The Best Museums in Kuala Lumpur: 5 must-see museums in Malaysia's capital
While visiting Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s vibrant capital city, don’t miss these top five museums! Some, like the Islamic Arts Museum and the National Museum of Malaysia are well-known and popular parts of any itinerary. Others, such as the Malaysian Royal Police Museum are hidden gems, and not to be missed.
Visiting museums is a wonderful way to learn more about a country and its history and culture, and these five will help you to experience beautiful Malaysia.
The National Museum of Malaysia
Malaysia’s National Museum is full of the country’s history, and costs only 5 MYR to visit! Here, you’ll learn about the region’s pre-history, the pre-colonial kingdoms and sultanates that ruled the peninsula, Malaysia’s colonial period, and the modern history of the nation.
The museum has hundreds of amazing historical artifacts on display, and is the best place to start your visit to Malaysia. You will learn all about the country’s history, and get a feel for how it came to be the country that it is today. Don’t miss the royal throne that once belonged to a historical peninsular sultan!
The museum also has exhibits about Malaysia’s art and culture, from traditional Malay shadow puppets to the historical spread of Islam through the peninsula.
Malaysia’s National Museum is located at Jabatan Muzium Malaysia, Jalan Damansara, Tasik Perdana, 50566 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
You can easily reach the museum on foot from KL Sentral Station. The station connects by underground walkway to Muzim Negara Station, which has an exit in front of the museu,.
The Malaysian National Museum is open daily from 9:00-18:00
A ticket to the Malaysian National Museum (Muzim Negara) costs 5 MYR
The Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Arts Museum is perhaps the best museum in Kuala Lumpur, especially if you are interested in art and art history. It’s certainly the best laid-out and beautiful museum in the city; even the building itself is a work of art, with incredible intricate domes and water features.
Malaysia is an officially Muslim country, and Islam plays a vitally important role in the country’s art and history. At this museum, you’ll see not only Malaysian art, but art from across the Islamic world. When I visited, I got to see an incredible exhibit about Qajar Dynasty ceramics from Persia.
The Islamic Arts Museum is open daily from 9:30-18:00.
A ticket to the Museum of Islamic Arts in Kuala Lumpur costs 14 MYR.
National Planetarium of Malaysia (Planetarium Negara)
Near the Islamic Arts Museum is the Malaysian National Planetarium. Don’t pass it by if you are at all interested in space or astronomy! The planetarium is also home to the Malaysian Space Agency, and is surrounded by a lovely park.
A trail runs through the park, winding past information signs teaching walkers about the planets of the solar system. There’s even a “mini Stonehenge” that you can find while exploring the grounds.
The National Planetarium is open from 9:00-16:30
The planetarium is closed on Mondays.
Entrance to the planetarium’s gallery and exhibits are free, but a ticket to watch the planetarium show costs 12 MYR.
National Textiles Museum
It may not sound like the most interesting museum in Kuala Lumpur, but don’t miss the National Textiles Museum. It’s a real hidden gem! Not only is the museum air-conditioned and free to visit, it’s also fascinating! Textiles are an important part of Malaysian culture, and at this museum you can learn about how the textiles were traditionally woven, the various patterns and meanings of the textiles, and the way that traditional textile-making techniques are being preserved. There’s also a very nice cafe inside the museum if you are tired and craving a delicious iced Malaysian coffee.
The National Textile Museum is located in the center of KL at Merdeka Square
The Textile Museum is open daily from 9:00-18:00
Admission to Malaysia’s National Textile Museum is FREE!
Royal Malaysian Police Museum
Another hidden gem in Kuala Lumpur, the National Police Museum is actually one of the best in the city! It’s never very crowded, and when I visited, the policemen on duty at the front desk of the museum were very excited to talk to me, and asked me all about where I was from. They were helpful and very friendly.
The Malaysian Royal Police Museum teaches visitors all about the history of the police force in Malaysia, from ancient times to the Dutch and British colonial periods, and through the modern day. The coolest part for me was the armory, which displayed weapons and tools from the Malaysian police force throughout the decades, and the collection of vehicles that you’ll find outside of the museum building.
The Malaysian Royal Police Museum is also located near the National Planetarium and Museum of Islamic Arts. It’s convenient to visit all of these museums on the same day.
The Royal Police Museum is open from 9:00-18:00
The museum is closed on Mondays
Admission to the Police Museum is FREE!