Kuala Lumpur, or also known as KL, is Malaysia’s national capital. It’s also the largest city in the country. KL is one of the best destinations that you can visit while in Asia.
Apart from its colorful culture, religion, and shopping destinations, it also has a lot of wonderful attractions to visit and experience.
Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide
In this guide, we will share with you top-notch attractions and experiences that you should visit and try in this beautiful city. We will also give you some tips and tricks on how to enjoy Kuala Lumpur, even on a budget. So, let’s start!
Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur
The Petronas Twin Towers
What is KL without the famous landmark, Petronas Twin Towers? Don’t leave this city yet if you haven’t visited this 451.9 meters, 88-story twin tower. Whether you go here first thing in the morning, late in the afternoon, or even at night, this tower will still get you mesmerized.
The Menara KL Tower
Let’s be touristy! How can you skip off another tower on your list? The KL Tower is one of the best spots where you can view and take a photo of the Petronas Twin Towers! But, yeah, back to the KL Tower… Did you know that the architectural design of the KL Tower reflects Malaysia’s Islamic history? Now you know. Top things to do here are the following:
- For a certain price, you can go up to the KL Tower’s Observation Deck and get to see a 360-degree view of Kuala Lumpur.
- Have a buffet dinner at KL Tower Revolving Restaurant.
- Be brave enough to have your photo taken at the Sky Box.
- See a cultural show.
Kuala Lumpur is more than just Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower! Whenever you visit and get to know KL even more, I bet you’ll love this city even more.
Go for a walking tour
You might want to discover Kuala Lumpur on your own. Free self-guided maps, walking tour routes and suggestions are available online. All you have to do is to buy a Malaysian sim at the airport, have it inserted to your phone, and you’re good to go! You can use GPSMYCITY.
The GPSMYCITY has 13 top walking tour suggestions for KL that you can try. They will give the route map, estimate number of hour/s to complete such tour, and of course, the sites that you will expect to see. Here are the tours that you can try:
- The museum tour
- Architectural walk
- Religious places
- Nightlife walking tour
- Shopping places
- Lake Gardens
- Daily Life *
- City Orientation Walk *
- Bukit Bintang Shopping Walk *
- Old City Center Walk *
- 48 Hours in KL*
- and many more…
The KL City Gallery
Some tourists don’t like to go and explore a particular destination alone. Well, we cannot blame them. If you love to meet new people and make new friends, you can immediately go to KL City Gallery.
The KL City Gallery is like a one-stop tourist center where you can have free maps, see KL dioramas, and have guided bicycle and walking tours. What’s good in here is that you are able to be with other tourists who also don’t like to explore alone.
The Batu Caves
One of the most famous attractions in KL is the Batu Caves, a limestone hill Hindu shrine that’s dedicated to their Lord Murugan. Before you go here, make sure you condition yourself to climb a 272-step steep stairs.
Be careful with the monkeys here because they easily grab things placed in a plastic cellophane and/or paper bags.
Nightlife Hot Spots
After a day of exploring the beautiful sights and landmarks of Kuala Lumpur, prepare a night of relaxation and fun! KL is one of the many cities that has great nightlife hot spots! Sip in a glass of your fave cocktail or drink a bottle of ice-cold beer. Here are our suggestions:
- Sky Bar – We placed this on top of the list as this bar is also considered to be one of the best spots to view the Twin Towers.
- Heli Lounge Bar – One of the best places for you to have a good glimpse of the KL Tower.
- Zouk KL
- Pisco Bar
- Marini’s on 57
- No Black Tie
* Go to Bukit Bintang. There are a ton of great bars there!
Shopping is probably one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Shop for souvenir items, clothes, and other bargain goods! Shopping malls in KL have over a hundred stalls for each category. From high-end brands to local ones, you’ll surely find them all in KL. All you have to bring aside from cash are the energy to walk and a little haggling skill. Here are the BEST (and we mean it!) shopping destinations:
- Central Market
- Petaling Street Market
- Mid Valley Megamall
- Berjaya Times Square
- Suria KLCC
- Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
- Lot 10
- Sungei Wang Plaza
- Kasturi Walk
Tip: If you plan to shop a lot and want to stay near shopping malls, the best area to get an accommodation is around Bukit Bintang.
Best Time to Visit Kuala Lumpur
The best time to visit KL is during the months of May to July, as these months are when the weather is settled, little to no rains at all. The temperature may be somewhat steamy, so make sure to keep hydrated and wear light-material clothing.
Food tells us a lot about a country’s culture and everything beyond just culture. One way to get to know Kuala Lumpur better is to try to eat their local dishes. Malaysian dishes are generally spicy.
Most Malaysian dishes are well-seasoned with herbs and spices that will make it more fragrant. Coconut is one of the many features of a Malaysian dish. Here are the local dishes that you can try:
- Chili pan mee – a Chinese-Malaysian noodle dish that’s full of textures and flavors your taste buds may want. Main ingredients are fried anchovy, onions, scallions, peanuts, shredded pork, and poached egg. Make it more delicious by adding chili.
- Curry laksa – also a noodle soup, but the base is coconut. Basic ingredients are your choice of noodles (egg noodles, flat rice noodles, or vermicelli), Hainan-style chicken, tofu puffs, cockles, bean sprouts, and green beans. It is seasoned with fresh lemon and chili sauce.
- Char Kuey Teow – this is a Malaysian version of the famous beef fried noodles.
- Nasi Lemak
- Nasi Padang
Best place to eat these kinds of foods? Try Jalan Alor.
It’s pretty much easy to travel around KL. They have trains and monorail which makes it even easier. All you have to have is a map, to show MRT/LRT lines.
All their staffs in there, as well as their locals, are very much helpful to show you which lines to take and how to get a card or token.
Cabs and car rental services are also available in Kuala Lumpur. As for cabs, they have metered ones and others are run by a fixed price (but mostly they go for a fixed price). If you opt to travel by cab, download Grab app and use it to book a cab for you. This is cheaper and more convenient rather than hailing.
Malaysia is not a very expensive country. However, if you are a budget tourist, you’ll still be looking for ways to reduce the cost of transportation. Here are some of the cheap ways to get around in Kuala Lumpur:
Like any other Asian city, Kuala Lumpur can be dangerous to explore by foot, because the traffic is very dense and the drivers are not very careful. You should be very cautious and attentive while crossing the street, even on a green light. Also, there are always crowds on the sidewalks, and you should be alert to your bags. It is best to wear a bag crossed over your shoulder, so you do not fall victim to thieves. If you keep to these rules, however, a walk along Kuala Lumpur city will be a real pleasure. There is a lot to see, and most tourist sights are within walking distance.
LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT
LRT or Light Rail Transit consists of three lines: RapidKL, KTM Komuter, and KL Monorail. Together they form the Kuala Lumpur rail system. The Metro is the most popular way of getting around in Kuala Lumpur. RapidKL and KTM Komuter connect downtown with all the suburbs, while the KL Monorail runs straight through the city center. Although the stations are not always connected, together the three lines offer their passengers a possibility to travel all around the city. KL Central is the central hub of all LRT operators, the trains to Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the trains to other parts of Malaysia.
Using the Kuala Lumpur metro system is a cheap, easy and fast way to travel around the city. Make sure to pay attention to your surroundings and keep your bag to yourself, as tourists often become victims of pickpocketers. Also, try to avoid the Monorail during rush hours, as it can be very crowded with locals going to or from work. The Metro operates from 6 AM until midnight. To use the Metro system, you can buy a single ticket, a daily pass or a Touch’N’Go prepaid card. Fare between two stations is usually RM1.20.
There is an extensive bus network in Kuala Lumpur, and it is the cheapest way to get around. However, buses are often crowded and stuck in traffic jams. It is difficult to find the timetable or the route map at the bus stops. On the other hand, buses in Kuala Lumpur run regularly and depart from almost every LRT station. Thus, they are a great help if you need to go somewhere where the Metro doesn’t go.
Bus fares depend on the operating company and the transport zones where you are traveling. Some buses accept daily passes; some don’t. You can pay through a machine or to the driver. If you are not sure about the exact price, ask the driver. You should keep small change on you to pay for the ticket.
GETTING FROM THE AIRPORT
There are three airports in Kuala Lumpur: the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the new terminal KLIA2 and the Subang Airport. You can get to the city by train or by bus. Trains are fast, efficient, but rather expensive. They run every 15-20 minutes between 5 AM and midnight and cost $12. The trip takes around 28 minutes. If you have extra time, but little cash, take the Airport Coach bus to KL Central station. It will take you 90 minutes to get to the city, but will cost you only $3.50.
How Safe is Kuala Lumpur
Generally speaking, Kuala Lumpur is a safe city. But still, take a ton of extra care. Always keep an eye on your belongings, most especially when you are in the airport.
BONUS: 7 Helpful Tips for KL
1. You should really get a Malaysian sim. This will help you in so many ways! Probably this is the first thing that you should do after getting your bag from the conveyor and having yourself checked by a customs officer.
2. As much as possible, do not take a cab in KL as they charge you with a fixed price (usually higher than by meter). Yes, you can still get a taxi that would agree to turn on its meter, but it might take longer to find them. Best advice, book a taxi via Grab. It’s usually cheaper and easier.
3. Jalan Alor is your best friend if you’re a type of person who loves food. Jalan Alor is the biggest food street in KL. All kinds of dishes and cuisines, you can find it in there.
4. In case you have days where you don’t have a planned itinerary, go for a side trip. Suggestions are: Genting Highlands, Melaka, Putrajaya, and Georgetown.
5. There is a FREE Go-KL City Bus that’s going around. You can ask the receptionist at your hotel where’s the closest departure point. Here’s the operation hours:
- Monday – Thursday: 6AM – 11PM
- Friday – Saturday: 6AM – 1AM
- Sunday: 7AM – 11PM
6. Malaysian people are generally friendly. You’ll be amazed! Don’t get intimidated or scared if they can understand you because certainly, they can. Just be patient enough if they may have a hard time grasping their thoughts and finally putting them into words.
7. Prepare your haggling skills. Never settle for a fixed price.
June 7, 2018 11:59 pm
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