Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur is the largest museum of Islamic decorative arts in Southeast Asia. It is home to more than 7,000 artifacts from the Islamic world.

Despite the fact that it is one of the more unique attractions in Kuala Lumpur, this museum stays off the beaten path, and tour buses only go as far as the National Mosque nearby.

Artifacts housed by this museum include Qurans, manuscripts, glassware, jewelry, weapons, textile, metal works, ceramics among many others. The museum also provides very detailed description plaques in English and Malay beside every artifact.

Even though some of the artifacts are from Persia and the Middle East, the focus of the museum circles around Southeast Asia and Asia. Islamic artifacts or items with elements of Islamic arts from the Malay culture, China and India have their dedicated gallery here.

On its own, the museum has an intricate architecture and interior. There is a beautiful blue dome covered with Islamic art features on its roof. Inside the building, you can find carefully-crafted Islamic patterns all over the dome-shaped ceiling. The use of glass walls allows plenty of natural light to shine through.

Blue Dome on the Roof of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
Blue Dome on the Roof of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

At the same time, the interior is spacious and airy, enabling visitors to stroll through its galleries at our own pace.

All the above make the museum a pleasant place to visit when you are in Kuala Lumpur. You can find it at the Lake Gardens along with the city’s most visited attractions such as KL Bird Park, Butterfly Park, the National Mosque, National Planetarium and more.

Attraction Type

Museum

Name in Local Language

Malay: Muzium Kesenian Islam Malaysia

Key Attractions

The museum has multiple floors, and you can find galleries of different theme on each of them.

They include:

  • Architecture
  • Arms and Armor
  • Ceramics
  • China
  • Coins and Seals
  • India
  • Jewelry
  • Living with Wood
  • Malay World
  • Metalwork
  • Quran and Manuscripts
  • Textiles

Sitting in these galleries are some of the most significant artifacts representing Islamic arts, culture, and the religion itself.

Notable Exhibits

1964 Kiswa at Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
1964 Kiswa at Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

One of the most remarkable artifacts in Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is the 1964 Kiswa. It is the door curtain of the Kaaba (the House of Allah / God), a building located in the center of Islam’s holiest mosque, Al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

There are also manuscripts and prayer books from as far back as the 17th century.

Architecture Gallery

The architecture gallery at the museum is the highlight for many travelers who come to visit.

It features 3D models of iconic mosques from all over the world. For example, there is a big 3D replica for the Al-Masjid Al-Haram (Sacred Mosque) in Mecca, which is considered as the most sacred site for Muslims, on display. You will also find a 3D model of the Great Mosque of Xian in China and Taj Mahal, the widely-known mosque in India.

The exhibit hall provides lots of information about the design elements of mosque architecture too. Just by going through it, you will understand the purpose of the courtyard, minbar, minarets and domes, which are standard architectural elements found in most mosques.

Gallery

Getting There and Around

The most convenient and economy way to reach Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is by taking a train to either Pasar Seni LRT Station or Kuala Lumpur KTM Station before walking for another 25 to 35 minutes to reach the attraction.

For those who do not want to walk under the hot sun in a humid climate, you can take a taxi or a car provided by one of the ride-hailing services in Kuala Lumpur.

By Train

Kuala Lumpur KTM Station, where KTM Komuter trains make a stop, and Pasar Seni LRT Station where LRT trains on the Kelana Jaya Line stop, are the two closest stations to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia.

The walk from either of these train stations takes around 25 to 35 minutes. Some parts of the trail are not covered by any roof or shelter. Thus, walking from the stations to the museum is not recommended if it’s raining, or if you are not a fan of walking in a sunny and humid weather.

From Pasar Seni LRT Station

You need to first get yourself to Kuala Lumpur KTM Station by following these instructions:

  1. Walk onto the pedestrian bridge right in front of the myNEWS.com shop.
  2. Turn left as you hit a junction on the walkway.
  3. Continue straight until you see the ticketing counters for KTM Komuter and KTM ETS trains at Kuala Lumpur KTM Station.

From Kuala Lumpur KTM Station

  1. As you see the ticketing counters on your left, make a right turn onto another stretch of pedestrian bridge.
  2. When you come to a junction, make a left turn and continue walking until you are on the top floor of a multi-level car park.
  3. Walk down the stairs provided to leave the car park.
  4. As you exit the car park, turn left and walk down into a pedestrian underpass.
  5. When you exit the underpass, turn right and walk along the road for around 10 minutes. You will be walking against the traffic and along the perimeter of the National Mosque.
  6. Turn right when you reach a roundabout.
  7. Walk for another 5 minutes up the hill with the National Mosque still on your right.
  8. You will see Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia on your left after passing by the mosque.

By Bus

Public buses do not make a stop at Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, but they do stop at the nearby National Mosque.

From their stops, you just need to walk for another 5 to 10 minutes to reach the museum.

GOKL City Buses

GOKL Citybus
GOKL Citybus

GOKL CityBus is a free bus service. It was introduced to ease traffic congestions around the city center. You can spot these buses from far because their purple exterior is unique among buses in Kuala Lumpur.

GOKL CityBuses on the red route has a stop at National Mosque. From here, you can follow these instructions to make your way to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia:

  1. Face the National Mosque at the bus stop itself, and turn to your left.
  2. Walk along the street for about 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. You will see Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia on your left.

Aside from the National Mosque, key stops for GOKL CityBuses on the red route include:

  • Merdeka Square
  • National Museum
  • KL Sentral
  • Kuala Lumpur KTM Station
  • Chow Kit Wet Market
  • Chow Kit Monorail Station
  • Titiwangsa LRT and Monorail Station (interchange stop between red and blue bus routes)

You can take the bus from any of the places above to get yourself to National Mosque, before walking for another 5 to 10 minutes to reach Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia.

KL Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Buses

The National Mosque (Station 16) is a stop for KL Hop-On Hop-Off buses. A bus will arrive every 30 to 40 minutes. From here, you can follow these instructions to reach Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia:

  1. Face the National Mosque, and turn to your left.
  2. Walk along the street for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. You will see Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia on your left.

To take the KL Hop-On Hop-Off bus to your next destination, you need to back at the same stop beside the National Mosque.

KL Hop-On Hop-Off is a bus service that ferries travelers from one attraction in Kuala Lumpur to another. After boarding the bus, travelers can choose when to get off, depending on whether they would like to explore an attraction further.

There is a 24-hour and a 48-hour ticket for the bus service. You can buy the tickets online or as you board one of the distinguished double decker buses.

The prices of tickets are as follow:

24-Hour Ticket (Without MyKad / MyKid)
Adult: RM45.00
Child: RM24.00

24-Hour Ticket (With MyKad / MyKid)
Adult: RM19.00
Child: RM12.00

48-Hour Ticket (Without MyKad / MyKid)
Adult: RM79.00
Child: RM43.00

48-Hour Ticket (With MyKad / MyKid)
Adult: RM32.00
Child: RM20.00

If you are a foreigner, buying your tickets on their website get you RM5 off every ticket purchase.

By Ride-hailing Services

Registering an account with GRAB or Uber after clicking on the links below gives you and kuaby RM10 worth of free rides.

GRAB, and Uber are the preferred ride-hailing services in Kuala Lumpur. You can use them to travel from the city center or anywhere in the Klang Valley to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia.

If you have never used either of these services, here are the steps to register an account:

GRAB

  1. Click on this link to register a GRAB account.
  2. Download GRAB to your mobile phone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  3. Open the app and follow the steps to sign in.
  4. Select your pickup spot.
  5. Search for “ISLAMIC ARTS MUSEUM” and use it as your drop-off spot.
  6. Click on “Book” and a driver will be on his or her way.

Uber

  1. Click on this link to register an Uber account.
  2. Download Uber to your mobile phone from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
  3. Open the app and follow the steps to sign in.
  4. Tap on the ‘Where to?’ field.
  5. Set your pickup location by either searching for it or by moving the pin on the map.
  6. Tap on the ‘Where to?’ field.
  7. Search for ‘Muzium Kesenian Islam Malaysia’.
  8. Tap on ‘Muzium Kesenian Islam Malaysia’ located at Tasik Perdana in Kuala Lumpur to set it as your destination.
  9. Tap on ‘uberX’, followed by ‘REQUEST UBERX’, and a driver will be on his or her way.

Taking a ride around the city center using either of these services will cost around RM5 to RM20, depending on distance and traffic conditions. These apps will show you the approximate fare before you confirm your request.

By Taxi

Almost all taxi drivers in the city center know the directions to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. They will drop you off right at the lobby.

It is a well-publicized fact that taxi drivers in Kuala Lumpur may sometimes quote exorbitant fares for travelers, citing poor traffic conditions, the long distance, rain or other excuses. Insist on paying according to the meter or at least a reasonable fixed fare.

Use a ride-hailing service if you cannot find a taxi driver who is willing to cooperate.

The following is a list of estimated taxi fares from key attractions around Kuala Lumpur to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia:

  • Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: RM80 to RM117
  • KL Sentral to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: RM13 to RM17
  • PETRONAS Twin Towers to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: RM15 to RM20
  • Bukit Bintang to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: RM14 to RM19
  • Mid Valley Megamall to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: RM16 to RM21
  • KL Tower to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: RM14 to RM19
  • Batu Caves to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia: RM27 to RM38

The estimated fares above are for budget taxis, and the final amount may vary due to traffic conditions. Also, the estimated fares above do not include the 50% midnight surcharge.

By Foot

You can take a walk to Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia from nearby attractions within the Lake Gardens area. These attractions include KL Bird Park, Hibiscus Park, Orchid Garden, and Butterfly Park. There are many signs to guide you towards the right direction.

Since the area around Lake Gardens area is a little hilly, the walk can get a little uncomfortable. On top of that, you have to take the hot and humid Kuala Lumpur weather into consideration when deciding whether to walk to the museum.

Things to Note

  • The museum provides free arts and crafts classes during weekends.
  • Photography without flash is allowed, but video filming is prohibited.
  • Visitors cannot use selfie sticks in the museum.
  • Do not lean on glass cases used to cover artifacts.

Opening Hours

The museum restaurant operates on a set of opening hours different from the museum galleries and shop.

Museum Galleries and Shop

Opens daily, from 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Museum Restaurant

Tuesdays to Sundays
10:00am to 5:00pm

Closed on Mondays.

Admission Fees

  • Adults: RM14.00
  • Students (ID Required): RM7.00
  • Senior Citizens (Malaysians Aged 55 and Above): RM7.00
  • Children (Under 6 Years Old): Free

Fees will be revised to the following if the special galleries at the museum are closed:

  • Adults: RM12.00
  • Students (ID Required): RM6.00
  • Senior Citizens (Malaysians Aged 55 and Above): RM6.00
  • Children (Under 6 Years Old): Free

Entrance fees stated above does not include a 6% Goods and Service Tax (GST).

Facilities

  • Toilets
  • Lockers
  • Baby strollers
  • Wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Auditorium
  • Restaurant
  • Children’s library

Parking

Free

Contact Information

Website
http://www.iamm.org.my/

Phone Number
+60 (3) 2274 2020

Fax Number
+60 (3) 2274 0529

Email Address
[email protected]

Address
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia,
Jalan Lembah Perdana,
50480 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.

GPS Coordinates

3.1418502, 101.6876235

Travel Blog Mentions

Ceramics Gallery
Ceramics Gallery

Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Day 2

Eric and Leandra, travel bloggers from the United States, visited Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in February 2017 as part of their short trip to Malaysia. Like many others who visited the museum, the Architecture Gallery where you can see models of famous mosques around the world is their favorite. During their visit, they got to hear the prayer calls from the National Mosque nearby too.

A Peek Into Islamic Art…

Rajeev Mahajan, a blogger from India, dropped by Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia when he came to Kuala Lumpur in February 2015. Rajeev’s blog post contains many photos of artifacts that are on display at the museum. He also has pretty detailed write-ups on artifacts that he finds fascinating. Want a brief on the artifacts that you will come across at the museum? This blog post is a must-read.

Meandering in Malaysia: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

It was Jeruen Dery’s first visit to a Muslim country when the travel blogger set foot in Kuala Lumpur around February 2015. In his blog post, he described the museum as a “treasure trove of human cultural knowledge”. His visit to the museum also sparked an interest within him to visit other Islamic countries like Iran and Uzbekistan. Head over to his blog post to see what he discovered.

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Wayne Liew
Wayne fell in love with traveling and every aspect of it when he traveled to Singapore in 2013. He is a newbie when it comes to traveling and he loves chatting with other travelers to learn from their experiences. Are you a traveler? Let's connect!

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