7 BEST Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur: A Guide to Malaysia’s Capital City

Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s bustling capital city and a fun place to explore. Well known for its skyscrapers and culturally diverse community, KL is becoming more popular as a tourist destination.

It is best to spend at least 3 days in the city as there is lots to see and do!

INCLUDED IN THIS BLOG POST:

  • Top Things to See & Do in Kuala Lumpur
  • How to Get to Kuala Lumpur
  • How to Get Around Kuala Lumpur
  • Where to Eat & Stay

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Girl standing in front of the Wilayah Mosque in KL with text that describes the blog post


Top Things to Do & See in Kuala Lumpur


1. Batu Caves

Known for their iconic rainbow colored stairs, the Batu Caves should be at the top of your list when visiting KL. Painted only a few years ago, the 272 steps lead all the up to a hidden cave Temple. At the foot of the steps will be a large statue of Lord Murugan painted in gold. 

The large gold statue in front of the colorful Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaIt is best to arrive early to avoid the crowds. We got there just before sunrise and about 2 hours later the place started to get busy.

Also, be careful of the cheeky monkey’s! They are known to be little thieves and steal your stuff. 

The colorful design of the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaThere is no fee to see and climb the stairs of the Batu Caves. If you’d like to leave a donation you can do so at the entrance to the Temple at the top of the stairs. 

Girl and guy in front of the colorful steps at the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

How to Get to the Batu Caves

Located about 20-30 minutes (depending on traffic) just outside of the city center you will reach the recognizable cave temple. The easiest and most convenient way to get here is by using GRAB. 

2. Thean Hou Temple

Located at the top of a hill overlooking KL is the Thean Hou Temple. This Chinese Temple is one of the largest in Southeast Asia and is very popular with visitors from all over the world.

Girl and guy at the Thean Hou Temple in KLComprised of six different levels, the Thean Hou Temple is well known for its sting of iconic golden lanterns. Unfortunately, the Temple was under renovations during our visit which meant that the lanterns were taken down.

The exterior of the Thean Hou Temple in KL, MalaysiaSpend some time walking around the exterior and then take a peek inside. Just be sure to remove your footwear when entering inside the temple.

Tip: The entrance is free and it is best to arrive early to avoid the crowds.

3. KL Forest Eco Park

Located in the heart of the city center the KL Forest Eco Park is an escape from the bustling city life, even if just for a short time. We love finding unique places like this and the Eco Park was easily our favorite spot to be in nature. 

Girl walking along the canopy at the KL Eco Forest Park in MalaysiaThe entrance to the park is free and you have full access to the suspended bridges and the trails. When you enter the park, follow the signs towards the canopy walk and you will come to the first tower. Climb up and be rewarded with the fun rope bridges and stunning views of KLCC!

Girl and guy on the canopy at the KL Eco Forest Park in MalaysiaTip for getting this shot: While many may think this is a drone shot it actually isn’t! To achieve this same photo, have someone stand at the top of the second tower while you walk across the second bridge! If you don’t have someone to take your photo you could easily set up a tripod. However, I would recommend coming early or when it’s not crowded so you don’t leave your gear unattended. 

4. Perdana Botanical Gardens

Located in the heart of KL, the botanical gardens is perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here you can take a leisurely stroll around the gardens and lake. There are many different species of flora and fauna and it’s a great place to relax.

Girl walking through the Perdana Botanical Gardens in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaEntrance to the Perdanan Botanical Gardens is free although there are a few exhibits that you can enter for an extra cost. The butterfly garden is one of the places that requires an additional fee. 

The greenery and flowers inside the Perdana Botanical Gardens in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

5. Petronas Twin Towers

The most iconic spot in Malaysia is without a doubt the Petronas Twin Towers. Guarantee you’ve seen these massive cycliner shaped twin buildings pop up many times on Instagram. There are many different viewpoints to see the towers including out front and from the gardens in the back. 

The view looking up of the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaThere is also a large mall inside the 2nd tower which has almost every store you can imagine! Be sure to exit out through the mall to get to the man made lake out back! Walk around the park and find this spot with the whale and dolphin statues. 

Girl and guy sitting in front of the lake and Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaThey also have a synchronized fountain light show every night at 8 pm, 9pm and 9:45pm. The show lasts for about 10 minutes!

The fountain light show at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

There is no cost to see or enter the Petronas Twin Towers or the gardens out back. 

6. Wilayah Mosque

Accented with a beautiful turquoise color, the Wilayah Mosque (or Federal Territory Mosque) has become a popular religious sight to see during a visit to KL. When you arrive you will enter through Gate B.

The exterior of the Wilayah Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaEntry begins at 10 AM and you can only enter with a guided tour unless you are Muslim. They will also provide proper attire which you will need to wear for the duration of your visit out of respect. There is no fee to enter however they do have a donation machines at the entrance. 

The interior of the Wilayah Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaYou will begin the tour inside the Mosque, learning a bit about the history and architectural influences of the Mosque itself. The Mosque was influences of Turkey, Morocco, Egypt and more. You will pass through the main prayer hall which can hold 10,000 worshippers at a time. The entire structure can hold 17,000 people at maximum capacity. 

Girl standing in front of the exterior of the Wilayah Mosque in Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaAfter walking through the interior you will head outside and get the best views of the unique turquoise design. Your guide will leave you here to take as many photos as you want so don’t feel rushed to leave. 

Tip: Try not to visit the Mosque during prayers time as it will become very busy with worshippers.

Drone shot of the Wilayah Mosque in KL. Good to Know: Drones are technically not allowed to be flown at the mosque. We only found out after we had landed ours and the security guard informed us. 

7. Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Located directly across from Merdeka Square, this unique building definitely stands out against the other high rise buildings. This late 19th century building used to be Government offices. Now it is a lovely place to visit and wander around. 

Sultan Abdul Samad building with red domes in KL

Be sure to walk around back for views of the river and fountain in front of the building!

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Pinterest board cover for a guide to the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


How to Get to Kuala Lumpur


There are many international flights that arrive and depart from Kuala Lumpur. In fact, it is one of the main hubs in SE Asia! You can typically find inexpensive flights to and from KL. We use Skyscanner to find all of our flights and then book directly through the airlines.

View of the Wilayah Mosque in KL
Wilayah Mosque

You can also get to Kuala Lumpur by bus from Singapore or anywhere else that is connected by land! Once you cross the border you will have to go through immigration which is an easy process.


How to Get from KL Airport to the City Center


Once you arrive at the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) you will exit through the arrivals gate and be confronted with many different ways to get into the city center. Unless you have already pre-arranged transport with your hotel you will have to figure it out on your own. 

View of the Sultan Abdul Samad building in KL
Sultan Abdul Samad Building

By Taxi or Grab

There are a few taxi stands but they will most likely quote you an extremely high price. For us, they quoted us around 150  MYR ( $36 USD). If you can get connected to wifi at the airport and already have the GRAB app downloaded to your phone then I would suggest trying that. GRAB will be significantly cheaper than taking a taxi!

Drone shot of the Wilayah Mosque in KL
Wilayah Mosque

By Public Transit

1. Airport Express Train

The first option would be the Airport Express Train. This is the fastest way to reach KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center) and costs 55 MYR ($13 USD) for a one way ticket or 100 MYR ($24 USD) for a round-trip ticket. The journey will take 30 minutes and you will arrive at the main station in KL. From here you can take an inexpensive taxi or metro to your final destination. 

Couple standing in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in KL
Sultan Abdul Samad Building

2. The Bus

The second option is the bus. We used the bus and found this to be the cheapest option. Once you exit through baggage claim go to your right and take the elevator or escalator down to level 1 where the Airport Express Train is. From this level, exit the airport and walk across the street where you will see a the bus station.

The colorful steps of the Batu Caves in KL
Batu Caves

You can easily purchase your 15 MYR ($3.60 USD) ticket at the counter and then wait a few minutes for your bus. The bus journey takes just under one hour and you will arrive at the main station in KLCC. Once you arrive here, head inside and up the stairs where you will see a taxi stand. From here it cost 13 MYR ($3 USD) to reach our hotel by taxi.

» Must Read: Georgetown, Penang: A Complete Guide to Malaysia’s Historical City


How to Get Around KL


Transportation within KL is easy, inexpensive and convenient. With options like the metro, train, monorail and GRAB you’ll be able to get around the city with ease. During our stay we mostly used GRAB but also took the train and subway a few times. 

Inside one of the cute cafes in KL, Malaysia

The train is easy to use and there are many locations all around the city. Once you arrive at the station you can always ask the information desk for help when using the machines or for advice on where to go. 

When you enter the train station you will see a few machines where you can purchase your ticket. There is an english option but it can be a bit tricky to decide exactly which ticket you need to purchase as there are a few options. Luckily you will find an information counter inside the station which should be able to help you select the correct train.

Girl standing in front of the twin towers in KL, Malaysia
Petronas Twin Towers

We only used the train when we needed to get to the Bandar Tasik Selatan (TBS) bus station to get on a bus to go to Tioman Island. Most likely you will just use GRAB if you are visiting the city for a short time. 

If you are planning on using GRAB in Malaysia and throughout SE Asia it is best to download the app prior to your arrival. The app will need to send a confirmation code via text in order to proceed with the sign up. 

Delicious bakery goods at a cafe in KL, Malaysia


Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur


1000 Miles Hotel

This budget friendly hotel has everything you need with a/c, hot water, cleanliness and a comfy bed. Their staff is extremely friendly and helpful and the location is great for moving around the city. 

Inside the 1000 miles hotel in KL, Malaysia

AirBnb

AirBnb is always a great option. With a unique selection of accommodations you’re sure to find something that will suit your needs. We used an AirBnb for part of our stay in KL and it was nice having our own kitchen and a bit more space. 

Use this link to save $40 off your first booking with AirBnb!


Where to Eat in Kuala Lumpur


Kuala Lumpur has some incredible restaurants and cafes dotted all around the city. You will have no problem finding somewhere delicious to eat while you are there! These are a few of our top recommendations of places to eat within the city!

One of the cafes in KL that has really good food!

VCR- delicious brunch with 2 convenient locations in the city ♥♥♥♥

Merchant’s Lane Cafe- Hidden behind a turquoise door, cutest interior ♥♥

Kind Kones Bangsar Village- Yummy vegan ice cream located inside a mall ♥♥

Lisette’s Cafe and Bakery- The best baked goods! Try their blueberry crumble muffin! ♥♥♥♥

Feeka Coffee Roasters- Delicious tea and coffee ♥♥

Leaf & Co Cafe- Very yummy waffles and great place to relax ♥♥♥

Petaling Street Market- The best street food and so cheap! ♥♥♥

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Drone shot of the Wilayah Mosque in KL, Malaysia

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  • Thanks for all the tips! It’s insane that these are all free- so amazing! Can’t wait to try all the delish street food at Petaling Market 😍