Top 10 Things to Do in Alor Setar for a Memorable Trip

Top 11 Things to Do in Alor Setar for a Memorable Trip 

Alor Setar is the state capital of Kedah and it’s a place that should be included in your itinerary if you decide to visit Malaysia. This is due to the city’s abundance of interesting attractions and destinations like museums, mosques, towers and more.

If you don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place! Join us as we take a deep dive into the different interesting and exciting things you can do in the city to make your trip extra memorable!

Admire Zahir Mosque and learn about its rich history

Address: Jalan Kampung Perak, Bandar Alor Setar, 05150 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

Contact details: +60 4-733 3288

Operating hours: Daily from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM

As soon as you catch a glimpse of Zahir Mosque’s facade, you’ll immediately understand why it’s one of the most beautiful places of worship in Malaysia. Its exterior predominantly features Moorish architectural designs, from its five massive domes to the blue mosaics at its entrance.

Aside from being a spectacle, however, this major city landmark bears strong historical significance. This is because it also served as the burial site of the Kedah warriors who fought for the land when Siamese invaders tried to take over during the 19th century.

Pro tip:

  • Everyone is free to take photos in the mosque. If you want to take the most Insta-worthy photo, we recommend posing by the beautiful garden outside.
  • It should go without saying but be sure to dress moderately when visiting this landmark since it’s a place of worship.

Learn how royal families live at the Kedah Royal Museum

Address: Medan Bandar, Kedah, 05400 Alor Setar, Malaysia

Contact details: +60 4-732 7937

Entrance fee: Free

Operating hours:

  • Saturday to Thursday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday: 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM

If you’ve always wanted to know about Malaysia’s past royal families, stopping by the Kedah Royal Museum should be on your itinerary. It’s here where you’ll discover how Sultans lived their daily lives, and it makes sense considering that it was once a palace!

It only gets better when you head inside, as you’ll be introduced to over 2,000 artefacts of the late Sultan Abdul Halim, some of which are his belongings. Aside from that, the interior is admirable as well, with its massive staircases and pillars that make it look like a palace.

Pro tip:

  • Make sure to stop by Balai Besar, which is a nearby attraction that also features a palace-esque look – perfect for taking beautiful photos!
  • If you don’t want to experience information overload, we recommend jotting down some notes so you can revisit the things you’ve learned.

Bask in amazing views from the Alor Setar Tower


Address: Lot 99, Darul Aman Hwy, Bandar Alor Setar, 05100 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

Contact details: +60 4-720 2234

Entrance fee: 

  • Weekend:
  • Observation Deck: RM8 (Adult MyKad holders), RM6 (MyKid, senior citizens), RM11 (adult foreigners), RM8 (foreign children and senior citizens)
  • Star View: RM26 (MyKad Adults), RM16 (MyKid, senior citizens), RM37 (adult foreigners), RM27 (foreigner children and senior citizens)
  • Weekdays:
  • Observation Deck: RM7 (Adult MyKad holders), RM5 (MyKid, senior citizens), RM10 (adult foreigners), RM7 (foreign children and senior citizens)
  • Star View: RM25 (MyKad Adults), RM15 (MyKid, senior citizens), RM36 (adult foreigners), RM26 (foreigner children and senior citizens)

Operating hours: Daily from 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM

You can’t leave the state’s capital without visiting its most iconic structure, the Alor Setar Tower. It’s one of the most impressive feats of architecture in the country, standing at a height of 165.5 meters – pretty awesome, right?

Its height isn’t the best part about it too, as you can climb it to reach the observation deck where you’ll be met with breathtaking views of the city. You can even dine at its sky restaurant where you can feast on delicious dishes while being surrounded by these spectacular views!

Pro tip:

  • If you want something to remember your trip to Alor Setar, stop by this tower’s gift shop to purchase some limited-edition goodies!
  • As much as possible, we recommend visiting on weekdays. Not only will there be fewer visitors but the ticket prices will be cheaper as well!

See the time at The Big Clock Tower

See the time at The Big Clock Tower
(Photo from: Kedah Welcomes You’s Facebook page)

Address: Bandar Alor Setar, 05150 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

Entrance fee: Free

Operating hours: Open 24 hours

The Big Clock Tower serves as Alor Setar’s version of Big Ben in the sense that it’s become synonymous with its city and it tells the time. It’s so synonymous with the city that a trip to the city wouldn’t be complete without snapping some pics beside it.

Though it’s not as big as the more famous clocktower, it does feature fine craftsmanship—a true testament to the country’s creativity. Moreover, the Big Clock Tower plays an important role to the citizens of Alor Setar, as it announces the prayer times.

Pro tip:

  • There isn’t any particular parking space near the clock tower so you may have to take a photo of it while in your car. Alternatively, you can make a side trip to this tower while visiting its neighbouring attractions like the Royal Museum and Alor Setar Tower.

Go on a shopping spree at Aman Central

Go on a shopping spree at Aman Central
(Photo from: Aman Central)


Address: Aman Central, 1, Darul Aman Hwy, Kampung Lubok Peringgi, 05100 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

Contact details: +60 4-735 2626

Operating hours: Daily from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Aman Central is the premier shopping mall in Alor Setar, boasting over 330 stores that sell anything from gadgets to clothes, jewellery and anything in between. This type of variety makes this place the ultimate shopaholic’s paradise!

These shops are spread out throughout the mall’s 6 floors so be prepared to walk quite a distance. With the different high-quality restaurants to try inside where you can regenerate your energy, we have a feeling that you’ll do just fine!

Pro tip:

  • If you want to eat somewhere you can enjoy majestic views, we recommend checking out the food court. Not only does this place serve affordable dishes but it also overlooks Alor Setar Tower!

Be in awe of a Sultan’s rich lifestyle at the Sultan Museum

Address: Medan Bandar, Jalan Raja, 05100 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

Contact details: +60 4-730 3664

Operating hours:

  • Sunday to Thursday: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Saturday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Friday: Closed

Also known as the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Gallery, the Sultan Museum is the place to be if you want to know what it feels like to be an emperor. It houses the personal belongings of the late Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.

At first glance, this seemingly normal building doesn’t look like much. Once you enter its doors, your jaw will drop because of the different things on display like jewellery, luxury watches, classy cars and more.

Pro tip:

  • Visit this place if you’re tired from walking in the hot Kedah weather. It’s a great place to learn about the late sultan while cooling down, as it’s fitted with air conditioning.

Discover the story of the Nobat Tower

Address: Bandar Alor Setar, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

The Nobat Tower is another tall-standing structure that we recommend you take tons of photos of while you’re in Alor Setar. It features a beautiful Islamic architectural design that makes it different from any other tower.

Just like the Big Clocktower, this attraction serves a great purpose or at least used to, as it was once the storage of the Sultan’s royal instruments. This purpose is also why it’s commonly referred to today as the Hall of Drums – now you know!

Notable things:

  • The tower stands 59 feet.
  • Its most distinguishing feature is the golden onion-shaped dome.

Address: Bandar Alor Setar, 05000 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

Contact details: +60 4-732 5752

Operating hours:

  • Saturday to Thursday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM

If you want to get an idea of just how creative the people of Kedah are, there’s no better place to visit than the State Art Gallery. Found in the southern part of Dataran Alor Setar, this huge museum features beautiful handicrafts, paintings, and other art exhibits made by locals.

Aside from the beautiful pieces of art inside, the structure that houses them deserves some recognition as well! Not only does it feature an elegant neoclassical motif but it’s also the oldest government building in Alor Setar.

Pro tip:

  • As much as possible, we recommend arranging guided tours, especially if you’re arriving with a big group. This way, you can explore every crevice of this museum and get a more insightful experience out of the trip.
  • If you’re visiting the museum with your kids, you can enrol them in one of the gallery’s handicraft classes so that they won’t get bored. But don’t worry, adults can join in on the fun too!

Be immersed in the state’s history at Kedah State Museum

Address: Darul Aman Hwy, Bakar Bata, 05100 Alor Setar, Kedah, Malaysia

Contact details: +60 4-733 1162

Operating hours:

  • Saturday to Thursday: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Sunday: 9:00 AM to 12:30 PM, 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM

Kedah State Museum is the best place to go if you’re looking to learn more about the state’s history. Here, you’ll get to learn all of Kedah’s 2,000 year-history through ten different galleries that consist of in-depth timelines—perfect for learning!

From the Buddhist-Hindu civilisations to the British colonization, you’ll learn everything that Kedah has gone through to become the state it is today.

Aside from that, this museum also features artefacts, relics and even some early Malay literature!

Notable things:

  • One of the museum’s best structures is the small golden tree. Aside from being beautiful, this little statue was dedicated as a gift to Siam by the Kedah Sultanate.

Go back in time at Alor Setar’s Chinatown

Address: 6 Jalan Pekan China, Alor Setar 05000, Malaysia

Alor Setar’s version of Chinatown is one that we can guarantee you’ve never seen before. This is because this short district is perfectly preserved, allowing it to maintain its old rustic charm.

Each house you’ll find here will have its unique design and some of them have been renovated to become shops! Unlike other Chinatowns in the country, however, the stores here don’t sell local goods but instead offer services like printing and bicycle repairs.

Feast on delicious laksa

Feast on delicious laksa
(Photo from: Booky)

Alor Setar is one of the best places to get laksa in Kedah mainly because of the variety of restaurants that offer it there. Also, if you haven’t tried laksa yet, you’re missing out!

This delicious dish is composed of noodles that are drenched in curry! The result is a lip-smacking combination that’s sometimes enhanced by toppings such as shrimp and boiled egg.

Pro tip:

  • If you don’t know where to start, we recommend checking out Din Laksa Beras Telok Kechai, Olala Laksa Cendol and PHAD Lemak Laksa.