The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is a cosmopolitan city, full of life. Kuala Lumpur has a bit of everything and honestly, I find it hard not to like the city 😉. If you like vibrant and relatively cheap cities, then Kuala Lumpur might be the perfect choice for you!
So, I decided to write this post with my Kuala Lumpur 3 days itinerary. Throughout the post, you will find several tips to visit Kuala Lumpur, but also information about:
- the best time of the year to visit Kuala Lumpur
- how many days you need to visit Kuala Lumpur
- best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur
- how to get to Kuala Lumpur
- places to eat in Kuala Lumpur
And of course, you will also find the most important part to prepare for your trip: the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur. So, keep reading to better plan your trip to Kuala Lumpur.
Although Kuala Lumpur is a fairly large city, I think 2 to 3 days are enough for a first visit to Kuala Lumpur.
Some of Kuala Lumpur’s top attractions are not so central, but you can quickly get there by transport or even Grab (Southeast Asia’s version of Uber).
So, if your Kuala Lumpur itinerary is only 2 days long, don’t worry because you will certainly have the opportunity to visit the main attractions in the city. However, if you have 3 days available, you can add one or two points to the itinerary and ensure that you visit Kuala Lumpur at a more relaxed pace.
Like other cities in Malaysia, the weather in Kuala Lumpur is generally warm and humid. So it’s never really cold in Kuala Lumpur.
However, you need to pay some attention to the rainy season. For example, March, April, October and November are the rainiest months of the year in Kuala Lumpur.
Therefore, some of the best months to visit Kuala Lumpur are February and June to August.
Anyway, I’d like to remind you that you can always find a bit of rain in Kuala Lumpur throughout the year and, therefore, I recommend that you always go prepared with a waterproof jacket or an umbrella. I use this waterproof jacket from Decathlon and I really like it.
As a citizen with a Portuguese passport, I am entitled to a free visa valid for 90 days to enter Malaysia. My passport just had to be valid for, at least, 6 months. I also filled out the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card but no one asked me for it.
When arriving in Malaysia, the process is quite simple and you might be asked a few questions about your origin, where you’re going next, how long you plan to stay, where you’ll be staying and a few extra questions in some cases.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: I strongly suggest you check out the latest information here, as well as the rules that apply to different passport holders.
My opinion is that it is quite chill to visit Kuala Lumpur. Despite being a vibrant and confusing city, Kuala Lumpur does not require, in my opinion, more precautions than those we normally would have in any big city. So, I would say that you just need to keep an eye on your belongings to avoid any potential theft.
💼 TRAVEL INSURANCE: If you want to feel safe while travelling, then you should definitely look into purchasing some travel insurance. Having insurance will help you with any health-related emergencies as well as with other events, such as theft, loss or delay of luggage, eventual need to cancel your trip and much more. In my case, I always use IATI Insurances, which has one of the best price-quality ratios in the market and a 100% online service that is very easy to use. Book here your travel insurance and enjoy a 5% discount for being readers of the blog. Don’t forget that the purchase must be made using this link.
Kuala Lumpur is one of the cities with the best flight connections in Southeast Asia. In fact, this city is often the entry point to this region.
There are two airports in Kuala Lumpur – Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (SZB), with the former being the most used.
Generally, the simplest and cheapest option to fly from Europe to Kuala Lumpur involves making at least one stopover halfway through the journey. However, there are a few European cities with direct connections to Kuala Lumpur:
- London (Malaysia Airlines)
- Amsterdam (KLM)
- Istambul (Turkish Airlines)
Singapore is located just 350 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur. Therefore, there are several options to get to Kuala Lumpur.
The first (and also fastest) option is by plane. The flight takes about 1 hour and there are several airlines offering this route, such as AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, Scoot, and Singapore Airlines, among others. It’s often easy to find tickets at excellent prices.
The second option is to travel from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur by bus. The journey takes a bit longer (about 5 hours) and I warn you that you’ll always need to stop on either side of the border between these two countries. I recommend that you buy your bus tickets directly on 12goAsia website.
For those who have travelled from Singapore to Malacca and want to continue their journey towards Kuala Lumpur (this is exactly what I did!), it’s very simple to do so.
The best option available is to travel to Kuala Lumpur from Malacca by bus. Again, I recommend booking your tickets on 12goAsia, as there are several operators (for example, I travelled with Super Nice Express). The journey takes about 2 hours and is quite cheap (my ticket didn’t even cost 3€).
Chances are, if you’re flying into Kuala Lumpur, you’ll land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL). And there are several ways to get from the airport to the city centre.
Train + Metro
The KLIA Express or KLIA Transit are two very convenient options that connect the airport to the city centre (KL Sentral station). The journey takes about 28 minutes and has the following prices:
- One way trip: 55 MYR (~ 11€)
- Round trip: 100 MYR (~ 20€)
Then, when you get off at KL Sentral just take the metro that will take you closer to the city centre. For example, it takes about 10 minutes to reach the area near the Petronas Tower.
Bus + Metro
There is also the cheaper option of travelling from Kuala Lumpur’s airport to the city centre by bus, which takes about an hour to KL Sentral. For example, the Express Coach runs from 7.45 am to 8.45 pm and costs 15 MYR (~3€).
Similar to the train option, you’ll also need to take the metro to a more central part of the city.
Private transfer or taxi
Finally, here is the most convenient option – private transfer or taxi. A trip between the airport and the city centre (Petronas Towers area) takes about 50 minutes (60 km).
For example, as I arrived very late in the city, I decided to call a Grab, which was not very expensive considering the distance covered (about 15€). In any case, you can also choose to hire Welcome Pickups service that allows you to have a transfer booked in advance, avoiding any stress upon arrival in Kuala Lumpur.
The official currency in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). As of July 2023, 1 MYR = 0,19€. Even though there are many places that accept cards, you should also try to carry some cash with you since some are “cash only”. This is especially true if you intend to eat out in local markets.
To make purchases with a currency other than the one I usually use (Euro), I always use the Revolut card, which has many advantages. One of the biggest advantages of the Revolut card while travelling is the fact it does not charge additional fees for using a different currency.
If you do not yet know the advantages of having a Revolut Card, you can find out more here.
Some of the banks in Malaysia charge a fee for withdrawing money with foreign cards (even if you’re using a Revolut card!). However, I found some that actually didn’t charge me to withdraw money with my Revolut card. These were the banks where I got to withdraw money without paying fees:
- CIMB Bank
It’s quite handy to always have internet while travelling in Malaysia. It’s useful when you need to call a Grab or use Google Maps in walking mode, for example.
I decided to buy an e-SIM from Celcom (which I could then do top-ups) at a 7-Eleven store, but you can opt for a more hassle-free option. For example, this e-SIM Roaming Mobile Data Plan can be purchased even before you arrive in Malaysia and the options are quite cheap.
You can choose the option that suits you best, having in mind the duration of your trip and where you plan to go, since most of the plans include a mobile data plan that also works in other countries.
There are plenty of amazing accommodations in Kuala Lumpur! Many feature infinity pools and superb views of the Petronas Towers. However, I chose to stay at 8 Kia Peng Suites. This is an excellent option for those looking for a ‘home’ away from home.
At 8 Kia Peng Suites you can find fully equipped flats for longer stays. Apart from being very spacious, the flats have a kitchen, washing machine, living room, TV and much more. In addition, 8 Kia Peng Suites also offers a gym service.
In any case, although this accommodation has especially in mind those who are looking for longer stays, it is also an excellent option for those who will stay in the city for just a few nights. Especially because the view from some of the rooms is simply unforgettable 🥰.
The location is very central, and the reception offers a shuttle service to some points of interest in the city.
In addition, 8 Kia Peng Suites also has an infinity pool with views of the city and a buffet breakfast service.
Anyway, there are several accommodation options in Kuala Lumpur and for every pocket. So, I’ll share with you other suggestions for accommodation in Kuala Lumpur:
To help you better plan your Kuala Lumpur itinerary, I’ll share a map with Kuala Lumpur’s main points of interest organized in the order I suggest you visit them.
» Kwai Chai Hong
This Kuala Lumpur 3 days itinerary starts in Chinatown, one of the liveliest areas of the city. Kwai Chai Hong is actually an area where you can admire some of the best street art in Kuala Lumpur.
It’s one of Kuala Lumpur’s most Instagrammable spots. So, if you want to have the place to yourselves, I suggest visiting relatively early.
» Central Market and Petaling Street Market
We continue in Chinatown and I suggest a visit to two of the best places for shopping in Kuala Lumpur.
On the one hand, there is the Petaling Street Market – an open-air market where you can buy everything from souvenirs to clothes and accessories, for example. Along this street, you can also find some restaurants!
And then there is also Central Market – a closed market with more handmade products. The market is open every day from 10 am to 8 pm. More information here.
» Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Then, you can head to Sri Mahamariamman Temple – the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur. Founded in 1873, it is possible to visit its interior for free.
» Guan Di Temple
Crossing the street from the previous temple, you’ll soon arrive at Guan Di temple. This is far from being the most surprising Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur, but it is also worth a visit when passing through Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown.
» Jamek Mosque
Known officially as the Sultan Abdul Samad Jamek Mosque, this is one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur. It was built in the early 20th century. So make sure you include it on your itinerary!
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: Entry to the Jamek Mosque is free. The mosque can be visited every day except Friday and during prayer times. Remember to wear appropriate clothing to visit the Jamek Mosque!
» Merdeka and River of Life
Right next to the Jamek Mosque is Merdeka Square (which translates to Independence Square). Its name comes from the fact that it was here that the Malaysian flag was raised again in 1957, making Malaysia independent. In fact, nowadays, the square is actually a large green space with a Malaysian flag there.
If you want to learn more about Malaysia’s history, be sure to check out the National History Museum, which is located near the square.
It is also near this square that we find one of the most beautiful buildings in Kuala Lumpur – Sultan Abdul Samad. The building dates back to the 19th century and was originally home to the offices of the British colonial administration. Today, it is a Malaysian governmental building.
And crossing the Sultan Abdul Samad building, we come across the River of Life project. It is here that two rivers (the Klang River and the Gombak River) meet. The River of Life project was created in order to revitalize this area. Actually, the River of Life is one of the places to visit in Kuala Lumpur at night since there is a light and water show 🥰.
» National Monument (Tugu Negara)
The next point on this Malaysia itinerary is the National Monument, which honours those who died fighting for Malaysia’s independence. This area has views of the city and a commemorative monument.
Honestly, I thought the views over Kuala Lumpur would be more interesting. Anyway, if you have some time to spare, I see no reason not to include this place in your list of things to see in Kuala Lumpur.
» Perdana Botanical Gardens
Kuala Lumpur’s botanical gardens are located relatively close to the National Monument and are a great option to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Entry to the gardens is free, except for a few specific spaces.
💡 EXTRA TIP: Both the Botanical Gardens and the National Monument are a little out of the way from the centre of Kuala Lumpur, so I suggest using a Grab to get there more easily.
» KLCC Lake Symphony Water Fountain Show
And, to finish this first day of the 3-day itinerary in Kuala Lumpur, I recommend the light, water and sound show at KLCC park. Although the show is less surprising than the ones in Singapore, it is still interesting. It’s definitely one of those places to visit in Kuala Lumpur at night.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: This show takes place daily at 8 pm, 9 pm and 10 pm. However, there is a lights-only version at 7.30 pm, 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm. More information here.
» Batu Caves
The second day of this itinerary starts at one of Kuala Lumpur’s main attractions – the Batu Caves. Despite being a bit far from the city centre, this is one of the must-visit places in Kuala Lumpur, so make sure you don’t miss it.
Plus, it’s usually very crowded. So, if you want to have the place to yourself, try to arrive as early as possible.
The most convenient way to go from the centre of Kuala Lumpur to the Batu Caves is by Grab (the trip costs about 3-4€). However, it is also possible to take the KLM Komuter train that connects KL Sentral station to Batu Caves (the station is actually named after it). The journey takes about 25 minutes and costs less than 1€.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: Most temples at Batu Caves are open from 6 am to 9 pm and admission is free. To check the specific hours of some of the temples, click here.
Once you arrive at Batu Caves, you will have to climb the colourful staircase with more than 200 steps to see the Hindu temples up close. On the staircase, you’ll find lots of monkeys 😉. But be wary, they are cheeky and will quickly “rob” your backpack. Preferably, try not to carry food in your backpack.
💡 EXTRA TIP: Please note that this is a religious site and you should dress appropriately. If you don’t have clothes that you consider appropriate, you can rent sarongs at the start of the staircase.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Batu Caves and get a bit more context about this spiritual place, I suggest a guided tour. For example, this tour costs only 12€, has excellent reviews and includes pick-up service from your hotel in the city centre.
» Wilayah Mosque
It’s now time to head to one of the most impressive mosques in Kuala Lumpur – the Wilayah Mosque. Built only in 2000, this mosque, despite its recent construction, leaves no one indifferent.
Its architecture takes inspiration from various mosques and sites around the world, such as the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
This is one of the most interesting places to visit in Kuala Lumpur, as it also allows us to learn more about Islam, in addition to the specific history of this mosque.
Entrance is free, but it is only possible to visit the mosque through a guided tour. You should wear appropriate clothing, but the mosque staff will lend you some items if needed. For example, I was wearing baggy trousers and a T-shirt covering my shoulders and chest, and I still had to wear the clothes in the pictures above.
This mosque is actually not one of the most famous places in Kuala Lumpur, but it’s quite interesting, so you should definitely consider adding it to your Kuala Lumpur’s 3 days itinerary.
» Petronas Towers
Petronas Towers are, without a doubt, the most iconic building in Kuala Lumpur. They were once the tallest building in the world (over 450 metres high) and are visible from various points in the city.
I debated a lot about whether to visit the inside of the Petronas Towers. Firstly because the ticket is still a bit pricey and secondly because I didn’t have that much time to visit Kuala Lumpur. However, I ended up deciding that I would rather visit a nice viewpoint overlooking the Petronas than the Petronas themselves 😆.
💡 EXTRA TIP: One of the places with the best views of the Petronas Towers is KLCC Park, which is free to enter. In fact, this is the next point on this Kuala Lumpur itinerary.
So, I ended up not visiting the inside of the Petronas and only visited the KL Tower, which has one of the best views in Kuala Lumpur and especially of the Petronas Towers. However, as I know that many people would like to visit the inside Petronas Towers, I decided to include this point in the itinerary anyway.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The Petronas Towers can be visited from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 9 pm and the ticket costs 98 MYR (~20€). Check the latest updates on the ticket price and opening hours here.
» KLCC Park
KLCC Park is one of the most pleasant and lively green spaces in Kuala Lumpur and definitely one of the top things to do in Kuala Lumpur. Apart from the pleasant stroll that you can take in this park, be prepared to take pictures of the Petronas Towers, as this is one of the most ideal places to photograph these twin towers.
💡 EXTRA TIP: If you’re travelling with children, this can be a perfect place to relax on warmer days, as it has a kind of a children’s pool.
» KL Tower
It’s time to climb the KL Tower – one of the best viewpoints in Kuala Lumpur. This is also one of the tallest towers in the world and has been around since 1994. In my opinion, this might be pricey, but it’s definitely a must-visit in Kuala Lumpur!
I especially recommend visiting at sunset to make it even more special. From the viewpoint (Sky Deck) you can have 360º views over the city and it’s one of those “pinch me please” moments .
Next to the viewpoint area (Sky Deck), there are also two Sky Boxes, which are two “boxes” with a transparent floor. It’s quite scary in the beginning to step foot on the glass floor, but it’s worth it. Totally a fun experience!
While you can also stay inside each Sky Box for a limited amount of time, there is no time limit on the Sky Deck. You can buy your tickets directly through Get Your Guide to avoid any queues at the ticket office.
📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The ticket to visit the Sky Deck and Sky Box costs 110 MYR (~22€), but if you pay with a VISA card, you get a 20% discount.
» Changkat Bukit Bintang
By now, you should probably be hungry, so, I suggest you try one of the busiest areas in Kuala Lumpur – Changkat Bukit Bintang. This area consists of a set of streets and alleys with restaurants and comes alive, especially at night.
The most famous street in this area is Jalan Alor street, where I highly recommend you have a meal. One of the places I really enjoyed in this area was this one.
💡 EXTRA TIP: In addition, this is an area where you can also find a lot of street art in Kuala Lumpur.
» Helipad Lounge
To end the day, I suggest a stop at one of the most original rooftops in Kuala Lumpur. There are many in the city (some of them you should actually book in advance), but I ended up going to Helipad Lounge and I really enjoyed the experience.
This rooftop is a helipad during the day and turns into a bar after 6 pm. Entrance costs 100 MYR (~20€), but you get two drinks from a pre-defined drinks list. The atmosphere of the bar is amazing and the 360.º views of the city make it one of the most beautiful places in Kuala Lumpur.
The third day of this Kuala Lumpur itinerary has only three sites to visit, as the time spent at each one is longer and, moreover, none of them are located in the city centre.
» Thean Hou Temple
The Thean Hou Temple is probably the most amazing Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur. Located about a 15-minute drive from the centre of Kuala Lumpur, this is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
It’s one of the largest Chinese temples in Southeast Asia, and apart from the temple itself being lovely, the views over Kuala Lumpur are jaw-dropping. Plus, it’s completely free to visit.
💡 EXTRA TIP: A Grab from the city centre is relatively cheap and allows you to get to this temple much more quickly.
» KL Forest Eco Park
Next on this Kuala Lumpur 3 days itinerary is the KL Forest Eco Park – a park that makes you forget about the hustle and bustle of the Malaysian capital. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit this park when I was in Kuala Lumpur, but since I was really curious about it, I decided to include it in this itinerary anyway.
The park has some short trails with canopy bridges and beautiful views of the city. There is an entrance fee (40 MYR, ~8 €). If you’d like to know more about the park, you can check out this blog post with lots of useful tips.
» Putra Mosque
Although located in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur and definitely not one of the main places to see in Kuala Lumpur, I think Putra mosque may be well worth it since it’s so pretty.
And, to finish this Kuala Lumpur guide, I’ll share with you some suggestions of restaurants that I tried in Kuala Lumpur and absolutely loved.
- Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock (€): Located in Chinatown, this restaurant is perfect for breakfast and lunch. It has delicious traditional Malaysian dishes and the service is quite fast.
- Cik Noor Dim Sum (€): for dinner on Jalan Alor Street, this stall had the most delicious and cheap food.
- Baan Phadthai Pavilion KL (€€): located in Kuala Lumpur’s most famous shopping centre, the speciality here are Thai dishes and the food was great.
Disclaimer: this post may contain some affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy something through my links. This doesn’t represent any additional cost to you and you’ll be supporting my work here on the blog😊