Kuala Lumpur City Guide


Introduction
Arriving & Departing
Weather
What to do here
Foods to eat
Where to stay
Getting around
Currency
Map
Is it safe
Conclusion



Introduction

Contrary to what is said about this city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, the capital city, has much to offer travellers. With a glamorous skyline, a lively environment and a mix of people, its the perfect place to visit whether you’re a first timer here or not.

Kuala Lumpur is one of those places you have to visit if you really want to know what its about. Reading about it too much over the net may give you some idea but its properly enjoyed when you’re there.

With that being said though, I hope to get you started with some important information below which you may want to read about before, throughout or even after your journey (if you’re preparing for round 2 of KL!).

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Arriving & Departing

If you’re arriving from outside of Malaysia then you’ll most likely arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport which is located to the south of Kuala Lumpur.

Once you arrive, you have a number of options open to you in order to get to the city. You can either take a taxi, the KLIA Express/Metro or the Airport Bus. The taxi will cost you around £14 and will take you directly to your hotel/accomodation. The KLIA express costs around £6.50 and only takes about half an hour to get to KL Central. From here you’ll have to take another metro or taxi to get to your accommodation. Alternatively the bus is the cheapest option. Costing around £1.50-£2.00, it will take around an hour to arrive at the Bus Station, but you’ll have to take a taxi to get to your accommodation. If you’re able to, in my opinion, take a taxi. They are readily available once you exit the airport.

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Weather

Being a tropical country, Kuala Lumpur boasts great weather all year round. Throughout the day, the temperature will range from 29-38 degress celsius which drops at night to around 24-28 degrees celsius. However, as it is a tropical place, there are times throughout the year when it rains.

If you’re looking for the best time to visit KL, plan your journey for around May to July. The city goes through dry spells with plenty of sunshine and blue skies. Before and after that time you have the monsoon season which invites rainfall.

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What To Do Here

Masjid Jamek

Masjid Jamek

This Mosque is one of a kind. In comparison to a lot of Mosques that I have seen, this one has a very sophisticated intricate design and build. Built in 1909, it may actually be one of the oldest Mosques in Kuala Lumpur.

The Mosque is open to all except its main prayer hall which is only open to fellow worshippers. Being a place of worship, its recommended that you’re dressed modestly as to respect the sanctity of the place. The people are very inviting and the place is best visited around late afternoon or around after sunset.

Getting There: Take a metro to Masjid Jamek Metro Station [KTM Train]. Once you arrive, you’ll see the Mosque right outside.
Address:
Jalan Tun Perak, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Hours:
Saturday – Thursday 08:30 – 12:30 & 14:30 – 16:30
Price: 
Free

Masjid Negara – National Mosque of Malaysia

National Mosque Of Malaysia | Masjid Negara

Another beautiful mosque with beautiful architecture, this is slightly different to Masjid Jamek in that it has more of a modern touch. Opening in 1965, it cam accommodate for 15,000 worshippers. The dome is unique in that it is star-shaped with 18 points: the points represent Malaysia’s 13 states and the five pillars of Islam.

Getting There: Taking a taxi is the easiest way to get to the National Mosque. A trip via taxi should cost you around RM20 from anywhere within the city center. Otherwise for a cheaper option, take the B101 or B112 RapidKL bus from the main bus station.
Address:
Jalan Tun Perak, City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Hours:
Saturday – Thursday 08:30 – 12:30 & 14:30 – 16:30
Price: 
Free

Islamic Arts Museum

Islamic Arts Museum Entrance

Within walking distance of the National Mosque and the Bird Park in KL, this is usually at the top of the list of places-to-visit for those visiting KL. It is regarded as Southeast Asia’s largest museum of Islamic art. Contained within the Museum you will find a collection of Islamic Art from around the world. You will specifically find old copies of the Qur’an and Hadith books such as Saheeh Bukhari as well a piece of the door curtain of the Kabah [Kiswa]. You will find many religious manuscripts dating back to the 17th century here.

Getting There: Take a taxi to the National Mosque for RM20 from anywhere within the city center. Otherwise for a cheaper option, take the B101 or B112 RapidKL bus from the main bus station. Once at the National Mosque, simply walk to the Museum.
Address:
Perdana, Jalan Lembah, Tasik Perdana
Hours:
Daily 10.00-18.00
Price: 
RM 14.00

KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park – Parrot Show

This was definitely one of the highlights of our trip to KL. Because Malaysia is a tropical country, it has a very wide range of animals, birds and insects. This Park was dedicated to birds only. Coming from England, it was a pleasant experience seeing birds that we have never seen before in our lives. Sounds of different birds filled the park which brought the park to life.

Getting There: The KL Bird park site mentions the following:

  • KL Hop-On-Hop-Off Double Decker Tour Bus Service, disembark at Station No. 15 in front of KL Bird Park Main Entrance. Buses available at every 30 to 45 minutes interval.
  • By KTM Commuter Train, disembark at the KTM Old Railway Kuala Lumpur Station located near the National Mosque.


Address:
KL Bird Park, 920, Jalan Cenderawasih, Perdana Botanical Gardens
Hours:
Daily 09.00-18.00
Price: 
RM 63.00 [Adult] | RM 42.00 [Child]

Other Places To Visit

  • Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah – located in Shah Alam in Selangor, this Mosque is the largest in the country and the 2nd largest in Southeast Asia after Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was really pleasant walking around the Mosque admiring the beautiful ornate designs of the exterior and interior of the Mosque. To get here, simply take a Metro to Shah Alam and then a taxi to the Mosque. It is open all day from after sunrise until a couple of hours after sunset. The best time to visit would either be mid morning or early afternoon. The address is Persiaran Masjid St., Sekysen 14, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor. It is free to visit.
  • Central Market – Starting out in 1888 as a wet market, this is a place where you’ll have a unique shopping experience. It has a mix of handicraft stalls both outdoors and indoors and also includes many places to eat in case you work up an appetite after walking and shopping. Places to eat are located on the 2nd floor. Open from 10AM – 10PM. To locate it, look for Kota Raya Shopping Centre; it is around the corner from there. Entry is free. The address is No. 10, 1st-3rd Floor, Jalan Hang Kasturi.
  • China Town – A place where there’s much hustle and bustle with a variety of foods. Here you’ll see a mix of tourists and locals looking for their essentials and tourists looking for souvenirs. You’ll find clothes, foods and accessories. Not just food to eat there but also local produce. We didn’t stay long but loved the atmosphere. It is a must visit. Its located on Petaling Street. Take the metro to Pasar Seni LRT station; it is a five minute walk from there and also a five minute walk from Central Market. A good idea would be to go to Central Market and then head over to Chinatown or vice-versa. Entry is free.

As well as the above, if time permits visit the below places:

  • Perdana Botanical Gardens
  • KL Tower [Menara Tower]
  • Merdeka Square
  • Berjaya Times Square
  • Butterfly Park
  • National Zoo [Zoo Negara]
  • Petronas Towers
  • Brickfields [Little India]

Click here for a map with location markers of all the above places

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Foods To Eat

Nasi Lemak – A Traditional Dish In Malaysia

With Kuala Lumpur being a diverse city, you’ll have a range of options open to you when it comes to eating. Below are a few things we definitely recommend you try out if in KL:

  • Nasi Lemak – This is definitely a must try if in Malaysia. A combination of rice cooked in coconut milk & pandan. It comes with anchovies, egg, peanuts, sambal and some curry to have with the rice. This is the national dish of Malaysia so it cannot be missed.
  • Roti Canai – A flatbread common in Malaysia [also known as Paratha] served alongside some Daal (or other dishes such as meat & egg etc). A nice choice for breakfast or a side for the lunch and dinner meals. Commonly available throughout Kuala Lumpur, it is a must try because of its simplicity yet great taste.
  • Teh Tarik – basically this is tea but with a twist – literally. During the preparation of this tea, the tea is pulled up and down when pouring into the cup. Really cheap and really tasty.
  • Biryani – available in most places, you can either have chicken, meat or fish biryani. If you prefer to go meatless, opt for the vegetable biryani. That is if it is offered where you eat.
  • Daal With Rice – there are certain restaurants where you can walk in, grab a plate and help yourself. They’ll usually have rice as a staple and a mix of curries for you to have alongside. Try the lentils [Daal] with the rice. A nice light yet satisfying meal. If you like, add to that any other curry you prefer.
  • Milo Hot Drink – very famous in Malaysia and found in abundance in food places, its basically hot chocolate and malt mixed with hot water and milk. Similar to horlicks but a little more sweeter. Nice beverage for before or after a meal.
Teh Tarik

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Where To Stay

OUR ROOM AT PACIFIC EXPRESS HOTEL IN KUALA LUMPUR

Kuala Lumpur is a great place for hotels. With in-expensive 4 or 5 stars, you’ll have no problem finding a hotel appropriate for your needs.

To get a good feel of Kuala Lumpur, I would recommend staying in Central KL. This way you can easily take a metro around the city to the sites you want to visit. My wife and I spent around 2 weeks in Kuala Lumpur to make the most of the place and ended up staying in several hotels.

These are hotels I would recommend:

  • Pacific Express Hotel – located close by to the central market and Jamek Masjid, this hotel is modernly built and offers various types of rooms. Expect to pay around £20-£25 a night. The hotel offers a rooftop swimming pool which also comes with a beautiful view of the city. This hotel is a 4 star hotel. The price is definitely really good for being a 4 star hotel. What I loved about this hotel is that it was close by to many of the attractions.
  • Crossroads Hotel – this hotel is located close by to the Chow Kit Metro station which makes it a perfect place to stay to visit famous sites. There are many shops close by for snacking and dining out. Restaurants are located all around the hotel. This hotel will cost you around £20-25 a night. What I loved about this hotel is that the breakfast is served on the rooftop. If you do end up staying here, make sure to have the freshly prepared omelettes first thing in the morning. What I loved most about this hotel is that you feel like a local once outside which gives you a nice glimpse into everyday life here in Kuala Lumpur.

If you want to search for hotels in general in Kuala Lumpur, head over to Booking.com. The above links are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and book a hotel, booking.com will pay me a commission without any extra charges to you. Thanks for the support.

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Getting Around

The best way to get around is by using the metro, buses and taxis. The metro and buses are by far the cheapest options available. Only use the taxis when you really need to. I personally recommend the metro; cheap, on-time and safe. Bring some good footwear as sometimes there is quite a bit of walking to do.

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Currency

Malaysian ringgit (RM)

To find the latest exchange rates, click here.

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Map

Below is a map with markers of places that you could visit when in Kuala Lumpur.

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Is It Safe?

Safety is a concern for those coming to Malaysia from outside. Generally I would say that the city is a safe place as long as you are careful with your belongings, avoid unknown areas and avoid going out too late at night. Like you would in any other place, you should be cautious. Although we felt pretty safe walking around even when it was a little late at night. However, usually we used to be back for around 10PM latest when in Kuala Lumpur. This way we could get to sleep early and enjoy the city throughout the day.

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Conclusion

Kuala Lumpur is not really a destination in mind for many. However, if you do visit with the intent of visiting sites, eating different foods and exploring a different culture, you will not regret it.

One thing I should say is this. Malaysia is a Muslim country and therefore you will find plenty of mosques and halal options available throughout the city of Kuala Lumpur. Food is cheap and of good quality. What I loved about the place is that there is a mix of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucianists, Christians and Jews. Because of this, there are different cultures, foods and places of prayer which all combines to create a harmonious environment despite the hustle and bustle of everyday life. One of the highlights of the trip was when I saw a Mosque, Church and a Temple side by side in Malacca.

If you’ve been to KL, comment below. If you have any tips or comments, please comment below. Thanks for reading this and please subscribe to our site.

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