Things to do in Alor Setar – Malaysia

Welcome to Alor Setar, a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Located in the state of Kedah, in the northern region of Malaysia, Alor Setar is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a nature lover, there’s something for everyone in this charming city.

In this section, we’ll introduce you to the best things to do in Alor Setar, including its attractions, landmarks, historical sites, cultural experiences, local cuisine, and more. Get ready for an unforgettable journey of discovery in Alor Setar!

Key Takeaways:

  • Alor Setar is a city in northern Malaysia, known for its rich history, culture, and natural beauty.
  • The city offers a wide range of attractions, including landmarks, historical sites, cultural experiences, local cuisine, and more.
  • Visitors to Alor Setar can explore its vibrant markets, indulge in its local cuisine, and enjoy its parks and beaches.
  • Alor Setar is easily accessible by train, and there are plenty of accommodation options available.

Explore Alor Setar’s Historical Landmarks

As we mentioned earlier, Alor Setar is rich in historical landmarks that offer a glimpse into the city’s past. From the iconic Alor Setar Tower to the grandeur of Zahir Mosque, there are many must-visit historical sites in Alor Setar that are waiting to be explored.

The Alor Setar Tower, also known as the Menara Alor Setar, is a prominent landmark in the city. Standing at 165.5 meters tall, it is one of the tallest telecommunications towers in the world. Visitors can admire the panoramic view of Alor Setar from the observation deck on the 88th level and enjoy a meal at the revolving restaurant.

The Zahir Mosque, located in the heart of the city, is one of the grandest and oldest mosques in Malaysia. Built in 1912, it features a striking black and white design and intricate details that showcase the craftsmanship of the local artisans. Visitors can explore the mosque’s interior and admire the beautiful stained-glass windows and calligraphy.

Another historical landmark worth visiting is the Royal Museum (Muzium Diraja), which was once the residence of the Kedah royal family. It offers a glimpse into the lives of the royals and showcases traditional Malay architecture and interior design.

For those interested in learning about the local history, the Kedah State Museum and Heritage Centre (Muzium Negeri Kedah) is a great place to start. It features a collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that chronicle the history of Kedah and its people.

Explore Alor Setar’s Historical Landmarks.

Aside from these notable landmarks, there are many other historical sites in Alor Setar that are worth visiting. The Nobat Gallery, located in the royal palace complex, displays the nobat instruments which are used during royal ceremonies. The Rumah Kelahiran Mahathir, the birthplace of Malaysia’s fourth prime minister, is a modest wooden house that has been converted into a museum. It provides a glimpse into the early life of the former Prime Minister and his family.

Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to explore the city’s rich cultural heritage, Alor Setar’s historical landmarks are not to be missed. Be sure to include them in your itinerary and discover the unique charm of this Malaysian city.

Immerse in Alor Setar’s Cultural Experiences

Alor Setar is a city where cultural traditions thrive, making it a unique destination for culture enthusiasts. From vibrant local markets to traditional crafts and cultural festivals, there’s no shortage of experiences to immerse yourself in in Alor Setar.

Local Markets

The markets in Alor Setar offer a sensory experience like no other. One such market is the Pekan Rabu Market, which has been around for over 100 years and is a hub for local produce, handicrafts and textiles. Another popular market is Pasar Tani, a colorful outdoor market that offers an array of fresh fruits, vegetables and traditional Malay delicacies. These markets are a must-visit for those looking for a glimpse into the local way of life and to try out some traditional delicacies.

Traditional Crafts

Alor Setar is known for its traditional crafts that have been passed down for generations. Visitors can experience firsthand the production of Songket, a hand-woven fabric made with gold or silver threads. Another traditional craft is the making of Wau, a unique kite that comes in various shapes and sizes and is decorated with vibrant colors and intricate designs. Visitors can even try their hand at making their own Wau kite, with the help of local experts.

Cultural Festivals

Alor Setar is home to several cultural festivals throughout the year. One such festival is the Pesta Nasi Kandar, a celebration of the beloved Malaysian dish that originated in Alor Setar. Another notable festival is the Kedah International Kite Festival, which attracts kite enthusiasts from all over the world to showcase their unique designs and skills. These festivals are great opportunities to experience the local culture and traditions through food, music and performances.

Overall, Alor Setar offers a rich cultural experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression. Immersing yourself in the local way of life and traditions is a must-do, and will make your trip to Alor Setar truly unforgettable.

Indulge in Alor Setar’s Local Cuisine

Alor Setar is a food lover’s paradise, and the local cuisine is a reflection of the city’s multicultural heritage. From spicy Malay curries to savoury Chinese dishes, Alor Setar’s culinary scene has something for everyone.

The most famous dish in Alor Setar is undoubtedly Nasi Lemak, a fragrant rice dish cooked in coconut milk and served with spicy sambal, fried anchovies, peanuts, and a boiled egg. It’s a breakfast staple that locals and visitors alike can’t get enough of.

Another must-try dish is Mee Goreng, a spicy and tangy stir-fried noodle dish that’s a favorite among locals. The dish is cooked with a variety of ingredients, including tofu, shrimp, and vegetables, and is often served with a lime wedge for added zing.

For those with an adventurous palate, there’s Laksa, a spicy and sour noodle soup that’s a mix of Malay and Chinese cuisines. The dish is served with noodles, fish cakes, tofu, and a variety of herbs and spices, making it a flavourful and filling meal.

If you’re looking for a hearty meal, try Ayam Percik, a grilled chicken dish marinated in coconut milk, herbs, and spices. The dish is served with a sweet and spicy peanut sauce and is often accompanied by rice and vegetables.

For dessert, try Cendol, a refreshing shaved ice dessert made with coconut milk, palm sugar, and green rice flour jelly. It’s a popular local dessert that’s perfect for cooling down on a hot day.

Don’t miss out on the chance to indulge in Alor Setar’s local cuisine. Head to the city’s night markets and street food stalls to sample these delicious dishes, and experience the city’s culinary delights.

Discover Alor Setar’s Vibrant Markets

One of the best ways to experience the local culture of Alor Setar is by visiting its vibrant markets. From traditional crafts to delicious local cuisine, the markets offer a sensory experience like no other.

Pekan Rabu Market

Pekan Rabu Market is one of the most popular markets in Alor Setar and a must-visit for any tourist. Known for its bustling atmosphere and wide variety of goods, from local snacks to clothing, this market offers an authentic taste of daily life in Alor Setar.

One of the specialties of Pekan Rabu Market is the local delicacy, dodol. This sweet treat is made from coconut milk and palm sugar and comes in various flavors like durian, jackfruit, and pandan. Don’t miss the chance to try it!

Pasar Tani

If you’re looking for fresh produce and a taste of rural life, Pasar Tani is the market for you. Located on the outskirts of Alor Setar, this market offers a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown by local farmers.

In addition to the produce, Pasar Tani is also known for its crafts, such as woven baskets, traditional pottery, and handmade batik textiles.

Other Markets to Explore

Alor Setar is home to many other markets worth exploring, such as the night market at Jalan Teluk Wanjah and the Sunday market at Jalan Stadium. These markets offer a range of local products and delicious food, making them a great destination for a casual evening stroll.

Make sure to try local favorites like Nasi Lemak, Satay, and Mee Goreng while you’re there!

Experience the Natural Beauty of Alor Setar

Alor Setar is not just a city full of historical landmarks and cultural experiences, it’s also blessed with natural beauty. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful walk or a day at the beach, Alor Setar has something to offer.

Alor Setar Parks

If you’re a nature lover, you won’t want to miss out on the beautiful parks in Alor Setar. One of the most popular parks is Taman Jubli Perak, which has stunning floral displays, a playground, and a jogging track. Alternatively, you can visit the peaceful Bukit Wang Recreation Park, which is perfect for a picnic or a hike. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, head to the tranquil Gunung Keriang Recreational Park, where you can explore limestone caves and admire the stunning views.

Alor Setar Beaches

Alor Setar is also home to some beautiful beaches where you can soak up the sun and enjoy the sea breeze. One of the most popular is Pantai Merdeka, which is perfect for swimming and has a range of water sports on offer. Another great option is Pantai Kuala Kedah, which has a stunning view of the Straits of Malacca and is popular with locals for its fresh seafood.

Other Tourist Spots in Alor Setar

Aside from parks and beaches, Alor Setar has other natural attractions. One example is the paddy fields around the city, which are especially beautiful during the harvest season. You can also visit the scenic Black Waterfall, located in the nearby Gunung Inas Forest Reserve.

Whether you’re in the mood for a peaceful walk, a day at the beach, or a scenic drive, Alor Setar has it all. Discover the natural beauty of this Malaysian city and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Best Places to Stay in Alor Setar

As you plan your trip to Alor Setar, finding the perfect accommodation is essential for a comfortable and memorable stay. Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly hotels or luxurious resorts, Alor Setar has plenty of options to suit your needs.

Hotel Name Rating Price Range
Grand Alora Hotel 4-star £33-£54
The Regency Hotel Alor Setar 3-star £27-£46
Holiday Villa Alor Setar City Centre 4-star £33-£54

For a luxurious stay, you can check out the 5-star Royale Signature Hotel, located in the heart of the city. With top-notch facilities and services, this hotel promises a comfortable and memorable stay.

If you’re on a budget, the 2-star Fuller Hotel is a great option. It offers basic amenities but is clean, comfortable, and affordable.

Other popular hotels in Alor Setar include Hotel Seri Malaysia Alor Setar, The Jerai Hotel Alor Setar, and T+ Hotel Alor Setar. No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll be in close proximity to the city’s major tourist attractions.

So go ahead and book your accommodation in Alor Setar, and get ready to immerse yourself in the charm of this beautiful Malaysian city.

Getting to Alor Setar by Train

If you’re planning a trip to Alor Setar, one of the easiest and most convenient ways to get there is by train. Several train services operate to and from Alor Setar, providing easy access to this charming city.

Alor Setar Train Services

The main train station in Alor Setar is the Alor Setar Railway Station. It is located in the city center, making it a convenient starting point for exploring the city. The station operates several train services, including the ETS (Electric Train Service), Intercity, and Komuter.

The ETS is the fastest train service, connecting Alor Setar to other major cities in Malaysia. The Intercity train service provides connections to other towns and cities within Malaysia, while the Komuter has several stops within Kedah state and the northern region of Malaysia.

Discover Alor Setar

Alor Setar is a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From the iconic Alor Setar Tower to the vibrant local markets, there’s something for every traveler in Alor Setar. Whether you’re planning a short trip or a longer stay, Alor Setar is a destination that should not be missed.

Getting to Alor Setar by train is an easy and convenient option. With several train services operating to and from the city, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the picturesque scenery along the way.

So why not start planning your trip to Alor Setar today and discover all that this charming city has to offer?

Tips for Exploring Alor Setar

If you’re planning a trip to Alor Setar, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and easy journey. Here are some important tips to help you make the most of your visit:

  • Respect local customs: Alor Setar is a cultural hub, and it’s important to respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, remove your shoes before entering someone’s home, and be mindful of your actions and words.
  • Visit during the dry season: Alor Setar experiences a tropical climate, and the wet season can bring heavy rains and storms. To avoid any inconveniences, plan your visit during the dry season, which typically runs from December to March.
  • Try the local cuisine: Alor Setar is known for its delicious local cuisine, so be sure to indulge in some local delicacies during your visit. Nasi Lemak, Mee Goreng, and Satay are just a few of the must-try dishes.
  • Stay hydrated: The hot and humid climate in Alor Setar can quickly dehydrate you, so be sure to drink plenty of water and carry a refillable water bottle with you.
  • Take public transport: Getting around Alor Setar can be challenging if you’re not familiar with the city. Taking public transport, such as buses or trains, is a convenient and affordable way to get around.
  • Learn some Malay: While many locals in Alor Setar speak English, it’s always appreciated when visitors attempt to speak a few words of Malay. Learning some basic phrases can help you connect with locals and enhance your travel experience.

With these tips in mind, you’re ready to embark on a memorable journey to discover the charm of Alor Setar. Enjoy your travels!


We hope this guide has given you a glimpse into the wonders of Alor Setar, Malaysia. With its rich history, vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and natural beauty, Alor Setar has something for every kind of traveler.

From exploring the city’s historical landmarks to immersing yourself in its cultural experiences, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in Alor Setar. And after a long day of sightseeing, you can unwind at one of the city’s many parks or beaches.

When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay, Alor Setar offers a range of options to suit every budget and preference. And with convenient train services connecting the city to other parts of Malaysia, getting to Alor Setar has never been easier.

Before you embark on your journey to Alor Setar, be sure to keep our helpful tips in mind to enhance your experience. And once you’re there, we invite you to discover the charm and beauty of this Malaysian city for yourself.


Q: What are the best things to do in Alor Setar?

A: Alor Setar offers a wide range of activities for visitors. Some popular attractions include visiting historical landmarks, immersing in cultural experiences, indulging in local cuisine, exploring vibrant markets, experiencing the natural beauty of the city, and finding the best places to stay.

Q: What historical landmarks should I visit in Alor Setar?

A: Alor Setar is home to several historical sites that provide insights into the city’s past. Must-visit landmarks include the Alor Setar Tower and Zahir Mosque, known for their architectural grandeur and historical significance.

Q: What cultural experiences can I have in Alor Setar?

A: Alor Setar offers a vibrant cultural scene. Visitors can explore local markets, witness traditional crafts, and participate in cultural festivals that celebrate the city’s rich heritage.

Q: Where can I find the best local cuisine in Alor Setar?

A: Alor Setar is known for its delectable local cuisine. From Nasi Lemak to Mee Goreng, there are plenty of dining options that showcase the city’s culinary delights. Be sure to try out the recommended eateries for an authentic food experience.

Q: Which markets should I visit in Alor Setar?

A: Alor Setar’s markets offer a vibrant and sensory experience. Pekan Rabu Market and Pasar Tani are two popular destinations where you can immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere and discover local products.

Q: What are the best parks and beaches in Alor Setar?

A: Alor Setar is blessed with natural beauty. Explore the city’s parks and enjoy the tranquility of nature. In addition, you can also visit the nearby beaches and soak up the sun or engage in water activities.

Q: Where should I stay in Alor Setar?

A: Alor Setar offers a range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. From budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts, we recommend several options that will ensure a comfortable stay during your visit.

Q: How can I get to Alor Setar by train?

A: Alor Setar is easily accessible by train. We provide information on train routes, schedules, and stations to assist you in planning your journey to Alor Setar.

Q: What tips do you have for exploring Alor Setar?

A: Before you visit Alor Setar, we have some helpful tips to enhance your experience. From the best time to visit to local customs, we provide valuable information to ensure you make the most of your trip.