First of all, this list is by no means exhaustive. It was tough to pick only one museum for each state because, at times, there are more than just one that’s muse-worthy! In the spirit of celebrating Malaysia and our independence, why not head down to a museum nearest to you and time travel through history? To take it further, perhaps take a tour of Malaysia and check off every single museum on the list!
Selangor: National Automobile Museum
Vehicle enthusiasts! If you’re already in the vicinity of the Sepang International Circuit, why not do a quick drop-in at this museum? Strategically located at the Welcome Centre of the circuit, this gallery is small but informative, perfect for fans of motorsports and automobiles.
Besides getting to know the history of Malaysia’s automotive industry, you’ll also be able to bask in the glory of beautiful imported vintage cars. Perhaps you’ll also catch a glimpse of the iconic Perodua Kancil!
Address: Sepang International Circuit, 27, Sepang F1 Circuit, 64000 Sepang, Selangor
Contact: +603 8787 4759
Pahang: Sungai Lembing Museum
In its heydays, Sungai Lembing was one of the largest underground tin mining cities in Pahang as well as the world. It was such a rich city, so much so that it was known as the ‘El Dorado of the East’.
This museum honours the city’s history and the current building that originally housed the folks who managed the tin mine. You’ll learn about the tin mining processes, see dioramas, and discover how the tin mining industry shaped the town of Sungai Lembing.
Address: Jalan Muzium, Sungai Lembing, 26200 Sungai Lembing, Pahang
Contact: +609 541 2378
Melaka: The Royal Press
Although many note-worthy museums exist in Melaka, we thought we’d introduce something a little different. The Royal Press is a charming little letterpress museum, preserving the craft of letterpress printing. Being one of the oldest surviving printing houses in the world, you’ll be able to learn how vintage printing machines work and admire vintage printed artefacts too.
If you’d like to try your hand at hand printing, the museum has a DIY postcard-making workshop where you can make postcards using an ink roller and printer ink, all for only RM8. Talk about bringing home a customised souvenir! The museum is open only from Fridays to Sundays, so plan your visit wisely.
Address: 29, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka
Contact: +606 281 1312
Negeri Sembilan: Army Museum Port Dickson (Muzium Tentera Darat)
Outdoor exhibits abound at this army museum, which has proven to be great for children, with parents leaving reviews of their happy kids. Kids and adults alike will enjoy getting up close and personal with the trains, planes, tanks, and trucks on display for photo ops. Outdoors, there’s even a short canopy walkway the little kids can expend their energy at. Be careful not to destroy or leave any marks behind while taking pictures though!
Address: Muzium Tentera Darat, Kem, 71050 Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan
Contact: +606 646 4263
Perak: Perak Museum
Located in Taiping, the Perak Museum is the oldest and first museum to be established in Malaysia. Admire its beautiful colonial exterior before you step inside to discover a world of history and culture. There is lots to see here; particularly interesting exhibits here include the Reticulated Phython Skeleton and the indigenous people gallery.
Address: Jalan Taming Sari, 34000 Taiping, Perak
Contact: +605 807 2057
Perlis: Kota Kayang Museum
The Kota Kayang Museum was once the site of the Royal Kedah-Perlis family residence and the site of the 15th Sultan of Kedah’s tomb. As it is so, the exhibits here focus on Perlis’ aristocratic life, including a royal bedroom set and the Kedah-Perlis royal family tree. Once you’ve finished strolling through the exhibits, the kids can feed fish in the outdoor pond by purchasing fish food from the museum!
Address: Kota Kayang Museum, Al-Marhum Kayang, Kuala Perlis, 02000 Perlis
Contact: +604 977 0027
Penang: Pinang Peranakan Mansion
Recreating the home of a rich Baba from the 19th century, the Pinang Peranakan Mansion features rare antiques and collections of the Babas and Nyonyas from that era. English and Mandarin tours are available, and the tour guides offer detailed explanations, giving you a very insightful experience.
Address: 29 Church Street, George Town, 10200 George Town, Penang
Contact: +604-264 2929
Kedah: Laman Padi Langkawi
You can’t think of Kedah without Langkawi, the tourist hotspot for its duty-free shopping and beautiful beaches. Laman Padi isn’t your typical museum though — it’s open-air, with views of the surrounding paddy fields at every turn.
There is a little museum with details about rice production, but the real experience is seeing the water buffaloes working the fields and walking around, feeling like you’re in a local village! Come nightfall, enjoy a lovely dinner amidst the fields.
Address: Jalan Pantai Cenang, Pantai Cenang, 07000 Langkawi, Kedah
Contact: +604 955 1118
Kelantan: Wau Museum
The wau is a traditional Malaysian kite, well-known in the state of Kelantan. Although this small museum is away from town, you’ll learn about the intricacies of making a wau and the different styles of wau from different Malaysian states.
Address: Pantai Sri Tujoh, 16200, Tumpat, Kelantan
Contact: +609 748 2266
Terengganu: Terengganu State Museum
When you first arrive here, you’ll be floored by the museum’s stunning architecture. The surrounding environment and its setting are absolutely beautiful. Apart from its main gallery and artefact collections, you should also take the time to explore the Terengganu Cultural Village, located right next to the museum.
Address: 20566 Bukit Losong, Terengganu
Contact: +609 632 1200
Johor: Kota Johor Lama Museum
Kota Johor Lama (Old Johor City) was once a defence city. The museum showcases its history and its role before the Melaka Sultanate’s fall in 1511. Many defence forts were built along the Johor river, but the Old Johor fort was considered one of the best.
It was built facing the river, giving soldiers a vantage point for oncoming enemy ships. Although the fort no longer exists, the Kota Johor Lama site is now listed as a national archaeological heritage site.
Address: Kampong Johor Lama, 81900 Kota Tinggi, Johor
Contact: +607 895 5282
Sabah: Sabah State Museum
Besides the grandiose museum building, you’ll also be greeted by an 18.6-metre-long Bryde’s Whale skeleton once you enter the museum. Their wide range of exhibits ranges from history to pottery and from nature to textiles. There are also two separate heritage villages to visit in the area. Needless to say, the Sabah State Museum complex is enormous! A whopping 17 hectares, to be exact.
Address: Jalan Muzium, 88300 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Contact: +6088 225 033
Sarawak: Cat Museum
A fitting museum to visit simply because kucing means cat in Bahasa Malaysia, if you’re a feline fiend, you cannot miss this when you’re in Kuching, Sarawak. There are no live cats in the museum, BUT you get to see tonnes of cat collectables, cats on TV, in art, and their significance in Malaysian communities.
The Cat Museum is part of the Kuching North City Hall, on top of Siol Hill, so you’ll also get to admire the view of Kuching City from 60 metres above sea level.
Address: Bangunan DBKU, Jalan Semariang, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak
Contact: +6082 512 200