Museums and Galleries in Kuala Lumpur
The bustling capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is one of the most popular destinations in the world. Though it does not have a long history but that does not mean it is less than its counterparts it any way, be it heritage or valuable possessions. A mish-mash of various cultures, its museums and galleries are a showcase of Kuala Lumpur’s rich history.
While there are some museums offering a sneak-peak into Islamic art, there are others which let you walk through the past and present of history, its textiles, telecommunication, police and air services, art of the world and more. A visit to these popular tourist attractions of Kuala Lumpur is delightful, enlightening as well as interesting.
The blog enlists the popular museums and galleries in Kuala Lumpur that are worth-visit:
Islamic Arts Museum
A wonderful museum of finest world-class collection of Islamic decorative art, Islamic Art Museum comprises of 12 galleries, Scholar’s Library, Museum shop, Museum restaurant (Middle Eastern restaurant), and also becomes the venue of Workshops and seminars, Children’s activities and other Competitions.
Glazed tile work and adorned domes are the highlights of the architecture of the museum. Along with art-related objects (more than 7000), the museum also has calligraphy-inscribed pottery, carpets, stunning textiles and jewelry. The gift shop at the museum sells some wonderful thing from Islamic destinations. This museum is a center for Islamic studies.
Address– Jln Lembah Perdana
Fee– Adult- RM 14
Students with ID- RM 7
Senior Citizens (55 years and above) – RM 7
Children (6 years and below) – Free
Timings– 10:00 AM- 06:00 PM
National Textiles Museum
Comprising of 4 permanent galleries and 1 temporary gallery, National Textiles Museum is a textile-theme museum that is placed in a magnificent Mughal-style building. The lower floors of the museum displays the history of Malaysian textiles and fabrics like Songket, machinery used for manufacturing and the traditional process too.
The upper floors have details about Malaysian fabrics and design motifs, headgear, jewelry and other items. The museum also has Resource Centre having a collection of books and magazines about Malaysia and international Textile Art. It also houses a cafeteria and gift shop.
National Textiles Museum also becomes the venue of a number of activities such as theatre and fashion shows about textiles, seminars, textiles talks and workshops, batik activities etc.
Address– Jln Sultan Hishamuddin
Fee– Entry Free
Timings– 09:00 AM- 06:00 PM (Closed on Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Haji)
A must-visit attraction in Kuala Lumpur, The National Museum offers an insight into the rich historical past of Malaysia. Some of the highlights include Early History exhibits including Bronze Age and Neolithic artefacts; objects from Malay Kingdoms including Islamic kingdoms; 2 stunning small free side galleries, a consistently changing exhibition (extra charges), replica of a traditional house, Malay World Ethnology Museum, Orang Asli Craft Museum and ancient burial poles of Sarawak.
The museum also consists of a parking lot, a cafeteria, disables facilities, and Museum shop. Traditional jewelry, costumes and transportation of the nation are the other exhibits. Boasting of a wonderful Malayan architecture, the museum is located in the heart of the city.
Address– Jln Damansara
Fee– Citizen-RM 2
Elderly and Persons with Disabilities- RM 1
Children aged 12 and under- free
High School Students dressed in uniforms- free
High School Students not in dress uniforms- RM 2
Not a citizen- RM 5
Children (6 to 12 years) (non-citizens) – RM 2
Children younger than 6 years (non-citizens) – free
Timings- 09:00 AM- 06:00 PM
Bank Negara Malaysia Museum & Art Gallery
Located at the Sasana Kijang Complex, Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery has a number of small museums that are based on a number of themes such as money, banking and finance. Some of the must-spot items include a fantastic 3 m long tunnel that is dotted with RM 1 million inside the Children’s Gallery, a collection of ancient money and coins with an interactive screen and information about lesser-known Islamic banking system that works as per Sharia Law.
Another very interesting exhibits here is the assemblage of objects like silver bars, shells and ingots, which were used as money at some point of time in history. This Museum cum Art gallery can be segregated into Bank Negara Malaysia Gallery, Children’s Gallery, Economics Gallery, Numismatics Gallery, Islamic Finance Gallery, as well as the art collection at the Central Bank.
Address– Sasana Kijang, 2 Jln Dato Onn
Fee– Entry is free
Timings-10:00 AM- 06:00 PM
Petrosains, The Discovery Center
An amalgam of interactive displays, interesting science shows and educational exhibits, Petrosains, The Discovery Centre generates interest in people of all ages. Molecule Café, XPLORASI Gift Shop, Dark Ride, Space Gallery, Geotime Diorama,Oil Platform, Speed Gallery, 3D Gallery, Molecule Nano World, SPARK gallery, Oil Platform and Music, Art, Science Gallery are its part.
The visitors use both physical and mental ability at this science center. The activities and displays here are just wonderful. A visit to this place is truly memorable.
Address-4th fl, Suria KLCC, Jln Ampang
Fee- Senior Citizen (56 years & above) – RM 19.10
Adult (18 – 55 years) – RM 26.50
Youth (13 – 17 years) – RM 21.20
Child (3 – 12 years) – RM 15.90
Child (2 years and below) – Free
Petrosains Family Packages (2 Adults and 2 Children) – RM 53
Timings: 09.30 AM- 05:30 PM (Tue-Fri) and 09:30 AM to 06:30 PM (Sat, Sun and Public holidays) (Closed on Monday)
National Visual Arts Gallery
Also known as NVAG, National Visual Arts Gallery is placed in an amazing looking pyramid-shaped block and exhibits contemporary as well as modern Malaysian art. There are a number of display galleries here. The galley plays the venue of several temporary shows that showcase the art works of regional as well as local artists.
The popular displays here include permanent collection of around 4000 pieces of art that includes paintings by Ahmad Fuad Osman, Zulkifli Moh’d Dahalan and Wong Hoy Cheong along with the works of Chuah Thean Teng, the famous batik artist.
The interiors of NVAG is inspired from the spiral Guggenheim Museum–style staircase, offering accessibility to the main galleries here. The stairs on the side have been used for displaying artworks. This art gallery of Kuala Lumpur has art work for people of all age group with varied interests.
Address– 2 Jln Temerloh
Fee– Entry is free
Timings– 10:00 AM- 06:00 PM
Located in the Brickfields area of Kuala Lumpur, Wei-ling Gallery houses some wonderful art fairs and exhibitions. Founded in 2002, the top 2 floors an old shop house has been turned into a contemporary art gallery that showcases the works of local artists, offering them an encouragement to contemporary artists as well as culture of Malaysia.
The displayed works include those related to drawing, architecture and design, painting, photography, sculpture, artists’ books, prints and electronic media. The gallery is also known to be the largest book publisher of the books of Malaysian artists. The art gallery also showcases works of foreign artists.
Address– 8 Jln Scott Brickfields
Fee– Entry Free
Timings– 10:00 AM- 06:00 PM (Mon-Fri) and 10:00 AM to 05:0 PM (Sat) (By appointment only Sunday)
Founded in the year 1993 by Petronas, the Malaysian multinational company for promoting art and culture, Galeri Petronas showcases of contemporary work of arts including paintings and photographs. Both Malaysian and foreign artists can showcase their work here in modern style galleries, during shows and exhibitions that are curated by professionals.
The gallery has been equipped as well as designed as per the standards of an international art gallery. Its flexible and multi-functional spacing areas allows art displays and other activities in an easy manner. The Bustle Gallery and the Main Gallery can host several exhibitions at the same time, creating an interesting arrangement for exhibitions.
Petronas art gallery exhibits the works of around 1000 local as well as international artists, combining traditional and contemporary artworks that include paintings, photographs, costumes and crafts. The gallery was initially positioned in the Dayabumi Complex but moved to its current location in 1998.
Address– 3rd fl, Suria KLCC, Jln Ampang
Fee- Entry is free
Timings– 10:00 AM- 08:00 PM (Tue-Sun)
Badan Warisan Malaysia
Founded in the year 1983, Badab Warisan Malaysia is a non-government organization that works towards preservation and conservation of built heritage of the country. They organize exhibitions and also have a small shop that sells local handicrafts items, antique wooden furniture, as well as books. Enjoy a guided tour.
A heritage preservation organization, it has its head office in a colonial bungalow that belongs to 1920s. If you love exploring heritage structures, you can visit buildings preserved by them such as Gedung Raja Abdullah in Kelang, Central Market in Kuala Lumpur, Mesjid Merbok Pengkalan Kakap in Kedah, Istana Tengku Long in Terengganu, and Rumah Kutai and Rumah Bomoh in Perak.
Address– 2 Jln Stonor
Timings– 10: 00 AM- 05:30 PM (Mon-Sat)
Malay World Gallery
A part of the National Museum and located in the same complex, the Malay World Gallery is a treasure house of a wonderful collection of unusual displays that are related to history and civilization of Malaysia. These exhibits have been brought here from Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, South Africa, Madagaskar including Malaysia.
Polynesian collections is the highlight. The collection at the Malay World Gallery has been segregated into Archaeological Collection, Ethnological Collection, and Natural History Collection. The gallery complex also comprises of a Souvenir shop, parking area, Cafeteria, Muslim Prayer Room, Traditional Customs area and also offers guided tour.
Address- Jalan Lembah Perdana
Fee- Entry is free
Timings- 09.00 AM to 05.30 PM (Closed during Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji)
Kuala Lumpur is known for producing one of the best jade stones around the world and what better than the Jade Museum to showcase artifacts as well as ornaments made from it. The stone looks beautiful and is known to have healing powers too. Raw jade brought direct from the boulder are on display.
The museum has a wonderful collection of artefacts as well as accessories including 12 celestial animals, a necklace, a pendant, a bangle/bracelet, earrings, a ring, brooch, tie pin and cufflink. From the souvenir shop, visitors can get their hands on some lovely gifts and souvenirs. If you wish, you can join jade cutting workshop and get the gemological authenticity certificate too.
Address-26 Jalan Delima off Jalan Imbi
Fee- RM 5 per person
RM 10 (guided tour)
National Telecommunications Museum
Tracing back the history of telecommunications in Malaysia from around the 1870s up till the present times, National Telecommunication Museum is also known as Teleko Muzium. On display, visitors can see 120 years of telecommunications development, from the starting times of the Morse Code telegraph and till today to the Internet.
The development is showcased in 5 galleries- Gallery 1 – Pre Historical, Gallery 2 – The Beginning of Telecommunications, Gallery 3 – Pre And Post-Independence Telecommunications, Gallery 4 – Modern Era: Hsbb Experience Centre and Gallery 5 – Air Telecommunications.
Some of the exhibits include mock-ups of transmission with sound, early Morse code equipment, railway communications, marine communications, telephones, switchboards, an old telephone directory on display from 1939 and so on. The museum complex also comprises of Meeting Room, Library, Conference Room, Cafeteria, Conference Room, Prayer Room, Temporary Exhibit Room with interesting artefacts and Courtyard.
Address- Jalan Raja Chulan,
Fee- Adult (MyKab) – RM 6
Child- RM 3
Student Outreach- RM 50
Adult (International) – RM 11
Child- RM 5
Timings- 09:00 AM- 05:00 PM (Mon-Sun) (Closed on Public Holidays)
Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum
Located at KL Airbase, Malaysia’s oldest base, Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum forms a wonderful sightseeing experience. Formed in 1985, the museum displays 14 aircraft and helicopters displayed on the airfield along with 13 other aircraft inside a huge hanger. The museum also offers information on the history of the Air Force of Malaysia.
Along with the displayed aircraft, there are 2 other small galleries too that have displays and information on events and happenings like the role of the RMAF in counter-insurgency operations during the Emergency and the following peacekeeping contributions in the former Yugoslavia, Somalia and Cambodia.
The museum complex also has a Gift Shop near the entry gate selling aircraft models as well as other souvenirs. The museum is equally popular amid children and adults.
Address- Jalan Lapangan Terbang Lama
Fee- Admission is free
Timings- 08:00 AM-04:00 PM (Mon-Fri), 08:00 AM-05:00 PM (Sat), 10:0 AM-05:00 PM (Sun).
Royal Malaysian Police Museum
Founded in the year 1997, Royal Malaysian Police Museum has a wonderful collection of exhibits and artefacts showcasing the history and role of the Malaysian Police, from the time of inception and till to the present day. The museum is an arrow-shaped wooden structure and comprises of 3 gallery, named A, B and C.
The exhibits at the museum include official police uniforms; traditional weapons; information about the starting days of the Malacca Sultanate Empire, their entire history by the way of displayed drawings, paintings and weapons that are on display; vehicles of the Royal Malaysian Police Squad; weapons of secret societies; handmade weapons of Botak Chin clan; badges, awards and so on.
Address- No. 5 Jalan Perdana
Fee- Entry is free
Timings- 10:00 AM-06:00 PM (Tues-Sun)