If it wasn’t already evident in my previous posts, the Malaysian capital has a lot to offer, which is why after two visits, I’ve decided to come up with my very own list of the top 10 things to do in Kuala Lumpur. During my very first trip though, I also came up with a short itinerary and list of things to do and places to see, which you can read in the link below:
Known as Asia’s cultural melting pot, Malaysia’s diversity is evident in the people, the places, and the food. This dynamic city gives visitors a wide range of things to do, so it can be difficult to narrow them down if you’re visiting only for a short while. And so, to somehow help better plan your trip, here’s my suggested ten things to do while in Kuala Lumpur:
1) Stay in Traders Hotel
As I’ve said far too many times, it’s important to choose a hotel that’s centrally-located while you’re traveling. A hotel’s location is my number one consideration in choosing where we stay for a trip, and this where Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur wins by miles as compared to its fellow hotels. Located right by KLCC park is this four star hotel that’s part of the Shangri-La group, mixing business with luxury. To know more about why you should choose the most popular hotel in the city, visit Hotel Review: Back to Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
2) See the Petronas Twin Towers
Just as the 101 Building is synonymous to Taipei, Petronas is synonymous to Kuala Lumpur. While it truly is beautiful in photos, it’s much more mesmerizing in person as it proves to be an architectural wonder. The gorgeous twin towers are a sight to see and can be admired from almost any part of the city center. Though I have yet to do so, you can go to the observation deck of the towers to see the city from several meters up – at a fee; but if you just want to see how the Petronas Towers look from the outside then you can do so at no cost!
3) Go Shopping in Suria KLCC
Right below the Petronas Twin Towers is the Suria KLCC mall, the shopping heaven spanning through six levels. International and local brands will definitely keep you busy for an afternoon or more as you go from store to another in Suria KLCC. Aside from going wild for retail, they have a number of great restaurants to choose from as well and just like the retail brands, they have both international and local options. If you ever visit during the holiday season, you’ll be treated to gorgeous mall decorations.
Tip: For the ladies, be sure to check out Vincci for super affordable shoes, bags, and accessories!
4) Take A Walk in KLCC Park
Tired from a day of exploring the city or shopping in Suria? Then head on over to KLCC Park, the 20 hectare park fronting the Petronas Twin Towers. There are several attractions therein that can keep you busy such as:
- Lake Symphony
- A 1.3km Jogging Path
- Ornamental Water Features
- Children’s Playground with A Public Pool
- A Mosque
The highlight, however, would have to be Lake Symphony – the 10,000 square meter manmade lake with fountains that spew up water to nearly 90 meters high. During night time, you can catch the Water Fountain Shows.
5) Visit Aquaria KLCC
Aquaria KLCC is the country’s world-class aquarium located right under the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, which is right beside Traders Hotel. Housing over 5,000 land and aquatic animals from around the world, it truly is a sight to see. For only RM69 (approximately US$18) per adult, you’ll have full access from 10:00am to 8:00pm to this attraction spanning through 60,000 square feet .
Tip: Try not to go on a holiday like we did – we were there on 24 December and it was packed!
6) Indulge in the Local Cuisine
Of course, just as it is in any of my things to do list, you must indulge in the local cuisine. While not as popular as Thai food, Malaysian food is just as good. My favorite would have to be the Nasi Goreng Kampung from Traders Hotel, but there’s a lot to choose from if you’re going to the mall!Tip: Go and give the food court in Suria KLCC a visit. They have so many options to choose from and even better: everything is cheap!
7) Have Drinks at the SkyBar
Like I said in Hotel Review: Back to Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur, there’s a saying that you haven’t been to Malaysia if you haven’t been to the SkyBar in Traders Hotel. Overlooking KLCC Park with a panoramic view of the cityscape, the SkyBar surely has the best view in the city. This pool area during the day transforms into a night club when the sun sets, offering really good drinks! While I don’t have photos of the bar by night, here are a few during the day.
Tip: Ladies, if you’re ever in KL on a Wednesday, go to the SkyBar and you’ll get free drinks, as it’s Ladies Night!
8) Take the Train to See the Batu Caves
During my first trip to Kuala Lumpur, I missed out on visiting Batu Caves as my friend and I were only there for a short time. And during our trip last month, my Dad and I nearly missed out on this great attraction, as we didn’t want to take a tour; but thanks to the concierge in Traders Hotel, they advised us that getting to Batu Caves from KLCC is super easy!
Visiting Batu Caves from KLCC:
Note: We had the option to take the train to KL Sentral, which we did, but later found out that the trains from KL Sentral to Batu Caves while direct aren’t as frequent as the trains from KLCC to Gombak (the station the hotel concierge suggested to get to Batu Caves). We found out the hard way as we arrived in KL Sentral and were told the next train to Batu Caves was scheduled to leave more than two hours later; so we rode the train back to KLCC and onwards to Gombak and got to Batu Caves easily. Here’s how:
- Take the 27-minute direct train from the KLCC Station to Gombak Station; Gombak is the end station, so as long as you ride the correct train, you won’t miss it.
Cost: RM 3.70
- Get a taxi (there are a lot lined up right outside the station) to Batu Caves, which is a 15-20 minute ride. The taxi brings you right in front of the entrance to Batu Caves
Cost: Approximately RM RM15-25
- While in Batu Caves, there are nearly 300 hundred steps to get to Batu Caves itself, which sounds easy, but can be challenging as the steps are steep but doable.
Cost: Nothing! Entrance is free.
- To get back to Gombak station, there are several taxis right outside the entrance gates to Batu Caves. It’s important that you do not get the fixed fare taxis; get the metered one, so you don’t get cheated. We were initially quoted RM 100 then RM 50 by two separate taxi drivers, but in the end, the metered taxi cost us way less.
Cost: Approximately RM RM20-25
- To get back to KLCC from Gombak, it’s the same train going the opposite direction of course, and you’ll get there in less than 30 minutes!
Tip: Do not miss out on Batu Caves. It’s a sight to see and while it can get tiring, climbing up the hundreds of steps is exhilarating. Even better, this experience is free.
9) Dine in Gobo Chit Chat for their Seafood Buffet Dinner
It’s important not to miss out on trying out Gobo Chit Chat’s Seafood Buffet Dinner – why? Check out Restaurant Review: Gobo Chit Chat’s Seafood Buffet Dinner for all the details!
10) Spend Time in KLIA
Bidding farewell to a foreign city can always be difficult, which is why as much as possible, I try to go to the airport at the last minute, as I try to spend my last few hours enjoying the city instead; but this isn’t the case for when I have to depart from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (or Singapore Changi), as it is one of my favorite airports in the world. If you’re not pressed from time, try to arrive in KLIA at least four-five hours before your flight, so you’ll have more than enough time to check-in, go through immigration, and explore the airport. Hand in hand with fantastic architecture, they have several shopping & dining options to choose from.
As I end this post, I do hope that this has somehow assisted you in mapping out your itinerary and that you do enjoy Kuala Lumpur as much as I did! To see all my post about Malaysia, visit:
- Hotel Review: Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur (December 2013)
- What to See & Do in the Malaysian Capital (December 2013)
- Restaurant Review: Harrod’s Café in Suria KLCC (December 2013)
- Restaurant Review: Gobo Chit Chat’s Seafood Buffet Dinner (December 2017)
- Hotel Review: Back to Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur (December 2017)