Stadium Merdeka

Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas

Built for the declaration of independence in 1957, this open-air stadium is where Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, famously punched his fist in the air seven times shouting ‘Merdeka!’ (Independence!). Other big events during its history include a boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner, and a concert by Michael Jackson. There are panoramic views of the city from the grandstands and a couple of evocative photographic murals in the entrance hall.

The stadium isn't open outside event times but you can take a peek through the gates and there's a decent view from the monorail train as it passes. Land around the stadium is being developed as part of the construction of the 118-storey PNB 118 tower (due to be completed by 2024) as well as a new MRT station.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Chinatown, Merdeka Square & Bukit Nanas attractions

1. Guan Yin Temple

0.15 MILES

Dedicated to the Bodhisattva of compassion, this cement temple was originally built by Hokkien Chinese in the 1890s and served as a place to say prayers…

2. Merdeka PNB 118

0.16 MILES

From anywhere in Chinatown and nearby you'll not fail to notice the mammoth cranes and workers constructing a new business district atop Petaling Hill…

3. Stadium Negara

0.18 MILES

Officially opened in 1962, this was Malaysia’s first indoor stadium. Concerts and events are occasionally held here. Murals in the entrance lobby depict…

5. Bumble Bee Cafe Mural

0.26 MILES

Look up to see this charming mural of a young girl peeking over the upstairs window of this cafe.

6. Kwai Chai Hong

0.27 MILES

Cross the wooden bridge off an alley running between Jl Panggong and Lorong Panggong to find this Instagram hotspot lined with six murals by local artists…

7. Zhongshan Building

0.28 MILES

A variety of interesting businesses, including cool boutiques and a couple of cafes, occupy this repurposed block of interconnected shophouses that once…

8. Goldsmith Mural

0.29 MILES

This impressive mural covering the end of a terrace on Jln Panggong is the first work in KL by Russian street artist Julia Volchkova, whose street art can…