Top things to do

Mosque in Alor Setar

Masjid Zahir

The Kedah state mosque instantly impresses with its richly decorated arches and five broad domes, which represent the pillars of Islam. Built in 1912, Moorish-style Masjid Zahir is one of the oldest and loveliest mo…
Malaysian in Alor Setar

Nasi Lemak Ong

This efficient, family-run canteen is the most popular nasi lemak place in Alor Setar. At the counter, select your rice and choice of accompaniments from the wide array of dishes laid out, including rich, spicy samb…
Tower in Alor Setar

Menara Alor Setar

If the Petronas Towers in KL isn't enough for you, the second-tallest tower in the country is Menara Alor Setar, which at 165.5m is by far the tallest structure in town. A glass-sided lift will take you to the obser…
Bar in Alor Setar

Terrace Forty Eight

An unexpectedly modern and rather flashy bar with polished concrete walls, draught Guinness and other imported booze as well as a tapas menu (items around RM14 to RM18). This is the place to go to tap into Alor Seta…
Museum in Alor Setar

Mahathir’s Birthplace

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s seventh and longest-serving prime minister, was born the youngest of nine children in Alor Setar in 1925. Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir, his childhood home, is now preserved as a small but…
Buddhist Temple in Alor Setar

Wat Nikrodharam

Although Alor Setar has weathered periods of Thai rule over the years, its main Buddhist community is Chinese in heritage. Thus the presence of this cross-cultural wat (Buddhist temple): typically Thai in structure …
Historic Building in Alor Setar

Balai Nobat

Built in 1906, this is a striking octagonal tower topped by an onion-shaped dome. It’s the repository of the nobat (royal orchestra), principally composed of percussion instruments; the drums in this orchestra are s…
Museum in Alor Setar

Muzium Diraja Kedah

Now a museum, these connected structures with creaking wooden floorboards formerly served as the royal palace for the sultan and other members of the family from 1856. Among the royal paraphernalia on display is mem…
Museum in Alor Setar

Galeri Sultan Abdul Halim

The former High Court, erected in 1922, is today a museum dedicated to Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, twice Malaysia’s head of state, the Yang Di Pertuan Agong. Inside you’ll find photos and an exhaustive collection of …
Historic Building in Alor Setar

Balai Besar

This open-sided structure was built in 1896 and is still used by the sultan of Kedah for royal and state ceremonies, though it is not open to the public. Supported on tall pillars topped with Victorian iron lacework…