Putrajaya is a planned city 25 kilometers South of Kuala Lumpur, capital city of Malaysia. Construction of the city started in the 90s, after the idea to have a new federal administrative center to replace Kuala Lumpur as the administrative capital. Construction of Putrajaya was one the biggest projects of Southeast Asia and the largest in Malaysia. Now Putrajaya takes over the administrative functions of the capital city.
We have been to Malaysia many times, but about Putrajaya we got to know only during one of our visits in 2016. How? We just read that there will be a hot air balloon festival (Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta) after few days, and then it seemed like a very exciting event. Few days later, early in the morning we boarded a train heading from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya.
This city definitely isn’t a foreign tourist attraction, because even locals were surprised when later we told them that we have visited Putrajaya.
We didn’t expect that we will like the city, as we hadn’t heard anything about it from other travelers. Even locals, whom we know, had never even mentioned this city. But in the end it was the city that we liked much more than the hot air balloon show.
Read on to learn what you can do in Putrajaya!
What to Do in Putrajaya?
1. Explore Neat and Tidy Streets of Presint 2 and 3 & Check Out the Government Buildings
We needed to take a bus from the train station to get to the venue of Putrajaya International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at Putrajaya Lake. While riding the bus, we started to notice, how neat and clean the city was. When we got off the bus near the lake in Presint 2, in the city center, we were surprised, how peaceful it is there.
The streets there are elegantly designed, the roads are paved, and there are even bicycle lanes. Government buildings are modern and decorated with Islamic arts. While walking there you feel European touch everywhere. Partially because of British Colonial buildings, that you will spot time after time as well.
We walked along Persiaran Perdana, which is the longest boulevard in Putrajaya. Several Government Buildings are located there. Most of these buildings are quite impressive. Here is the list of our favorite ones:
- Perbadanan Putrajaya Complex (picture above), which houses Putrajaya Corporation. It is responsible for environmental protection and solving health and sanitation issues. The main feature of the complex is the Gateway or Gerbang with a public viewing deck on the top.
- Istana Kehakiman (Palace of Justice) houses the superior courts of Malaysia: the Federal Court of Malaysia and the Court of Appeals.
- Kementerian Kewangan – headquarters of Ministry of Finance.
- Dataran Putra Square and Prime Minister’s office complex, located at the end of Persiaran Perdana boulevard.
- Wisma Putra, which houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
You will spot a few modern and fancy office buildings on your way, too. For example – Menara Tulus (see the picture below).
2. Stroll Along Putrajaya Lake
Putrajaya lake is a man-made lake located in the heart of Putrajaya. Its area is 6 square kilometres and it is fringed by parks and gardens. Like it should be in a garden city! Putrajaya lake is designed to act as a natural cooling system and Putrajaya’s wetlands are cleaning water before it goes into the lake.
Few water sports and activities are available there, thanks to by Putrajaya Water Sports Complex. Boat rent, water skiing, banana-boating, wake boarding – just to name few.
While walking around the lake you can’t miss Putrajaya bridge – 435-metre-long main bridge in Putrajaya. It was designed to be a special feature of Putrajaya, and it is definitely one of the distinctive landmarks in the city.
Another landmark you can’t miss is the Millennium Monument (Monumen Alaf Baru). It is located in Presint 2, on the shore of the lake. Millennium Monument is 68-meter-tall obelisk shaped national monument.
There are other landmarks which are located on the lakeside, for example Masjid Putra, a pink-domed mosque, and Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. Read on to learn more about them!
3. Visit Masjid Putra and Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin
Putra Mosque and Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque are definitely the jewels of the city.
Putra Mosque (see the picture below), built in 1999, is city’s most distinctive landmark. It is located next to Putra Square and Prime Minister’s office complex, at the end of Persiaran Perdana boulevard, and built on kind-of peninsula, which goes into Putra Lake.
Its unique and interesting mix of architectural designs – Malaysian, Arab and Persian – will attract not only architecture lovers but just a regular sightseer (like me) as well. Putra Mosque has a pink-colored elaborate dome and brownish-pink 116-meter-high minaret. The rest of the building is in the same color as the minaret. Putra Mosque can accommodate about 10 000 worshipers.
Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque is the second principal mosque in Putrajaya, also known as The “Iron Mosque”. Its construction was finished in 2009 and it is twice as big as Putra Mosque. So, its capacity also is bigger – it can accommodate 20000 worshippers.
It is located 2 km South of Putra Mosque, in Presint 3. Like Putra Mosque, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque has an interesting mix of styles. This time it is a mix of modern architecture and Islamic arts and décor. It is called the “Iron Mosque” because of the stainless steel parts in the facade.
The path that leads towards mosque is a beautiful one – there are small trees on each side and a hedge in the middle. The windows in the back of the building looks out on Putrajaya lake.
4. Visit Putrajaya Botanical Garden and Moroccan Pavilion
Putrajaya is planned as a garden city, similar like Singapore. Putrajaya’s moto is: “Bandar raya Taman, Bandar raya Bestari”, and that means – “Garden City, Intelligent City”.
38% of the land is reserved for parks and gardens. And the largest among them is Putrajaya Botanical Garden, which also houses another wonder of Putrajaya – Moroccan Pavilion.
Botanical Garden is located at the Northern part of Putrajaya and covers an area over 90 hectares. It is not only the largest garden in Putrajaya, but in Malaysia, as well. Putrajaya Botanical Garden has more than 700 plant species – from Malaysia, Asia and Africa.
For now, only one part (one phase) is finished and open for visitors. But it doesn’t mean that there is nothing to see. This part covers an area of 63 acres and has five themes: Explorer’s Trail, Palm Hill, Floral Gardens, Sun Garden and the Lakeside.
As I mentioned before – Moroccan Pavilion is situated there as well. It shows arts and architecture of Morocco and it was built with Moroccan assistance. A lot of it, like, parts of walls and ceilings, and intricate decorations, was built in Morocco and shipped to Putrajaya, where Moroccan craftsmen and artists assembled it.
What makes it even more amazing, that it is surrounded by greenery and located near the lake!
Admission to the garden is free, but entry ticket to Moroccan Pavilion costs 3 RM (about 0.65 EUR).
5. Go to District 21 – One of the Best Theme Parks in Malaysia
If you are into theme parks, visit District 21, one of the best theme parks around Kuala Lumpur, as well as in Malaysia.
District 21 is an apocalypse themed adventure park located in IOI City Mall, at the Northern part of the city. The theme park is large – its area is more than 6500 square meters. There are 10 attractions, including indoor climbing area, indoor pump track, go-kart track and indoor roller glider. District 21 has a number of child friendly attractions, too.
Entrance fee: RM 58 (about 13 EUR) on weekdays and RM 75 (about 16 EUR) on weekends and public holidays. Gear, like, protective gloves and socks are provided.
If you still have some questions about traveling in Malaysia, check out our other articles about this country (we have a lot of them) or contact us!
Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.