A visit to Malaysia isn’t complete unless you’ve spent a few days touring and eating your way through the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Although more expensive than other parts of Malaysia, KL’s mix of cultures (India, Chinese, Malay, and Western) creates a unique blend of food, shopping, and nightlife. I find KL to be an exciting place and one of the best cities in the world for good Indian food (outside of India that is). This guide will help you navigate the city and make the most of your visit.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Kuala Lumpur
1. Petronas Towers
2. Visit the Butterfly Park
3. Explore the Islamic Arts Museum
4. Visit Sri Mahamariaman
5. Duck into Batu Caves
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Educate yourself at the National Museum
The National History Museum is a great place to familiarize yourself with Malaysia’s history and culture. The artifacts include a 40,000-year-old human skull and an eight-sided gold coin dating back to the 15th Century. Entrance to the museum is 5 MYR for foreign adults, and children under 12 enter for free.
2. Eat until you explode
Indian, Chinese, Malay and Western foods are all common in KL. The multicultural social mix in Kuala Lumpur creates an extremely varied blend of local food. The markets and roadside stalls are a great place to pick up hawker food. Unsurprisingly, Little India and Chinatown serve amazing food at very reasonable prices.
3. Go up Menara Kuala Lumpur
Another focal point in Kuala Lumpur’s skyline is the Menara tower. At 421m tall, it dwarfs its surroundings and is the fifth tallest building in the world. The bird’s eye views of KL from the observation deck or revolving restaurant are actually more impressive than that of the Petronas Towers. Admission is 105 MYR for adults and 55 MYR for kids.
4. Be Awed by Masjid Negara
This is Malaysia’s national mosque. It’s set within 13 acres of garden and has the capacity to hold 15,000 people. The mosque’s standout features are its bright blue umbrella-shaped dome and its 73m minaret.
5. Wander through Lake Gardens Park
Near Chinatown and the main train station you’ll find this urban park, which is surprisingly jungle-like. The bird park can be found here as well as the Islamic Arts Museum. You can also rent a boat and float on the lake.
6. The Berjaya Times Square theme park
Located inside the Berjaya times square, this is one of many theme parks that can be found throughout Kuala Lumpur. Beyond the various rides and intimidating roller coasters, there is also a water park, garden highlands, and the Mines Wonderland. Admission is 51 MYR for adults, and discounts are available for seniors and children.
7. Royal Malaysia Police Museum
This might sound like an odd museum to check out, but it’s surprisingly interesting. The collection here features old uniforms, weaponry, and vehicles, which have been seized from old members of Malaysia’s underground society of organized crime. Best of all, admission to the museum is free!
8. Partake in Thaipusam
This is a festival based on the Hindu religion and typically occurs during the full moon in February. Every year, over a million locals and thousands of tourists flock to the Batu Cave to offer milk and partake in a 9-mile procession.
8. Go to the market
Make sure to visit one of KL’s many markets to pick up bargains on electrical goods, food, clothes, and everything else! Central Market and Jalan Petaling market in Chinatown are two of the city’s best. Markets are open day and night, with the daytime markets being known as ‘Pasar Tani’ and the evening ones ‘Pasar Malam’.