an eye-opening experience. This museum is all about showcasing the incredible arts and handicrafts of the Orang Asli people, the indigenous communities living across the Malaysian Peninsula.
As soon as you step inside, you’ll be greeted with a wealth of information about these remarkable communities. It’s fascinating to learn that there are 18 different tribes of Orang Asli, grouped into three main categories: the Negrito, the Senai, and the Proto Malay.
Now, what really steals the show here are the incredible handicrafts, especially the exquisite wood carvings by the Mah Meri and Jah Hut tribes.
These folks have some serious talent when it comes to carving masks and figures, and their creations are highly sought after by collectors and art enthusiasts.
The craftsmanship is simply stunning. There’s one, carved from cengal wood, titled ‘King of the Apes,’ and another, made from nyirih batu wood, named ‘The Spirit of Lanjut.’ These intricate statues are not just works of art; they also hold deep cultural significance.
But that’s not all – the museum is a treasure trove of other Orang Asli artifacts and items. You’ll come across small Sepili figures used in the traditional medicine system of the Jah Hut tribe, blowpipes, and ornate bamboo containers for holding blowpipe darts.
There are also hunting and fishing traps, musical instruments, native clothing, pouches, and containers made from screw pine, rattan baskets and trays, palm leaf ornaments, spiritual decorations, and even coffins made from bamboo.
- The Orang Asli Craft Museum has restrictions on photography, especially when it comes to certain sensitive or culturally significant exhibits.
Before taking photos, check with the museum staff or look for signage indicating whether photography is allowed in specific areas.
Respecting these restrictions helps preserve the cultural and historical integrity of the artifacts and shows respect for the Orang Asli culture.
Telekom Museum (Muzium Telekom)
Location: Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact Details: +60 3-2031 9966
- Daily 9AM-5:30PM
|Adult MyKad Holders||RM5|
The Telekom Museum in Kuala Lumpur, is a fascinating journey through the history of telecommunications in Malaysia. From the moment you step inside, you’re taken on a captivating ride through time.
The museum doesn’t waste any time. It starts with a nod to the past when the “ketok-ketok” or “Knock-knock” instrument, a hollow wooden or bamboo contraption used for sending messages, was the traditional way of communication. It’s incredible to see how far things have come!
Basically, viewing the exhibits is also like stepping into a time machine. You’ll encounter early Morse code equipment and mock-ups of transmission offices, complete with the authentic sound.
There’s even an old telephone directory from 1939, covering regions like Penang, Province Wellesley, Malacca, and the Federated Malay States. And guess what’s on the front cover? An advertisement for Allsopp’s Beer – a bit of historical nostalgia right there!
One striking exhibit is a diorama of the main transmitting and receiving station at Bukit Nanas, fondly known as KL’s Eiffel Tower. This iconic red and white steel mast was a significant landmark back in the day.
Now, about the building itself – it’s a real gem. It’s housed in a stunning colonial-era structure that almost faced demolition in 1985.
The façade facing Jalan Gereja boasts classic Greek or Roman-style columns, while the side facing Jalan Raja Chulan has a more central European feel, complete with an archway leading to the central courtyard.
If you look at it from above, some say it’s shaped like the letter ‘G,’ although the significance of that ‘G’ remains a bit of a mystery.
National Textile Museum
Location: 26, Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Daily 9AM-5PM
|Elderly and Disabled||RM1|
|Children aged 12 years old and below (Malaysian Citizen)||Free|
|High School Students Dressed in Uniform (Malaysian Citizen)||Free|
|International Council of Museums Members||Free|
|Children aged 6-12 years old (Non-Malaysian Citizen)||RM2|
|Children aged 6 years and below||Free|
Visiting the National Textile Museum in Kuala Lumpur is a delightful dive into the world of textiles and their pivotal role in Malaysia’s rich heritage.
This museum is a treasure trove of history, housed in a beautiful heritage building that adds to the charm.
The museum building itself is a piece of history.
Designed by the renowned architect AB Hubback, who gave us many of Kuala Lumpur’s iconic landmarks, it boasts Mughal-style architecture.
It’s a testament to the city’s architectural and historical diversity, having been designated a historical building back in 1983.
Now, let’s dive into what the museum offers:
Pohon Budi Gallery: This gallery is like a crash course in the tools, materials, and techniques behind textile making throughout the ages.
From calendering and gilding to gold thread embroidery, you’ll witness the intricate processes that go into creating textile masterpieces.
You’ll also explore the world of songket, Royal Pahang weaving, tie-dye, printing techniques, and so much more.
Pelangi Gallery: Here, you’ll embark on a journey through the history of batik.
The gallery showcases different types of batik over the years, including exquisite collections from the Chinese, Baba and Nyonya communities, known for their intricate use of gold thread and beading.
You’ll also get to admire the diverse textile motifs of Sarawak and Sabah.
Teluk Berantai Gallery: As you head upstairs, you’ll be immersed in the world of the teluk berantai, a captivating motif that weaves individual flower designs into geometric patterns.
The exhibits feature a wide array of Malay textiles, Indian textiles, gold thread embroidery, and traditional Malay costumes made from silk, cotton, velvet, and even pineapple fabric
Ratna Sari Gallery: Saving the glittering jewels for last, this gallery is a treasure trove of diamond, gold, silver, and copper jewelry items and personal adornments worn by various ethnic communities in Malaysia.
From tobacco boxes to belts, headdresses to hairpins, and everything in between, you’ll get a glimpse into the diverse jewelry traditions of communities like Iban, Murut, Indian, Mah Meri, Malay, and Baba Nyonya.
- Keep an eye on the museum’s schedule for cultural events, workshops, or exhibitions related to textiles and Malaysian heritage. These events can provide a deeper understanding of the artistry and craftsmanship behind the textiles on display. They also offer a chance to engage with local artists and artisans who might be showcasing their work.
Museum Of Illusions Kuala Lumpur
Location: Level 1, Ansa Hotel, Wilayah Persekutuanalaysia, 101, Jln Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Contact Details: +60 17-228 2890
- Daily 10AM-10PM
|Adult (Malaysian Citizen)||RM36|
|Children aged 5-15 (Malaysian Citizen)||RM27|
|Adult (Non-Malaysian Citizen)||RM45|
|Children aged 5-15 (Non-Malaysian Citizen)||RM36|
Step into the extraordinary world of illusions at the Museum of Illusions in Kuala Lumpur! It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
From the moment you walk in, you’re in for a rollercoaster of visual tricks, sensory puzzles, and mind-boggling illusions that will leave you both entertained and utterly amazed.
It’s not just about seeing things; it’s about challenging your perception and understanding of reality.
This museum is not just for kids or adults; it’s for everyone! Whether you want to spend quality time with your family, plan a unique date, or even take your grandparents on an unforgettable outing, this place is for you.
Now, let’s talk about some of the mind-bending experiences you can have here.
You’ll brave the Vortex tunnel, where your sense of balance will be put to the test. Watch your friends or family members grow and shrink before your very eyes, and get lost in a mesmerizing maze of mirrors.
Feeling adventurous? How about serving someone’s head on a tray for lunch? Don’t worry; it’s all part of the illusion! And if that’s not enough, you can climb onto the ceiling and snap a photo of your gravity-defying moment in the Rotated Room.
Every optical illusion and installation in this museum is not just entertaining but also a powerful reminder that our perception of the world can be incredibly tricky and deceiving.
- Don’t forget to bring your camera, fully charged and with plenty of space because you’ll want to capture these mind-bending moments to share with friends and family or keep as cherished memories.