Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia’s vibrant capital and cultural hub – is a beautifully diverse city with dozens of wondrous surprises. A paradise for bona fide shopaholics, the city teems with lively open-air markets and cutting-edge shopping malls with a ton of bargains and great finds. What’s more, the city has an energetic nightlife scene as well as an eclectic cuisine that promise to please your palate. To top it all off, it’s a high-rise and chic metropolis where steep and glittering skyscrapers effortlessly blend with historic landmarks, traditional markets and cultural jewels. No matter what your reasons for traveling are, you’ll find an endless array of things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Headed to KL, but don’t know what to do in Kuala Lumpur? Want to make your trip full of colors and life? Discover all the cool and hip things to do in Kuala Lumpur, with this informative KL travel guide!
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1. Wander around Chinatown
Itching for a shopping spree? Need a little retail therapy? Then, make sure to include a visit to Chinatown to your list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur! From classic Chinese herbs to amazingly catchy knockoffs, you’ll find a lot of different items and products sold at dirt-cheap rates in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown. Drenched in Oriental culture, heritage and history, this shopping hodgepodge is also filled with incredible sights that will give an urge to snap a heap of photographs.
2. Pose a photo or selfie with the Petronas Twin Towers
A photo with the famed Petronas Twin Towers should definitely be on top of your list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur. While this attraction in KL is too mainstream or cliché for some, there’s a good reason why countless of people come to this enthralling landmark on a daily basis. Gleaming and towering, this iconic towers are, after all, a mesmerizing sight that will leave you breathless. Not to mention, they are world-record holders, and often labeled as one of the planet’s most famous sights
And, in my opinion, a visit to this Kuala Lumpur landmark is a quintessential experience, especially for first-time visitors in Malaysia’s capital. Just find unique angles and a great spot that’s free from the never-ending stream of tourists and snap-happy travelers.
3. Visit Kuala Lumpur Tower
Just because it has been overshadowed by the Petronas, it doesn’t mean the KL Tower doesn’t deserve a spot on our list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Perched on Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, this 421-meter-tall architectural marvel is, as of now, the 7th tallest telecommunication tower in the world. Lauded as a symbol of KL, it’s truly an importantly architectural marker with a fabulous and breathtaking viewing deck offering a sweeping view of KL. As a matter of fact, its viewing deck is, at least, 100 meters higher than the Petronas Towers’ Skybridge.
4. Savor the 360-degree bird’s eye views at the Grand Hyatt
Dreaming of seeing something really spectacular? Make your way to the 39th floor’s circular lobby at the Grand Hyatt, to enjoy a breathtaking view of Kuala Lumpur. As you step off the lobby’s lift, you’ll get an awe-inspiring view of the iconic Twin Towers and rest of the city. To make your experience even more memorable, this stop also comes with snug sofas as well as rather polite porters.
5. Check out Aquaria KLCC
Looking for family-friendly things to do in Kuala Lumpur? Nestled in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre’s depths, Aquaria KLCC wows it visitors with more than 4,000 animals and exhibits. Nicknamed as “an ocean discovery in the heart of the city”, this mega-aquarium is home to over a hundred of marine life species, including lethal sea snakes, bright coral fish and sea horse. The star attractions of Aquaria KLCC, however, are no other than the mighty tiger sharks. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you may submerge underwater, and get a close look of these ferocious underwater predators.
6. Hit KL Bird Park
Speaking of family-friendly attractions and things to do in Kuala Lumpur, don’t forget to include KL Bird Park to your travel itinerary. Billing itself as the “largest free-flight walk-in aviary in the world”, KL Bird Park offers a slew of sights and experiences that travelers of all ages will love. Here, you may chase hornbills and peacocks, feed parakeets, pose with parrots and owls and watch an ostrich laying eggs. Plus, you’ll also be awed by flamingos and soaring storks in an environment that hardly feels too commercial or caged-in.
7. Spend a couple of hours admiring the KL Butterfly Park
From KL Bird Park, make your way to the nearby KL Butterfly Park. Whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, KL Butterfly Park will make a great addition to your list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur. As you visit the park, you’ll get to see heaps of colorful and beautiful butterflies flying around. Even better, the park has a relaxing atmosphere, teeming with trees, flowers and small waterfalls.
8. Shop at Suria KLCC
Can’t fight the urge to shop? For shoppers, a pit stop to Suria LCC should be on top of your bucket list things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Keep in mind that it is one of the most beloved and celebrated high-end malls in Kuala Lumpur. To make things even more interesting, it is home to some of the most informative and exciting galleries in Kuala Lumpur, such as PETRONAS Art Gallery and Petrosains.
9. Experience Genting Skyway
Planning on visiting Genting Highlands? Why not include a ride on Genting Skyway to your list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur? Known as the speediest mono cable car system on earth, Genting Skyway will definitely make your visit Genting Highlands a whole more fun and interesting. After your takeoff, the audio guide, cool highland mist and verdant scenery will make your cable car ride so strangely serene. And, along the way, you’ll see decorative statues, in the midst of the foliage looking as artificial and beautiful as the hill resort above.
10. Wander around Little India
Strolling Little India, or also referred as Masjid India, should be a shoo-in to your list of things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Offering a sweet glimpse of India, this enclave will appease your wanderlust with the enticing sounds, sights and scents of its motherland.
Craving for some Indian food? While it’s well-known for its textiles and jewelry, this landmark in Kuala Lumpur is also a great place to enjoy flavorsome Indian culinary treats, such as vaddai, stringhoppers, chappati and prata. Trust me, a visit to Little India is totally of the coolest things to do in Kuala Lumpur, for certified foodies.
11. Explore Batu Caves
No list of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur is complete without a visit to Batu Caves. As you visit these renowned chambers, you’ll discover tons of impressive sights as well as explore the grounds wherein you’ll get a deeper understanding of Malaysia’s religious roots. In addition, it flaunts a collection of remarkable statues and painting of gods in Hinduism.
12. Pay homage to Tugu Negara
Tugu Negara, or also called as the National Monument, is a beautiful sculpture commemorating the people who died in Malaysia’s struggle for independence against the Japanese. Surrounded beautifully by a garden full of pavilions and fountains, the area has a laid-back and cool ambiance too, making it one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur for weary travelers. And, did I mention that it is one of Asia’s tallest freestanding bronze statues?
13. Gaze at Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Traveling on a tight budget and on the lookout for free things to do in Kuala Lumpur? I suggest that you drop by Sri Mahamariamman Temple in KL. Built in the 1800s, this KL attraction is revered as the city’s oldest and most gorgeous Hindu temple. Even if you haven’t seen it in person, the place is fairly recognizable, with its vibrant and kaleidoscopic façade that features a variety of Hindu deities depicting fabled legends.
14. Eat like a king at Jalan Alor
Into Chinese food, and searching for tasty things to do in Kuala Lumpur? They don’t call Jalan Alor as the cultural heart of KL’s cuisine for nothing. Lively, tantalizing and aromatic, Jalan Alor is an atmospheric strip of Chinese restaurants with rows of hawker stalls. From juicy barbecues and noodles to toothsome desserts, this strip is home to some of KL’s cheapest and best-tasting street food. As an added bonus, Jalan Alor has an enthusiastic and lively setting that will make your dining experience even more memorable and pleasurable.
15. See Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Visiting Sultan Abdul Samad Building is, without a doubt, one of the most popular things to do in Kuala Lumpur, for tourists and locals alike. Praised for its distinctive and iconic architecture, this historic building will give you heaps of impressive pictures. Even though it’s remarkable by day, its view at night guarantees to awestruck you.
16. Pay a visit to the Islamic Arts Museum
With thousands of artifacts and a myriad of galleries, the Islamic Arts Museum is indeed a wondrous resource center for Islamic studies. Moreover, it’s a magnificent showpiece for the finest artisanship. More than an Islamic museum, the treasure trove also flaunts Indian and Chinese galleries, to help visitors get a better grip of the culture and religious habits of Malaysia’s Chinese and Indian communities.
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17. Make a stop at Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
From its current glory to its formation years, this little and fun one-stop tourist center will share everything you need to know about the city, making it one of the must-try things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Here, you’ll get dioramas, free maps, as well as guided walking and bicycle tours if you want little company for your urban break.
18. Be fascinated by Zoo Negara
The National Zoo is by far an amazing and lively wildlife sanctuary, meaning visiting it is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur for animal lovers. Home to Malaysia’s most exciting animal collection, Zoo Negara has a wide variety of Asian rainforest animals as well as unique creatures, like its pair of giant pandas from China.
19. Discover Malaysia’s history at Muzium Negara
Want to know more about the history of this Southeast Asian country? Interested in uncovering the beautiful past of Malaysia? From World War II to the Neolithic ear, the National Museum will give you a deep insight of the history and the evolution of Malaysia.
20. Explore Central Market
Housed in a striking Art Deco building, Pasar Seni is the epicenter of modern and traditional arts in KL. Deemed as one of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur, the Central Market has more than 300 shops that sell everything that’s Malaysian, from modern art to weaves and old-style batik prints. Additionally, it hosts theater outlets as well as cultural events celebrated weekly to honor Malaysia’s diverse population.
21. See Jamek Mosque
With its elaborate Moorish architecture, it’s easy to see why they call Jamek Mosque as one of most beautiful places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Add in a great location and a long history, and you’ve got an intriguing site with striking views.
22. See Maybank Numismatic Museum
Managed and owned by one of Malaysia’s finest banks, Maybank Numismatic Museum houses the country’s largest collections of coin and money. Set inside the beloved Maybank Tower, this museum also has a range of attractions to offer to its spectators, including the antique samples of banknotes and coins. Likewise, visitors here may learn more about Malaysia’s currency history.
23. Marvel at Masjid Negara
British architect Howard Ashley as well as Malysians Baharuddin Kassim and Hisham Albakri opted to break away from the typical dome tops, to give Masid Negara a unique look that defies tradition. As you gaze at this one-of-a-kind architectural jewel, you’ll see a concrete 16-pointed star roof that resembles an umbrella, paired wonderfully by a 70-meter-high minaret, creating a unique building in Kuala Lumpur.
24. Party the night away at the Golden Triangle
Itching for an epic night full of booze and loud music? Want to experience the best nightlife in Kuala Lumpur? Then, head to the Golden Triangle, a popular section in KL, featuring a wide range of clubs, hotels, restaurants, bars and nightlife options. Besides its crazy nightlife, the strip also has a sprawling shopping center for those who want to buy some souvenirs and excellent finds.
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