Kuala Lumpur, or simply KL, is the capital city of Malaysia and is also the perfect hub for your travels in Malaysia or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Besides fantastic food (seriously our favourite in Asia) and the famous Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur has much more to offer. But with 7.25 million people in Kuala Lumpur and suburbs, it’s a big city, so you need to know where to go! You can easily spend two days in Kuala Lumpur. Here you can find the best things to do during your Kuala Lumpur visit.
In This Article
Day 1: Must-Sees in the City Centre
Kuala Lumpur offers a good mix of modern, authentic and green vibes. The city centre of Kuala Lumpur (KLCC) has it all. Not only the modern, authentic and green vibes make for a diverse city, but the multicultural society of Malaysia also adds to it as well. Malay, Chinese, Indian and many other ethnic groups have lived together in Malaysia for generations. This results in a great variety of places of worship and amazing food mixes. We told you that the food in Malaysia is our favourite right?! Get ready for some serious foodgasms!
Panoramic Views on Top of KL Tower
The KL Tower makes for the highest views over the city. The tower is 421m high and is used as a communications tower. It’s possible to go observation deck, sky deck, or to have drinks & food in the Revolving Atmosphere 360° restaurant. The observation deck can be visited for $11, while the Skydeck is almost double the price.
Not interested in going to the top of the KL tower? The KL tower is surrounded by the KL Forest Eco Park, which is great for a short visit! It’s one of the oldest permanent forest reserves in Malaysia. Besides green nature, you can also find some cool canopy walkways in the park.
Walk Around Merdeka Square
A historically important spot in Kuala Lumpur. In 1557, Malaysia proclaimed its independence (merdeka) here. The British flag was lowered and made place for the Malaysian one. Fun fact: the flag hangs on one of the tallest flagpoles in the world: 95-metres. Other historically important buildings surround the square: enough to explore!
Shop Till You Drop
Looking for souvenirs? Or some cheap fake stuff? Visit the Central Market and Petaling Street and you will find anything you need. Petaling Street is Kuala Lumpur’s China town, which makes it also the perfect place for getting Chinese herbs. It’s also possible to eat some local snacks in and outside the markets, our tip: try out onde onde, we love it!
Hunt for Street Art in Bukit Bintang
Former dirty and sketchy alleys in Bukit Bintang, close to Jalan Alor, were transformed into a colourful and happy place! You can find art in the form of a 3D waterfall, flora and fauna, and many other beautiful things on buildings and even on the streets itself. A must visit if you’re into street art for sure.
Love street art? Make sure to take a look at Penang’s street art!
Hungry? Visit Food Heaven Jalan Alor
Jalan Alor is the street to go to if you are looking for food. It’s probably Kuala Lumpur’s most famous street for food. Both locals and tourists visit Jalan Alor so it can be pretty crowded at night. Most restaurants open during the night, a few will be open during the day as well.
Sunset at Malaysia’s Most Iconic Building: Petronas Twin Towers
It isn’t possible to go all the way to the top of the towers, but for $20 you can walk the bridge between the towers. You can visit these picture-perfect buildings throughout the whole day but sunset definitely makes for the perfect lighting. Plus, you can stick around for the fountain & light show in front of the towers (at 8, 9, & 9:45 pm). The show isn’t too special but quite fun! Behind the towers, you can wander around KLCC park to take in some greenery and enjoy great views on the towers.
Visit the Suria KLCC mall for more shopping and food! We aren’t huge fans of malls, but many people told us Suria KLCC is the best mall in Kuala Lumpur.
Tip: do you have more time? Visit Titiwangsa Lake Gardens Park for cool views over the city and the Petronas Towers.
Day 2: Explore the Larger Area of KL
Climb the 272 Colourful Stairs of the Batu Caves
The area of the Batu Caves is one with limestone hills, many caves and Hindu temples. Cathedral Cave, or Temple Cave, is the largest and most popular one. With the newly, colourfully, painted stairs, it’s definitely a must visit. The Batu Caves are located about 12 kilometres from the city centre and are easy to reach by KTM Komuter or taxi. Don’t forget to cover your knees during your visit and watch out for naughty monkeys.
Wander Around the Perdana Botanical Gardens
The Perdana Botanical Gardens, also known as the Lake Gardens, is a peacefully hidden gem in Kuala Lumpur. You can not only visit the gardens, but there are also more things to do. You can visit a bird park or butterfly gardens for example.
Visit a Mosque and/or Temple
Malaysia has a multicultural society. Therefore you will find different places of worship. Pay a visit to the Hindu Sri Mahamariamman Temple, the Chinese Thean Hou Temple, and/or one of the many mosques. Most tourists visit the National Mosque or Masjid Jamek Mosque in the city centre but we also recommend to visit Wilayah Mosque or Putra Mosque. Remember to always be respectful and dress properly.
Sunset at the Best Rooftop Bar: the Heli Lounge Bar
This bar is a helicopter platform by day, a bar at night; that sounds cool right?! The view on top is awesome and we highly recommend going for sunset. You can enter the bar from 5 pm, the helipad opens from 6 pm. Between 5 pm and 9 pm, you can enter for free. Drinks are more expensive than in most other places but it’s so worth it! Arrive early to get a good spot at the edge and dress properly. It’s best to arrive early, after 9 pm there is a strict dress code when entering (you’re good if you’re in already).
If you’re specifically looking for the best photo spots in Kuala Lumpur, make sure to check out our article about Instagrammable spots! You’ll recognise some of the places of the itinerary – so it’s easy to snap away while exploring. We’ve also included a few other spots that are absolutely Instagrammable!
Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur?
We highly recommend staying at the Face Suites. Their infinity pool is just the best. For the luxury and more expensive part go for the hotel option. Are you travelling on a budget? Take a look on Airbnb. Look up the Face Suites or Platinum for a studio, there are many options.
Get $36 off your first booking with Airbnb!
Where to Eat the Best Food
- Nagasari Curry House for Indian food (we love their butter chicken!)
- Restaurant Beh Brother on Jalan Alor for Thai food (anything on Jalan Alor is great, really)
- Petaling Street for Chinese food
- VCR for the best cakes and coffee
- Sri Nirwana Maju for the best banana leaf food we have ever had
- Legend’s Claypot Briyani for Indian clay pot speciality
- The Attic Bar for cocktails in a hidden rooftop bar (on top of one of Chinatown’s hippest hostels)
How to Get Around?
There are many options to travel in and around Kuala Lumpur. It’s very easy and cheap to travel around by Grab. Other options are the LRT (KL Light Rail Transit), KL Monorail, MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) or the public bus. There are even free bus services you can use. Go KL City Bus is a public bus that offers free rides within the CBD. How cool is that?
Are you coming from the airport? You can take a bus from the airport to KL Sentral, a train (KLIA express) or taxi. The fastest way is the KLIA Express, the cheapest is taking the bus!
Have you visited KL before? Did we miss anything? Tell us!