Kuala Lumpur Tourist Attractions
Honking horns, bustling crowds and the glittery skyline of skyscrapers and religious and historic monuments, Kuala Lumpur packs an impressive punch with all the sights on offer. From incense-wreathed temples, gleaming towers stretching toward the clouds, supersized shopping malls, luscious parks and lively markets, Malaysia’s frantic capital rewards and charms visitors of all interests and pastimes.
The city poses a sharp and fascinating juxtaposition of welcoming in modernism with open arms while at the same time, KL seems to have remained a strong faithfulness to its traditional roots and customs. For those who look deeper than the paralyzing traffic jams and brilliant skyscrapers, Kuala Lumpur displays a rich and colourful cultural tapestry of history and peacefully cohabiting communities.
Unquestionably one of the top sights in Kuala Lumpur is the heaven-stretching Petronas Towers that receive thousands of visitors every day. Spectacular by day and astounding by night, the 88-storey iconic twin structure is Malaysia’s shining star in the crowded sky of futuristic buildings. Made of steel and a glass façade, the motifs on the towers are inspired by Islamic art. The Observation deck on the 86th floor offers stunning 360-degree views of the city while the Skybridge that joins the two towers claims the prize for being the highest 2-storey bridge in the world.
Closed on Mondays, visiting days to the majestic towers are on Tuesday to Sundays from 9am to 9pm, however, on Friday the towers are closed between 1pm and 2:30pm. Tickets for non-Malaysians are MYR 85 for adults, MYR 35 for children and MYR 45 for senior citizens.
Menara Kuala Lumpur
Runner up for impressive buildings in KL, goes to Menara Kuala Lumpur, a communications tower that is also known as KL Tower. This tower is the highest viewpoint in the city that is accessible to the public. The main lobby of the upper ground floor is lavishly adorned with gorgeous domes made of sparkling glass that resemble oversized glittering diamonds. The tower also boasts a revolving restaurant as well as a stairwell and elevator to access this top area.
Open daily from 9am to 10pm and located on Jalan Puncak; tickets to the Observation Deck for non-locals are MYR 52 for adults and MYR 31 for children, while Malaysian residents will pay MYR 32 and MYR 21. For those who wish for the full experience with the added on bonus of the Sky Box, tickets are MYR 105 for international-adults and MYR 55 for international-children.
For those craving a bit of history and culture, Kuala Lumpur is rich in museums, art galleries and ornate and stunning temples. An excellent spot to spend a few hours learning about Malaysian history, heritage and culture is at the National Museum close to the Perdana Lake Gardens and within walking distance from KL Sentral. The 3-storey museum is home to four galleries devoted to natural history and ethnology and contains beautiful artefacts and free-standing exhibits that impressively depict the history and culture of Malaysia.
Open daily from 9am to 6pm, entrance fees for adults are MYR 5 and MYR 3 for children.
National Arts Visual Arts Gallery
Yet another cultural experience on offer in the bustling capital is the National Arts Visual Arts Gallery. The peaceful, serene building located off Jalan Tun Razak on, 2 Jalan Temerloh Street proudly displays a collection of more than 2,500 pieces of changing and permanent art by local as well as foreign artists. The extravagant structure spreads across three floors and contains seven galleries, including an outside exhibition area and a café. For those who enjoy impressive art pieces from photography, ceramic art, paintings and portraits; this gallery is a tranquil reprieve from the frenzy of the city.
Open from 10am until 6pm and admission into the gallery is free of charge.
One of our personal favourite sights in Kuala Lumpur is undeniably the stunning and unmissable Batu Caves. Stretching nearly 100 meters into the sky, the 100 year old temple complex is made up of three primary caves and a couple of smaller caves inside a 400 million year old limestone cave formation. The largest cave is known as the Cathedral or Temple Cave which features beautifully high ceilings and houses decorative Hindu statues, shrines and paintings. To reach this cave, visitors need to journey up a steep flight of 272 stairs. At the foot of the limestone hill lies the Art Gallery Cave as well as the Museum Cave which offer visitors a delightful insight into Hinduism. With the cheeky monkeys on the steps, the majestic, golden 43 meter statue of Murgan, and the prehistoric feel of the limestone cliffs, you’ll feel as if you’ve fallen into another world entirely.
The Batu Caves are open daily from as early as 6am and close to the public at 9am. Entrance is free although donations are encouraged.
For those who want an ideal setting to view the resplendence of the Petronas Towers up close, head over to KLCC Park which is especially enjoyable as part of an evening stroll. The KLCC Park is a 50-acre garden designed to add some much needed greenery to the concrete city. The green oasis away from the urban bustle draws in the crowds with its natural splendour of indigenous trees and phenomenal fountain shows of Lake Symphony. Aside from the waterfalls, fountains and reflecting pools, the park also showcases a beautiful children’s playground, a running track and footpaths, sculptures and benches. There is also a public children’s swimming pool for little ones who need a break from the heat of the city.
Amazingly entrance into the park is entirely free and open daily from 10am to 10pm.
Thean Hou Temple
Dedicated to the Chinese Sea Goddess, Maza, Thean Hou Temple is a wonderful attraction for visitors of Kuala Lumpur. Perched above Robson Heights, this temple with elements of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, offers visitors superb views across the city and up-close sightings of the ornate dragons and phoenixes decorating the roof. On site there is also a Chinese Medicinal Herbs Garden, statues of the animals of Chinese astrology, a Fortune Bridge, a restaurant, a wishing well and even a tortoise pond. Thean Hou Temple is especially busy during Chinese festivals as well as the birthdays of the temple gods.
Located at 65 Persiaran Endah the temple is open from 8am until 6pm with entrance being free.
For travellers longing for a slice of green nature amongst the concrete jungle, head over to Lake Gardens in Jalan Lembah. This lush botanical garden with its jogging track and two manmade lakes, draws in nature lovers, families and joggers. The resplendent Lake Gardens is home to five gardens and parks; namely, The Orchid Garden, Hibiscus Garden, Bird Park, Butterfly Park and even a Deer Park which is home to deer that visitors can observe and feed. One can also engage in a fun boat-ride around the lake.
Opening hours into this lush paradise are from 9am until 6pm daily. While entrance is free, there are fees for visiting the various attractions within the park which vary in price.
Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre
Dubbed as being the lifeline that keeps Malaysia’s arts and culture life breathing, the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre is the place to visit for travellers who yearn to catch a glimpse of the vibrant progressive theatrical events on offer in Malaysia. Shows range from dramas, musicals and dance. Visitors can also watch screenings of art-house movies as well as take part in performing-arts courses. What could be better than a scrumptious dinner and a leisurely evening walk through the lush gardens, followed by a beautifully show performed by Malaysia’s finest?
Tickets need to be booked online beforehand and opening hours for show nights are from 10am to 8:30pm.
Just 45 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur City, lies a refreshing and tranquil hill station in a spectacular 100-million year old rainforest. This serene mountainous paradise is known as Genting Highland. The views across the lush mountains and valleys are truly breath-taking and the elephant sanctuary and cascading waterfalls make the journey well worth the effort. Not only will the majestic views and surrounds leave photographers and view-enthusiasts with mouths agape, but Genting Highlands also offers adventure junkies all sorts of action packed activities, as well as a hotel, casino and theme park. One will need to hop in a bus or taxi to the town of Gohtong Jaya and then hop aboard the Genting Skyway Cable Car.