Istana Balai Besar (The Grand Palace)

Location: Kelantan

Location Info

Address: Jalan Tengku Seri Akar, Kota Bharu, Kelantan

District » Kota Bharu


Kelantan is located on the west peninsular Malaysia and it's one of the largest states. Kota Bahru is the capital of Kelantan and truly house many precious gems to the local culture, one of it is the Istana Balai Besar (The Grand Palace), which was built in 1840.


Istana Balai Besar (The Grand Place) is a single story palace built by Sultan Muhammad II over 170 years ago, as the official residence of past sultans. It is believed that bullfights used to be held in the palace for official Royal ceremonies until mid-1900. The palace is now used for official state functions and is not open to public. Another palace built by Sultan Muhammad II is the Jahar Palace (Istana Jahar). It was built for his grandson, and it was built up from wood, furnished with unique wood carvings

Kelantan is known to be the most religious state in Malaysia and Islam has a strong influence in the people's daily lives. Museum Islamic (Muzium Islam/Dewan Syurga) is known to house many Islamic artefacts and it definitely explain how Islam came about to Kelantan. Another way of seeing through the Kelantanese is via their local cuisines and culinary, and there's no other better place than Siti Khadijah Central Market. The market is named after Prophet Mohammad's wife, whom is an extraordinary entrepreneur, which is well suited for this market which runs mostly by women. It has a good variety of local eateries and cuisines, apart from fresh seafood and vegetables.

There are plenty of Kelantan hotel in the town. Royal Guest House is one of the most strategic hotels in town, where it's within walking distance to most of the museums and markets.


By Plane

you will arrive at the Kota Bahru airport and you can easily hail a taxi to the old town of Kota Bharu where most of the museums and markets are.

By Bus

Express buses are available daily from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and most of the buses coming into Kelantan will stop at Kota Bahru.

By Train

once you arrive at the station, you can catch a taxi, or alternatively catch a bus N0. 19 or 22 to go into the city