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The Top 30 Kuala Lumpur Attractions – The Best Places to Visit

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s modern, diverse and action-packed capital city. It’s a mix of incredible cultures, with a fantastic food scene, nature intertwined amongst its urban centres and enough attractions to keep you entertained for weeks. KL is a clash of cultures, with a fantastic food scene and plenty to do. It also has very affordable hotels.

Read our guide to discover the top Kuala Lumpur attractions, including must-see sites you can’t miss, plus some less visited attractions away from the tourist trail. The city has enough to keep you entertained for weeks. However, you can also have a great experience in a much shorter time.

The Petronas Twin Towers

We’re starting off our list with Kuala Lumpur’s top attraction, the Petronas Twin Towers. Ranked as the tallest twin towers in the world, and amongst the tallest buildings in the world, these impressive buildings dominate the KL skyline. They boast 88 floors and reach a staggering 451.9 metres tall. They have a distinct 21st century design and have long been one of the city’s proudest creations.

You can visit the Petronas Twin Towers by booking a time slot online. Tours run throughout the day, taking you on a sky-high adventure to see the city from above. You’ll get to see the skybridge, which connects the two towers on the 41st floor. You’ll then hop in an elevator to reach the summit of the towers. This is where you’ll find stunning panoramic views of KL.

shows the Petronas Twin Towers lit up at night

KLCC Park

KLCC Park is the neatly manicured park area at the base of the Petronas Twin Towers. As one of the most popular green areas in the city, it’s a relaxing place to wander around for an hour or two. You’ll find locals jogging, kids playing in the swimming pool area and workers taking a break on a park bench.

KLCC Park has several walking trails, an athletics track, lake area, fountains, and a series of beautifully designed flower gardens. We recommend checking out the park on a morning before visiting the towers. It’s a great attraction to visit in Kuala Lumpur to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet in a busy city.

shows KLCC park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Batu Caves

The next Kuala Lumpur attraction on our list is probably the most well-known point of interest. Batu Caves is a vast cave complex that has naturally been carved out of the limestone rock face. The caverns are deep, with multiple sections to explore. In addition to the cave, the area is an active place of Hindu worship. The entrance to the caves has a towering 15m tall statue of important Hindu figure, Lord Hanuman.

Another striking area of Batu Caves is its colourful staircase. The 272 colourful steps take you up to the entrance of the cave complex, providing some unique scenery along the way. The Batu Caves are full of Hindu shrines, colourful paintings and echoing caverns. It’s an attraction you can’t miss when visiting Kuala Lumpur!

shows Batu Caves Temple in Kuala Lumpur
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Ramayana Cave

Whilst in the Batu Caves area, be sure to stop by the smaller, less crowded Ramayana Cave. This cave is just around the corner from the main Batu Cave entrance and is slightly hidden. It’s so hidden, many tourists completely miss it when visiting Batu Caves! Pay the small entrance fee and you can explore the cave freely. It’s full of intricate Hindu statues and figures, shrines and impressive rock formations.

shows a Hindu statue in Ramayana Cave - the top 30 Kuala Lumpur attractions

Chinatown

Chinatown is one of the oldest areas of Kuala Lumpur. Rich in Chinese and Malaysian culture and with colourful lanterns and artwork lighting up the streets, it’s a great place to visit in Kuala Lumpur for sightseeing and great food. Wander the streets at your leisure, admire the old buildings and see the Chinese shops.

One area of Chinatown we love is Kwai Chai Hong. It’s a small backstreet with a wooden bridge and bamboo plants at the entrance. The walls of the street are decorated in beautiful Chinese murals that depict past scenes and characters of Chinatown’s past. Another top reason to visit Chinatown is for the food. The restaurants and street food stalls here are excellent!

shows a street in China Town, Kuala Lumpur

Petaling Street

Petaling Street is the main market street in Chinatown. From sunrise until sunset, it’s a bustling, noisy street of tourists, locals and traders selling their goods. If you like South-east Asian markets, you’ll love the atmosphere at Petaling Street! The area is decorated with lanterns, dragons and colourful posts, perfectly matching the rest of the neighbourhood.

Go for a wander down Petaling Street whilst in Chinatown to have a browse of the market stalls or grab a snack and a drink. It’s full of fake sportwear and fashion goods, but it’s also a good place to grab some bargain market clothing and accessories.

shows Petaling Street in China Town, Kuala Lumpur

Sri Maha Mariamman Temple

In the Chinatown area, you’ll likely cross paths with Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. This colourful Hindu Temple is adorned in statues, carvings, and mementos of the Hindu religion. Its pastel, bright colours are much like many of the South Indian-style temples you’d find in India or Malaysia. Pin the temple’s map location on your phone and stop by to admire its unique entrance.

shows Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Little India, Kuala Lumpur

KL Tower

We’ve already mentioned the tallest tower attraction in Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Towers. KL Tower is the second place to visit to get an impressive view of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline and its many tall buildings. It’s a 421-metre-tall communications tower in the Bukit Bintang area. Little do many people know, it’s taller than the Petronas Towers by elevation, as it sits on top of a hill.

Add KL Tower to your KL sightseeing itinerary to capture the best views of the city. An elevator takes you up to the viewing deck, where you’ll have 360-degree, unobstructed views of the entire area. Head a little further up the tower and you’ll find a second, outdoor viewing deck. Feel the breeze in your hair and step over the glass bottom floor! There are several viewpoints, photo opportunities and a café at the top of the tower.

shows a birds eye view from KL tower, Malaysia
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Bukit Bintang

Bukit Bintang is Kuala Lumpur’s busy city centre district. It’s full of shopping malls, high-rise office buildings, luxury tower hotels and bars and restaurants. It’s no doubt the most modern and futuristic looking area of not only Kuala Lumpur, but the entire country. To us, Kuala Lumpur feels like a city such as Seoul or Singapore, but with a rich Malaysian culture. Small, family-run restaurants and neighbourhoods are right next to expensive, fine dining options.

Explore the modern Bukit Bintang area on foot and feel like a small ant in a big city. Giant billboards, neon lights and towering buildings set the scene for one of the most fun areas to visit in the city. It’s a great place to visit in Kuala Lumpur on an evening. The streets come alive with thousands of pedestrians and there’s a lot to see and do.

Top tip: Bukit Bintang is a great place to stay during your time in Kuala Lumpur. It’s centrally located for all attractions and has a good selection of hotels, restaurants, shops and bars.

shows the area of Bukit Bintang - the top 30 Kuala Lumpur attractions

Jalan Alor

If you’re looking for Kuala Lumpur’s famous street food scene, head to the street known as Jalan Alor. Located in the Bukit Bintang neighbourhood, this bustling collection of restaurants and street stalls gives you an endless selection of places to eat. Choose from Malaysian classic dishes, seafood, Thai, Mongolian BBQ, Vietnamese and more.

Food on the Jalon Alor Street is quite affordable, and whilst quite touristic, it’s a place you can’t miss off your list. It’s loud, chaotic and great atmosphere! Enjoy a beer, order a few dishes to share and enjoy people watching as you dine on the side of the street. Some of our favourite places to eat on Jalan Alor include:

shows lots of people at Jalan Alor - the top 30 Kuala Lumpur attractions

KL Bird Park

In our opinion, KL Bird Park is one of the most underrated Kuala Lumpur attractions. It’s one of the largest bird parks in the world! Full of different species of birds and a park that’s split up into different themes, it’s a fun place to explore for a couple of hours. Tropical plants, lakes, bridges and walkways set the scene for one of the most unique aviaries you’ll ever visit.

Some of the different species of birds we encountered during our visit include hornbills, buffy fish owls, toucans, parrots, canaries and even an ostrich. KL Bird Park is like a theme park of bird exhibits and attractions; they even have live, interactive shows. The birds appear to be well looked after and the grounds of the park are beautiful.

Pro-tip: Have lunch in KL Bird Park’s on-site restaurant. Its treehouse setting sits right on the jungle canopy, so you’ll often be accompanied by a tropical bird as you eat. Don’t worry though, they won’t steal your food!

shows a bird standing on a rock at KLCC Bird Park - best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur

KL Butterfly Park

Just down the road from KL Bird Park you’ll find KL Butterfly Park. Again, this park is quite vast and is one of the largest of its type in the world. It’s a top Kuala Lumpur attraction for those that want to get up close to many species of colourful butterflies, flying all around you. The park spans 80,000 sq. ft and has over 6000 species of butterflies from across the planet.

Learn the lifecycle of the butterfly, get within touching distance of insects, and if you’re lucky, a butterfly may use you as a perch. The park is full of unique water features and tropical scenery. It’s a fun place to explore for a couple of hours.

shows a black butterfly on a plant

Perdana Botanical Gardens

Every major city has a green space nestled amongst the hustle and bustle. Perdana Botanical Gardens is Kuala Lumpur’s answer. It’s a free-to-visit, colonial-era park that stretches over 226 acres. Walking trails, flower exhibits, a nice lake and many individual garden areas make up this serene nature reserve. It’s the perfect place to go for a long walk and some exercise.

We recommend visiting Perdana Botanical Gardens on a morning whilst the weather is cooler. Take time to explore each corner of the park, and don’t forget the orchid garden! The café in the centre of the garden area is a good place to grab a snack and have a break whilst touring the park.

shows a bridge walkway at Perdana Botanical Gardens in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Taman Tugu hiking trail

Taman Tugu is one of the best hiking trails in the Kuala Lumpur city centre area. You really wouldn’t expect a nature filled trail such as this to be so close to the city! Rich jungle terrain, canopy walkways and exotic plants welcome you as you embark on one of several trail routes. It’s a great way to get up close to Malaysia’s jungle scenery whilst getting some exercise.

The hiking and walking routes at Taman Tugu are beginner friendly. However, Malaysia’s hot, humid weather can make the walk difficult. It’s a must-do for nature lovers and hikers but be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks. It’s one of the top Kuala Lumpur attractions for those that fancy doing something away from the main tourist trail.

shows a close up of hiking boots - the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur

Tugu Negara National Monument

Whilst embarking on the Taman Tugu hiking trail, be sure to pay the Tugu Negara National Monument a visit. The grand, bronze monument is one of the most important statues in Malaysia. It commemorates those that fought for independence from the Japanese during WWII, and the Malayan Emergency from 1948 until 1960. The huge size and beautiful surroundings of the statue make it a top place to visit in Kuala Lumpur.

shows the Tugu Negara National Monument in Kuala Lumpur

Thean Hou Temple

Thean Hou Temple is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most beautiful temple complexes. It’s a Chinese temple dedicated to the sea goddess, Mazu, and it was constructed in 1987. It’s on a larger, grander scale than other Chinese temples in the city and is a great place to explore for an hour or so. Grand red columns, ornate carvings, statues, and elaborate roof designs give Thean Hou its distinctive appearance.

The temple has elements of Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism, fusing modern and traditional architectural techniques. During our visit, we enjoyed walking along the temple walls and exploring the hidden courtyards and gardens.

shows the outside of Thean Hou Temple - best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Little India

Little India, as its name suggests, is Kuala Lumpur’s main Indian district. Rich in culture and full of Indian shops, restaurants, cafes, and markets, it’s one of the most colourful neighbourhoods in the city. Brightly coloured buildings, statues and lampposts give Little India a different look compared to the rest of KL.

Visit Little India to browse the colourful market stalls and local shops. The smells, sounds and colours will make you feel like you’ve been transported to the heart of Mumbai. We also recommend visiting for lunch. Try authentic Indian or Malay-Indian food in a café and sip on a speciality Mango Lassi.

shows the entrance to Little India in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Shopping Malls

Shopping is a very popular activity in South-East Asia’s huge cities, and KL is no different. Malls are some of the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur to grab the latest fashion and tech, but they’re also good spots for dining, entertainment and even theme parks! KL does shopping malls just as well as Seoul, Singapore or Bangkok. Each mall has a different selection of shops and is worth visiting, simply for the experience. These places are huge!

Our favourite shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur include:

  • Suria KLCC – An easily accessible mall right underneath the Petronas Twin Towers. It has many recognisable brands, including Nike, Uniqlo and Guess, plus an excellent food scene.
  • Pavilion – One of the most modern and visually impressive shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur. It has every international brand you could think of, from designer fashion to affordable mainstream products. It also has a top-rated food court.
  • Berjaya Times Square – Berjaya Times Square Mall has mostly local brands, many of which you probably haven’t heard of. It’s a great place to visit for a more local and affordable shopping experience. It also has a huge indoor theme park, which brings us to the next Kuala Lumpur attraction on our list…
shows decorations in a shopping mall for Chinese New Year

Berjaya Times Square Theme Park

During our visit, we were pleasantly surprised to find a huge theme park inside on of the shopping malls. Berjaya Times Square theme park is enormous, and completely unique! A full-size rollercoaster with a loop, bumper cars, a merry-go-round and many more attractions are strategically placed between multiple levels of the shopping mall. It’s a fun place to visit no matter the time of day, even if you don’t want to go on a ride. Stop by the theme park to try a ride, or to simply admire how cool this place is.

shows an indoor rollercoaster at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur

Merdeka Square & Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Merdeka Square, also known as Independence Square, is a historic square in the centre of Kuala Lumpur. It was the site where the Malaysian flag was raised for the first time and is host to independence parades and other events throughout the year. A grand fountain, rows of flags, and a large, paved area make up the square.

At the centre of Merdeka Square, you’ll find the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Once the administration office for the British Colonial Government, it’s now a series of offices and a top Kuala Lumpur tourist attraction. The building has a grand, colonial façade, with a clocktower, shiny copper domes and a flagpole that’s one of the tallest in the world. The entire area is full of historic sites and museums.

shows the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Riverside – River of Life

Right next to Merdeka Square, you have one of our favourite Kuala Lumpur attractions, The River of Life. This recently renovated area of the city has a long riverside path to walk along. It’s quiet, scenic, and a great place to get some exercise. It has several nice viewpoints along the river, plus some cool street art and unusual buildings.

We recommend seeing the sites of the area and then walking along the River of Life to Central Market, or Chinatown. Grab a coffee and admire the view as you stroll along the riverbank.

shows the River of Life in Kuala Lumpur - the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur

Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque

One of the key sites on the River of Life trail is the Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque. Designed by British Architect Arthur Benison Hubback and built in 1909, it’s one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur. Glistening white stone and terracotta bricks form together to create a beautiful work of art. See the mosque from afar and admire its exterior. Alternatively, cover your arms and legs and explore the mosque grounds.

shows the Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek mosque - the top 30 Kuala Lumpur attractions

Chow Kit Market

If you like South-East Asian markets, you’ll love Chow Kit. Located just outside the main city centre area, this bustling wet market is the shopping area of choice for locals that want fresh produce such as vegetables, seafood and meat. It also has a large dry section, with vendors selling everything from clothing and accessories to homeware, handmade goods and electronics. Chow Kit Market’s size and vibrant atmosphere makes it a great place to people watch.

Chow Kit is the biggest market in Kuala Lumpur, but the city is home to many more markets, including some excellent places to visit on an evening. Read Holidify’s Kuala Lumpur market guide here for more options.

shows people walking around China Town

Aquaria KLCC

Aquaria KLCC is Kuala Lumpur’s main aquarium attraction. Popular with families and group tours, it’s a great place to visit to learn about the local sea life of Malaysia. It features fish of many different species, plus some larger animals such as turtles, sharks and otters. The aquarium hosts interactive learning and feeding shows throughout the day and is particularly well suited to families. We personally loved the glass-roof aquarium tunnel.

shows a close up of a fish at Aquaria KLCC - the top 30 Kuala Lumpur attractions
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Central Market

Central Market is one of the top Kuala Lumpur attractions for those that want to do some market shopping. Located between Chinatown and the River of Life we mentioned previously in our guide, the market is a bustling collection of stalls, independent shops and eateries. Its indoor section is made up of two floors. You’ll find everything from fashionwear and accessories to handmade gifts, souvenirs and homeware. There’s also an outdoor section of the market, which is a great place to grab a drink or a snack.

Even if you don’t want to shop, Central Market is a great place to visit in KL for the upbeat atmosphere and excellent food and drink selection.

shows the entrance of Central Market, Kuala Lumpur

National Mosque of Malaysia

The National Mosque of Malaysia is one of the top places to visit in Kuala Lumpur to experience Malaysia’s most beautiful religious buildings. For big events, the mosque holds up to 15,000 people! It’s an active place to worship, but tourists can visit throughout the day at set times. You’ll just need to cover up using one of the garments provided by the mosque staff.

The mosque is a grand, white stone building, featuring a tall minaret at its centre, a beautiful garden area and a water fountain. Inside, it has white marble tiles from ceiling to roof, with tall pillars, ornate decorations, and large, open hallways.

shows the National Mosque of Malaysia - the top 30 Kuala Lumpur attractions

Sunway Lagoon

Sunway Lagoon is one of the top attractions in Kuala Lumpur for families. It’s one of the biggest amusement parks in Malaysia, boasting over 90 attractions across six different parks. It’s so large, many Malaysian families visit for the whole weekend to see everything. Top activities at Sunway Lagoon include a wildlife park, water park, amusement rides, adventure activities, paintballing, go karting and much more. You’ll never be spoilt for things to do here!  

We recommend a visit to Sunway Lagoon for families that are visiting KL for a longer period. It’s a great way to keep the kids entertained. Some attractions will also suit adults that want a fun day out.

shows a child on a go kart track

Our top tips for visiting Kuala Lumpur

  • Allocate at least 4-5 days to see Kuala Lumpur’s top attractions. Little do many people know, there’s a lot to do here. You can see some excellent sites in a fleeting visit. However, we recommend a longer stay to experience the city properly.
  • Stay in the Bukit Bintang area for easy access to the main sites. There are some excellent hotels, restaurants, bars and shops all in one place. You can use taxis or the monorail system to get around.
  • Download the ‘Grab’ taxi app and create an account ahead of arriving in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a convenient and affordable way to reach attractions that are further away from the city.
  • Use the KLIA Express train to get from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the city centre in less than 30-minutes. Taxis can take over an hour and a half due to the airport’s location and the city’s heavy traffic.
  • Create a rough itinerary of the KL attractions you want to see before arriving in Kuala Lumpur. Pinning key sites you want to see on a map will help you group attractions together.
  • You’ll need to book some popular activities in advance to reserve a time slot and avoid disappointment. Attractions such as the Petronas Twin Towers can sell out days in advance.
  • Most places in Kuala Lumpur accept credit card payment. However, we recommend bringing a little bit of cash with you to pay for small incidentals. Independent shops and street food stalls are often cash only.
  • If you have time, venture out of Kuala Lumpur city centre. Surrounding areas such as Genting Highlands and Selangor are well worth a visit.

Thanks for reading our guide on the best places to visit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We hope we inspired you with attraction ideas and you can now explore this vast city for yourself. The heat can be quite intense in KL, so try to pace yourself and don’t pack too many sites into one day.

If you have any questions about any of the attractions we’ve listed, be sure to post a comment below.

Check out our other Malaysia travel guides:

The best places to visit in Penang, Malaysia

Ricky

BY RICKY MARSHALL

Author bio:

An adventurer at heart that loves anything outdoors. Beaches, mountains and amazing scenery is everything I love about travel! I also enjoy home comforts and need a nice place to relax and re-charge after every trip.

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