40 Things to do in Kuala Lumpur | Malaysia

When it comes to things to do, there is not enough time to do everything that KL offers. If you have been following me on Instagram, you must have noticed how I haven't been able to stop talking about Malaysia. It is more than everything I expected. I wasn't planning to visit Malaysia this year at all. It all happened so suddenly. But, now that Malaysia has happened, I feel like there are two phases in my life now.

Life before Malaysia and Life After Malaysia. My visit to Malaysia taught me a lot more than I expected, cleared a lot of things in my head, and put within me a love for Malaysia not sure if any other place can make me feel as such - so much!

There's a lot to experience in Kuala Lumpur itself. Here's my take on the things to do in Malaysia

  • Visit KL tower a.k.a Menara KL. An exceptionally prominent landmark at 421m high. In its day (it was completed in 1995), it was one of the tallest towers in the world. On a clear day, distant features such as the Genting Highlands can be seen.

  • Stop by the Aquaria in KL Convention Centre. Aquaria is a state-of-art oceanarium showcasing over 5000 different exhibits of Aquatic and land-bound creatures over a sprawling 60000 square feet Space at the concourse level of Kuala Lumpur convention centre.

  • Karyaneka Craft Cultural Complex: An excellent one-stop craft centre is a must-visit with three core concepts namely education, marketing, and culture. Visitors get to know the local crafts through the uniqueness of the products, motifs on displays, materials designed and fabrication processes, as well as the function of the product itself.

  • Rumah Penhulu Abu Seman: Who would have thought there would be a kampung house nestled amid skyscrapers in the middle of bustling Kuala Lumpur? It is one of the oldest surviving traditional Malay houses. A highly recommended tour and experience for those looking for history within the modern built-up structures of KL. Surrounded by modern high rise buildings this gem of a property is preserved to capture the traditional way of life.

  • Jalan Bukit Bintang: Bukit Bintang is at the heart of the Golden triangle which covers Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang and from Jalan Imbi to Jalan Pudu. Bukit Bintang also known as 'star hill' is synonymous with shopping and entertainment. Many hotels, restaurants and hawker-style eateries are located here.

  • Fahrenheit 88: For shopping enthusiasts, malls are a must-visit when you travel and this is just one of them that you can add to your list. I have made sure to add in other malls as well.

  • Pavilion KL: Pavilion Shopping Mall in Kuala Lumpur is KL's haute couture shopping Mecca.

  • Bintang Walk: Taking a walk in Malaysia, you can scout the Bintang Walk to get the true taste of Kuala Lumpur. The Bintang Walk is Kuala Lumpur's premiere dining, shopping and people watching street that is located at the heart of the city's Golden Triangle.

  • Berjaya Times Square: Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Berjaya Times Square is one of the largest shopping malls in the world frequented by both locals and tourists alike.

  • Cosmo's World Theme Park: It was conceived as the "largest indoor, all weather, all ages, entertainment destination in the region" and is the second largest indoor theme park in Asia.

  • Tengkat Tong Shin: As far as a stroll down Tengkat Tong Shin goes, the lane can best be described as mixed use with a couple of substantive hotels, backpacker guesthouses, numerous spa and reflexology centres, hawker stalls, restaurants, and shops. While definitely not the most glamorous part of the city, it has lots of character, with the small detail more of interest here rather than any iconic structure.

  • China Town : The Old Kuala Lumpur was a typical 'pioneer' town. Its inhabitants, the Chinese congregated around Market Square, the town's main commercial centre. As the population grew and the town expanded, it was renamed China Town.

  • Merdeka Stadium: To many Malaysians, Stadium Merdeka embodies a singular moment in the nation's history, when the first prime minister, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, punched the air with his fist seven times, shouting “Merdeka!”, during the declaration of independence on Aug 31, 1957. Merdeka Stadium is a great spot to hit when looking for what to do in Golden Triangle.

  • Central Market: Central Market started off as a humble wet market in the heart of the city center back in the 1940s. It has evolved a great deal since then and now it stands firm as the landmark which symbolizes all the culture and heritage of our multi-racial country. You will immediately notice that the theme of the market is based solely on the various cultures in Malaysia. The shops here are divided based on the groups of races. Representing each of the races in Malaysia are the Straits Chinese, the Lorong Melayu and Lorong India. You can always drive to Central Market but it is so crowded here. If you do not mind getting stuck in the jam, you may opt to drive. The better way would be via the LRT. Get on the Kelana Jaya Line and make your way to the Pasar Seni LRT Station. After a few minutes of walking, you will reach Central Market.

  • Little India: Lebuh Ampang was once a 'kittinghi' a traiditonal money lending establiahment set up by the Nattukottai Chetiar, a community from South India and founders of modern vanking in Malaysia. It has been taken over by restaurants and shops.

  • National Museum: The National Museum is a museum located on Jalan Damansara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The museum is situated in close proximity to the Perdana Lake Gardens.

  • National Palace ( last visit 4:30 pm): The Istana Negara is the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the monarch of Malaysia. It is located along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim in Segambut, northwestern Kuala Lumpur. While we were here, we ran into a group of students from schools who were on a tour as well. They had to take surveys as part of their courses It was really interesting to bump into them.

  • National Monument: This monument was erected to commemorate those who had died in Malaysia's struggle for freedom particularly during World War II and the Malayan emergency. Tunku Abdul Rahman Commission sculptor Felix de Weldon to sculpt a 15.54 metre high bronze monument depicting 7 men. The monument sits on a Hill Top overlooking the parliament house and the serene Perdana botanical gardens. Just beside the ASEAN Sculpture Gardens featuring modern work by artist from Southeast Asian countries.

  • ASEAN Sculpture Park: ASEAN Sculpture Garden was established in 1987 in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Located within Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park, it contains a variety of public art installations by renowned artists from Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei. These sculptures are made from materials such as wood, glass, steel, marble, iron and bamboo, with detailed descriptions for each artwork in English and Malay. Perfect for those looking to enjoy some peace and quiet in KL City Centre, ASEAN Sculpture Garden is less crowded than other areas in Lake Gardens Kuala Lumpur.

  • Perdana Botanical Gardens : The Tun Abdul Razak Heritage park lush with greenery and an undulating lanscape was once the site of the Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens. It is the oldest sanctuary in Kuala Lumpur. In 1889, The State Treasurer, Alfred Venning opened Sydney Lake to honor Lady Sydney Swettenham the wife of sir Frank Swettenham, Governor of the Straits settlements. This Enclave has been expanded 100 hectares from then

  • Butterfly park: What an ingenious way to preserve nature as well as provide the right environment for butterflies, and at the same time serving as a tourist spot and education center, that's what KL butterfly park in a gist is all about.

  • Orchid & Hibiscus Garden: More than 800 species of wild and commercial orchids in Hibiscus can be admired here. Hibiscus or Bunga Raya is the Malaysian national flower

  • Bird Park: This is the largest covered Aviary in Southeast Asia housing over 3000 birds, and a large number of hornbills. The park is also a tropical Paradise with Gardens, pools, bridges flowering plants, and a bird-feeding station.

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  • National Planetarium: The National Planetarium is located conveniently inside the Lake Gardens Kuala Lumpur. It was back in 1993 when the planetarium was first opened to the public. The planetarium has been intelligently designed and structured to mimic a mosque with a blue dome. In order to locate it in the large Lake Gardens is easy. The National Planetarium sits in between the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park and the National Museum.

  • Tun Abdul Razak Memorial: The Tun Abdul Razak Memorial was opened in 1982 to commemorate the life and times of Tun Abdul Razak who served as the second Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1970 - 1976. It is housed in the Sri Taman Building which was the official residence of Tun Abdul Razak from 1962 until his death in 1976.

  • Sunway Lagoon Theme Park: Water slides that whirl and twirl, a manmade 'river' ride, surf beach, wave pool and 360° revolving pirate ship… the list of fun attractions at the 323,749sqm Sunway Lagoon Theme Park is extensive. Located in Petaling Jaya, the park encompasses a total of five different zones - the water park, Scream Park, Amusement Park, Extreme Park and Wildlife Park.

  • Islamic Art Museum: The building is cross between a modern and traditional middle Eastern architecture. The artifacts inside are just so many. You could easily spend a day here, and still have a lot to learn.

  • National Mosque: the national Mosque or Masjid Negara is one of the most most unique mosques in the world. It has a generous serambi space with a modernist representation that portrays the message of Islamic progress as well as humility. it does not follow the conventional middle Eastern Mosque design of domes and arches.

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  • Sultan Abdul Samad building: this building was used to house the 'federated Malay States' administration in 1897, then the High Court and Supreme Court in 1972. It is now occupied by the Ministry of Information communications and culture. the first example of Mughal architecture in Malaysia, this elegant symmetrical brick structure features of 41 M high clock tower, arched colonnades and copper domes

  • Jamek Mosque: Masjid jamek Sultan Abdul Samad is the first break mosque in the city it was constructed on the first Malay burial ground in Kuala Lumpur one of Kuala Lumpur is most significant buildings of Mughal influence architecture and heritage its features 3 Mughal dorms a Courtyard mineral set at asymmetrical composition of the most and smaller z3 surrounding it.

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  • Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman: Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, sometimes referred to as Jalan TAR, was the 'grande dame' of KL shopping in the days before modern shopping complexes took the KL metropolitan city by storm. This stretch of road is flanked by pre-war buildings whose distinctive facades have been preserved and readapted to accommodate modern retailing businesses. Here, you can walk through the archways of shops for an immersion into a shopping and cultural experience that goes back several decades.

  • Pertama Complex: The Pertama Complex is one of the first shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur. Right next to Pertama there are a few local restaurants; one of is Sate Kajang HJ Samuri. Here you can get very nice sate. Especially great is the fact that you can make your own sauce as they give you all separate ingredients. They used to grill the sate fresh before your eyes on the big grills, but unfortunately there are not allowed to do so anymore. Nowadays HJ Samuri grills the sate at another branch before taking it to this outlet. The are many branches throughout Kuala Lumpur.

  • Putra World Trade Center: Putra World Trade Centre is an international convention and trade fair location. A popular spot for some of the country's major exhibitions, Malaysia is justifiably proud of it. The luxurious complex of buildings includes the Pan-Pacific Hotel, a sleek 41-storey office block and a 253,000sqft exhibition centre (with four halls) topped with a Minangkabau-style roof. The top floor of this luxurious centre is home to the UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) offices, former Prime Minister Dr. Mahatir Mohamad’s ruling party.

  • Chow Kit: Chow Kit holds many titles, with some more favorable than others. Named after the former tin miner and public figure, Loke Chow Kit, and sandwiched between the two parallel roads of Jalan Raja Laut and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Chow Kit Market thrives. Chowkit Market is Malaysia’s largest wet market. Seemingly hundreds of stalls filled with meat, fresh fruit and freshly caught fish line the narrow passageway. As Kuala Lumpur saw rapid development over the last 20 years or so, the market has survived the test of time. Frequently there's water on the walkways, because they splash the fish with cold water to keep it fresh. Sometimes they use ice cubes. Be aware that you put on the right shoes.

  • Jalan Tun Razak: ONE of the busiest roads in Kuala Lumpur is Jalan Tun Razak, with its interchanges that lead to various suburbs of Kuala Lumpur as well as buildings and attractions around the area.Home to the Istana Budaya, the National Library, and the National Gallery, Jalan Tun Razak also cuts through the busy district of Kuala Lumpur at the Jalan Ampang junction, which plays host to City Square, Crown Princess Hotel and the Ampang Park LRT station.

  • Titiwangsa Lake Garden: Titiwangsa Lake Gardens, or Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, is an attractive and well maintained park in Kuala Lumpur with a wide range of facilities and things to do for the whole family.The lake itself, like many of the small lakes in the Klang Valley, was originally created from tin mining activities and has since been nicely cleaned up and landscaped to form the centerpiece of this popular park. Coconut trees and banyans provide shade, while numerous fountains keep the lake water clean and healthy.

  • National Visual Art Gallery: A tranquil complex also known as the Balai Seni Visual Negara, it showcases a permanent collection of over 2,500 local and foreign works of art (including photography) by celebrated contemporary artists.

  • National Library: This new building serves as a public library with an Auditorium conference area and a multipurpose Hall

  • Petronas Twin Tower: Situated at the former site of the Selangor Turf Club the Petronas Twin Towers were once the world's tallest buildings at a height of 452 metres 88 floors are constructed lastly of reinforced concrete with the steel and glass facade design to resemble motifs found in Islamic architecture. the towers feature a sky Bridge at the 41st and 42nd level, this bridge is the highest 2 storey bridge in the world.

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  • KLCC Park: the park spans 100 acres with jogging and walking paths. it also has a Symphony Lake fountain and a massive tropical garden with approximately 1900 indigenius trees and Palms.

  • Visit Beryl's Chocolate Kingdom: Beryl's chocolate kingdom is a great place to shop for gifts and souvenirs to take back home. We did not have this place on our list but, our taxi driver recommended this place. We totally did not regret going there! Beryl's chocolate kingdom is definitely a paradise for chocolate lovers as it offers authentic chocolate in a number of shapes and favours.

  • Low Yat Plaza for electronics: They say if you have to buy your gadgets, there's no place like Low Yat in Malaysia. You will need to check the sellers and make sure the warranties are in place but this is the best place to shop for your electronics.

  • National Palace Royal Museum: The Royal Museum is located in the old National Palace, or Istana Negara from 1957 until 2011, was the official residence of the King and Queen of Malaysia or, to give them their more formal titles, His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong. The old palace ceased to be the official residence on 15th November 2011 following completion of a new palace complex at Jalan Duta. Pictures are not alowed inside the Palace. Hence, I only got to take pictures of the outside.

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What else can you do in Malaysia?

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