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KUALA LUMPUR might be just a small city but it is culturally diverse and rich with opportunity for once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. In fact, it boasts 8.9 million tourists per year, making it among the most visited cities in the world.
To give you a head start on how to make the most of your time exploring this multicultural haven here’s a rundown of the 10 must see places that will surely make your stay a memorable one.
The Petronas Twin Towers is the most iconic and most photographed building in Malaysia. Visiting Kuala Lumpur is not complete without a picture of you standing in front of the twin towers! Aside from being enthralled by the tower, you can also enjoy the adjoining park and shopping center.
You can go up the tower for MYR 80 and walk through the sky bridge that connects the 2 towers or the observation deck which is 360 meters above. On the other hand, if you don’t want to go the observation deck you can stay at the ticketing area to view the models, play some children’s games, and watch a short film on the making of the towers…all for free!
Tip: The best place to admire the tower is at ground level from a spot in the adjoining park known as KLCC.
This Hindu temple and the shrine is well known in Kuala Lumpur. This is where Indians practice their Hindu religious rites. At the base of the mountain is a temple where tourists can enter to get their blessings from Hindu priests. There are 3 shrines inside, one for each of the 3 prime gods of Hinduism – Brahman, Vishnu, and Shiva.
After going through the temple below, you can go up 276 steps to get to the Temple Cave on top of the mountain. The cave walls are filled with different Hindu shrines that tell stories of Hindu gods. There are no fees to enter any of the temples but donations are accepted in the shrines, however, be careful of the monkeys as they are very cheeky here. They tend to grab food items from guests.
Tip: Batu Caves can be easily reached by train or bus which can be taken from KL Central. Do note that the busiest day is during the Thaipusam festival when around nearly one million pilgrims visit this site for religious and festival purposes.
Merdeka Square is famous as a historical and recreational park in KL. It is in this place where the Malayan flag was first hoisted in 1957. The wide and green field beside the square makes it a good picnic spot and a spacious playground for kids. Together with its neighboring heritage buildings, this is one of the capital’s top tourist attractions.
Tip: I recommend going to Merdeka at night. The well-lit vicinity and the cool night breeze makes it a good place to rest and relax after a busy day going around KL.
Menara KL stands at 421 meters above sea level. It considered as the 7th tallest telecommunication tower in the world and the tallest one in Southeast Asia. The tower is mainly used for communication and broadcasting purposes but it has also become a tourist attraction for its height. You have to purchase a ticket worth MYR 30, should you wish to up the observation deck for a 360-degree view of the city. You can enjoy the view while dining at the rotating restaurant which serves fine dining meals and drinks.
Tip: At the foot of the Tower is Bukit Nanas, a surviving area of rainforest in the heart of the city which is open for exploration. You can also pay a visit to the traditional Malay village, the Blue Coral Aquarium, and the Formula 1 shop.
Chinatown KL, found at Petaling Jaya street, is a famous shopping place for tourists and locals alike. Everything can be found here – from key chains to clothes to bags. The best part about Chinatown is that you can haggle with the storekeepers. With the right skills, you can get something for half the original price that it was offered.
Tip: If shopping here made you tired, you can always go to one of the tea shops in the area offering exquisite Chinese tea.
If you want to explore Indian culture and tradition, then this is the right place for you. Try on and customize your own Saree or just go here to enjoy the numerous curries, naans and other dishes that make the Indian kitchen a true favorite in Malaysia. You can also get your own customized/traditional henna tattoo. It would also be nice to visit this place during the Deepavali Festival (Festival of Lights) so you will be able to witness the festive spirit of the Hindus. It’s as if you visited another country!
Tip: If you want to get the full Brickfields experience then go to KL City Hall to inquire about the guided tour which is free of charge and will be held every first and third Saturday of the month.
A few meters away from Chinatown and you can see the Central Market. This is another famous shopping place for tourists. This is also where you can buy traditional Malaysian batik and other Malaysian artifacts. Chocolates are also sold cheapest here compared to all the places in KL.
The entire district is full of shopping malls that sell branded and high-end products. Much like Seoul’s Myeongdong district, this is the place to shop for original make-up, branded bags, and imported clothes. There are also a number of good restaurants in the district so you can take a break whenever you like. It’s a whole street of night bars and clubs where you can party and drink. Alcohol is expensive in Malaysia but partying in KL is something definitely worth trying.
Both parks offer a lot of fun no matter what age you are. You can come here to just relax and walk through the park. This us also a good place to work on your photography skills. The KL Bird and Butterfly Park are in a closed vicinity of each other and as a day trip, this will offer you a great experience.
For shoe lovers, this mall is a paradise! There are many shops inside that offer discounted prices for original shoes. You can choose from a wide variety of shoes here – from their local brands to imported ones. Aside from shoes, clothes are also sold cheaper here for the same quality. There are also many restaurants inside that offer food from different regions of the world.
There you have it my 10 must visit tourist spots in Kuala Lumpur, which one is your favorite? Share your thoughts by commenting below.
Happy travels everyone!
To explore the city it is best to take the train. You will save your money and experience Kuala Lumpur like the rest of the locals.