Must see attractions in Bandar Seri Begawan

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque

    Named after the 28th Sultan of Brunei (the late father of the current sultan), Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien is surrounded by an artificial lagoon that serves as a reflecting pool, mirroring its gleaming golden domes. This being Brunei, the interior is almost as lavish as the exterior: the floor and walls are made from the finest Italian marble, the chandeliers were crafted in England and a 3.5-million-piece glass mosaic overlaying real gold leaf covers the main dome.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque

    Built in 1992 to celebrate the 25th year of the current sultan's reign, Brunei's largest mosque dominates its surroundings. It's impossible to miss the gleaming domes and four terrazzo-tiled minarets as you head towards Gadong. It's certainly an impressive building – since the sultan is his dynasty's 29th ruler, the complex is adorned with 29 golden domes. At night the mosque is lit up like a gold flame.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Malay Technology Museum

    This absorbing museum focuses on the traditional lifestyle and artisanship of Brunei's ethnic groups, using re-creations of tribal villages from across the country.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Kampong Ayer

    Home to around 30,000 people, Kampong Ayer consists of 42 contiguous stilt villages built along both banks of the Sungai Brunei (Brunei River). A century ago, half of Brunei's Malay population lived here, but life is changing along the river, and many old wooden homes are falling into decay, while smart new, government-built stilt homes are appearing on concrete plinths among the wooden boardwalks. Flag down a water taxi (B$1) and explore for a taste of what Brunei was like before oil changed its fortunes.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Istana Nurul Iman

    The sultan's official residence, the world's largest residential palace, is more than four times the size of the Palace of Versailles. It has 1788 rooms, air-conditioned stables for the sultan's polo ponies, gold door handles and 257 bathrooms. The palace is open to the public only during the three-day Hari Raya Aidil Fitri festivities at the end of Ramadan. The best way to check it out on the other 362 days of the year is to take a water-taxi cruise.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Royal Regalia Museum

    When called upon to present a gift to the sultan of Brunei, you must inevitably confront the question: what do you give a man who has everything? At this entertaining, dome-capped museum you'll see how heads of state have solved this conundrum. Offerings range from portraits of the sultan executed in semiprecious stones, to gold models of oil wells and a solid silver model of Angkor Wat.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Brunei Museum

    Brunei's interesting national museum has an Islamic art gallery, exhibits depicting Brunei's role in Southeast Asian history from the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese in the 16th century to the modern day, and a natural-history gallery. It is situated 4.5km east of central BSB at Kota Batu. At the time of research the museum was closed for ongoing renovations.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Brunei Darussalam Maritime Museum

    The skeleton of a 15th-century Chinese sailing ship, lined with ceramic vessels, greets you as you step into the main hall inside this gleaming building at Kota Batu, 5km east of the city centre. On display are some of the 13,261 artefacts excavated from the country's most important shipwreck, discovered by divers in 1997.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Kampong Ayer Cultural & Tourism Gallery

    A good place to start a visit to Kampong Ayer – and get acquainted with Brunei's pre-oil boom culture – is this interesting museum and cultural centre, directly across the river from the waterfront in BSB. Opened in 2009, the elevated complex focuses on the history, customs and crafts of the Kampong Ayer people, and a glass-enclosed viewing tower offers panoramic views over the surrounding 'streets' of stilt houses.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Taman Peranginan Tasek

    If you need a reminder that just beyond BSB's air-conditioned malls lies the Bornean jungle, this city park, with its background chorus of buzzing, chirping and rustling rainforest sounds, should do it. Well-marked paths lead to waterfalls, picnic areas and a hilltop menara (tower) offering views of the city and encroaching greenery. There are rougher jungle trails for longer walks (wear proper shoes). The park is 2km north of the city centre.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Tamu Kianggeh

    The covered market set amid canals to the east of the waterfront is a lively place in the mornings, when locals gather to buy ingredients – strange and exotic herbs and spices, big bunches of lemongrass, wild honey, dried fish, tropical fruit – and maybe grab a cheap packed breakfast or lunch to go. Look out for unusual medicinal plants and jungle seeds among the more familiar offerings.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Taman Arkeologi Kota Batu

    This often overlooked site preserves the ruins of ancient Kota Batu, the capital of Brunei from the 14th to the 17th century. Among the excavations are the tombs of the 3rd and 5th sultans of Brunei. An overgrown forest walkway teeming with wildlife leads to the Maritime Museum on the riverbank.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Teng Yun Chinese Temple

    Colourful Teng Yun, built in the 1960s, is the oldest Chinese temple in BSB, and its interior is filled with gilded statues, joss smoke and hand-painted tiles telling stories from Chinese legends.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Peranginan Pantai Muara

    Muara Beach Recreational Park is a popular weekend retreat. It's pretty, but like many beaches in Borneo, it's littered with driftwood and other flotsam that comes in with the tide. Quiet during the week, it has picnic tables and a children's playground. A plaque commemorates the nearby Australian amphibious landings of 10 June 1945. The beach lies just past Muara town, 27km from central BSB. Take bus 38 to Jln Pelempong, from where it is a 500m walk.

  • Sights in Bandar Seri Begawan

    Galeri Seni

    This waterfront building, constructed in the 1950s, houses the tourist office, plus a gallery space that opens periodically for temporary art exhibitions.