Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, has loads to offer because of the multi-cultural influences, from an amazing concoction of cuisines, to incredible architecture, to historic monuments and religious sites to quiet tranquil and surprisingly green retreats in the middle of an urban jungle. Here’s your Kuala Lumpur Travel guide with the top 25 things I recommend you do not miss.
1. Petronas Towers
The Petronas Towers are THE landmark of Kuala Lumpur. They feature in everyone’s Kuala Lumpur travel guide. They are still the second highest twin towers of the world. You can go up to see the view of the city. You can walk on the skybridge which connects the two towers or visit the observation deck on the 86th floor.
The price for a ticket is RM 80 (about INR 1700) and if you want to have a ticket you got to queue up at the entrance in the early morning, or the previous day. The tickets are limited to a number of pieces per day. Otherwise you can buy them online.
2. National Museum
The National History Museum is built in the style of a traditional Malaysian house. It is a great place to familiarize yourself with Malaysia’s history and culture. The artifacts include replicas of Malay houses, wedding scenes, hunting weapons, national costumes, etc. Also of interest is a 40,000 year old human skull and an eight-sided gold coin dating back to the 15th century. Entrance to the museum is 5 MYR (about 150 INR).
3. Eat & Shop
Indian, Chinese, Malay and Western foods, all the cuisines can be found in KL. Eating and shopping to your heart’s content is something you should definitely make the time and budget for, in this Kuala Lumpur travel guide. The multicultural social mix creates an rich and diverse blend of local food. The markets and roadside stalls are a great place to try street food. Kuala Lumpur also has some crazy huge malls housing both high street, luxury labels and also upcoming Malaysian indie designers.
Chinatown – Petaling Street
Stalls with almost everything you can imagine. You can buy all sorts of items – from T-shirts, shorts, souvenirs, handbags, watches up to shoes, football jerseys and of course much delicious Chinese food.
Not far from the Petaling Street is another market for souvenir shopping and hawkers with a variety of street food.
Yummy indian food like vadas (!) and Indian souvenirs and an insight into the Malay-Indian life.
You can find shopping malls to night markets and bars. Not only tourists, but the young local crowd hangs out here for the nightlife. You can get there best with the KL Monorail. The name of the station is “Bukit Bintang”.
KLCC: Kuala Lumpur City Centre
Suria KLCC is a 6 story shopping center that includes shops, rides, a cinema, a supermarket, and food courts.
Also known as Pasar Seni, it sells everything from fruits, veggies, meats to local products reflecting the rich cultural background. Also sometimes, they’ve street performers and musical shows.
Lot 10 mall and Hutong
Lot 10 mall has designer goods at cheap prices. Hutong, housed inside Lot 10 Mall, is said to be one of the best food courts. The food court is made up of local street vendors who were selected and asked to sell their dishes at Hutong and as such the food is authentic and delicious, with local dishes such as oyster omelettes, fried noodles and noodles soups, nasi kendar, dumplings, meatballs, and roasted meats.
In the days of old Alor Street was famous for being a red light district, now cleared up and turned into a place for foodies. Some of the vendors have been around for years.
4. Batu Caves
In a crowded city of skyscrapers, the Batu Caves are a treat. After a tiring climb up the 272 steps, you’ll see the huge golden Murugan statue and the entrance to the Cathedral Cave. (the largest). It has a 320 foot high ceiling and ornate Hindu shrines. the caves are inside limestone cliffs and filled with stalactites and stalagmites. beware of the monkeys and pigeons, they are very aggressive. The Batu Caves are located only a short ride of 20-30 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur with the KTM Komuter train. The station is Batu caves Station.
5. Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower
This tower stands at 790 feet tall, is the 5th highest building in the world, and has an observation deck that offers stunning panoramic views of the city. The towers serves many functions as well as acting as an observation tower for the sighting of the moon to mark the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and there is even an annual race to the top to promote health and fitness. There’s also a revolving restaurant on top.
6. Visit Sri Mahamariaman Temple
Built in 1873, the Sri Mahamariaman Hindu Temple is the country’s oldest and most beautifully-decorated temple. The most important feature is the beautifully ornate gate tower ornamented with depictions of Hindu deities.
7. Lake Gardens
Near Chinatown and the main train station you’ll find this urban park, which is surprisingly jungle-like. The bird park can be found here as well as the Islamic Arts Museum. You can also rent a boat and take it out on the lake.
8. Explore the Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia exhibits over 7,000 artifacts and has an extensive library of Islamic texts and art. Situated in the Lake Gardens, the museum is huge at 100,000 square feet. Within this vast space you will find the world’s largest scale model of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, 12 galleries and artifacts including porcelain and weaponry.
9. Masjid Negara
Malaysia’s national mosque in built in a modern style with a bright blue umbrella-shaped dome and a 240-foot tall minaret. You can visit the mosque daily, but you should pay attention that your knees and shoulders are covered. Everything is free of charge and you get a great insight into the national mosque of Malaysia.
10. Old Railway Station building
KL Sentral is now the main railway station, so the old building is now a railway museum housed inside an example of classic British and Asian architecture. Built during the British colonial period and completed in 1886, the museum is a mix of European and Asian styles and now features antique exhibits in the Great Hall such as fire engines and steam trains.
11. Orchid Garden
The Orchid Garden is a part of the Perdana Botanical Garden on top of a hill. it houses a huge variety beautiful flowers and some peace and quiet, a view of the city’s skyline.
12. Merdeka Square & Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
Merdaka is Kuala Lumpur’s independence square with the former highest flagpole of the world, where the Malaysian national flag was hoisted for the first time on 31.08.1957. Right next to the square you can find the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, where the Malaysian legal authorities are located.
The KL City Gallery is also situated at the Merdeka Square, it is a museum housing legacies of the past and present of the city.
15. Masjid Jamek
The Jamek Mosque, built in 1909, is located at the spot where the rivers Gombak and Klang converge.
16. Royal history at Istana Negara
Istana Negara used to be the palace of the former kings of Malaysia and now functions as a royal museum. You can learn about the how the royalty lived. It still has royal guards. There is also a changing of the guard ceremony every day for visitors to witness some of Malaysia’s royal and official ceremonial traditions.
17. Police Museum
The Police museum showcases the history of the Malaysia police force, it contains some interesting and unusual artifacts which will particularly be a treat for militia buffs.
18. Maybank Numismatic Museum
You can view all the various collections of coins and currencies from the early times of Malaysia as well as Asean countries. Also of interest are the notes and coins from the Melaka Sultanate time where the Portuguese, British and Japanese was seen to have conquered Malaysia. Get there easily: All you need to do is take the PUTRA LRT and stop at Masjid Jamek station. The museum will be just on the Maybank Tower and is about 10 minutes’ walk away.
19. Thean Hou Temple
Thean Hou Temple has an iconic six tier design. The inside of the temple features Confucian, Tao, and Buddhist decorative pieces and has traditional red pillars with intricate carvings and decorated raised ceilings painted in red and gold.
20. Sin Sze Si Ya Temple
built in 1864, the oldest Taoist temple in Kuala Lumpur. Situated just a three-minute walk away from Petaling Street. Before major exams, many local Chinese students flock to Sin Sze Ya Temple to pray for good luck from Wenchang Dijun, who is the God of Education in Chinese mythology. Other unique Taoist practices include crawling under a table right in front of statues of Sin Sze Ye and Sze Ye to help lessen mortal burdens as well as circling the temple’s main altar three times to bring good fortune.
21. Golden Triangle
The Golden Triangle is an intersection that features a range of shopping, nightlife, bar, clubs, restaurants, and hotel options. The area spans several streets but the central hub is primarily located in and around Jalan P. Ramlee.
22. National Zoo of Malaysia
The National Zoo is run by the Malaysian Zoological Society and almost 500 species are housed within. There are a range of exhibits for visitors to enjoy such as a reptile park, an aviary, a lake, insect house and a freshwater aquarium.
23. Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
It is home to over 3000 birds and is one of the largest public aviaries in the world, with a focus on conservation and scientific studies of birds in their natural habitats.
24. Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park
A chance to look at over 120 species of butterflies in the park designed to mimic jungle conditions with lakes, gazebos, and a huge variety of flora and fauna.
25. KLCC AQUARIA
Housed in the basement of the KLCC, Aquaria KLCC spans over 60,000 square feet, houses about 5000 aquatic species, and features a 300 foot tunnel in the center which allows visitors to explore the depths up close as they are surrounded on three sides by water. The experience is set up as a land to sea journey and aims to educate visitors on Malaysian aquatic life, from fresh water rivers and swamps, to the vast ocean.
Bonus tip: Partake in Thaipusam
This is a Hindu Malaysian festival and occurs during the full moon in February. Every year, thousands of locals and tourists flock to the Batu Caves to offer milk pots to the deities as a sort of thanksgiving and penance.
Here are a few amazing Airbnbs in Kuala Lumpur if you’re wondering where to stay. Did you enjoy this Kuala Lumpur travel guide? Do you have any more things to add to this list?