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3 days in Kuala Lumpur

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Once known as a convenient stopover for airline passengers on their way further afield, Kuala Lumpur (KL) is now an exciting destination in its own right, with great sights, lovely parks, and fabulous shopping. Here are my suggestions for a three-day trip.

Good for
  • History Buff
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker

15 Places

7 City Tips

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15 Places

Day 1

Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)

Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks

Bintang Walk

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Chinatown - Kuala Lumpur

Neighbourhoods, Flea & Street Markets

Jalan Alor

Neighbourhoods

SkyBar

Bars & Clubs

Day 2

National Mosque (Masjid Negara)

Religious Sites

Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks

Islamic Arts Museum

Art Museums

Dewan Filharmonik (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra)

Theatre & Performances

Arabesque

Restaurants

Day 3

Batu Caves

Caverns & Caves, Religious Sites

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

Points of Interest & Landmarks

Masjid Jamek

Religious Sites

Central Market

Flea & Street Markets

Little India - Kuala Lumpur

Neighbourhoods

Jeroen M's City Tips

  • Kuala Lumpur is an oddly disconnected city, with lots of busy roads, and it's not easy to walk between sights. Public transport is good but taxis are the easiest way to get around.
  • Taxis are affordable and can be found driving around town at all hours, simply flag one down. Avoid lengthy detours by hailing one already heading in the right direction.
  • Taxis are all fitted with meters, insist they use these. If a driver suggests a fixed price for a city center ride, simply hail another taxi.
  • Tipping about 10% is common in KL's restaurants, if the service merits it of course. Taxi drivers can be tipped by rounding the price up by a few ringgits.
  • In practice, many tourists wander around central KL in shorts and shirts. But to get respect from the locals, wear long trousers or ankle-length skirts.
  • It's hot and sticky in KL, around 30 degrees on many days, and the sun can be brutal. Plan any strenuous activities in the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Do as the locals do and buy a cheap silver umbrella (at a Watsons drugstore for example), great for protection against both the sun and rain!
    Day 1
  • Save
    Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)
    Architectural Buildings, Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    Start the day off at the modern KLCC district. Get tickets for the iconic Petronas Towers, or view them and the surrounding skyscrapers from the lush KLCC park below. There's a huge mall attached for great shopping, plus several good restaurants.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Book your Petronas Tower tickets online to avoid queues.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #5 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Worth visiting if you are in KL 27/05/2015
    • Busy, High Standard and Impressive! 27/05/2015
    • Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)
  • Save
    Bintang Walk
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    It's time to shop — a short walk from KLCC, the Bintang Walk is KL's liveliest strip of shops and malls. The crowds, the overhead monorail, and the frenetic traffic make this feel more urban and international than anywhere else in the city.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • There are plenty of local and international restaurants along the route if you'd like to take a break.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #47 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    • Bombarded with touts, Prostitutes, Transvestites and Pickpockets 20/05/2015
    • Very Lively all day long 10/05/2015
    • Bintang Walk
    Address:
    Several Square Blocks of Nightlife
    Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
    Other:
  • Save
    Chinatown - Kuala Lumpur
    Neighbourhoods, Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    Petaling Street — protected from rain and sun by a roof — and the surrounding streets are the heart of KL's Chinatown. Apart from shopping, there's pretty architecture from the 1920s-50s, and several Chinese and South Indian temples to explore.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The shopping area is at its liveliest in the afternoon and evening.
    • There are plenty of good Chinese restaurants in the side streets where you can sit down on plastic stools for a cheap, authentic meal.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #58 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    • Overly Crowded and Beware of Pick Pocket 27/05/2015
    • Mr Steve Delaporte 27/05/2015
    • Chinatown - Kuala Lumpur
    Address:
    Jalan Petaling
    Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
    Other:
  • Save
    Jalan Alor
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    An unassuming street near the Bintang Walk is transformed every night as dozens of mainly Chinese restaurants fill the pavements with tables and chairs, and serve fantastic food. You'll find most restaurants are happy to serve you beer too.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • The fish and seafood restaurants here are especially worth looking up.
    • Although most restaurants are Chinese, see if you can find the stand selling delicious traditional Malay chicken satay: chicken skewers served with peanut sauce and rice.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #19 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Varieties of Local Delicacies 27/05/2015
    • A must to visit Jalan Alor 27/05/2015
    • Jalan Alor
    Other:
  • Save
    SkyBar
    Bars & Clubs
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    Jeroen M Says:

    Finish off the day with cocktails at the SkyBar, on the top floor of the Traders Hotel, which has a small pool and spectacular views of the lit-up Petronas Towers.

    Good for
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Book ahead or arrive early for a seat with the best views. Sunset is a good time to have a drink here.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #42 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Great views, abysmal service 21/05/2015
    • Only for the views.. 20/05/2015
    • SkyBar
    Address:
    Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur
    Kuala Lumpur City Centre
    Kuala Lumpur 50088
    Malaysia
    Phone:
    +60 3-2332 9888
    Hours:
    Sun - Thu
    10:00 - 10:30
    Fri - Sat
    10:00 - 12:30
    Other:
  • Day 2
  • Save
    National Mosque (Masjid Negara)
    Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    The impressively large National Mosque is a first stop on a tour of the cluster of sights just west of the city center. Up to 15,000 worshipers fill this breezy structure every Friday, and visitors are welcome — plus, friendly volunteers are at hand to provide free tours.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Robes are provided at the entrance to cover up, if you're under-dressed.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #22 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Wish I could see inside 20/05/2015
    • Uninspiring 19/05/2015
    • National Mosque (Masjid Negara)
    Address:
    Jalan Perdana
    Kuala Lumpur 50480
    Malaysia
    Phone:
    03-2693 7784
    Other:
  • Save
    Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
    Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    One of several themed gardens in the hills west of the center, this is the most worthwhile — the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is situated in a lush valley spanned high up by nets, with lots of tropical birds flapping around.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The Bird Park has a nice restaurant if you need a break.
    • The adjacent Orchid Garden and Butterfly Garden are worth a look too if you have time.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #11 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Should Reduce the Price for Local 27/05/2015
    • Nature Experience 27/05/2015
    • Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
    Address:
    920 Jalan Cenderawasih
    Taman Tasik Perdana
    Kuala Lumpur 50480
    Malaysia
    Phone:
    604-2272-1010
    Other:
  • Save
    Islamic Arts Museum
    Art Museums
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    Perhaps KL's best museum, the Islamic designs, architecture, and items on show at the Islamic Arts Museum are worth anyone's time. The large, cool museum provides a great break from the heat of the day too.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Easily combined with a visit to the National Mosque or the various parks in this part of KL.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Peaceful place with lots to see 26/05/2015
    • great building, good collection 24/05/2015
    • Islamic Arts Museum
    Address:
    Jalan Lembah Perdana
    Kuala Lumpur 50480
    Malaysia
    Phone:
    603 2274 2020
    Other:
  • Save
    Dewan Filharmonik (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra)
    Theatre & Performances
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    Malaysia's fantastic Philharmonic Orchestra consists of talented young musicians from across the world, and seeing them play in their impressive concert hall below the Petronas Towers is a delight.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • Reasonably formal dress is required but gentlemen can borrow a (rather nasty polyester!) jacket at the entrance for free if needed.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 7 Theatre & Concerts in Kuala Lumpur
    Certificate of Excellence 2014Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • In a state of awe 17/05/2015
    • The space is great...service less so 10/05/2015
    • Dewan Filharmonik (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra)
    Address:
    Ground Floor, Tower 2, Petronas Twin Towers
    Kuala Lumpur 50088
    Malaysia
    Phone:
    603 2051 7007
    Other:
  • Save
    Arabesque
    Restaurants (Café, Mediterranean, Grill, Middle Eastern)
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    KL attracts many tourists from the Middle East during the hot summer months, and the Arabic food on offer is often excellent. Find delicious Lebanese and Syrian dishes at Arabesque — a great-value restaurant in the Chinatown area.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Hidden Gems
    Tips
    • The restaurant is in the shopping area, a little hidden behind the stalls.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #2 of 2,005 restaurants in Kuala Lumpur
    • Wonderful food, excellent service 25/05/2015
    • delicious food with oriental music and very friendly staff 24/05/2015
    • Arabesque
    Address:
    92 Jalan Petaling
    Kuala Lumpur 50000
    Malaysia
    Phone:
    +60 3-2022 1795
    Hours:
    Fri
    14:30 - 8:00
    Sat - Thu
    13:30 - 8:00
    Other:
  • Day 3
  • Save
    Batu Caves
    Caverns & Caves, Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    Rise early to get to the Batu Caves, just north of the city, before the crowds and the heat arrive! Climb the staircase up to the three huge limestone caves in the mountain, used as a temple by local Hindus.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Mind the monkeys lining the staircase — they know you're hiding food and will do their best to get at it!
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Batu Caves
    • Hot but different 26/05/2015
    • Beautiful Caves 26/05/2015
    • Batu Caves
    Address:
    Sri Subramaniam Temple
    Batu Caves 68100
    Malaysia
    Phone:
    60 3 2287 942
  • Save
    Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
    Points of Interest & Landmarks
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    The old colonial-era train station in the historical center of KL is certainly worth a look; its design comes straight from a fairy tale with its Moorish key-hole windows and Mughal turrets and towers. Although KL Sentral has taken over the central station's functions, trains still pass through this building.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Photography inside may require permission so it's best to ask before shooting away.
    From the community
    Ranked #73 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    • Interesting place 30/04/2015
    • Original central station 27/03/2015
    • Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
    Address:
    Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin
    Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
  • Save
    Masjid Jamek
    Religious Sites
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    The oldest mosque in the city is a pretty brick building from the early 1900s with Mughal-style domes. It's set in a garden with tall palm trees, right at the confluence of KL's Klang and Gombak rivers. Visitors can't enter the main prayer room, but can peek in from outside.

    Good for
    • History Buff
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Robes are available at the entrance for under-dressed visitors.
    Plan to stay:
    Less than 1 hour
    From the community
    Ranked #49 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    • Beautiful Mosque 21/05/2015
    • Big mosque in KL 20/05/2015
    • Masjid Jamek
    Address:
    Jalan Tun Perak
    Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
    Phone:
    2-274-6063
  • Save
    Central Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    This lovely old art deco market building now has stalls with crafts and other items. It makes for a great little place to shop for gifts, and there are some good restaurants here as well.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • Prices are higher than in nearby Chinatown — so prepare to haggle!
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #41 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    • Typical tourist market 27/05/2015
    • So many expensive souvenirs 25/05/2015
    • Central Market
    Address:
    Lot 3.04-3.06, Central Market Annexe
    Jalan Hang Kasturi
    Kuala Lumpur 50050
    Malaysia
    Phone:
    +60322742757
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    10:00 - 7:30
    Other:
  • Save
    Little India - Kuala Lumpur
    Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Jeroen M Says:

    The traditional Indian quarter is a lively part of central KL, full of shops, street markets, and eateries. Browse the shops and try some spicy South Indian food, or the sticky sweets.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Must See
    • Solo
    • Shopping Fanatic
    Tips
    • If you have a few days, you can have a gorgeous Indian sari tailor-made at one of the workshops.
    • Little India is liveliest in the early evening when everything is open.
    • This area is easily reached by metro.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #76 of 190 things to do in Kuala Lumpur
    • Good Indian Curries 27/05/2015
    • lively area but too many shops selling poor quality products 26/05/2015
    • Little India - Kuala Lumpur
    Address:
    Jalan Travers to Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields
    Kuala Lumpur
    Malaysia
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