Beyond the usual renowned tourist attractions like the Petronas Towers lies a hidden gem along one of the more nondescript streets of Kuala Lumpur: the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery.
While Malaysia is home to a number of interesting museums, such as the Perak Museum just a couple of hours north in Taiping, the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery offers a different kind of experience. Over just a few hours of your day, you get to experience fiscal fun and learning like no other.
Located along Jalan Dato’ Onn, this gallery boasts a stunning, cutting-edge facade of glass and titanium. The Malaysia Traveller notes that the gallery is housed inside Sasana Kijang, the Central Bank of Malaysia’s hub for learning.
The museum was built to provide Malaysian people with information about the country’s economy and finance systems. Catering to visitors of all ages, the museum renders a great avenue for learning outside of textbooks and classrooms.
All in all, it is split into six galleries, namely: the Art Gallery, Economic Gallery, Islamic Finance Gallery, Numismatics Gallery, Children’s Gallery, and the Bank Negara Malaysia Gallery.
One of its main highlights is the Economic Gallery, which details the country’s economic growth, including the World Economic Crises from as far back as 1588 and as recently as 2010.
For coin and banknote aficionados, the Numismatics Gallery is a good place to check out if you’re looking to peruse different forms of currency throughout the years. It features an extensive collection of Portuguese and Dutch-era coins, Sabah and Sarawak money, primitive currencies from Borneo, etc.
For kids who are just getting acquainted with financial concepts, the Children’s Gallery is a fun, playful way for them to do so. Visitors get to enter through a Money Tunnel lined with over a million Ringgit in cash, in different denominations atop an acrylic wall. It also features interactive displays that explore the basics of money, the history of bank notes and coins, etc.
Through all of these exhibits, the Bank Negara Malaysia Gallery hopes to shine a light on the importance of the Central Bank’s role in the development of the national economy.
In their overview of the Malaysian Ringgit, FXCM highlights how the central bank helps manage national development by keeping a close eye on key economic indicators that affect day-to-day life in the country. These include asset prices and consumer debt, as the bank works towards maintaining economic stability and growth.
Given the volatile global economy, it’s useful to turn to these institutions to understand the financial happenings locally and beyond. Thanks to Bank Negara, learning about the Malaysian economy has never been this exciting.
Similarly, the Islamic Finance Gallery allows visitors to understand Malaysia as one of the world’s centres for Islamic banking. It also traces how the early Middle Eastern concepts of commerce and finance have come to be.
Though it’s technically a Bank Museum, it’s not all about money. The Art Gallery aims to emphasise the Bank’s role in promoting Malaysian arts and heritage. Their recent Seni Cetakan exhibit, for example, put the spotlight on Malaysian printmaking history.
It is just one of the many ways that the Gallery is keeping even the oldest of art forms alive today. Currently, it is home to more than 1,500 artworks sourced from all over Malaysia and other ASEAN countries since 1962.
With all these attractions, the Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery is quickly becoming a tourist hotbed. Therefore, it’s well worth adding this landmark to your itinerary the next time you’re in Kuala Lumpur.
Admission fee: Free
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday (except for holidays), from 10am – 6pm
Address: Sasana Kijang, 2, Jalan Dato Onn, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Note: View larger images by clicking on an image once this page has completely loaded. Then navigate by clicking on the right or left side of image.