Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
Epic skylines, endless shopping, and delicious local food markets
As the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is an eclectic city blending old and new. The 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers dominate the ever changing skyline, whilst traditional temples bring light, colour and depth. With a population of almost 8 million, KL is officially one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in South East Asia. But this doesn’t just apply to the population growth. Kuala Lumpur also has a booming economy and business sector, which has developed rapidly in recent years. Extravagant shopping districts and expanding international relations have made Kuala Lumpur an increasingly popular place to visit. There are so many neighbourhoods to explore, sights to see, and foods to eat, you could spend months in KL and still only scratch the surface. We’ve put together a selection of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur to help you get started.
Top 9 Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
1. Batu Caves
With a distinctive multicoloured staircase leading up to the entrance, the Batu Cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. Located slightly outside of the city centre, the best way to reach the Batu Cave is by taxi and visited in the early morning to avoid crowds.
2. Perdana Botanical Garden
An oasis in the city. Spend an afternoon surrounded by tropical plants and rare fruit trees. There’s a waterfall, fish pond, butterfly park and deer park. Beautifully maintained and a refreshing change from the bustling city.
3. Petronas Towers at Night
Standing at a whopping 1,483 ft tall, the twin Patronas towers are simply mesmerising when they light up at night. Buy a ticket and go up to the skybridge and observation deck, or head over to the SkyBar at Traders Hotel to enjoy the view with a cocktail in hand.
4. Jalan Alor Night Food Court
An absolute highlight of Kuala Lumpur. These food markets come alive after sunset and transform into a lively, bustling street filled with delicious food, local entertainers and people having a good time. Not to be missed.
5. Wilayah Mosque
An incredibly beautiful and grand Mosque. Wilayah features an impressive dome and expansive inner courtyard. Built to house 17,000 worshippers at a time, take time to enjoy the art and architecture.
6. Thean Hou Temple
A stunning six-tiered temple of the Chinese sea goddess Mazu. The temple offers a tranquil retreat for meditation and reflection, as well as a fantastic view over the city. Visit at dusk to experience it both in the daylight and with the lanterns on.
7. KL Forest Eco Park
A rain orest in the city centre, with a forest canopy walkway and several nature trails. You can glimpse the city skyline through the trees, which is a pretty surreal feeling as you’re surrounded by nature.
8. Bukit Bintang
Known for being KL’s glamorous shopping and entertainment district, Bukit Bintang is home to big name brands, 5* hotels and vibrant nightlife. There are loads of back streets to explore, and interesting places to photograph. It’s easily reached from anywhere in KL.
9. Petaling Street
A stark contrast to shopping in Bukit Bintang, this is a bargain-lover’s paradise. Located in Chinatown, the markets come alive at night selling everything you could possibly think of, all at ridiculously cheap prices.
When to Visit Kuala Lumpur
The weather in Kuala Lumpur remains fairly consistent throughout the year. It’s hot and humid – a tropical climate – with average temperatures of 28°C. The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur is from May to July and December to February. During these months the air is slightly less humid, making for a more comfortable experience. If you’re planning to visit in March or April be prepared for a lot of rain.
Editor’s Travel Tip
Feast on Nasi Lemak: Considered the national dish of Malaysia, Nasi Lemak is a delicious meal of fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf, typically served with sambal, fried crispy anchovies, toasted peanuts and cucumber. As a general rule to go by, places that serve the meal on a pandan leaf tend to be the most authentic and tasty!