The 10 Best Museums in Samarinda

Imagine stepping into a world where every corner holds a piece of history, a story waiting to be told. Samarinda, a gem in the heart of East Kalimantan, Indonesia, is home to such treasures. Museums here aren’t just buildings; they’re time capsules that capture the essence of the region’s rich cultural tapestry. Let’s embark on a journey through the 10 best museums in Samarinda, where the past whispers to the present.

First on our list is the Mulawarman Museum. Nestled in the heart of the city, this museum is a haven for history buffs. With artifacts that date back to the kingdom of Kutai Kartanegara, it’s like walking through the pages of a history book. The museum’s collection includes traditional textiles, royal regalia, and remnants of the area’s colonial past. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to delve into the region’s royal heritage.

Next up, we have the Samarinda Islamic Center Museum. This architectural marvel isn’t just a place of worship; it’s a repository of Islamic art and culture. The museum showcases an array of Islamic manuscripts, calligraphy, and educational exhibits on the Islamic way of life. It’s a serene space that offers insight into the spiritual heart of Samarinda.

For those intrigued by the natural world, the Samarinda Botanical Garden isn’t just a lush escape but also features a small museum. Here, you can learn about the diverse Flora of East Kalimantan. The museum provides a fascinating look at the ecological significance of the region’s plant life.

Art enthusiasts will find a slice of heaven at the Tepian Art Space. This contemporary museum is a vibrant hub for local artists. Its galleries display a mix of traditional and modern art, reflecting the city’s evolving cultural landscape. The museum also hosts workshops and cultural events, making it a lively spot for creative minds.

Don’t miss the Mahakam River Museum, where the mighty Mahakam River’s story unfolds. The museum highlights the river’s role in Samarinda’s development, from transportation to trade. Exhibits include models of traditional boats and historical accounts of the river’s influence on local communities.

For a touch of the eclectic, the Pampang Cultural Village Museum offers an immersive experience. It’s a living museum where the Dayak Kenyah community’s customs and traditions come to life. Visitors can witness traditional dances, music, and handicrafts, providing a unique cultural encounter.

The Samarinda Heritage Museum is a treasure trove of the city’s urban history. It’s housed in a colonial-era building that adds to its charm. Inside, you’ll find photographs, maps, and artifacts that tell the story of Samarinda’s transformation over the years.

At the edge of the city lies the Bukit Bangkirai Rainforest Museum. It’s a gateway to understanding the biodiversity of Kalimantan’s rainforests. The museum offers educational tours that highlight conservation efforts and the importance of preserving these natural wonders.

The Lamin Etam Ambors Museum is a hidden gem that showcases the traditional longhouses of the Dayak tribes. It’s an open-air museum where you can explore the communal lifestyle and architectural ingenuity of the indigenous people.

Rounding off our list is the Samarinda Textile Museum. This museum celebrates the intricate art of weaving that’s been passed down through generations. From the vibrant patterns of the ikat to the delicate threads of the songket, it’s a testament to the skill and creativity of Samarinda’s weavers.

Each museum in Samarinda offers a unique window into the soul of this enchanting city. They’re not just places to visit; they’re experiences that enrich your understanding of the world.


  • What are the operating hours for most museums in Samarinda?

    Most museums in Samarinda are open from 9 AM to 4 PM, but it’s always best to check ahead as times can vary, especially on weekends and holidays.

  • Is there an admission fee for the museums?

    Some museums may charge a small admission fee, while others are free. It’s advisable to carry some cash just in case.

  • Are the museums in Samarinda suitable for children?

    Absolutely! Many museums have interactive exhibits and activities that are both educational and entertaining for young minds.


In Samarinda, museums are more than just buildings; they’re storytellers of a city’s journey through time. From the regal splendor of the Mulawarman Museum to the vibrant tapestries of the Samarinda Textile Museum, each institution offers a unique narrative. They provide a comprehensive and insightful look into the cultural, historical, and ecological fabric of this fascinating region. Whether you’re a history aficionado, an art lover, or simply curious about the world, Samarinda’s museums are sure to leave you with a deeper appreciation for the richness of human experience. So, the next time you’re in town, make sure to carve out time for these cultural gems. Trust me, it’s an adventure worth taking!

Remember, these aren’t just spots to tick off your travel list; they’re portals to a past that’s still very much alive in the heart of Borneo. So, go ahead, step into the story. Samarinda is waiting to share its secrets with you.

Kurby Team

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