Kuala Lumpur is a very popular stopover hub when exploring Southeast Asia and its most likely one of the first places that you will arrive to when exploring Malaysia. In our case, we actually arrived in Kuala Lumpur after coming from the Philippines with Philippine Airlines. It was our third stop of the trip (one of many Southeast Asian trips 😊) and we really enjoyed our stay in this culturally diverse city.
So whether this may be just a short layover or a longer visit to the city, we put together a list of activities an places to visit to make the most of your time here.
Things to Know about Kuala Lumpur
The city of Kuala Lumpur, or also more commonly known as KL, is Malaysia’s capital, most populated city and one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in Southeast Asia. The city is known for its multicultural communities which mainly consists of Malay, Indian and Chinese residents. This cultural diversity is also reflected in the city’s culture, architecture and cuisine. This blend of cultures makes this city very unique and we did enjoy exploring our way through the various parts of town.
When thinking about your flight booking to get to Kuala Lumpur you can easily see that it is extremely well connected with all other major hubs in Southeast Asia. Actually, one of the world’s leading low-cost airlines is headquartered here – AirAsia. So finding decently prices flights in and out of KL is not really a problem.
Top Attractions in the City
There are various things to see and do in the city of Kuala Lumpur. We arrived on New Year’s eve here and spent 4 days exploring and here are our top spots to visit:
Yes, it is one of the most iconic towers in KL and probably the world, so why not have check it out? It is probably not the cheapest option (around EUR 30/person) but the views are quite fantastic. Make sure to book your ticket online on one the many ticketing sites or directly on their website.
Situated around 11 km north of the city, the Batu Caves is a 400 million year old limestone hill with a 100-year old temple situated within it. It is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and the most relevant Hindu site in Malaysia. Dedicated to Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity, its 43-meter high statue welcomes you to the site. A truly impressive setting and definitely worth a trip slightly out of town.
A bargain-hunter’s paradise, Chinatown is a great place to go shopping and to explore Chinese cuisine, herbs and all other sorts of foods. It is also full of Chinese temples and markets and it’s a great time to spend your day.
Kuala Lumpur has many different rooftop bars from which you can enjoy some great city views along with a drink. Recommendable bars that we also went to are on the Traders Hotel and the Banyan Tree Hotel (Vertigo Bar).
One of the city’s most famous areas for street food. These are streets filled with various different restaurants, bars and hawker stalls ready to serve all sorts of food from seafood to barbecued meats and noodles. Also, a great place to grab some beers.
Kuala Lumpur has a well-functioning public transportation system. There are various Metro and bus connections throughout the city that can bring you to your destination. The Metro is air-conditioned and well-connected and it was our main way of navigating around the city. Alternatively, you can download the Grab App and order your rides. This was also a great, cheap and convenient way to explore the city.
Where to Stay
Kuala Lumpur has a great variety of places to stay. During our stay we spent our nights at the BackHome Kuala Lumpur which is a clean, comfortable and well-located Hostel in the city. You also have the option of booking a private room. Also, they offer various tours and activities that can make you get to know the city even better. Definitely a highly recommendable place to stay in while exploring Kuala Lumpur.
Compared to other major Southeast Asian cities, Kuala Lumpur still has some more affordable 5-star properties. A great high-end place to stay is the Traders Hotel which is directly located at the KLCC Park and offers great rooms and a spectacular rooftop bar with a view to of the Petronas Towers.
One of the greatest aspects of this multicultural diversity is that it will also be reflected in the city’s cuisine. During our stay we really enjoyed the multitude of flavors from all the various ethnic groups. If your enjoy Chinese or Indian food, there are numerous restaurants across town that will satisfied your culinary desires!
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay in this city and liked the multi-ethnic diversity that Kuala Lumpur has to offer and how this is reflected in various elements throughout the city. It was a spectacular experience to have celebrated New Year’s in this metropolitan city and we also truly loved to indulge into its culinary diversity.