The birthplace of the nation, Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square is surrounded by beautiful heritage buildings.
Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square), Jalan Raja,
50050 Kuala Lumpur
Located at the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s colonial district, Dataran Merdeka or Independence square is widely regarded as the nation’s birthplace.
It was here at midnight on 31 August 1957 that the independence of Malaysia was proclaimed. The Union Jack was lowered and the Malayan flag hoisted for the first time, symbolizing the end of the British colonial era in the country.
Dataran Merdeka’s 95-meter-tall flagstaff was the tallest in the world from 1957 to 1980, until the Kijongdong flagpole in North Korea took over.
The square is surrounded by beautiful, age-old landmarks:
St. Mary’s Anglican Cathedral (North) – Gothic-style cathedral built in 1895 that has a working pipe organ from that era.
KL City Gallery (South) – Beautiful building dedicated to showcasing the country’s history.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building (East) – One of the most photographed buildings in downtown Kuala Lumpur.
Royal Selangor Club (West) – Tudor-style private club with sports and dining built in 1884 that served as a meeting place for high-ranking members of the British colonial society.
Panggung Bandaraya (Northeast) – Vintage theatre building that still functions.
Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau and Loke Chow Kit Mansion (Northwest) – Beautiful functional heritage buildings.
National Textile Museum (Southeast) – Grand venue for a range of exhibits on textiles dating back to prehistoric times.
Kuala Lumpur Library (Southwest) – Grandiose, 2-storey colonial style building with books and materials on the city’s history. Formerly known as the Memorial Library of Kuala Lumpur.
Towards the south of the square is a two-tier gargoyle fountain called the Queen Victoria Fountain built in 1897, and another fountain lies at the north of the square.
Since 2012, a 10-minute flag raising ceremony involving 30 DBKL officers and enforcement personnel, seven DBKL mounted horse units and the DBKL marching band, is held every Monday at 10.00am (please double check with DBKL before proceeding to the square).
Today, Dataran Merdeka serves as more than just a reminder of Malaysia’s colonial past, it has become a symbol of the country’s freedom and independence.
Admission to the Independence Square is free.
Open 24 hours daily.
How to get to Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square)
The square is a well-known landmark in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, and is easily accessible.
Take the PUTRA line and alight at Pasar Seni or Masjid Jamek. Ask for directions to the square, which is just a short walk away.
The KL Hop-On Hop-Off bus will take you directly to Merdeka Square. Alternatively, hop off any bus service that stops near Merdeka Square.