From its beginnings as Malaysia’s federal administrative capital, Putrajaya is becoming a popular township to live in.
Government buildings infused with elements of Islamic architecture dot the landscape as Putrajaya is the home to most of Malaysia’s Ministries and agencies. Some of the most visited agencies are the National Registration Department (JPN) and the Road Transport Department (JPJ) as their headquarters are located there. The township is also popular with tourists, both local and foreign, as it offers many picturesque spots.
Where is it located?
Putrajaya is located about 30km from Kuala Lumpur. It is easily accessible via several major highways like the Maju Expressway (MEX), South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) and Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP). The Express Rail Link (ERL) brings commuters to KL Sentral in just 20 minutes.
History of Putrajaya
Established in 1995, Putrajaya was the brainchild of then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Due to the increasing congestion in Kuala Lumpur, the idea was to move Ministries and government departments out of the city. By 1999, the federal government completed the move to Putrajaya, including Seri Perdana, the Prime Minister’s official residence.
What is Putrajaya known for?
With its sprawling parks and a man-made lake, Putrajaya is also known as the Intelligent Garden City and City in the Garden. The most notable park is the Putrajaya Botanical Garden (Taman Botani Putrajaya) in Precinct 1 and it is the largest of its kind in Malaysia. Besides being the federal administrative state, Putrajaya is becoming popular for its facilities for outdoor activities and events.
Putrajaya is also famous for the annual Hot Air Balloon Fiesta that started in 2009. Spectators flock to the event to marvel at the colourful hot air balloons in all shapes and sizes as it transforms the city’s skyline.
- Putrajaya was named after Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.
- Putrajaya sits on a former rubber plantation established by British officers after World War I. The estate was named Prang Besar, or Perang Besar, which means “the great war”.
- The location was chosen because it is situated between Kuala Lumpur and the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
- There are eight bridges in Putrajaya and they have become landmarks of the township. With its modern design, the Seri Wawasan Bridge is arguably the most iconic one.
- Putrajaya Corporation (Perbadanan Putrajaya), the local council in charge of administering Putrajaya, is an agency under the Ministry of Territories together with Kuala Lumpur City Hall and Labuan Corporation. All other local councils in the country fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.
Living in Putrajaya
When it was first developed, most of the housing in Putrajaya was taken up by civil servants who wanted to live nearer to their workplace. Back then, before gated communities became a thing, the open concept house designs with no front gates or fences were quite novel for its time.
As the township started to mature and become more accessible via the highways and Express Rail Link (ERL), more people started to look at Putrajaya as an ideal location with a higher quality of living and good facilities. Those who enjoy outdoor activities will definitely be spoiled for choice here.
In fact, if you have children, they can complete up to their tertiary education without having to leave Putrajaya. There are nine primary schools, seven secondary schools and one boarding school here. It is also home to the Malaysian campus of UK’s Heriott-Watt University.
Access to healthcare is also easy as you will find the Putrajaya Hospital and four Klinik Kesihatan within the township. The Institut Kanser Negara (National Cancer Institute) in Precinct 7 began operations in 2013.
Alamanda Shopping Centre, which opened in 2004, was the only shopping mall in the area until IOI City Mall opened ten years later. The new mall became a hit thanks to the Icescape Olympic-sized ice skating rink and Area 21, an indoor themed sports and recreation park.
Things to do in Putrajaya
There is an abundance of Instagram-worthy spots in Putrajaya that is open to the public. One of the most photographed locations is the majestic Masjid Putra (Putra Mosque). Built by the lake, the mosque appears to be floating on the water. With a more modern architecture, the Masjid Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin (Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque) is equally grandiose. Other prominent landmarks include the Astaka Morocco (Morocco Pavilion) and Monumen Alaf Baru (Millennium Monument).
2. Outdoor activity
Besides the Botanical Garden, Putrajaya boasts several other parks including Taman Wetland (Wetlands Park) and Taman Ekuestrian (Equestrian Park). You can go for a leisurely walk or an intense run at any of these parks. If you fancy hopping on a bicycle, you can rent them at several locations. Taman Ekuestrian offers horse riding classes for children and adults.
3. Water activities
The Pusat Rekreasi Air (Lake Recreation Centre) in Precinct 13 offers kayaks, paddle boats and rowboats for hire. If you want something more challenging and competitive, private clubs like Agro Naga and KL Barbarians conduct dragon boat training sessions at the lake on weekends. There is also an Olympic-size public swimming pool in Putrajaya that is open daily and there are swim classes available.
4. Extreme sports
Taman Cabaran (Challenge Park) in Precinct 5 is a 30-hectare park with wall-climbing facilities, skating ramps and a mountain bike trail.
5. Dinner on a cruise
Enjoy a cruise ride around the lake and even have a meal on board. If you’re feeling romantic, there is a smaller Love Boat for two.
Just a short drive from Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya is actually an ideal location for a quiet getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. The hotels are more spacious and have typically lower rates than those in the city centre. There are many options like Marriott, Dorsett and Le Meridien. Doubletree by Hilton (formerly known as Pullman Putrajaya), is located right next to the lake. To really make you feel like you’re on a vacation, there is even a man-made beach by the lake.
What to eat in Putrajaya?
1. Serabei Restaurant
Located at the popular lakeside commercial area Ayer@8, Serabei is known for their northern cuisines like Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Dagang and Laksam. Serabei is a type of pancake served with palm sugar, which you can get at the outlet.
Address: Lot A2-G-3 & A2-G-3A, Ayer@8 Complex, Jalan P8G, Presint 8, 62250 Putrajaya
Opening hours: 11:30 AM to 10.30 PM daily
2. Nasi Lemak Royale Kedah
Don’t expect your typical nasi lemak at Nasi Lemak Royale. Similar to nasi kandar, you can get rice with a variety of dishes like fried chicken and sambal sotong, smothered with the curry sauces. In 2019, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had breakfast here.
Address: G1, Jalan P8, Presint 8, 62250 Putrajaya
Opening hours: 7 AM to 10 PM daily
3. Balqis Restaurant
Also located at Ayer@8, this cosy restaurant with a stunning view of the lake offers traditional Arabic Yemeni food like mandi and kebab. Besides that, there are regular western dishes on the menu like a variety of pastas and pizza.
Address: A1-G-1, Ayer@8, Jalan P8e2/10, Presint 8, 62250 Putrajaya
Opening hours: 11 AM to 11 PM daily
How to get around Putrajaya
The easiest way to get to Putrajaya will be by car. Depending on the time of day, it will take about 45 minutes from Kuala Lumpur.
Highway: The major highways connecting to Putrajaya are the Maju Expressway (MEX) and the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE). If you are coming from Petaling Jaya or Subang Jaya, the better option will be the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP).
Public transport: One of the easiest ways to travel to Putrajaya is to take the Express Rail Link (ERL) that connects to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from KL Sentral. The RM14 journey takes about 20 minutes and stops at the Putrajaya Sentral station in Precinct 7. Travel time is the same if you are coming to Putrajaya from KLIA. A Grab ride from Kuala Lumpur will cost between RM45 and RM65. Bus routes operated by Nadi Putra ferry commutes within Putrajaya and to nearby areas like Cyberjaya and Bandar Saujana Putra.
Properties for sale in Putrajaya
As more and more people who do not work there are looking to buy property in Putrajaya, the options available are also growing. During its initial development phases, there were more landed properties including terrace and semi-d units but condominiums and serviced apartments have been mushrooming in recent years.
Property prices in Putrajaya start from around RM240k for a 700 sq ft flat to about RM5.5mil for a bungalow or semi-detached house on the higher end. The median house price in Putrajaya is RM520,000 and you can find anything from an 800 sq ft two-bedroom condo for RM360k to a six-bedroom bungalow at RM3mil.
IOI Properties has several new developments in Putrajaya. The recently completed Conezion mixed development (retail, commercial, residence) features two- to three-bedroom condominiums with prices starting from RM572k. The ongoing Clio 2 Residences offer units ranging from 829 sq ft to 1,216 sq ft at prices starting from RM547k. If you are looking for bigger units, you might want to consider their upcoming Gems Residences which ranges from two-bedroom 1,249 sq ft units to five-bedroom 1,690 sq ft units. This development features geriatric-friendly units and a wellness concierge with a nurse station. The Antara Residence launched by Nadi Cergas Development in 2018 has a lower starting price of RM316k.
Properties for rent in Putrajaya
If you are looking to rent, the median asking rent is RM2,100 but it is possible to get a partly-furnished terrace house for half that price.
Most of the properties available for rental in Putrajaya are condominiums or serviced apartments. Expect to pay around RM1,500 for a fully furnished 686 sq ft one-bedroom unit while a fully-furnished 1,250 sq ft three-bedroom unit will cost up to RM2,700.
There are many options for rental units and you can get decent-sized three-bedroom apartments for bigger families that can be rented for RM2,000.
The nearest town is Cyberjaya, a high-tech city that was developed at the same time as Putrajaya. It is a key area of the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) and was meant to be a special zone for tech and multinational companies. With convenient access to major highways, the following neighbourhoods are easily accessible:
Putrajaya has grown from being merely an administrative capital that people go to for official matters to being a sought-after township with self-sufficient amenities and infrastructure. It is easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur and has more wide-open spaces compared to matured townships, offering a better quality of life.