From architectural masterpieces to plenty of urban greenery, there’s plenty to do in Putrajaya
We may know Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital, as the “garden city” with sleek and modern-looking government ministries, well-structured roads and clean streets. However, Putrajaya has much more to offer travellers – if you know where to look. And with recent plans to rebrand the city as an ecotourism hub, this city should definitely be on your radar. From a stunning lake cruise to striking architectural buildings, we’ve put together a list of the best things you can do in the city.
1. Soak up the city’s sights on board a cruise
For an unforgettable way to soak up the city’s sights, opt for a cruise ride along Putrajaya Lake. Choose between two types of boats: the traditional wooden perahu (gondola), or the air-conditioned, glass-covered catamarans. The hour-long ride takes passengers along the 650-hectare man-made river, allowing them a front-row seat to the city’s most famous landmarks, like the iconic Putra Mosque, the Millenium Monument, Seri Wawasan Bridge, the Perdana Putra (Prime Minister’s Office), and various ministry buildings.
2. Visit its urban lungs
True to the status it enjoys as a “garden city”, Putrajaya has a large number of well-maintained urban parks. There’s the Putrajaya Botanical Garden, which features over 700 types of tropical plants and trees; Taman Wawasan, which boasts nicely laid out bicycle and jogging paths, as well as the Agricultural Heritage Park, where you will find traditional Malaysian crops such as rubber, palm oil, cocoa, herbs and spices.
3. Take an educational trip to its wetlands
The Putrajaya Wetlands is said to be the largest man-made freshwater wetlands in the tropics, with a park spanning 138 hectares, and wetland areas that cover some 1977 hectares. This wildlife sanctuary is also a good place to spot migratory birds and local marshland and species like the little egret and green herons. A Nature Interpretation Center within the park offers more information about the wetlands’ unique ecosystem, and there is also a 25-metre-high lookout tower you can climb for a bird’s eye view of the surroundings.
4. Marvel its impressive architecture
With so many beautiful buildings within the city, Putrajaya is the perfect place for architecture lovers. Some of the most stunning structures include the Perbadanan Putrajaya Complex, which features a massive futuristic arch inspired by the traditional Malay songket; the majestic Seri Perdana Complex, which is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and incorporates European, Islamic and Malay elements in its design; as well as Astaka Morocco, a Moroccan-inspired pavilion located within the Putrajaya Botanical Garden (also a popular spot for wedding photos).
5. Try extreme sports
Adrenaline junkies can try their hand at extreme sports at the Putrajaya Challenge Park. It boasts a large indoor rock climbing wall complex with different routes for varying levels of difficulty, as well as a Skate and Thrill Park where skateboarders, inline skaters and BMX and stunt riders can practice and perform tricks. Extreme bikers can try the Extreme Bike Route, an outdoor trail covering 9.1 kilometres that takes riders through the hilly terrain of rubber estates and palm oil plantations.
6. Visit its mosques
Putrajaya has two stunning mosques. The first, the Putra Mosque, is also known as the ‘pink’ mosque, as the dome is largely made from rose-tinted granite. Inspired by elements from Moroccan, Egyptian and Iranian architecture, the mosque is a lovely sight at sunset, when the golden light hits the building, giving it an even rosier glow. Another must visit is the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque, the ‘Iron Mosque’, which sits by the Putrajaya lakeside and appears to be ‘floating’ on water.
7. Spend a day museum-hopping
For those keen on learning more about the Malaysian legal system, pay a visit to the Justice Museum, located within the impressive Ministry of Justice building. Proper attire is a must, so no jeans, shorts or slippers.