The Malaysian equivalent to Buckingham Palace, Royal King's Palace (Istana Negara) attracts thousands of visitors with its golden domes and Islamic-style architecture. Although you can’t explore the palace, you can learn about the Malaysian monarchy at the Royal Museum, located on the palace grounds.
The Royal King's Palace serves as the official residence of the supreme King of Malaysia, who relocated to Kuala Lumpur in 2011. The palace symbolizes an important part of Malaysia’s heritage and is featured on the majority of Kuala Lumpur sightseeing tours. Time-pressed travelers can visit as part of an express tour, which typically covers the Petronas Twin Towers and the Batu Caves, or add the landmark on to a customizable itinerary during a private tour. Many tours transport you around Malaysia’s capital in air-conditioned comfort, a stress-free way to escape the humidity.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Royal King's Palace is a must-see for history buffs and culture vultures.
- You can take photographs at the main palace entrance.
- The palace was originally a mansion owned by a Chinese millionaire.
- Book your Royal Museum admission ticket in advance to avoid waiting in line.
How to Get There
The easiest way to reach the palace from KL’s main tourist hub of Bukit Bintang is to take a taxi ordered using an online app. If you want to tick off multiple sights in one day, the easiest way to explore the city is as part of a sightseeing tour, which typically includes round-trip transfers.
When to Get There
The Royal Museum is open daily from morning until late afternoon. You can catch a Changing of the Guard ceremony outside the palace at certain intervals; check the website for an up-to-date schedule.
The Royal Museum
Behind the opulent exterior of the former king’s palace, which was left in favor of the current Royal King's Palace in 2011, you’ll find the two-story Royal Museum. The museum gives visitors a glimpse into the former royal living quarters and access to 22 interior palace spaces, including the King and Queen’s sleeping quarters and the dining hall.