You are currently viewing 14 things to do in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Kuala Lumpur is the capital and metropolis of one of our favorite countries, Malaysia. It’s a city that is absolutely amazing and so affordable. Easy to explore, Kuala Lumpur offers a healthy balance of historic architecture and modern attractions, as well as plenty of green spaces. There’s the amazing street food and an array of influences… there’s really something for everyone! 

Big-city lovers really should discover Kuala Lumpur (KL for short). Especially those who are budget-conscious: it’s literally one of the cheapest cities I’ve ever been to (even after 70+ countries). 

Here are 14 must-do activities in Kuala Lumpur.


1. Batu Caves

Batu Caves (photo credit: Thanish Ahmed)


The Batu Caves are among the most unique attractions near KL. 

First off, you have to climb 272 breathtaking — literally — brightly colored steps just to get to the caves, which are built into a limestone hill. Then, you’ll get to explore the series of caves housing temples and shrines dedicated to Hinduism. 

This sacred location also provides excellent photo ops, not only for the colorful steps but for the surrounding natural landscape as well. Oh, and beware of the monkeys!


2. Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Towers (photo credit: Ismael Bashiri)


The famous 88-story Petronas Twin Towers will probably be the first buildings you notice when visiting Kuala Lumpur, with their Islamic art-inspired architecture.

They were the world’s tallest towers for 6 years, and have long been the symbol of the city. It’s impressive to see!

You can marvel at them from the ground, or take the rapid elevator to the Skybridge that connects the two towers at 170 meters in the air — the highest double-decker bridge in the world. You can also go to the 86th floor to look at the urban landscape from the observation deck.


3. Merdeka 118

Merdeka 118 (photo credit: Filipe Freitas)


No choice but to add another skyscraper-related point! Inaugurated in January 2024, the brand-new Merdeka 118 tower has a staggering — you guessed it — 118 floors!

It’s the 2nd tallest tower in the entire world. To give you a comparison, that’s more than 2 times the height of Toronto’s tallest skyscraper (and even 23% higher than the CN Tower)! 

It’s 50% taller than the Petronas Towers. It also has an observation deck that is more than 50% higher than that of the Twin Towers, so the view over the whole region seems stunning. 


4. Jalan Alor

Street food on Jalan Alor (photo credit: Job Savelsberg)


Food is of high importance in Kuala Lumpur, and Jalan Alor is one of the best places in the city to experience that. 

Whether you prefer satay carts, hawker stalls where you can select your preferred combo, or high-brow seafood restaurants — or if you just like having access to a huge variety of flavors — you’ll find every type of KL cuisine here in the evening. 

It’s also your chance to get a taste of authentic Malaysian culture. It’s delicious and so affordable! For example, a satay, a meat skewer, will cost you $1 to $3. If you prefer, you can take a cooking class in a local’s own home or a guided food tour!


5. Marriott hotels that cost few points

Hotel gym (photo credit: Marriott)


If you want to spend a quieter day in the heart of the urban excitement, relax a bit in your hotel on a day when the weather is not as nice (or too hot)! Free nights in Marriott hotels cost very little points in KL. 

Malaysia is one of the best places to get the most nights with Marriott points (which ALL travelers should have). I’ve shared with you several examples from all over the country. Kuala Lumpur alone has plenty of options!

The best is the Fairfield by Marriott Chow Kit Kuala Lumpur which costs just 5,900 points per night, or 2,950 points per person with a travel buddy (29,500 points for 5 nights in total). The increased welcome bonus of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card gives you 71,000 points (or 142,000 with a companion who also takes advantage of it).


6. Chinatown and Petaling Street

Petaling Street Market (photo credit: Ravin Rau)


Kuala Lumpur is a city with a lot of diversity and has many residents who are ethnically Chinese, so the city’s Chinatown is amazing. Petaling Street, the original center of KL’s Chinatown, is also one of the best street markets in the city. 

Here, you’ll find a little bit of everything from shoes and clothes to electronics and gemstones… However, your shopping experience will be more enjoyable if you know how to bargain. 

There are many street food stands and bars in the area too if you need to rest a little.


7. Brickfields, the “Little India”

Brickfields (photo credit: The Simple Travel)


Most of the Indian community in Kuala Lumpur resides in the colorful neighborhood of Brickfields, where you’ll also find the best Indian cuisine in the city. 

Located a short distance from the Sentral Station (the main hub for public transportation in the city) of Kuala Lumpur’s light rail transit train, the area is always buzzing with energy. 

Bollywood music from clothing stores and food stalls can even be heard on the street.


8. Changkat Bukit Bintang

Bukit Bintang (photo credit: Benjamin Sow)


This entertainment district may be compact, but it’s filled with old colonial buildings turned into trendy restaurants, upscale pubs, and trendy bars. So it’s a great place to spend the evening.

The neighborhood is famous for its vibrant nightlife, but that doesn’t mean a daytime visit won’t be worth it. It’s an ideal place for people-watching while relaxing and drinking on the sidewalk.


9. Central Market

KL Central Market (photo credit: fitri agung)


For those wanting to pick up souvenirs and local handicrafts, Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market is the place to visit. Dating back to 1888, it was originally a wet market selling meat, fish, and produce. 

Now, the beautiful Art Deco building houses more than 350 kiosks and shops selling every kind of trinket you might want, as well as restaurants and cafés. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon browsing.


10. KL Forest Eco Park

KL Forest Eco Park (photo credit: Boey Jun Hui)


The KL Forest Eco Park is the perfect place to get a break from the hustle and bustle of this metropolis. 

Located in the city center, it’s one of the oldest Malaysian permanent forest reserves and the only place in the world where you’ll find a natural rainforest in an urban setting. 

There are numerous walking trails available to visitors, and one of the most popular attractions is the canopy walk, a series of suspended bridges with views of the treetops and the skyline.


11. Berjaya Times Square

Berjaya Times Square towers (photo credit: Wikipedia Commons)


Welcome to the shopping paradise! Located in the Bukit Bintang district, Berjaya Times Square is a huge 19-floor shopping mall, with over 1000 stores, offices, and even a theme park inside! 

It’s one of the largest shopping malls in the world and is even the 16th building with the largest total floor area in the world.

Clearly, Kuala Lumpur likes to build twin towers: the mall complex is topped by 2 identical 203-metre-high towers.


12. King’s palace

King’s palace (photo credit: Buwaneka Boralessa)


Kuala Lumpur’s royal palace, Istana Negara, has been the official residence of the King of Malaysia since the country’s independence in 1957. This stunning building is located in the suburb of Jalan Istana.

The white-and-gold palace features traditional Malay architecture with Islamic touches. Although you can’t usually visit it, you can admire its immensity, beauty, and extensive gardens from the outside.


13. KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park (photo credit: Holiday Point)


The KL Bird Park is the largest walk-in, free-flight aviary in the world. There are more than 3,000 birds (about 200 species) from across the globe that can be spotted here. 

In zones 1 and 2 of the park, there are no enclosures or cages, meaning that you can experience something similar to being in a tropical rainforest, only 10 minutes from the downtown core.


14. Aquaria KLCC

Aquaria KLCC (photo credit: chee.hong)


With a convenient downtown location, Aquaria KLCC is a huge, state-of-the-art aquarium. It’s home to 5,000 aquatic as well as land species from all over the world. 

Here, you’ll find a 90-meter transparent underwater tube where you can see sea turtles, stingrays, and sharks swimming all around you.


Bonus: Daytrips from Kuala Lumpur

We’ll soon have detailed posts about Malaysia; sign up for our free newsletter to be among the first to get them.

Notably, we’ll be covering a few daytrips you can easily do from Kuala Lumpur, such as the magnificent historic city of Melaka (Malacca) or the country’s administrative capital, Putrajaya.


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Whether you’re a nature lover or a city dweller, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital city, offers a huge diversity of attractions to immerse yourself in its urban present and ancient history. On top of that, it’s one of the most affordable places for budget travelers.


What would you like to know about things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia? Tell us in the comments below.


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Featured image: Kuala Lumpur (photo credit: Meriç Dağlı)

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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