During the British period, many large, open spaces (padangs) were created and surrounded by buildings for administrative purposes. Merdeka Square, in the centre of Kota Bharu, was previously known as Padang Kelupang. It was renamed when Malaysia declared independence from Britain on 31 August 1957.
Istana Jahar Meseum
This museum, dedicated to royal customs and traditions, was built by Sultan Muhammad II in the late 19th century. Originally constructed for the sultan’s grandson Long Kundur, the palace now houses a museum of Kelantan’s cultural history. You’ll see intricate wood carvings in the building’s interior that demonstrate the long history of wood craftsmanship in Kelantan.
One of the best places to find quality handicrafts from Kelantan, which include batik, silverware and wood carvings, is the Handicraft Village. Located in the city's main historic zone, along Jalan Hilir Kota and Jalan Sultan, you'll find a crafts museum here as well as other historic buildings and museums.
Siti Khadijah Market
This vibrant market is one of the country's most popular, offering up sights and sounds that are uniquely Kelantan. The women traders set up colourful displays of produce while food vendors set up grills, enticing market-goers with barbecued chicken. Craftsmen showcase the best of their wares, with silver rose bowls being a specialty. The market is most active in the early morning.