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Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

Things to do in  Kuala Lumpur

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia's sleek, modern capital is famed for its incredible food, Olympic-level shopping, and welcoming vibes. At once forward-thinking and rooted proudly in tradition, KL, as it is commonly called, is symbolized as much by the vibrant cultural mix of its neighborhoods as by its shimmering, futuristic Petronas Towers. To make the most of your time—and to avoid the city's notoriously heavy traffic—guided tours are highly recommended. Book your skip-the-line tickets and take in the dizzying view from Petronas Skybridge, then visit city highlights such as the King's Palace, Merdaka Square, and the National Museum. Take a street food tour to sample local specialties like nasi lemak (spicy coconut rice with vegetables, anchovy, and peanuts), or one of the countless varieties of Malay-style curries, sopped up with a generous helping of naan or roti. Other popular attractions include the Batu Caves, which house an enormous, golden statue of Lord Murugan and hundreds of fearless macaques. For families, the Sunway Lagoon theme park and KL Forest Eco Park offer plenty of outdoor fun. For something completely different, try an exhilarating hot-air balloon flight over Putrajaya. Malaysia’s capital also makes a convenient gateway for day trips to colonial Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Farther afield, tours of the Cameron Highlands' tea plantations, the fauna-rich Taman Negara rainforest, and the magical evening firefly displays at Kuala Selangor are sure to enchant.

Top 15 attractions in Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Twin Towers (Petronas Towers)

The twin 88-story steel and glass buildings known as the Petronas Twin Towers (or Petronas Towers), completed in 1996, are icons of Malaysia. Designed to symbolize courage and the country’s advancement, the towers connect by a double-decker Skybridge between the 41st and 42nd floor—the world’s tallest two-story bridge of its kind—forming the shape of an “M” for Malaysia.More

King's Palace (Istana Negara)

The Malaysian equivalent to Buckingham Palace, the King's Palace (Istana Negara) attracts thousands of visitors with its golden domes and Islamic-style architecture. Although you can’t explore the palace, you can learn about the Malaysian monarchy at the Royal Museum, located on the palace grounds.More

Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)

The neighborhood known as Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC is quite literally the heart of the Malaysian capital and home to some of the country’s most recognizable landmarks, including the Petronas Twin Towers. A commercial development project that began in 1993 envisioned KLCC as “a city within a city,” one that would leave visitors feeling like they could quite comfortably never leave the area.More

Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka)

A large grassy expanse in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) is where Malaysia declared independence in 1957: The word “merdeka” means “independent” or “free.” The city’s best-known historic landmark, the square is home to structures including the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, museums, and a cathedral.More

Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower)

Looming 1,381 feet (421 meters) atop the Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill) in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower) is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Visible from all around, it also affords a spectacular 360-degree view from its observation deck.More

National Mosque of Malaysia (Masjid Negara)

National Mosque of Malaysia (Masjid Negara)Beside the Lake Gardens of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s National Mosque (Masjid Negara) reinvents traditional Islamic architecture with its angular lines and neutral color scheme. Built in 1965, the mosque was designed as a symbol of Malaysia’s independence and is a center of Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant Muslim community.More

Batu Caves

Home to a 154-foot (47-meter) statue of the resplendent gold Lord Murugan, the Batu Caves are a must-see for anyone visiting Kuala Lumpur for the first-time. The UNESCO World Heritage Site consists of four limestone caves—Temple Cave, Dark Cave, Cave Villa, and Ramayana Cave—which are famously frequented by long-tailed gray macaques.More

Thean Hou Temple

While far from historic (it opened in 1989), Thean Hou Temple is one of Malaysia’s—and indeed southeast Asia’s—most important Chinese temples. Set atop a hill a little way outside the city center, the 6-tiered temple blends Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism in a tribute to the sea goddess Mazu and hosts a wealth of festivals.More

Sultan Abdul Samad Building (Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad)

Colonial architects A.C. Norman and A.B. Hubbock completed the now iconic Sultan Abdul Samad Building (Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad) in 1897 during the British administration of the region. Designed for governmental administrative offices, the building on Merdeka Square was the first public building in the country to feature a Mughal architectural style — a school that combines Indian Muslim, Gothic and Moorish influences.Today, the building is home of the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture. Its 135-foot (41-meter) tall clock tower flanked by two copper cupolas have become one of Kuala Lumpur’s most recognizable landmarks. The structure is particularly impressive at night, when the domes and clock tower are lit up.More

Central Market (Pasar Seni)

Housed in a beautifully restored art deco building, Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market (Pasar Seni) forms the backbone of the city’s commercial scene. Hundreds of stalls sell household goods, souvenirs, and traditional batik artwork, and Kasturi Walk offers visitors some of Malaysia’s most popular street-food dishes.More

Kuala Lumpur National Monument (Tugu Negara)

The Kuala Lumpur National Monument (Tugu Negara) commemorates the 11,000 people who lost their lives fighting for Malaysian independence. The 51-foot (15.5-meter) bronze statue of seven soldiers, built to replace a colonial-era cenotaph that now stands behind it, is part of a site that also includes a central pavilion with regimental emblems.More

Cameron Highlands

With a cool climate more reminiscent of England than Malaysia, the Cameron Highlands provide a welcome break from the humidity of Kuala Lumpur. Located 124 miles (200 kilometers) from the capital, the lush landscape offers tea plantations, strawberry farms, flower-filled gardens, and highlights such as the eerie Mossy Forest and afternoon tea in the hill station.More

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

Not to be confused with the city’s transportation hub, Kuala Lumpur Sentral Railway Station, the old Kuala Lumpur train station is a classic example of colonial Anglo-Asian architecture. Completed in 1910, horseshoe arches, bell-shaped domes, and airy pavilion roofs give Kuala Lumpur Railway Station an almost fairytale effect.More

Royal Selangor Visitor Centre

Royal Selangor is one of the world’s largest pewter manufacturers, founded in 1885 at the start of Malaysia’s Tin Rush by a young Chinese immigrant named Yong Koon. The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre offers insight into Malaysia’s cultural heritage with a museum, store, factory tours, and hands-on pewter workshops.More

Kuala Selangor Fireflies (Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park)

Bask in the bioluminescence of thousands of fireflies as they do their mating dance around the berembang trees along the Selangor River at Malaysia’s Kampung Kuantan Firefly Park, in Kuala Selangor. Each species of firefly has a different light pattern and together, as they swarm around their chosen branches, they create a symphony of light in the mangrove swamps—one of Mother Nature’s most spectacular displays.More
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Trip ideas

Tea Plantation Tours from Kuala Lumpur

Tea Plantation Tours from Kuala Lumpur

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How to Spend 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur

Top Attractions for Nature Lovers in Kuala Lumpur

Top Attractions for Nature Lovers in Kuala Lumpur

Top activities in Kuala Lumpur

Private Tour Kuala Lumpur with Petronas Twin Towers Observation Deck & Batu Cave
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Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour

Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour

Private Full Day Cameron Highlands Nature Tour from Kuala Lumpur
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Private Full Day Cameron Highlands Nature Tour from Kuala Lumpur

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Private Half-Day Batu Caves and Cutural Tour in Kuala Lumpur
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All about Kuala Lumpur

When to visit

Kuala Lumpur has the same weather report year-round: hot and humid with a chance of rain. Luckily, the city comes to life at night—when cooler temperatures make for more comfortable exploration— with markets and street fairs. Get a taste of KL’s global traditions in the winter, when Diwali, Lunar New Year, and Thaipusam bring non-stop celebrations.

Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
Time Zone
MYT (UTC +7)
Country Code

People Also Ask

What is Kuala Lumpur famous for?

Kuala Lumpur’s most famous landmark is the Petronas Towers, twin steel-and-glass skyscrapers linked by a soaring Skybridge—even though the 1,460-foot (445-meter) Exchange 106 is taller. Travelers flock to this multicultural city for malls, mosques, markets, museums, temples and galleries, as well as world-class street food.

How many days do you need in Kuala Lumpur?

Most travelers find 2–3 days enough to get a taste of Kuala Lumpur. That includes sampling delicious Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, and hybrid street foods, checking out the Petronas Towers and Merdeka Square, heading out of town to the Batu Caves, and exploring the old town, known as Kampung Baru.

Is Kuala Lumpur worth visiting?

Yes. As Malaysia’s capital, this green, leafy city is worth visiting. It has less history than Penang or Melaka and no beach, but offers fantastic food, lovely gardens, an evolving waterfront district, and heritage buildings including the Indo-Saracenic Jamek Mosque, the Sri Mariamman Temple, and the Guan Di Temple.

What can I do in Kuala Lumpur at night?

Kuala Lumpur has a diverse nightlife scene that runs from street stalls, bars, and restaurants to EDM clubs, karaoke joints, and live music venues. Night markets like Taman Connaught offer the chance to shop and snack till you drop, while high-rise venues like Heli Lounge Bar deliver on city views.

What is the most visited place in Kuala Lumpur?

The Petronas Towers, a Malaysian icon, are probably the most visited place in Kuala Lumpur. Guided tours with strictly limited numbers cover the Skybridge and the 86th-floor Observation Deck. The lower floors host a mall and Petrosains the Discovery Centre, a science museum sponsored by the fossil fuel company Petronas.

Is Kuala Lumpur safe for women?

Yes. Violent crime against female travelers is rare in Kuala Lumpur. However, do watch for drink spiking, pickpockets, and bag snatchers on motorcycles. Don't leave drinks unattended in nightclubs, carry bags on the side of the body that faces away from the highway, and avoid same-sex displays of affection.


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