Top 10 Famous Buildings In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Updated 2023

famous buildings in kuala lumpur
| 4 min read

What comes to your mind when you think about some of the most iconic structures in the world? Taj Mahal, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Empire State Building; pretty much everyone would think of these. But not many would really think or even hear about the modern architecture in Malaysia. Although Malaysia is jammed between other touristy countries like Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore, this country is much quieter, serene, and less touristy, with its own enthralling sites to offer. From the mesmerizing Petronas Twin Towers to the New Sarawak State Legislative Building, here are just some of the famous buildings in Kuala Lumpur. If you also don’t know where to stay in Kuala Lumpur just yet, check out the hotels with rooftop pools. In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about the top famous buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

1. Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Kuala Lumbur, Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Source: Photo by Flickr user Dimos Paraskevas used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This is one of the most iconic buildings in Malaysia and stands as a symbol of the country’s rich history and architectural splendor. Completed in 1897 during the British colonial era, this magnificent edifice showcases a blend of Moorish and Indo-Saracenic architectural styles, featuring striking arches, intricate detailing, and an impressive clock tower. Its historical significance as the former seat of the British colonial administration in Malaysia and its role in housing important government offices today make it a cornerstone of the city’s heritage.

The building is especially renowned for its spectacular illumination during national celebrations, becoming a focal point for Malaysians and tourists alike during these festivities. With its central location near Merdeka Square, Sultan Abdul Samad Building continues to be a beloved emblem of Kuala Lumpur, celebrating both its architectural grandeur and the nation’s enduring spirit.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Address: Jln Raja, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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2. Exchange 106 @ TRX

The Exchange 106, Kuala Lumpur at dusk in June 2020
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user YongBoi used under CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the best non-touristy things to do is to check out the architecture in Kuala Lumpur by visiting some of its famous buildings.

Exchange 106 @ TRX, also known as the TRX Tower, stands as a symbol of the city’s modernity, architectural excellence, and economic significance. Rising to a height of 492 meters (1,614.17 feet), it is not only the tallest building in Malaysia but also one of the tallest in Southeast Asia.

Kuala Lumpur is famous for Exchange 106 because it represents the city’s status as a global financial hub and a key player in the international business landscape. The tower is a centerpiece of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), a prestigious financial district, and reflects the city’s continuous growth and development as a regional economic powerhouse.

Exchange 106 @ TRX

Address: Menara Exchange106, Lingkaran TRX, Tun Razak Exchange, 55188 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Website: Exchange 106 @ TRX

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 8pm; Sat: 8:30am - 2pm (closed on Sun)

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3. Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers KL
Source: Photo by Flickr user Simon_sees used under CC BY 2.0

The sky is the limit for this Kuala Lumpur famous building. Petronas Twin Towers is one of the most reputable and must-see landmarks of Malaysia. And, it holds itself a spot as the world’s tallest twin buildings, with its height towering to 452 meters (1482 feet). Standing tall as a beacon to one of the marvelous structures in the world, the architectural design of the Petronas Twin Towers is inspired by the Islamic culture. The 88-story twin-scrapers are connected by the legendary sky bridge that acts as a support system, which keeps the twins from swaying side to side during ghastly winds.

There are some notable tourist attractions like Petronas concert hall and the Science Museum that draws in global travelers. Other than acting like a tendon between the twin towers, the sky bridge also offers amazing views that overlook the entire city and the adrenalin that pumps up while walking from one twin to another.

Petronas Twin Towers

Address: Concourse Level, Petronas Twin Tower, Lower Ground, 50088, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Website: Petronas Twin Towers

Opening hours: 9 am to 7 pm, daily. Fridays, closed from 1 pm to 2.30 pm.

Price: MYR 84.40 (20 USD) for adults and MYR 31.80 (7 USD) for children

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4. Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower (from USD 11.97)

famous buildings in kuala lumpur | menara kuala lumpur tower

Not to be confused with the Twin Towers, Menara Kuala Lumpur has its own reputation as the seventh tallest building in Kuala Lumpur and also the seventh tallest communication minaret in the world. Being the second tallest structure in Asia, the famous dome is inspired by Iranian culture and it is also home to the Atmosphere 360 – an elevated restaurant that rotates above the observatory deck, which is open to the public. Guests can savor a delicious buffet in this fine dining restaurant. Menara, one of the tallest buildings in Kuala Lumpur, is also known as a pit stop and marker in Amazing Race Asia, season 1.

Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower

Address: No. 2 Jalan Punchak, Off, Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Website: Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower

Opening hours:9 am – 10 pm daily.

Price:MYR 99 (24 USD) for adults and MYR 52 (12 USD) for a child

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Kuala Lumpur: KL Tower Admission Ticket

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5. New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building

New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building from Darul Hana Bridge, Kuching, Sarawak
Source: Photo by Flickr user Fabio Achilli used under CC BY 2.0

It might not be the place to visit but, it’s definitely a place where you must get a really good look at. The umbrella-shaped architecture and roof on the outside will surely leave you mesmerized.

New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building

Address: New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building, Petra Jaya, 93050 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Website: New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building

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6. Istana Budaya

Kuala-Lumpur Malaysia Istana-Budaya-01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user CEphoto, Uwe Aranas used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Istana Budaya is famously known for its cultural arts and theatre in Malaysia. The look-alike of Sydney Opera House, this cultural palace forms a feature of an origami, bound to the Malaysian tradition; it is segmented like a village house of Kampung. Numerous philharmonic and theatrical acts have been hosted to this day due to the royal furnishings of a world-class opera stage.

Istana Budaya

Address: Jalan Tun Razak, Titiwangsa, 50694 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Website: Istana Budaya

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7. Crystal Mosque

Crystal Building
Source: Photo by Flickr user Muse Rosli used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Crystal Mosque holds its pride for being one of the most unique mosques in the world. Located at the Islamic Heritage Park in Kuala Terengganu, the mosque is completely made of steel and glass and it is notable for its views early in the morning or while the sun is setting to create a perfect ambiance. The mosque is easily accessible by boat or taxi.

Crystal Mosque

Address: Pulau Wan Man, 21000 Kuala Terengganu, Terengganu, Malaysia

Website: Crystal Mosque

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8. Khoo Kongsi

Khoo Kongsi George Town
Source: Photo by Flickr user WIL used under CC BY 2.0

One of the all-time famous historic attractions, Khoo Kongsi of Penang stands as a testament to the reigning presence of the Chinese clan house in Malaysia. Keeping most of its original form of the architecture, Khoo Kongsi temple is an embellished structure that will leave everyone awe-struck. There are many other structures still on the grounds of Khoo Kongsi such as traditional theatre and 19th-century houses. This Kuala Lumpur architecture still has an old-worldly charm attached to it as it is surrounded by houses associated with the pre-war era, near the old town of Canon Square. The Khoo clan rebuilt this current building when they were known for their wealth in Penang society after it was burnt down in the 1890s.

Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi

Address: 18, Cannon Square, George Town, 10450 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Website: Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi

Tip from tour guide

Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi

Night view of Leong San Tong Khoo Kongsi, commonly known as Khoo Kongsi, in Penang. It is the largest Hokkien clan house in Penang. The clan house has a temple and a traditional theatre. It is surrounded by row houses and is managed by its trustees.

Tour Guide from Kuala Lumpur

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9. St. George's Church

George Town - St. George Church 09
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Paweł 'pbm' Szubert used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The East India Company built the oldest and the most renowned church in Southeast Asia, during the 19th-century. The architecture of the church is an epitome of three characteristics: Neo-classical, Georgian and English Palladian. Being declared as one of the 50 national treasures of Malaysia, this church displays alluring oil paintings hanging on the walls and it also has Doric columns.  

St. George's Anglican Church

Address: 1, Lebuh Farquhar, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia

Website: St. George's Anglican Church

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10. Cheng Hoon Teng

The Cheng Hoon Teng temple
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jakub Michankow used under CC BY 2.0

The oldest functioning Chinese temple, Cheng Hoon Teng still follows the Feng Shui system and follows Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism: the three major Doctrinal Systems. Offering several rooms to pray to different gods, the temple boasts of the craftsmanship of Guangdong and Fujian. Unlike other temples, they use dragons to depict gods, instead of placing images or idols of gods. Representing the beauty of Chinese architecture, it showcases curved roofs and gable design.

Cheng Hoon Teng

Address: 25, Jalan Tokong, Kampung Dua, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia

Website: Cheng Hoon Teng

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Architecturally renowned buildings

The list of the most renowned buildings doesn’t end here. There are many other famous towers in Malaysia such as the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan, Kuan Yin Temple, Snake Temple, Malacca Sultanate Palace, Kellie’s Castle, Baba and Nyonya Heritage, and many more. Malaysia is known for its rich heritage and culture and it has plenty of grounds to explore, giving you a chance to find delightful things to do in every corner.

While you’re here, do check out the best homestays and other vacation rentals as well for your accommodation needs.

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Frequently asked questions about famous buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1. Which famous buildings in Kuala Lumpur hold historical significance?

If you are a history buff and would like to explore some of the famous buildings in Kuala Lumpur that offer a glimpse into the place’s rich history, you can visit the Sultan Abdul Samad Building or Khoo Kongsi.

2. Which famous buildings in Kuala Lumpur feature modern architecture?

Does modern architecture fascinate you? If so, you can explore some of the famous buildings in Kuala Lumpur that display modern structures and themes, such as the iconic Exchange 106 @ TRX.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Born in Mumbai and brought up in Bangalore, India, Aarti is a full-time freelance writer by profession. She is a lover of everything the ‘blue dot’ offers—world cultures, off-the-beaten tracks,...Read more

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