Must-Visit Museums and Galleries in KL

WP Kuala Lumpur

 

Welcome to your definitive guide to some of the most exciting and knowledge-packed museums and galleries you will find within the Kuala Lumpur city centre. From art galleries that hold some of the most aesthetically pleasing pieces to interactive museums that will keep you entertained throughout your visit, there is something to whet every appetite for art, culture and history. 

 

Muzium Negara: Malaysia's Timeless Heritage in Kuala Lumpur

 

 

The National Museum of Malaysia, Muzium Negara, is a treasure trove of culture and history, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. This prestigious institution, which was officiated by Tuanku Syed Putra Al-Haj Ibni Al-Marhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail on August 31, 1963, welcomes guests on an enthralling tour through Malaysia's rich legacy, designed to evoke the majesty of a traditional Malay palace.

Expect to find historical treasures abound in the Muzium Negara's venerable halls. Behold the "Malacca Stone," etched with 13th-century Malay inscriptions, offering a window into the antiquated Malay script. The "Kedah Inscription Stone," dating back to the 7th century, unveils Malaysia's profound ties with Hinduism. Meanwhile, the "Terengganu Inscription Stone," adorned with 14th-century Jawi script, hints at early Islamic influences. Be sure not to overlook the "Perak State Regalia," a splendid collection encompassing the Perak State Crown, Sword, and Seal, celebrating Malaysia's regal heritage, while the "Islamic Arts Collection" whisks you away to distant lands with its array of Islamic artefacts, including Qur'ans, manuscripts, ceramics, and exquisite metalwork.

Beyond its tangible treasures, Muzium Negara also provides immersive experiences that are suitable for all age groups. Embark on guided tours, explore traditional Malay arts and crafts in workshops, attend enlightening lectures on Malaysian history and culture, or savour cinematic delights through film screenings. A public library and research centre also welcome inquisitive minds, providing access to an extensive collection of books and articles on Malaysian history and culture.

Strategically positioned, Muzium Negara serves as a gateway to explore the surrounding wonders of Kuala Lumpur. Just moments away, the iconic Petronas Twin Towers offer breathtaking vistas, while the KL Tower stands as an architectural marvel with panoramic views. Seek serenity in the verdant Perdana Lake Gardens or immerse yourself in the world of Islamic art at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. For a deeper understanding of Malaysia's economic history and a touch of art, the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery beckons.

Accessing Muzium Negara is effortless. Take RapidKL Bus No.115 or enjoy a leisurely stroll from KL Sentral. Visitors can also hop on board the MRT (Kajang Line) and stop at the Muzium Negara station that brings you to the doors of the National Museum. 

Admission Rates
  • RM 2 for Malaysian citizens.
  • RM 5 for Non-Malaysians.
  • Free admission for children below 6 years old.

 

Enhance your Muzium Negara experience with a stay at nearby accommodations such as Scott Hotel KL Sentral, Easy Hotel KL Sentral, Hotel Sentral Kuala Lumpur and Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral ensuring your exploration of Malaysia's heritage is both comfortable and unforgettable.

With this, embark on your voyage through time at Muzium Negara and unravel the tapestry of Malaysia's captivating past and vibrant present. This iconic destination extends a warm invitation to travellers worldwide, promising opportunities to delve into the allure of Kuala Lumpur and the boundless wonders of Malaysia's rich heritage.

 

National Art Gallery 

 



Also located in the heart of vibrant Kuala Lumpur, the National Art Gallery Malaysia beckons, inviting visitors to uncover a world of culture and creativity. Established in 1958 and later relocated to its splendid Jalan Temerloh home in 1998, this institution houses over 8,000 art pieces, ranging from paintings and sculptures to prints, drawings, and photographs, all beautifully showcasing the diverse tapestry of Malaysian and Southeast Asian art, across the traditional and contemporary.


The National Art Gallery Malaysia isn't just a place in history, it is also a treasure trove of artistic wonders. Here, visitors will get to immerse themselves in the creations of legendary artists like Latiff Mohidin, Abdul Latiff Noordin, and Cheong Soo Pieng. The gallery's dynamic spirit is evident through its ever-changing exhibitions that grace its halls throughout the year.

 

 


But this cultural haven offers more than art – it extends a warm welcome to visitors of all ages with its series of educational programs, offering everything from enlightening guided tours to hands-on workshops.

 

As soon as visitors set foot here, they will be greeted by an architectural masterpiece crafted by renowned Malaysian architect Datuk Ar. Hijjas Kasturi, featuring a harmonious blend of contemporary design with traditional Malaysian elements, elevating the entire artistic experience.

The gallery's strategic location also places it in close proximity to iconic landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower, and the Istana Negara (Royal Palace), making it a perfect stop for tourists. In the vicinity, visitors will also find a plethora of restaurants, cafes, and shops, promising delightful culinary and shopping experiences.

For the visitors' convenience, the National Art Gallery Malaysia offers a free app, along with an informative website, that is packed with valuable insights and exhibition details. The National Art Gallery Malaysia’s free app is known as LPSVN. You can access the LPSVN app here.

As a member of the International Association of Art Museums (IADM), it also extends discounted entries to active cardholders. 

Access to the gallery is a breeze, thanks to a free shuttle service from the KLCC LRT station and other budget-friendly public transport options are also available. 


Gallery operational hours and admission rates are as follows:

Opening Hours

Open every day from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM.

Admission Rates

Free entry for everyone.

In essence, the National Art Gallery Malaysia isn't just a destination – it is an artistic voyage. This gallery guarantees an educational experience, whether visitors are art enthusiasts or if you just want to get a feel for Southeast Asian art and culture. Here, you will be sure to learn all about the fascinating world of the National Art Gallery Malaysia, where Southeast Asian art's past, present, and future peacefully converge.

 

Islamic Art Museum Malaysia

 

 

Also located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, The Islamic Art Museum Malaysia is a symbol of artistic wonder and cultural enlightenment. This institution, which was founded by the Malaysian government in 1998, is truly a treasure trove, currently housing more than 12,000 pieces of carefully curated works of art from the Islamic world, making it a jewel of heritage preservation, research, and exhibition.

 

 

The main attraction of this museum lies in its extensive and varied collection, which includes a wide range of Islamic art forms. Every item, from finely crafted metalwork and ceramics to deftly woven carpets, is proof of the skill and artistic brilliance of Islamic cultures. Over 7,000 manuscripts, including the Quran and other sacred scriptures, are included in the collection, letting visitors into the Islamic spiritual legacy.



 

Beyond breathtaking exhibits, the Islamic Art Museum Malaysia also offers a variety of enriching experiences. For those seeking knowledge, the museum provides educational programs, from lectures to hands-on workshops suitable for all ages. It is a place where families can bond over the beauty of art, and enthusiasts can delve into the depths of Islamic culture. Don't forget to stop and savour traditional flavours at the on-site café and explore souvenirs at the gift shop, where visitors can find unique mementos of their visit.

Situated amidst the bustling metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, the museum sits on prime location. Easily accessible by public transport, with the KLCC metro station just a stone's throw away, it fits seamlessly into a day of exploration in the city. Nearby, iconic landmarks include the Petronas Twin Towers, the Kuala Lumpur Tower, and the KLCC Park, all waiting to be discovered. 

Should you choose to venture further, the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is home to an array of attractions. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, and the National Textile Museum all provide a cultural kaleidoscope to complement your visit. 

Operation Hours

The Museum is open Monday to Friday, 10 AM. to 6 PM. 

Admission Rates

RM 10 for Non-citizens of Malaysia.
Free admission for all Malaysian citizens and permanent residents. 


To make the most of your visit, consider signing up for a guided tour or participating in one of the museum's engaging educational programs for a wholesome experience.

Getting to the Islamic Art Museum Malaysia is also a breeze via public transportation. The Pasar Seni station, served by the Kelana Jaya Line, is your gateway. A pleasant 20-minute stroll from the station past Masjid Negara will lead visitors to the museum's doorstep. Alternatively, hop on the free KLCC shuttle bus to the Masjid Negara bus stop for a convenient ride.

For those planning to explore the city extensively, consider the KL Travel Pass. It provides two days of unlimited travel on the Monorail, LRT, and MRT lines for a price* ranging from RM80 to RM125, making it simple to reach the museum and other attractions. These prices also include the KLIA Express Airport Transfer.

*The price may change from time to time. For the latest information, please visit the KLIA Express website.

Visitors will also discover a variety of lodging options close by as their day of travel draws to an end. Luxury hotels including the Ritz-Carlton Kuala Lumpur, Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, or the Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel are available to suit all preferences.


Museum of Illusions

 



 

In 2018, Malaysia opened its very first Museum of Illusions in the heart of Bukit Bintang. First established in 2014, the museum was initially built in Croatia, and is known to play on perspectives as soon as you set foot into the building with its mind-boggling puzzles to head-scratching illusions on the wall, making it a novelty and must-visit when you are in town. 

Hop on the nearest MRT and stop at the Bukit Bintang Station, which is located very near to the museum. Within a 5-minute walk, you will reach the Illusion Museum, which is located on the first level of the Ansa Hotel. The museum suggests an hour for each person to really capture and understand the essence of each illusion presented in the building. With two floors of fun-filled tricks, the Museum caters to a maximum of 80 people. 

Admission Rates
  • RM40 for Adults
  • RM30 for Children
  • RM35 for Students

The first floor of the museum houses fun and exciting illusions starting with the Ames room, where you will be able to see a big-to-small illusion. Go with a friend to double the fun of enjoying what the museum has in store. 

The Rotated Room is another one not to be missed. With its gravity-defying effect, you can take pictures that boggle the mind. Swap noses with your friend at the mirror illusion part of the museum by standing on each side of the mirror and snap a quick picture to make it seem like you and your friend have, in fact, swapped noses. 

Alternatively, recreate Michael Jackson’s signature leaning pose in the Tilted Room. With its slanted floors, this room gives the illusion of you falling but in reality, you will be standing straight of course.



Then head to the second floor for more hypnotising illusions. Walk through the Vortex Tunnel where you will feel as if the entire room is spinning. The main goal of this room is to walk in a straight line without experiencing the feeling of falling. 


Enter the Infinity Room filled with mirrors and coloured lights. Take a picture from the bottom of the room to get the feeling of what infinity feels like. 


Also, have fun with colours in the Colour Room. Stand in front of the coloured lights and see your shadow in the three primary colours, red, green and blue. 

The museum also showcases many paintings on the walls that play with your perspective. For instance, the pulsating image that seems to be moving slightly as you move your eyes from side to side, eyes that follow you as you move side to side and many more!


Ur-Mu (Urban Museum, Bukit Bintang)

 


Another gem in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the Urban Museum or UR-MU brings you the best of one-of-a-kind contemporary art. This five-storey art museum was once a walk-up apartment but is now transformed to house a collection of eclectic, regional works.


With over 100 artworks, UR-MU has 10 themed gallery spaces including Sens-Asia, People, Kampung Kita, Power Play, Raksasa (Monster), Superheroes, Framing Modernity, Structure, Made’s Garden and Sculpture Lounge. Be inspired by the jaw-dropping paintings, sculptures, installations and photography that the museum holds.


Being one of the few contemporary art museums in Malaysia, UR-MU is a popular destination spot for tourists and locals alike. Showcasing unique and wide-ranging art pieces, Urban Museum brings you art from all over Southeast Asia.

 

UR-MU is also known to be one of the most contrasting art museums in Malaysia since many art museums predominantly focus on traditional or Islamic art. This museum in particular, is passionate about sharing its artwork with everyone and offers a ‘less intimidating’ space for people to appreciate art.

Operational Hours

The Museum opens daily from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.00 AM to 8.30 PM.

Admission Fees
  • RM10 for Adults.
  • RM5 for Students with ID.
  • Free admission for children below the age of 12 years old.
  • RM5 for Senior Citizens.
  • RM5 for Visitors with disabilities.

 

Expect to spend a solid one hour and 30 minutes here. Tickets for the museum can be purchased upon walk-in at the museum or online. 

Also, the Urban Museum is highly accessible as it is located in the city, specifically in Bukit Bintang. Hop onto the nearest MRT station and take a train ride to the Bukit Bintang Station. From there, it is only a 4-minute walk away from the museum. 

Don’t forget to check out these fascinating and knowledge-filled museums and galleries on your next trip to Kuala Lumpur. Filled with interesting art pieces and displays, these galleries and museums are guaranteed to leave you in awe. With reasonably priced entrance fees, all visitors are able to bask in the beauty of each artwork. Not only will you be able to see and view timeless pieces, but some museums in the Kuala Lumpur city centre have an interactive concept, which you are able to participate in throughout your visit. So start adding these galleries and museums to your list of places to visit for an adventure-packed experience.

 


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