We spent quite a long time in Kuala Lumpur, mostly working but also exploring. As a result, we visited a lot of the touristic sites. Here is our complete sightseeing guide of Kuala Lumpur!
Kuala Lumpur is not a city with a long history. It is generally believed that Kuala Lumpur became established as a town around 1857. When the British colonial administration moved the state capital of Selangor to Kuala Lumpur in 1880, Kuala Lumpur began to improve after almost being destroyed by various fires and floods. Kuala Lumpur grew rapidly in the 20th century and has a population of 1.768 million in 2015. The population of Kuala Lumpur is a mix of Malay (44.7%), Chinese (43.7%) and Indian (10.3%) ethnicities, resulting in a diverse and multi-cultural population.
Petronas Twin Towers
You haven’t been to Kuala Lumpur if you didn’t visit the Petronas Twin Towers. The Petronas Towers are one(two) of the most iconic landmarks of Kuala Lumpur. Although the towers are gorgeous at night (the lighting is perfect), they are definitely worth a visit during the day as well. No matter what time of the day you get there, you’ll always see other tourists taking photos. Both towers have 88 floors with a connecting skybridge at levels 41 and 42. There is an observation platform on level 86 which is open to the public. It’s also possible to visit the skybridge on level 41. We didn’t go up the towers as we think it’s the most beautiful structure of Kuala Lumpur and the view is not so good without the Petronas Towers in it.
Price: RM 85 (adult) Check this website for current ticket prices.
Opening hours Tuesday-Sunday: 9:00-21:00 (Closed between 13:00-14:30 on Fridays)
KLCC Park is a public park located behind the Petronas Towers, and it’s a nice place to stroll around. The park offers a beautiful view of the Towers, with signs indicating the perfect photo spots. As the park generally isn’t very crowded, it’s possible to take a photo with the towers without people in the background.
Opening hours Monday-Sunday: 7:00-22:00 No entrance fee
Getting there The Petronas Towers and KLCC Park are both located in the city center of Kuala Lumpur. The nearest LRT station is KLCC and is located right across the street, as well as KLCC bus station. The nearest monorail station is Bukit Nanas, a 15-minute walk from the towers and the park.
Kuala Lumpur Tower
Besides the Petronas Twin Towers, the Kuala Lumpur Tower is the other iconic landmark of Kuala Lumpur. The KL Tower is the seventh tallest telecommunication tower in the world. With its 421 meters, it’s impressively large standing at its feet. The windowed Observation Deck is located at 276 meters and the open-aired Sky Deck is located at 300 meters above ground. At the Sky Deck, there are two Sky Boxes which are extended glass boxes in which you can see the ground below you. A picture of you will be taken in the Sky Box looking out over the Petronas Towers. After having your picture taken by the KL Tower photographer, it’s also possible to shoot your own pictures. We definitely recommend going up the KL Tower as the views are amazing!
Price: RM 105 (Adult Sky Deck ticket, includes Sky Box and Observation Deck) Check this website for current ticket prices. Combination tickets with other attractions are available as well.
Opening hours Monday-Sunday: 9:00-22:00
Getting there The nearest monorail station is Bukit Nanas which is a 25-minute walk away from the KL Tower. The nearest LRT station is Masjid Jamek and is half an hour away from the Tower by foot. It’s a 30-minute walk from the Petronas Towers to the KL Tower.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is one of the few old buildings in Kuala Lumpur. The Building was originally built to house offices of the British colonial administration. Ironically, every 31st of August, the official annual celebration of the Malaysian independence is being held at the square in front of the building, the Merdeka, or Independence Square. The architectural style of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is variously described as Indo-Saracenic, Neo-Mughal or Moorish. The Building is not open to the public, but we loved strolling around the area and taking pictures of the building.
Nearby the Sultan Abdul Samad Building you’ll find the Jamek Mosque, which is officially named the Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque. The Jamek Mosque is the oldest, still standing mosque of Kuala Lumpur. The architectural design of the Mosque is similar to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Until 1965, the Jamek Mosque served as Kuala Lumpur’s main mosque. You can walk around the mosque to soak in its beauty, but the mosque is also open to the public after prayer times (apart from Fridays). Make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing when you’re visiting the Mosque, ensuring your shoulders and knees are covered. Headscarves can be borrowed at the Mosque’s entrance.
Opening hours Saturday - Thursday: 9:00-12:00 & 14:30-16:00. No entrance fee
Getting there The easiest way to get there is by going to the nearest LRT station: Masjid Jamek. This station is right across the street of the Mosque. It’s a 3-minute walk from the Mosque to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.
Perdana Botanical Gardens
The Perdana Botanical Gardens, also known as Lake Gardens, is a huge park in the heart of the city. The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park, Hibiscus Garden and Orchid Garden tourist attractions are all located in the Botanical Gardens. We just explored the park for a while but didn’t go to any of these tourist attractions. We didn’t even know where they were as the Gardens are so huge. We felt like we’ve only seen 10% of the Gardens. The cafés in the Gardens are daily open from 09:00-18:00. Bicycles are available for rental for 3RM for 30 minutes. Guided walks are provided on Sundays from 8:00-10:00, free of charge. Within the Gardens, a daily shuttle tram is available to take visitors to all the attractions. Tickets cost RM 4 and are valid throughout the day of purchase.
Opening hours Monday-Sunday: 7:00-20:00. No entrance fee for the Botanical Gardens. Entrance fees might apply for other attractions in the Gardens.
Getting there The nearest public transport stations are the old railway station Kuala Lumpur (KMUTER line) and KL Sentral station, both within walking distance of the Gardens.
Taman Tasik Titiwangsa
Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, or Titiwangsa Lake Gardens, is a park in Titiwangsa featuring a huge lake. The main reason for us to visit the lake was because of the amazing view over the city. Standing at the northern end of the lake, you can see the whole city including the Petronas Towers and the KL Tower. This makes it a great photo spot. You can stroll around the lake by foot or you can rent a bike in the park. There are different stalls around the lake selling food and drinks. Oh, and you can take a helicopter tour if you’re into that!
Opening hours: Monday-Sunday: 7:00-21:00 No entrance fee
Getting there The closest public transport station to Taman Tasik Titiwangsa is LRT station Titiwangsa which is a 30-minute walk away from the park.
Public transport in Kuala Lumpur isn’t as good as in other comparable large cities in Asia. Depending on your location, getting somewhere by public transport can take a while. Furthermore, some tourist attractions are not very easily reachable by public transport, such as the KL Tower and Taman Tasik Titiwangsa. Therefore, it’s sometime easier to take a taxi or a Grab (or Uber before April 2018). In any case, make sure you always check traffic before taking a taxi, in Google Maps for example. There are huge traffic jams in the afternoon almost every day that last until late in the evening. You might be stuck in traffic for hours when taking a taxi and wished you had walked!
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Let us know in the comments if you’ve ever visited any of these places and which ones you’d still want to visit!
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