This post is part of the series Malaysia
Other posts in this series:
- Top 15 Reasons on Why You Should Visit Malaysia!
- The Best Places To Visit In Kuala Lumpur ~ Malaysia (Current)
- Batu Caves, The Stairway to Hindu Heaven ~ Malaysia
Travel Stories to Inspire Your Wanderlust
Learn more about Malaysia!
The city of Kuala Lumpur is not only the capital of Malaysia but probably one of the most culturally diverse and modern cities in South East Asia. Within the recent years, KL has become a desired stopover destination for travellers. But in my opinion, this city has much more to offer than being the place where you’ll manage your several hours between the flights!
Kuala Lumpur is an ultra-modern capital in South East Asia. Beside this fact, there are plenty of more classic areas, where you can meet the traditional side of Malaysia. The city is home to a varied mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and many other people from all over the World. Therefore, while walking through the city you’ll spot various Holy places, such as Mosques, Hindu Temples, Chinese Temples as a well as Catholic churches.
Today I’ll share with you my top places to visit in Kuala Lumpur! There are some well-known iconic buildings and architectural wonders to be explored. But not only: the green city has some of the greatest gardens and traditional areas which are definitely worth your visit!
Prepaid Internet SIM Card
My first tip is to get a prepaid Internet SIM card if you’re staying for a longer time in Malaysia. You can buy one at the airport as we did. My personal recommendation is the CELCOM XPAX SIM Card for travellers. The coverage was great, no matter where we were in Malaysia! We had a great internet connection even on the Perhentian Islands!
Getting Around in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is absolutely easy to get around! The metro system and monorail line are very modern and well-organized, as well as a commuter train service. Anyway, my absolute favourite tip for getting around is by Grab or Uber! You can just easily download the apps for free and enjoy the ride with a local! The Grab option is a bit cheaper than Uber, as it will costs you something like 2 € to 3 € for a ride (20 to 30 minutes!). The metro and commuter train services are even cheaper. Anyway, the best way to explore the city centre is by walking!
Petronas Twin Towers
What would Kuala Lumpur be without the Petronas Twin Towers? The skyscrapers have become the symbol KL during the last couple of years, and there are many reasons why! Designed by Cesar Pelli, the Towers were built in order to house the national petroleum company of Malaysia (Petronas). It took only 6 years to be build, 2 years less than expected! They were officially opened on August 28th, 1999.
The Twin Towers (451,9m) were the tallest buildings in the World from 1998 to 2004 (surpassed by Taipei in 2004). Nowadays, the Petronas are still the highest Twin Towers in the World! An interesting fact is that the buildings have 32.000 windows with UV and solar radiation steel and it takes about 2 months to clean all of them!
My favourite part of the Petronas Towers – the Suria KLCC Shopping Centre! It is absolutely an amazing Place to go shopping! Plenty of branded shops and various restaurants are waiting to be conquered by your credit card 😀
Menara KL Tower
With its 421 m, the Menara Tower in Kuala Lumpur is the 4th highest telecommunication tower in the World! The Tower is located on a 94m above sea level hill and therefore it seems higher than the Petronas Twin Towers (but it is not). The Menara Tower is surrounded by the Bukit Nanas Forest – the oldest gazetted forest in Malaysia.
An interesting fact is that here you can visit the highest McDonald’s fast food restaurant in the World. But who wants to eat McDonald’s in Malaysia? Me neither! Anyways, from here you can enjoy the panoramic view of the whole Kuala Lumpur!
How to get here? You can climb the hill or take a Grab, as we did! It was 35° outside which is definitely not the best hiking temperature! It will cost you less than 2 € and 10 minutes from the city centre, so go for Grab taxi.
Chinatown Petaling Street
The China Town of KL is located at the heart of the city in the famous Petaling Street. The district is also known as the “’Chee Cheong Kai” and is definitely different than the luxurious neighbours such as KLCC & Bukit Bintang. The China Town is more like South East Asia that we used to know and is a very touristy spot in Kuala Lumpur. The Petaling Street is the place that never sleeps and you should definitely not miss a walk for a bargain on this street while visiting KL! Here you can find ANYTHING!
But please, do not pay the price that you’ll see as first – we always got at least 30% off as the prices can be brought lower. The haggling is the way of life in the “Bargain Hunter’s Paradise”. China Town is still one of the premier shopping areas in the city where you’ll get the cheapest price for clothes and food. And yes – it is a very crowded place. But c’mon – it is a China Town, not a SPA Centre!
You cannot visit KL without going to Bukit Bintang – one of the most popular shopping districts among locals and tourist! The great mixture of bars, restaurants, shopping malls, street-food area – here you’ll meet the more traditional Kuala Lumpur and a lot of youngsters! If you want to experience the nightlife in KL, here is probably one of the best places to do it! My advice is to go for a local cuisine – here you have a great selection to choose from! In the Arabic district, for example, you can enjoy your dinner in many restaurants which offer delicious and traditional Arabic food! Yummy!
The Batu Caves is one the most famous places to visit in Kuala Lumpur! The Batu Caves are the best known Hindu Holy place in Malaysia, located in the spooky caves of a limestone outcrop in the north of KL. You cannot miss this Holy Place on your next visit to Malaysia! The Batu Caves feature a complex of Hindu temples and shrines, the iconic statue of a Hindu God and 272 holy steps to climb in order to get to the beautiful natural caverns! This was probably my favourite place from all we visited in KL and I’ll write more about my impressions in the next blog post!
How to get here: it is a short ride of 20-30 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur with the KTM Komuter.
The Merdeka Square (“Dataran Merdeka”) or also knows as the Independent square, is the most iconic and must-visit heritage place in Kuala Lumpur! Merdeka Square is the best example when talking about the great cultural and religious variety in KL! Here you can spot plenty of historical buildings e.g. Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Government Office, the National Textiles Museum, the Art Museum, the Royal Selangor Club, the City Library, the National History Museum, the Victorian Fountain, St Mary’s Cathedral, the City Theatre and Masjid Jamel.
The most prominent and beautiful building of all located at the Merdeka Square is the Sultan Abdul Samad building. The Building was constructed by the British architect A. Norman in the year of 1897. He was very influenced by the Islamic buildings which he saw in Africa and India and he put all styles together in the KL project.
Here you can spot various architectural treasures which the British left behind in the history. One of the first things you will notice while entering the Square is the 100-meter high flagpole – the most significant feature of the square! Since 31st August 1957, it is still the highest flagpole in the world. On that day Malaysia celebrates the independence of the country from British rule. But still, nowadays, there are a lot of throwback-buildings in KL which remain the colonial days when the British Empire was reigning in Malaysia.
The KLCC Garden is the most central garden of KL located behind the Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLSS Shopping Centre. There a lot of attractions to see in this beautiful greenery area of KL. For example: the beautiful man-made lake and various waterfalls, the excellent children playground, 1.3 km soft-surface jogging track, paddling pool (a real swimming pool !), more than 1.900 different trees from 75 species as well as many sculptures and street art! This place is absolutely gorgeous! Even it is located in the very heart of the city, you’ll be able to enjoy the silence of nature …
Every night at 8 pm, 9 pm and 10 pm you can enjoy the Lake Symphony – the Dancing Fountains of KL and the fabulous Light Show! You will be able to meet a lot of locals at the evening. The KLCC Garden has become their favourite place during the last couple of years! The scenery is absolutely stunning! Not only the Light Show but also the view of the Twin Towers is amazing by night!
The Taman Botani Perdana, or also known as the Lake Gardens, is a beautiful 920.000 m² park located in the middle of KL. The park is one of the most famous parks in the country and it hosts various flora and fauna attractions! The Lake Gardens is a perfect place for nature lovers, sport enthusiast and it serves as a refuge for the people who want a break from all the city fuss.
There are many smaller gardens located within the huge complex. The most visited and well-known are the Orchid Park, the Botanical Garden, the Bird Park, the Butterfly Park and the Asian Sculpture Garden! The Orchid Park is showcasing more than 3.000 species of orchids and the entry is for free if you’re visiting the park during the week (Mo-Fr). I loved the Botanical Garden too! It is the favourite place for locals who are keen on jogging, as well as for the KL Taoist Society who practice Tai Chi here.
My favourite of all parks located in the scenic Lake Gardens is definitely the Bird Park! With its 850.000 m², the park is also famous for being the “World’s Largest Free-flight Walk-in Aviary”. For example, it is twice the size of Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park! The ticket costs ca 16 € and the price is absolutely adequate having in mind the life quality of the animals inside the park!
The park was opened in 1991 and since then it is a place for more than 3.000 birds, representing 200 species from around the globe! Inside the park, there are many miniature gardens, a man-made waterfall and a huge bird feeding area! The park is divided into several sections which offer some great attractions for tourists, families and children! Here you can meet the Brahminy Kites in “Brahminy Land”, dozens of parrots in the “World of Parrots”, numerous hornbills in the “Hornbill Park”, different kinds of owls, flamingos and my favourite Peacocks! Here in the KL Bird Park, I saw baby peacocks for the first time … and they were sooo cute!!!
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery was one of the places to escape from the heat during the afternoon. The gallery is an interesting tourist information centre where you’ll learn more about the history of KL and Malaysia! It is located in a 115-year old colonial building on Merdeka Square and you can visit it for free. There are a lot of photos, paintings and audio snippets which share with you the interesting history of the city. My favourite part of this exhibitions was the Light Show featuring a perfect scaled model of Kuala Lumpur (12m x 20m)!
Don’t forget to check the gift shop before leaving! Here you’ll have the opportunity to meet some local art, such as handmade crafts like batik, pewter, hand-woven rug and my favourite – the handmade wooden miniatures from the local Woodcrafters!
The Upside-Down House
Located in front of the Menara KL Tower, the Upside-Down house is one of the newest attractions and more of a funny thing to do than a must see place in KL! It is a place where you can escape the heat and make some cool Upside-Down photos 😉
There are so many reasons why you should visit the beautiful capital of Malaysia! I hope I’ll have the opportunity to visit Kuala Lumpur again 🙂
Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? What is your favourite must-visit place in this beautiful city?
Enjoy the day!
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Continue reading this series:
Batu Caves, The Stairway to Hindu Heaven ~ Malaysia
On the second day of our Phi Phi Islands trip, we joined a full day speed boat tour to Bamboo