Museums and Galleries in Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur (Self Guided)

Kuala Lumpur is an impressive town famous for its museums and galleries. These museums and galleries manifest both the rich cultural heritage of the nation and its spirit of innovation. Find below a list of museums that you must visit when in Kuala Lumpur.
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Museums and Galleries in Kuala Lumpur Map

Guide Name: Museums and Galleries in Kuala Lumpur
Guide Location: Malaysia » Kuala Lumpur (See other walking tours in Kuala Lumpur)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km
Author: valery
Royal Malaysian Police Museum

1) Royal Malaysian Police Museum (must see)

The Royal Malaysian Police Museum, known locally as Muzium Polis Diraja Malaysia, is one of those rare museums in the world that you can visit. Located at Jalan Perdana, this museum was established in 1961. Recently, it was renovated at a cost of over RM 8 million and inaugurated in 1999.

The current museum has three major galleries. Over 7500 artifacts have been displayed, most having been confiscated by the Malaysian Police. The exhibition starts with the history of policing in Malaysia and includes the attires of policemen from as early as the 1400s and shows the changes that came in along with the invasions of the Dutch and then the British. You can also see the ceremonial uniforms and medals received by Inspector Generals of Police (IGP).

The third gallery displaying weaponry is the one that gets the most attention. Exhibits vary from penknives to cannons and from the museum's early establishment to the post-WWII and Communist Era in the country. Outside the museum, you can also see the Mercedes used by the IGPs, the police boats, and Malaysian Air Force’s first aircraft, a Cessna single-engine plane. Since most items are confiscated you can find some rare artifacts on display such as items used for forging, gambling and handkerchiefs that were called pornographic. To explore the wonderful collection and to gain a unique experience, you must visit the Royal Malaysian Police Museum.

Why You Should Visit:
Lots to look at, lots of uniforms and military regalia and lots of info in English.
The displays are very well laid out with easy to read descriptions, plus there's AC!

Combine this with the National Mosque, the National Planetarium, Perdana Botanical Gardens and maybe the Islamic Arts Museum which are all nearby and you have SO much to do in one day!

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-6pm; free admission
On Fridays, the museum is closed between 12:30–2:30pm for prayers.
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

2) Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (must see)

Officially opened in 1998, the Islamic Arts Museum is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s tourist belt amidst the lush greenery and within walking distance to the National Mosque, Birds Park and National Planetarium.

The museum has 12 main galleries which are classified according to the types of artifacts spread over level 3 and 4. Level 3 of the museum hosts the Quran and Manuscripts Gallery, the Islamic Architecture Gallery, the India Gallery, the Chinese Gallery, the Ancient Malay World Gallery as well as the amazing reconstructed Ottoman Syrian Room dating back to the 19th Century. Visitors can also proceed upstairs to Level 4 which hosts an amazing display of jewelry, textile, arms and armor, ceramics as well as ancient Islamic glassware.

Why You Should Visit:
To spend a couple of hours surrounded by exquisite Islamic art and artifacts, curated extremely well in Malay, English, and Arabic.
The beautiful domed building has lots of light and there is plenty of space to wander and look at their collection of Qur'ans, jewelry, ceramics, weapons and so on.
The architecture gallery with models of significant mosques is also very good, and the gift shop actually has useful gifts – not just mugs and posters – and MANY of them, too!

Make sure to bring cash as they do not accept credit cards; you are only free to visit the library or café or gift shop.
The National Mosque is just across the street, so it makes sense to visit these two places together.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9:30am-6pm (including Malaysian Public Holidays, except for Hari Raya Aidilfitri)
Sight description based on wikipedia
Textile Museum

3) Textile Museum

Malaysia is well known for its creative textile art and exquisite fabrics. Famous amongst the fabrics is the Batik style, an age old technique of staining the cloth with wax-resistant dye to produce beautiful patterns. Although the Batik may have established itself outside the boundaries of Malaysia, one would be surprised to discover the various types of traditional textiles, fabric and designs that the country has to display, some of which are much older than the Batik itself.

The best place to educate oneself about the array of local textiles and the art of Batik is the National Textile Museum. It showcases some of world’s rarest and most exquisite textiles. Located at the Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin, the Museum is housed in over a century old heritage building that was previously occupied by various institutes and civil departments.

The Museum is segmented in four well organized galleries, each depicting an era of the Malay textile history and the influence of the varied cultures that added more variety to the fabric of time. Each gallery has a unique story to tell that is sure to keep you captivated till the end. The galleries cover every aspect of textile history; like prehistoric fabric, tools, materials and techniques to present day Batik fabric and its evolution. The Museum also sheds light upon the various cultures along with their respective textiles and fabrics, and explores their influence on the local art. The Museum also showcases some of the most breathtaking jewelry from various parts of the world.
Telecommunications Museum

4) Telecommunications Museum

Since the advent of the telephone in 1870 by Alexander Graham Bell, the world of telecommunications has come a long way. Today in the era of wireless network, digital signaling and satellite telecommunication, it is hard to believe that the first spark to ignite the world with idea of long distance communication just happened just over a century ago. Celebrating these achievements and educating people about this dynamic industry is the Telecommunication Museum in Kuala Lumpur.

Housed in an elegant two storied Neo-Classic building along the Jalan Raja Chulan, the Telecommunication Museum in Kuala Lumpur is where you get to see the progress made over the years in the field of telecommunication and broadcasting. The building came into existence in 1928 and was constructed to accommodate the Central Battery Manual Telephone Exchange.

The Telecommunication Museum was the first of its kind in the whole country to have interactive exhibits. Spread across 900 square meters of land, the Museum is a repository of old telephones and outdate machinery once used for telecommunication. The Museum has houses several audio visual exhibits, educative rooms for school kids archives and resource areas. With some artifacts that are over 120 years old, a lot of the exhibits go back to the prewar era making the Museum a must-visit when in Kuala Lumpur.

Hours: Mon-Sun 9am - 5pm
Pucuk Rebung Gallery Museum

5) Pucuk Rebung Gallery Museum

If you love to go antique shopping then you might want to check out the Pucuk Rebung Gallery Museum, one of the best antique galleries in town. Located at the Ampang Mall inside the Suria KLCC, the Pucuk Gallery displays artifacts that date way back to the bronze era.

With over a thousand items on display, the gallery has been set up like a museum where the visitor can browse through and enjoy viewing the artifacts. Having a wide range of relics from South East Asia, the Pucuk Gallery specializes in Malaysian antiques that manifest the country's rich heritage and vibrant past. The collection of the Pucuk Gallery includes an amazing variety of pottery and ceramics, glass and cutlery, photographs from the past, crystal ware, antique fabrics and jewelry, paper, books, metalwork, wooden items along with some relatively modern contemporary art.

The jewelry exhibit is especially noteworthy, with a collection of timeless jewelry dating from the early 1900s to the 1930s. Rare combinations, such as decorative items that are purely made from wood and silver, are also worth the while. Although the Gallery is a private establishment, it surely attracts a lot of visitors and has earned a reputation for itself over the years. A definite must-visit when you are in Kuala Lumpur.
Petrosains, The Discovery Centre

6) Petrosains, The Discovery Centre (must see)

One of the main attractions in the Petronas Towers is the Petrosains, a museum focused on science, geology and the petroleum industry. 

Working in collaboration with the European Collaborative for Science Industry and Technology Exhibitions (ECSITE), The Asia Pacific Network of Science and Technology (ASPAC) and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC), this fascinating museum does the best job in bringing the audiences closer to science and technology. With live science demonstrations and interactive exhibits, the Petrosains Museum is a hit with all ages.

Get to observe the model of the Sauber PETRONAS Formula One racing car, after which dive straight into the dense rainforests of Malaysia and experience what it is to be close to an active volcano along with models of some extinct species that once roamed the face of the earth at the Geotime Diorama. Other exhibits also include great insights into the petroleum industry and the Petrojaya, a replica of a village with hi-tech gadgets in cartoon forms. Definitely a fun visit for all ages!

Why You Should Visit:
You can't beat a combination of dark ride + science center + museum + playground + café + 3D movie + game stations + offshore platform + robot stations + diggers & excavators + dinosaurs + many more DIY/science stations. A couple of exhibits are showing their age but really it doesn't matter because the variety more than makes up for that.

The best age for this museum is from 6 to 18 years, or if you've never been in any interactive museum before.
Make sure to buy cheaper tickets online and come as soon as possible, but try to avoid going during school holidays.
If you leave and want to return, be sure to let staff know. They will give you special re-entry wristbands and can bring you back to the Sparks part of the museum so you don't have to redo the whole first part.

Opening Hours:
Tue–Fri: 9:30am-5:30pm (last admission: 4pm); Sat, Sun & Holidays: 9:30am-6:30pm (last admission: 5pm)
Galeri Petronas

7) Galeri Petronas

This novel art gallery puts forward a vibrant line of exhibitions, including all kinds of art. It was founded in 1993 and since then it has hosted various exhibitions which have been much admired for their originality. It exhibits both national and international art. The art displayed in the gallery includes crafts, figurines, pictures, illustrations, fabrics, and ceramic objects.

Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Walking Tours in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Create Your Own Walk in Kuala Lumpur

Create Your Own Walk in Kuala Lumpur

Creating your own self-guided walk in Kuala Lumpur is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Religious Places Kuala Lumpur

Religious Places Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a very religious city where people flock to their places of worship in great numbers. Also, Kuala Lumpur has many religious communities of diverse religious convictions living in it. This makes for a great variety of places of worship. Take the tour below to visit some of the most significant places of worship in Kuala Lumpur.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 km
Top Shopping Places in Kuala Lumpur

Top Shopping Places in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is a city with a lot of famous shopping centers and street markets. For those with a moderate shopping budget, Petaling Street or Bukit Bintang is the right place to go to. KLCC is an upmarket shopping spot, famous for the Petronas Twin Towers. This is an exciting shopping center of Kuala Lumpur. Check out the top shopping places that you might like to visit on the tour below.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km
Daily Life

Daily Life

If you want to broaden your perception of daily life in Malaysia then there is nothing better than to take the tour below. It will take you through places that are frequented by the locals and will help you appreciate the rhythm and the substance of the daily life of the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Lake Gardens Park Walk

Lake Gardens Park Walk

The finest thing about Kuala Lumpur is that it has preserved a balance between exhilarating urban architecture and its natural environment. Indeed, there is an abundance of greenery in Kuala Lumpur. Lake Gardens, known officially as Perdana Botanical Gardens, is Kuala Lumpur's first large-scale recreational park. It contains large manicured gardens and a host of attractions. Take this walk to...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city in Malaysia, and also its cultural and economic center. The city represents a mix of different architectural styles making it both interesting and beautiful. Kuala Lumpur has created a range of extraordinary and exclusive attractions that combine Eastern and Western elements and also showcase local handicrafts. Chief among these are Sultan Abdul...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.8 km
Architecture Walk, Kuala Lumpur

Architecture Walk, Kuala Lumpur

The architecture of Kuala Lumpur is well known among tourists. A stunning mixture of the old and the new, the architecture of the metropolis is luxurious and magnificent. The city's skyline reveals an excellent combination of Asian, Malay, Islamic and modern architecture. Take the tour below and don't miss the chance to visit some of the most popular architectural sights in Kuala Lumpur.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

16 Malaysian Things to Buy as Souvenirs in Kuala Lumpur

16 Malaysian Things to Buy as Souvenirs in Kuala Lumpur

"Malaysia, Truly Asia" is what you hear en route to Malaysia. Indeed, there's practically every bit of Asia to be found here, as the country's population is made up primarily of three groups: Malay, Chinese and Indians. Quite expectedly, the diversity of Malaysian handcrafts is...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Kuala Lumpur for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Kuala Lumpur has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Kuala Lumpur's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the KL PASS or Kuala Lumpur Backpackers Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Kuala Lumpur's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip lines at major attractions, thus saving precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Kuala Lumpur hotels conveniently located for a comfortable stroll: Concorde Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur, Impiana KLCC Hotel.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Kuala Lumpur, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Kuala Lumpur typically costs between around US$10 and US$100 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Kuala Lumpur in the comfort of a bus listening in the headsets to the commentary in English, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the route. The ticket is valid for one (24 hrs) or two days (48 hrs).

- No visit to Malaysia is complete without savoring local cuisine – the alloy of spicy Indian, complex Chinese, and zesty Malay flavors. Embark on a culinary walking tour of Kuala Lumpur for a generous dollop of delectable Malay delicacies at some truly unique locations: hidden streets, alleyways and suburbs only the locals know about.

- Pedal your way around Kuala Lumpur on a 4-hour bike tour to appreciate the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the Malay capital from an informative group leader.

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour – this usually lasts 2 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the city. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise сould have done by walking.

- Come to appreciate Kuala Lumpur in its nighttime ambiance as the city gets ablaze with multi-colored illumination after dusk. Explore Chinatown in the cool of the night, stroll through the popular night markets, and experience KL's nightlife in its richness.

- Give yourself in to the unique charm of Kuala Lumpur on a 3-hour morning tour to explore the city's diverse architectural setting, learn about its history and more.

Day Trips

If you have a day to spare whilst in Kuala Lumpur, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Malacca, Kuala Selangor, or Batu Caves. For as little as US$60+ to US$170+ per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites of great historical and cultural importance (iconic caves, royal burial ground, ancient fort, etc.), get closer to the Malaysian nature by riding a boat in the evening through mangrove forests to encounter thousands of twinkling fireflies or by going for a relaxed drive through countryside to visit elephant conservation center and take some photos with amiable silvered leaf monkeys, plus to enjoy a typical Malaysian seafood meal, and so much more. For any of these tours you will be picked up straight from your hotel in Kuala Lumpur, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle (or boat, wherever applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.