Istana Bukit Serene

Istana Bukit Serene is the royal palace and official residence of the Sultan of Johor, located in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The palace was built facing the Straits of Johor and completed in 1933.It can be viewed from the waterfront of Johor, Danga Bay. It was a gift from the Johor government to the late Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Abu Bakar in conjunction with the ruler’s 40th anniversary as the sultan of Johor.

Istana Bukit Serene is one of the famous landmarks in Johor Bahru. It has a tower measuring 35 m in height and the unique carvings on its walls feature Art Deco influences. The crown arch that complements the palace was built as a gift by the Sultan of Johor for the people. It also has a huge sprawling garden that hosts many royal gatherings and celebrations.

The palace is not open to public. It keeps its gates closed for safety precautions and is well guarded by the Johor Military Force, the Sultan’s own private army. However, the visitors can still snap photos and enjoy the majestic view of the palace from the outside.

Image by: Aimanabdulharis

Operating Hour

The palace is not opened for public viewing. However, the visitors are able to roam around and take pictures of the exterior structure of the palace any time of the day as long as they don’t go to any restricted area.


There is no entrance fee.


Jalan Straits View, Bukit Serene, 80200 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.

View map.

Hear From Others

Istana Bukit Serene may not be Buckingham Place but there was a prevailing sense of pride among the rakyat mingling here. Groups or individuals politely took their turns to pose for photos – Malay, Chinese, Indian and foreigners – everyone just enjoyed the evening outdoors cooled by balmy breezes, a welcome relieve in the humid heat.

Peggy Loh

Children also enjoy the environment in Istana Bukit Serene. With such a nice night scene, Istana Bukit serene become a popular place for taking photos.

Lim Sinyi

This is one of the best places in Johor where hours and hours can easily be spent. Situating at the entrance of the Istana Bukit Serene, it is the most popular place of Johor which is as huge as its popularity.


Nearby Attractions

Jalan Tan Hiok Nee 

Jalan Tan Hiok Nee is a part of Johor Bahru Heritage Trail tour program held by Johor Bahru City Council and Tourism Malaysia-Johor. The street is named after a prominent Chinese clothes trader in Johor who was also a wealthiest man in Johor.

Istana Besar

Istana Besar or Grand Palace is the royal palace of the Sultan of Johor. It is located in Johor Bahru. The palace was built in 1866 by Sultan Abu Bakar. It overlooks the Straits of Johor.

Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple

Johor Bahru Old Chinese Temple is located in Jalan Trus, Johor Bahru. The temple is surrounded by modern skyscrapers. It is one of the oldest structures in Johor Bahru. The temple is a place of worship and a symbol of unity among Five Chinese Dialect Groups which are “Teochew”, “Hoklo (Hokkien)”, “Cantonese”, “Hakka” and “Hainan”.

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