Things to do in Kuala Lumpur – Exploring Malaysia’s Capital City

There are only 15 countries in the world with Federalism as a form of government and that includes Malaysia. This Southeast Asian country has 3 federal territories including Putrajaya, Labuan, and Kuala Lumpur.  Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia rich in culture, filled with diverse ethnicity, and bustling with skyscraper buildings. It has one of the best shopping malls in the world, a cuisine that is so multicultural, pristine beaches, incredible diving spots, and welcoming locals – it is understandable why 14 million visitors come to Kuala Lumpur every year, which is also called KL.  And this is our guide on the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

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The weather in KL is pretty much humid and hot all year round. It gets a little cooler from December to January, but other than that, visiting Kuala Lumpur can be sweaty. Thankfully, the city is packed with shopping malls and fancy buildings blasting AC all day long. If you find yourself needing to cool off, go inside the mall and get comfortable for a little while.

Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur

There are a host of places to stay in Kuala Lumpur – here’s our pick of the luxury places to stay in Kuala Lumpur, mid-range places to stay in Kuala Lumpur, and budget accommodation in Kuala Lumpur.

Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur: Located right in central Kuala Lumpur, the Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur provides world-class service. KL’s Grand Millennium’s modern-style rooms are furnished with air-conditioning, cable TV, floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views, a seating area, a desk, an iron/iron board, free WiFi, and a private bathroom. Totally chill out in the city at the outdoor pool or in the sauna. This top Kuala Lumpur hotel also has four dining options, The Mill Café, Lai Ching Yen, Haryana Japanese restaurant, and Bistro 160. There’s even a well-equipped gym and air-conditioned racquetball courts. The Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur is a gorgeous luxury hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Check out room rates and availability here.

Expressionz Suites by iHost Global, Kuala Lumpur: The Expressionz Suites is 30-minutes away from central Kuala Lumpur. Each room at KL’s Expressionz Suites is equipped with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a dining area, a microwave, a fridge, an electric teapot, free WiFi, and a private bathroom with a bidet and hairdryer. This mid-range Kuala Lumpur accommodation also has an outdoor swimming pool, a garden, lake views, a fitness room, a sauna, and free WiFi. Expressionz Suite also has an outdoor and indoor play area for children, a karaoke room, and a Jacuzzi. The Expressionz Suites are a great mid-range hotel option in Kuala Lumpur. See rates and available dates here.

Hotel A-One, Kuala Lumpur: The Hotel A-One is situated right in the center of Kuala Lumpur. This budget-friendly accommodation features rooms with a flat-screen TV, free WiFi access, air-conditioning, a dresser, a telephone, and a private bathroom. The budget KL hotel also has daily housekeeping and baggage storage. Hotel A-One is the perfect place to stay if you’re watching your budget and if you want to easily explore more of Kuala Lumpur. Read more reviews, and check room rates, and available dates here.

The Top Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

There is a multitude of amazing things to do in Kuala Lumpur that is simply too hard to cover in a short visit.  You may even want to use KL as your base, pop back and take another dive into the city.  That’s certainly how we explored it, splitting KL’s things to do into batches and returning time and again.  When you explore KL, add various places to your itinerary of things to see such as visiting religious caves, towering buildings, shopping centers, and street food locations. If you have extra time, you can even sneak in a day trip and visit Melaka, the Cameron Highlands, and the Sekinchan’s rice fields. Our guide to KL’s best day trips is here.

Here are the top things to do in KL.

On our first visit to KL, we stayed at the Hotel AOne (see above) on a square by HSBC, the Masjid Jamek and which is just a few minutes’ walk to the famous Petaling Street.  We’ve been here during Hari Raya – the celebration that comes at the end of the Muslim month of fasting – and by all accounts trying to travel during this time isn’t a good idea, so we got here before the celebrations began and we’ve been waiting it out until our flight to Borneo later today.

Hari Raya (or Eid al-Fitr or a host of other names including Feast of Breaking the Fast, the Sugar Feast, the Sweet Festival, or Lesser Eid, is celebrated by Muslims worldwide and marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.

There’s a population of 28 million, with Malays making up 57% of the population, with Chinese, Indians, and other ethnic groups sharing the remaining 43%. Bahasa Malaysia or Malay is the national language, but English is widely spoken – and extremely well. Islam is the official religion, but we’ve seen more diversity of religion in Malaysia than in any other country in South East Asia so far.

The square in front of the hotel in KL is interesting, during the first two days of Hari Raya its been filled full of single males. Well, one assumes that they’re single. It looks like this is the hangout for all the immigrant workers on holiday times. They’re all just kind of standing around, some are talking to each other, some at just, well standing around. Where they stand depends on if the sun has come out from behind a cloud and you can track the shade movement by the crowds. It looks rather like Hong Kong on a Sunday, when all the immigrant domestic workers hang out together in the city’s parks and underpasses.

It’s a little like being back in India with the all-male groups. But there’s no feeling of intimidation and they’re not staring. There’s a big Indian community here – and we’ve benefited from some amazing Indian food here in KL.  But more on the food later, let’s first start with what to see in Kuala Lumpur.

Take a Tour of the City

The most convenient way to explore Kuala Lumpur is by booking an awesome guided tour that highlights the city’s best attractions. You will be picked up from your accommodation and spend 3-4 hours learning and visiting must-see places in Kuala Lumpur such as National Museum and the King’s Palace. This tour includes a local guide and round-trip transport.

Visit the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur

Going to the Batu Caves is one of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur. The Batu Caves are a series of caves and temples located on a limestone hill, 13 kilometers north of KL, they take their name from the Batu River (Sungai Batu) which flows past the hill. The statue and the colorful stairs behind it that you probably have seen in many Kuala Lumpur photos are the two most iconic spots in the Batu Caves. This location is one of the 10 holy hill homes of Lord Murugan, dedicated to Lord Murugan, the main cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. It was an Indian trader, Thamboosamy Pillai, who, inspired by the entrance to the main cave, dedicated a temple inside the caves. If you prefer to visit the Batu caves with a local guide and understand more about the culture here, then this is a great option.

While the limestone that forms the Batu Caves may be around 400 million years old, it wasn’t until 1860 that the caves became famous after being recorded by British and American colonialists. It was an Indian trader, Thamboosamy Pillai, who dedicated a temple within the caves. Wooden steps to this main, Temple Cave were built in 1920 – they’ve now been replaced by 272 concrete steps.

You’re not allowed to use them for exercise, although when we visit there’s an Asian man with inappropriately tight shorts for what he has almost contained within them who’s going up and down in an exercise-like way while we’re there. I suspect the officials are too wary of his shorts package to question him.

There are three main caves and some smaller ones. The first one that we find on exiting the train station is the Ramayana Cave where a 15-meter high status of Hanuman can be found.

There’s also a temple dedicated to him – the devotee and loyal aide of Lord Rama. But there’s an entry fee, so we give it a miss, cinch the day packs tighter onto our backs while we skirt the long-tailed macaques, who I live in fear of (I’m convinced that I’m going to be bitten and end up with rabies or have just half a hand left) and head to find the “big tall gold statue.”

This is the statue of Lord Murugan. It’s the tallest statue of a Hindu deity in Malaysia at 42.7 meters and it was unveiled in January 2006 after three years of construction.

Once we get to the top, we might not be able to enter with bare shoulders or show our legs but we can most definitely buy tacky souvenirs. Religious rules are interesting – I can’t show my shoulders, but I can blow all the ringgits I want on tat. There’s no wonder my cynicism grows with each gold-encrusted donation site that we visit.

We arrived in time for the 4 pm puja (ceremony). There are perhaps 15 people taking part in the puja in the small temple here in the open area in the middle of the mountain.

You will get more out of your visit if you have a local guide who can explain the history of this area and Malaysia’s culture and tradition plus why the Batu Caves is a valuable place. The tour will also include transport for your convenience. Remember to wear proper clothing during your visit.

  • Address of Batu Caves: Gombak, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Batu Caves: 7 AM to 9 PM every day
  • Entry Fees for Batu Caves: Free

Take a Trip up the Petronas Twin Towers

One of the must-do and best things to do in Kuala Lumpur is to scale the Petronas Twin Towers. These two buildings are another remarkable landmark of KL. These two skyscrapers stand 452 km or 1,482 feet, taller than Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, and Sears/Willis Tower.  

things to do in kuala lumpur see the twin towers

Near the top, on the 41st floor, there is a connecting bridge, the Skybridge, that offers stunning panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur, especially during sunset. The tickets get sold out in advance, make sure to secure yours as early as possible. There is also a massive shopping center near the ground level. You should go to KLCC Park to get an amazing photo of the towers from the outside.

  • Address of Petronas Twin Towers: Concourse Level, Petronas Twin Tower, Lower Ground, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Petronas Twin Towers: 9 AM to 9 PM, Tuesday to Sunday
  • Entry Fees for Petronas Twin Towers: RM80 ($18) for foreign visitors and RM30 ($7) for Malaysian residents

Walk through the KL Forest Eco Park

KL Forest Eco Park is a rainforest in the middle of this enormous city. It has nature trails for hiking and a forest canopy to take fantastic photos. There are plenty of signs to follow and as you wonder, you will get a glimpse of various towers in downtown Kuala Lumpur. KL Forest Eco Park is a nice little haven if you want a break from the city noise without going too far out of the city center.

  • Address of KL Forest Eco Park: Lot 240, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Kewangan, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of KL Forest Eco Park: 8 AM to 5L30 PM on Saturday to Thursday, 8 AM to 12 PM on Friday
  • Entry Fees for KL Forest Eco Park: RM40 ($9) for foreign visitors,RM10 ($2.2) for Malaysian citizens

Perdana Botanical Garden

Perdana Botanical Garden is one of the handfuls of parks in Kuala Lumpur, however, it’s the only botanical garden in Kuala Lumpur. It features tropical plants, rare fruits, a fish pond, a waterfall, and a cafe. Many people who live around the garden come here for jogging and exercise, but visitors come to see deer and beautiful hibiscus flowers, orchids, and bamboo plants.

You can also go to the National Planetarium, Lake Garden, KL Bird Park, Butterfly Park, Heliconia Garden, and Herb & Spice Garden which are all located inside or around the Perdana Botanical Garden. It’s easy to spend hours here, but the crowd mostly comes either in the early morning or late afternoon when the temperature is more tolerable.

  • Address of Perdana Botanical Gardens: Jalan Kebun Bunga, Tasik Perdana, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Perdana Botanical Gardens: 7 AM to 8 PM, every day
  • Entry Fees for Perdana Botanical Gardens: Free

Visit the National Museum of Malaysia

The National Museum of Malaysia also called Muzium Negara is located right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, just south of Perdana Botanical Garden, across the main road of Jalan Damansara. It showcases the history of Malaysia and how its culture evolved. The place is interactive making it easier for visitors of all ages to enjoy their visit. 

We were inducted into the history of Malaysia by spending several hours at the excellent National Museum at a bargain of 5 RM for non-Malaysians to enter. It follows the theme that we’ve seen throughout all the museums in Malaysia so far

  • There are huge amounts of space and money dedicated to museums in Malaysia.
  • They don’t seem to apply the concept of readability to signage, either in Bahasia Malay or English.
  • There are vast swathes of signage and information. Encyclopedia’s full. You won’t want for information, you’ll tire before you run out of info to read and absorb. Or your feet will ache from standing still while you’re trying to digest all the information.
  • It probably won’t answer your questions, you’ll have more questions than answers because of all the information.
  • There won’t be a logical flow through the museums, you’ll have to backtrack and dart backward and forwards and just try and figure out if there is a right or wrong way to go through.

But, you will learn loads.  Trust me

Muzium Negara includes the stone age, prehistoric era, and colonization era of Malaysia to help you understand how everything contributed to how the country became it is today. You should plan to spend about 1-2 hours during your trip.

  • Address of National Museum: Jabatan Muzium Malaysia, Jln Damansara, Perdana Botanical Gardens, 50566 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of National Museum: 9 AM to 5 PM, daily
  • Entry Fees for National Museum: RM5 ($1) for foreign visitors and RM2 (40.45) for locals

Visit the National Mosque of Malaysia

The National Mosque also known as Masjid Negara in Malay is situated southwest of Perdana Botanical Garden, only 1 km north of the National Museum. It can host up to 15,00 worshippers and also features a library and a prayer hall.

National Mosque of Malaysia KL

Masjid Negara is the biggest mosque in Malaysia by size and has a 73-meter-high minaret. It’s also regarded as one of the most beautiful architectures in Malaysia both inside and outside. You must wear a purple robe provided by the entrance to ensure that all visitors are wearing proper clothing.

  • Address of National Mosque: Jalan Perdana, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of National Mosque: the visiting hours for non-Muslims are 9 AM to 12 PM, 3 PM to 4 PM, and 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM on Sunday to Thursday. There are no morning visiting hours on Friday but open in the afternoon.
  • Entry Fees for National Mosque: Free

Visit Merdeka Square

Medeka Square is also called as Dataran Medeka. It’s a historical landmark, a beacon of the first Malaysian flag rising.  On 31 August 1957 at midnight the Union Jack was lowered for the last time, at this spot, to mark Malaysia’s independence from colonial rule.

There is a 96-m flagpole to mark the exact location. There’s not much to do here apart from seeing the exact spot in person, but it’s also surrounded by a nice grass lawn and a spacious backyard.  This is Independence Square, in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building – one of the most significant landmarks that were built by the British, it was completed in 1897 and use to be home to the Selangor State Secretariat and then the Supreme Court. It now houses the Ministry of Heritage, Culture, and Arts. There are buildings with colorful street art and a peaceful stream. The Merdeka Square is only a 13-minute walk from the National Mosque, you should plan to spend 15-20 minutes during your visit.

The square used to be known as the Selangor Club Padang and was originally the cricket green of the Selangor Club (now the Royal Selangor Club) and it was here that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi shouted “Merdeka” at the midnight celebrations on 31 August 2007 – when Malaysia hit 50 years of nationhood.

  • Address of Merdeka Square: Jln Raja, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Jamek Mosque

Jamek Mosque, also known as Masjid Jamek in Malay sits not too far from Merdeka Square, between the Gombak and Klang River. It’s a historic Moorish-style mosque, a popular place of worship that was built in 1909, and it’s Kuala Lumpur’s oldest surviving mosque.  Masjid Jamek was the main mosque of Kuala Lumpur until the National Mosque was founded in 1963. If you are not properly dressed during your visit, you will be given a robe to wear.  The design of the mosque was inspired by Mughal architecture – it’s pretty during the day and glorious at night.

There are many mosques in Kuala Lumpur that holds historical, cultural, and religious values. You can explore all of these places by joining a guided tour to understand how different cultures and religions in Malaysia are co-existing peacefully. The tour lasts for 4 hours and includes transport and a knowledgeable local guide. You can read more about the Cultural Tour of KL here.

  • Address of Jamek Mosque: Jalan Tun Perak, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Jamek Mosque: 5:30 aM to 9:30 PM, Saturday to Thursday, closed on Friday
  • Entry Fees for Jamek Mosque: Free

Visit Museum Bank Negara

Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery is also called BNM MAG for short. It can be found in the northern part of Perdana Botanical Garden, about an 18-minute walk from Masjid Jamek. You can learn about Islamic Banking here. If you’re heading around South East Asia, then there’s also a fascinating banking museum in Jakarta, which I wrote about here.

BNM MAG also showcases magnificent paintings and other forms of art such as sculptures, pottery, traditional Malaysian clothing, and even Malaysian tapestry. Some of the displays are also interactive like a game and suitable for visitors of all ages.

Museum Bank Negara is rarely busy. You can book online, but going as a walk-in visitor is not a problem either especially if you come during the week. It’s best to plan to spend about 1.5-2 hours here.

We spent a good few hours at the Museum Bank Negara – where we learned about Islamic Banking and attempted to play the games that they’ve incorporated into the museum to help with learning – some worked, some didn’t, and some were bizarre.

The money tunnel was cool and the Yap stones were huge!

  • Address of Museum Bank Negara: Sasana Kijang, 2, Jalan Dato Onn, Kuala Lumpur, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Museum Bank Negara: 10 AM to 1 PM then again from 2 PM to 5 PM, Tuesday to Sunday, closed on Monday
  • Entry Fees for Museum Bank Negara: Free

Aquaria KLCC

Aquaria KLCC is a perfect place to visit if you love marine animals and are traveling with young children. This massive aquarium features wild marine creatures such as sharks, king crabs, seahorses, and stingrays to name a few. You will be walking through an underwater tunnel with a travelator or a moving walkway. It’s much cheaper to buy your ticket to the Aquaria KLCC in advance which also allows you to skip the line.

Planning to spend about 2-3 hours is quite normal, but if you have limited time in Kuala Lumpur, you can combine this with other attractions such as exploring other areas around to save some time.

  • Address of Aquaria KLCC: Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Jalan Pinang, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Aquaria KLCC: 10 AM to 7 PM, daily
  • Entry Fees for Aquaria KLCC: RM54-RM80 ($12-$$18) depending on the tour combo or packages you choose

Visit KL’s Central Market

The Central Market is located in downtown KL, east of Perdana Botanical Garden, right next to Kang River. If you have been to other local markets in Malaysia, this one is quite different. Instead of fresh fruits, vegetables, and food stalls, what you will find at the Central Market are flea stalls that sell crafts and other souvenir items such as t-shirts, keychains, and fridge magnets. The entire place is also much cleaner and more organized, but as usual, remember to bargain and walk around before you decide on purchasing anything.

  • Address of KL’s Central Market: Lot 3.04-3.06, 06, Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of KL’s Central Market: 10 AM to 8 PM, every day

Visit Sri Maha Mariamman Temple

Sri Mahamariamman Temple is situated south of Central Market across Jalan Tun Sambanthan, about 3 minutes on foot. It’s a Hindu temple with high exterior architecture and is covered with colorful deities. The space inside the temple is smaller than expected and has limited areas to explore. If you want to enter you must cover yourself and show respect.  There’s not much to do here, you can probably go in and out in under 10-minutes. It’s time-saving to book a cultural and heritage tour of Kuala Lumpur which usually lasts for a few hours. It covers all the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur when it comes to temples and cultural attractions that you must visit.

  • Address of Sri Mahamariamman Temple: Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of Sri Mahamariamman Temple: 6 AM to 8:30 PM
  • Entry Fees for Sri Mahamariamman Temple: Free

Take a Food Tour of KL

One of the best and most mouthwatering ways to explore Kuala Lumpur is through its diverse food culture. Instead of eating one dish for lunch or dinner why not have 5 or more? Joining a food tour allows you to try local food and understand Malaysian cuisine. A food tour usually happens during lunchtime or dinner time and runs for about 3-4 hours. It comes with transportation, all the food you could eat, and a local guide who can answer all your questions.

These two food tour options are a fabulous way to explore the food of the city.

Go and Eat at Little India

If a food tour is not for you, there’s a place where you can go and try local dishes on your own. Little India is a busy strip in Jalan Rakyat in Brickfields district. You can dine at local restaurants and order many South Asian dishes infused with Malaysian cuisine. There are also hawker stalls if you feel like trying street food. You can find spices, clothing, and jewelry stores as well. Many places here are open from 7 AM until 11 PM.

  • Address of Little India: 229, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Eat at Jalan Alor Street

Jalan Alor is the most popular street in Kuala Lumpur when it comes to street food. It’s a night market where restaurants and food stalls are serving both local and international dishes. From warm meals to fresh fruits and cold drinks, Jalan Alor has it all. You can enjoy Malay, Indian, Chinese, Thai, and even western food at affordable prices. Durians are one of the top sellers, just get ready for that remarkable durian scent.

You can enjoy and visit many must-try food hubs in Kuala Lumpur by joining a food tour. It’s much nicer to do it in the evening when the weather is cooler and lots of locals come out and fill the streets. Like the idea of food in KL at night? But prefer to go with a local and find all the really GREAT spots? Take a look at this then.

  • Address of Jalan Alor: Jln Alor, Bukit Bintang, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

KL Tower Sky Deck

The tickets get sold out pretty fast, especially for a weekend visit, hence getting your ticket in advance is a must. You can also enjoy a 15% discount if you buy your ticket as soon as you can. This is one of the Kuala Lumpur attractions that you can combine with other tours to save some time.

  • Address of KL Tower Sky Deck: Menara Kuala Lumpur No. 2 Jalan Punchak Off, Jalan P. Ramlee, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opening Hours of KL Tower Sky Deck: 7 AM to 10 PM, daily
  • Entry Fees for KL Tower Sky Deck: RM71 ($16) for the weekends, RM36 ($8) during weekdays

Istana Negara

Istana Negara is also called the National Palace. It’s located in the northwest of the city, about an 8-minute drive from Perdana Botanical Garden. This iconic landmark is the residence of the Royal Family.  Although you can’t go inside, the front of the palace is a popular location to take photos, you might even see some royal guards on duty.

  • Address of Istana Negara: Jln Tuanku Abdul Halim, Bukit Damansara, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Things to do in Kuala Lumpur at Night

Kuala Lumpur comes alive at night when locals love to go out and spend time with family and friends. There are many attractions and things to do in Kuala Lumpur at night. Due to its very hot weather, many locals plan to enjoy the evening when the weather is much cooler. From dining at an outdoor restaurant, exploring the high street, and spending money on a bar, it’s all possible.

Go to Petaling Street

If you want to experience KL’s nightlife, go to Petaling Street which is situated in the heart of China Town.  Each night Petaling Street, in the heart of China Town, comes alive. It’s a series of connected streets under Chinese lanterns that are full of stalls of T-shirts, watches, sunglasses, and more watches. If you want a watch, this is the place to come. There are food hawker centers around too, places to buy fruit, and cold drinks. Oh and watches.

We munched our way through mee goreng, sizzling pork, and nasi goreng while we waited for the laundry to wash on a small street on the edge of China Town.

As you head deeper into Petaling Street, the walkways get narrower and the stalls denser, and your ability to see “which is the way out” declines and declines. We backed out and headed back to the food.

Go on a Firefly Night Tour of Kuala Selangor

If you prefer to do something unique at night, spend your evening seeing fireflies at Kuala Selangor. There is a popular place northwest of Kuala Lumpur, right on the coastline. Kuala Selangor has a river and mangrove that attracts stunning fireflies every night. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive from KL and best to visit on a guided tour.

You will leave Kuala Lumpur a few hours before sunset and have a chance to see wild animals such as different species of monkeys. You will then enjoy a yummy seafood dinner with a sunset backdrop. Finally, you will hop on a boat and go find these bright fireflies. Fireflies are amazing and if you get the chance you should head off and see them. We saw them in Mulu National Park (read about our experiences there) – and you can book this tour to see fireflies in Kuala Selangor here.

What & Where to Eat in Kuala Lumpur

Malays love to eat, its multi-cultural heritage allows a cuisine that brings together dishes from all over the world. You’ll see this in places like Penang too (and our guide to the food of Penang is here) You can’t leave KL without trying its local dishes and finding your favorite one. Here’s a list of places you should eat your way around.

Nasi Kandar

Nasi Kandar is an Indian Muslim restaurant chain with lots of locations all over Malaysia. Regardless of where you are staying in Kuala Lumpur, you will definitely find a location near you. The best sellers on the menu are sotong, ayam masak kicap, and campur. Some locations are so popular the wait times for a table can be long, make sure to plan your visit to avoid the long wait.

Anything in Little India

Down in Little India, you can’t really go wrong with any place you decide to sit and dine. Make sure to try roti canai telur, (one of my favorites that we discovered in Cameron Highlands) masala chai, panipuri, and any curry. The best thing to do though is simply trying small dishes from food stalls so you can try as many food items as you want.

Lot 10 Hutong Food Court

This food court is another place to go for a meal, especially during lunchtime or dinner. The dishes you want to order and try are Hokkien mee, char kuey teow, bak kut teh, and beef noodles. You might want to avoid the duck egg if you have a weak stomach.

Atmosphere 360

If you’re not feeling the street food or food court set-up, check out Atmosphere 360 which is a restaurant located on KL Tower with an observation deck. It’s a fancy buffet place that has a dress code. It’s a perfect place for people who want a romantic set-up or don’t mind splurging a little bit for an incredible meal, views, and atmosphere. Atmosphere 360 is a very popular place where reservation is pretty much recommended. You can pre-book your visit to ensure you have a table and enjoy a discount at the same time.

How to Get Around Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has one of the best transportation setups in Southeast Asia. There are plenty of options for everyone.

The buses and trains in Kuala Lumpur are reliable and affordable. Right from the airport, you can take a bus that will take you directly downtown. Getting around, you can take a bus or train which are both integrated with Google Maps when it comes to looking up the schedule.  You can also use the mobile app Grab, which is a ride-hailing app, you can either pay cash or set up your bank card.

For visitors, it’s recommended to pick up the KL Pass which allows you to enjoy a hop-on hop-off double-decker bus that stops at major attractions. It also includes free entry to many places to visit in Kuala Lumpur.

Purchasing the hop-on hop-off bus ticket only is also possible, you can choose between a few hours validity to a few days.

If you plan to use the local busses and trains in Kuala Lumpur, you can get a TnG (Touch ‘n Go) card which you must top up first before you can use it. When you enter the train or bus, simply tap your card and tap again when you exit the vehicle. You can add more credit at any train or bus station.

Where is Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is on the east of Selangor and north of Putrajaya. It’s about 647 kilometers east of Port Klang. Kuala Lumpur is located southwest of mainland Malaysia.

How to get to Kuala Lumpur

There are many ways to get to Kuala Lumpur. Whether you are coming from other parts of Malaysia or continents of the world, you can find flights heading to KL. Around Southeast and East Asia, there are plenty of direct flights to Kuala Lumpur both from budget and flagship airlines.

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From Europe, direct flights are coming out of Amsterdam, London, and Turkey. Both Australia and New Zealand also offer non-stop flights to Kuala Lumpur.  Direct flights from the Americas are rare, you have to make a connection either via Europe, the Middle East, or East Asia.

Malaysia Travel Tips

Final Words on The Best Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the vibrant capital city of Malaysia that has so much to offer. From towering buildings, heart-stopping observatory decks, stunning temples, and loads of places to taste street food, you will not run out of things to do in Kuala Lumpur. If you find yourself with too much extra time, you can easily book a tour and do a day trip to cities and towns not too far from KL.

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