Have an extra day in Kuala Lumpur? Come and explore the contemporary city of Putrajaya which is situated close to Kuala Lumpur. It has often been overlooked by tourists due to its location. For those who love modern architecture with Islamic arts, you might want to consider making a half-day trip to visit this amazing city.

Brief History

Putrajaya was built on a land formerly used as a rubber plantation by British veterans of World War I. It was Malaysia’s former and fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir’s vision to make Putrajaya the new federal government administrative center in 1980s. The idea was to overcome Kuala Lumpur’s overcrowding and traffic congestion.

This city was named after the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. In Sanskrit, “putra” or “putera” means “prince” and “jaya” means “success”.

In 2001, Putrajaya became the country’s third federal territory after Kuala Lumpur and Labuan and the seat of government was moved. Nevertheless, Kuala Lumpur still remains as the country’s national capital, the seat of Parliament and the country’s commercial and financial center.

Best Time to Visit

Just like Kuala Lumpur, you can visit Putrajaya all year round. I would recommend to come here during the weekends when the government offices are closed. There will be less people and cars on the road so you can enjoy and explore the city without worrying about the crowd.

Getting Here

Putrajaya is located 25 km from Kuala Lumpur and the best way to get there is using the KLIA Transit train from KL Sentral, the city’s main transportation hub. You need to get off at Putrajaya Sentral and the journey between these two cities takes only 15 minutes. The one way ticket costs RM14 per person.

Once arrive at Putrajaya Sentral, you can take Bus J05 or Bus L11 to the main attractions. Alternatively, you can also choose to take Grab car and Air Asia e-hailing car, which are available around Putrajaya.

How to Spend Half-day in Putrajaya

Putrajaya has a total of 19 precincts, so planning how to get around and what to do can be a bit tricky. Most of the attractions are concentrated at the center of the city, which is at Precinct 1 and Precinct 3. So, let me help you narrow down the things to do for a half-day self guided tour. Apart from spending on your transportation cost, you can visit all these sites absolutely for FREE!

Wander off at the Botanical Garden

Discover the charm of indigenous plants from the world’s major tropical regions. After crossing the Canopy Bridge, you will slowly discover 700 species of plants from over 90 countries in this lovely botanical garden.

Don’t miss out on visiting the Sun Garden to uncover how the sundial was used to determine the time of the day during the ancient time. The sundial is placed on three surfaces of the obelisk which faces the east, northwest. and southwest. The time can be identified by looking at the shadow formed on the copper plate of the sundial.

Location: Precinct 1

Opening Hours: The garden opens daily from 7 am to 7 pm. The Visitor Interpretive Centre opens daily from 9 am to 5 pm except Tuesday.

Entrance Fee: Free

Be inspired by the beauty of Moroccan Pavilion

This Moroccan Pavilion was built to symbolize the strong diplomatic ties between Malaysia and Morocco. The pavilion is divided into three sections: the entrance courtyard, King’s Court and Granada Court each protected by ornate gates called City Gate, Palace Gate and Splendor Gate respectively. The inner courtyards are decorated with furniture and arts brought mainly from Rabat, Fes, Meknes, Essaouira and Marrakesh in Morocco.

Feel free to roam around the entrance courtyard and you will see the walls are furnished with incredible Islamic calligraphy and detailed carvings from the verses of the Quran. The intricate craftsmanship of the ceilings, pillars and walls were prefabricated in Morocco and shipped over to Putrajaya. The pieces later were assembled and give the finishing touches by skilled Moroccan artisans.

Location: Precinct 1

Opening Hours: Daily from 7 am to 7 pm

Entrance Fee: Free for the entrance courtyard area and RM 3 for the inner courtyard

See the Perdana Putra

Perdana Putra is currently the office complex of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Deputy Prime Minister and Chief Secretary to the Government. It was relocated from Kuala Lumpur in 1999 due to the increase of traffic congestion.

The building was designed under the influence of Malay, Islamic and European cultures such as Palladian and Neoclessicasm. Its green pitched converges at the onion-shaped glazed mosaic main dome along with four smaller domes demonstrates the Malay and Islamic of the nation.

Walk around Putra Square

The Putra Square (Dataran Putra) is located opposite Perdana Putra in an open space and is used as the venue for national-level celebrations and festivals. The square is actually two concentric plaza divided into star-shaped segments that represents the states of Malaysia.

The outer 11-pointer symbolizes the 11 states of Malaya when the country gained its independence in 31 August 1957. The inner 13-pointed star symbolizes the states of Malaysia and the 14-pointed star includes Putrajaya as the new addition of the Federal Territory. The circle at the center of the Square represents the unity of the country.

Location: Precinct 1

Marvel the pink Putra Mosque

Located at the edge of Putrajaya Lake, Putra Mosque (Masjid Putra) was constructed by September 1999 and named after the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tungku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. Its architectural style combines the Middle Eastern and traditional Malay elements, which built under the influence and design of the Sheikh Omar Mosque in Baghdad.

The main dome and the smaller domes are made of pink granite with its minaret stands 116 meters tall. The main prayer is massive enough to accommodate 10,000 worshippers. There is also an audiot0rium, lecture rooms, a dining hall and a library.

Location: Precinct 1

Tips: Visitors are required to dress respectfully. Female visitors will be given a pink robe with a hood to wear.

Opening Hours: 9 am to 5 pm

Entrance Fee: Free

Stroll through the waterfront of Putrajaya Lake

This 650-hectare Putrajaya Lake is a man-made lake and use as a natural cooling system for the city. The lake stretches from the city center towards the northern area of Putrajaya Wetland Park that is home to dozens of bird, fish and plant species.

View the marvelous Millennium Monument

The Millennium Monument has placed a time capsule in its base with a message from former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir which will be unearthed in the year 2020 (postponed due to COVID-19. It can only be viewed from outside of the obelisk on the multi-level platform.

This 68-meter tall monument is designed like the shape of the hibiscus flower if you see from above, the national flower of Malaysia. It looks like a giant pencil standing on an oil rig from a close distance. You will pass a series of engraved glass panels when you walk up the ramp which shows Malaysia’s important historic milestones in a chronological order. Each panel tells the key event of the year with an illustration.

Location: Precinct 3

Admire the architecture of Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque

This iconic Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, nickname “Iron Mosque” is the second principal mosque in the city. It is so huge that has the capacity to fit 24,000 people inside, more than twice the number of Putra Mosque.

The mosque was built in a unique way with a stainless steel dome, but does not have any minarets around it. A skyway towards the mosque known as the Kiblat Walk contains landscaping adapted from the ancient castles of Alhambra.

Location: Precinct 3

Travel Tips

  • Grab and Air Asia e-hailing car is present in this city.
  • Visitors entering the mosque are required to dress respectfully. Men can wear long pants and shirt with sleeves. Ladies can wear long pants or a floor-length skirt and long sleeved shirt that covers all the way up to the neck. The ladies also need to make sure all the hair and any exposed chest is covered with a scarf or can rent a robe if available at the mosque.
  • Do put sunscreen on your body and drink enough water. The weather here is hot and humid with less shady trees.

Going Elsewhere in Malaysia?

If you are planning to stay longer for more adventures in Malaysia, you can check out some of my other posts:

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