With more than 12 million international visitors last year, Kuala Lumpur (KL) has deservedly positioned itself as one of the top tourist destinations in South-East Asia. The city’s increased popularity has resulted in quite the building boom, and there are now more hotels and hostels to choose from than ever. With so many options, deciding where to stay in Kuala Lumpur can feel quite overwhelming.

Market vendor at Chow Kit Market Kuala Lumpur

KL’s Superman, a happy man 🙂

Kuala Lumpur is a fascinating melting pot of cultures. Walking around you will see beautiful mosques, colorful Chinese temples and Hindu shrines standing side by side with well preserved colonial buildings and modern giant skyscrapers.

Every area in the city has its distinct character, from the hyper-modern city center with its towering skyscrapers to the always busy street life of Chinatown. For travelers, each area comes with its pros and cons.


We have been to Kuala Lumpur a lot over the years, ever since our first visit in 2005. When we decided to put this guide together, we booked our plane tickets and spent six weeks in KL exploring the city’s neighborhoods in depth.

The result is this guide. It’s our little love letter to Kuala Lumpur, and it’s diverse, fascinating neighborhoods. Here we reveal what we think are the best areas to stay in Kuala Lumpur, and why.

We tell you all about the most popular areas, but we have also included some personal off-the-beaten-path favorites for those who want to avoid the tourist crowd. For each neighborhood, we have listed our favorite hotels at any budget – Top-End, Mid-range, and Budget.

Whether you are looking for that once in a lifetime luxury hotel, a small intimate boutique hotel, a value-for-money mid-range hotel or a budget guesthouse, Kuala Lumpur will not disappoint.

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

Compared with most modern cities, Kuala Lumpur is an inexpensive city to visit with plenty of places to stay at within any budget. The higher-end accommodations tend to offer exceptional value, often available for much less than what you would have to pay for the same hotel standard elsewhere.

The hotels recommended in this article are mostly places we have stayed at ourselves. To make this as complete and helpful a resource as possible, we have included some recommendations from travelers who we know personally and whose opinion we trust.

None of the hotels recommended here are paid placements or have sponsored our stay in any way. We pay for our accommodations ourselves when we travel. If you book through any of our links, we earn a small commission, at no extra cost you. This helps keep our website running – so thank you in advance for your support! ♥

We hope you find this guide helpful in finding the best place to stay in Kuala Lumpur.

The 7 Best Areas To Stay In Kuala Lumpur


The seven areas of Kuala Lumpur: 1. Bukit Bintang (green), 2. Kuala Lumpur City Center – KLCC (orange),  3. KL Sentral and Lake Gardens (blue), 4. KL Tower (purple), 5. Chinatown & Merdeka Square (yellow), 6. Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India (black), 7. Bangsar South (brown)

Here are Kuala Lumpur`s seven most popular areas to stay in (see the map above):

1. Bukit Bintang

bukit bintang map

The Bukit Bintang Area (in green) – Click here for a larger version

The Bukit Bintang area is the place to stay in if you want to be in the center of all the excellent shopping, dining, and entertainment that Kuala Lumpur has to offer!

Bukit Bintang is the most popular area to stay in, and it is for a good reason! Here you are close to everything, like modern shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants, and lively nightlife. Whether you want to eat at fancy up-scale restaurants or cheap street food hawkers, Bukit Bintang has it all.

Pavillion Shopping Mall Bukit Bintang

Pavillion Shopping Mall in Bukit Bintang

Why Stay In The Bukit Bintang Area?

If you like being where the action is, with short walking distance to restaurants, cafes, street food, and shopping malls, then Bukit Bintang is the perfect place to stay!

Bukit Bintang is also well connected with both a Monorail station and a MRT station. Convenient for getting around to other parts of the city. Since it is such a popular area, you can also quickly get a taxi or call a Grab, Malaysias car sharing service (much like Uber).

Unlike some other parts of Kula Lumpur that may be dominated by either high-end or budget accomodation, Bukit Bintang has something for everyone. Here there is a wide variety of excellent hotels, apartments, and hostels to stay at for most budgets.

Jalan Alor - KL's famous hawker street

Jalan Alor street – KL’s famous hawker street food

Bukit Bintang is home to Jalan Alor, the city’s most famous hawker food street. As the sun sets, dozens of restaurants and food stalls come to life along this street. It gets slightly chaotic, but it is great fun! Jalan Alor is equally popular with locals and visitors and is a must-visit. You will not go home hungry from Jalan Alor.

For an evening out, head for the nearby Changkat Bukit Bintang street, where bars and restaurants line both sides of the road in pre-war colonial houses. Or explore  Jalan Mesui Street, which also has lots of restaurants and bars, but has a more laid-back vibe than Changkat street.

Things To See And Do In Bukit Bintang

  • Shopping – Visit the large Pavillion mall for some world-class shopping. Other notable malls include Sungai Wang Plaza and Berjaya Times Square.
  • Cinema – Catch a movie at the Pavillion cinema, the city’s best cinema complex
  • Jalan Alor Street Food – Sample the street food along Jalan Alor. The famous hawker food street gets packed every night as locals and tourists come out to eat delicious street food. The Chinese food stalls dominate the scene somewhat, but there are also plenty of stalls serving Malay, Japanese and middle eastern food.
  • Changkat Pub Street – Party along Changkat street, a row of pre-war colonial buildings converted into KL’s most famous pub and restaurant street.
  • Heli Lounge Bar – Watch the sunset from the Heli Lounge Bar. Have a drink on top of a helipad at this laidback rooftop bar and watch the sunset over KL.
  • Lot10 Food CourtLot10 Hutong, a food court that is famous for having managed to gather many of the best street food restaurants in Kuala Lumpur under one roof.
  • Plaza Low Yat IT-Mall – Go electronics shopping Malaysia’s largest IT mall.
  • TREC clubbing –  East of Bukit Bintang (Jalan Tun Razak) has KLs largest clubs and discos, like Zouk, and also live music venues on Fridays and Saturdays.

What’s The Catch?

Bukit Bintang can get a bit hectic and busy, especially in the evenings and on the weekends.

Where To Stay In Bukit Bintang

Top End

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
We only had a short stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, but we felt like royalties from the moment we entered the lobby. The excellent service that the staff gave us truly made it feel like a home away from home.

Ritz-Carlton Hotel room in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Our room at the Ritz Carlton

We even had a private butler for the first time ever! He came to our room with complimentary drinks, polished our shoes, and made our beds in the evening. Wonderful service!
The Ritz-Carlton is one of Malaysia’s finest hotels. It is a great luxury option at a price that is much more affordable than similar properties in other parts of the world.

The hotel has kept its old-world elegance. We loved the impressive lobby area and our spacious room with every imaginable comfort including a huge marble tiled bathroom with both a bathtub (and bath salt!) and a separate shower. There are two swimming pools (one is adult only), as well as a fitness center. The fitness center, by the way, is one of the best hotel gyms we have ever tried. It has everything! We did not get to try out the elegant Spa Village, but it looked amazing.

The Ritz-Carlton’s location is right next to the Pavillion Shopping center with all its shops and restaurants. You can not go wrong by staying at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
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Other excellent top-end hotels in this area include the JW Marriott Hotel and The Westin.

Mid Range

KL Journal Hotel
KL Journal Hotel is a small cozy boutique hotel located in the heart of Bukit Bintang. We were initially a bit skeptical when booking the KL Journal Hotel. Situated in the heart of Bukit Bintang, we feared it might be a bit noisy. Thankfully, the location turned out to be fantastic, on a quiet side street, just a couple of minutes walk away from the action.

We really liked the modern design and comfort of the rooms. All rooms have a large flat-screen TV, minibar, air-con, free wi-fi and floor to ceiling windows.  We slept like babies in the comfortable beds! 🙂

We L-O-V-E-D the newly renovated infinity rooftop swimming pool and bar — a cool place to wind down and relax after the sightseeing and shopping in KL.
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Lanson Place Bukit Ceylon Serviced Residences (Apartments)

Lansons Place KL Pool

The fantastic Olympic size pool at Lanson Place

If you are traveling with a family, or prefer a large apartment, then Lanson Place is an excellent choice for you!

We stayed in a two bedrooms apartment, but there are several types available. Our apartment had two bathrooms, and a spacious living room (with a large dining table and a comfortable couch and TV), as well as a full kitchen.

These modern apartments are well suited for both short or more extended stays. Our kitchen had a full set of kitchen utensils, and we found the washer/ dryer to be super convenient. The living room has a large flat screen tv and even a surround sound system!

Lanson Place has the biggest swimming pool we have ever seen! The main pool is Olympic sized, and there are several children pools and a Children’s playroom. We enjoyed the cafe located just next to the pool, perfect for grabbing something to eat and drink.

The gym is excellent with everything you need to get a good work out. There is a separate Yoga/ dance room with Yoga classes.

Lanson Place is located in the quiet residential area of Bukit Ceylon. From here, its a five minute walk to Jalon Alor or Changkat pub street, or 10 minutes to the central Bukit Bintang.

If you are staying at Lanson Place, check out restaurant Bijan just a few hundred meters up the street. They serve excellent Malaysian food!
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Mercure Kuala Lumpur Shaw Parade
A relatively new (opened in 2016) hotel that offers excellent value for your money! We loved our room, which was well designed, modern and comfortable with air-con, a large flat-screen TV with international channels, free wifi, and a minibar.

The hotel has a great location. You can easily walk to the Pavilion shopping mall and all the action of Bukit Bintang in less than 15 minutes. The swimming pool has a great view overlooking the city, and the gym is well-equipped. To sum up: Mercure Kuala Lumpur Shaw Parade is a lovely and comfortable hotel to stay at.
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Budget

Paper Planes Hostel
Paper Planes Hostel is arguably the best hostel in Kuala Lumpur! Originally an old shophouse, it has been beautifully converted into a cozy hostel. It has a quirky interior with super clean, air-conditioned rooms, comfortable beds, and spotless bathrooms. Both dormitory style and private rooms are available. In the mornings complimentary cofee and tea is served.

Paper Plane Hostel is located in a quiet residential area, yet the Bukit Bintang craziness is just a 10-minute walk away. There are some cool cafes on the neighboring street. Try the VCR Coffee & Cakes for granola, coffee or a cake. We love them!
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KL Backpacker
Another excellent option for budget travelers is the KL Backpacker. Clean, comfortable dorm room beds with friendly service and sociable, good vibes within walking distance of Bukit Bintang.
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2. Kuala Lumpur City Center – KLCC

KLCC map

The KLCC Area (in orange) – Click here for a larger version

Kuala Lumpur City Center, or KLCC for short, is next to Bukit Bintang the most popular area to stay in Kuala Lumpur. KLCC is where you find the famous and spectacular Petronas Towers, the worlds tallest twin towers. Many of the hotels in this area have views of the Petronas.

Maria, in front of the spectacular Petronas Towers!

Gazing up at the beautifully illuminated Petronas Towers is an experience not soon forgotten.

Staying in this area will put you right in the middle of everything, with lots of restaurants and shopping nearby.

And with the elevated, covered pedestrian walkway that links KLCC with Bukit Bintang, you can easily walk to even more restaurants, shopping and street food.

Another highlight of this area is the lovely green and lush KLCC Park. It’s a lovely place to to go for an afternoon walk, take a run, or just let the kids play. Don’t miss the magnificent light show in the water fountain in the evenings!


Why Stay In The KLCC Area?

KLCC is a great area to stay in if you are looking for top-end luxurious hotels, high-end restaurants, and a more sophisticated nightlife than Bukit Bintang. There is a whole cluster of upscale shopping malls here, with the Suria KLCC mall at the base of the towers being the crown jewel.

Just in front of the towers is the beautiful KLCC park, a favorite green lung in a city that otherwise has very few parks.

KLCC Park Kuala Lumpur

The beautiful KLCC Park in front of the Petronas Towers

Here you can relax and escape the concrete for a little while, or join the crowds for an evening run as the park has a 1,3 km long soft-surface jogging path.

There is a children’s playground and a public pool here as well. Every evening the fountains in front of the tower light up with a spectacular light show called Lake Symphony, where the water fountains and colorful lights dance to the music.

KLCC is also well served by public transportation, and if you enjoy walking Bukit Bintang can be reached in about 20 minutes by foot.

What To See And Do In KLCC

  • Petronas Towers – The iconic twin towers is one of the worlds most impressive modern buildings. Be sure to visit in the evening when the towers are lit up in all their glory.
  • KLCC Lake Symphony Water Show – Every evening at  20:00, 21:00 and 22:00 the fountains in the KLCC Park performs a spectacular colorful, choreographed dance show to music.
  • KLCC Park – The areas green lung provides a peaceful escape from the otherwise hectic city life and a beautiful place for an afternoon walk.
  • Traders Hotel Skybar – The famous Skybar on the 33rd floor at the Traders Hotel is well worth a visit for its spectacular view of Petronas Towers. No tripods allowed.
  • Aquaria KLCC – An impressive aquarium with a 90-meter underwater tunnel you can walkthrough.
  • Suria KLCC Mall – An enormous shopping mall at the foot of Petronas Towers filled with international brands. Their food court is an excellent option for cheaper meals. There is also a supermarket in the basement.
  • Petronas Art Gallery – Take a look at the thousands of local and international paintings, photographs, and sculptures displayed at the Petronas Art Gallery inside the Suria Mall.
  • Petrosains Technology Museum – This technology and discovery museum is located inside the Suria Mall.

What’s The Catch?

KLCC is an expensive part of the city to stay in, and beyond the top-end luxury hotels, there are very few options in the heart of KLCC. Mid-range hotels and apartment-hotels tend to be further away from the twin towers.

Where To Stay In KLCC

Top End

The Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental Lobby Kula Lumpur

The grand lobby at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel

If you feel like some pampering, there is no better hotel in KL than the Mandarin Oriental.

You can enjoy a relaxing massage, a soak in the Jacuzzi or an evening swim in the spectacular infinity pool overlooking the KLCC Park.

There is a well-equipped fitness center, an indoor golf course and even a tennis court with a coach.

Mandarin Oriental Kula Lumpur

The lovely swimming pool at Mandarin Oriental Hotel

We had a lovely room that really lived up to the hotels high standard. It was large and luxurious with every modern comfort.

With spectacular views overlooking the KLCC Park, world-class friendly service, and no less than 10 in-house restaurants, the Mandarin Oriental is classic oriental luxury at its best.

The location is also hard to beat, right next door to KLCC Suria Mall, the KLCC Park, and the Petronas Towers. Our only problem was that we never wanted to leave the hotel 🙂
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Traders Hotel

Traders Hotel skybar Kuala Lumpur

View from the Skybar at Traders Hotel

There is arguably no better place in KL from which to enjoy the spectacular view of the Petronas Towers than from the top of the Traders Hotel.  Located right across from the towers and separated only by the KLCC park in between, the views from the hotel’s tower facing rooms are fantastic!

Even if you are not staying here, the famous Skybar on the 33rd floor is a cool place to enjoy an evening drink or two and take some photos of the Petronas Towers.

The fantastic swimming pool and bar at Traders Hotel

The fantastic swimming pool and bar at the Traders Hotel

While we enjoyed the spectacular views from our room and the hotel’s central location right next to the KLCC park we weren’t that impressed by the room itself.

Traders Hotel is quite an expensive hotel, and we felt that the room, although comfortable and spacious, looked somewhat dated and could do with a little refresher.
There is an large indoor pool inside the Skybar on the top floor, but no outdoor pool.
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Villa Samadhi
Villa Samadhi is a unique and stunning luxury villa resort in the middle of the busy city. There is nothing else quite like this hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The garden and the pool that connects all the rooms create a peaceful hideaway, and as soon as you set foot in Villa Samadhi, the busy city outside fades away. The rooms are very spacious and elegantly furnished in a luxurious contemporary Asian style.
There is a complimentary cocktail hour every evening, and the service is everything you would expect from a five-star hotel. The price of this hotel is a little steep, but if you are looking for something truly unique and memorable, then Villa Samadhi is the one to book!
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Mid Range

G Tower Hotel
G Tower Hotel offers a bit of elegance at an affordable price. Situated on top of an office building, the rooms at G Tower are spacious, modern and well decorated with artful design. Rooms have air-con, flat-screen tv, minibar, and even a walk-in closet.

We loved the rooftop infinity pool — a lovely way to relax after a day exploring KL. There is also a gym and a restaurant. Petronas Towers is a 15 minutes walk away. G Tower Hotel offers a lot for your money if you are searching for a mid-range hotel.
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Budget

Le Apple Boutique Hotel
Decently sized, clean, comfortable rooms with lovely views in a central location above the KLCC LRT Station and a 5-minutes walk from Petronas Towers/ Suria Mall. One of the few good budget options in this part of town; rooms have air-con, minibar, free wi-fi, and a flat-screen TV. There is no pool or gym.
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3. KL Sentral And Lake Gardens

kl sentral & lake gardens map

The KL Sentral & Lake Gardens Area (in blue) – Click here for a larger version

The KL Sentral area is a convenient area to stay in as it is home to KL Sentral Train Station, Kuala Lumpur’s main transportation hub. From here, you can quickly and easily get to any part of the city or the rest of Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. All the city’s many forms of transportation interlink here including the MRT lines, LRT trains, monorail, and the airport Klia Express train.

There are a lot of excellent high-end international hotels in this area, as well as restaurants serving both local and international food.

The large NU Sentral Shopping Mall is connected to the KL Sentral Station, and has hundreds of shops, restaurants, cafes, a convenience store, and a cinema.

Why Stay In The KL Sentral Area?

Being so well connected with public transport can make exploring KL and its nearby sights a lot easier.

The LRT line can quickly and efficiently take you right to the KLCC area with its Petronas Towers and Chinatown. The monorail is convenient for getting to the Bukit Bintang area with its big shopping malls and the famous street food of Jalan Alor. The KTM Komuter train can take you right to the Batu Cave Temple (30 min train ride) or the even the Mid Valley Mega Mall. And the KLIA airport express will get you to and from the airport in a hurry.

However, the area has more to offer than just ease of transportation. The beautiful Lake Garden, the city’s largest park, with its Botanical Gardens, the KL Bird Park, several museums and the National Mosque is also within walking distance.

The beautiful park Lake Gardens. In the background is St. Regis Hotel and Hilton Hotel.

Another interesting area nearby is Brickfield often called Little India. It’s a 10-minute walk away from KL Sentral station and is a fun area to explore and a great place to eat authentic Indian food.

What To See And Do In The KL Sentral Area

  • Perdana Botanical Garden – The cities largest park Lake Gardens is home to a deer park, a lake, orchid garden, and a herbarium.
  • KL Bird Park – The worlds largest free-flight bird park is well worth a visit.
  • KL Butterfly Park – At this park, you can experience more than 100 species of colorful butterflies up close.
  • Islamic Arts Museum – Admire fantastic work collected from around the Islamic world.
  • National Museum – Learn about Kuala Lumpur’s history.
  • Rent a bike – Perfect for exploring the park and the city. City bikes can be found all over the city at designated oBike stops.
  • NU Sentral Mall – This large shopping mall has cinemas, shops, and dining
  • Little India – Explore the colorful and vibrant Little India and try some delicious Indian food from the hawkers around the fountain.

What’s The Catch?

It’s not the most accessible area to explore on foot. Traffic is crazy and the streets are wide with few pedestrian crossings. We frequently had to take detours to look for a place to cross the road.

Where To Stay In The KL Sentral Area

Top End

The Majestic Hotel
The Majestic Hotel is a truly spectacular hotel that impressed us in every way, and we felt at home here immediately.

Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

The beautiful colonial-style Majestic Hotel

The Majestic Hotel is one of the last classic luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur and has been around since 1932.

It recently went through a complete restoration that has modernized the hotel while still keeping its old-world charm.

Seldom have we been met with such genuine smiles and service from everyone from the doorman dressed in his colonial-style uniform to the reception staff.

The rooms are tastefully decorated with super comfortable four-poster beds, a cozy sitting area, and a large bathroom with a tub and even a built-in TV! Loved it! Could have stayed in the bathtub forever! 🙂

We loved the afternoon tea service in the salon and the beautiful orchid room has to be seen to be believed. The hotel has an outdoor pool and a well-equipped gym. There is also a super cool old vintage bar.

If there are any drawbacks to this hotel, it has to be the location. It is almost inside the Lake Gardens, making it a little challenging to walk to KL Sentral Station, and the surrounding shops and restaurants.

To remedy this, there are no less than three frequently running free hotel shuttles. They run every 30 minutes and will take you to different parts of the city, including – the KL station, Mid-Valley Mega Mall and Bukit Bintang (Starhill shopping mall). We found the shuttles very convenient and used them every day.

The hotel is surprisingly affordable for the level of service and comfort it offers. Highly recommended!
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St. Regis
The St. Regis Hotel is Kuala Lumpur’s newest ultra-luxury hotel, yet it is still very much rooted in the style of old-world elegance. The theme here is old-Hollywood with its glitz and glamour, and the decor of the hotel is beautiful!

The rooms are spacious with a walk-in closet, a stunning bathroom, and include a butler service. Our room was beautifully decorated in classic dark wood and grey furnishings. It is clear that no expense was spared in making this the ultimate Kuala Lumpur luxury hotel.
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Another great top-end hotel in this area is The Hilton.

Mid Range

Aloft
The Aloft Hotel is a trendy hotel conveniently located right next to the KL Sentral Station and connected to the Nu Mall with all its shops and restaurants. Although our room was a bit dark, it was stylishly decorated in a trendy colorful style, well equipped, and spacious with large comfortable beds.

We particularly enjoyed the rooftop pool and bar with a spectacular view of the city. Service was friendly and professional, and the Wi-fi is free and fast. All in all, the Aloft Hotel is excellent value for money, and we had a great stay there.
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4. KL Tower – Bukit Nanas

KL tower map

The KL Tower Area (in purple) – Click here for a larger version

The most famous sight in this area is the spectacular KL Tower, or Menara Tower, as it is formally named.

KL Tower - Kuala Lumpur

KL Tower

It is one of the iconic landmarks of Kula Lumpur. Built in 1995, and rising 421 meters towards the sky, this communication tower is visible from much of KL.

The open-air deck at 300 meters has a spectacular view of the city.

Surrounding the KL Tower is the Eco Park, consisting of the last remains of the original rainforest in Kuala Lumpur.
In the middle of Eco Park, you can go on a free canopy walk through the treetops 30m meters above the forest ground. The canopy walkway is a lot of fun and a must-do when in this area!

The area itself is called Bukit Nanas and consists of a mix of residential apartments, hotels and some small shopping malls.

Why Stay In The KL Tower Area?

The KL Tower Area is a very centrally located area, roughly halfway in-between Bukit Bintang and KLCC. From here you can easily walk to most places.

There are some excellent high-end and mid-range accommodation options in the KL Tower Area.

Canopy Walk Eco Park KL

We had fun doing the canopy walk

What To See And Do In The KL Tower Area

  • KL Tower – The tower itself is well worth a visit. Especially the open-air deck at 300m, access to which is weather dependent.
  • ECO Park – Walk along the supercool canopy walk among the treetops in KL’s last remaining rainforest, 30 meters above the ground.

What’s The Catch?

Apart from the KL Tower and Eco-park, there are not a lot of other sights in this area.

KL Tower/ Bukit Nanas is a residential and business neighborhood with limited options for shopping and late dining. Most visitors head for either KLCC or Bukit Bintang, which is only a short walk away, to eat and enjoy KL’s nightlife.

Where To Stay In The KL Tower Area

Top End

Shangri La Kuala Lumpur
The Shangri La is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most illustrious hotels. The hotel has for more than thirty years been taking excellent care of its guests. The legendary service is still intact and worthy of its five-star status, and every effort is made to make you feel special.

Despite the hotel’s age, we found the rooms well-maintained, spacious and comfortable with large bathrooms. You can also upgrade to a Horizon Club room which comes with airport limousine pickup, in-room check-in and use of a private lounge.

The swimming pool is a quiet oasis in the big city. But we found it to be a little crowded on the weekend when the hotel was fully booked. The breakfast was amazing! It was almost like a lunch buffet with just about every thinkable option available.

We also enjoyed the free and convenient shuttle service. There is also a hop-on-hop-off bus stop right outside the hotel, very easy and convenient if you want to take the hop-on-hop-off bus for sightseeing Kuala Lumpur. 🙂
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THE FACE Suites (Apartments)

The FACE Suites Kuala Lumpur

The fantastic rooftop infinity pool at the FACE Suites

If you are looking for an apartment, then you should have a look at THE FACE Suites located in the Platinum building.

The apartments are large, starting from 900 Sq.Ft. (83sqm) for the one-bedroom. The apartments are all elegantly furnished in a modern style, and come fully equipped with everything needed for a comfortable stay. Yep, you can stay here forever, we sure could…. 🙂

As lovely as the apartments are, the star attraction here is the spectacular rooftop swimming pool, possibly the most impressive rooftop pool in the city! It is simply amazing! 🙂

With its magnificent swimming pool, large fully-equipped apartments, and a location within walking distance of the Petronas Towers,  it is easy to understand why the Face Suites is so popular.
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Mid Range

Fraser Place Kuala Lumpur (Apartments)
Fraser Place is an older apartment residence building with lots of options from studio to three-bedroom apartments. We had a studio apartment which was well laid out with a workspace, a walk-in closet, washer/dryer for clothes, and a relaxing bathtub.

There is an outdoor infinity pool, fitness center, game room, and a sauna. With a central location close to Petronas Towers (a 5-minute walk) and Bukit Bintang (a 15-min walk), this is an excellent choice for families or larger groups looking for a great value-for-money-option. This was one of the cheapest hotel options we could find in KL with fully equipped apartments.
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5. Chinatown & Merdeka Square

chinatown & medeka square_map

The Chinatown & Merdeka Square Area (in yellow) – Click here for a larger version

Kuala Lumpur began in Chinatown. Chinese immigrants settled where the two rivers Gombak and Klang ran together and started the trade that would grow to become the Kuala Lumpur we know today.

Trade is still very much the order of business here, with small shophouses lining the streets. The main tourist strip is Jalan Petaling, where vendors sell all the usual tourist souvenirs and t-shirts. While it may seem like just a tourist trap, there are plenty of street food vendors here that have been serving up delicious street food, snacks, and drinks for generations. Jalan Petaling is well worth a visit!

The area is rich in historic buildings and old cafes that have been there for decades, if not longer. In recent years more and more hip and trendy new cafes are starting to appear.

When the British settled, they established their base around Merdeka Square and constructed several substantial colonial-styled buildings. These buildings have been beautifully restored, and Merdeka Square is a fascinating area to walk around.

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building at Merdeka Square

Merdeka Square is one of the most visited and photographed parts of Kuala Lumpur.

Why Stay In The Chinatown & Merdeka Square Area?

There are a lot of budget and backpacker style accommodation options in Chinatown, making it a great place to meet and mingle with other travelers.

Chinatown also has some of the city’s best street food restaurants, often open both day and night.

The atmospheric narrow alleyways, old Chinese buildings, beautiful temples, and the hustle and bustle makes Chinatown a fascinating area to stay in.

Sin Sze Si Ya Temple

Sin Sze Si Ya Temple in Chinatown

Merdeka square itself does not have a lot of hotels although there are a few around the nearby Masjid Jamek MRT station.

What To See And Do In Chinatown & Merdeka Square Area

  • Go on a culture walk – Explore the street life and narrow alleyways and observe the day to day life of this vibrant area
  • Petaling Street – The famous Petaling Street is a hectic yet fun vendor street which among all the usual tourist wares hides some street food gems. Try the apam balik (small pancakes made of coconut milk) sold by the older man in front of Koon Kee Wantan Mee restaurant. They are delicious!
  • Central Market – Slightly more upscale than Petaling Street with arts-and-crafts for sale
  • Merchant´s Lane Cafe – Visit one of the new trendy cafes, like the almost hidden Merchant´s Lane Cafe
  • Temples – Explore the colorful temples like the Chinese Sin Sze Si Ya temple near the Central Market or the Sri Mahamariamman Hindu shrine
  • KL Heritage Trail – Do the KL Heritage Trail walk among the beautiful old colonial buildings, and along the soon to be restored Klang River.
  • Sultan Abdul Samad Building
  • Masjid Jamek Mosque – KLs oldest and biggest Hindu mosque.
  • KL City Gallery – A tourist information and a gallery of Kuala Lumpur city.
  • National Textiles Museum – Learn how the famous Malaysian batik is made.
  • St Mary´s Cathedral – A beautiful little church.

What’s The Catch?

There are some genuinely terrible(!) hostels aimed at backpackers here. Be careful and steer away from the rock-bottom priced options!

If you are looking for higher-end or mid-range accommodation, you won’t find it in Chinatown. The closest is probably The Majestic Hotel, which is within comfortable walking distance of Chinatown & Merdeka Square.

It’s a busy, crowded area, and the sellers along Petaling street can be quite pushy at times.

Where To Stay In Chinatown

Budget

Hostel BackHome

BackHome Hostel KL

The cozy BackHome Hostel

BackHome calls itself a boutique hostel and its modern architecture with old influences makes for a nicely designed home away from home.


Both the private rooms (with shared bathrooms) and dorm-style rooms are clean and comfortable. The atmosphere here is fun and relaxed, and the beds comfortable with some nice touches such as a reading light and charging point beside the bed.

The staff are always helpful and frequently organize cool tours like hiking trips to some of the mountains areas outside of KL.

There is a western-style cafe next door, and Hong Ngek restaurant at the end of the street serves some tasty Chinese food.
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Big M Hotel
The Big M Hotel is excellent value for the money with simple but clean and comfortable rooms complete with air-con, flat-screen tv, free wi-fi and a private bathroom with hot water. There is also a rooftop terrace.

Location is excellent within easy walking distance to both Merdeka Square and Chinatown with Masjid Jamek MRT station right next door and plenty of places to eat and drink. If you have trouble finding it, look for the McDonalds, as it sits right on top of it 🙂
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Hotel 1000 miles
Basic but clean and comfortable rooms with private bathroom at this affordable hotel located close to Masjid Jamek MRT station.

The staff are the real gems of this place and take excellent care of their guests. There are also dorm rooms available at a low price.
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Reggae Mansion

Reggae Mansion KL

The party hostel Reggae Mansion KL

This gorgeous old colonial building is now a hip and trendy party hostel complete with an all-night rooftop bar.


Stay here for the party and the social vibe. If you want to have a chance at a night of decent sleep, ask for a bed on the ground floor.
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Some other excellent budget accommodation options in Chinatown include the friendly and relaxed Mingle Hostel and the space-themed capsule-style rooms at the Space Hotel.

6. Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India

Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India

The Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India Area (in black) – Click here for a larger version

These areas are the least visited by tourists of all the areas we recommend here. These are excellent places to explore to see and experience everyday life in Kuala Lumpur away from the shopping malls and the high-rise buildings. Here you can still catch a glimpse of  Kuala Lumpur’s past and history.

Chow Kit is a residential area with predominantly Malay inhabitants and is home to Malaysia´s largest fresh market, known as Bazaar Baru Chow Kit.

Bazaar Baru Chow Kit

Exploring the Chow Kit fresh market, the largest fresh market in Malaysia

Kampung Baru, meaning “New Village,” is the closest you can come to a village inside Kuala Lumpur. It is surprisingly unchanged by time and an excellent place to see what Kuala Lumpur once was. The area has a real laid-back everyday village atmosphere with its low wooden houses.

Masjid India used to be KLs Little India until 2010 when Brickfields was officially declared to be the city´s Little India. Masjid India is, however, still Indian influenced with lots of delicious Indian restaurants.

Masjid India comes to life on Saturday evenings when the vast street market Masjid India Pasar Malam sets up. Along Lg Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan TAR, and in front of the Masjid India Mosque rows of stalls appear.

Masjid India Pasar Malam market

Saturday night at Masjid India Pasar Malam night market

These areas aren’t tourist destinations, but there are some sights to see, such as the traditional Malay treehouses of Kampung Baru. Walking around these smaller neighborhoods you get a feel for everyday life here.

Why Stay In Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India

We love exploring the neighborhoods of Little India and Kampung Baru, but when it comes to accommodation, we prefer to stay slightly south of Kampung Baru. Our favorite area is around Chang Wangi station and Masjid India. With excellent top-end hotels available at a reasonable price and some of the best restaurants in KL lined up in a little street called merely The Row.

The newly built Quill mall is also close by with plenty of shops, a supermarket, and a cinema.

This is also a well connect base from which to explore the city with the Chang Wangi LRT Station and the monorail stations Medan Tuanku and Bukit Nanas nearby. If you, like us, like to walk then KL Tower or the KLCC area is about 20 minutes away.

What To See And Do In Chow Kit, Kampung Baru & Masjid India

  • Limapulo Restaurant – Visit our favorite restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, the Limapulo Restaurant, for the best Malay curries and Laksa! Read our guide to Kuala Lumpur’s best food for more about Limapula and other must-try restaurants and dishes!
  • Bazaar Baru Chow Kit – It’s fun walking around this enormous colorful fresh market with a staggering selection of fruits, vegetables, spices, meat and fish on offer
  • Walk among the traditional wooden houses of Kampung Baru
  • Tatt Khalsa Diwan Gurdwara – South East Asia’s largest Sikh temple
  • Jalan Raja Muda Musa Street – Explore the main Kampung Baru restaurant strip along Jalan Raja Muda Musa
  • Stop off for a Mango Susa – A delicious fresh mango smoothie served by many street vendors along Jalan Raja Alang
  • Titiwangsa Lake Gardens – Just north of Chow Kit is the leafy and green Titiwansa park, perfect for a stroll and taking photos of KLs skyline. You can even hire a motorboat, play tennis, hire a bike and go cycling, or join a helicopter trip over KL.
  • Masjid India Pasar Malam – Saturday street market

What’s The Catch?

The streets opposite the Bazaar Baru Chow Kit market becomes a local red-light district at night, has a reputation for being unsafe and is best avoided.

However, our recommended hotels are far from this red-light district, and the area is otherwise safe.

Top End

Hotel Stripes

Hotel Stripes is one of our absolute favorite hotels in Kuala Lumpur, and we keep coming back here over and over again. 🙂

Hotel Stripes offers excellent value for money. We love the stylish and ultra-comfortable rooms and the small touches like free soft drinks and water in the minibar refilled every day and the Nespresso machine in every room.

The rooftop swimming pool is has a fantastic view of KL Tower and Eco Park!

Rooftop bar at Hotel stripes

Maria loved Ladies Night at Hotel Stripes with free wine

In the evenings the swimming pool area turns into a cool, relaxed open-air rooftop bar.

Maria especially enjoyed Ladies Night (every Thursday) at the pool with free wine 🙂

They also have an excellent restaurant on the ground floor serving a fusion of Asian and Western food.


Hotel Stripes is our go-to hotel, and whenever we visit KL we spend at least a couple of nights here. The five-star like service at a great price and the friendly staff keeps us coming back.
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Sheraton Imperial 

Sheraton Hotel KL

The grand Sheraton Hotel lobby

The Sheraton Hotel is getting a little old but is still a grand hotel that offers a lot for the money.

It is a classic, elegant hotel with spacious rooms, ultra-comfortable beds with quality linen and marble floor bathrooms.

While the decor is a little old fashioned, the rooms have been well kept and modernized with large screen TVs and every modern comfort.

There is a beautiful poolside area with a lovely pool and a great gym. Breakfast is excellent with plenty of options. The location of Sheraton Hotel is excellent, right next to the Medan Tuanku monorail station and opposite the road from the Quill mall with lots of shops, restaurants, a supermarket, and a cinema.

The hotel is also right opposite our favorite restaurant street, The Row, packed with some of the city’s best restaurants like Limapulo.
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7. Bangsar South

bangsar south map

The Bangsar South Area (in brown)- Click here for a larger version

If you prefer to stay a little outside of the hectic and busy downtown of KL then South Bangsar may be just what you are looking for.

South Bangsar is a quiet, upscale residential area with modern highrise buildings on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. It has become a trendy area to stay in lately, with plenty of top-notch restaurants, malls, and big and posh supermarkets.

Why Stay In Bangsar South Area

We first stayed in Bangsar South four years ago. We took a chance on booking a brand new hotel, Capri By Fraser, that looked fabulous, but had very few reviews. Luckily it turned out great, and it is still one of our absolute favorite hotels in KL!

Back then there was really only the one hotel there, and Taxi drivers never seemed to know it, but that has all changed. Now everyone knows of Bangsar South as it has become a hip and trendy area with restaurants and cafes.

Bangsar South Nexus MallBangsar South Nexus Mall

The restaurant and cafe strip in Bangsar South

On our most recent visit in 2019, we found that new malls and hotels have been popping up all over the Bangsar South area. There are now plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bakeries to choose from within easy walking distance. One of our favorite additions to the neighborhood is the new Village Grocer supermarket, a great place to stock up on some food and drinks.

While there are some full-service hotels here, many of the hotels here are fully-equipped apartment hotels. Well suited for more extended stays or if you prefer plenty of space and the opportunity to do some of your own cooking.

The two LRT rail stations, Universiti Station and Kerinchi Station, make this area a great base from which to explore the city. The trip to KL Sentral only takes about 10 minutes. It is also easy to grab a taxi or Grab.

Because of the distance from the city center, accommodation here tends to be less expensive than similar apartments and hotels in for instance the Bukit Bintang / Bukit Ceylon or the Bukit Nanas area.

What To See And Do In Bangsar South

  • Mid Valley Mega Mall – A gigantic shopping mall a 5 minutes (10RM) taxi ride away
  • Plenty of excellent restaurants and cafes
  • KL Gateway mall (newly opened)

What’s The Catch?

There are no real sights in this area, and you need to use the train or take a taxi/ Grab to get into the city center.

Top End

Capri by Fraser (Apartments)

Capri by Fraser Hotel Kuala Lumpur

One of our absolute favorite hotels in KL, the Capri by Fraser

This is our favorite hotel in this area, actually in Kuala Lumpur in general, and we have stayed here many times. It has become our home away from home hotel whenever we visit Kuala Lumpur and want to stay for a while.

The apartments are super big and modern, and there are both studio and one/ two/three-bedroom apartments available. The apartments have a fully-equipped kitchen, a huge bathroom, and every modern comfort including a large flat screen tv, comfortable beds, and air-con.

There are washing machines and dryers available for the guests to use (buy tokens in the reception downstairs). All rooms have fantastic views of the city and a balcony where you can enjoy the sunset.

Capri is a full-service hotel with room service (great food, reasonably priced), a pool bar, and there is even a pillow menu. 🙂  The rooftop infinity pool is truly spectacular, and there is a large well-equipped gym and Yoga room. Breakfast is also excellent, and the wifi is fast. Highly recommended! Capri is our number one favorite hotel in KL for extended stays!
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Mid Range

VE Hotel & Residence
VE Hotel is a relatively new hotel with a mix of standard hotel rooms and apartments (with several bedrooms) available.

The rooms are well-equipped with comfortable beds, air-con, and a flat-screen tv. Apartments come with a full kitchen and a washer/ dryer, and there is a rooftop swimming pool and gym. The staff seems a little unaccustomed to running a hotel and service could be improved, but the facilities are still good value for money.
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Quick Summary of The Best Places to Stay in Kuala Lumpur

What area to choose depends mainly on what you want to get out of your trip.

  • For modern nightlife, shopping malls, cinemas, and entertainment consider staying in the Bukit Bintang area.
  • If Kuala Lumpur’s finest hotels, upscale shopping, and sophisticated dining are what you are looking for, the KLCC area is where you want to be.
  • If you are wondering where to stay in Kuala Lumpur with kids, then the KLCC area is a great choice. The large KLCC park (including a children’s playground and pool area), Petronas Towers, water fountain show, aquarium and easy access to shopping and dining make it one of the best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur with children.
  • If you are a budget traveler, then the Chinatown / Merdeka Square area is known to have the most budget accommodations. However, you can find fantastic hostels and inexpensive mid-range hotels in most parts of the city, including Bukit BintangKL Tower, and Kampung Baru.
  • If ease of transportation is essential, you should consider the KL Central area. The KL Central Station offers easy access to all parts of the city, the airport as well as other parts of the country. There are hotels at any price range from top-end to budget here.
  • If you don’t mind staying a little outside the city, then Bangsar South has some excellent hotels. The hotels here are generally less expensive than their more central competitors. It is an especially attractive area for anyone in KL on an extended stay.
  • Finally, one of our favorite areas is the Kampung Baru / Mashin India area. Here you are still within walking distance of most sights, yet it is a quiet and authentic neighborhood that sees much fewer tourists.

Friendly vendors at Bazar Chow Kit Baru

Two happy guys that we met at a market in KL 🙂

There you go, our seven favorite areas of Kuala Lumpur to stay in along with our recommended Kuala Lumpur hotels.


Hopefully, you now know a little bit more about the Kuala Lumpur’s different areas and deciding where to stay in Kuala Lumpur has become a little easier.

We plan on expanding and improving this guide continuously so; please let us know if you have any suggestions and tips in the comment area below.

If you’re looking for some inspiration about what to do in Kuala Lumpur, make sure also to read our updated and expanded guide on the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

Also, check out our favorite restaurants in Kuala Lumpur for when you get hungry.


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