I lived in KL for close to ~8 months, so I know the city a fair bit – or at least I like to think so. Having said that, I’ve compiled a list of places to check out when in KL (some touristy, some a bit more off-the-beaten track), as well as a couple of links that’ll redirect you to day trips from KL, in case you have the time and inclination to get out of the city
What to do in Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Twin Towers
Would it be a KL trip without the iconic Petronas Twin Towers? Visitors flock here for a chance to take a photo with the tallest twin towers in the world, as well as to take a walk over the sky bridge (170m above the ground) that joins the two towers and to enjoy a magnificent skyline view of the city from observation deck (360m above the ground).
Note: On certain days, queues for the observation deck and sky bridge tickets can be ridiculously long. If you want to save yourself from waiting in line, you can preorder here. Otherwise, you can take your chances and hope you don’t end up going the same day / time as most other tour groups!
Also – during nighttime, there’s a spectacular (sometimes) fountain show! The show is hit or miss to be honest, sometimes it’s great, sometimes not so much… So I suggest you check it out only if you’re already in the area, e.g. if you’re there to take a photo with the beautifully lit up Petronas Twin Towers
- How to get there:Take the pink no. 5 Kelana Jaya Line to KLCC and the towers are right next to it.
- Ticket price: RM 80 for adults, and RM 30 for children
- Opening hours:
- Closed every Monday
- Tuesday to Sunday: 9 am – 9 pm every Tuesday to Sunday
- Friday: Closed from 1 pm – 2:30 pm
Surprisingly, Aquaria KLCC turned out to be a magnificent way to pass ~2-3 hours during a rainy afternoon. Touted to be one of the largest aquariums in the world, I personally found the experience extremely informative and interesting – totally worth the admission fee (ordinarily it costs RM 69 for adult foreigners, see link for admission fee table – but thank God for Klook, where I managed to get a nifty 30% discount) Seriously, Klook is now my new best friend – I check every single thing on Klook in case they have discounts!!
Some of my interesting and worthwhile experience at Aquaria KLCC includes: touching a real live bamboo shark (smallest shark in the world!), seeing a shark up close and personal (as it swam over me in the really long water tunnel – I could see its numerous teeth, scary…), watching professionals feed fishes, tortoises, and manta rays (so so cool!), and taking photos with fishes larger than my head o_O, to name a few…
- How to get there: It’s a 10mins walk from Petronas Twin Towers, located on the concourse level of Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
- Ticket price: RM 69 for adults, RM 59 for children
- Opening hours: 10:00am to 8:00pm
One of Malaysia’s longest running musical, MUD aims to educate the public (both locals and foreigners alike) on the founding of KL – how Kuala Lumpur became the metropolis it is today – by following the journey of three characters: an Indian, a Malay, and a Chinese. The actors are brilliant, the script engaging, and the play interactive – making for a brilliant recipe for success and one of the best actities I’ve done in Malaysia to date.
To buy tickets, use this link, or ask your hotel concierge to purchase it for you (which is what I did)
- Location: MUD Musical:Panggung Bandaraya, Jalan Raja, Dataran Merdeka, 50100 Kuala Lumpur
I was supposed to list down my top restaurant picks here, but I ended up spending >2 hours just reminiscing through all my great KL food adventures. Lucky for you, those 2 hours of reminiscing then translated to a detailed blog post of where to eat if you’re craving for legit Malaysian food, Chinese-Malay fusion, Indian banana leaf food, and even dessert 😉
If you’re interested to know more, click this link for my detailed lowdown on where to eat for a spectacular Malaysian meal
Central Market: The best place to go shopping for souvenirs – everything’s under one roof, and you can bargain away! Not only is it a great shopping experience, but it’s a pretty cool cultural experience as well – as it showcases Malaysian culture through its handicrafts and even architecture
Chinatown / Petaling Jaya: For Chinatown enthusiasts, head here for hardcore bargaining. Otherwise, I’d advise you to stay away. I find this street very touristy and commercialized, which is sad
Mid Valley Megamall: If you want to go shopping for clothing, I like Mid Valley the best – decent prices, good selection of stores, and good restaurants to choose from when you tire of shopping
Other options to consider
Note I’ve never tried these, but would love to when I go back. Having said that, I’ve heard consistently good reviews from friends I trust so would recommend to you guys too!
Day trips outside of Kuala Lumpur
Putrajaya: the administrative capital of Malaysia (0.5 days)
I know, it’s really weird that I’m recommending the administrative capital as a tourist sight. But just go there and check it out – the building architecture is simply stupendous! For more information, check out my detailed blog on Putrajaya
Batu Caves: a revered Hindu shrine and temple (0.5 days)
Ever seen a Malaysia ad? Then you’ve probably seen Batu Caves already! World-renowned for having the largest Lord Murugan status in the world (it’s the big golden statue in case you’re wondering) – there’s actually more to Batu Caves then meets the eye. If you’re interested, check out my detailed blog on Batu Caves
Silver Leaf Monkeys + Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park (0.5 days)
The end goal of this day trip was to view the fireflies at night along the mangroves of Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park. For optimal viewing, we had to wait for the sun to set first (~7 / 7:30 PM) – so we figured why not drop by Silver Leaf Monkeys and feed some monkeys to kill time?
To make this happen, my friend hired a private cab to bring us from KL to the Silver Leaf Monkeys to Kampung Kuantuan Firefly Park, then back to KL. We left KL at 4 PM, drove for around ~1.5-2 hours to get to Silver Leaf Monkeys, then another ~30 mins to get to the Firefly Park. Finally, we got back to KL at ~10 PM (had dinner along the way).
- For monkey feeding: Bring bananas, or ask your tour guide what type of food the monkeys enjoy eating. For us, our driver took care of all the logistics details (including the food)
- For firefly watching:
- Wear a long-sleeve shirt and long pants in order to prevent mosquitoes from biting you
- Don’t forget to slather on mosquito repellant across all your exposed body parts as well!
- No picture taking allowed, in order to not disturb the fireflies
In total, we paid the cab driver ~RM 800 (including tip) + a free dinner for the ~6 hours he spent on the road with us
Melaka: a UNESCO Heritage site (1 day)
Around ~2 hours away from KL sits Melaka, a relatively small town that’s brimming with history, culture, and of course, delectable food! If you’re interested to check this place out, you can learn more through my detailed blog on Melaka
Note: My blog barely touches the surface of what you can do in Melaka as I had limited time (1 day only). If you have more time, you may want to consider staying overnight and exploring the town even more!
The only place where gambling is legal in Malaysia, but still NO ALCOHOL – Las Vegas, this certainly aint. Having said that, if gambling’s not your thing (why are you here???), there’s also an indoor and outdoor theme park that might keep you entertained. All day unlimited passes cost RM 45 for children, and RM 66 for adults
Other options to consider
Again, I’ve never personally been to these places, but they certainly look interesting… so have a go at it if you think it’ll be fun
- Port Dickson: For a nice beach experience, a sumptuous seafood meal, and maybe some historical sites thrown in (Cape Rachardo Lighthouse, Ulama Sheikh Ahmad Makhtum’s tomb, and Fort Raja Jumaat). Port Dickson is ~1.5-2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur
- Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary: Get up close and personal with the gentle forest elephants of Asia. Entrance fee is by donation only, but it’s importance to book ahead of time as only 120 people are admitted each day. Kuala Gandah is a ~2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur
- Fraser’s Hill: If you’re itching for some nature, you’ll find it at Fraser’s Hill. It’s tricky to get here though, so I’d propose you either go with a tour or with a local
Where else to go in Malaysia?
Another UNESCO Heritage site + famed for their amazing cuisine – Penang is one stop you shouldn’t miss! From the artistic street murals adorning the UNESCO Heritage town to the mouth-watering culinary delights, Penang was an amazing place to chill for a weekend, and I highly recommend you do the same. If you’re interested to check it out for yourself, go to my detailed blog on Penang – showcasing what to see and where to eat for a 2-day weekend adventure
Malaysia’s most famous beach, for an R&R weekend with your loved ones