Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, is a vast expanse of green land with mountains cloaked in rain forest, huge plantations of rubber and oil palms, and sandy beaches. A thousand different orchids bloom in the tropical forests, which are also home to many wild animals and plants. Wildlife such as tigers, leopards, and rhinoceroses are protected in several national parks.
This is an Islamic country, but all kinds of religions are practiced here. The city is dotted with Buddhist and Taoist temples as well as Christian churches. Kuala Lumpur’s modern architecture contrasts with the traditional Islamic style of government buildings. This progressive city is the center of Malaysia’s business and industry.
When To Go:
Kuala Lumpur enjoys an all-year-round tropical atmosphere, with high temperature ranges between the upper 80s and low 90s. Substantial rains occur throughout a significant part of the year, however, June through August are generally termed as the drier months.
Kuala Lumpur and its tourism activities generally perk up at the height of the summer season, although different celebrations all through the year will entice extra visitors. Every summer the highly patronized events include the PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix (April), the KL International Tattoo Show (September), and the KL Gourmet Festival, which is usually held every November. The most unreasonable prices when visiting Kuala Lumpur are naturally found throughout the high season, while the low season is the least costly time to go.
Here are the top
things to do
when in the city of Kuala Lumpur:
PETRONAS Twin Towers
PETRONAS Twin Towers
are located in the central part of Kuala Lumpur, which is called KLCC – Kuala Lumpur City Centre. The famous towers are surrounded by excellent infrastructure. There is a wonderful park with lots of greenery and ponds, the Suria shopping center with several floors and good clothes for shopaholics, and another one close to the Bukit Bintang — the main shopping street called Quale. The towers themselves are impressive, both during the day and in the dark. When you see them from below, they look so imposing — and it is quite difficult to capture the entire shot of the towers since they are very tall. This is why just across from the towers there is a specially-marked photo point, from which you can have the best angles for your favorite background PETRONAS.
When illuminated at night, the scene gets even more impressive, futuristic, and it seems like something from a science fiction film. The towers have an observation deck, which offers a decent view of Kuala Lumpur.
Besides the observation deck on the first floor, there is a large shopping center and a supermarket, as well as souvenir shops. Lots of restaurants, cafes, and a food court complete the facilities. The excellent views from the towers are one of the reasons why it lands on the list of places in Kuala Lumpur that you want to visit first. The ascent to the tower consists of two stages: first, the rise to the bridge between the towers, which can be reached within 10 minutes, and then the elevator ride to the top.
Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC)
Kuala Lumpur City Center
is a beautiful park near the PETRONAS. This place is equipped with a jogging trail — and many residents of KL run in the morning and also at lunch to keep fit. There are many shops where you can sit and relax after shopping — or you can join the people jogging, cycling, or just simply doing some walking. In the center of the park is a fountain where the impressive evening fountain show happens between 9-10 pm every day.
The lights will glow brilliantly in different colors and highlight in detail the various shapes of the water jets. The amazing fountains work with the flow of the music and are illuminated by searchlights. The garden itself has a wide variety of plants (there are signs with botanical names). And, in one of the fountains there is a waterfall and behind this wall is a passage; few people know about it, but you will find a walk behind the wall of water to be a very cool adventure on a hot day.
Malaysia Heritage Walk
Malaysia Heritage Walk Tour
is a great opportunity to get to know a different side of Kuala Lumpur. From the knowledgeable guides you can learn much about its history and various religions, plus take great breaks to sample a variety of dishes in a very nice and relaxed atmosphere. The tour is a great combination of history, culture, visiting monuments, and an international (Chinese and Indian) food trip!
In the cultural sector, you can see various temples and places of worship in the foreground. The tour gives an insight into the origin of KL; the stops for tea and snacks are wonderfully selected; and all the background information and exciting stories from the guide make this an exceptional activity. The guides — who know every corner of the city — manage to keep the whole afternoon interesting and entertaining, and infect their audience with their lively enthusiasm.
Islamic Arts Museum
Islamic Arts Museum
is filled with really good information in English and has a modern exposition. There are superb collections of calligraphy, household items, and ancient weapons. The exhibits present a journey into Islam and an insight into the less well-known spread of the Muslim faith in the Far East. Some areas have yet to be completed, but this does not detract from the experience of the visit.
This museum is really a great place to see the comparative development of Islamic culture in various countries around the world. It begins with a room dedicated to the most famous mosques in the Muslim world. It then continues with rooms dedicated to clothing, furniture, pottery, jewelry etc. They have even created an entire room in Ottoman-style furnishings and interior design. The museum is divided into sections according to the country of origin (India, Malaysia and so on).
Another special feature is the variety of domes in the various rooms, especially the type that lies just outside the Lebanese restaurant. Souvenirs can be bought at the museum shop. You can visit it without a guide and you can stop and take pictures inside. When you get hungry, be sure to enjoy Arabic food at the famous Lebanese Restaurant.
Putrajaya is a beautiful part of the capital city that is mostly home to the government and administrative offices of Malaysia, as well as being the prime location of a brand new residential area. It has lush vegetation and is well kept. From the top of the
, you can admire a scenic mosque and the official residence of the Sultan. Don’t forget to try the Putrajaya Cruise — it is an opportunity to explore and see other beautiful attractions that are best admired from the waters of Kuala Lumpur.
The bridge is actually a structure that leaves no one indifferent. A suspension bridge with a single pylon and cables distributed asymmetrically, it never fails to catch the eye of the passer-by. The high pole pointing towards the sky invites many tourists to take a walk along the bridge, which is a terrific place to take pictures that capture the city skyline from various angles.
The caves are located 30 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur and are very easy to reach; just go to the KL Sentral train station and from there take a ride on the KTM line (2 Ringgit). It is impossible to get lost because the terminal destination is called
. It is a very important site for believers of the Hindu religion. It is located about 7.5 miles from the capital. The statue of the god Murugan that stands at the beginning of the staircase is 138 feet high. To reach the most enchanting cave, also known as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, you will have to climb this staircase that consists of 272 steps.
Beware when you climb at the edges of the steps, as there are many macaques that are not afraid of the tourists! The Cathedral has immense caves, very high, with vaulted ceilings. Inside, there are many small shrines and also monks that are awaiting the believers. It is open every day from 8.00 to 10.00, and you can spend about half a day exploring what the caves have to offer. Locals recognize this place as a piece of India in Malaysia, where one can observe the intersection of cultures that characterizes this country.
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
One of the top things you can do in the capital city of Malaysia is to take a relaxing stroll and visit the enchanting
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
. It is situated in the Lake Gardens and is the largest bird park walking area of the world. It houses under its care a multitude of birds from Malaysia, South East Asia, and also other parts of the world. There are also some parts of the park where the birds are not confined.
Children will be thrilled to learn about the different species of birds they can find here –and also to enjoy a great visit to the playground area. Be sure to see the famous Hornbill and also don’t forget to try the spicy Malaysian cuisine at the Hornbill Restaurant and Café found on the grounds of this park. It is open daily from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm.
Royal Selangor Pewter Factory and Visitor Centre
If you are in Kuala Lumpur and have plenty of time to see other attractions, include a visit to the huge
Royal Selangor Pewter Factory and Visitor Centre
. At the entrance, a huge beer mug made of pewter — it landed in the Guinness Book of Records — will welcome you. A tour is interesting because it shows the full production chain of pewter objects and it is very interesting to see how the final products are achieved.
The tour allows every guest to learn about the process of melting alloy material and see how it gets manufactured into a wonderful and decorative object. At the end of the factory tour, they will bring you to the classic factory store where you can buy some of the many items in pewter that they produce. You can also buy ornamental trees and plants in the souvenir shop here.
Chinatown – Kuala Lumpur
In Chinatown, you will find the ultimate contrast to the expensive shopping malls of Kuala Lumpur. The market at Jalan Petaling starts during the afternoon (officially at 12.00) and is simply a shopping and entertainment Mecca. There are only two reactions here: either you will love the turmoil of this market, or you’re the type who detests the mess. There are heaps of textiles, leather and plastic goods, watches and jewelry, small furniture and other furnishings. You can haggle and buy at an agreed price.
Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur
is located at the edge of the city center near the Merdeka Square. In several surrounding streets and temples you have the opportunity to see how the Chinese minority lives. It gives an exotic feel to stroll around here and appreciate nature, culture and the people. The temples are also really worth seeing and are open for everyone, Buddhist and non-Buddhist alike.
National Mosque (Masjid Negara)
National Mosque (Masjid Negara
) is an impressive modern mosque that was built in 1965.The blue roof of the building looks like an open umbrella, technically and cleverly designed and totally distinct from other mosques in the world. On the grounds, there is lots of free space under a roof with several columns. Even non-Muslims are allowed to enter the main prayer hall. If you plan to visit, wear modest and presentable clothing and observe silence once inside the mosque. This is a large mosque — 15,000 people are allowed to pray at the same time. The mosque has beautiful gardens, water fountains and pools, with a very solemn and soothing atmosphere.
There are free guides who will explain the importance of the faith and answer your questions politely, based on the holy teachings of Islam. The main mosque is the largest, but also the most modern mosque of the city. It is opposite the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station at the entrance area of Lake Gardens. There are no admission fees but a small donation is asked for the maintenance and upkeep of the mosque. Capes and shawls are issued for a fee if you are not appropriately dressed.