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Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

Things to do in  Kuala Lumpur

Welcome to Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia's sleek, modern capital is famed for its incredible food, Olympic-level shopping, and welcoming vibes. At once forward-thinking and rooted proudly in tradition, KL, as it is commonly called, is symbolized as much by the vibrant cultural mix of its neighborhoods as by its shimmering, futuristic Petronas Towers. To make the most of your time—and to avoid the city's notoriously heavy traffic—guided tours are highly recommended. Book your skip-the-line tickets and take in the dizzying view from Petronas Skybridge, then visit city highlights such as the King's Palace, Merdaka Square, and the National Museum. Take a street food tour to sample local specialties like nasi lemak (spicy coconut rice with vegetables, anchovy, and peanuts), or one of the countless varieties of Malay-style curries, sopped up with a generous helping of naan or roti. Other popular attractions include the Batu Caves, which house an enormous, golden statue of Lord Murugan and hundreds of fearless macaques. For families, the Sunway Lagoon theme park and KL Forest Eco Park offer plenty of outdoor fun. For something completely different, try an exhilarating hot-air balloon flight over Putrajaya. Malaysia’s capital also makes a convenient gateway for day trips to colonial Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Farther afield, tours of the Cameron Highlands' tea plantations, the fauna-rich Taman Negara rainforest, and the magical evening firefly displays at Kuala Selangor are sure to enchant.

Top 10 attractions in Kuala Lumpur

#1
Petronas Twin Towers (Petronas Towers)

Petronas Twin Towers (Petronas Towers)

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The twin 88-story steel and glass buildings known as the Petronas Twin Towers (or Petronas Towers), completed in 1996, are icons of Malaysia. Designed to symbolize courage and the country’s advancement, the two towers are connected by a double-decker Skybridge between the 41st and 42nd floor—the world’s highest two-story bridge of its kind—to form the shape of an “M” for Malaysia.More
#2
Kuala Lumpur National Monument (Tugu Negara)

Kuala Lumpur National Monument (Tugu Negara)

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The Kuala Lumpur National Monument (Tugu Negara) commemorates the 11,000 people who lost their lives fighting for Malaysian independence. The 51-foot (15.5-meter) bronze statue of seven soldiers, built to replace a colonial-era cenotaph that now stands behind it, is part of a site that also includes a central pavilion with regimental emblems.More
#3
Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka)

Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka)

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A large grassy expanse in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) is where Malaysia declared independence in 1957: The word “merdeka” means “independent” or “free.” The city’s best-known historic landmark, the square is home to structures including the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, museums, and a cathedral.More
#4
King's Palace (Istana Negara)

King's Palace (Istana Negara)

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The Malaysian equivalent to Buckingham Palace, the King's Palace (Istana Negara) attracts thousands of visitors with its golden domes and Islamic-style architecture. Although you can’t explore the palace, you can learn about the Malaysian monarchy at the Royal Museum, located on the palace grounds.More
#5
National Mosque of Malaysia (Masjid Negara)

National Mosque of Malaysia (Masjid Negara)

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National Mosque of Malaysia (Masjid Negara)Beside the Lake Gardens of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s National Mosque (Masjid Negara) reinvents traditional Islamic architecture with its angular lines and neutral color scheme. Built in 1965, the mosque was designed as a symbol of Malaysia’s independence and is a center of Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant Muslim community.More
#6
Thean Hou Temple

Thean Hou Temple

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While far from historic (it opened in 1989), Thean Hou Temple is one of Malaysia’s—and indeed southeast Asia’s—most important Chinese temples. Set atop a hill a little way outside the city center, the 6-tiered temple blends Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism in a tribute to the sea goddess Mazu and hosts a wealth of festivals.More
#7
Central Market (Pasar Seni)

Central Market (Pasar Seni)

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Housed in a beautifully restored art deco building, Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market (Pasar Seni) forms the backbone of the city’s commercial scene. Hundreds of stalls sell household goods, souvenirs, and traditional batik artwork, and Kasturi Walk offers visitors some of Malaysia’s most popular street-food dishes.More
#8
Perdana Botanical Garden (Lake Gardens)

Perdana Botanical Garden (Lake Gardens)

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Located in the heart of the city, the Perdana Botanical Garden (formerly known as the Lake Gardens) is Kuala Lumpur’s oldest public park. This 225-acre (91-hectare) site is home to a bird park, hibiscus and orchid garden, butterfly sanctuary and a deer park, with the main attraction being its central lake surrounded by lush greenery.The gardens between the park’s attractions are dotted with sculptures (including a miniature model of England's Stonehenge) plus plenty of walking paths and benches for strolling around and relaxing in the shade. The gardens feature native and foreign plants, with sections dedicated to ferns, rare trees, medicinal herbs and aquatic plants.The park offers an escape from the bustling metropolis of the city, and you’ll spot locals taking full advantage of this with running and early morning t'ai serving as popular activities here. A visit to the Perdana Botanical Garden is included in a variety of Kuala Lumpur tours, including photography tours (which include tickets to the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower) plus half-day and full-day city sightseeing tours, which often include the Batu Caves.More
#9
Kuala Lumpur Chinatown

Kuala Lumpur Chinatown

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One of the city’s most historic and colorful districts, Kuala Lumpur Chinatown is home not only to Chinese but also to Indians and Malays. Besides bustling Petaling Street Market and grand Central Market, the area offers temples, clan houses, and shophouses, plus a wealth of hawker stalls, cafés, and eateries.More
#10
Sultan Abdul Samad Building (Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad)

Sultan Abdul Samad Building (Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad)

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Colonial architects A.C. Norman and A.B. Hubbock completed the now iconic Sultan Abdul Samad Building (Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad) in 1897 during the British administration of the region. Designed for governmental administrative offices, the building on Merdeka Square was the first public building in the country to feature a Mughal architectural style — a school that combines Indian Muslim, Gothic and Moorish influences.Today, the building is home of the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture. Its 135-foot (41-meter) tall clock tower flanked by two copper cupolas have become one of Kuala Lumpur’s most recognizable landmarks. The structure is particularly impressive at night, when the domes and clock tower are lit up.More

Trip ideas

Tea Plantation Tours from Kuala Lumpur

Tea Plantation Tours from Kuala Lumpur

How to Spend 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur

How to Spend 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur

Top Attractions for Nature Lovers in Kuala Lumpur

Top Attractions for Nature Lovers in Kuala Lumpur

Top activities in Kuala Lumpur

7-Days Best of Malaysia

7-Days Best of Malaysia

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Recent reviews from experiences in Kuala Lumpur

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Fantastic Tour!!!
samkjohns8, Jan 2020
Private Tour Kuala Lumpur with Petronas Twin Towers Observation Deck & Batu Cave
Was able to see a lot around the city in a short period of time while we were in Kuala Lumpur!
star-4
Excellent 1/2 Day Tour
Happiness23588865569, Nov 2018
Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour
This was our first visit to Kuala Lumpur and this tour was an excellent way to see the highlights.
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City Tour
Tracey E, Oct 2018
Private Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour with KL Tower Observation Deck Ticket
You get to see a number of places around Kuala Lumpur although the tour did not go to China Town which is a pity as it's a site to behold.
star-5
We had not visited Kuala Lumpur so...
Sean G, Mar 2018
Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour
Highly recommended for an overview of the main attractions within the city.
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With limited time to spend in Kuala...
David W, Jul 2017
Private Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour with KL Tower Observation Deck Ticket
With limited time to spend in Kuala Lumpur we would recommend this tour as a way to see the main attractions and gain local knowledge of them.
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This was a worthwhile way to see the...
Paul M, Aug 2017
4 in 1 Day Tour Kuala Lumpur City Highlights
This was a worthwhile way to see the main highlights of Kuala Lumpur in one day.
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Unfortunately, I fractured my ankle...
Barbara S, Aug 2014
Batu Caves and Malaysian Crafts Tour from Kuala Lumpur
My husband walked up and took photos so at least I did manage to get to see the inside in picture.
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Wonderful and fun photography tour of KL
ccchawkins, Feb 2020
Kuala Lumpur Private Instagram Tour: Most Famous Spots
I am very excited to share them on the ‘Gram and cannot wait to come back to visit KL again.
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Great Tour Guide
Luis M, Oct 2019
Skip The Line Petronas Twin Towers Tickets & Top Ten Wonder of Kuala Lumpur Tour
He was promptly waiting for us at the airport and then we set off to see as much as we could.
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Very nice tour
848nancyl, Jun 2019
Glittering Night : Kuala Selangor Fireflies & The River of Life Tour
We then boarded the jetty where we were transferred into the dark mangrove swamp to see the fireflies flash and twinkle like Christmas lights.
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This dual tour is the best value for...
Joslyn G, Jul 2017
Skip the Line: Petronas Twin Towers & Kuala Lumpur Tower Observation Deck Ticket
This dual tour is the best value for money to see Kuala Lumpur from above.
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The Batu Cave portion of this tour...
Max C, May 2018
4 in 1 Day Tour Kuala Lumpur City Highlights
We did get to see Independence Square, and walk around the various buildings that surround it, as well as the junction of the two rivers that were the impetus for the founding of Kuala Lumpur.
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Our driver/guide RIDZUAN arrived at...
Priska S, Nov 2017
Private Full Day Tour : Kuala Lumpur City & Shopping with Lunch
First he told us, what we could visit and see and we decided which places to visit and he was very flexible und adapted whenever we got new questions and ideas.
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Ganesh, our guide on this tour, was...
Brian M, Jan 2018
Private Tour Kuala Lumpur with Petronas Twin Towers Observation Deck & Batu Cave
This was a nice touch as we are not spring chickens but do keep ourselves relatively fit.
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This Private tour was fantastic! Our...
Emily L, Sep 2017
Private Half-Day Batu Caves Waterfalls and Hot Springs Tour
The Batu caves were amazing and the waterfalls refreshing once we got to the top!
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I booked this tour with no high...
Antonio Nhat C, Feb 2018
Kuala Selangor Firefly Boat Tour with Dinner and Transfer from Kuala Lumpur
You get to see other parts of Malaysia.
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I've had many city tours over the...
Charles H, Aug 2016
Skip The Line Petronas Twin Towers Tickets & Top Ten Wonder of Kuala Lumpur Tour
Very stress-free, excellent value for money and I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to see the main attractions in Kuala Lumpur on a limited timescale.
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Hi, The Fireflies Boat Ride...
William B, Jan 2016
Kuala Selangor Tour from Kuala Lumpur with Fireflies Boat Ride and Seafood Dinner
On our way to Selangor we stopped at a place to see and feed little monkies on the road.
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Our tour guide, Mr Bakshi, was so...
Refaat G, Mar 2018
Half-Day Kuala Lumpur City Tour
The tour included all the sites which we wanted to see except the National Monument which was excluded in our tour.
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This afternoon tour is actually an 8...
Paul C, Aug 2017
Private Tour Kuala Lumpur with Petronas Twin Towers Observation Deck & Batu Cave
We got some great insights into Kuala Lumpur and he was even able to assist with our daughter who had to miss the tour with sickness - he arranged for is Medical Doctor son-in-law to visit and he was a brilliant help!

All about Kuala Lumpur

When to visit

Kuala Lumpur has the same weather report year-round: hot and humid with a chance of rain. Luckily, the city comes to life at night—when cooler temperatures make for more comfortable exploration— with markets and street fairs. Get a taste of KL’s global traditions in the winter, when Diwali, Lunar New Year, and Thaipusam bring non-stop celebrations.

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