With their stunning architecture, beautiful calligraphy and intricate geometric designs, these beautiful mosques in Malaysia are sights to behold. On your weekend getaways around the country, take a little time to say a prayer or simply visit to admire the intricate architecture of these spiritually significant sites. Just be mindful to observe the mosque etiquette such as removing your shoes, wearing appropriate clothing and avoid doing anything disrespectful.
1) Malacca Straits Mosque, Malacca: The floating mosque
Built with Middle Eastern and Malay influences, the Malacca Straits Mosque got its moniker as the floating mosque as it is built on stilts on the water. When there is a high tide, the mosque appears as though it is floating, making it one of the best time to snap a couple of good photos. With the magnificent sea as its background, the mosque also functions as a lighthouse at night.
Since the mosque is located within the historical city of Malacca, you can use this opportunity to explore neighbouring attractions, including the Stadthuys, the A’Famosa, St Paul’s Church, and the bustling Jonker Walk night market.
Stayover at any one of the individually decorated rooms at 5 Heeren or the luxurious The Majestic Malacca for a 5-star treatment. To get to Malacca, book a flight to Kuala Lumpur or Subang, and continue your journey to Malacca by public transport or chartered car services.
2) Blue Mosque, Selangor: The majestic blue-domed mosque
Located in the heart of Shah Alam, Selangor, the Blue Mosque is also known as the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque. One can never miss it due to its iconic blue and silver dome and four towering minarets. Reputed to have the largest religious dome and the tallest group of minarets in the world, the mosque also happens to be the largest mosque in Malaysia and the second largest in Southeast Asia. To give you an idea of how massive is the mosque, it can accommodate up to 24,000 worshippers at a time.
Shah Alam has its fair of attractions, which includes the i-City Theme Park, the Garden of Islamic Arts and for the nature buffs, the Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam. I recommend staying at the Best Western i-City Shah Alam, which is located in i-City Theme Park, or if you prefer an apartment with an outdoor pool and a fitness center, the HomestayKite @ Ultrapolis. The easiest way to get to Shah Alam is to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur or Subang. Stopping at Subang would be the better choice as it is closer to Shah Alam.
3) Jamek Mosque, Kuala Lumpur: The Friday mosque
Built in 1909, the Jamek Mosque has recently been renamed to Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque. Locals refer to it as the Friday mosque as worshippers tend to congregate there for Friday prayers. I love to go here during this time as this is when I can find the worshippers performing their prayers on the streets or the Masjid Jamek LRT station as well. Other than that, what makes the mosque a sight to behold is its exquisite Neo-Mughal design and architecture, courtesy of its architect; Arthur Benison Hubback. The same architect is also responsible for other historical structures in Kuala Lumpur, including the Sultan Abdul Samad building.
Getting to the mosque is rather easy as it is located near to the Masjid Jamek LRT station, which serves the Kelana Jaya Line, Sri Petaling Line and Ampang Line. Finding a perfect place to stay is rather easy too. You may consider the Citin Masjid Jamek by Compass Hospitality or the Cosmo Hotel Kuala Lumpur as both hotels are located within a 10-minute walk to the mosque. Opt for direct flights to Kuala Lumpur if you prefer to travel by plane.
4) Kota Kinabalu City Mosque, Sabah: The floating mosque of Borneo
Built at the cost of RM34 million, the architectural and design elements of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is inspired by the Nabawi Mosque in Saudi Arabia. The picturesque mosque is partially surrounded by a man-made lagoon, giving it the nickname, the floating mosque. A unique attraction of the blue and gold domed mosque is visitors can go on paddle boat rides to have a closer look at the mosque from the lagoon. I don’t know about you, but I do think that indeed calls for an Instagram moment, doesn’t it?
The fun starts the instant you set foot in Kota Kinabalu. The city has so much to offer that you will never run short of ideas. From exploring the exotic creatures of the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to spending time at the well-curated Monsopiad Cultural Village, there is always something for you to do. Book a stay at the Nexus Resort & Spa Karambunai, or the KK Loft Residences at The Loft Imago at downtown Kota Kinabalu to make the most of your time.
5) Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, Putrajaya: The Steel Mosque
Putrajaya is home to two beautiful mosques: The Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque and the Putra Mosque. I have shortlisted the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque due to its unique architecture. Also known as the Steel Mosque or the Iron Mosque, the mosque was constructed using 6,000 tonnes of reinforced stainless steel. Verses of the Holy Qur’an on glass panels adorn the interiors of the mosque. Another unique element is the mosque does not have a minaret. The mosque also adopts Chinese and German architectural styles.
Putrajaya is not far from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. So if you are traveling Kuala Lumpur by flight, try to include exploring Putrajaya in your itinerary. The Everly Putrajaya is a good hotel choice as it is right next to the Alamanda Putrajaya.
6) Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque, Johor: The picturesque mosque
If you decide to travel down south, make it a point to visit the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque. Completed in 1900, the architecture of the mosque is based on Victorian and Moorish elements, with a minor Malay influence. The Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque sits on a hill, overlooking the Straits of Johor. At the time of writing this article, the mosque is still undergoing renovations. However, you can still walk around the vicinity to snap a couple of commemorative photos. Back in my schooling days, I used to see people posing for their wedding photos there.
The mosque is one of the many attractions in Johor Bahru. If you are thinking of staying over, Amari Johor Bahru makes a perfect choice as it is located in the central district and within walking distance to prominent malls, cultural heritage sites and the Angry Birds Activity Park Johor Bahru.
Going over to Singapore from here would be a breeze too as the hotel is also within walking distance to the CIQ Complex. Thinking of getting a good flight deal? Hop on over to Expedia to find the cheapest flights to Johor Bahru.
7) Ubudiah Mosque, Perak: The royal mosque of Perak
Located in the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak, the golden dome and minarets of the Ubudiah Mosque are a sight to behold. As like the Jamek Mosque, the Ubudiah Mosque was also designed by Arthur Benison Hubback. The construction of the mosque was only completed in 1917.
A visit to Kuala Kangsar will never be complete without a tour of the surrounding areas. Uncover the stories of the past at the Pavilion Square Tower or go on a cultural escapade to Istana Kenangan. Looking for a place to stay? Try the Desa Retreat, a guesthouse located about 3.5km from the Ubudiah Mosque. Bear in mind there are no direct flights to Kuala Kangsar. You have to book a flight to Ipoh and make your way to Kuala Kangsar using public transport or chartered car services.
So that wraps up my list of the must-visit mosques in Malaysia!