Kuala Lumpur is not just the federal capital of Malaysia; it’s also the country’s largest city. Who would’ve thought that a quaint tin-mining village would turn into a vibrant metropolis filled with architectural gems and historical and natural wonders? With its mixture of different cultures, Kuala Lumpur promises nothing but unforgettable moments for travelers from all over the world. Here are ten of the most fulfilling activities you can try in Kuala Lumpur.
1. Visit the Petronas Twin Towers and Menara KL Tower
Located in the city centre are two 452-meter-tall buildings that will leave you in awe. The world-famous Petronas Twin Towers are beloved for not only their size, but for their unique mix of modern and Islamic architecture. If taking pictures from the outside is not enough, the towers are open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. Once inside, make your way to the 58-metre-long Sky Bridge for a breathtaking view of the metropolis.
Another landmark worth seeing is Menara KL Tower, which is located just above the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve. It stands at 421 meters, making it the tallest telecommunication tower in Southeast Asia. Much like the Petronas, it has a viewing deck offering amazing views of Bukit Nanas and the city centre. Visit the viewing deck at night to see the enchanting lights of the skyscrapers.
Petronas Twin Towers
Address: Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Price: from 18 USD (adults); 7 USD (kids)
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Closed on Mondays and on Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha
Website: Petronas Twin Towers
Menara KL Tower
Address: Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Price: from 12 USD (adults); 7 USD (kids)
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Website: Menara KL Tower
2. Meet the colorful feathered wonders of KL Bird Park
Established in 1991, the 200-acre KL Bird Park houses over 3,000 local and imported birds. Go for a walk through the aviary and see the winged creatures and rich plant life up-close. Some of the birds you will see here include Brahminy kites, macaws, flamingos, pigeons, and hornbills, all of which come in different colors. Learn more about them when you catch the bird shows and feeding programs. There’s also a refreshment area where you can eat and drink after exploring the park. Be extra careful when you’re walking around after rainfall, some parts may be slippery.
KL Bird Park
Address: 920, Jalan Cenderawasih, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Price: from 15 USD (adults); 10 USD (kids)
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Website: KL Bird Park
3. Swim, slide, and ride at Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
Fun-filled wet and dry activities await you 15 kilometers outside of the city center. Sunway Lagoon is a theme park for the whole family. When you reach the Water Park, you can try out the different twirling slides or go surfing or body boarding through the artificial waves. The kids will certainly enjoy Little Zimbabwe, which looks exactly like an African village.
At the Amusement Park, continue the exhilarating moments in the Grand Canyon River Rapids. It’s where you will sit in a tube and explore the wavy river, which is 260-meters-long. If you’re in the mood for some spooks, then Scream Park is the place for you. The Ghostbusters Adventure-Live will take you to New York’s most haunted places and the headquarters of the legendary busters. Slimer is waiting for you as well.
Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
Address: 3, Jalan PJS 11/11, Bandar Sunway, 47500 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Price: from 38 USD (adults 13 years old and above); 31 USD (kids 12 years old and below and senior citizens 60 years and above)
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM.
Contact: +60 3-2272-1010
Website: Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
4. See hundreds of marine species at Aquaria KLCC
On the Concourse Level of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, a mesmerizing underwater world awaits. The 60,000-square-foot Aquaria KLCC is considered to be the world’s largest aquarium, and is comprised of over 150 species of marine creatures. One of its most famous attractions is the transparent tunnel, which is 90 meters long. As you walk through the tunnel, get ready to be amazed by the sight of tiger sharks, seahorses, huge stingrays, and more. Make your experience even more memorable by witnessing the feeding program done by a team of professionals. At the DNA Touch Pool, you will have an opportunity to put live corals on your hands.
Address: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur City, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Price: from 14 USD (adults); 12 USD (kids); 10 USD (senior citizens)
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
Website: Aquaria KLCC
5. Go for a walk at KLCC Park
If you want a break from Kuala Lumpur’s bustling atmosphere, then put on your walking shoes and go for a walk through KLCC Park. The 50-acre spot features thousands of trees and plants from different species. There’s a playground for the kids and a jogging area for those who want to exercise peacefully. In the afternoon and evening, you can watch the awe-inspiring Lake Symphony, a show featuring harmonic movements between lights and the water fountains. The end of the northern side of the park is where you will see the Masjid As Syakirin Mosque. Let the mosque’s brilliant architecture astound you while you take in the calm atmosphere.
6. Explore the Batu Caves
The Batu Caves remain to be a significant Hindu site in Malaysia. It has limestone features believed to be 400 million years old and a huge Hindu statue guarding the entrance. There are three main caves, namely The Cathedral Cave (free admission), Art Gallery (around 3 USD for foreigners and 2 USD for locals), and Dark Cave (tour rates seen below). The Cathedral Cave houses several shrines while the Art Gallery contains colorful paintings and sculptures of deities. The Dark Cave is comprised of magnificent rock formations and different types of exotic insects, which are perfect for the adventurous travelers.
When you visit during the Thaipusam season – a Hindu festival – you will see thousands of devotees and witness certain religious practices. Climbing the 272 steps may be a bit tiring, but when you reach the top, prepare to be stunned by the city view. Monkeys can also be seen around the cave, and some of them may be wild. They won’t harm you, but they tend to grab bags and food, so always watch your belongings. The best time to visit Batu Caves is during the early morning to avoid the scorching heat.
Address: 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM
Website: Batu Caves
Address: Dark Cave Conservation Site Temple Complex, 68100,, Batu Caves, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
Price: from 18 USD for Adventour Tour (only for 12 years old and above); 8 USD (adults); 6 USD (kids) for Educational Tour
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Duration: around 3 to 4 hours required for Adventure Tour; 45 minutes for Educational Tour
Contact: +60 3-6186-7011
Website: Dark Cave
7. Please your taste buds during Ramadan
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
When Ramadan season arrives, Kuala Lumpur’s food culture is at its best. Food bazaars appear on street corners, each of which have a wide variety of affordable local, Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern delights. Satisfy your hunger by trying out popular dishes such as murtabak, otak-otak, popia, nasi biryani, and many more. 3:00 or 4:00 PM is the ideal time to go exploring, since the stalls have just opened and the dishes are still fresh.
You can check the schedule of Ramadan in Kuala Lumpur here.
8. Shop and eat in Bukit Bintang and Chinatown
A trip to Kuala Lumpur won’t be complete without a shopping spree. Make your way to the seven-storey Pavilion KL in Bukit Bintang and bring home items from some of the most well-known brands. The Couture Pavillion is for the high-end shoppers while the Fashion Avenue section offers less pricey products. Some of the brands you will find here include Bvlgari, Dolce and Gabana, Aesop, Armani, Gucci, and Jimmy Choo. Another highlight of Bukit Bintang is Jalan Alor, which is renowned for its Chinese restaurants and hawker stalls selling local street dishes. Absorb the lively vibes of the area as you taste the barbecue dishes, noodles, and many other delicacies.
In Chinatown, head to the Central Market to shop for Chinese, Malay, or Indian handicrafts. By buying from the local merchants, you will be supporting the city’s booming art scene. Batiks, carvings, sculptures, and paintings are some of the things you can purchase in the market. On the second floor, there are plenty of Asian restaurants for you to try. The Central Market is also famous for its Baroque-influenced design.
Address: 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Contact: +60 3-2118-8833
Website: Pavilion KL
9. Learn about Malaysia’s history at the National Museum
Near the Lake Gardens is the National Museum, which will enlighten you about Malaysia’s eventful history and diverse culture. The museum resembles a traditional house, and it has two floors. On the first floor, you will see prehistoric galleries as well as dioramas showing traditional weddings, and fishing and farming activities. The second floor features relics from the Colonial Era such as weapons and musical instruments. Let the free tours give you a deeper understanding of the exhibits. For the English-language tours, they take place every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 11:00 AM. The French-language tours happen every Thursdays at 9:00 and 12:00 AM.
Address: Jabatan Muzium Malaysia, Jalan Damansara, Tasik Perdana, 50566 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Website: National Museum
10. Be mesmerized by Sri Maha Mariamman and Thean Hou Temples
The six-tiered Thean Hou Temple is recognized as one of Southeast Asia’s largest temples. Built in honor of the goddess who protected fishermen, the site is decorated with gorgeous Buddhist images and provides a nice view of the skyline. The gorgeous statue of Thean Hou is accompanied by the equally-stunning sculptures of the Goddess of Mercy and the Goddess of the Waterfront. As you walk further into the temple, you will see intricate paintings depicting famous Chinese legends.
Sri Maha MariammanTemple was built in 1873, dedicated to the South Indian goddess. Each tier of the temple has statues of different deities, all of which are intrically-colored. Inside, there are wall paintings and more statues for you to see. The architecture of the temple is so complex you will certainly have many pictures on your camera.
Thean Hou Temple
Address: 65, Persiaran Endah, Taman Persiaran Desa, 50460 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Website: Thean Hou Temple
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
Address: Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM
Website: Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
More to see in KL!
With these ten things, you’re off to a great start in the big city. The good news is, there are plenty more to see there. Whether you’re travelling solo or with a group, Kuala Lumpur guarantees an authentic adventure. The warm reception of the locals will also inspire you to take your journey further. Have a great time in KL!
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