Where History Comes Alive: Muzium Negara – The National Museum of Malaysia Review

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Little girl inside the National Museum of Malaysia

Travel back in time and explore Malaysia’s colorful heritage and culture with us at the National Museum of Malaysia, also known as Muzium Negara. Discover life during the early civilization and formation of the Malay Kingdoms, the history of the Colonial Era, and how Malaysia became the independent nation it is today.

Welcome to our Muzium Negara review, where we’ll share our family experience, including what’s in the four permanent galleries and the excellent indoor and outdoor exhibitions.

So, onto the fun part!

The National Museum of Malaysia

Introduction to the National Museum of Malaysia

Keep reading to know what you can expect in your visit at the National Museum of Malaysia.

The National Museum (Muzium Negara) was built on 31 August 1963 to house Malaysia’s historic artifacts and showcase the country’s beautiful culture and heritage. 

The museum’s architect, Mr. Ho Kok Hoe, designed the building, taking inspiration from the palaces of Malay Kings. At the time, the National Museum was the only government building showcasing traditional Malay architecture, making it one of the unique buildings in the country.

Sideview of The National Museum of Malaysia

Muzium Negara is home to four permanent galleries and an outdoor exhibition.

We started our visit in gallery A, which houses a fascinating collection of artifacts dating prehistory.

Permian Era gallery at The National Museum of Malaysia

Some artifacts in the collection are Neolithic pottery and jewelry, including the valuable Dong Son bell (circa 150 CE) and a replica of the Perak Man, the oldest and most complete human skeleton discovered in Southeast Asia. 

Other artifacts on display include funeral urns, a wood coffin, gravestone slabs, and Paleolithic stone tools, believed to originate from 200,000 years ago.

Artifacts on display at the National Museum of Malaysia

The next gallery (gallery B) introduces the Malay Kingdoms, particularly the ones discovered on the Malay Peninsula and Borneo. 

This gallery also contains artifacts tracing back to the early Malay civilization. These artifacts were evidence of the Malay kingdoms’ organized systems of government. 

To us, the highlight of this gallery is the Melaka Sultanate, an influential period in Malaysia’s history.

little girl poses inside the National Museum of Malaysia

Learn the history of Malaysia under the hands of their colonizers, starting from the Portuguese conquest of Malacca in 1511. After the Portuguese, Dutch, British, and Japanese occupations followed. 

display at the National Museum of Malaysia

Discover how the years of colonization by these foreign countries impacted and influenced the Malaysia we know today. Browse through their artifact collection of the Colonial Era, which includes the Bunga Mas (Golden Flower), Bellarmine Jar, Wang Jepun (Propaganda Currency), and model of the Portuguese ship Flor De La Mar.

old bicycle display at the National Museum of Malaysia

Malaysia Today took us on a transformative journey with the Malay people during their fight for Malaysia’s independence.

First flag of Malaysia displayed at the National Museum of Malaysia

This gallery narrates the people’s struggles and accomplishments since forming a free Malaysia in 1957. 

Here you can learn the development of Malaysia and how they took back their freedom to establish their traditions, customs, cultures, and religious beliefs today.

wall at the National Museum of Malaysia

In this gallery, you’ll find original copies of important documents such as the appointment letter of His Majesty, the XIV Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Outdoor Exhibition

Check out their outdoor exhibition, which displays several aesthetic artifacts, from vehicles and types of transport to weapons, sculptures, and natural and man-made structures. The collection includes the Rolls Royce Car, Small Mobile Cannon, Eagle 150B Aircraft, Penang Railway Coach, King Edward VII, and more.

Small Steam Locomotive display at the National Museum of Malaysia

Where is Muzium Negara located?

The National Museum of Malaysia is located just south of Perdana Botanical Gardens and north of KL Sentral. It is nearby a few other museums, including the Ethnology Of The Malay World Museum and the Orang Asli Crafts Museum.

To get to Muzium Negara, take the MRT or Red GoKL Bus and alight at Muzium Negara station. If you’re riding the KL Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour, get off at bus stop No. 20 to arrive at the National Museum.


What are the opening hours of Muzium Negara?

Muzium Negara is open daily from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM, with 4.30 PM being the cutoff time for purchasing tickets.

Reminder: They are closed on the first and second day of Eid al-Fitr and the first day of Eid al-Adha.

How much is the Muzium Negara ticket price?

Ticket prices for Muzium Negara are as follows:

Ticket TypeCost
Malaysian CitizenAdultRM 2.00
Elderly and Disabled PersonRM 1.00
Children Under 12 yearsFree
Secondary School Student Wearing UniformFree
Secondary School Student Not Wearing UniformRM 2.00
ForeignerAdult        RM 5.00
Children aged 6-12 years RM 2.00
Children below 6 years oldFree

International Council of Museums (ICOM) Members can enter for free. Enjoy a citizen’s discount when you present your MyKad or MyKid.

Tickets are only available at the National Museum of Malaysia ticketing counter and can’t be purchased online.

Guided Tours

The Museum Volunteers at thenDepartment of Museum Malaysia offers free guided tours at the National Museum. The guided tour can take one to two hours and will include the following benefits:

  • An overview of Malaysian history starting from prehistoric times to the era of independence, from Gallery A to Gallery D
  • Translation of culture, customs and beliefs found in Malaysia
  • Narration of the collection and artifacts on display in the gallery

If you’re interested in taking the tour, visit this link here to see their free guided tour schedule.

When we visited, we decided not to take a guided tour as we wanted to walk around at our own pace. 

Our Family Trip to the National Museum of Malaysia

On our recent visit to the National Museum of Malaysia, we checked out all four galleries. It’s a great spot to dive into the rich history of Malaysia, from ancient times to modern days.

train display at the National Museum of Malaysia

Although the galleries were packed with interesting info and cool artifacts, from prehistoric tools in Gallery A to the independence era in Gallery D, we did feel like something was missing for the little ones.

little girl checking out info displays at the National Museum of Malaysia

The museum leans heavily on historical details and static displays, which might not catch the younger kids’ attention as much. If you’re visiting with kids, it might be a good idea to plan your trip around any kids’ programs or hands-on exhibits they might have. That way, everyone can have a fun and educational time at the museum!

photo display at the National Museum of Malaysia

Is the National Museum worth visiting? 

Yes, the National Museum is worth visiting. If you’re a history buff or a tourist who wants to know more about Malaysia, definitely go for it! However, it’s not the most interactive museum we’ve been to, and the museum is mostly focused on historical information and artifact displays. 

There’s also a weekly kid’s program, so you can bring your kids along to participate; check their schedule because you might miss it like we did. Older children may find it more interesting than younger kids because there’s not much to do for them, but overall, we still recommend visiting!

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Unveiling Malaysia's Rich Heritage 🏛️_ Explore Muzium Negara!
About Marlieke Kemp-Janssen:

Marlieke is the mom of a four-year-old girl and, together with daddy, they love living in and exploring Kuala Lumpur. As well as being the founder of Kuala Lumpur with Kids, Marlieke is a digital marketing consultant who has helped small businesses grow through her company Aureum Hospitality Advisers.

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