From towering skyscrapers to historic temples, Kuala Lumpur has something for everyone. In this travel guide, we’ll share amazing things to do in Kuala Lumpur that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Sample delicious street food
Let’s start with the mouthwatering street food in Kuala Lumpur. This city is a foodie paradise, with many dishes to try.
From the iconic Nasi Lemak to the flavorful Char Kway Teow and the tasty Satay, the local cuisine reflects its diverse cultural influences.
When we first arrived in Kuala Lumpur, we couldn’t wait to dive into the culinary delights the city had to offer.
So we decided to take food tours to discover the best spots and learn about the history and significance of each dish.
You can check availability and book your tours here:
Enjoy panoramic views from observation decks
From the iconic Petronas Twin Towers to the KL Tower, Kuala Lumpur’s skyline is a breathtaking sight to behold.
Don’t forget your camera, as the views from these observation decks are postcard-worthy and perfect for capturing your Kuala Lumpur memories.
Petronas Twin Towers
The Petronas Twin Towers are a true engineering marvel and a symbol of Malaysia’s economic growth and modernity.
Standing 452 meters tall, the towers dominate Kuala Lumpur’s skyline and offer stunning city views.
Standing at the observation deck, you can have a bird’s eye view of the bustling city below and iconic landmarks such as Merdeka Square.
The experience is nothing short of awe-inspiring!
Kuala Lumpur Tower
As the seventh-tallest freestanding tower in the world, KL Tower offers stunning 360-degree views of the city that will take your breath away.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even step onto the glass floor and get a thrilling perspective of the city below.
See the marine life at Aquaria KLCC
You can get up close with sharks, stingrays, and vibrant coral reefs as you stroll through the giant oceanarium.
Or stroll through the Aquaria KLCC‘s underwater tunnel and feel like you’re walking beneath the sea. Seeing the incredible marine life swimming above and around you is seriously awesome!
Make sure to explore the themed exhibits too. You’ll find yourself in the midst of an Amazonian Rainforest or the mysterious Flooded Forest, discovering the diverse ecosystems from around the globe.
Oh, and don’t miss the Discovery Zones—they’re packed with cool displays and interactive exhibits that’ll make you feel like a marine expert.
Tips: To beat the crowds, plan your visit on weekdays, and try to catch the feeding sessions for an extra dose of excitement.
Climb the stairs at Batu caves
Located just outside Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is a prominent Hindu shrine and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the region.
To reach the caves, you’ll need to climb a flight of 272 colorful steps, guarded by a towering golden statue of Lord Murugan, the Hindu deity of war.
As you ascend Batu Caves, you’ll be surrounded by the lush greenery of the surrounding hills with a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
As you explore the caves, you’ll notice the sacred atmosphere and the devotion of worshippers who come here to pay their respects.
Keep an eye out for mischievous monkeys that call the caves their home—they add an element of fun and adventure to the visit.
To visit Batu Caves, you can take a train from Kuala Lumpur or join a tour.
Hop on a sightseeing bus
The hop-on-hop-off bus tour is undoubtedly the best way to see Kuala Lumpur and get a taste of its diverse beauty.
One of the highlights of the hop-on-hop-off bus tour is the freedom it gives you to tailor your itinerary.
You can easily spend more time at the attractions that interest you the most and quickly move on from the ones that don’t capture your attention.
My tip for making the most of the hop-on-hop-off bus tour is to plan your day in advance.
Take a look at the route map and decide which attractions you want to visit and how much time you want to spend at each stop. This way, you can create an itinerary that suits your interests and ensures you don’t miss out on any must-see sights.
We used the bus and loved how convenient and flexible it was to explore the city at our own pace. With multiple stops at all the major attractions, we never felt rushed or overwhelmed.
The informative audio commentary provided fascinating insights into the city’s history and culture, adding depth to the experience.
We enjoyed learning about the iconic landmarks, architectural marvels, and hidden gems as we hopped from one stop to another.
The open-top double-decker bus allowed us to enjoy the stunning views of the city’s skyline, iconic landmarks, and picturesque neighborhoods while basking in the fresh air.
Stroll Chinatown Petaling Street
If you’re looking for a taste of Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant street life and bustling energy, take a stroll through Chinatown’s Petaling Street.
This iconic street is a feast for the senses, lined with colorful market stalls selling everything from fashion accessories to local delicacies.
Exploring the market stalls was an adventure in itself. We loved browsing through the wide variety of goods, from trendy clothes and accessories to unique souvenirs.
The vibrant atmosphere was enhanced by the sounds of vendors haggling and the tantalizing aromas of street food wafting through the air. It truly felt like a melting pot of cultures and flavors.
I recommend trying some local favorites like char kway teow (stir-fried flat rice noodles) or Hokkien mee (prawn noodles) for a truly authentic experience.
Be adventurous and explore the street food stalls—some of the best culinary gems can be found hidden in the corners.
While Petaling Street is bustling during the day, it truly comes alive at night.
As the sun sets, the street transforms into a vibrant night market. The atmosphere is electrifying, and it’s the perfect time to soak up the lively spirit of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown.
Explore the museums
Kuala Lumpur is home to some amazing museums that offer a glimpse into its rich history, culture, and art scene.
Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or just curious about the local heritage, there’s something for everyone.
One must-visit museum is the National Museum of Malaysia, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Here, you can explore fascinating exhibits showcasing Malaysia’s diverse cultural heritage, ancient artifacts, and historical treasures.
Another gem is the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, which houses one of the largest collections of Islamic art in Southeast Asia. You can find intricate calligraphy, stunning ceramics, and breathtaking Islamic artifacts from different eras and regions.
If you’re into art, visit the National Art Gallery and Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. They showcase a wide range of local and international artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and multimedia installations.
Here are a few tips:
- Check the opening hours and plan your visit accordingly.
- Some museums offer free admission on certain days, so keep an eye out for those opportunities to save some money.
- Take your time exploring each exhibit, read the information boards
- Feel free to ask the friendly staff any questions you may have.
Marvel at Thean Hou Temple
One of the most stunning architectural gems in Kuala Lumpur is Thean Hou Temple.
This magnificent temple is a harmonious blend of ancient Chinese design and modern architectural elements.
As we visited the temple grounds, I was immediately captivated by the sight of its pagoda roofs adorned with intricate carvings, vibrant red and gold colors, and beautiful statues.
The ornate details and craftsmanship truly showcased the rich cultural heritage of the Chinese community in Malaysia.
Climbing the stairs to the upper levels of the temple, I was rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding metropolis.
From this vantage point, I could see the sprawling cityscape stretching out before me, with its modern skyscrapers juxtaposed against traditional neighborhoods.
It was a breathtaking sight that offered a unique perspective on Kuala Lumpur’s dynamic character.
I highly recommend visiting Thean Hou Temple in the early morning as it allows you to experience a sense of tranquility before the crowds arrive.
The serene atmosphere, coupled with the soft glow of the morning light, creates a serene ambiance that is perfect for contemplation and reflection.
Have fun at water parks
Kuala Lumpur offers a range of water parks that are perfect for cooling down and having a great time with family and friends.
These parks provide a variety of rides, slides, and pools to cater to all ages and preferences.
Here are a couple of notable water parks in Kuala Lumpur.
Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
Sunway Lagoon is a sprawling adventure park that guarantees an adrenaline-packed day of excitement.
With over 80 rides and attractions spread across six different zones, there’s something for everyone.
The water rides are a highlight, featuring thrilling slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers.
If you’re seeking more thrills, head to Extreme Park, where you can try bungee jumping, go-karting, and other exhilarating activities.
The wildlife park is another must-visit, offering opportunities to get up close with fascinating animals.
Wet World Water Park
Located in Shah Alam, Wet World Water Park is a popular destination for families and friends seeking a fun-filled day in Kuala Lumpur.
The park boasts a range of water rides and attractions suitable for all ages.
From adrenaline-pumping slides to relaxing lazy river rides, there’s something to suit every preference.
The park also features several food stalls and restaurants, making it a great place to spend a day soaking up the sun and enjoying delicious treats.
Meet the animals at the National Zoo of Malaysia (Zoo Negara)
For animal lovers, a visit to the Zoo Negara (National Zoo of Malaysia) is a must.
This sprawling zoo is home to a diverse range of animals from around the world, making it an educational experience for visitors of all ages.
Seeing so many unique creatures in one place, from majestic tigers to goofy pandas, was quite remarkable.
My favorite part of the zoo is getting near the animals via feeding and photo ops.
The zoo’s large enclosures and abundant greenery provide a more natural setting for the animals, allowing them to thrive in a comfortable environment.
The bird sanctuary, home to many exotic and stunning bird species, is also fascinating. Walking through the sanctuary, you’ll be surrounded by the sights and sounds of these beautiful creatures as they fly freely around you.
Stroll Perdana Botanical Garden
This expansive 226-acre park offers a delightful retreat for nature lovers, with its lush greenery, serene lakes, and captivating flora and fauna.
Perdana Botanical Garden is home to a diverse collection of plants, including exotic orchids, towering palms, and vibrant tropical flowers. Take your time to wander along the winding paths and breathe in fresh air.
Perdana Botanical Garden also houses several themed gardens, each with its own unique charm.
- The Hibiscus Garden showcases Malaysia’s national flower, the hibiscus, in various vibrant hues.
- The Orchid Garden features a stunning display of delicate and rare orchid species.
- The Fern Garden offers a tranquil retreat surrounded by lush ferns and foliage.
The park is not only a haven for plants but also a sanctuary for wildlife.
Keep an eye out for playful monkeys swinging from the trees or spot colorful birds perched on branches.
If you’re lucky, you might even come across turtles, lizards, or other small creatures that call the park home.
Meet feathery friends at Kuala Lumpur bird park
If you’re a nature enthusiast or simply fascinated by birds, a visit to the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is an absolute must.
This sprawling aviary is home to over 200 species of birds from all around the world, making it one of the largest bird parks in Asia.
From the moment we stepped into the park, I was greeted by a symphony of chirping, tweeting, and melodious bird calls.
The lush greenery and spacious aviaries provided a natural and comfortable environment for the birds to thrive in. It was truly a paradise for bird lovers!
Wandering through the park, I was amazed by the vibrant colors and beauty of the feathered creatures.
From majestic peacocks displaying their intricate plumage to graceful flamingos wading in the water, every turn revealed a new and fascinating bird species.
The park’s walk-in aviaries allow you to get up close with the birds, and some of them are even comfortable enough to land on your outstretched hand.
Take a cooking class
One of my favorite things to do in Kuala Lumpur is take a cooking class. As a food lover, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to learn how to prepare authentic Malaysian dishes from a local chef.
The cooking class I attended provided a hands-on experience that allowed me to master the techniques and secrets behind Malaysian dishes.
During the class, I learned how to prepare iconic Malaysian dishes such as nasi lemak, satay, and roti canai. The chef shared valuable tips and tricks, teaching us the proper balance of flavors and the art of combining various spices.
I was amazed at how the simple addition of herbs and spices transformed ordinary ingredients into extraordinary culinary creations.
Stroll Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square, also known as Dataran Merdeka, holds significant historical value as the place where Malaysia’s independence was declared on August 31, 1957.
The square is surrounded by majestic colonial-era buildings, including the iconic Sultan Abdul Samad Building with its distinctive Moorish architecture.
Walking through Merdeka Square feels like stepping back in time.
You can enjoy the beautiful greenery, and see the grand flagpole and the historical landmarks that surround the square. It’s a great spot for a leisurely stroll or a picnic on a sunny day.
While you’re there, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the National History Museum, which provides fascinating insights into Malaysia’s rich past.
The museum showcases a vast collection of artifacts, exhibits, and multimedia displays that offer a comprehensive overview of the country’s history and culture.
See Sultan Abdul Samad Building
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most famous landmarks.
This stunning structure is instantly recognizable thanks to its gorgeous clock tower and elaborate Moorish-style design.
For over a century, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building served as a vital hub of government administration for Kuala Lumpur.
The building’s historical significance and captivating architecture make it a must-visit destination for tourists and history enthusiasts alike.
During the day, Sultan Abdul Samad Building’s intricate details and decorative elements are on full display. The combination of arches, domes, and intricate carvings showcases the architectural splendor of the building.
As you approach the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, you’ll be greeted by its grand façade, adorned with beautiful motifs. The interplay of colors, with its striking white walls and contrasting red bricks, creates a visually captivating sight.
Admire the National Mosque of Malaysia’s architecture
The National Mosque of Malaysia, also known as Masjid Negara, is an architectural masterpiece that stands as an iconic symbol of Malaysia’s Islamic heritage.
From a distance, the gleaming white domes and minarets sparkled in the sunlight, creating an impressive sight.
The mosque’s modernist style, blending Islamic and Malay architectural elements, is a testament to Malaysia’s rich cultural heritage.
The spacious prayer hall can accommodate up to 15,000 worshippers and features a stunning carpet adorned with intricate floral motifs.
The soft natural light filtering through the stained glass windows adds a warm and ethereal ambiance to the space.
You can sign up for free guided tours for more insights into the mosque’s history, architecture, and Islamic traditions.
On our visit, we were given clothes to cover, and a tour guide that took us around.
Admire colorful butterflies at Kuala Lumpur butterfly park
If you have extra time, visit the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park where you will be amazed by the kaleidoscope of colors.
As you step into the park, you will be greeted by delicate and vibrant butterflies flitting around, making the park come alive with its beauty.
With over 120 species of butterflies, you will feel like you’re in a magical wonderland.
The lush greenery, cascading waterfalls, and serene ponds create the perfect setting for these enchanting creatures.
This sanctuary is home to a kaleidoscope of colorful butterflies and provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of natural beauty.
Try Pottery Making Class
Joining a pottery-making class in Kuala Lumpur is an incredible experience that allows you to learn the art of creating your very own pottery from scratch.
I had the opportunity to join this pottery class, and it was super fun.
The instructor was not only passionate about pottery but also patient and skilled at teaching. He guided us through the entire process, from understanding the basics of pottery to mastering the art of tossing a pot on the wheel.
We started off by getting acquainted with the different types of clay, tools, and equipment used in pottery.
The instructors took the time to explain everything in detail, ensuring we had a solid foundation before we got our hands dirty.
We began by making small cups and bowls. With the instructors’ guidance, we learned how to center the clay on the wheel and shape it into beautiful forms. It took a bit of practice, but soon enough, I was able to create a cute cup.
Visit Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Stepping into the Sri Mahamariamman Temple is like entering a mystical world filled with vibrant colors and intricate designs.
As the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, it boasts a rich history and culture that will fascinate anyone who visits.
From the moment you approach the entrance, you’re greeted by a towering gopuram (ornate gateway) adorned with intricate sculptures and vibrant paintwork.
The detailed sculptures and carvings of the deities are simply breathtaking, showcasing the masterful craftsmanship of the artisans.
Inside the temple, you’ll discover a sanctuary filled with devotion and reverence.
The main prayer hall is adorned with ornate decorations, shimmering chandeliers, and a magnificent altar dedicated to various Hindu deities.
The scent of incense and the sight of flickering oil lamps create an enchanting atmosphere that transports you into a realm of spirituality.
As you explore the temple, you’ll encounter smaller shrines dedicated to different gods and goddesses. Each shrine has its own unique character and significance, and it’s a wonderful opportunity to learn about Hindu mythology and symbolism.
Take a fun day trip
While Kuala Lumpur itself offers many attractions and activities, taking a day trip to the surrounding areas is a fantastic way to discover more of Malaysia’s beauty.
Whether you are interested in history, enjoying adrenaline-pumping activities, or connecting with nature, these day trips from Kuala Lumpur will enrich your journey and create unforgettable memories.
Just a two-hour bus ride from Kuala Lumpur, Malacca is a UNESCO-listed city that is steeped in history and charm.
As you wander through its streets, you’ll see a fusion of architectural styles, from colonial buildings to traditional Peranakan shophouses.
The Jonker Street night market is a bustling hub of activity, offering a vibrant array of street food, handicrafts, and antiques.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit iconic landmarks such as Christ Church and the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum, which provide insight into the city’s rich cultural heritage.
Also, try Peranakan cuisine, known for its bold and harmonious blend of Chinese and Malay influences.
To get to Malacca, you can take a bus from Kuala Lumpur, and you can join a day tour or go on your own.
Nestled amidst the lush Titiwangsa Mountains, Genting Highlands offers a refreshing escape from the city’s heat and a chance to enjoy breathtaking views.
Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or a leisure traveler, Genting Highlands has something for you.
This mountain resort is home to many adrenaline-pumping activities, from the Skytropolis Indoor Theme Park to the Skyway Cable Car with breathtaking views of the lush rainforest.
For those who prefer a more relaxed pace, there are world-class hotels, spas, and shopping centers.
If you’re looking for a refreshing break from city life, a day trip to Cameron Highlands from Kuala Lumpur is the perfect getaway.
The hilltop regions are filled with picturesque tea plantations, colorful butterfly and bee farms, and stunning waterfalls.
If you have a short time, taking a day tour to Cameron Highlands is the best. The trip will include a visit to a tea plantation, colorful butterfly and bee farms, a strawberry farm, and markets.
Don’t forget to bring your camera, wear comfortable shoes, and dress appropriately for the weather.
Putrajaya sightseeing cruise
The Putrajaya sightseeing cruise is a fantastic way to experience the beauty and grandeur of Malaysia’s federal administrative capital.
The cruise takes you through the picturesque Putrajaya Lake, passing by some of the city’s most stunning landmarks, such as the iconic Putra Mosque and the impressive Seri Wawasan Bridge.
The breathtaking view of the city’s skyline and lush greenery along the lake’s banks is a sight to behold.
For nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers, Taman Negara is a paradise waiting to be explored.
As Malaysia’s oldest and largest national park, it offers a pristine and immersive experience in the heart of the rainforest.
Embark on jungle treks, cross the Canopy Walkway suspended high above the trees, and keep an eye out for rare wildlife such as tigers, elephants, and tapirs.
The park also offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as river rafting and night safaris.
Shop until you drop
Kuala Lumpur is renowned for being a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of shopping options to suit every taste and budget.
Whether you’re looking for high-end luxury brands, unique local crafts, or bargain deals, the city has it all.
Central Market is a must-visit destination for those seeking traditional Malaysian handicrafts, art, and souvenirs.
This iconic heritage site has been transformed into a vibrant marketplace where you can find a treasure trove of local products. Also, don’t miss the chance to taste local delicacies at the food court.
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
For a taste of luxury shopping, head to Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. This upscale mall is a haven for fashionistas.
With its impressive architecture and an extensive collection of designer stores, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From international luxury brands to high-end local designers, Pavilion offers a curated selection of fashion, accessories, and lifestyle products.
After visiting Petronas Towers, head to Suria KLCC! From international fashion brands to local boutiques, this mall has it all.
Shop ’til you drop and then recharge with a meal at one of the many gourmet restaurants.
Berjaya Times Square is a massive shopping complex housing countless retail outlets, an indoor theme park, and a variety of entertainment options.
Mid Valley Megamall is another popular choice, featuring a wide selection of local and international brands, as well as a vibrant dining scene.
FAQs about things to do in Kuala Lumpur
Is Kuala Lumpur worth a visit?
Absolutely! Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant and dynamic city that offers a unique blend of cultures, cuisines, and experiences worth exploring. From here, you can explore its towering skyscrapers, stunning architecture, delicious street food, and rich cultural heritage.
Are 2 days enough in Kuala Lumpur?
Yes, two days are enough time to glimpse Kuala Lumpur, but your itinerary must be selective. There are plenty of things to see and do in the city, but if you prioritize and plan your time efficiently, you can cover some of the top attractions. You could visit the iconic Petronas Towers, explore the vibrant street markets, stroll in the serene parks, and sample some delicious street food.
What are the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur?
Some of the top attractions in Kuala Lumpur include the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Batu Caves, Bukit Bintang shopping district, Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, and the KL Tower.
What are the best outdoor activities to do in Kuala Lumpur?
Kuala Lumpur has a variety of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. You can visit the Perdana Botanical Garden, take a walk along KLCC Park, or go hiking in the nearby Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve.
Are there any cultural experiences in Kuala Lumpur?
Yes, Kuala Lumpur has several cultural experiences. You can visit the National Museum, explore the Islamic Arts Museum, witness traditional performances at the National Theatre, or explore the vibrant streets of Chinatown.
What are some family-friendly activities in Kuala Lumpur?
Kuala Lumpur has plenty of family-friendly activities. You can visit attractions like Sunway Lagoon theme park, Aquaria KLCC, or the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park. The National Zoo of Malaysia (Zoo Negara) is also a great place to visit with kids.
How can I get around Kuala Lumpur?
You can use the public transportation system that includes trains and buses or ride-hailing services like Grab. Walking is also a good option, especially in areas with pedestrian-friendly infrastructure.
What to eat in Kuala Lumpur?
Kuala Lumpur is a food lover’s paradise. Don’t miss the chance to try local delicacies such as Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Char Kway Teow, Satay, and Durian (if you’re feeling adventurous). There are numerous street food stalls and restaurants where you can sample these delicious dishes.
Now, buckle up and prepare for a journey filled with excitement, culture, and incredible experiences!