Our first meeting with Kuala Lumpur (KL) in Malaysia was back in the ´stone age´of 2005, and I must admit we did not like the city back then. The whole city felt like a giant building site. It was noisy, dusty and the traffic was crazy with no room for pedestrians like us.

So even though we have been to Asia many times since then, it took us nine years before we once again visited Malaysia`s capital. This time, however, we fell in love with the city and we have been visiting regularly ever since.

Btw, if you haven’t yet decided on where to stay in Kuala Lumpur, then have a look at our new article on our favourite Kuala Lumpur areas and hotels.

The Best Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has a lot to offer its visitors when it comes to sights, but it is its delicious street food that KL is most famous for. KL is packed with hawker stalls that make freshly cooked dishes with lots of spices and flavors, served from mobile carts, stalls or small shops/ street restaurants or Kopitiam (which means “coffee shop” but also serve other kinds of traditional dishes and drinks).

You can find food from all corners of Asia in Kuala Lumpur, as Malaysian food is influenced by its many immigrants and occupants over the years from India, China, Japan, England, Portugal, Thailand and Indonesia. The awesome food is one of the reasons why we ♥ KL! 🙂

When it comes to sights and things do in Kuala Lumpur, the top attractions of Kuala Lumpur include historic monuments and buildings, futuristic and modern skyscrapers, colorful mosks, shrines and temples, green and lush parks and jungle areas, huge shopping malls, bustling street markets, and a lively nightlife of cool pubs and bars.

The people of Kuala Lumpur are very friendly and speak excellent English. The city has a well-developed infrastructure when it comes to trains, monorail, metro and buses, which makes it easy to get to the places well worth to visit in KL. There is also a huge expat group living in KL, with many international companies having offices in the city.

Maria thinking about what to do in Kuala Lumpur

Enjoying the sunset over KL from the amazing infinity pool at Capri Hotel, our no. 1 favorite hotel in KL

If you are planning on heading to Malaysia` capital and are looking for the top sights and what to do in Kuala Lumpur, here are our favorites things to do in KL:

1. Marvel At The Glittering Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Towers

Me in front of the majestic Petronas Towers

For us, the Petronas Twin Towers is the most impressive and coolest must-see thing in KL! It is awesome!!

It is especially stunning at night when the towers are lit with hundreds of lights and the water fountain in KLCC Park lights up in different colors and dances to the tones of the music.

The Lake Symphony Fountains play every night at 20:00, 21:00 and 22:00.

It is a spectacular sight both in daylight and after dark, and with its 452 meter high structures the Petronas Towers are visible from all over Kuala Lumpur!

You can also go up in the towers, both to the Observation Deck at the 86th level (360 meters high) and to the Skybridge connecting the two towers at 170 meters above ground.

Each day 1500 tickets to Petronas Towers are up for sale, half of them online. So if you want to save yourself from waiting in line, you can preorder the Petronas Tower tickets.

When you arrive at the Petronas Towers, you can just skip the ticket queue altogether.

If you don`t prebook your ticket, you should be queuing up at the ticket office in front of the Towers around 08:30 to be sure to get one.

The Petronas Towers are surrounded by a beautiful park, KLCC Park, consisting of a 1,3 km long running/ walking track, as well as a children` playgrounds and a children’s pool. The park is open from 07:00 till 22:00.

KLCC Park

KLCC Park

Just next to the towers are the great aquarium Aquaria KLCC with an awesome 90 m underwater tunnel where sharks, giant gripers, and other fish swim right above your head! There are several feeding times every day.

  • How to get there: Take the pink no. 5 LRT Kelana Jaya Line to KLCC station and the towers are right next to it.
  • Ticket price: RM85 = 21 US$ for adult, and RM35 = 9 US$ for children
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 21:00 Tuesday to Sunday (closed every Monday). Closed 13:00 – 14:30 every Friday.
  • Petronas Twin Towers Webpage

2. Climb The 272 Steps To Heaven At Batu Caves

Just outside of KL is the spectacular Batu Caves. It is a massive cathedral-like cave Hindu temple with walls that stretch almost to the sky, with birds flying high above, and wild monkeys running up its rock faced walls.

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There are 272 steps up to the Batu Cave Temple

You can read more about what to expect at Batu Caves HERE.

We loved Batu Caves and it is definitely one of the highlights of Kuala Lumpur.  But be prepared to walk 272 steps to get to the cave, it`s a good exercise! 🙂

  • Where is it: 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • How to get there: Take the no. 1 KTM Seremban Line to Batu Caves station a 30 min train ride from KL Sentral station)
  • How much does it cost: Free
  • Opening hours: The temple cave itself is open from 08:00 until 20:30
  • What to wear: You have to wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders. Wear comfortable shoes as you must climb 272 steps! Remember to bring water (or buy some at the ground before you start climbing).

3. Go On A Shopping Bonanza

Since our first visit in 2005, the city has had a development boom! It is now packed with flashy modern shopping malls with all kinds of Asian and international brands. You can also find bustling markets selling all kinds of useful and unuseful knick-knacks.

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Pavilion Shopping Mall in Bukit Bintang

The Bukit Bintang area is the place to go on a shopping bonanza! The area is packed with shopping malls, all lined up next to each other:

  • Pavilion (check out its great food court Food Republic in the ground floor)
  • Starhill Gallery – very posh with all the high-end expensive brands like Gucci, Prada, Max Mara and so on
  • KL Plaza
  • Fahrenheit`88
  • Lot 10 (has an awesome food court, Lot10 Hutong, with a collection of some of the best hawker street food in KL)
  • BB
  • Sungei Wang
  • Imbi
  • Low Yat Plaza

The area KLCC around Petronas Twin Towers is also perfect for shopping, with the famous Suria KLCC mall at the ground level of Petronas Towers being the biggest and best.

Suria shopping KLCC

Suria shopping mall in the basement of Petronas Towers, KLCC

A covered pedestrian walkway takes you easily from Bukit Bintan to the KLCC.

Outside the city center, the best shopping malls are Publika and Mid Valley Mega Mall and its neighbor Gardens Mall.

The most popular markets (for tourists) are the Central Market near Merdeka Square and Petaling Street in Chinatown.

Central Market Kuala Lumpur

Central Market is both indoor and outdoor

  • How to get to Bukit Bintang: Take the light green no. 8 Monorail Line from KL Sentral to Bukit Bintan station.
  • How to get to Petronas Twin Towers shopping mall: Take the pink no. 5 LRT Kelana Jaya Line from KL Sentral to KLCC station
  • Opening hours: Most shopping malls are open from 09:00 until 22:00

4. Indulge In Mouth Watering Street Food

The most famous and biggest street food street in Kuala Lumpur is Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang area. It is a lively night market packet with street restaurants and hawker stalls selling food, snacks, and drinks from all over Asia.

Jalan Alor street KL

The famous Jalan Alor street packed with delicious street food

It is great fun wandering around the different street restaurants and food stalls, soak in the atmosphere and all the delicious smells.

There is plenty to choose from in this street, everything from Japanese, Malay, Indian, Chinese and Thai. So you will not head home hungry after a walk through this street!

Try the delicious handmade Ramen noodles at the top end of the street, the crunchy sweet potato chips, some coconut ice cream, durian fruit, and crispy and famous chicken wings at Wong Ah Wah.

For a more local vibe, head to the Bazaar Baru Chow Kit market where you can indulge in lots of delicious freshly made street food, snacks and drinks (opening hours: 08:00 – 17:00). We had some awesome Murtabak, which is a pancake with chicken and vegetables inside.

There is also a huge fresh market here selling all sorts of fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats. I bought plenty of mangoes, mangosteen, and rambutan! 🙂

Bazaar Baru Chow Kit

Me shopping tons of fruit at Bazaar Baru Chow Kit Market

Pudu is also a great area for street food, with both the Pudu Market which is KL`s biggest wet market and the ICC Pudu (former Imbi Market). Opening hours are 06:00 – 14:00.

If you are looking for Indian kind of street food, head to Little India Fountain (close to KL Sentral station) in the Brickfields area where you will find plenty of hawker stalls selling delicious roti and different kinds of Indian snacks and banana leaf dishes.

  • How to get there: Take the green no. 8 KL Monorail Line to Air Asia Bukit Bintang station. From there it is just a short walk to Alan Alor street.

5. Escape The City At Lake Gardens/ Perdana Botanical Gardens

We always try to head to the Lake Gardens which official name is Perdana Botanical Gardens whenever we are in KL as the park is beautiful! It is so great to step out of the busy concrete city for a couple of hours and feel some nature.

It is the biggest and grandest park in KL, dating back to 1888 and was established under the Brits. Its name comes from the big lake in the middle of the park, Sydney Lake (or Tasik Perdana).

The Lake Gardens is big and charming, containing a big lake, romantic white bridges, lovely flower arrangements, a sculpture garden, an Orchid garden, a Herb garden, and a Hibiscus garden, as well as a deer park.

We really enjoy going for a  stroll around the park, watching the deer and the flowers, although it can be quite hot especially if the sun is out! So do remember to drink a lot of water. There is a kiosk inside the park, but you should bring some water when you enter the park too.

There are several other great attractions in and around the park that you can easily do on the same day (the ones in bold are the ones we visited):

  1. KL Bird Park (see below)
  2. KL Butterfly Park (see below)
  3. National Monument (from defeating the communists in 1950)
  4. Islamic Arts Museum (see below)
  5. National Mosque (see below)
  6. National Museum (see below)
  7. National Planetarium (different space related shows in the Space Theatre, an observation deck for looking over KL, a space observatory, and has the rocket that launched Malaysia’s first satellite on display)
  8. Memorial museum of Tun Abdul Razak (the house where Malaysia` second prime minister lived, is now a museum of his personal effects, speedboat and golf cart)
  9. Royal Malaysia Police Museum (displays weapons, knives, hand grenades, swords and so on)
  • How to get there: Take the train to Kuala Lumpur train station (line no. 2 – KTM Port Klang Line)
  • Ticket price: It is free to enter the garden, also the deer park
  • Lake Gardens Official webpage

6. Explore The World´ Largest Free-flight Bird Park

The KL Bird Park is located next to the Lake Gardens (see above) and is one of the BIG attractions in KL, especially for families with children.

KL Bird Park is the World’s Largest Free-flight Walk-in Aviary

From the KL Bird Park brochure

  The park brings together about 200 species of Asian birds flying free beneath an enormous canopy.

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Walking the cool pathway under the waterfall in the KL Bird Park

We loved watching and hearing ostriches, hornbills, eagles, flamingos and plenty of colorful parrots.

It’s worth getting to the park for feeding times which are scattered throughout the day, or the bird shows (12:30 and 15:30) which feature plenty of cool parrot tricks.

The park also has a nice restaurant located in a beautiful Malay wooden building, the Hornbill Restaurant & Cafe, and a big children`s playground. We enjoyed having some snacks and something cool to drinks on the outdoor patio overlooking the park.

  • How to get there: Take the train to Kuala Lumpur train station (line no. 2 – KTM Port Klang Line)
  • Ticket price: RM67 = 17 US$ for adult, RM45 = 12 US$ for a child
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 18:00 every day
  • KL Bird Parks Official Webpage

7. Get Up Close WIth Hundreds Of Butterflies In KL Butterfly Park

Just up the road from KL Bird Park is a smaller park with even smaller flying objects, butterflies!

Butterfly Park Kuala Lumpur

A beautiful butterfly in Butterfly Park in Kuala Lumpur

The park itself is beautiful with small waterfalls, bridges, lots of trees with flowers, and of course heaps of beautiful and colorful butterflies flying around. Some of the butterflies are quite big, we don’t have that big butterflies in Norway so I was a bit taken by surprise and freaked out a little when some of them flew right into my face! A bit scary…. 🙂

They claim to have over 100 different butterfly species inside the park, which is quite impressive.

On your way out from the park, we had to walk through some galleries showing some of Malaysia’s biggest and most creepy insects and bugs (spiders, grasshoppers and so)!! I just closed my eyes and walked out quickly as I have arachnophobia. 🙁 The butterflies are just soooooo much cuter, don`t you agree?

  • How to get there: Take the train to Kuala Lumpur train station (line no. 2 – KTM Port Klang Line)
  • Ticket price: RM25 = 6 US$ for adult, RM45 = 12 US$ for a child
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 18:00 every day
  • KL Butterfly Parks Official Web page

8. Admire The Craftmanship At The Islamic Arts Museum

Although the Islamic Arts that are on display inside the museum is beautiful and interesting, the museum building itself is fantastic. It is purely white with stunning and beautifully decorated domes in the sealings. The Islamic Arts Museum is located just below the KL Bird Park.

After having paid the entrance tickets at the basement, we took the elevator up to 3rd floor where there is an impressive gallery displaying replicas of some of the most important Islamic buildings and mosques from around the world.

We continued further into the same floor, to the room where lots of Qurans and Islamic manuscripts from ancient times are on display.

The Ottoman Room, a reconstruction of a decorative room from Syria from the 1820s, was really interesting.

The museum has galleries of Chinese calligraphy scrolls and fabrics and textiles with many different patterns from Islamic culture.

There is a nice restaurant inside the museum, although it closes at 17:00, and is closed on Mondays (it was closed when we visited).

There is no special dress code for visiting the museum.

  • How to get there: Take the train to Kuala Lumpur train station (line no. 2 – KTM Port Klang Line)
  • Ticket price: RM14 = 4 US$ for adult, RM7 = 2 US$ for a child
  • Opening hours: 10:00 – 18:00
  • Islamic Arts Museum Official Web page

9. Visit The National Mosque Masjid Negara

National Mosque Kuala LumpurThe National Mosque of KL (also called Masjid Negara) is located just next to the Islamic Arts Museum. It is somewhat unique when it comes to mosque design, at least compared to mosques in the Middle East. Its roof is blue and kind of like a huge umbrella in shape.

Raising above the roof of the mosque is a 74-meter high white tower where prayers can be heard very loud and clear.

The mosque is huge and can accommodate 15 000 Muslim worshippers!

We did not go inside the mosque, but Non-Muslims are allowed inside although you must borrow a robe if you are not properly dressed.

  • How to get there: Take the train to Kuala Lumpur train station (line no. 2 – KTM Port Klang Line)
  • Ticket price: Free
  • Opening hours: 09:00-12:00, 15:00-16:00, and 17:30-18:30, closed Friday morning
  • Masjid Negara Mosques Official Web page

10. Learn About Malaysia’s Brutal History At The National Museum

Although we are not overly fond of museums, we found it really interesting to learn about Malaysia’s conflicted history at this modern exhibit.

The museum has four galleries, and we started at A and followed it chronologically:

  • A (1st floor to the right) – Early history (Neolithic and Bronze Age)
  • B (1st floor to the left) – The Malay Kingdoms (the rise of Islamic kingdom)
  • C (2nd floor to the right) – The Colonial Era (Malaysia has been Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japanese over the years until it became independent in 1957)
  • D (2nd floor to the left) – Malaysia Today (how Malaysia developed after it came independently after the Second World War)

For me, the best part was C because I did not know much about the Colonial Era of Malaysia so it was very educational.

National Museum Kuala Lumpur

The emperor’s bed

There are free museum tours arranged Monday to Saturday at 11:00, and additional at 14:00 on Thursdays.

Outside the main building of the museum, there are two smaller buildings housing the Museum of Malay World Ethnology (Malay musical instruments, textiles, and metalwork) and the Orang Asli Craft Museum (showing wood carvings and masks made by the indigenous people of Malaysia). We did not visit these two displays.

The museum also has a small cafe.

  • How to get there: Take the train to Kuala Lumpur train station (line no. 2 – KTM Port Klang Line)
  • Ticket price: RM5 = 1,3 US$
  • Opening hours: 09:00-18:00
  • National Museums Official Web page

11. Walk Through The Old Colonial Center Merdeka Square Area

The Sultan Abdul Samad building is the most photographed building in Kuala Lumpur, and for a good reason as it is stunning!

Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur

Merdeka Square with the 100 meters tall flag pole

This is where Malaysia’s independence was declared on 31st of August 1957 which the enormously tall flagpole is a true symbol of. It is one of the highest in the world (100 meters) and the Malaysian flag has been flying in the wind here ever since Malaysia got its independence in 1957.

There are several nice buildings in this area, and if you follow the great walking path “National Heritage Walk” (very well signed and marked) you get to see all the highlights in this area. We started our walk at Masjid Jamek train station and just followed the signs.

In the middle of this area is a huge green area, which looks like a football field, but it’s not. It looks a bit misplaced in the middle of all the beautiful old brick houses, but there is actually a good reason.

When the British bought this piece of land there was a vegetable farm here. They only got to buy it under one condition, that they had to keep a piece of green. Nice terms farmer as it is always nice with some green areas! 🙂 👨‍🌾

Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur

There is a huge green field in the middle of Merdeka Square, not for football

Here are the highlights of the National Heritage Walk in our opinion:

  • Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad Mosque (from 1909) was the first building we saw when we started our walking tour. It is an impressive building surrounded by palm trees, with three Moghul domes and a big courtyard with a lovely fountain in the middle. We went inside the temple (opening hours 09:00-12:30 & 14:30-16:00) and I had to wear a long cape with a hod, and Espen some funny trouser (they lend these out for free).
Masjid Jamek Mosque Kuala Lumpur

The Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad Mosque

  • St Mary´s Cathedral, built in 1894, is a beautiful well-maintained church with white brick stones. It is not that impressive inside, however.
St Marys Church Kuala Lumpur

St Mary`s Cathedral

  • Next to the St Mary´s Cathedral is the Tudor-style building that looks like it is taken out of the British countryside. It is the Royal Selangor Club, founded in 1884, and can you believe it, their bar still only admits men!!! I mean, HELLO!! 🙁 Their building is beautiful though….
Royal Selangor Club Kuala Lumpur

The Royal Selangor Club

  • The KL City Gallery and Tourist Information center is up next on the walking tour, and although it is very touristy, it is kind of cool. They have a nice exhibition on the first floor of KL in the past, present, and future, although it is on the second floor the real action is.
KL City Gallery Kuala Lumpur

Nice KL history on display in the KL City Gallery

I love KL city gallery kuala lumpur

Me posing in front of the popular selfie I Love KL

Here you can get an impression of how big KL city really is as they have a huge scale model of the entire city with a video show presenting the city. The rest of the 2nd floor is aimed at Asian tourists who love taking selfies.

You can, for instance, take a picture of yourself with a pair of wings, together with the moon, out in outer space, or together with a flying 3D model of Merdeka Square building and so on. It is just fun watching all the Asians go selfie-crazy! hehe 🙂

The selfie-bonanza even starts outside the gallery, as there is a huge I♥KL structure beside the entrance (just look for the long queue) where people queue up to take their picture together with the structure. OK, I admit it, I had to give it a go too (you see the result above ….) 🙂

Yep, it is the most photographed structure in the whole of KL and has become the icon of the city! And, of course, if you want you can buy plenty of all kinds of merchandise with this I♥KL on.

KL City Gallery Kuala Lumpur

KL City Gallery

  • Just opposite the road from Kuala Lumpur City Gallery and tourist information, is the National Textile Museum (the entrance is free, opening hours: 09:00-18:00). Here you can learn about the history of textiles in Malaysia and the traditional process of making silk and cotton, and how the famous batik pattern of Malaysia is made.

The upper floor has jewelry and headwear from the different eras of Malaysia’s history on display. This museum is ok, but if you are to visit one museum in Kuala Lumpur, I would recommend the National Museum.

12. Wander The Streets Where KL Began – China Town

The Merdeka Square Heritage Walk is connected with the Chinatown Walk, so you can easily do both in one day like we did. The Chinatown Walk is also well marked.

Chinatown is actually where Kuala Lumpur first started as a city back in 1857 by Chinese immigrants. They founded this area by the river as a commercial center for trading as it was easy to get to and from by boat.

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China Town/ Petaling Street

The best way to experience Chinatown is to just walk around the streets and have a look at all the old Chinese inspired buildings and temples. Lately, trendy hipster-like cafes and cocktail bars, as well as street art, have popped up in this area making it even more interesting.

The Petaling Street is the “heart” of China Town, bustling with people and packed with stalls selling everything you need and did not know that you needed! Here you can find football t-shirts, fake handbags, sunglasses in all colors and shapes, flip-flops, caps, plastic toys, watches, and all kinds of useful and not so useful stuff.

There is also some nice street food options here like rice noodles and Cantonese congee (rice porridge) at Hon Kee (Petaling St). We love the apam balik (small pancakes made of coconut milk). The old man who makes them has his stall parked in front of Koon Kee Wantan Mee (which also serves delicious food by the way).

If you are thirsty, order a soy milk based drink (cold or hot) at the stall Air Mata Kuching (you see the queue before you spot the stall). Or try the herbal tea drink at the stall just opposite the street. And if you want something for dessert or snack, try one of the Muach Chee (small balls of rice flour dough coated with crushed peanuts and sugar) with different fruit flavors (I like the mango one) at the old lady Madam Tang. If you can´ t see her you will definitely hear her.

If you are in a shopping mood, and cheap souvenirs and gifts to bring home is your goal, then Petaling Street might be worth your time.

However, a few blocks north of Petaling street is the Central Market, a much nicer and more authentic market then Petaling. The Central Market is partly inside in an art deco building from 1930. It is a bit touristy but you can find lots of nice arts-and-crafts stuff here as well as clothes, shoes and several good restaurants like Restoran Yusoof Dan Zakhir (just opposite Central Market). Try their excellent Roti Canai or Beef Murtabak with Naan bread. I love their Teh Tarik drink as well.

Sin Sze Si Ya Temple

Just next to the Central Market is the beautiful Chinese temple Sin Sze Si Ya (entrance free, opening hours: 07:00 – 17:00). This is KLs oldest Chinese temple, opened in 1883, and it is still an important temple today.

Sri Mahamariamman Temple

The highlight of the Chinatown Walk for us, however, was the colorful Hindu shrine Sri Mahamariamman Temple.

There was a ceremony at the temple when we visited, and the jasmine smell, the incense, the drumming, and watching the people pray made it a memorable and special moment for us.

This is the oldest Hindu temple in Malaysia, founded in 1873 by a rich Indian family who used it as their private shrine until it was opened to the public in 1920.

Non-Hindus can go inside the temple, but you must take off your shoes and cover your knees and shoulders (they lend out long skirts).

  • How to get there: Take the pink no. 5 LRT Kelana Jaya Line to Masjid Jamek station or Pasar Seni station, or take the light green no. 8 Monorail Line to Maharajalela station.

13. Get A Bird´s Eye View From KL Tower

KL Tower Kuala LumpurKL Tower, or Menara KL as it is officially called, is also high up on the must-see list when visiting Kuala Lumpur. You can easily spot the tower from almost all over the city.

The tower is impressive 421 m high, with an Observation Deck at 276 meters above ground as well as an Open Air Deck at 300 m.

We bought tickets to the Open Deck, which also includes the Observation Deck, and I must admit that the Open Deck is the best part! There is nothing like having the wind in your hair and no glass in front of you.

View from KL Tower Kuala Lumpur

View from the KL Tower

The Open Deck also has two Sky Boxes where the floor is made of glass so when you step out into the box it feels like you are “flying” in the air 300 m above ground! Pretty scary!!! 🙂

KL Tower

The Open Deck of KL Tower also has two Sky Boxes

Open Air Box at KL Tower

Me in the Skybox, 300 m above ground

Be aware, however, that they close the Open Deck if it is raining, or lightning/thunder which it was two nights we visited the Tower. We managed to get up to the Open Deck on our third attempt, yay! 🙂

The Tower is like a big entertainment center with an XD theatre, F1 simulation, a small aquarium, mini zoo, an upside-down house (yup, the house and everything in it is upside-down), and restaurants (it is even a restaurant at upper deck too, the Atmosphere 360,  with breathtaking views).

One can also walk up the 2000 steps up to the tower, but you have to be a group of at least 20 people and you have to pre-book it. Each year there is a running competition at the tower where participants race up the stairs to the top, and there is a base jumping festival as well.

The KL Tower is surrounded by a green and lush jungle area called the KL Forest ECO Park, the biggest remaining jungle in KL city. I really recommend going for a walk on their canopy walkway 30 m above ground, it is great fun!

Canopy walk ECO Park Kuala Lumpur

Going for a stroll on the canopy walk in ECO Park, 30 m above ground

Although bring some water as it can be pretty hot. There are also several other pathways through the jungle, although not in the air.

  • How to get there: Take the pink train no. 5 LRT Kelena Jaya Line to Masjid Jamek or Dang Wangi, or the green no. 8 Monorail Line to Raja Chulan, and walk the rest. Or take a taxi.
  • Ticket price: Observation Deck cost RM 52 for adult and RM 31 for a child. Open Deck cost RM 105.
  • Opening hours: 09:00 – 22:00 every day
  • KL Towers Webpage

14. Enjoy The Majestic Thean Hou Temple

The colorful Chinese Buddhist temple Thean Hou is beautifully located on the top of a hill with awesome views over Kuala Lumpur city!

The temple was completed in 1989 and cost RM7 million to build. It was built to honor the goddess, Thean Hou, and is also called the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven.

Thean Hou Temple Kuala Lumpur

Thean Hou Temple

We were quite exhausted, sweat and thirsty when we finally arrived at the temple as we had walked from Brickfield (Little India), so we started exploring the lower ground of the temple first. The temple is surrounded by a nice little garden with statues of all the twelve Chinese zodiacs along with descriptions of the qualities of each zodiac.

We found both mine (snake) and Espens (rat), yay! Espen was not too happy about his zodiac as he hates rats, hehe 🙂 You can find what zodiac you are born in here (as well as your weaknesses and strengths).

Thean Hou Temple

Zodiac figures outside Thean Hou Temple

It was also nice to wander through the garden on the back side of the temple, and I especially liked the pond with cute small turtles, as well as the shiny statue of Thea Hou herself surrounded by a pond full of colorful fish and a waterfall.

The temple itself (main hall) is located on the 3rd floor and has three large statues: Thea Hou in the middle, the Buddhist goddess of Mercy (Kuan Yin) on your right side, and goddess of water (Shuiwei Shengniang) to your left. There are also some smaller Buddha statues, with the laughing Buddha (Milefo) as my favorite. 🙂

Step out to the big terrace, sit down on one of the many benches, and enjoy the views of the city while you take a moment to relax and practice some zen meditation. We sure did after all the walking…. 🙂

  • How to get there: It is easiest to take a taxi, but you can also take minibus #27 from the Klang bus terminal. The bus takes you to Jalan Syed Putra and from there the temple is only a short walk away.
  • Ticket price: FREE
  • Opening hours: 08:00 – 22:00
  • Official Webpage

15. Watch The Sunset From The Heli Lounge Bar

The Heli Lounge Bar is located on top of a huge skyscraper in the middle of Bukit Bintang, and yes, you get to have drinks on an actual helipad! So cool!

Heli Lounge Bar Kuala Lumpur

Heli Lounge Bar

From here you have an amazing 360-degree view of Kuala Lumpur city and its surroundings while the wind blows in your hair. ♥ this bar!

  • How to get there: It is located on level 34 on Manera KH building. Take the light green no. 8 KL Monorail Line to Raja Chulan station.
  • Opening hours: 17:00 – midnight Monday until Wednesday, open til 02:00 on Thursdays and until 03:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Heli Lounge Bar Facebook page

How To Get Around Kuala Lumpur

From Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to KL City

Most flights, at least international flights, arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Aiport or KLIA, located 55 km south of the city. The airport is modern and fairly new, looking like a combination of a cool spaceship and a giant shopping mall. 🙂

From the KLIA airport, the fastest way into the city is by train – no. 6 KLIA Ekspres Line or no. 7 Klia Transit Line to KL Sentral station. The train trip takes 30 min and cost RM55 = 14 US$ per person. The train leaves every 15 min, from 05:00 in the early morning until 01:00 in the night.

KL Sentral is the transport hub in Kuala Lumpur, and from there you can take trains, monorail, taxi or buses to anywhere in KL.

You can also take the bus from KLIA airport into the city, which is the cheapest option. The bus ride takes one hour to KL Sentral and cost between RM9 = 2 US$ and RM18 = 5 US$ per person depending on the company and which hotel you are staying at. The bus leaves every hour, from 05:00 in the morning until 01:00 in the night.

There are several bus companies, like the Skybus (ticket price: RM10) and Aerobus (ticket price: RM9) which both take you to KL Sentral. The Aiport Coach, however, will drive you directly to your hotel within central KL. The ticket cost RM18 one way, or RM25 both ways (they will pick you up at your hotel).

When we fly to KL from Europe, we are so tired and exhausted after the long flight that we usually opt for a taxi directly to our hotel. The taxi ride takes about one hour, and cost around RM100 = 26 US$ depending on the traffic and where you are going.

You can choose between going by the meter or a fixed-fare coupon system. The traffic can be pretty bad in KL, so to agree on a fixed price is the best option in my opinion. With the metered taxis, you will also have to pay for the highway tolls and pick-up fee at the airport.

When you depart from Kuala Lumpur, and if you are flying with Cathay Pacific, Royal Brunei, Emirates, or Malaysia Airlines, you can check in your luggage at the KL Sentral before jumping on the train out to the airport. Pretty sweet! 🙂

Getting Around Kuala Lumpur City

Train

KL has an excellent railway system which connects all the different areas of the city. There are ten different lines which make it very easy to get around the city:

  • KTM Komuter lines (No. 1, 2, and 10) – Takes you to the outskirt of the city, like Batu Caves (the ending station of line no. 1)
  • KLIA Ekspres (No.6) – Between the KLIA airport and KL Sentral
  • KLIA Transit (No. 7) – Between the KLIA airport and KL Sentral
  • Light Rail (LRT) (No. 3, 4 and 5) – KLCC, Chinatown, and Kampung Baru area
  • Monorail (No. 8) – Takes you to the most popular places in the central area of KL, but can be very crowded on the weekends and evenings
  • MRT (No. 9) – Merdeka and Bukit Bintang area

They all run from 06:00 in the morning until 23:45 in the evening (11:30 on Sundays).

KL Monorail

The KL Monorail

You can buy the MyRapid card to save money and so that you don` have to use cash every time you want to take the train. They have several card options to choose from. Check their webpage to find out which one suits you.

They also have a 2-day unlimited card that included the KLIA Ekspres ticket from the airport into town, the KL Travel Pass. This card cost RM70 = 18 US$ one way from the airport, or RM115 = 29 US$ for a round-trip from/to the airport. You can buy this at the airport or KL Sentral.

The government has an ambitious project and is constructing a huge rail-based public-transport infrastructure network that will connect all the exciting rail lines. Their goal is that half of all journeys in KL will be on public transport. Pretty nice if you ask me, very sustainable and eco-friendly! Go KL! 🙂

Bus

The GOKL City Bus has four free loops services which are excellent and takes you to many of the sights in central KL (KLCC, KL Tower, KL Sentral, the National Museum and Merdeka Square). Look for the pink buses and jump aborad to get around the city for free! They operate from 06:00 in the morning (07:00 on weekends) until 23:00 in the evening, and run every 5-10 min.

Most buses in KL are run by Rapid KL or Metrobus. All buses have their destinations clearly displayed in the front which makes it easy to find the right bus. They cost between RM1 = 0,3 US$ and RM4 = 1 US$.

There are several tour bus companies that offer various tours of KL and its tourist attractions, like KL Hop-On Hop-Off, Going Places Tours, and Tour 51 Malaysia. 

Taxi, Uber, Easy Taxi & Grab

Metered taxis are easy to find and flag down on the street and are very cheap. There are also designated taxi stops all over the city where the taxis are queued up and all you have to do is jump onboard. And the best of it all, the taxis are air-conditioned which is a blessing after having walked around the city the whole day in the heat.

Taxi fares start at RM3 = 0,8 US$ for the first three minutes, and then adds 25 sen for every 36 seconds.

The red taxis are a bit old, but the blues ones are new and shiny, although they cost a bit more (they start at RM6 = 1,5 US$, and adds RM1 for every 36 seconds).

There are also UberEasy Taxi, Grab, and other similar apps which have become very popular in KL.

Bicycle

It is fully doable to go around KL by bicycle, although be careful as the traffic can be pretty bad and there are very few roads that have bicycle lanes. The big parks like Lake Gardens and Kl Forest Exo Park are, however, excellent for bicycling.

There are city bikes called OBike several places around the city. Just download the OBike App, grab one of the bikes, scan the QR code, and start riding. Easy peacy! 🙂

OBike KL

There are city bikes from OBikes several places around KL, like here outside the National Mosque Masjid Negara

Check out The Bicycle Map Project for maps of great bicycle-friendly routes. This is an independent initiative by local cycling enthusiasts and volunteers.

You can rent bicycles at KL By Cycle, in the underground mall across from KL City Gallery or at Lake Gardens park. A bicycle cost RM30 = 8 US$ for four hours.

Walking

The best way of exploring KL is in my opinion by foot (although it can be pretty warm especially during mid-day). This way you will get all the street action, interact with the people, and see, smell and taste all the delicious street food. The roads are not that well-designed for pedestrians, however, but with a bit of careful walking and some friendly smiles and waves, it is doable.

The End

There you have it, a list of our top things to do in KL. Kuala Lumpur has over the years become a modern and sophisticated city with lots of cool sights and things to do. The train and monorail system is excellent and makes it easy to travel around in the city.

The city is cheap, you get top notch 5-star hotels for a cheap price and you can find some of the best street food in the world in KL! It is easy and cheap to get to Kuala Lumpur from other places in Asia, as most low-cost airlines fly here.

We like Kuala Lumpur a lot, more and more for each time we visit it, although it does not compare to our love for Bangkok! 🙂

entrapmentBy the way, in order to get in the right KL mood, you should watch the movie “Entrapment” which is filmed in KL and Petronas Twin Towers plays a major part. See it, it is a great movie!



Travel Information

Where To Stay In Kuala Lumpur

Capri by Fraser
Capri by Fraser, Kuala Lumpur We stayed at the apartment hotel Capri by Fraser. It is amazing! The apartments are huge, with a balcony with an impressive view over KL, a fully equipped kitchen and the biggest bathroom we have ever seen.

It's a little outside of the center, but the MRT runs right by so it takes just a few minutes to KL Central.


And the rooftop swimming pool, ah, it is the best!! Highly recommend you to stay here if you are going to Kuala Lumpur! Excellent value for your money.
Click here to see the latest price

Villa Samadhi
Villa Samadhi is an oasis and green lung away from the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur, but still located in the city. It has a great swimming pool in a big green garden, and the hotel is spectacular.
Click here to see the latest price

Lanson Place Bukit Ceylon Serviced Residences
This is a brand new apartment hotel, with stunning apartment rooms with fully equipped kitchen. It is located only a 5-minute walk away from the popular Changkat area with its famous eateries and bars. It truly is a home away from home. It is very reasonably priced for this kind of luxury.
Click here to see the latest price

Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
We stayed at this hotel a couple of nights and enjoyed it a lot. It has a beautiful rooftop pool with an excellent view over the city. It is conveniently located right by KL central train station.
Click here to see the latest price

For more accommodation options read our complete guide on where to stay in Kuala Lumpur.

Travel Guides

We used the Lonely Planet`s Malaysia travel guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books by clicking on the pictures below:

Malaysia Lonely Planet      Malaysia Pocket Guide   Malaysia Rough Guide


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Hover over the pictures below, and press the green PIN IT button that pops up:

Things To Do In KL      What To Do In Kuala Lumpur Top Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur     Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur

Have you visited Kuala Lumpur? What are your favorite things to do in Kuala Lumpur, and what did we miss that is a must-see in KL?  Please leave a comment in the comment area below. If you liked this post and found it useful, please share on social media! Thanks! 🙂 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, and we will earn a small percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at absolutely no extra cost to you! Thank you! ♥

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