Best Things to See and Do in Kuala Lumpur
A skyline dotted with high-rises, a food scene to die for, an exciting nightlife and a cityscape sprinkled with religious temples and an array of architecture throughout, Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur is a city to visit. After spending five days in this cosmopolitan city of six million, I’ve created the below guide listing all of the best things to see and do in Kuala Lumpur. Enjoy!
Take in the city view from the top of the KL Tower – While the views from the top of this iconic space-needle-looking tower are unparalleled, this is not a quick or cheap attraction. Tickets to visit the open-air Skydeck atop the tower are 99 ringgit. *Note: As one of KL’s main attractions, it will take anywhere from 20-40 minutes to reach the top. Additionally, if you’d like to get Instagrammable photo in one of the skyboxes, you’ll have to wait for 1-4 hours and are given 1 minute and 40 seconds to capture the perfect picture while you are in there.
Walk down Jalan Petaling – The famous walking street in Chinatown known for all of its knock-off brands (and maybe real ones mixed in, according to the locals) and knick-knacks for sale.
Visit the Batu Caves – 15km north of KL is Malaysia’s national treasure: the Batu Caves. Guarded by the 42-meter-tall Lord Murugan statue and greeted by 272 colorful stairs sits a limestone cave protecting sacred Hindu shrines inside.
Souvenir shop at Central Market (a short walk from Jalan Petaling) – A higher scale market than Jalan Petaling, Central Market features a variety of boutiques and stalls selling artisanal products. I bought some all-natural, locally made skincare products here.
Walk around Merdeka Square, which is surrounded by important landmarks and attractions including the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Royal Selangor Club, National History Museum, KL City Gallery and St. Mary’s Cathedral. This is like one-stop sight-seeing, with all of these buildings in close proximity to one another.
Stroll through KLCC park which backs up to the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world. The best view of the towers is from this park. If you’re interested in going inside the towers, they are open T-S and cost 80 ringgit for adults.
Take the Instagram Tour – While this tour is pricey, it’s a hassle-free way to see all of the KL’s main attractions with a private driver/host. For someone like me who wants to get the perfect shot at different sights in different cities for my blog, this tour was an easy way to do just that.
Eat at Merchant’s Lane – On the famous Jalan Petaling behind two teal-colored doors is a hip restaurant serving western dishes with an Asian flare. Think India meets Italy – a match made in heaven that you never knew could be such a thing – that’s the brilliant Butter Chicken Pasta dish. *there is a small wait time upon arrival
Have a progessive dinner along Jalan Alor – KL’s signature hawker food street. Lined with food stalls and sit-down restaurants, this walking street has every dish Malaysia has to offer on one pathway. *this is a night market
Dine at Limapulo: Baba Can Cook – A nostalgic Peranakan (Chinese-Malay hybrid) restaurant located on The Row. The award-winning chef “Uncle John” (Baba) is famous for his Nyonya Laksa. This signature dish is only served on M,W,F,S and runs out quick so plan accordingly! I went around 7:30PM on a Monday and the restaurant was already out. However, I still enjoyed a different dish and the atmosphere.
Sunset drinks at Heli Lounge – An active helicopter pad by day and bar by night – it doesn’t get cooler than this. As the sun goes down, the helipad transforms into a lounge as tables and chairs are set up in the open air. Considered “KL’s best kept secret” the Heli Lounge is still under the tourist radar so you can enjoy a cocktail and take in the 360-degree views without the massive crowds.
Sip a G&T from a Chinese takeout container at Mr. Chew’s Chino Latino – The penthouse of the WOLO hotel, Mr. Chew’s concocts the one-of-a-kind “Mr. Chew’s Takeaway G&T” garnished with chopsticks for the full effect. The restaurant also has an amazing menu with Asian-Latino small plates to share. The perfect marriage of Asia and South America in each dish is the relationship you never knew you needed.
Spend a night out on Changkat Bukit Bintang – this street is all the rage, literally. Bars, night clubs and restaurants line both sides of this lively street and stay open ’til the wee hours of the morning. Bar hop along these pre-war colonial shops-turned-drinking and dining establishments.
Spend a night out in TREC – KL’s largest hangout area, TREC amasses two blocks comprising 20+ shopping, eating, drinking and dancing options. Much more upscale than Changkat Bukit Bintang, TREC includes global clubs and restaurants including Zouk and Le Noir. TREC is also home to Asia’s largest The Iron Fairies club (which has more pixie dust than I’ve ever seen).