Whether it’s a stopover en route to another part of the world, or a long weekend getaway, Kuala Lumpur has a lot in store for you. There’s plenty to see and do, even if you’re here for only a day or two.
Here’s our guide to making the most of your time in KL.
Breakfast at a Kopitiam
Skip the hotel breakfast and start off your day with some hearty, local favourites at a kopitiam. Kopitiams are traditional coffee shops that serve Chinese hawker food. There are many kopitiams around town, each with their own specialties such as beef noodles, wan tan mee, Hainanese pork chop and kaya toast. Some kopitiam chains are also halal-certified, such as Old Town and Pappa Rich.
Get to know more about the Indian culture at Batu Caves, the site of a Hindu temple and shrine, and also home of the second tallest statue of Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity. Take a climb up 272 steps to get a stunning view of the city centre – it’s tiring, but certainly worth the climb! If you’re feeling adventurous, it’s also a great place for rock climbing enthusiasts.
Petronas Twin Towers & KLCC
Want an easier way to catch the city skyline? Get a majestic view from the skybridge and observation deck of the Petronas Twin Towers. Tickets can be purchased in advance from their website, or you can get the tickets from the ticketing counter on the day of your visit. At the base of the towers is the shopping haven, the Suria KLCC shopping mall. If you have kids (or the young at heart), there’s also the Petrosains Science Discovery Centre and Aquaria KLCC located in KLCC to keep them entertained.
Little India, Brickfields
Head over to Little India for a satisfying lunch of banana leaf rice. (Take a look at our guide to banana leaf rice if you don’t know what it is!) There are many restaurants there for you to take your pick from, and with KL Sentral nearby, it’s easily accessible too. Besides that, the KLIA Express train stops at KL Sentral, so you can even have your fix just before you leave the city! You can also shop for traditional Indian goods such as saris, flower garlands, spices and jewellery in Little India.
Islamic Arts Museum
Get to know more about Islam and its culture at the Islamic Arts Museum. It houses more than seven thousand artifacts as well as an exceptional library of Islamic art books. The art objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The National Mosque, located just beside the museum is also worth a visit.
It was here in Dataran Merdeka (or Independence Square), the Malayan flag was hoisted for the first time and independence was declared on 31st August 1957. Just opposite the square are the iconic Sultan Abdul Samad Building and other colonial buildings that make perfect backdrops for photos.
Shop till you drop in Bukit Bintang. It’s a shopper’s paradise with more than five malls in a stretch. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the huge selection of local and international brands. If you’re feeling peckish, the Lot 10 Hutong food court is a great place to refuel your energy. The stalls are a collection of some of the best hawkers around the country, so you won’t have to travel far to savour the best of Malaysian food!
Chinatown, Petaling Street
If you’re up for some bargain hunting, head over to Petaling Street. Here, you can shop for anything from gems and incense to toys and t-shirts. It’s best to come in the evening, as the street vendors open shop at 3pm. Besides shopping, Petaling Street is also famous for its food where you can savour the taste that has withstood the test of time. Most restaurants and stalls here have been passed down for generations, each with its own specialty. From hokkien mee to chicken rice and even traditional mua chee, there’s plenty for you to try.
Standing at 421 meters and 94 meters above sea level, you’ll be able to enjoy a panaromic view of the city at the KL Tower. Check it out at night to see the city lighted up. You can even enjoy a meal at the revolving restaurant while you enjoy the sights.
Visit a pasar malam (night market) for a unique, cultural experience. It’s a great way to observe and take part in the lifestyle of the local community by sampling different street foods and snacks and shopping at the various stalls.
Located in the heart of KL, Jalan Alor is one of Malaysia’s most popular food destinations. During the day, only a few eateries are open, but when the sun sets, the whole street is filled with stalls on the left and right. The stalls are open till late, so it’s great for a late night food hunt. Don’t forget to bring your appetite!
For those looking for a night of partying, KL won’t disappoint. From swanky rooftop bars to chic nightclubs, there is no shortage of nightlife in KL. For a start, head over to Changkat Bukit Bintang and let yourself loose at one of the city’s most happening boulevards.
Feeling hungry in the middle of the night? Head on over to a mamak stall. Mamak stalls are affordable eateries opened by Indian Muslims, and with some mamak stalls open 24 hours a day, it’s perfect for filling yourself up after a night of partying or for a late night snack. Feast on different types of rotis, nasi lemak and curries; or just savour a cup of delicious teh tarik for a satisfying end to your day.
Get to know more about Malaysia at www.tourism.gov.my
Need souvenir ideas? Here are some unconventional gifts to bring back from Malaysia!