Kuala Lumpur is like no city I’ve ever visited. It is FULL of high rises, great public transport (metro and monorail!) but not at all pedestrian friendly. If like me you like to walk around a city I wouldn’t encourage it for KL, as it’s a young city there aren’t any cute streets. Apart from the main sights there aren’t many things to see “inbetween” so i’d stick to public transport or get a grab (like uber).
If you’re looking for things to do in Kuala Lumpur here’s my top 8 which you should comfortably be able to do over a weekend.
8) Soak in the history at Merdeka square
The location to which Malaysia declared its independence in 1957. It’s a beautiful green square surrounded by amazing European styled architecture.
7) Explore Chinatown
Head to Chinatown after your sky bar drink to check the stalls and find some cheap food. I ate here for 18RM and there were stands selling dishes at 5RM (1$! )
The stalls are also selling a complete mix of things from sunglasses to sandals or electronics! So get your haggle-on!
6) Go shopping in one of the many malls
There are a few malls in Kuala Lumpur and it’s a great way to escape the heat! They are also hugeee with lots of different shops to fit different price ranges as well as lots of air conditioned restaurants!
I was here over the Christmas period so was also interesting to see how they celebrate and the decorations they put up!
My favourite mall was the Pavillion. Situated right in the centre it had the most spectacular christmas display (pictured) and such a variety of shops with the luxury ones located on the ground floor, so don’t be put off when you first walk in! There’s a Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, Forever 21 and loads of other high street fashion shops too.
5) Visit the Batu caves
A short and easy train ride out of the city (about 11 kms from the centre – the station is called Batu caves) the limestone hill houses multiple 100-year old Hindu temples within a cave alongside geological formations that are round 400 million years old!
At first you are greeted by a huge golden statue before you need to brave the climb up the stairs. You do not need to pay to enter but when I visited they asked tourists to bring a brick or bucket or cement up the stairs (that they give you) as a way of helping their ongoing renovation of the temples.
You can also visit the dark caves (around 40 RM) with a guide and learn about the bats and how their poo (guano) helps support a whole ecosystem within the cave!
4) Chill in KLCC park and admire the musical fountain display
One of the best views of the Petronas Towers is from this park! Walk around to see the twin towers from multiple angles as well as enjoying the greenery.
In the evening there are fountain displays to music right in front of the towers which is quite spectacular. They start at 8, 9 and 10pm. So it’s definitely worth coming to this park twice – once in the day time and once at night!
3) Enjoy the contrast of urban jungle v real jungle in the eco forest
The eco forest was such a pleasant surprise! It’s FREE to enter and there are 2 entrances – one right by the Menara tower and one down the hill by the road (south side). On Google Maps there were 2 parks labeled Eco Park so try not to be confused by this! Best to head to the Menara tower and then be pointed in the right direction from there.
The park has multiple hanging bridges that you can walk along whilst marvelling at this beautiful natural oasis in the middle of Kuala Lumpurs many skyscrapers!
Just make sure you don’t forget your insect spray as I was devoured by the mosquitoes!
2) Enjoy the view at a sky bar
The best way to watch the sunset is from one of Kuala Lumpurs many sky bars! Try to go to one in the KLCC area so you can catch a view of the petronas towers too!
I went to the sky bar in the Traders Hotel just opposite the Petronas towers. It has cute little sofa areas right by the floor to ceiling windows so you have a great view! A lot of these get reserved however, I went at 18h until 20h and managed to use one of the reserved areas, as the people weren’t arriving until later. Drinks were reasonably priced considering the bar/view with cocktails around 40RM (9$).
Another popular bar is the Heli Lounge. As the name suggests the bar is located on a helipad! Giving you the perfect 360 degree view of the city. The Heli Lounge is located inside the Menara KH building (right outside the Raja Chulan sky tram line) and as it’s used as a helipad during the day it doesn’t open until around 17h / 18h. The Helilounge is located on the 34th floor, to get access you have to buy a drink in the bar below – cocktails and large beers are around 35RM (8$).
1) Cool down in a pool with a view
Depending on your budget book a hotel or airbnb with a pool that’s got a view! Whether you pay 200$ a night to stay at the Face Suites (slap bang in the centre near the Petronas Towers) or 20$ a night to stay in an airbnb a little further out, there are quite a few options including pools with beautiful views over the city! (our Airbnb – pictured – was located near Sunway Putra Mall)
I spent a couple of nights in the KLCC area in a hotel at 50$ a night (breakfast included), I had a large spacious room and the pool overlooked one of the twin towers (the other was blocked by a new hotel being built..). I then moved to a cheaper airbnb a bit further out (but still on the metro line and only a 10min drive away) for 18$ a night (so $9 each!) The room was smaller but the amazing infinity pool overlooking the whole city was just incredible! I spent an afternoon chilling in the pool and drinking some beers and it was just perfect! Best way to deal with the heat by far!
If you’re planning on travelling a bit in Malaysia make sure you check out my Top 6 things to do in Langkawi blog!
If you’re interested in learning more about my spendings for my 7 month trip, check out my blog “How to Travel on a Budget in Asia“.
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