Sleek in the tropical sky like two rockets of glass and steel, the Petronas Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world, represent indeed the dazzling economic success of Malaysia. In Kuala Lumpur, we see them everywhere. Inspired in their architecture by the tradition of Asian Islam, they proudly dominate the business district.
Kuala Lumpur, KL (as it is nicknamed) is a constantly expanding capital and has so much to offer. Follow this guide where you will find everything you need to do in Kuala Lumpur in 3 days, organizing those activities like you want.
KUALA LUMPUR CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS
Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia is a city of contrasts! There is a great cultural variety: the Malays, the Chinese and the Indians. Just walking around the different neighborhoods is a journey in itself ! A jungle in the city, huge towers, dozens of places to visit… let’s go for the top 5 cultural things to do in Kuala Lumpur!
WILAYAH MOSQUE – OUR FAVORITE
Federal Territory Mosque is a large mosque in Kuala Lumpur. Also known as the Wilayah Persekutuan Mosque, it was built between 1998 and 2000 and opened its doors on October 2000. This major regional mosque is situated in the north of Kuala Lumpur.
Architecturally, the mosque and its two minarets are built in the Ottoman Malay style and welcomes both Muslim and non-Muslim visitors. Volunteers at the mosque are also on hand to offer guided tours and interesting information.
This is an operational mosque, so it is important to respect the conservative rules of dress while visiting, that is why they can provide clothing for men and women to cover-up. Remember too to remove shoes before entering the building.
The entrance is free and if you go early in the morning, there will be very few tourists which makes the place even more huge and beautiful. You will be left speechless in front of the details of the walls and this incredible architecture.
THEAN HOU TEMPLE
Thean Hou Temple is one of the oldest and largest temples in Southeast Asia. Southwest of the city, the six-tiered Buddhist temple is also known as the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven. Dedicated to Tian Hou, a goddess said to protect fishermen,, it is set on a hill and offers wonderful views of the city.
Thean Hou Temple’s structural design represents a successful combination of contemporary architectural style and traditional designs with intricate embellishments and ornate carvings and murals. The front entrance has a multi-arched gateway with red pillars, to symbolize prosperity and good fortune. Also, the temple has dragon-inspired columns and pagoda rooftops, and an extravagant prayer hall with three altars.
You can often see both devotees and visitors burning joss sticks, kneeling in prayer and placing offerings at the feet of the statues.
Small advice, go for 7:30 am, you will attend a beautiful relaxing sunrise on the temple, without any tourists around!
The entrance is free but you can make a donation inside the temple.
KL FOREST ECO PARK
The KL Forest Eco Park is one of the oldest permanent forest reserves in Malaysia. Located beside the Menara KL Tower, this forest reserve covers an area of approximately 11, 0000 sq metres and was founded in 1906, making it the only remaining tropical rainforest in the middle of Kuala Lumpur city centre.
Visitors can find a variety of trees, herbs, bamboo, and creepers, as well as well-maintained walking trails ranging between 300 and 500 metres in length.
A must-visit here is the Canopy Walk, which is a wood-and-steel aerial bridge that’s about 200 metres in height. The bridge towers above the forest reserve, offering sweeping views of Menara KL Tower, and the KL city skyline. The KL Forest Eco Park is open daily and free to enter.
Good to know : the right entrance to the park.
Brickfields District near Bangsar is the official name for Little India in Kuala Lumpur. Residents have lived in this quarter for generations making it the largest and oldest enclave in Malaysia with Indians, Sri Lankans and Bangladeshis calling the neighbourhood home.
The neighbourhood’s main street, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, is full of the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of India. Shops selling aromatic spices sit next to those blasting the latest Bollywood hits. Traditional clothes such as saris along with jewellery, henna tattoos along with the South Indian’s favourite Banana Leaf restaurants. Beautiful arches stretch along the side of the street while the district bursts with life, colour and soul.
TAMAN CONNAUGHT NIGHT MARKET
Every Wednesday evening at around 7:00pm, thousands of locals head to Cheras for one of Malaysia’s largest night markets. It is a place where you can buy everything from flowers and street food to cuddly toys, clothes and books.
Kuala Lumpur has several night markets, or ‘Pasar Malam’, in different neighbourhoods every night of the week, so what makes Taman Connaught so special? For a start, it stretches for approximately two kilometres with some of the capital’s best selection of street food. And anyone with a passion for shopping and retail therapy can amble around the hundreds of stalls buying souvenirs and snacking in the same way as the locals. Being quite far from the city centre, fewer tourists make the journey and experiencing the bustle of a crowded Malaysian night market gives a cultural insight into Kuala Lumpur.
Various types of cuisine are available from sushi and Korean flavours to Taiwanese and Thai treats. Other snacks include a variety of cakes and pastries, including the delicious egg tarts as well as coconut jelly, dim sum, pau and many others. And the street food at Taman Connaught Market will cost just a few ringgits for handfuls of mouth-wateringly good food. Just remember to bring some tissue or wet wipes!
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK/HANG OUT IN KL ?
There are usually two reasons why people would get a drink or would eat in KL, especially the city centre: to wait out the perpetual traffic or to have a good time partying in the city. Whatever your reasons might be, here are the best places you definitely should go ! We are going to right an entire article about the best spots to hang out/eat in KL, but here are some of our favorites.
MERCHANT’S LANE – THE MOST HIDDEN BRUNCH
Did you ever wanted an “instagrammable hipster” place to have a brunch ? Search no more and go to Merchant’s Lane. You wouldn’t go there without a guide or a local that would tells you. It is just a blue door in a street, but trust us, you will fall in love with this inside.
It is such a relaxing place where food and drinks are absolutely excellent.
NO BLACK TIE – BEST JAZZ BAR EVER (AND OUR FAVORITE)
No Black Tie is KL’s leading jazz bar and where some of the best musicians have performed. This unpretentious bar has been around for over 20 years now and is considered an institution in the city.
Walking in the place feels like you are joining a secret place. The inside is very stylish, intimate, just like a speakeasy bar. On the walls, you will find photos of classic jazz legends like Billie Holiday and Miles Davis.
At the back of the bar, separated by a curtains is the performance area. A good place for dinner and a show. We were very lucky to attend the concert of the talented Jan Vanek, French guitarist.
Cocktails are very originals and tasteful, food is absolutely delicious and the quality of the entertainment make this place worth it.
We had a delightful moment this night and we would definitely come again if we come back to KL. So make us a favor by not missing this place when you are in Kuala Lumpur !
Located on the highest floor of the WOLO Hotel, you will find an inspired space for food, cocktails and of course, Instagram.
Mr. Chew‘s menu, is largely Asian with just a sprinkling of Latin American influences by way of ingredients such as avocado or food such as tacos. The food is bold and punchy in flavours, you’ll find salads and tapas, buns and dumplings, fried snacks and of course, bigger main courses. The best thing to do is to order for sharing.
(The item you shouldn’t miss: the Nori taco !)
Cocktails are a highlight here as well; you can expect the same inventiveness in the execution and they’re very easy to drink.
THE BARN – BEST WINE BAR
Wine lovers, we found the best spot to have a good glass of wine ! The Barn is a casual chic restaurant for good food and fine wine.
The wine list is huge and quality is here. Treat yourself with the choice of dishes, and fall in love with the decoration of the place!
If you are looking for a place to have a glass (or 2 or 3… or a bottle!) of wine, you will not find a better place. Staff is really friendly, unpretentious and really competent regarding the wine choice.
There are also tons of events organized, so you will never get bored of this place.
There are several Barns in KL, we tried the ones at 1 mont Kiara and at Pavillion mall.
ORIGINAL THINGS TO DO IN KL
Some of the highlights of KL are not so obvious, and that is where we come in!
KLCC PARK AND PETRONAS TOWERS
The KLCC Park, a 50-acre garden set around the luxury Suria KLCC shopping center and Petronas Towers are one of the best places to view the Petronas Towers from, and all the locals know it too.
A great place to people watch and wander, especially in the afternoon, everybody is out enjoying the various waterfalls, lakes and reflecting pools scattered around the park.
THE SELFIE MUSEUM
Do you love taking selfies? Then we got the right place for you ! Starting in Malaysia for the very first time : the Selfie Museum, a colourful, candy-sprinkled place that’s dedicated to the art of selfies. IG-worthy? Look at this !
It is located at Fahrenheit 88 Kuala Lumpur, and you can enjoy nine different and delectable dessert-themed rooms. (Moreover, each entry give you the right to eat 5 desserts, yummy !)
It is about 10 euros per person, but hurry up, this a temporary exposition that will end by February.
With such a wide array of shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, it should come as no surprise that this is a country that takes retail therapy seriously.
Shoppers will find that the most popular malls in Kuala Lumpur are kept up-to-date with the most glamorous names in the fashion industry right now, from mid-range labels like H&M, Topshop and Forever 21, to Chanel, Jimmy Choo and Fendi.
Another good thing is that you can combine shopping with great onsite attractions, like bowling, archery, laser games, and, in the case of Berjaya Times Square, even an indoor theme park!
Here are our 3 favorite malls :
WHERE TO STAY IN KUALA LUMPUR ?
We stayed in Bukit Bintang, it is the main area to find a hotel in Kuala Lumpur. It is where many things are doable by foot.
We’ve stayed in differents places but here are the two we liked the most :
D’Majestic Hotel : our apartment was superb ! Great wifi connection and great location.
Face Suite Hotel (a little bit more fancy but so nice to have a night or two !)
HOW GET AROUND KUALA LUMPUR ?
Kuala Lumpur is so easy to move in ! Depending on where you stay, you can do a lot of things by foot. If it is too far, just download the Grab App (it is like Uber or GoJek) and go wherever you want for no more than 2/4 euros !
And there you have it!
Otherwise, you can also use public transports like bus, subways, or trains.