WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN KUALA LUMPUR
Kuala Lumpur is a big modern city rich in history, and it is ranked as the 7th most visited city in the world. It is known for its culture, races, traditions and it is furnished by impressive architecture, prominent landmarks, and unique buildings. During a trip around Malaysia, it is really worth spending a couple of days to discover the bustling capital city and its top attractions.
Kuala Lumpur Top attractions
1. Petronas Twin Towers & KLCC Park
The Petronas Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 (at the moment, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest) and remained the tallest twin towers in the world with a height of 452 meters. The towers feature a sky-bridge on the 41st floor (a 58-meter long suspended bridge that connects the two towers at 170 meters high), and an observatory on the 86th floor located 360 meters high and from which you can enjoy a fantastic view over the city. Basically, is a guided tour and you can stay about 15 minutes on the sky-bridge and about 20 minutes on the observatory. The total duration of the visit is approximately 1 hour.
You can buy the ticket online through the official website or by going to the ticket office at the Concourse Level of the towers. If you decide to visit the Petronas Towers on the same day, it’s not possible to purchase the ticket online. In this case, you have to go to the ticket office as soon as it opens at 8.30 hoping to find a space available. The visit can be done from Tuesday to Sunday (closed every Monday) from 9:00 to 21:00. Opening time may change, so always check the official website. The entrance ticket is 80 RM – about 20 USD/17 euro.
Tip: buy the ticket in advance because daily admissions are limited – around 1000 per day – and the towers are always very crowded.
The Suria KLCC shopping mall is part of the Towers, so you can enjoy a stroll through its several shops while you are waiting the time of your visit.
The KLCC Park stretches behind the Suria Mall for 100 acres with jogging and walking paths. It also has a tropical garden and a symphony lake where you can enjoy the free water-lights show with the background of the Petronas Twin Towers from 7 pm to 10 pm.
2. KL Tower and KL Forest Eco-Park
If you can’t get the ticket for Petronas Twin Towers or you want to enjoy the Skyview with them, you must have a visit here. The KL Tower stands at the peak of KL Eco-Park Forest one of the oldest tropical forests in the heart of the city. With its 421 meters, it is the seventh tallest tower in the World and boasts a 360° observatory deck and a top-level 360° Sky Deck terrace with no barriers. Before the construction of the Petronas Towers, the KL Tower was the tallest building in Malaysia.
The Tower is open every day from 9 am to 10 pm, and the combo ticket for the Observation deck and Sky deck is 99 RM. You can purchase the ticket at the ticketing counter of the Tower, on the official website or simply using the web Platform Viator.
The KL Forest Eco-Park lies in front of the KL Tower covering 9.37 hectares in the heart of the city, and it is one of the oldest protected tropical forests in Malaysia. If you like having a relaxing walk inside the Park, don’t miss the ”sky-high” canopy walkway (it’s 200-meter long) with an amazing aerial view of the top of the trees.
3. Batu Caves
These fascinating limestone natural caves are home to Hindu shrines that house several religious deities. You need to go up 272 steep steps to get to the entrance. At the bottom of the steps, there is the world’s tallest Lord Muruga statue with a height of 43 meters. The access to the caves is free.
Along the steps, at halfway, is the entrance to the “Dark Caves“, 2 km of surveyed passages with seven main sections. If you are cave lovers and want to experience the visit of the caves, guided tours of about 45 minutes are arranged (opening time 10 am). Inside the caves, you can enjoy spectacular stalactites and other rocky conformations formed by the dripping of water and, with a little luck, spot two species of bats and hundreds of other life forms, including the rare “trap door” spider.
Close to Batu Caves KL Komuter railway station, are the Ramayana Caves, which boast psychedelic dioramas of the Indian epic Ramayana (entrance 5 Ringgit).
How to reach the caves: the Batu Caves remain quite far from the city centre. Take the KL Komuter train from the Kuala Lumpur Sentral and get off at Batu Caves railway station (the ticket costs about 2 Ringgit and the ride is only 30 minutes). Calculating the round trip with the train (plus the waiting time) and the visit to the caves, the whole trip takes about 3/4 hours. Therefore, if you want to save time, the best choice is to catch a taxi or uber. We took the train to go, and a taxi to go back.
4. National Mosque of Malaysia
It was built in 1965 in honour of Malaysian gaining independence from Britain. It is one of the unique mosques in the world and the national symbol of Islam. It is possible to visit the mosque for not Muslim all week long, and you are required to wear appropriate clothes. Alternatively, they will provide you with the attire.
Visiting Hours for Non-Muslim are: Mon-Sun: 9 am-12 pm, 3 pm – 4 pm, 5.30 pm – 6.30 pm; Friday: 3 pm – 4 pm, 5.30 pm – 6.30 pm.
The mosque is a 10 minutes walk from Merdeka Square. Close to the National Mosque, there is the National Museum (Muzium Negara). The Go KL free bus top is Masjid Nagara along the “red line”.
5. Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square is the place where Malaysia’s independence was proclaimed in 1957. At the edge of the square, there is a 100 meters high pole where the national flag is waving. On the left side, you can see the Government Office Building (dated 1896), Sultan Abdul Samad Building (Ministry of Information, dated 1897) and the National Textile Museum.
Just a few minutes walk from the flag pole there is the KL City Gallery, a tourist information centre. The Go KL bus stop is Merdeka Square.
The bustling district of Chinatown stretches around Market Square. Strolling around its alleys, you can see interesting spots like Guan Yin Temple (dated 1880), Guan Di Temple (dated 1888), the Taoist Sze Ya Temple, the Indu Sri Mahamariamman Temple (dated 1873), the crowded pedestrian Petaling street with its vibrant market and restaurants.
Close to Chinatown, there is the Central Market Building and Kasturi Walk Street, two palaces where you can buy souvenirs and have eat in some stand or restaurant. In the north part of Chinatown, there is Little India with its restaurants and shops.
Chinatown metro station is Pasar Seni and the free Go KL bus stop is Pasar Seni or Kotoraya.
7. Thean Hou Temple
It is one of the oldest and largest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia. Built by the Hainanese community in 1894, it is a six-story building that commemorates both Tian Hou, a goddess who is said to protect fishermen, and Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy. It is a well-known destination for Chinese cultural tourism as it integrates various aspects of Mazu folk culture, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism in the Kuala Lumpur area. The temple is open from 9 to 18.
The easiest way to get there is by taxi since the Temple is located a bit far from the city centre.
8. KL Bird Park
This Park is the world’s most massive free-flight walk-in aviary. If you have time and you like walking surrounded by birds, this is the right place. The opening time from 9 am to 6 pm, and the ticket costs 67 Ringgit.
The Park is located 20 minutes on foot from the National Mosque. At the entrance, you’ll find taxies and the “Hop on /off” bus stop.
Facing the KL Bird Park entrance, is the Orchid Park. If you like, in this green area, you can also visit the KL Butterfly Park and the Perdana Botanic Garden.
9. Chow Kit market
We are local markets lovers, and this is one of our favourite spots of Kuala Lumpur where it is still possible to live a fantastic slice of local life. The market takes place inside a huge building and it’s plenty of stalls selling fish, vegetables, fruit, meat and other food. Chow Kit is a morning market, so you should go there in the early morning to enjoy the place.
The market is located in Chow Kit district, 15 minutes by taxi from Chinatown/Merdeka Square.
10. Street food and nightlife
If you like tasting the local street food, don’t miss the lively Jalan Alor. It’s a long and always busy pedestrian street in the Bukit Bintang district plenty of cheap restaurants and stalls that cook any street food.
Walking only for a few minutes from Jalan Alor, is Changkat Bukit Bintang, the Kuala Lumpur most famous place for enjoying the night. Changkat Bukit Bintang is a street with international restaurants, bars, pubs, cocktail lounges and of course clubs playing the hits of the moment.
11. Aquaria KLCC
It is one of the largest aquaria in the world with its 464,515 sqm, and it is home to over 150 species of marine life. The aquarium is located at KL Convention Centre Complex, and the ticket cost 73 RM. It is open every day from 11 am to 8 pm.
12. Sunway Lagoon & Sunway Wildlife Zoo
To escape the heat of Kuala Lumpur, you can spend a beautiful day of fun and relaxation in this huge water park which is located about 45 minutes from the city centre. In addition to enjoying a nice swim in its large swimming pools, you can have fun trying the various water slides, the Amusement Park, see over 150 animals species in the Sunway Zoo, experience the scary “Scream Park” or explore the Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon, nestled in 10 acres of rainforest.
HOW TO VISIT THE ATTRACTIONS IN KUALA LUMPUR
Visiting the attractions of Kuala Lumpur is very easy. Among the various options, you can use the local transport, take a taxis or Uber, the Hop-on Hop-off bus or effortlessy book tours and activities through the web platforms.
There is also a free bus service called Go KL city bus: it runs from 6:00 am to 11 pm with a frequency of 5 minutes. There are four different routes with stops at major attractions and shopping centres. Click here to see the official website with the route map.
Private tours, activities, excursions and ticket purchases: if you don’t want to waste time on public transport, a really useful way to visit Kuala Lumpur is to organize a guided tour. Web platforms such as Viator, GetYourGuide and Klook offer various tours, activities, transfers and tickets for easy planning of your Kuala Lumpur visit. All the tours are run by local tour operators who advertise their activities on these platforms.