Symmetrical look up of Petronas Twin Towers with Sky Bridge joining them
MALAYSIA

Seven Awesome Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

By on 23/09/2017

There’s a high chance that anyone who has travelled to South East Asia has gone through Kuala Lumpur, very likely as a stop over on the way to another destination. But even if this is the case, Kuala Lumpur is a city that is worth spending some time in.

A lot of people find it to be a noisy concrete jungle and a bit overwhelming. But if you are able to see past the big roads, traffic and noise (which can be found in any big city across the planet), there is an exciting world waiting to be discovered.

Whether you are looking for a bit of culture, food, shopping, parties or adventure, Kuala Lumpur will deliver.

Admire the tallest twin towers in the world

Once the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Towers are the best known landmark in Kuala Lumpur, and can be seen from many points in the city. Still the tallest twin towers, there is nothing like getting up close and personal to them. Their height, and clean and uniform lines are a spectacular sight, particularly at night, when they’re all lit up.

Night view of Petronas Towers lit up and surrounded by other buildings

The Petronas Towers at night

If you’d like to see the city from up high and visit the Sky Bridge and the Observation Deck (entry fee of RM85 / $20US), ensure that you book ahead.

Looking up to the Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Towers from the Suria KLCC entrance

Combine your visit with a walk through KLCC Park, a peaceful garden right next to the Towers with a man-made lake – Symphony Lake. It has water fountains that come alive twice a day during the water shows, at noon and again in the evenings. It’s also a great spot to take photos of the Towers.

Top tip: Petronas Towers has not licensed any third parties to sell admission tickets to the public, so make sure you always purchase your tickets directly from the Towers’ website or ticketing counter.


Catch the sunset from above the city

Offering 360 degree views of Kuala Lumpur, the Heli Lounge Bar is a bit of hidden gem, that as its name indicates, is a helipad that becomes a rooftop bar at night.

Located on the 34th floor of the Menara KH building, it has two parts – the lounge downstairs, and the helipad two flights of stairs above it. The helipad is set up in the evening with simple tables and chairs and it offers the most incredible sunset views of the city. It sits directly across the KL Tower, and you will find it hard to get a better skyline view of the city.

Cocktail glass with strawberry with Petronas Towers in the background

A drink with a view. Photo by Craig Russell from No Real Plan

My favourite night is Thursday night, when Ladies’ Night is on and we ladies get to have any cocktail in the menu for only RM15 (~$3.50 US).

Top tip: Arrive between 18:00h – 21:00h to access the rooftop bar for free.


Devour Jalan Alor

Jalan Alor, or Alor Street, is the centre of street food in Kuala Lumpur. Just another regular street with not much happening during the day, it gets completely transformed at night into a hustle and bustle of activity.

It was once known as the city’s red light district, but after a number of transformations, it has now become a mecca for foodies, and in particular street foodies. You will find rows and rows of hawker stalls on both sides of the road here, with some of the best culinary delights that Malaysia has to offer.

Dumplins in bamboo steamer with a fruit market stall in the background

Delicious dim sum!

It’s not only popular with foreigners, but local people also frequent Jalan Alor. And you can really see Malaysia’s cultural diversity in the food that you can find in this street.

Top tip: There is so much variety, that you will not be able to try the majority of the food on offer in one visit, so ensure you go back as often as you can. And bring a big appetite to enjoy as much deliciousness as possible!


Love Malaysia?
Visit Penang and admire its many Cute Doors and Windows


Haggle in Chinatown

Petaling Street is the Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur, where the hubbub never dies down. Great for street food, this area is best known as the place to come if you are looking for a bargain. You can find absolutely everything here, from clothes to electronic items to souvenirs. It’s a shopper’s paradise if you are looking for knock-offs of branded goods like handbags, watches, shoes, etc.

Shopping street with Chinese lanterns and lots of people walking around

Petaling Street – bargain hunter heaven!

Chinatown is without a doubt the place to get your bargaining practice in. Haggling here is a must!

Top tip: Don’t be shy and bargain hard! Even when the shop has a price sticker, everything is up for negotiation.


Bar Hopping in Changkat

Changkat in Bukit Bintang, is a street jam-packed with bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants, that include some of the best drinking spots in Kuala Lumpur.

One of the most vibrant boulevards, it’s never a dull night in Changkat. Bars here host themed nights, live music performances and international DJs, and you can find whisky bars, Irish pubs, nightclubs, cocktail lounges… there is something for everyone!

Nagaba Bar is my favourite, with three very different levels, including a very chilled rooftop bar! (You’ve probably noticed that I’m a big fan of rooftop bars).

For something a bit more animated and wilder at times, try Healy Mac’s Irish Pub. As in every good Irish pub, fun is always guaranteed!

Top tip: This one is for us ladies only. Ladies’ Night in Changkat is from Monday to Thursday. We don’t get a discount on Ladies’ Night. We get FREE drinks (in some bars)! But they don’t really publicise hugely, so tell the barman when you order that you know about the free drinks and you’ll be set for the night.


Shop till you drop

Kuala Lumpur has some of the best shopping in South East Asia and potentially the world. With over 66 shopping centres, you are bound to find something you will fall in love with and you’ll just have to have. But these shopping centres are not for the faint-hearted… they are HUGE! So much so that one of them even has a rollercoaster inside!

Suria KLCC is at the bottom of the Petronas Towers and holds the most prestigious and upmarket brands. But in order to shop here you will need a big a fat wallet.

Pavillion KL is one of the many shopping centres in Bukit Bintang, the city’s trendiest and most popular shopping area. It has a lot of international brands covering a wide range of prices.

Atrium of a 4 floor shopping centre with people walking around

Suria KLCC Shopping Centre

Low Yat Plaza or LYP specialises in electronics and IT products. Everyone knows that Kuala Lumpur is a great place to purchase these types of items, and in LYP you will find every gadget you can imagine.

Top tip: Malaysia is a country where bargaining is widely accepted, so don’t be put off by the price on the sticker and negotiate – even in shopping centres.


South East Asia Inspiration:
15 Photos to Inspire to Travel to Vietnam


Visit a sacred site and experience true darkness at Batu Caves

Batu Caves is a complex of limestone caves that is 13 kms north of Kuala Lumpur. It is a sacred Hindu site, with a 43-metre tall golden statue of Murugan, to whom the site is dedicated. Unfortunately, when I visited Murugan was covered in scaffolding so I missed out on its imposing presence.

The best known cave is Temple Cave, and to reach it, you need to climb 272 steps, an effort that you’ll be glad you’ve made once you see the cave’s vaulted ceiling opening up to you.

Steps and people walking inside an enormous cave

Inside the enormous Temple Cave

Hindu temple with a rock face behind it

The Hindu Temple at Temple Cave

Another must-see is Ramayana Cave, which can be found to the far left of the complex. If you arrive by train, it will be the first cave you will see, easily identifiable by the 15-metre statue of Hanuman, the Monkey God. Within the cave you will find a depiction of the story of Rama with a display of colourful statues.

Statue of a blue Hindu Monkey God

Hanuman the Monkey God

Statue of giant sleeping and people walking around it

Sleeping Kumbakarnan, the brother a Ravana – Ramayana Cave

Another cave within the complex, has more of a scientific rather than a religious interest, and it feels a little bit like an adventure. Dark Cave houses one of the rarest spider in the world, the Trapdoor Spider, and an ancient animal community of over 100 million years old. Join the 45-minute guided tour, observe this fascinating underground world and enjoy the magnificent cave formations inside. You will also be able to experience pitch darkness, which can be a bit unnerving when you know about the critters you are surrounded by… but so worth it!

Ray of light shinning through a hole in the ceiling of a cave

Inside Dark Cave

Top tip: Macaque monkeys rule the caves here. They are very cute, but if you are carrying food and/or drinks they will smell it and will try to take it off you. Make sure any food is sealed!

So tell me: Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? What other awesome things would you recommend in this fabulous city? Let me know in the comments!


Start planning your trip


Need to book accommodation?


Like this post? Pin it and save it for later

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

TAGS
RELATED POSTS
18 Comments
  1. Reply

    Piia

    23/09/2017

    Thank you for this awesome post. I will save this for later as I am planning to visit Kuala Lumpur on my next trip to SEA. I have only been to the airport in Kuala Lumpur on my way to Australia so I am really excited to explore the city. Cannot wait to visit one of those rooftop bars at sunset and Jalan Alor for street food.

    • Reply

      Teresa

      23/09/2017

      Thank you! I’m really glad you enjoyed it and that you will find it useful for your trip. The Heli Lounge is awesome! And Jalan Alor is so vibrant! You’ll love both! 🙂

  2. Reply

    Micamyx|Senyorita

    23/09/2017

    It’s been 5 years since I last visited KL. I’ve done all you mentioned here except the Batu Caves. Guess its time to go back!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      23/09/2017

      Hehe. There’s always something left to do. But it’s definitely worth going back and visiting Batu Caves. A very interesting site, particularly the Dark Cave. I loved it! 🙂

  3. Reply

    Portia Jones

    23/09/2017

    I love Kuala Lumpur when I went, it was such a vibrant and exciting place to visit. I really loved the Petronas towers, I thought hey looked stunning at night. Your photos, as always are totally lush. xx

    • Reply

      Teresa

      24/09/2017

      Thanks Pip! I love KL! The towers are just an beautiful feat of engineering, aren’t they? And I love that you can see them from so many places in the city! 😘

  4. Reply

    Aimee

    23/09/2017

    Great post! I’m heading to KL in February actually, with plans to stay there for 5 days. I’m especially excited for the rooftop bars, we’re planning on visiting the Marina Sands Bay rooftop bar, but it sounds like the Heli Lounge Bar would be a cool one to go to too, I’ll be checking that one out!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      24/09/2017

      Fantastic! You’ll love the rooftop bars. Also go to Luna Bar, it has a swimming pool on the rooftop and incredible views! Enjoy! 🙂

  5. Reply

    Synz

    23/09/2017

    Great post! Bookmarked it for a friend of mine who’s planning to visit KL next month. I’ve been to KL twice. And each time is a different experience. A few of the things I love about KL… great food and cheap beers. 😁😁😁

    • Reply

      Teresa

      24/09/2017

      Thanks Synz! I’m glad you enjoyed it. You’re so right that KL offers a different experience on each visit! And the food is just incredible… particularly street food! 🙂

  6. Reply

    Carmelatte

    23/09/2017

    Ohh this city is such an amazing place in the world <3

    • Reply

      Teresa

      24/09/2017

      It really is! I love KL! 🙂

  7. Reply

    krista

    23/09/2017

    awesome post! I just wrote one about KL too, your photos are stunning! and I love your ideas!

    • Reply

      Teresa

      24/09/2017

      Thanks Krista! I checked your post and I loved it! Especially your photos! 🙂

  8. Reply

    Amanda Koh

    24/09/2017

    Thanks for the list! KL is less than 2 hours away from Singapore I’m surprised I haven’t saw any of these!! I’ll be sure to keep this for when I finally visit 🙂

    • Reply

      Teresa

      24/09/2017

      Thanks Amanda! You’re so close! I definitely recommend visiting Kuala Lumpur. A really cool city! 🙂

  9. Reply

    Brianna

    24/09/2017

    I’ve also heard that Kuala Lumpur was just another big city. But it sounds like a pretty great place to see. Great tip about getting tickets directly at the towers. Without knowing that tip, it sounds like it’s a good way to get scammed.

    • Reply

      Teresa

      25/09/2017

      KL is a fabulous city! There’s so much to do and explore. These are just a handful of things that I’ve included. But not everyone likes big noisy cities, so I guess you have to look in the right places to love it 🙂

LEAVE A COMMENT

HI, I'M TERESA!

Hi! I’m Teresa, a London-based traveller and photographer who quit her job in the summer 2016 to explore the world. I’ve been to 39 countries and have ticked some adventures off my bucket list. I hope I can inspire you and motivate you to get out there and explore this beautiful world we live in. Follow my updates and discover the essence of travelling with me!

Become a Fan
Subscribe

Subscribe to travel updates, inspiration and more!

Airbnb Credit
Airbnb Credit £30
Search