Best Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur | Malaysia

Petronas Twin Towers at night, Kuala Lumpur

Top things to do in

Kuala Lumpur

million residents
most-visited city in the world in 2019
th
forest reserves in the city
tall Petronas Towers
m
steps to Batu Caves
row of woven baskets containing food at a food market in Kuala Lumpur
people walking up and down a brightly coloured tall staircase at Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur
monkey sat on the top of a red pillar

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.

Kuala Lumpur skyline with Petronas Towers at sunset

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!

rainbow stained glass windows in Kuala Lumpur
sign showing distance to other cities, in Kuala Lumpur
monkey sits on a pillar at the Batu Caves Kuala Lumpur

Top Things to do in Kyoto | Japan

Kinkakuji, the golden pavillion reflecting in the pond in Kyoto, Japan

Top 12 things to do in

Kyoto

Unesco world heritage sites
temples & shrines
year city was founded
hour train to tokyo
residents
Higashiyama district in Kyoto
Fushimi Inari Shrine
prayer tags hand at a place of worship in Kyoto, Japan

Top 12 Things To Do In Kyoto

Uncover 1200 years of history and cultural influence

The cultural heart of Japan lies in Kyoto. Formerly the capital of Japan and the home of the emperor from 794 to 1868, Kyoto is the birthplace of many of the beautiful traditions that we identify today as uniquely Japanese.

Today, Kyoto is the 10th largest city in Japan with over 1.5 million residents. Although the city is steeped in tradition, Kyoto is modern, exciting and dynamic while also maintaining traditional practices that remain a core aspect of the city’s identity.

Take in all of the history and culture by exploring Kyoto’s 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Wander the streets of Gion and Higashiyama to get a glimpse of the way things used to be during the feudal period.

Head out for a night of elegant Kyo Kaiseki cuisine, and then join the friendly locals at an izakaya in potocho into the early morning hours. Kyoto is the type of place you could spend a month discovering and still be just getting started. Check out the list below and discover what to do in Kyoto to make the most of every minute.

Take in the sights, unwind and dine in style. Here are the top things to do in Kyoto.


What to do in Kyoto

1. Stay in a Ryokan

No trip to Kyoto would be complete without experiencing a night in a traditional Japanese Inn. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture and learn about the traditions of this elegant style of hospitality. Yoshida-Sanso Ryokan is particularly special.

2. Visit Kinkaku-Ji

Kinkaku-Ji is a spectacular golden temple built by influential Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu as a retirement villa. In accordance with his will, it was converted after his death to a zen temple.

3. Explore Fushimi Inari Shrine

The main shrine of the rice god Inari. Famous for its 1000 red gates that each represent a donation from a family or company. The larger the gate, the larger the donation.

4. Kiyomizu-dera temple

Featuring a 13m high wooden stage, this immense structure features a waterfall, cultural artefacts, and superstitions that are unique to this special site located in Higashiyama.

5. Wander through Ginkaku-ji

The silver pavilion is the home of contemporary Japanese culture, also known as Higashiyama culture, which spawned many traditions like the tea ceremony, poetry and garden design.

6. Spend a day discovering Arashiyama & Sagano

A former vacation spot for emperors, with a beautiful bridge, bamboo grove and monkey park offering a fun filled day of sightseeing.

Geisha tourists walk around the gion district near Yasaka Pagoda

7. Dine at a Kyo kaiseki restaurant

Traditional high class cuisine, refined and carefully designed to match the subtlety of the Japanese palate. A Kaiseki typically consists of 8 to 12 courses.

8. Shop in Nishiki market

A narrow, five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen”, this lively retail market specializes in all things food related Kyoto specialties.

9. Get lost in Higashiyama

One of the city’s best preserved historic districts. It is a great place to experience traditional Kyoto, especially between Kiyomizudera and Yasaka Shrine, where the narrow lanes, wooden buildings and traditional merchants are reminiscent of the past.

10. Walk the streets of Gion

Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, filled with shops, restaurants, and teahouses where geisha and maiko entertain.

11. Ryoan-ji Zen Garden

Japan’s most famous rock garden. An interesting feature of the garden’s design is that from any vantage point at least one of the rocks is always hidden from the viewer.

12. Observe a traditional tea ceremony

One of Japan’s core traditional practices, the art synthesizes the preparation and drinking of tea together with spirituality, history, and architecture.

Visiting Kyoto and looking for a fantastic place to stay?
Check out Yoshida Sanso Ryokan! 

Editor’s Travel Tips

Where to Eat in Kyoto

Pontocho – one of Kyoto’s most atmospheric dining areas.  The alley is packed with restaurants on both sides offering a wide range of dining options from inexpensive to traditional and modern cuisine.

When to Go to Kyoto

Cherry blossom season is a fickle season, sometimes arriving sooner or later than scheduled (first week of March). Perhaps a better time to travel to Kyoto would be in May when it’s less busy, or the fall when the city comes to life in the brilliant hues of oranges, reds and yellows of autumn.

Are you visiting Kyoto and looking for some photography inspiration.
Check out our list of the 21 Most Instagrammable Places in Kyoto!

People walk along cherry blossom lined sidewalk in Kyoto
Ginkaku-ji Shrine and gardens in Kyoto
Kyoto at sunrise, seen from the mountain, with a temple in the foreground

Featured Host

Yoshida Sanso

Situated at the foot of Mt.Yoshida, this beautiful Ryokan is an exceptional hospitality experience that offers guests a glimpse into traditional Japanese culture. Serene and restful, each room is beautifully decorated with traditional art and furnishings. 

Also a world-class Kyo Kaiseki restaurant, make a dinner reservation to enjoy a myriad of dishes showcasing the delicacy and subtly of classical cuisine.

Incredible views over temples and parks, a peaceful garden and relaxing bath, Yoshida Sanso is a flawless experience from the moment you check in.