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Istana Nurul Iman - The Largest Residential Palace in the World

Jln Menteri Besar, Bandar Seri Begawan BA2112, Brunei

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About Istana Nurul Iman

Istana Nurul Iman, Brunei is the residence of the Sultan of Brunei, and the seat of the Brunei government. The palace is located on a sprawl of green hills in the capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan. It is said to be the largest residential palace in the world, with an area of 2,152,782 square feet and 1,788 rooms.

Things to Do at Istana Nurul Iman

There is little visitors can do except for viewing the palace from outside of its premises. Even during the short period when visitors have access to the palace premises, it is restricted to very few areas of the palace.

History of Istana Nurul Iman

Istana Nurul Iman is constructed quite extravagantly. The palace has a banquet hall that can accommodate up to 5,000 guests, a mosque for the Sultan and his family, an air-conditioned stable for the Sultan's horses, a garage that can fit up to 160 cars, and many other over-the-top features. The palace was constructed in 1984 at a cost of USD 1.4 billion.

In addition to its size, the palace is also notable for its luxurious interior design, which includes an abundance of gold and marble throughout. Furthermore, the palace grounds are meticulously landscaped and include several fountains and an artificial lake. 

On special occasions, the palace grounds are used for royal ceremonies and events. The Istana Nurul Iman is one of the most iconic buildings in Brunei and is a symbol of the country's wealth and power.

Best Time to Visit Istana Nurul Iman

For the most part of the year, Istana Nurul Iman is closed to the public and can only be admired from the outside. On the ten days during which the public has access to the palace, Brunie will be overcrowded with 200,00 people.

Tips for Visiting Istana Nurul Iman

  1. If you are planning to visit the palace when there is access to the public, take care of your hotel bookings in way advance as over 200,000 people come to Brunei. 
  2. Make sure to dress conservatively. shorts, sleeveless tops, and revealing clothing are not allowed inside the palace grounds.
  3. Be prepared for a security screening. All visitors are required to pass through a metal detector and have their bags searched before entering the palace grounds.
  4. If you just want to admire the palace from the outside, Istana Nurul Iman is best visited early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the heat of the day.

Interesting Facts and Trivias About Istana Nurul Iman

  1. The interior designer of the palace has also worked on the construction of Burj Al Arab in Dubai
  2. The Palace has a breathtaking collection of paintings by world-known artists. One painting of Renoir was bought by the Sultan in 1980 for 70 million USD.
  3. The windows and doors of the palace are decorated with tiles of pure gold. The door handles are also made of gold.

How Much Time Did Visitors Spend at Istana Nurul Iman

As there is no access to the interior of the palace complex, most visitors only take 30 minutes to an hour to admire the palace from the outside. 

How to Reach Istana Nurul Iman

From Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei, visitors can reach the palace by taxi. It is only 4 kilometers away from the capital.

Entrance Fee of Istana Nurul Iman

There is no entrance fee for Istana Nurul Iman, even when the palace is open to the public.

Opening Hours of Istana Nurul Iman

Istana Nurul Iman is not open to the public, except for three days during the annual Islamic celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr. The palace receives about 110,000 visitors then and the guests are gifted with food and green packets containing money for young children. The palace is also open to Muslims during the 10 days of Ramadhan for prayer gatherings.

Attractions Near Istana Nurul Iman

Mahkota Jubli Emas Park
Mahkota Jubli Emas Park2.64km from Istana Nurul Iman

The park was the result of the conceptualization of the Sungai Kedayan Eco-Corridor, a project to revitalize the Kedayan River, which includes flood mitigation, environmental rehabilitation, and development of public spaces.

Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Brunei.
Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Brunei.2.82km from Istana Nurul Iman

It is named after Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei, who initiated its construction. The mosque serves as a symbol of the Islamic faith in Brunei. The mosque's most recognizable feature, the main dome, is covered in pure gold.

Kampong Ayer
Kampong Ayer2.84km from Istana Nurul Iman

A historic settlement area in the capital of Brunei. It literally means 'water village'. Kampong Ayer consists of a cluster of traditional stilt villages built on the Brunei River, often been dubbed as 'Venice of the East'. Kampong Ayer has been historically the principal settlement of Brunei; it was the de facto capital, in particular social and economic centre, of the Bruneian Empire for a few centuries.

Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque2.93km from Istana Nurul Iman

Jame' Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque is the largest mosque in the country, which can accommodate 5,000 worshipers at a time. It has a total of 29 golden domes in order to honor the 29th Sultan of Brunei.

Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Hajah Saleha Bridge

This is the second-longest single-pylon cable-stayed bridge in the world and has a total length of 622 metres.

Royal Regalia Museum
Royal Regalia Museum3.26km from Istana Nurul Iman

Houses the regalia of the Sultan and the royalty, as well as exhibits related to the commemorations of the Silver and Golden Jubilee celebrations of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah's rule of Brunei.

Where is Istana Nurul Iman

Discover More Attractions in Brunei, Where Istana Nurul Iman Is Located

16 attractions

Brunei has the second-highest Human Development Index among the Southeast Asian nations, after Singapore, and is classified as a "developed country". It has developed wealth from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields.