High skyscrapers, soft green hills, colorful resident areas, gardens with pools, markets, beautiful colonial architecture- this is Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Today it is in the “team” of the largest megacities in Asia, along with Tokyo, Singapore, Dubai, Delhi, and Shanghai. Millions of travelers go to visit it every year for various reasons, looking for a different experience. And if you are an explorer, who wants to taste the essence of this city, how would you build your itinerary? Let’s make a journey to Kuala Lumpur and identify which places to visit there, and how to arrange our route.
Basic facts about Kuala Lumpur
As you probably know, geographically, Malaysia is divided into two parts- Peninsular Malaysia, and Eastern Malaysia in Borneo Island. And Kuala Lumpur, as a capital of the country, is located in the Peninsular Malaysia, on the main transportation route, connecting Singapore with the rest of Asia. The city is built on a large valley, surrounded by the Titiwangsa Mountains on the west, and opened to Malacca Straits on the east.
Now it is a large megacity with its large modern center, where most of its symbols and important places to visit are located. And it is surrounded by many suburbs, residential areas and villages, included administratively into the city area.
An interesting fact is that most of the Malaysian government institutions are located not in Kuala Lumpur, but in the neighboring city of Putrajaya, which is newly designed and specially planned for this purpose. And although Putrajaya (along with its another neighbor, again specifically designed, called Cyberjaya) is administratively not a part of Kuala Lumpur, it is closely related to it, forming a larger common area, called Greater Kuala Lumpur. But let’s see how Kuala Lumpur, called shortly “KL” has been established, and what places to visit mark its history.
History of Kuala Lumpur
It is a new city. You will not find there any ancient ruins or old town. So, the history of Kuala Lumpur is short, and its places to visit are all relatively new. Let’s divide its timeline into periods and identify some important sites, which mark its history.
The beginning (before 1857)
You can see the skyline of Kuala Lumpur today. But only a little more than 150 years ago, this same place was different. The whole valley of Klang River and the surrounded area was a wild place, covered by jungle. The only residents of this area were some local Malay and Orang Asli people, living in their small villages of wooden houses, scattered in this jungle. Nothing more, for thousands of years.
The “baby” years of Kuala Lumpur (1857-1880)
Then, the first sign of change happened around 1857, when 87 Chinese tin prospectors were hired by a member of the royal family to open tin mines in this area. They chose as a base the place the Klang and Gombak Rivers confluence, then a muddy place, full of mosquitoes, but obviously with good transportation features. And they called its base “Kuala Lumpur”, which means “muddy confluence”. Today, there is the historical Masjid Jamek in this place, surrounded by modern buildings, and this is the core of what is today KL, from where you can start your city exploring.
Due to the successful and prosperous tin business, the small tin base quickly started to grow. Many new houses (most of them still wooden) were built, not only in the place between the two rivers but on their other banks too. It quickly turned into a town with permanent residents, shops, street markets, as well as every other attribute of a city. Most of the Chinese settled east of the Klang River, around the Old Market Square, from where today’s Chinatown with its Petaling Street has been established. And the other residents- mainly Malays and Indians, settled mostly north of it.
But the young Kuala Lumpur soon passed through many challenges. There were a lot of crimes and unrest due to the fighting mafia clans, and there was a civil war, during which the whole city was destroyed, but later renewed and repopulated.
The second growing (1880-1895)
Significant changes came to the city from 1880. Its wooden houses were replaced by stronger ones, made of bricks, and the streets were made wider. The British established their government in one of the most beautiful old buildings in KL- Sultan Abdul Samad Building (named after the ruling sultan of Selangor at that time), now one of the must-visit places. Kuala Lumpur was also made the capital of the Selangor Sultanate. A railway was built, and the city continued growing in size and population. And today you have to visit its old Railway Station, another beautiful remain from this era.
The first half of the 20th century (1895-1942)
In the 20th century, Kuala Lumpur was opened for a new business- rubber. It added a new “fuel” to the city growing, and it quickly increased in size. Many Chinese settled there, as a part of large Chinese immigration in the whole of Malaya, some of them became the richest people in the whole country.
Japanese occupation and post-war era (1942-1957)
Then, in 1942, the Japanese conquered Kuala Lumpur, for more than 3 years. This period was a disaster for the city, but it finished quickly with the Japanese surrender. However, it seriously shook the British Colonial Rule in Malaya. And for the next 10 years, a course for the independence of a new country has begun. Until finally, in 1957, the flag of independent Malaya was raised in Merdeka Square (“Independence Square”).
Post-independence era (1957-1990)
Kuala Lumpur became the capital of Malaya in 1957, and then of the newly formed Malaysia in 1963. The city was administratively separated in a capital area and continued growing. Everything was peaceful, with the exception of two unrests. The first was ethnical, between Malays and Chinese, in 1969, and the second was a terrorist crisis with hostages, in 1975.
Contemporary era (1990 era until now)
After 1990, Kuala Lumpur gradually became what is it look likes today. Almost all of the contemporary skyscrapers, including the famous Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower were built in this era. Most of the government moved to the newly built Putrajaya, and a modern transportation system with trains, LRT and Monorail were established, uniting the whole area, along with Putrajaya into the Greater Kuala Lumpur.
Our trip to Kuala Lumpur
So, when we built our Peninsular Malaysia itinerary, of course, we included Kuala Lumpur. And as our traditional way of exploring a city, first, we identify the important and representative places to visit, as well as some specific for the place things to do. But in the case of KL, it was not easy. I couldn’t find any clear list of „places to visit in Kuala Lumpur” on the internet. Yes, there are some very good blogs with articles, listing KL places to visit, but I found that they are more vacation-fun-children-oriented, focusing on shopping and entertainment. It is great, but for exploring, I needed a bit different list of places, so I had to identify them by myself.
Most important areas and places to visit in Kuala Lumpur
Since Kuala Lumpur is a new city, most of its places to visit are not historical, built in the contemporary era, after 1990. So, to make things easier, I divided the city into four areas. The first is the historical center of Kuala Lumpur, around the confluence of Klang and Gombak Rivers. The second is the modern center of the city, with KL Tower and Petronas Twin Towers. Then, the third is the park area, west of the historical center, representing the gardens and parks of KL. And the fourth area is everything else, including the suburbs of the Greater Kuala Lumpur.
The historical center of Kuala Lumpur
This is the area around the confluence of Klang and Gombak Rivers. Its places to visit include some notorious landmarks, as well as some ethnic neighborhoods. The whole area is not very large and can be explored on foot within several hours. Let’s see the most important places to visit there.
Kuala Lumpur river confluence and Masjid Jamek
This is the core, the birthplace of Kuala Lumpur, and one of its landmarks. Now there is a mosque between the two rivers- Klang and Gombak, called Masjid Jamek. It is built in 1909 in Mughal architectural style and is the first large mosque in the city.
There are two ways to visit this place. The first one is from the LRT station Masjid Jamek, from where you can enter the mosque. And the second (and most popular way) is to walk to the bridge, south of the river confluence, where you can enjoy one of the most iconic views on this site. Now there is a water steam spraying installation, which releases steam of water drops in the morning and evening, making the place mysteriously beautiful. So, visit this place as a starting point of Kuala Lumpur’s history and your KL exploring.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
It is one of the most iconic landmarks of Kuala Lumpur. The building is located right beside the two rivers’ confluence and in front of Merdeka Square. It was built in 1897, and initially, it served as a place for the offices of the British Colonial authorities. Its architecture is designed in the same style as Masjid Jamek- Mughal, with some Moorish elements. And its clock tower is one of its most prominent features.
After the independence of Malaysia, many government offices were placed in the building. But later, with the establishing of Putrajaya, most of these units were moved, and now there are only the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
So, the best way to visit this site is to go to Merdeka Square and make the best photos of the building from there. You can also walk behind the building, at the river confluence and take photos of some details too. It is possible to enter in some parts of the building too, without an entrance fee.
Merdeka Square and Selangor Royal Club
This square is another important landmark of Kuala Lumpur. It is not an ordinary square, but it is covered by grass, like a cricket playground, so it is also called „Padang”, which simply means „The Field”. The square was established at the end of the 19th century, and along with some official events, it was really used also for sport and recreation. There is a 95 m high flagpole, one of the highest in the world, and it was the place of declaring the independence of Malaya.
Merdeka Square is surrounded by some notable buildings, of which the most iconic is Sultan Abdul Samad Building on the east, and the Selangor Royal Club on the west. The latter was used for the British aristocracy. Other buildings nearby are the St.Mary Cathedral, the Textile Museum, and the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery.
Now, for an explorer, the best way to visit Merdeka Square is to use your visitation for photographing these two buildings and the surrounded cityscape behind them.
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
It is a small museum, located at the southern end of Merdeka Square. You can skip it, but I recommend to visit it because it gives a good impression of Kuala Lumpur. There is a splendid exhibition of the city’s notable buildings, and they also arrange a short movie with lights show on the second floor. You can also see a lot of photos and other artifacts, related to some important events in the city. Finally, you can buy some souvenirs. Entrance fee: 10 RM.
The next important places in the old center of Kuala Lumpur are located south of Merdeka Square. And Masjid Negara is the first one. It is built with the idea to serve as a „National mosque”, dedicated to the independence of Malaysia, hence its name „Masjid Negara”. The mosque is established in 1965 in a modern architectural style. Its sharp minaret is 75 m high, and the main hall has a 16-star roof. The whole area around the mosque is turned into a park with some pools.
Old Railway Station
This is a beautiful building in mixed Mughal and Western architectural styles. It is built in 1910 to serve as the main train terminal of Kuala Lumpur, and the whole Malay Peninsula, replacing two older stations. There was also a hotel and offices in the same building.
In 2001, a new main transportation hub was built- KL Sentral. From then on, the importance of the old Railway Station declined, and now it is used only as a stop for the city’s Komuter trains. But its architectural and historical value remains and it is worth to visit it, taking photos from outside.
The National Museum is a very important educational place, so I highly recommend it, especially if it is your first time in Malaysia. It is built in 1963 and presents the history and culture of Malaysia in four main halls.
The first and the second halls are located on the 1st floor, as the first one presents prehistory and ancient history of the country, and the second one- the Hindu and Muslim eras before the European colonization. Then, the third and fourth halls are located on the 2nd floor, presenting the colonial era and the modern era of Malaysia. Entrance fee: 5 RM for adults, 2 RM for children.
There are also some interesting buildings outside of the museum. The first one is Istana Satu, built as a copy of the Terengganu Sultan’s Palace. And the second one is the Orang Asli Craft Museum- a small exhibition of artifacts from the original people of Peninsular Malaysia.
Chinatown and Petaling Street
Let’s take a look at the eastern side of Klang River because this is the location of the earliest versions of Kuala Lumpur. From the year of the city’s establishment, the Chinese have always been a significant part of its population, and their main area of settlement is today’s Chinatown.
In this area, you can find a lot of Chinese culture presence. There are buildings with some Chinese architectural elements, there are some Chinese temples, restaurants, and decorations. But the most notorious place in this area is the Petaling Street Market.
Petaling Street Market is an open-air market, located in several narrow streets within Chinatown, part of it covered by a transparent roof. You can find a lot of little things to buy there- souvenirs, clothes, gifts, daily use products, as well as some street food. And of course, as in all other places of this kind- a lot of crowds. But it is worth visiting, to feel the local atmosphere.
Some other places in the old part of Kuala Lumpur
In general, the places above are enough for an initial exploration of the KL’s old part. But if you are looking for something more, I would mention the following places:
- Medan Pasar Clock Tower. A clock tower, built in 1937 in honor of King George IV’s coronation, in the middle of Medan Pasar Square.
- Coliseum Theatre. It is an old cinema, built in the Art-Deco style in 1920, located north of Masjid Jamek.
- Panggung Bandaraya DBKL. An old building in Mughal-Moorish architectural style, located near Masjid Jamek, used for musicals and theatrical plays.
- Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple. The central Hindu temple used by the local Indian community, located on the western side of Chinatown.
- Cathedral of St.John the Evangelist. One of the main cathedrals of Kuala Lumpur, built in 1954, notorious for its white facade.
- Istana Negara Museum. The former residence of the chosen sultan of Malaysia now turned into a museum. Entrance fee: 10 RM.
After this, let’s focus on the modern center of Kuala Lumpur.
The modern center of Kuala Lumpur
This part of the city is located northeast of the old center, and in general, this is the place where you can find the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, as well as some other modern structures. So, let’s start with Petronas.
Petronas Twin Towers
They are maybe the most famous landmark of Kuala Lumpur and the whole of Malaysia. From 1997 to 2004 they were the tallest buildings in the world, and now still remain the tallest twin buildings.
Petronas Twin Towers are designed in an architectural style that incorporates some traditional Islamic elements, in order to symbolize the main religion of Malaysia. And due to the soft rock under the constructions, they have the deepest foundation in the world.
You can visit the towers in two ways. The first way is to enjoy them from outside and make iconic photos of their image. To do this, the best point to go is the neighboring KLCC Park. And the second way is to enter inside and ascend to their observation decks. Thus you can see their interior and can enjoy panoramic views of the whole Kuala Lumpur from above. Entrance fee: 80 RM for adults and 33 RM for children between 3 and 12 years old.
This is another important site of Kuala Lumpur, although not such a famous as the twin towers. It is a TV tower, the 7th tallest in the world, with a height of 421 m, including its antenna. The tower has two purposes- to provide a TV broadcast, and to serve as a tourist attraction. For the second purpose, it has an observation 360° panoramic deck, a sky deck (open-air), a banquet hall, and a revolving restaurant. It has 4 elevators and stairs, used also for race contest for quickest climbing to the observation deck.
Again, you can visit the tower just when you approach it closer, and there are many points in the city for this purpose. If you want to take a good photo of the tower, it is better don’t go too close. We chose the junction of Jalan Ramlee and Jalan Raja Chulan at The Weld, and this is a good way to „touch” the tower if you don’t have too much time.
But a better way, of course, is to visit the tower itself and to ascend to its observation deck or revolving restaurant. Entrance fees: for the Observation deck- 49 RM for adults and 29 RM for children; for the Sky deck- 99 RM for adults and 52 RM for children.
Other places to visit in the modern center of Kuala Lumpur
In general, Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower are the two most important places to visit in the modern center of Kuala Lumpur. And there are no other special places there. But since this part of the city is representative too, I would recommend walking more around it, just to feel the atmosphere of the area. Good ways to do it are walking on the streets, visit some of the malls (not necessary for shopping), or just enjoying a meal or some drink in a restaurant or a cafe.
But there are also some other places which I would recommend, and they are related to the nature- the parks and gardens.
Parks and gardens of Kuala Lumpur’s central part
The parks and gardens of Kuala Lumpur are not located in another, „separated” part of the city but are spread around the older part, in the modern part, as well as in the suburbs. In these places, you can not just enjoy their beautiful park design, but also some attractive thematic sites. Below are three of them that I would recommend.
Perdana Botanical Gardens
This park is located west of the old center of Kuala Lumpur. The park is also called simply „The Lake Gardens”. It is established in 1888, in a hilly area and presents a great variety of plants. It makes it a kind of a historical site, a botanical garden, and a park to relax and recreation at the same time. There are many sites inside the park that are worth to visit:
- Butterfly Park. It is a kind of a butterfly zoo, with some educational themes. Entrance fee: 25 RM for adults, 14 RM for children.
- Bird Park. Another zoo-style garden, presenting a rich collection of birds. Entrance fee: 63 RM for adults, 42 RM for children.
- Main Square with KL Sentral Viewpoint. This is the central spot of the park. There is the main lake in the park with a beautiful view of KL Sentral. And there are various art constructions nearby, like the Canopy umbrellas on the square.
- Deer Park. This is another small „zoo” for deers, where you can see various kinds of these animals. Entrance fee: Free.
- Orchid & Hibiscus Park. It is a specific botanical garden, presenting hibiscus and other exotic trees, some with extremely large leaves. Entrance fee: Free, but there is a 1 RM fee during the holidays.
- Bamboo Playhouse. It is a nice place near the main lake with several bamboo-made „houses”, arranged a bit like a „maze”. Nice to play and relax. No entrance fee.
- Sunken Garden. It is a round-shaped garden with a star-shaped pond in the middle. A nice place for photos.
- Fantasy Planet & Dinosaur Park. It is a playground in a dinosaur-themed style. A great place for children.
- Herb & Spice Garden. A nice garden, presenting herb and spice plants.
- Sarcosa Seri Negara. It is a former colonial building, a residence of the British High Commissioner. Unfortunately, it is currently in decay state, waiting for renovation.
- Planetarium Negara. This is an interesting show site in the space theme. There you can see various presentations about the space, as well as an amusement „Space ball”. Entrance fee: 1 RM, but can change.
- Tugu Negara Monument. This is one of the biggest bronze statues in the world- a monument, dedicated to the Malaysian heroes, fallen against foreign occupators.
- Taman Tugu. It is a volunteer project for establishing a „rainforest trail”, like a trail in the real jungles of Malaysia.
The whole Perdana Botanical Gardens park can be visited as a part of your old KL center exploring. We included it in our walk between the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery and the National Museum. If you want to explore it in detail, visiting all its places of interest, probably you would need at least 5-6 hours, but of course, you can choose which one of the places do you want. However, there is a tram service (2 RM for adults and 1 RM for children), traveling between up to 24 interesting places to visit, which can significantly shorten your time.
KL Forest Eco Park
This is the only original equatorial rainforest left in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. It is located on a small hill, called Bukit Nanas, and its main attraction is the KL Tower, which is built on its top. Besides the KL Tower, there are many other attractions, established for visitors. Among them, I would mention the jungle trails, a canopy bridge, and an Upside Down house (entrance fee: 19 RM for adults and 14 RM for children).
Obviously, you can combine your visit to KL Forest Eco Park with the KL Tower, as two parts of one place to visit. And the Forest Eco Park is a good initial experience, something like a „warming up” if you plan to travel to real wild rainforests like Taman Negara.
It is another central park of Kuala Lumpur, this time related to the Petronas Twin Towers. The park is just a normal beautiful urban garden, with ponds, sport alleys, sculptures, playgrounds, etc. And it is the best place to observe the Twin Towers from outside, so again, you can combine these two sites as one place to visit.
But I would add another site in the area- Petrosains Discovery Center. It is a natural science museum with good educational value, located in Suria KLCC, the big mall on the foot of Petronas Twin Towers. Great for visiting with children. Entrance fee: 28 RM for adults, 16.50 RM for children.
In general, that’s all the essential places to visit in the central part of Kuala Lumpur. Now let’s focus on the suburbs.
Suburbs of Kuala Lumpur
The suburbs of Kuala Lumpur are a large area, the rest of the Greater Kuala Lumpur, surrounding the center. It consists of more parks, residential areas, villages, agricultural fields, some new centers (like Putrajaya and Cyberjaya), and some mountains (like Genting Highlands). It is a too large area to explore in detail, but I would mention several more important places.
This is the closest village to the center of KL, and the closest „suburb place to visit”. It is on only 10 mins walk from the Petronas Twin Towers. When you enter the village, you suddenly find yourself in a totally different environment. Most of the area consists of nice houses with yards. There are some local restaurants too. But at the same time, from the village itself, you can see another magnificent view of the modern center of Kuala Lumpur, with its skyscrapers (including the Twin Towers), rising behind the nice village houses.
This is another attractive area, located also very close to the center, just south of KL Sentral Terminal. Many Indians live in this place and have their business opened, like shops and Indian food restaurants. Good to visit for a different atmosphere.
Tianhou (Thean Hou) Temple
This is the largest Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur. It is relatively new, opened in 1989. It is dedicated to Chinese goddesses and combines elements of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. The temple is located further south from KL Sentral and Little India.
National Palace (Istana Negara)
This is the new Royal residence of the Malaysian chosen sultan, called Yang di-Pertuan Agong (this is the title of the monarch). Now it is a popular tourist attraction. You can’t enter freely inside (it is possible, but only by booking a tour), but you can make photos from outside, in front of its beautiful building.
This is the most popular place to visit in Kuala Lumpur’s suburbs. In the northern part of the Greater Kuala Lumpur, there is a small karst hill area. And as most of the karst areas on the Earth, there are caves. Batu Caves are a system of such caves, some of them quite large and wide. In ancient times, they have been used by the Orang Asli people, but later they remained forgotten in the jungle.
But in the 19th century, the caves were rediscovered again, first by Chinese settlers, then by the British. And in 1890, an Indian trader found the place a perfect spot for establishing a Hindu temple complex, and later a giant Murugan statue was raised. It still stands today at the entrance of the main cave as one of the iconic landmarks of Batu Caves and the whole KL.
You can enter the main cave, climbing on colorful stairs. Inside the cave, you will see a large hall with a Hindu temple, then another hall with an opened hole above. Don’t be surprised by the monkeys who live there, and the whole day eat what tourists give them. Entrance fee: Free.
This is a new modern city, located south of Kuala Lumpur, but still within Greater KL. It is the main residence of the Malaysian government and most of its institutions. It was established in the 90s of the 20th century, by mixing and developing the previous existing towns and villages in this place. Beautiful government buildings were built, and now this is the reason why this place is worth to visit.
You can reach Putrajaya by train, running between the international airport and KL Sentral. Then you can walk around its streets and squares, taking photos in front of its splendid important buildings like the Prime Minister’s Office, Perbadanan complex, Istana Kehakiman, Putra Mosque, and Putrajaya International Convention Center. You can also visit the neighboring Cyberjaya, a modern town, known as the „Silicon Valley of Malaysia”.
Zoos are always an interesting place to visit, both fun and educational. This particular zoo is worth because you can see much of the animals, living in the jungles of Malaysia The zoo is big and provides good conditions for the animals. Entrance fees: 82 RM for adults, 43 RM for children; for citizens of ASEAN is cheaper.
This is a mountain resort, located in the highest land of the Greater Kuala Lumpur. Its highest peak rises to 1800 m altitude, and the area is covered by lush equatorial rainforest. The climate in the resort is cool and is a great place to escape from the hot and wet weather in the lowlands.
The resort itself is a modern complex of hotels, restaurants, casinos, a cable car, and other amenities. There is also a Chinese temple, called Chin Swee Caves. But most importantly, the whole area offers great opportunities for jungle hiking, and to taste the nature of Peninsular Malaysia, before you leave Kuala Lumpur.
Food in Kuala Lumpur
To explore better Kuala Lumpur, as well as every other place in the world, usually it is not enough just to visit its places of interest, but you have to try its local food. And the food in Kuala Lumpur has its influence from the ethnic variety of the area, as it is in most of Malaysia. If you want to try a cheap local dishes, you have to try nasi lemak- chicken with rice. There are some other dishes of this kind like nasi goreng, nasi ayam goreng or others (the word „nasi” means „rice”). You can also try dishes with bread, like roti canai and murtabak, as well as noodles, like mee goreng.
You can also try the food of the other ethnic groups in KL- Indian, Chinese and European. There are many restaurants that you can find it, but for Indian and Chinese food, the best areas are Little India and Chinatown. Other places that you can find a great variety are the shopping malls. If you want to know more, look for this article about the food in Kuala Lumpur.
Transportation in Kuala Lumpur
This is important information that you need, especially for the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur. The transportation system is relatively well arranged, and there are several kinds of transport that you can use. You also have to remember the most important terminal of Kuala Lumpur- KL Sentral.
They are slow. Not only by speed but also by waiting for them in the train stations. We had to travel from KL Sentral to Sentul station (only 3 stations northward), and we waited for the train 45 mins. If we walked, we would arrive there on foot faster. But you can still use them for long distances. They are comfortable and not expensive.
LRT/MRT and Monorail
These are several metro-like lines, running mainly through the central part of Kuala Lumpur. Most of their routes are above the ground and they are not only faster and more frequent than the trains, but also provide good views of KL. They are cheap and are a good option to more quickly through the city.
Express and Transit Lines
These two lines are fast and expensive connections between KL Sentral and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. On their way, the Transit line, which is cheaper, stops in several stations, including Putrajaya/Cyberjaya, which Express is direct, without stops and more expensive.
They are cheap and could be convenient, but the problem is that they are too rare. You have to wait a long time for a bus. That’s why they are mostly used by locals, mainly for long-distance trips.
Go KL buses
There are four free bus lines, running in the central part of Kuala Lumpur. On the bus stop schemes, every line has its own color. Their routes are round and short, mainly between the old and the modern centers of the city. So, they can be convenient, although not much faster than walking on foot, especially during a traffic jam.
There are two kinds of taxis. The cheaper ones are red and white, and the more expensive (and more comfortable) ones are bright blue. Taxis can be convenient if there is no traffic jam because during the rush hours many drivers refuse to use the taxi meter. Anyway, we never used taxis in Kuala Lumpur, because there is a much better way:
We downloaded the Grab app on our phones, and I highly recommend that you do it too. Grab is cheaper than taxis, you know the price in advance, and the drivers are always correct (their service is monitoring). It is the best way to travel around KL, especially to places that are far from LRT/MRT/Monorail stations.
Eventually, your own legs are the best transportation in the center of Kuala Lumpur, especially in its older part, because the sites are very close to each other, and enjoying the views around is really worth it.
Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur
Needless to say, Kuala Lumpur has an endless choice of places to sleep. You can easily find hotels for every taste and budget in Booking or Agoda. However, if you come to explore Kuala Lumpur, the hotel is not a „place to visit”, but only a place to spend the night. So, what could be important about accommodation is the choice of a good location.
I confess that we made a mistake, choosing a hotel far from the center, and far from any station. Fortunately, discovering Grab „repaired” this mistake and it was not a problem anymore. But I still would recommend looking for LRT/MRT/Monorail stations nearby. Or just find a property in the center, so you can simply start walking on foot.
Our day and a half Kuala Lumpur itinerary
We were in Kuala Lumpur for two nights, and we had one full day and a half of the next day to explore the city. I have to say that we successfully visited most of the important places in Kuala Lumpur. Yes, we are quick, this is our style.
First, we walked on food in the older part of the KL center and Perdana Botanical Gardens, then in the afternoon and evening we visited KL Tower, Petronas Twin Towers, and Kampung Baru village. On the next day morning, we made a trip to Batu Caves. But if you want to enjoy a longer time, to visit all of the above places and even more, in my opinion, you would need at least 4-5 days, maybe more.
After our Kuala Lumpur journey, we left this city by bus and proceeded our Malaysia itinerary to Melaka (Malacca), a splendid historical city on the sea coast. KL remained as one of the best destinations in our trip, and a good start for exploring this beautiful country.
For more impressions of Kuala Lumpur, see the video below!
Check some travel books about Kuala Lumpur!
Disclaimer: Journey Beyond the Horizon is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites at no additional cost to you.As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Hi, we are Krasen and Ying Ying. Krasen is from Bulgaria, and Ying Ying is from China. We are passionate about geography and history, and we believe that the best way to experience it is by exploring the Earth in reality, not in a school, and not virtually.
So, we created this blog Journey Beyond the Horizon, where we share geographical knowledge, travel guides and tips how to experience it when you explore our planet, and a lot of inspiration.
And we wish you a happy journey, not just virtually, but most of all- in reality.