There are lots of amazing things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, and it seems like we’re discovering more every time we visit.
Not only is Kuala Lumpur the biggest city in Malaysia, but it’s also the 6th most-visited city in the world. If you take any regional flights in Southeast Asia, chances are you’ll transit in KL at some point.
It’s a fun city for families and couples, and it’s pretty easy to get around. The cherry on top is that it’s also very affordable. We’ve stayed in Kuala Lumpur many times over the years, and we always love to go back.
Three of the world’s 10 biggest malls are in KL, and it’s an all-around exciting city for shopping, food, zoos, museums, architecture, and everything else there is to enjoy in a city.
Without further ado, here’s our Kuala Lumpur travel guide, with a complete list of 13 top things to do in Kuala Lumpur city!
Where To Stay
Best Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1. Petronas Twin Towers
The Petronas Towers are Kuala Lumpur’s most famous landmark, and they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 (when they were bumped off by Taipei 101). They’re still the tallest ‘twin’ towers in the world.
The towers are equally impressive when they’re lit up at night. You can admire them from below, or take a lift up to the top for views of KL city. Either way, good photo ops abound!
If you plan to go to the top of the towers, it’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance. There can be long queues for tickets sometimes.
Book Now: Petronas Towers Tickets
2. Suria KLCC Mall
Suria is a fancy mall on the ground floor of the Petronas Towers. With more than 300 stores, it’s one of the biggest shopping malls in Malaysia.
A lot of stores in this mall cater to the luxury crowd, but you don’t have to be rich to shop here. There’s something for everyone.
We usually come here to eat. There’s a good mix of street food type restaurants, dessert shops, western fast food, and more.
3. Aquaria KLCC
This is a state of the art 60,000 square foot aquarium below KLCC that opened in 2005. If you’re scuba certified, you can even dive with sharks here.
Aquaria has over 250 different species and more than 5,000 land and aquatic animals from Malaysia and around the world.
Book Now: Aquaria KLCC Tickets
4. Merdeka Square
This is a historical square with some interesting buildings related to Malaysia’s colonial period and independence. The name means Independence Square.
As a photographer, the highlight of this place would have to be the 19th century Sultan Abdul Samad Building, with its clock tower and copper domes.
5. Thean Hou Temple
This is a Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur with some awesome architecture, and it’s free to visit.
It’s a contemporary building (1980s), but it has all of the classic features that make Chinese cultural objects so cool.
We’ve been to Thean Hou Temple a bunch of times over the years, and it’s always fun to explore.
More info: Thean Hou Temple
6. Bukit Bintang
Bukit is the shopping and entertainment district of KL, and it’s loaded with malls, clubs, night markets, and more. There’s a wide range of Chinese, Indian, and Vietnamese restaurants, along with other eats for just about every nationality.
Major shopping malls here include Pavilion KL, Fahrenheit 88, Starhill Gallery, and Berjaya Times Square. Some of these malls have more than 500 shops each!
Bukit Bintang also has a bunch of neat entertainment museums like MinNature Malaysia, the Museum of Illusions, and the Selfie Museum.
7. Jalan Alor
This street is part of the Bukit Bintang district and it’s popular for having lots of street food and colorful street art. It’s a fun place to take photos.
There are bright murals of waterfalls, jungles, animals and people, garden scenes, and more. These are marked on Google Maps as Lane 1 and Lane 2, but if you look around in the side streets you might find others!
Book Now: Kuala Lumpur Instagram Tour
8. KL Tower
The KL Tower is the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world, and it’s a great place to get a 360-degree view of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia!
You can take an elevator to the top of the building and walk the observation deck that wraps around the tower, and there’s even a glass cube called the Sky Box where you can get your picture taken while sitting on glass panels above the city.
The ground floor of KL Tower has restaurants, souvenir shops, and a mini zoo.
9. KL Bird Park
This bird park is home to almost 3,000 local and foreign birds of more than 200 different species.
We didn’t think this park was as good as the Bali Bird Park in Indonesia, but it’s still worth a visit.
They have giant walk-in aviaries where the birds are free to fly around in a natural environment.
Book Now: KL Bird Park Tickets + Transfer
10. Batu Caves
This place is a short 20 minute drive from the city, and it can be a refreshing change of scenery from the skyline in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.
These are big limestone hills with huge caves to explore via a set of rainbow stairs, and there’s a 140 foot tall golden statue of a Hindu deity.
After climbing the rainbow stairs (272 total), you can look around in the caves and interact with some wild monkeys.
More info: Batu Caves
11. Bukit Melawati
This place is a 1 hour drive from the city, but we’d still rank it as one of the best things to do near Kuala Lumpur! You can go by private taxi, bus, or tour.
It’s a scenic hill overlooking the Malacca Strait, with a colonial fort, old cannons, and a lighthouse built by the Dutch in 1794.
The silver leaf monkeys are the star attraction at Melawati. They’re very friendly and not mischievous at all, unlike the wild long-tailed macaques with the gray fur (which you can also see at this place).
The grownup leaf monkeys are black, but the babies are covered in bright orange fur! These monkeys are incredibly photogenic and you can buy sweet potatoes to feed them.
Book Now: Kuala Selangor Wildlife Tour
12. Rooftop Pools
Kuala Lumpur has lots of hotels with spectacular rooftop pools, where you can take a swim while enjoying the skyline and city landmarks like the Petronas Towers and KL Tower.
These hotels are surprisingly affordable, and you can sometimes find rooms for as low as 200 Ringgit ($50 USD) per night. We’ve stayed in a few of these hotels over the years, and it’s always a great experience.
Here are some of our top recommendations, in no particular order:
13. Putra Mosque
This is a pink domed mosque in Putrajaya, about 30 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur city. Tourists can go inside for free.
The Persian architecture of this building is beautiful inside and out. It’s great for photos!
How To Get Around Kuala Lumpur
There are lots of ways to get around Kuala Lumpur city. You can go by train, bus, taxi, tour, self drive, or ride hailing.
When we visit Malaysia, we normally use the Grab ride hailing app for short trips in Kuala Lumpur, and sometimes the train or bus for longer journeys. Grab is the local equivalent of Uber, and it works great for getting around KL.
The trains in the city pass by iconic attractions like KLCC and the Central Market, and there are free purple ‘Go KL’ buses that circle the popular tourist sights and shopping districts.
The Grab app is the easiest transport to use and the fares are surprisingly low compared to what you might pay for a car ride in western countries. It’s also safer than hopping in a random taxi, and you’re less likely to be scammed.
Kuala Lumpur Hotels
Best Kuala Lumpur Tours
If you want to travel Kuala Lumpur as conveniently as possible and see everything with a vetted tour company, there are plenty of options.
We’ve used GetYourGuide for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great! Highly recommended.
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