Entertainment in Malaysia

  • Entertainment in Masjid India, Kampung Baru & Northern KL

    Istana Budaya

    Large-scale drama and dance shows are staged here, as well as music performances by the National Symphony Orchestra and National Choir. The building's soaring roof is based on a traditional Malay floral decoration of betel leaves, while the columned interior invokes a provincial colonialism. There’s a dress code of no shorts and no short-sleeved shirts.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Masjid India, Kampung Baru & Northern KL

    Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre

    Part of the Sentul West regeneration project, this modernist performing-arts complex puts on a wide range of progressive theatrical events including dramas, musicals and dance. Also on offer are performing-arts courses and screenings of art-house movies.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in George Town

    Canteen

    This shabby-chic bar in China House has an indie vibe and is one of George Town's most reliable live-music venues for jazz and rock. Gigs usually kick off from 9.30pm, and there are occasional afternoon slots at 3pm on weekends.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Bukit Bintang, KLCC & Pudu

    No Black Tie

    Blink and you’d miss this small live-music venue, bar and bistro, hidden as it is behind a grove of bamboo. NBT, as it's known to its faithful patrons, is owned by Malaysian concert pianist Evelyn Hii, who programmes the varied musical acts who perform here from around 9pm. Check the website for the schedule.

  • Entertainment in Bukit Bintang, KLCC & Pudu

    Dewan Filharmonik Petronas

    Don’t miss the chance to attend a show at this gorgeous concert hall. The polished Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra plays here (usually Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday matinees, but also at other times), as do other local and international ensembles. Smart-casual dress code.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Petaling Jaya & Shah Alam

    Merdekarya

    Tap into the local music scene at this grungy, arty venue, which hosts concerts and open-mic nights (and shakes up a decent cocktail). Happy hour is reliably 6pm to 9pm, but see the website for upcoming events. Performers are paid through tips, so fill the jar generously.

  • Entertainment in Selangor

    Sepang International Circuit

    The Sepang Circuit, 60km south of Kuala Lumpur, is where Formula One holds the Malaysian Grand Prix. Tickets go for as little as RM93, though if you want to be in the main grandstand they start from RM230. During the three days of the Grand Prix, shuttle buses run from KLCC, KL Sentral and KLIA2 to the track.

  • Entertainment in Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas

    Panggung Bandaraya

    Originally designed as City Hall by British colonial architect AB Hubback, this handsome 1896 building with distinctive black domes has been refitted into one of KL's most beautiful theatrical spaces. The intimate auditorium's design is based on the shape of a Malaysian kite. Find out about events here (which are rare) from online listings or by dropping by the building itself.

  • Entertainment in Kuala Lumpur

    Bee

    The stage at this chilled and popular cafe-bar is well used for various events, including live music, film screenings and open-mic nights. They also serve burgers and sandwiches that are the real deal, plus good salads, local gourmet ice creams and decent coffee.

  • Entertainment in Melaka City

    Hard Rock Cafe

    Occupying a prominent position next to the Melaka River at the heart of Chinatown, it's hard to ignore this global franchise's presence. If you're coming to listen to the live music, it kicks off at around 9.30pm daily with a break on Monday.

  • Entertainment in Batu Ferringhi

    Hard Rock Cafe

    The supporting act to the Hard Rock Hotel resort next door is this restaurant-bar – one of the few places in Batu Ferringhi where live music is guaranteed every night (from around 10.30pm). There's a buy-one-get-one-free drink deal between 5pm and 8pm.

  • Entertainment in Masjid India, Kampung Baru & Northern KL

    Sutra Dance Theatre

    The home of Malaysian dance legend Ramli Ibrahim is also a showcase for Indian classical dance as well as a dance studio, painting and photography gallery and cultural centre. See the website for upcoming events.

  • Entertainment in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Bobo KL

    Live jazz lovers speak highly of this intimate performance space. Resident and guest artists usually take to the stage around 9pm. There's no cover charge if you dine here or at a few of the neighbouring restaurants.

  • Entertainment in Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas

    fono

    The events space in the Zhongshan Building hosts live performances including sets by local DJs and musicians. Check out the Facebook or Instagram streams for details.

  • Entertainment in Bukit Bintang, KLCC & Pudu

    KL Live

    A boon to KL’s live-music scene, this spacious venue packs in rock and pop fans with a decent line-up of international and local big-name artists and DJs.

  • Entertainment in Cherating

    Surf Club

    Live music is played most nights from 10pm at this rather brash two-level bar and restaurant which occupies a prime location as you come into the village.

  • Entertainment in Lake Gardens, Brickfields & Bangsar

    Temple of Fine Arts

    Classical Indian dance and music shows take place here throughout the year. The centre also runs performing-arts courses; see the website for schedules.

  • Entertainment in Kuala Lumpur

    Alexis Ampang

    At weekends this bistro becomes one of the city's top venues for live jazz. Shows begin at 10pm.

  • Entertainment in Selangor

    Selangor Turf Club

    Founded in the 19th century, Selangor Turf Club has a programme of 30 race days spread throughout the year – see the website for the schedule. The best views of the track are from the grandstand, but standing by the finish line as the horses fly by offers the biggest thrills. Minimum bets are RM5. It's 12km south of KL.

  • Entertainment in George Town

    Performing Arts Centre of Penang

    Check the website to see what shows are on at this modern performing-arts centre, in the shopping plaza Straits Quay between George Town and Batu Ferringhi. There's an experimental theatre seating 150 people and a main stage seating 350.